the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What I Did Over Christmas Break

well, christmas "break" started out fairly normally. chad and i headed over to his parents' house on christmas eve, where we had a yummy traditional christmas dinner followed by gift exchanging and festivities with the rest of his family. we spent the night with the in-laws then drove over to my granny's house early christmas morning for gift exchanging and festivities with my family. we opened presents first thing then had another yummy traditional christmas dinner. my brother (damien), sister-in-law (amber), and 7-month old nephew (dylan) arrived sunday night from knoxville for more gift exchanging and much oohing and ahhing over the baby, who really is the most adorable child. here, have a look.

baby dylan with his proud mama and papa.

this mini-vacation turned sour on monday, when my grandmother's nurse arrived to change the bandages on her leg (a sort of chronic wound thing). that actually wasn't the problem. the problem was that when the total soccer mom nurse was leaving in her army tank of an suv, she backed into the driver's side door of my car. yep. completely smashed in my door, shattered the window, and even moved the whole car over a little (there was a little mound of dirt around my passenger's side tires that attested to that). it wasn't that she hit it very hard, it was that she didn't realize she'd hit something and just kept backing up for a bit, with the increasing pressure causing the glass in my driver's side window to shatter... and most of the glass ended up in the driver's seat. yeah, and to make things even worse, chad and i were just about to be on our way back to mobile so we could do laundry and go grocery shopping when it happened. i was waiting for the nurse to leave so we could say good-bye to everyone. but no. instead, we had to sit around my granny's house and wait for the nurse to contact her insurance company and try to make arrangements for a rental car for me and a tow truck for my car. let me tell you, these things are a huge pain in the ass when they occur on a normal day, but it was made doubly worse by the fact that it occurred on a holiday when nothing was open. no car rental places, no body shops, no nothing. nothing was open. and, since we were in century, florida but we live in mobile, the insurance company wouldn't pay to have the car towed all the way back to mobile. so, my car had to go to a body shop in brewton, and they couldn't get it there until the day after the chick hit my car (yesterday). so, chad and i were forced to borrow a car from his parents in order to get back to mobile at all on monday (which we had to do because he had to work yesterday) since there were no car rental places open.

it gets better, too. we decided to stop at best buy on the way home from my granny's (we watned to purchase a hi-def tivo, which there is a $200 rebate on), and chad's mom's rodeo started acting funny - as in, when chad put it in park, it shut itself off and wouldn't crank again.
we just had to laugh. anyway, we went ahead and went in, but they were sold out of the tivo we wanted. when we got back in the car, it still wouldn't start. chad called his dad and talked to him, and he thinks it was just bad gas. anyway, the rodeo eventually started, and we made it back to our apartment about 5 hours after we'd intented to.

so, i got a rental (a navy blue 2005 pt cruiser) yesterday morning, and my car was towed to a body shop yesterday. i found out today that, at the earliest, my car will be fixed at the end of next week because they have to replace the door, and they have to order it. how much does that suck? this is such a pain in the ass. then, we have to drive all the way to brewton to pick up the car when it does get repaired (but we do have to head over that way to return the rodeo to chad's parents anyway). oh, yeah - and we just paid my car off a week before christmas. so, a week after my car gets paid off, some half-wit in a tahoe comes along and smashes the hell out of it. damn.

anyway, damien and i had made plans for dylan to come and stay over with me and chad last night before the whole thing with my car happened, which he did. my little sister (sammi, for those who don't know her) came along, too, and we had a blast. my frustration over the whole car situation made the baby giggle, which made me giggle, which relieved a little stress. he's a very happy baby - it doesn't take much to make him giggle. he's so cute. actually, damien, amber, mom, sammi, and dylan all rode over here yesterday afternoon. i made chili, and we watched the day after tomorrow. then, damien, amber, and mom left. sammi, dylan, chad, and i watched robots, and chad laughed at the way sammi and i played with the baby like he was a toy. it was fun, though... until the kid woke me up at 5:30 (after waking me up at 4:30 in need of a bottle) for a diaper change and refused to go back to sleep. he wasn't fussy, though. he just wanted to stay up and play and talk to himself. so, i decided that as long as he wasn't crying he'd be fine, stuck him back in the play pen with a couple of toys, listened to him talk to himself for a while, and went back to sleep. he must have eventually fallen back to sleep, though, since he was sleeping when the alarm clock went off. chad said he liked the baby when he was sleeping. he liked the way dylan randomly curled his fingers and toes when he was asleep. i think he just didn't like him when he was awake because the first time i plopped the baby on him, he cried (the baby, not chad). the kid likes me, though. i make him laugh a lot... plus i fed him and changed his diapers for a day, so how could he not like me? anyway, damien and amber picked up their kid around lunchtime and headed back to tennessee, and mom and my aunt jo picked up sammi around the same time. they stuck around for a little while, though, to eat pizza and watch secondhand lions.

