Monday, June 06, 2005

"All this good luck is a sure sign of bad luck."

I must admit, last night's post was a bit of an aberration. If I talk about stuff that personal, I usually don't mention names; if I mention names, I'm usually not so unambiguous. But anyway, I promise, less emotionally charged stuff in today's issue.

Tomorrow I go to check out the apartment that I'll be renting for the summer. It'll cost me $450 a month, technically. However, I'm basically holding it for an old friend of mine who'll be living there next year when he transfers to VCU, and he'll be paying about 20% of the rent, which brings my monthly charges to around $360. Which is excellent given my dire situation.

The job is going a lot better now that I have some idea of what I'm doing. I learned last week that the best way to avoid making Christy and Denise annoyed is to keep as busy as possible. That way, I'm more likely to keep them happy, and even if I don't do exactly what I'm supposed to I can at least claim that I was working all the time.

Today was actually the first day I worked (pretty much) on my own. I spent the entire morning in the preparations lab (which is where I'm supposed to be all day, but it doesn't occupy all my time in real life) without any major help from Christy, Denise, or Monica from MicroBio. After lunch I sort of puttered around. There was only two new batches of samples waiting for me, one of which was a TCLP which we had to do some predeterminations on. This involved taking the pH and determining the percent solid of the substance (a really nasty, oily sludge) before we could rotate it. The neat thing about this process is that it replicates the leaching process of a landfill. The bad thing about it is that it takes 16-20 hours. After that time, we take the bottle off the rotator and drain the liquid from it. Since it's separated from the solid precipitate, the only metal ions left in solution are those that wouldn't be filtered via the landfill leaching process. Thus, we can tell the trash people how well the landfill is working based on the concentrations of various metals inside the filtered samples.

So yeah. This post has turned into a chemistry lesson. I guess I'll be doing a lot of those this summer.


Blogger Arrowatch said...

Because we all love to know about how well our landfills work... I think.

3:32 AM  

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