Thursday, June 02, 2005

And the days go by so fast...

More updates:

I've moved in with my brother and sister-in-law, who live in Richmond, until I can find an apartment in the downtown Richmond area. So far the AWS job has been going pretty well. Obviously, I'm not skilled labor, since I've never worked in a lab before. However, I do get to do some fairly high-level stuff as far as preperation is concerned. My duties mainly involve gettting samples of whatever we're looking at ready for analysis. This is either by ICP (I don't know what it stands for either) or GFAA (graphite furnace atomic absorption). So what usually happens is, we get X number of samples and I put them in the hot block with acid spikes to "digest" for about six hours. After they digest and cool, I hit them with DI (de-ionized) water and give them to Christy and Denise, the ladies next door, to put in the furnace or whatever. Of course, here are a lot more steps than that, and we have about 4,000 different procedures depending on whether we're working with soils, liquids, ground water, et cetera et cetera. Most of the time I'm just dumping old samples down the drain anyway.

Things with Maria are going really, really, well--for the most part. Obviously she's been through and is going through a really tough emotional time, but I'm certain we'll both come through it okay, regardless of where our paths take us. (I realize that sounds like kind of a vague philosophy, and usually I cringe at such stuff, but whatever. I might be in love.) She came down here last weekend and Geneva (my three-year-old niece) was very taken with her, to the point that she was crying when Maria left. Naturally she's very excited that Maria is coming back agin this weekend.

I guess that makes two of us.

So, yeah, that's about it. I guess that's enough, really. My summer is looking a whole hell of a lot busier than most of the preceding ones. And I really couldn't be happier.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ICP - Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)- a powerful technique for identifying the concentration of numerous elements in small samples. Its also cited as an analytical technique in a couple of my papers on W/Mo-Formate Dehydrogenase.

Glad to hear the lab job is going well. In the summer there are only 2 types of jobs, those with AC and those without!

In addition, its always interesting to find out after working hard on a 4 year degree in Chemistry whether "spilling chemicals" in the lab is something one might wish to persue. Nice that you are getting a headstart on this decision.

Best of luck and turn up the AC!

C. Durfor

11:17 AM  
Blogger Gryffilion said...

About spilling chemicals, I appear to be somewhat reactive (heh) to the stuff we use in the lab. Nitric acid makes my arms break out, or so it would seem. Not pleasant, but I suppose it'll teach me to be more careful when I'm spraying the stuff around.

The ICP--they're still determining whether or not I'm competent enough to spike our samples with the standards they use as quality control. Plus, the machine is very finicky and keeps breaking down.

And--the most important thing--we most definitely have AC. Thank the Lord.

6:45 PM  

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