everyone is gone now, and as soon as chad gets home from work, we'll be driving over to pcola (possibly in the rental car) for the ice pilots game. hopefully, things will feel normal again soon.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas to All!

so, vanessa made the drive over to mobile yeterday, and we had ourselves some christmas festivities. she gave me a flyers replica jersey (the black one, which is my favorite of the flyers jerseys), which i was totally excited about, along with a really pretty set of glasses complete with pitcher for me and chad. i gave her a really cute set of makeup/travel accessories bags, which i hope will get some use on road trips this year. after the gift exchanging, we had lunch at jericho cafe, a really cute little middle eastern/greek place near the university. the food was yummy, and the waiter didn't suck (unlike the one i traumatized at outback a couple of weeks ago). he had a really fun accent (and a unibrow), and he had that whole "do your job and leave" thing down, which made us both happy.

after lunch, we'd planned on seeing the family stone, but there was time to kill so we hit the mall. man, was that ever nuts. the place was as crowded as i've ever seen it, but what did i expect two days before christmas eve, right? anyway, vanessa bought this great sweater at hollister, and then we had a sisterhood of the traveling pants moment at new york & co, where we both bought the exact same jeans (on sale, of course), despite our completely different bodies. they have officially been dubbed my ass jeans, as my bum looks spectacular in them. i also picked up a really cute button down shirt with teal and blue stripes (also on sale).

after completing our purchases, it was time to head for the theater, which was cheap and not at all crowded (just the way i like them). chad and i long ago decided that the carmike on government is the theater to go to in mobile, as it has the exact same schedule of movies as the one on schillinger, but it costs far less ($4 for matinee, $5 at night as opposed to $5 for matinee, $7.50 at night on schillinger) and is never crowded. there were maybe eight people at the movie, including vanessa and me. the family stone was completely wacko, but very good. i had a few WTF? moments where things just came out of the blue, but overall it was very funny and kind of sweet.

after the movie, deva joined us for a trip to see the christmas lights at bellingrath gardens (after more gift exchanging - she gave me a really great knitting book and lots of fun yarns, and i gave her a cosmopolitan-making kit). of course, i bundled up with lots of layers complete with scarf and gloves (yeah, it's mobile, but the low last night was supposed to be 29!). i still froze my ass off... somewhat literally. my bum got quite cold, though my torso area was toasty. anyway, the display was quite pretty, and the three of us had a great time.

after the lights, it was back to my place for little caesar's pizza and the flyers game on my sexy tv. it was good times. vanessa finally got to see the best of antero niittymaki and ben eager (whose ass i'm told she'd be willing to tap - he is fairly hot... he's got the kind of face that the more you see, the more you want to look at it), and she seemed impressed with r.j. umberger. oh, and now she can see that it's not just me - derian hatcher is a twit. he was directly responsible for at least one senators goal last night, screening his own goalie and failing to clear out a rebound. the game was made better by the fact that simon gagne returned to the lineup and had a great night with a goal and an assist. the flyers came out... well, flying and took a 4-0 lead over damn ottawa. vanessa and i were elated, and then the damn senators just had to come back and give us heart attacks - all because the flyers have no penalty killing abilities. it turned out fine, though. the flyers won 4-3, defeating damn ottawa for the second time this season, much to our delight.

so, overall, it was a good start to our christmas festivities, and i'd like to wish everyone a merry christmas (and a happy hanukkah to my jewish friends), as this will be my last post before heading to the 'rents' place for the holiday.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ryan Craig's NHL Debut

that's right, folks. former pensacola ice pilot (and current springfield falcons captain) ryan craig made his NHL debut with the tampa bay lightning on saturday night. seeing this led me to tivo the flyers/blues game rather than go watch it on the other tv while chad watched the lightning game. chad doesn't really remember ryan craig, but i do, and i was bouncing off the walls because a former pilot was playing in his first game in the NHL (along with another former pilot, evgeny artukhin, who has been playing with tampa bay for most of the season). it was a little strange that chad didn't even remember craig from the falcons/phantoms game we went to last year... and i pointed him out and everything (and of course, i have pictures - here, i'll post one). the only former pilot chad's gotten really excited about seeing in the NHL is brian eklund. him, chad remembers... but what pilots fan doesn't?

