Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mercury is in Retrograde

So once again, you know that whenever I talk about work it's because something is broken...yeah. EVERYTHING is broken! Hooray!

I started everything up this morning as usual. I had an extra test to do (the same one I did Friday but I had to redo it because it failed and I had to verify, annoying) so after I turned on my furnace and the lamps I didn't go in there for a while. So later, when I came into my instrument room, I heard a scary, high-pitched whiny noise coming from the computer box. Also, it wouldn't respond to anything. I couldn't turn it off, I couldn't get the mouse or keyboard to respond...fun times. So I called the guy in charge of those sorts of things, but he didn't answer so I e-mailed him. He called Tim, and he was supposed to come over some time after noon. So, I had no idea how long it would be before I could get anything done, or even if it could be fixed.

So I decided to just chill out until 1:00, when I would be ready to do Mercury. So I got everything ready for that and went in and tried to get into the software that runs the instrument open. It opened and promptly informed me that it wasn't going to cooperate today, no way no how. I restarted and rebooted everything and its mom and it still refused to play ball.
So when Tim came over (1:30 p.m.) I had him look at both computers to see if the mercury was a problem with the computer. Tim's pretty sure it isn't the computer, so we were back at square one.

Tim was able to fix the furnace computer quickly (it needed new RAM...second time in two months...weird) and I tried to get everything up and running and it took me 45 MINUTES to get it started because it decided to throw a hissy fit. FINALLY it got going.

But mercury is still not up. My boss called the service people and they can't even come out until Thursday, so we can't release any product until we figure this out unless we decide to send the samples out and that will be expensive. So Thursday. The problem is, the instrument is like 30 years old and they don't make parts for it any more. The service guy said over the phone that he couldn't even believe it was still running. So, if it needs parts, we won't be able to get any. They looked into getting a new one for me though, and it's a nice one that will take solid sample (!) instead of having a two-day chemical prep for each sample. It's also sensitive to parts per trillion instead of parts per billion. NICE.

I guess we'll see what happens.

Poor Scottie isn't feeling well. He stayed home today and is all feverish and miserable. I hope I don't get whatever he has. I was sick last week. I think it was just allergies, but it was still miserable.

I finished the toe of Mim's second red sock. I am SO SLOW. I'm just bored.

I didn't get home until 6:00 today, which isn't so bad until you know I usually get home at 3. Boo.

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