Monday, February 25, 2008

More sampling monkey-business

I seem to have a bad habit these days of flying whilst storms brew. Instead of the airline reminder email, I need only wait for Paul Fortino's mass-campus email warning of a winter storm that may or may not close down campus. Anyway, this weekend it was a quick trip to Pasadena for the "last samples" for a project that has been underway for ~2 years. Things I've learned in that time:

1: Never say "these are the last samples" because then you go through the dataset, you find the, umm, not-so-good data that needs culling and realize the complete set of replicates is not-so-complete anymore.

2: Never volunteer to run your samples overnight while others take the day shift. Just not worth it on so many levels and fortunately(?) I learned that early, but the hard way.

3: It sometimes rains in southern California. That is why I have no photo log like I promised Grandma. Since there is no immediate end to my southward trips, this will happen at some point. I promise.

4: There are some interesting things to fill the weird ~2 hour gaps between sample processing. Like foreign films on the outdoor, grassy ampitheater. Best enjoyed with a therm-a-rest. Or the bellydancing show I saw Saturday night by the "Bellydancing Superstars." Apparently, they've been touted as the next "Stomp."

5: The old geochemistry axiom "more data is not always good. Quit while you still have a story" is slightly true.

6: If you tell people on the airplane/supershuttle that you are a geologist, you'll get lots of interesting questions. The supershuttle driver today told me geology is "his favorite thing to watch, after the news." I'm not sure I followed that logic, except maybe he watches a lot of the discovery channel?

7: I know now exactly how long it takes certain specific, trivial tasks as I keep a timer going on my samples in the interest of mulit-tasking. It takes 10 seconds to walk between one science machine room to the other science machine room, and ~4 minutes to get to and from the oven room and about 30 seconds for a pee break. Just in case you were wondering.

Overall, it was a productive weekend and that much closer to finishing, dunt-dunt-dunnn.... Chapter 1!

1 comment:

Fault Rocks said...

be careful with #6. TWICE now I have found myself sitting next to creationists on the bus who mistook me for a theology lecturer. yah, not fun.