anyway, tampa bay ended up losing to the detroit red wings 6-3, but up until the 3rd period, it was a really good game (sounds familar, doesn't it, fellow pilots fans?). anyway, the best thing about it was that ryan craig scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on the detroit red wings. how sweet is that? i was quite excited for him. he actually saw quite a bit of ice time, playing on several different lines throughout the game (including one with tim taylor, which was the line he was planned to be on, and he actually saw a couple of shifts with brad richards). his goal came in the second period when the game was tied 2-2, and it temporarily gave tampa the lead. of course, detroit is apparently just warming up before the 3rd period, and the wings came back big time in the final period of the game, but it was exciting just the same.

the flyers game turned out a little better for me, with philly beating st. louis 5-2 despite a long list of injuries, including one of their best rookies (and next flyer captain?), mike richards, who suffered a concussion in thursday's loss to vancouver. their only other rookie who isn't playing for the flyers right now due to injuries (jeff carter) was also injured in the game (he took a puck to the side of the head), but he just went and got stitched up and returned to the game. one more note from the vancouver game - ken hitchcock pulled robert esche (the goalie) and put in antero niittymaki about 8 minutes into the 3rd period. esche has really had some problems lately, and i hope he comes out of his funk soon. it's a good thing niittymaki is playing really well these days, first full NHL season or not.

with all of the important guys out of the flyers lineup, a couple of other notable rookies (called up from the phantoms due to injuries) stepped up to fill void. saturday night in st. louis, rookie r.j. umberger scored 2 goals... and it was the first game in which umberger scored a goal and the flyers didn't lose. umberger had 3 NHL goals prior to saturday night, and the flyers lost both of the other games he scored in (the one against tampa in which umberger scored his first goal, then another against the islanders, in which umberger had the flyers' only 2 goals). i can now officially end my "umberger must not score" campaign. he is a really good player with good speed and good moves, and i can now once again root for him to score. ken hitchcock put together a really good line saturday night, playing umberger with fellow rookie ben eager (whose name i absolutely love) and former dallas star jon sim. eager made an absolutely beautiful pass that resulted in umberger's second goal of the night, and his physical play and willingness to go to the net are quickly making him one of my favorite flyers.

mike knuble also tallied two goals against the blues, with sami kapanen (gagne's temporary replacement on that line) picking up a couple of assists. kapanen was denied a goal in the second period, due to a supposed (but completely bogus) goaltender interference penalty on mike knuble. how can it be called goaltender interference when knuble is backing up when the goalie dives into him? he was obviously trying to avoid contact, and it wasn't his fault that bacashihua flung himself into knuble. anyway, this extremely bad call negated kapanen's goal and the ensuing power play resulted in the blues' second and final goal of the game, much to the dismay of all flyer fans.

niittymaki saved the game in the third period, in which the flyers had all of 3 shots, while the blues fired on niittymaki 16 times in the 3rd. as anyone who reads this blog well knows, i am a huge niittymaki fan, although i am also rather fond of robert esche. but like i mentioned earlier, esche is having issues lately, and i think they're mental. but perhaps he's still hurting from the groin injury of a couple of weeks ago.

anyway, branko radivojevic (who i firmly believe has the best name ever) scored on st. louis's empty net to clinch the game, and the flyers picked up yet another win with a vastly depleted roster (though brian savage was back for the game).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Holy Lack of Motivation, Batman!

well, now that i've spent most of yesterday afternoon and all day today studying the structures and toxic effects of pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other toxic substances, i became a little curious and decided to see exactly how low of a grade i can aim for on my ecotoxicology final to come out of the class with an A. well, in doing this, i guess-timated a couple of grades and have come up with a figure that probably underestimates my current grade in the course. in all of this frantic calculation, i have discovered that if i do not take the final exam at all, as in make a 0% on the final, i will have a B in the class. yeah, as of right now including a 0 for my final exam grade i have a nice round 80 for the course. how's that for motivation to study? and, despite having a B with a 0 on the final, i would still have to make a low C on it to keep my glorious 4.0 gpa that has followed me throughout my college career. it would be such a shame to give it up now... but man am i ever not motivated to put in 4 or 5 more quality study hours with my notebook tonight so i can review all of the old material. i think i have a pretty good handle on the new stuff. go on - ask me what the structure of a pyrethroid looks like (it's basically a triangle of carbon with a bunch of functional groups hanging off, in case you were wondering). you can even ask me how bipyridylium herbicides work (they damage photosynthetic membranes via the generation of reactive oxygen species like superoxide). ha! take that, ecotox!

