Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Socks SO COMFY

I finished a pair of socks I started over Thanksgiving break. I was so excited to knit, because the day before Thanksgiving my doc said I could take the brace off. So it's been slow going, since it's still sore now and again, but they're done! SO COMFY and I wore them to work today.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let It Snow...

So our company does this thing where the day before a holiday break the big boss says we can all go home early, but then says that he wants all the lab work done, so that pretty much means everyone except lab personnel can go home early.


Either way, Happy Holidays to all who celebrate and Happy Days Off to those who don't.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It Doesn't Have A Name Yet

So here are some pictures of the 'Stang:The Scott is working on the lights.

And here is the whole thing:
It's a project car, for sure, but we're really excited. Scott took it in today to get it inspected. He's been working on it for weeks to get it all ready to pass safety and emissions. Apparently it runs too rich in idle, though, so we'll have to figure out how to fix that.
It needs a paint job, of course, and the entire interior is a mess but for the most part the engine is in good shape, so it's mostly cosmetic work it needs. Scott and I can't agree on colors for it, though. I guess that's a way in the future though, so we won't worry about it for now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Old And Busted...New Hotness

So let's FINALLY blog about the new hotness. What am I talking about?

New instruments at work! 2 of them!

Remember this old thing? Old and busted:
It was a pile of junk. Maybe it used to work well, but over a couple years of sitting in a room with poor ventilation, it just started to corrode itself into crappiness. I often spent hours every day fiddling around with it, trying to get it to work. Plus, it was an obsolete technology, so outside labs didn't want to contract with us for heavy metals testing.

Enter the new hotness:
Agilent ICP-MS 7500cx.
Oh. My. This thing is a work of art. It doesn't need tweaking every day! It has a detection limit of 1 ppt (part per trillion) (that is amazing people)! That is over 100 times more sensitive than the old and busted! The best part? It can do MORE than just heavy metals. It can do almost ANY element, and isotope analysis for each! That means carbon dating HOLY CRAP I AM SO COOL NOW.
So now we can get outside labs to contract for us with all sorts of amazing things, including more heavy metals testing. But so far we have run several multimineral mixtures that used to take hours and hours overnight to run on the ICP-OES, but now with the new program I wrote into it, it takes about an hour at the most! Here's what it looks like to run this program:
Hard to see, but there are three sets of standards, 2 QCs, about 17 different elements being analyzed all at the same time.

So there is the first new instrument. BEAUTIFUL.

Remember this old and busted?
Oh how I loved running mercury on this baby. NOT. It was easy enough to run but it took 2 full days and 5 different chemical reagents to run a sample.

Here's the new hotness:
Milestone DMA-80
All this one does is mercury, but it does it so well. So very well. Its detection limit is 50 ng (that's nanograms, that's ridiculously small). I just load it up and walk away.
The best part? It takes NO prep AT ALL. I just load the sample itself into a little boat and away it goes!
When I need to rush a sample, I also have the capability to stop the instrument where it is, run a specific sample, then go back to what it was doing before. SO COOL.

So, there you go. Sorry for being nerdy (again).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I don't think I will ever be able to watch/read about Dumbledore dying without crying.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

8 Cylinders of RAW POWER

I just haven't been in the mood to write anything lately. So here are a few things I will (probably) post about in the future:

We bought a car. 1968 Ford Mustang. Not even kidding.

I have two brand new instruments at work and I have been loving my job more and more every day.

I am knitting again. I have made one sock. Now I just need to start the next...

I have been craving tacos like you would not believe.

It's snowing today (finally).

I have had headaches for days that won't go away or respond to medication. I'm not sure how much Tylenol my liver can take, but I'm probably pushing the limit.

Allene and Chris moved out, so we have our house back to ourselves. And that stupid dog is gone, too.

I put up my Christmas tree today.

I need to reformat my laptop. Scott is going to show me how.

Mim and her boyfriend are coming over tomorrow to hang out, so I need to clean my house. I should probably do that now, actually...

The 'Stang is the coolest thing ever. We are officially cool now.

Very cool.