I had not realized until this morning how much crap I store in my lab. I found pH meters that were at least 20 years old, and a few microscopes with spidernests in them. And i mean, IN them, as in, inside the objective holder. Not being afraid of spiders, i found it quite neat how they managed to make a home out of a metal casing.

I did an inventory a few months back, of all the main equipment that the department has. It's a small department and it's all on the same floor, scattered in 4 labs, piece of cake. It took me about a month to complete as I was doing it little by little. Since there were separate lists of every type of equiment, i didn't notice how much equipment there actually is.

And then the worst came.

This week the IT department came into action and set up an MS Access databse for all of the school's equipment. They did their part and put in all the IT goods into the inventory. Everybody else is supposed to eventually put in all their equipment as well. So now i'm faced with the challenge... no wait, cross that, the time consuming pond scum task... of putting all the lists i made into this school inventory. This has never been done before, so it's a bit of a pain to do. It just too time consuming.

So I started on monday and I'm almost done. I'm saving the best for last though. I have between 120 and 150 vernier labpro probes to put in there.

Now, the time consuming nature of the task is that I have to create a code for each item, and each item needs to be labeled. Most items have a serial number created by the manufacturer, and i have to create a serial for the rest. As I assign codes to the items, i have to look for them by serial number, and then label them with avery labels according to their code and serial number. It has to match, otherwise the whole thing is a waste of time, and given the amount of time it consumes, it's a big fucking waste of time.

Other than that, the database is far from perfect. It's a bitch to enter data and everything has to be pre-sorted and predetermined.

There's one thing that really burns my balls, though. There's an input screen with 6 fields to fill out.

1- code
2- model
3- serial #
4- date of purchase
5- date entered
6- replacement year

I have little problem with the first 2. The code I create myself and the model is a pull down list, but i make that list on my own as every new type of equiment comes up, so that's no problem.

The first thing that burns me is the purchase date. I don't know when most of these things were purchased, so i don't know what to fill out in 90% of the cases. So i leave it blank, ok, no problem. Still, it'd be nice of them if they had given me access to the purchase records so i can find the invoices for the stuff in the lab. Then again, maybe not because that means craploads of files and i hate filing, so i've decided right now that this particular thing no longer burns my balls.

Second thing that really burns my balls... date entered. In this field i have to set the date of the day i'm putting it in. As in, today i've typed the combination 29062006 about 400 times. Yesterday about 300, tuesday 200 and monday 50. (Yes, i'm cataloguing even beakers and test tubes, what do you want me to do, it's equipment, they'll have my ass on a platter if i don't). What bugs me is that these computer geniouses have the brain power to tame Access and make a functional database (trust me, it's hard), but they didn't have the intelligence to just have the date entered field automatically fill itself with today's date. Flocking hell.

And here's the kicker.

Once i create a new record, i click this save and create new button on the bottom left of the input form, which saves and brings up a new input page for the next item. The previous record is saved and it cannot be modified, so if i make a mistake like duplicate codes or screw up the serial number, i can't fix it. The icing on that cake is that, if i even press space on the new upcoming form and i for some reason feel like going back to check on the code or model or serial or date etc, i can't go back forward to the new form to keep entering. Apparently, whether you go back or forward, if you did as much as press space, that record is saved. So there's a ton of blank records on the database. But this is really bad because at that moment, i can no longer go back or forth, this stupid message telling me essentially that the record has been created and cannot be modified comes up if i click anything other than the little quit X on the top right. Fun eh?

So that stupid little glitch not only forces me to close and reopen the database, it saves a bunch of blank entries and incomplete entries and really irritates me because i have to constantly recheck what was created and assigned and what wasn't, because often the glitch comes with a hefty serving of data loss.

Imagine my frustration.

And i'm a nervous guy with stress issues, i yell at machines. My voice is a bit faded now, after a solid day of data entry.

