Wednesday, February 08, 2006

bubble-pop-electric.

uh-oh, in the backseat...
well, that's what Gwen would say...

I'd say it's more of a lather, rinse, repeat...
as needed...like shampoo, only not.

instead it's

measure-move-repeat

or alternatively...

measure-squeeze-repeat

I have become a Chemical Engineer's worst nightmare and ultimate doom--a bubble counter. Not, by the way, to be confused with a tallier of legumes, a bean counter or an accountant.

It may sound like a harmless thing to be, one who counts bubbles. In my particular case it combines the mighty power of the mitutoyo absolute, which measures the thickness of the films (usually less than a tenth of a millimeter thick) and the all-knowing balance (upon which I place the film, close the door and measure, after tare-ing of course--followed by removal of the film, closing the door, tare-ing, opening the door, placing the film inside, closing the door measuring, removing etc.)

and I'm pushing the plunger, moving the film, lowering the plunger, measuring the thickness, pushing the plunger, moving the film...
or
I'm squeezing the rubber bulb, measuring the time for a known volume, recording, squeezing the rubber bulb, measuring the time...

It's b-o-r-i-n-g. And I can't listen to my ipod nano and there's no radio and all I can hear is the rather loud hum of the fans on the various analytical equipment and the whooshing noise of the walk-in and benchtop hoods. And the occasional typing or a pressure release noise, as provided by Paige. whine whine whine. But hey, it pays, right? It could always be worse. I could be allergic to the sun (oh wait, I kinda am)...

Ya-friggin-hoo. Thermodynamics eat your heart out--calculating the energies based on the respective orientations of molecules seems a little more appealing right now. I'm going a bit loopy, what with all this bubble counting. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (or 10, depending on which project I'm working on.) And tomorrow I'll plating, which requires me to change the solution every five minutes. yikes.

Now I have Wilco's "I'm a Wheel" stuck in my head...one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine...(if you haven't heard it you should, mmm mmm good)

also, irony of all ironies...quod me nutrit me destruit...that which nourishes me destroys me. 'Cause know what made me interested in science, and made me want to go to college in it, and led me to being a Chemical Engineer?

bubbles.
>pop!<

5 comments:

sadkingjonathan said...

That was a really good post. Liked the rhetorical device of the bubble of your chemical romance popping. Delicious.

sadkingjonathan said...

That was a really good post. Liked the rhetorical device of the bubble of your chemical romance popping. Delicious.

David said...

So, Miss ChemE, I'm doing some home chemistry that you might find more interesting than your bubbles...

I've got some CuSO4 in solution, some silver something (they're not too specific, but I had to be 21 to order it) in solution, some electrodes, and an old steel skeleton key.

What am I doing?

Carrie said...

electroplating, sounds like.

my "chemical romance popping." I like that. Well, I mean, I don't like that. But I like the way it's put.

Chris Mayo said...

For years I've been debating whether or not I should have transfered to ChemE since I was there all the time anyways. Now, I'm still not sure. Counting bubbles can't be as bad as being a theatre person. PS. I was a fan of teapot #2...I had a blue one like it.

 
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