Thursday, July 27, 2006

1st Law of MFE

Yesterday, I wrote my final lab report for this class. The lab dealt with the formulation and analysis of several nickel complexes. Truthfully, it covered topics that we're not covering in class and that I probably won't commit to memory. Nonetheless, I had to write a stinking lab report about it. It took forever. Hours that I could've used to study for this week's test. No problem; it's awesome to spend your time working on just plain busy work, you know? Who doesn't have the extra time?

I think I'll definitely get a perfect score on the report based on the my final calculations:

For maximum credit, always cite the 1st Law of Middle Finger Extension.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Survivor's Guilt

Perhaps my surprise at doing well on the test manifested itself in last night's dream:

I'm at a restaurant for breakfast with people from class. Everyone is sitting around and chatting, the usual post-meal banter. I excuse myself to the restroom. When I return, my exam is on the table and everyone has been looking through it. One woman says, "I'm not sure how you got a 97 with all those deductions that she marked on your paper." I take a look and see a plethora of deductions: -16 points here, -10 points there, -20 points in another place. I explained, "She graded my more leniently."

Luckily at the next table, a group of rough looking people had just finished their English breakfast and start drinking tequila shots. This captured everyone's attention and took the heat off of me because it was only 9:00 in the morning. I carefully grabbed my test from the table and pocketed it without being noticed.

English Breakfast and Tequila: A Suitable Distraction

I need to send my deep subconscious some flowers for getting me out of that one.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

97 Out of 97

Seems like I did a little better than I expected on the test. I'm sort of expecting that she really meant to give me a score of "07" but hit the wrong key. I'll take it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I've Got the Touch

I've got the power! When all hell's breaking loose, I'll be right in the eye of the storm. This is, quite possibly, my very favorite Stan Bush song.

I already feel better. I should really listen to this every morning. Now, I just need to find my old Transformers at my folks' house and I'll be set. I miss you, Optimus Prime.

Bring On Tuesday...

...because this Monday has really sucked.

It started this morning when I got up. As usual, I'm pretty hopeful and optimistic. I'd worked a crapload on the test this weekend. With exception of one problem, I finished the test in about 2 or so hours. The one problem had me rapt for about 7 hours. I kept working it and reworking it and reworking it to no avail. The numbers just wouldn't work. Finally, late Saturday, I had an epiphany and thought that I had it figured out reasonably well. Anywho, I transcribed my answers on Sunday and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

This morning I get up and am preparing to go to campus. I log on and check my email and see a message from the prof. She gives some big clue about how we're supposed to approach the problem. This wasn't, by the way, the method that I used. My heart sank a little and I went to campus.

I dropped in to talk with her about it about an hour before class. She put me on this path for solving it that was totally bogus. She suggested to everyone a method for solving this damned thing that she flat out told us in class should never be used for the conditions presented in the problem. The numbers just wouldn't fit. Anywho, I spent an hour trying to make it work and finally just scrawled some shit onto the page and ran to class and handed in the exam just before the deadline.

Brutal. Just brutal. She donkey punched me right in the ass. Oh, I also dropped my yogurt in the hallway at school and it broke open and spilled all over the place. And our softball team got killed. (I didn't lose any of my newly formed scar tissue or do any further damage to my assberry. James Three Thousand didn't fare so well, though.)

Two more stinking weeks of this Chem 102 crap and then it's on to ... several more years of this junk. Good God, what am I doing? Seriously, I've suddenly become one of those neurotic pre-medical students who obsess over every single stinking grade and how it will positively or negatively affect my final grade and my future. Holy crap, I need a break already.

The Good News
Last Thursday evening, I think that Rob, Jim and I formed a band: Tainted Hummus. We're trying to get it together. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that we'll be ready by our promised 04 OCT 2006 opening date but it shouldn't be to long before we're ready to rock. Simple set up: snare drum, keytar, harmonica, cowbell, and vocals. Seriously, our first single "Unicorn Dreams" will knock you on your can.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Make Mine a Strawberry...

After many years of playing softball in this body of mine, you'd think I'd get it that sliding is a bad idea. Nope. Never ever learn. Never ever will.

Last night we played (and lost to) the number one team in the league. I was trying to leg out a double. The throw was coming in and I slid to avoid the tag. I decided to slide. Keep in mind that this wasn't one of those recreational league slides but an honest to goodness MLB style slide. I got to the bag and popped up. The 2nd baseman booted the throw and I took off for 3rd base and made it safely.

When I finally caught my breath in the sweltering 90+ degree Georgia heat, I noticed that my ass really, really hurt. Turns out, I'd earned the largest and, not coincidentally, the most painful strawberry of my career.

One of these will probably leave a mark.

This one's probably going to leave a mark. Maybe I should invest in some sliding pants or something. Better yet, I should just give up sliding.