now, all that super basic stuff from way back in the beginning? yeah, i don't quite remember all of that. maybe enough to wing it, though. at least enough to make a C. probably even enough to pull out a B on the exam. but do i really want to put in the extra effort to know everything through and through just so i can say i made an A on the final exam when a C on the exam would get me the same A for course? probably not. well, i'm off to study for another hour or so before the flyers' game starts - they're playing vancouver tonight, and i definitely don't feel so motivated to study a little more that i'm going to miss it.

oh, before i leave you for the night, i must make a short comment on the ice pilots game last night. wow! that pretty much says it all. they had, like, no offense (until collins finally decided to shoot instead of making a pass with about 3 minutes left in regulation time), but the D played surprisingly well (notice that aldoff and heid were both out for the game), and ford kicked ass. and our #1 goalie for now (until freddy makes his return) even tried to kick a little literal ass. corey was involved in a little scrap with two gladiators, all by his lonesome, and ford decided that just wasn't right and decided to step in himself since no one else was around. he ended up falling on his ass, but the fact that he went over and jumped on a guy entertained us all. oh, and i must congratulate jacquo on that spiffy new A on his jersey. i was excited about it. anyway, back to the game and todd ford... the pilots held gwinnett (a very good team, for those who don't know how significant pensacola's not getting killed was - the last time gwinnett played in pensacola, they shut us out 6-0) to only one goal, and they didn't get scored on in the 3rd period for the first time all year (!). vanessa and i asked for a shootout, and that's what we got. it was a good one, too. ford stopped all five shots, and the new guy pete gardiner, who has a flair for the dramatic, was pensacola's 5th shooter in the shootout, and the only player to score in it. yeah, i went in saying, "so, how bad are we gonna lose tonight?" and walked out grinning and a little shocked that my team managed a win.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How Sweet Is This?

my favorite little hockey player (pensacola's chris st. jacques, if you've been out of the loop... or just don't pay attention) leads the league (ECHL) in something. and it's not a bad something! he leads the league in shorthanded goals... and shorthanded points. i've actually known this for a couple of days, but as you might have noticed, i've been a tad on the busy side with vanessa's graduation festivities on saturday, the pilots game saturday night, catching up on my flyers game on sunday, grocery shopping, fighting the HPLC at USA (which i chose not to post about monday afternoon, though i was tempted to let off a little steam), and cramming for finals. oh, and i'm knitting a shawl for my granny for christmas, so i've been trying to find some time to work on that, too. christmas is getting kind of close, eh? next weekend, it is.

anyway, back to jacquo. i'm glad to see him leading in some area. i just wish he was doing a little more of his scoring at home. didn't i have this problem last season, too? he always scored on the road then, as i recall (but mississippi was still active then, so i actually got to see a few of his road goals last year). he had a few at home, but most of his goals were on the road. i did get to see a beauty of a shorthanded goal by him earlier this season, though. i guess i should be glad for that. i'm pretty sure i mentioned it in a previous post. anyway, perhaps his spiffy new "i want to be alex ovechkin when i grow up" tinted visor will act as his good luck charm and lead to a little more home scoring from him. as you should all be aware, i'm quick to poke fun (even at players i like), and i totally enjoyed giggling over the new visor and making "maybe he's trying to hide who he's passing to from the other team" comments. chad thinks it's the new brighter lights in the hangar (aka the pensacola civic center, the ice pilots' home arena, for those who didn't realize). he thinks jacquo is getting blinded by the light's reflection on the ice and needed sunglasses to see the puck right. i don't know. i'd rather think he wants to be like alex ovechkin. he's not a bad guy for a hockey player to look up to (even if the player who's doing the looking up is a couple of years older than his role model). his first NHL season has been pretty impressive thus far.

speaking of the NHL, it's almost time for the flyers to kick the crap out of the columbus blue jackets (i hope - to do otherwise would be a huge embarassment), and my new plasma is calling. even with gagne out for the next couple of weeks and brashear out for the night, they should be able to take columbus. come on, they're like the second worst team in the entire NHL.

