The sky's beginning to turn deep blue. I appear, accidentally, to be watching sunrise around a solstice again, more or less.
Here are some things that have happened: yesterday, I finally (finally
) got 24-hour access to our buildings; this was supposed to have been granted back when I started. And in spite of the fact that I was in the middle of a mass spec run, I actually managed to head home from work before 8pm; and my first use of the access was getting in at 6.45am to check on how my run was going (my machine time technically finished yesterday, but today's user wasn't going to get started til 10am, which gave me a solid 12 hours for an overnight run even if I'd got it started late), and the answer was good
and I have data
and tasty TASTY data
I spent a significant chunk of the day sorting out the data-from-the-machine into something useful in my master spreadsheet; another chunk messing about with some of my incredibly shonky python; some on final tweaks to the transfer report (still need to write some and replot some graphs then send it off tomorrow, oops); and yet another on a flurry of e-mails about the solid month of labwork I've got planned once I return from the US trip, along with sitting around with my supervisor being excitable about rocks. I've got ten grams
of a mica previously analysed as containing 550 parts per billion (ppb) of thallium; bear in mind that the average concentration of thallium in the mantle is ~2ppb, and most of my samples have concentrations around 30ppb. For these typical samples, 100 milligrams
is enough to get three to six measurements out of -- what on Earth
we're going to do with ten grams
I am not entirely sure and nor's my supervisor, but that's the smallest quantity they'd sell it us in. (Exciting times in analytical terms, incidentally: of the three sample sets I'm wanting to shove through chemistry in July, #1 is of direct and immediate relevance to the PhD in terms of being actual data relating to the central question; #2 is tangentially related and getting me second authorship on a paper that's basically ready to go apart from firming up the numbers; and #3 is a set of geological reference materials nobody's measured my element-of-interest in properly before, which (1) have direct relevance to the PhD in terms of helping work out why
I'm seeing what I'm seeing in the whole-rock samples, and (2) will make a nice little technical paper in their own right, which I have hopes of submitting by the end of the year.)
spent some time on the phone to Air Canada, who I am finding somewhat infuriating (oh crap, must remember to fill out my visa waiver application...), and was left sufficiently pissed off that I went "buggre all this for a larke" and jumped on a train to Brighton, where my useless ex + the Boything + sebastienne
+ Entomancy + I ate dinner at Giggling Squid
before a subset of us headed off to a gig. sebastienne
was there for David Devant & His Spirit Wife
was there for 30 minutes of Indelicates, and because they were a support act and the rest of the audience were being awful and talking I got to sing along without feeling bad about it. (Also, I am so so SO looking forward to the repeat CNdeliMechs show happening in London in September -- CN Lester, The Indelicates, The Mechanisms as triple headliners, please join me, it'll be fantastic, I'll link to the deets once they've actually been announced...)
-- and then meandered my way home via the last train from Brighton to London, and shenanigans with night buses (I keep thinking I should maybe do something a bit more rigorous than go "I know roughly where I want to go and I'm comfortable navigating by a mix of dead reckoning and Boris map" for the occasions when I get back into London at gone 1 with no idea how to get home except a certainty that I can wing it) and walks: I do still adore walking round central London at 2, 3 in the morning (having said which, highly
unusually for me I was wearing a skirt in public today and got noticeably more hassle than usual, though not enough to actually upset me).
Right. Yes. To sleep as the sun is rising, the better to be human when That One Lady gets into town later today...