Lab Cleaning

October 30, 2009

So, I’m taking over as lab manager, and since I don’t have my safety training yet, I’ve spent my time trying to tidy up around the lab. So far I’ve tossed out 6 garbage cans of old papers and equipment catalogues and whatnot. There’s also an Apple II and two huge, ancient printers. There’s probably… half a dumpster’s worth of old stuff in there that needs to get thrown out? And that’s from one lab. Thinking of the thousands of labs in this university, the thousands of universities in the country, and the hundreds of countries in the world, it boggles my mind. Seriously. First, it’s amazing to think of the world’s industrial capacity, putting all that stuff out. And it’s flabbergasting to think of how much of it is off to the dumpster. Seriously. Stultus sum.


I Learn Things From Maps

October 26, 2009

The word in Turkish for ‘Morocco’ is ‘Fas’. As in the city of Fes.


Work and Videogame Problems

October 25, 2009

Friday, all of my paperwork came through at work. Well, almost all of it. I need to get a parking permit, sign up for health insurance, and go through two lab safety courses. But at least it’s all on the road now. I also got to see the lab space that I’ll be the manager of. There’s one well setup lab, and then one that seems to be more like a huge storage area. Plus, there are thousands of books down there. It looks like my OCD will be ut to constructive use arranging things.

So on non-work related subjects. I’ve been playing some videogames recently. Operation:Anchorage and The Pitt, the two expansions for Fallout III, were pretty disappointing. I mean, they were good, for the two hours each lasted. But whatever. I don’t think they were meant for high-level characters.

Point Lookout, on the other hand, ROCKS. I’m enjoying it almost as much as I enjoyed No One Lives Forever. I’m a few hours down, and it’s awesome. With one exception. It’s like a house on stilts, by which I mean it’s extremely unstable. When the framerate gets choppy, I know a crash is around the corner. Sometimes, if I stop, quicksave, and stare at the floor for a while, I can put it off. But it’s inevitable. And oh, how it crashes! Shit just locks up for dozens up dozens of minutes. Terrible!

I was really enjoying Half Life 2. It’s a much different style from Fallout, one I’d forgotten I’d liked. Anthony, that champion of gentlemen, sent me a copy of it. And it, too, was awesome. However, after showing some striders how we do it in the resistance, it crashed. Apparently, I killed a strider so hard my computer couldn’t handle it. And now, when I try and load it, it gives me some malarky about memory not being found. The entire thing won’t load. I have an idea to save it, but I’d have to start over. Sigh. Perhaps someday.

And that’s how I spend my time now.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

October 21, 2009

So, I hate nanotechnology. I fell like it’s a fad in a lot of ways, and even if it’s not, that stuff is just too small to fiddle with. That’s why like cement. Just dump that business in a bucket and go to town! I’d hate to be those people working with nanotubes, with their elaborate manufacturing processes and all that.

So, I met with the boss today. My first project is going to be mixing nanotubes into cement to improve electrical properties and enable self-sensing.

Touche. Well played, fate.

First day of work

October 14, 2009

Today was my ‘first day’ of work. All that I really did was go to meet with my new boss, pick up some paperwork, and get some files off off one of the grad students. My boss took me out to sushi for lunch. Oh, Matsu Don, how I love thee.

What I didn’t love? That I apparently have zero social graces. Do I hold the door? Do I not? Do I put the napkin in my lap? Should I not have cleaned my teeth with the chopsticks at the end? Which curse words is one allowed to use in polite conversation?

I felt like I had me a lot more to say. Oh! I needed extra decoration, so I hung up some of my Moroccan maps. Every morning when I wake up, I’ll be eyeballing rampwan Mers Sultan. Maybe it’s a good idea. It looks neat, anyway.


October 12, 2009

So, I’ve got a few days before I start my job, and I’ve got some time on my hands. Now, I considered spending that time moping, but then I decided, I was going to cook two things I’ve always wanted to cook. Someone’s pointed out that they don’t go together, but I’ve got a full stomach that says it was awesome.

Take one acorn squash. Cut in half, discard stem. Oil baking sheet, and cook squash at 400 for 30 minutes. Take it out, pull off rind. Add one cup vegetable stock and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper and whatever herbs you want. I added some sage and a slice of leftover bacon I had. Boil for a while, and eat it. I shouldn’t have added that bacon, but I didn’t want it to go bad.

Anyway. Take 12 chicken wings. Steam for 10 minutes. Put in fridge for 1 hour. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Flip pieces and bake another 20 minutes. Save whatever fat drips off for stock later. During the second baking session, combine 1/4 cup hot sauce and 3/4 sticks of melted butter. Add a clove of mashed garlic and salt. The garlic, I was surprised to see, was super important. And delicious. When the wings are done, slop on that sauce and eat it with your mouth.

Fantastic. Now, to go get plowed.

Toot Toot! Here Comes the Faux Pas Train!

October 9, 2009

I went to the university for the first time since the interview today. All of my paperwork seems to be in order, and I will get keys and cards and badges and permits and all sorts of stuff on tuesday. Fun side note: if you fill out important paperwork on your first night in a town that sells beer in the supermarkets, you’re at increased risk of listing your previous occupation as Culture Jammer. Just saying.

Anyway! They showed me my new office. First of all: WOO! I HAVE AN OFFICE! I managed not to say that when I first saw the place. If the office were an apartment in West Philadelphia, it’d be like $1000 a month in rent. There’s a Korean guy who’s going to show up next week, but still. At Drexel, we’d fit 10 people in an office like that.

I guess I’ve sold out. Which way to the tophat emporium?