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Thread: Having a very very bad day...

  1. #1
    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
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    Having a very very bad day...

    right well, it sort of started last night to be honest but either way today has not been too fantastic.
    ok, last night g/f all upset at the fact I was late comin gback from the river (rowing), though it couldn;t be helped as there was a nasty accident on the road - bodies being cleared up etc - so sat in a jam for hour or so. so I got it in the neck i don't spend enough time with her etc but then i love the rowing, mountain climbing and cycling and all those things I do (active things...) so don't really know what to say to her about it cause I can't give them up as they are who I am...
    anyway, things not too sparkly but managed to 'pacify' her to make things ok again ( )
    then today, no bread for toast in the morning
    it gets worse...

    I work in physiology research which I can't really go into too much detail over because of what I do but suffice to say its not been going well. in the past I had been taking too long to get a sample and run it...i.e. get a sample done on day 1 and run it day 2 but which time it is not as fresh. so the last two weeks I'd been getting much better and getting something tested the same day I aquire the sample.
    aquisition of a sample today was very testing, took a few attempts!
    after some careful cutting down each sample comes to about 2.5mm long and about .1mm wide, so quite small and all done under microscope : the sample then has two diamond shaped clips attached on the ends (one on each end) with holes in, then it is mounted in a small chamber on two tiny, very fragile, hooks on (hooks go through the holes so sample is suspended in the chamber), then a solution fills the chamber keeping the sample alive. hooks are attached to a motor for one and a force transducer for the other. the force transducer is EXTREMELY fragile and costs loads, its also very tiny and superglued into a small glass tube attached to the end of a small brass rod (10cm long, .5cm thick) and takes best part of a day to set up...calibrate etc. etc...
    just to give you an idea these transducers measure milliNewtons...so thats very very small amounts of force. too much and the transducer beam breaks (the beam is a bit of flat graphite with the electrodes on that measure teh difference of resistance between them to give you the force)

    anyway; my first sample this morning I had ready by midday, all going well so far, I planned to meet afore-mentioned g/f for lunch at 1-ish. so I figured I was ok cause I had an hour to get my sample in the chamber and then naff off for lunch and test away all afternoon. this time last week all went really well and I got a raelly good set of results.
    today though the sample just didn't want to get on the freakin' hooks (its all done under microscope remember) and took me more than an hour to do it, gettng frustrated and worked up over it as time went by. G/f rang wondering where I was and was I going to meet for lunch, thanks to my frustrations I think I snapped at her a bit so didn't help that side of things.
    Finally mounted it on the hooks but the sample was by this time so knackered from all my abusing it and handling to get it there it produced pretty much no force. *rse. ok, so I left it and went for lunch hoping that it would recover...
    got back about 2, still no joy with the sample so left it as I got another going. managed to break a pair of micro-scissors (about £200 worth) by catching them on the edge of my microscope light-box. so that annoyed me another notch.
    then checked sample again and it ahd sort of recovered so figured was going to be ok now to test, finally at 3.30pm! so, i take a look at it and see a bubble in the chamber, get a syringe to suck it out, catch the sample - it comes off one of the hooks, breaks it off in the process...
    ok, so I can fix the hok back on, tis the transducer side so have to be careful. I remove it from the rig and take it to the bench, clamp the brass rod in a stand - under the 'scope so I can see what I'm doing to the minute bits that are involved - and just as I'm about to glue the hook back I catch the clamp-stand and break the small force transducer in the glass tube...ok, you might be thinking, no big deal. well, these cost £80 each....so roughly costing lab £300 so far.
    now i'm really agrovated.

    have to dig out glass tube from superglue, cut a new one (with diamond cutter), un-solder the broken transducer, get out a new one (not break it in the process) and stick it all back together, solder it and make sure it works.

    on the rod there are infact two glass tubes, one at the end, one through hole drilled a centimeter from the end. each with one of these houses a transducer, it is used as a 'dummy' or control to measure the difference between the two (one active and one just sitting there) I managed to break the second one...so another £80 down and MORE work to repair it.
    ...worse than annoyed, almost suicidal!

    I also managed to cut my hand with the glass tube and a scaple blade whilst cutting some tubing, and stab myself several times with a syringe (thankfully it was sterile!)

    I was going to build my new computer parts together tonight but don't think I will now lest I screw up nearly £600 worth of kit...hey why not, at least 1000 is a nice round number.



    if anyone in the bristol area sees a small atomic explosion, that'll be me going up
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  2. #2
    Senior Member klarrix's Avatar
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    Argh, it sucks when everything goes so perfectly wrong in one day like that

    They gonna charge you for it all?

  3. #3
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    Meh, it's not the worst that could happen.


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    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
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    no they wont charge me but its funded research so if they keep seeing orders for the same bits over and over again they're less likely to continue funding muppets...like me today. :/
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    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
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    went out to dinner, not fat.

    slightly happy now
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  6. #6
    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    Ive had days like that... infact most of my days are like that...

  7. #7
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
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    I read your post and had to chuckle, at my previous place of employment we made high precision optical equipment. 90% of my time was spent looking through a variety of microscopes at images around 20um across, and trying to measure / retouch the little sods. When working on really fiddly stuff like that getting annoyed makes it exponentially worse. We specialised in small runs of tight tolerance stuff, the company worked on parts of Hubble, I worked on a bit for a Mars probe, and we more often than not did custom military work including bits for HUD and tank battle sights.
    We had these 5 bits of optics turn up that I had to work on, and they wanted 5 good ones Part of the process we did involved spinning the substrate to get an even layer of a photographic emulsion on it, and when I say spun I mean really spun, 10,000rpm quick. Anyway we never did find one of their bits, after it left the spinning platform, it shot past my ear and disappeared in to the distance. After that they decided t use a custom jig to hold it down. Worst but about the job was winters, we worked under safe lights or in true darkrooms, so would cycle to work in the dark, work all day in the dark (or red/yellow light), then go home in the dark. The last job I did was a new one and had very tight tolerances (line thickness +/- 0.5 um), I spent a month working on it sent them off and the lot got rejected, we had pushed the techniques beyond what they could resolve accurately. Really disheartening when a months work is binned.

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    Tech-ignorant Factoid
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    Well, I suppose that makes my last 2 days seem quite fun...
    Lucky me though, I get to spend the weekend on a military base getting yelled at...

  9. #9
    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedanul
    I get to spend the weekend on a military base getting yelled at...
    I used to pay for weekends like that before I turned 18 and had to leave the army cadet force. I've actally seen the advert on TV for adult instructors and I might look into it further once the DVD arrives

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    Senior Member Tumble's Avatar
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    I was in the cadets for 2 years.. specifically to get access to the full bore rifle ranges really.. I fired 17 rounds in that whole time, every time we went to the ranges - Altcar, Tregantle etc.. guess who got put in charge of the butts?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Quentos
    "My udder is growing. Quick pass me the parsely sauce." Said Oliver.

  11. #11
    Tech-ignorant Factoid
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    Unlucky, Tumble.
    But yay for me, I've just got the first Squadron marksman in my wing since they were introduced.

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