I love the Sleestaks.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Your Assignment

Earlier this week, I found out that my buddy Mike's grandmother had passed away. His relationship with his Meemaw reminded me very much of mine with my Bamba. I called to offer my condolences and to catch up with him.

Mike and I have known each other since 1991 when I started UGA. For a couple of years, we lived on the same hall in the same dorm. Later, we traveled around together: an RV trip to Kentucky and Graceland on one spring break, a trip to my grandparents' beach house on another. Just prior to graduation, we were roommates for about 9 months in an abysmal little ghetto place in Athens. (BTW, I consider "ghetto" the inability to have a pizza delivered after dark.) After graduation, we ended up working at the same software company. Twice.

In the last several years, as we've settled into adulthood (not that I feel settled or particularly adult), we've been following the paths of our own lives. Career. Marriage. Hairline recession. Waistline expansion. Aches. Pains. The realization that we're not 22 any longer.

Occasionally, we'll actually pick up the phone and call or, if we're lucky, we'll get to see each other for bit. Wednesday of this week, we had a long phone conversation. The death of his grandmother made us touch base. On the phone, the time between conversations and the distance separating us seemed to fall away. No problem, we just picked up where we left off, you know.

It makes me think of what a college girlfriend told me as I was leaving for a study abroad program in Mexico. She said, "Absence doesn't heart grown fonder; it makes the heart forget." Consequently, mine grew fonder; hers forgot (very, very quickly). In a way, though, I suppose it's a true statement. Life gets in the way. Our attention is paid to the most immediate things surrounding us on a daily basis. When we finally look up, time has passed and we've forgotten what certain people and things mean to us.

Here's my point: Go pick up the phone and ring that person that you've been "meaning to call." It just might make both of your days.

Another Week ...

This Chem 102 business is tough. This week, I had my ass handed to me daily. Lab stinks. Class stinks. The whole rotten thing stinks. Our new pup is really cutting into my ability to study at home. So, I'm looking for a new study sanctuary so that I can actually get some work done. It's no fun being behind in class. During one lecture, I might as well have been listening to Charlie Brown's teacher for two hours. "Wahh waa, waa whaaa wah wah whaaaaa." No friggin' clue what she was talking about. It's gonna take an entire skyscraper of puppies to get me out of this one.

9 Solutions Puzzle!
So, our final lab this week was to solve for 9 unknown substances. We get to lab and are presented with 9 test tubes, each with a small sample of an unknown solution. Prior to arriving, however, we were told what the nine solutions would be and had to devise a plan to determine what each one was in lab. So, we created a flowchart to determine how to test and identify them one by one. For example, the one with a stongly basic pH could only be a certain substance. We knew, then, that it would react in a specific way with only one or two other substances and so on and so forth. The goal, according to the lab instructors, was to be in and out of there in about 20 minutes. It's why we did all of the stinking pre-work before showing up.

So, we get there and start running our tests. We got about 1/4 of the way into it and our results were showing an impossibility. We kept testing and testing (as did everyone in the room) with no success. I told my team that the lab assistant either screwed up the solutions that she gave us or made some other mistake. An hour and a half later, it came to light that the lab assistant had, in fact, screwed up the solutions and made some other mistakes.

She actually said, "It's like this every year." What the hell does that mean? Obviously, she has never held a real job. I would've gotten canned in a minute if I tried to rationalize tremendous failure with some crap-tastic quote like that one. Then, she actually left early. Outstanding.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wear Cotton

Yep, it's been a while since my last post. Semester break, 4th of July, new puppy, start of classes and such = I've been busy and will be for the foreseeable future (7 years according to the Peej). In a little less than a month, I'll be done with this semester of Chemistry and prepped for the hellish fall schedule that I've submitted.

The new semester is pretty interesting but a little more hardcore. Can't really explain to you exactly how uninterested I am in hybridized electron orbitals but it's my life at the moment. In lab, I'm doing some cool stuff. Last week, we coated a penny in brass. (Look for it on eBay, I need to make some cash.) Also, we synthesized some polymers in a lab. We ended up making nylon. Probably one of the freakiest things I've ever seen. Mix two chemicals together and this shit just starts growing. I'm grabbing it with tweezers, wrapping it around a test tube and just rolling and rolling it up out of this tiny, tiny beaker. Seriously, it was about a yard of dead hobo skin that I pulled out of it. It was a like an outtake from "Silence of the Lambs." Looked awful, smelled awful, made me feel awful. I think I'm about to start wearing nothing but hemp or cotton clothing after that one. Can't be good for us. Oh yeah, we also made "slime." It was like the ectoplasm from Ghostbusters. Odd, odd stuff. Anywho, that was what I did last week.

Open Your Heart to the Puppy
Here's our new pup, Dylan, the cutest puppy ever. He's a German Wire-Haired Pointer with lots of energy and a love of chewing. He's so damned cute. He's doing a fine job training my wife and I to never sleep and constantly wipe up his urine.

Dylan, the Destroyer