all right. off to watch the game - my treat for studying for 8 1/2 hours today.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The End Is Finally In Sight

so, the end of this semester is (finally) almost upon me, and instead of studying for my final exams, of which i have two this week, i am doing everything possible to avoid cracking open a notebook. my freshwater ecology notebook has actually been with me all day, and it was open in front of me for a brief period this morning, but so far all i've done is stare at the same page for half an hour without absorbing anything. i've been really fidgety all day, and every time i make an attempt at studying, i get the overwhelming urge to get up and do something. i feel like friday will never arrive. that's right - friday. dr. rice has oh so kindly decided to allow those of us who wish to do so to take our ecotoxicology final on friday instead of on monday (the exam date set by the university). so, all of this pretty much means that the next three days of my life will be spent cramming my brain with science. yeah, the last day of class is technically tomorrow, but i've already made up my mind to skip. the whole skipping class thing is made necessary because the same geniuses who decided to extend the semester a week after hurricane katrina also failed to include a dead day in the extension. so, the last day of classes is tuesday, and my freshwater ecology final is wednesday morning. yippee.

all right, i'm seriously going to study for a while now... if i can make myself sit still.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Retraction

i am now forced to take back my former declaration regarding antero niittymaki's inability to handle NHL snipers one on one. he was absolutely amazing last night against calgary, particularly in the shootout. yeah, that's right. after going 23 games without a shootout, the last two flyers games in a row have been decided this way. but after losing to nashville in a shootout on saturday, the flyers managed to beat the flames last night.

you wouldn't think that a scoreless game through three periods and the overtime could be so exciting, but despite the goal drought the game was highly entertaining. it had simon gagne totally going after robyn regehr after regehr knocked him into the boards without a call... very unlike simon, if you ask me. i would expect to see mike richards attack a guy after something like that, but not simon. he took a roughing call for it, but it was deserved. i guess he's getting a bit frustrated by the opposition's constant "shut down simon gagne at all costs" objective, especially since it's been effective in the last three games. every time he touches the puck, he gets absolutely swarmed. in addition to simon kicking ass, the game featured amazing saves by both goaltenders, but i have to give miika kiprusoff credit. he absolutely made the best save of the game... with his elbow... from flat on his back... with puck heading over him in the air, not sliding on the ice. i have no idea how he managed that one, or if he just got lucky, which both goalies did a time or two, as the posts saved their asses. also, the flyers' 30th ranked penalty kill was phenomenal last night. they were very together, and calgary only had 4 shots and maybe one good scoring chance over their 6 power plays. but even not allowing a power play goal two games in a row wasn't quite enough to bring their penatly kill out of the basement. however, if they have one more game where their penalty kill looks good, they should be able to overtake carolina and move up to 29th.

i was quite worried about the state of the flyers' penalty kill last night after learning that joni pitkanen will be out for 4-6 weeks. my fears were worsened when eric desjardins injured his shoulder early in the first period. the few remaining flyer defensemen really stepped up and played well, though. even freddy meyer, the AHL defenseman called up to replace pitkanen, played well. of course, derian hatcher still made his usual stupid mistakes, giving the puck away at least three times. and i don't mean he gave the puck away in a situation where he had a flame on his back and lost it. i mean he gave the puck away in a situation where he was all alone and basically made a great pass to the wrong team. he also made some good defensive plays, though.

by the time the shootout rolled around, i was really excited about it. niittymaki had been strong all night, and after he'd handled a jarome iginla breakaway earlier in the game, i wasn't too worried about him. i was, however, a tad concerned about the flyers' shooters, as mike knuble and simon gagne had both failed to score in the shootout in nashville. ken hitchcock (the flyers' coach, for those who don't follow them in the same obsessive way that i do) went with the rookies, though. mike richards scored on the first shootout attempt, but jeff carter didn't. it didn't matter, though. niittymaki was awesome, stopping kristian huselius (a recent calgary acquisition from florida), jarome iginla, and former teammate tony amonte. of the three calgary shooters, i thought that amonte had the best chance of beating niittymaki. but my favorite NHL back-up goalie was ready for him, and he was largely responsible for his team's win.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

