Frustration and an Analogy

So, I went to use the compression tester at the lab today so as to quantify the strengths of the samples I spent the week making. Apparently, it’s broken. However, they had a backup plan: I could use the lab press they use for making FTIR pellets. But not really: the smallest division on the gauge is a to, and a 30mm cylinder of my cement is not going to stand up to a ton of force. And I certainly cant estimate the difference between 1.1 and 1.2 tons by eye.

Anyway, this is the most important test for concrete, and I find myself suddenly very frustrated. This project is making me bipolar. Wednesday night, I felt that thursday I would go and do compression tests and really start making some progress. I was on top of the world. Today, it turns out I can’t do that and I’m stumped at this moment for a practical alternative. So now I am frustrated.

For some reason on the walk home I created an elaborate cooking analogy about this and I think it sums things up quite nicely. My graduate school studies are like making a thanksgiving dinner. I want it to be delicious so that I will get hired by a nice restaurant or maybe have my own cooking show. So far, I’ve made a pretty good green bean casserole, and some decent cranberry sauce, and some sweet potatoes, but no one has tried the sweet potatoes yet so I dont know if the are good.

And now I want to make the turkey, and once I do that I can make the stuffing and maybe a little gravy. And While I’m at it, I’d like to add some crunchy onions to the greenbean casserole, and maybe a little more brown sugar to the top of the sweet potatoes. Then all I need to do is set the table and we an all dig in.

But I decided to cook it at someone else’s house. And I was told that the kitchen was equipped, but it turns out there’s no stove, and all the spoons are in a different town. And I had to fashion the big serving fork dealie out of PVC pipe. I know I can still cook the turkey, but if I fry it in a pan it will be uneven and if I throw it under the hood of a car to roast on the motor, it will be inedible.

Look, the point is, I am frustrated. And hungry.


5 Responses to Frustration and an Analogy

  1. Anthony says:

    You’ve never actually made a Thanksgiving dinner have you?

  2. sakulich says:

    Not really. But Ive seen them made! And I’ve eaten a couple I guess. But here’s the way it works here: when I want to heat up the potatoes, I give it to a guy who puts it on the stove and then just stares at it. If I ask him to stir the gravy at the same time, it can’t be done. And also I am not allowed in the kitchen. And I guess roof of the house is on fire.

  3. Ed Anderson says:

    I think you should dub your current laboratory facilities “lumpy turkey” compared to the “smiling lobster” of home, eh?

    BTW, you might want to go eat. Thats a lot of food references.

  4. Caroline Schauer says:

    Where are the chocolate references for Valentine’s Day? Have a happy one.

  5. sakulich says:

    Hmmm… okay, also, the only chocolates that wants me to eat them are thousands of miles away. Wait, I should rephrase that…

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