Monday, February 27, 2006

Yes, this is me...

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Although I think this is pretty normal for being in graduate school.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Blog of a Different Color

I decided to change the color of my blog. I hope you all like it.

When I originally created my blog, it had a black background. I think perhaps it was reflective of how I was feeling at the time. But eventually I thought it was too dark and changed it to ochre.

Now I am in the mood for something that looks a little crisper, perhaps with a cleaner look to it. Perhaps simple elegance?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Practical Jokes, Part II

It would seem that me leaving my email account open (see previous post) has caused my labmates to recount the various stories of the practical jokes played on people when they leave their email accounts open. Sort of like stories around the campfire.

One that gives me the giggles is the following:

A project scientist left his email account open. This particular person was into the various lotteries found on the net at the time. So, this other labmate of ours went into his account and emailed him from the account left open saying that he will win $100,000 if he replies back to the email within 30 minutes of opening.

Well, of course he replied, but it would come back to him because it was from his own account. Apparently, he worked himself into a frenzy trying to reply to this email within the 30 minute time frame. Since he had worked himself into a frenzy, he did not realize that this was originally coming from his own account.

Eventually he figured it out.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Practical Jokes

My lab seems to be fond of playing practical jokes on one another. Nothing hazardous or bad since this is a laboratory after all. But more the type of practical jokes that play with your mind more than anything. Stuff like making you think you have a presentation to prepare for when you don't.

Anyhow, one practical joke that seems to surface from time to time is doing something with a person's email account if it has been accidentally left open. For example, one of our project scientists left his email account open. Another project scientist went into his account and emailed the entire research institute that he needed BamH1. Now keep in mind that BamH1 is an extremely common restriction enzyme, so a great many people in the research institute kept coming by and trying give the scientist (the one with the email account left open) BamH1. The guy had no idea why all these people kept coming by and saying that they have BamH1 to give him. Of course, later, he figure it all out, but by then, the damage was done and apparently our lab became "grand central station" for BamH1.

Now, it turns out that I left my email account open last night. Yes, someone did get into and "leave evidence" that he was in my account.

So, now, it looks like I will be added to the stories of what happens to people in the lab when they leave their email accounts open.

Catnip for the day

Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.
--Erma Bombeck

Friday, February 17, 2006

To Sleep Perchance to Create

Lately The Boss has been cracking the whip on us. I have been no exception to this. More often than not, I have been in the lab until 2-3 am. So, obviously, I have been very tired and sleep deprived.

However, I have noticed that I started feeling a little less tired. I thought that maybe my body was adapting. After all, the human body is a wonderful thing and can adapt.

Then I realized that my body was not adapting, but that I was just getting more creative about getting sleep. For example, I have started sleeping in our 2 hour lab meetings and sleeping in seminars. My labmates have taken great joy in monitoring my new found sleeping habits and tell me how I slept very soundly for 45 minutes in seminar.

I am not happy about my new found sleeping habits considering that when I go to seminar, it is usually because I WANT to hear what the speaker has to say.

However, what gets me is how I manage to fall asleep in front of the spectrophotometer while I am running scans.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Graduate School or Football?

The most recent graduate student to join our lab is a rather large guy. He is built like a football player and has the strength of a football player. He is tall and wide. I think if he had decided not to go into a Ph.D program, he could have easily made a career in professional football.

The "problem" with this graduate student is that he does not seem to be aware of his own strength. For instance, one day I needed to use the CO tank for an experiment and could not open the valves or get the regulator off because he had tightened it so much that NO ONE could get it to budge. We had to call in the Praxair rep and although he was able to get the regulator off (and hence put it on another CO tank and make it usable for me), he could not get the valves to budge either. He had to cart it away and take it back to the company lab where I presume they deal with this type of situation in a safe area.

Also, with this graduate student, I am noticing that parts of his work area are disappearing. First, an entire wall of cabinets are gone, then the doors of the cabinets on another area are gone, and some covers to drawers are gone.

One day, curiosity got the better of me and I asked him what was happening to his work area. He told me that when he goes to open things (like cabinets and drawers), they "come off". I really hope that this graduate student graduates in a fairly normal time course because I don't even want to think of what this lab will look like if he stays here a very long time.

I am glad that he decided to go into research instead of football. Had he gone into football, I would really pity the opposing team members.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Life in Graduate School:

"Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue."
--Roger Anderson

Well, today I am definitely the statue. Somedays, like today, I wonder how I am going to ever get through this Ph.D experience. Somedays, like today, I will go home and cry into my pillow.
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