One Quick Rant

i realize that i've been through a period of relative blog silence recently, and for that i apologize to those faithful readers who so sorely miss my quick wit and random ranting. i have no real explanation for my lack of posting other than i just haven't felt the urge, that pissed off or super excited feeling that leads to most of my posting. my last few blog entries have been a little half-hearted and rushed, so i will strive to make this a good one... and one about hockey, which i haven't been writing much about as of late.

actually, there isn't a whole lot of ranting that i can do about hockey right now. both of my teams (the flyers and the ice pilots) are doing pretty well right now. the flyers lost to nashville saturday night in a shootout (the flyers' first of the season), but man was that ever a great game. i watched it sunday morning (which was necessary, as the pilots played at home last night, and the game was delayed an hour). nashville so does not suck this year. acquiring paul kariya was the best move they could have made, as he is as impressive as ever. the predators' sole objective in the game seemed to be shutting down simon gagne, which they accomplished. however, they couldn't stop the two mikes (knuble and richards) and derian hatcher (whom i don't really like) from scoring. the flyers and the predators seemed very well matched overall. antero niitymaki and thomas vokoun were both excellent in goal, but niitymaki's relative inexperience with NHL snipers showed a bit in the shootout. paul kariya totally had his number. the loss was a bit disappointing, but it was an exciting game anyway.

as usual, the ice pilots give me a little more to bitch about than the flyers do. that's not to suggest that i'm as pissed off about their performances as usual, though. their record over the past week or so has been vastly improved, although they are once again below the 0.500 mark with a win percentage of only 0.474. however, i can hardly complain about their winning 2 out of 3 over the weekend and having actually managed to put together a three-game winning streak over the past week, particularly when i consider that this team once had a win percentage as pathetic as 0.250. i guess it's a good thing the pilots played sucky bakersfield three times this weekend instead of a team that's actually good. the condors played a pretty tight game against the pilots, though. the high point of the weekend (for me, at least) was probably adam courchaine. man, is that guy good. he's a great playmaker and a great finisher. we can definitely give deep thanks to the houston aeros for assigning him to pensacola.

and now for one quick rant. there was an awful lot of dirty play going on in pensacola this weekend, by both bakersfield and the pilots. pensacola has a very small team this year, and bakersfield's players are lot bigger than ours. the condors used their size to their advantage, too... illegally. they repeatedly pushed our small guys (which is about half the team) down and held them there, laying on top of guys when they collided and forcing our guys to their knees. little dallas steward and jacquo both seemed a little pissed off about their rough treatment, though steward was the only one of those two to take a penalty for it. jacquo just took out his aggression via legal hits. saturday night in particular was rough for jacquo. the best example i have of his mistreatment took place in front of ryan cyr, as one of the condors (i don't remember which one) got his stick up in a hooking motion that hit jacquo at about nose level (so that could have been called either hooking or high sticking) then hooked him again around the waist... and neither infraction was called by the ref. slashes also abounded without being called, and shaun landolt carried out several of these himself. i've decided that he's not that great. maybe he just had an off couple of nights, but i've lost count of the number of times that jacquo made a great pass to landolt only to have landolt do something really stupid instead of shooting... or shooting about three feet high every time he did manage to get a shot off. landolt does have some value as a physical presence, but i was not impressed with him this weekend. our dear captain also was less than impressive, but that is becoming a trend with him, so i wasn't that surprised.

all right, guys. i'll try to put more thought and feeling into my posts in the near future, and keep the random quizzes to a minimum.

Friday, December 02, 2005


today i have a date with an HPLC... as a matter of fact, i have to leave in like 10 minutes. for those who don't know, HPLC stands for high performance liquid chromatography, and the machines that do this type of analysis tend to be bitchy. yeah, i said it - HPLC's are bitchy. i spent two months getting things right on the one i used for my undergraduate research, and now i have about a week to get the new one figured out so i can get some results for my directed study project. yay. the problem is that the "new" machine is actually really freakin' old, and it hasn't been used in three years. to make things even better, no one who is currently at USA has ever used this particular piece of equipment. i had a guy from pennsylvania come down and help me with the one i was using two years ago (which was borrowed from the chemistry department), but it looks like i'll be pretty much on my own with this one. anne (my undergraduate advisor, current committee member, and user of HPLC in her grad school days) is going to try to help, but i'm still thinking that this is going to be a pain in the ass. this is a really useful technique for identifying phenolic acids in my seagrass samples, and the new machine allows me to use a better solvent system that should allow me to identify even more components of my samples than i already have, but i think that the next couple of weeks are going to be a headache.