There's no world cup today. And there wasnt any yesterday. I'm bored out of my mind, but i guess this is a taste of what it will be like to not have 5 hours a day wasted away on the tv.

The next game will be germany vs argentina on friday morning (pooradise's timezone), a game i don't expect germany to win, but who knows eh? It'll be the final of italy 90 all over. In any case, i'll be watching it at work, while doing some more data entry.

Drink 1.5L of water every day, it'll keep your juices flowing.


nasty bits of humanity!

So the summer has been long and boring so far. I haven't felt like writing lately because there's nothing really good to talk about.

But come to think of it, i've done quite a few things!

In the last 2 weeks i've set up physics guy's classroom. I organized his books and cupboards. Turns out that he had a lot of unused space and a ton of stuff lying around, so i sorted the stuff lying around into the unused space and voila! a clean lab. I've also made it so that the chemistry glassware is nice and visible (having a big glass cupboard full of glassware makes a lab attractive, if i may say so), and the ugly physics crap is stored below eye level. Looks high tech now, i'm so proud.

I've also made an inventory of all sample microscope slides, around 400 of them, individually looked at to ensure quality of the sample, catalogued and sorted into the slide drawers. Not fun, i can tell you that.

I've also taken a look at the physics equipment that is no longer used, or not used very often, which is stored in locked closets out in the halls. There's tons of stuff we can throw out of there.

As for the biology lab, i'm not sure i can work there yet, since everything is covered with painter's plastic sheets and sealed up and locked and piled up in the centre and ah... actually i don't feel like going there to do anything. Chem guy's room is almost done with maintainance and i'll go in there later this week and hang up the saftey goggles holder on a wall. I'll also embark on a project to build bunden burner holders for the labs. It'll be a pain in the ass to find a way to build it, especially to meet the demanding tastes of mr chemistry. I'll figure something out, probably a board with holes big enough for the burner tips to fit through, hung on the wall with metal L supports...

And then there's the world cup.

Aside from DEUTSCHLAND! being the best team *ehem*'(i'm so biased), the world cup has been good so far. Miroslav Klose, although Polish born, chose to play for Germany and he's done outstandingly well. Matter of fact, the 2 players that have done most of the scoring are polish, Klose and Podolski. Bless their nads. Otherwise, Germany also counts with Bastian Schweinsteiger, a brilliant midfilder and free kick specialist; Oliver Neuville, one of the elders and an excellent forward; and how can we forget Bernd Schneider, another one of the elders, whose ability to set up chances is unkanny. Now what i don't understand is the hype about Michael Ballack, he's not that great and he hasn't done much for the team (that i've noticed anyway.

I must applaud Jürgen Klinsmann for his choice in team for the cup. He got rid of the usual suspects and got some fresh new blood into the team. I swear if i saw Kahn, Jeremies, Bierhoff or Marco Bode playing again, i would drop my german colours and pick up another one of my bloodlines, be it swedish or french colours. (I figure Osbahr is scandinavian, and I also have Bastian and Bünjer blood, both french). And though he hasn't had any experience coaching until 2 years ago, i think he's done a fantastic job at it.

The best game so far was yesterday, Portugal vs Holland. Such violence... it was awesome seeing the dutch player just shove the shit out that portuguese player when this dude was injured, I swear that portugal player must've flown about 2m in the air from that push. And then when this dude Deco grabbed the ball and the dutch layer grabbed him and laid him flat on the ground. Two of the best portugal players are out due to injuries received during this game and 2 more due to red cards, this means that portugal will have to play shorthanded in the quarter finals... which i like, because they suck... stupid goat farmers. But it goes to show how nasty human beings can get, if one can get violent in a simple game, imagine at war.

The england game against ecuador was also awesome. Rooney is a beast. It was great seeing him just plow his way through the ecuador defense. Then again, ecuador played extremely well and england was lucky that beckham's so good at what he does.

