Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We all thought they were being paranoid

Score one for the Safety department. They insist on us all putting our vacuum traps into secondary containment. We all laugh and do it to avoid getting in trouble. Turns out, even if you've left your vacuum line running to dry out the profusion lines a hundred times, every once in a while the negative pressure can build up and cause the bottle to implode overnight. At least, that's how we all interpreted this.

Half Bottle Haiku

three seventy-five
joy and flavor with the meal
one to share each course

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Finicky Physiology

Whenever my cells stop behaving (read: living) for more than a day or two in a row, I naturally seek help from others in the lab. Of course, when this happens to someone else, I have a stock set of answers: change the profusion, remake your solutions, check that the set-up is stable, etc. When I seek help, I get the same stock set (with the exception of one person recently suggesting I profuse a small rodent with my saline solution and see if I can still extract living tissue from the animal: a bit extreme, but would certainly test whether my solution is total poison - something that seemed extreme at first, but I'm actually considering doing next week if things don't start working).

What I am wondering today is: why do we ask for help at all when the answers we get are the same we would give? Do I really expect to have someone come up with a new fix to the same old problem? Of course I know I need to remake solutions and refresh the profusion lines. I guess I just hate doing it as much as everyone else does, and we are all really just asking for "advice" because being told what we already know by another person gives us the impetus to do it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Analysis & Laundry

Dr. Tortue hates doing laundry. It doesn't help that we live far away from the machines. Because of her dislike for laundry, the pile builds up, which makes it heavy, which makes it unpleasant to lug over to the machines, which compounds her dislike for the whole process.

I actually have a strange fondness for the lifting and hauling of heavy things. However, as I sit down to analyze the last month's worth of data, I notice a similar problem for myself. Now, I could analyze every day after I finish with my experiments, but it's really the last thing I want to do after a long day of recording. Really, I just find analysis boring; I usually see the results as the data are coming in, and analysis doesn't reveal anything, it's just tedious. As a result, the data build up, unanalyzed. Eventually, I have to do it, but by then the sheer size of the pile makes it a daunting task. This makes me hate analysis even more.

Of course, I know the cure, but that doesn't equate to doing what I know I should...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Short postdoc

I'm doing a short postdoc in the lab of one of my thesis committee members. Dr. Tortue is finishing up her thesis work, and my own grad advisor moved to another school right as I finished my own Ph.D. Although I like my temporary lab and TempAdvisor quite a bit, I'm realizing that just because I have a Ph.D. in one lab and was productive (at least by the end) that doesn't mean I can produce anything in one year of a postdoc in a new lab. I wonder sometimes if part of this is precisely because of the temporary nature of this arrangement. I'm putting in a karma deposit today, but so far the interest has yet to appear.

Traditional Roles?

Reading this post by Dr. Jekyll got Dr. Tortue and I discussing what gender roles we do, or don't, exhibit. We basically take turns on doing the dishes and cooking. I do all the BBQing, but I also do most of the baking and I'm the one with the herb garden. Although I prefer driving, we split that almost evenly. Oh, and if there's ever a creepy crawly thing in the house (cockroach or larger), she takes care of it.