I'm just hoping the final will be Germany against someone else than Brazil, i think everybody is tired of seeing those fuckers win. Then again, an Australia Ghana final might alsot be nice... hehe. I'd so go for Australia.

A particular hobby of mine right now is the yahoo fantasy fifa game. My team, Bendover FC is ranked 2nd of 4 in our little league (until yesterday i was always 1st, but my brother's friend got ahead of me), and something like 1750 out of maybe 10000 teams in the fans of germany league, and overall in the 66000 region from well over 100000 teams worldwide. Not bad eh? It's all in good fun and I think i'll beat my brother's friend at it. We'll see.

For now i'll be watching the Italy vs Australia game, go australia of course.

Cheers to all the football fans around the world.



I just noticed that the last time I wrote was 7 days ago. Holy crap i'm lazy.

Nothing to report about the last 7 days anyway. Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids and the beggining of summer repairs and maintainance.

So far i've been helping clean out the labs, picking up dirty glassware and plastic reusables. Yesterday i had a nasty encounter with 10 posters biology woman has on her wall, each had about 30 little masking tape circles behing so the poster held up. The glue on the tape decomposed a bit and made a mess on the back of the posters, and my hands got all sticky. I estimate I removed 300 tape stickies from the back of those posters.

I got a few work orders for repairs in the classrooms and for some lab equipment. I am to hang speakers on the side of the smartboards and to clean drawers and shelves of the labs. I'm still dealing with rusting of metal shelves caused by the NaOH incident in general science guy's lab. It'll eventually either eat more through the metal or get neutralized, eitherway i'm not happy with the result.

Remember people, always check your glassware before storing hazardous chemicals for extended periods of time.

Anyway, so far on my list of summer boredom jobs:

- Hang speakers
- Thorough cleaning of lab shelves, fumehoods and drawers
- periodic fishtank cleaning and daily feeding
- reorganizing physics guy's room to physics and chemistry room configuration
- throwing out ALL THE BLOODY GARBAGE FROM ALL THE LABS (seriously, we have too much crap that hasn't been used in years lying around and in storage)

I'll eventually start posting more pictures of the labs, crazy things we have and other stuff that happens here, however i need to install photo editing software and of course, get a digital camera.

World cup.


Tomorrow aside from being the last day of school, it's also the FIFA football world cup, Germany 2006. Fun eh?

My pseudo german upbringing has always made me a faithful fan of germany. I've been subjected to many dissapointments, especially in '98 (when germany got booted in quarter finals after losing 3-1 against fucking CROATIA), and again in 2002 when germany was ever so close and then after a pathetic game that was played like 7-year-olds against brazil in the final, everybody chasing the ball, nobody scoring, Germany lost 2-0. And don't even get me started on the 1994 cup, when they lost to BULGARIA (%$#^%%%@#$!) 2-1 in quarter finals, 4 years after they won the world cup and had the exact same team. Idiots!

This year i have absolutely no expectations for them as I lost interest in football when i moved to canada and started watching ice hockey, which is just a tad more exciting than football. Go senators. Then again, hockey was ruined after the strike, all those RETARDED new rules.

Another funny aspect of my current situation is that because of the end of classes, all the american staff are leaving on vacation. That leaves virtually nobody supervising.

I've asked around, nobody has anything for me to do. Initially i thought i'd be assigned to recover some files and build a filing system with the highschool assistants, but turns out that no, they'll do it on their own. I'll jump in and help still; the worldcup isn't all the interesting and I only care when Germany plays anyway.

Chem guy, my supervisor, read me an email from the highschool principal that read that since i've only been at this particular job for 4 months, i'm not entitled to vacation time, and continued to instruct chem guy to give me TONS of stuff to do over the summer. Right...

Thing is we've coevered almost every base already. There's not that much to do (well, i don't know yet, maybe the few things on my list will take more time than i think, maybe the list will grow over the summer, who knows). So i'll be relaxing and keeping the chemicals in their cupboards. No labcoat for me!

this is going to suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck...