house is half full

My house is essentially void of furniture.. My most recent purchase has been a couch. It was finally delivered yesterday and boy is it comfy!
Here are before/after pics.

My fear with buying a sofa was that I would then need to buy other furniture (bookshelf/coffee table/tv-stand). Currently, an old trunk is being used as my makeshift T.V. stand and some storage boxes are being used as a coffee table.

I think this weekend I’ll make a Roman shade to hang in the window to give a bit more colour to the place…. that is if I can get time from grading/writing my C500 paper/making a separations presentation/going to an art festival/tutoring/and running an experiment or 2 in lab for a bit of sewing time at home. I also need to get around to finishing the sanding of the wooden bed frame that is sitting in my kitchen so I can stain it, move it upstairs, and not have to look at it all the time…. maybe over the winter holiday. Yes, that is likely the only time I’ll get time for that.


No. It really IS that bad.

Some people I know are still unconvinced that electronics is as bad as I say it is. True, I have a habit of dramatizing life, but electronics is one of those subjects/labs that I’m in that requires no dramatization. The lab is work 80% of the course grade and the setup consists of about 5 lab desks shoved into a ‘room’, better known as a closet. Each desk has a lock, and inside the desk we see this:

An oscilloscope old enough to be an antique, a decade resistance box that requires the resistances to be checked using a digital multimetre because the displayed resistance values don’t correlate with the actual output resistances, an old frequency generator (circa 1960-something), a breadboard (that is about half dead), a Powerace (that is useless for building on due to crappy board contacts), other hi/low voltage power supplies, a counter, a DAQ box (for device coupling to LabView), bazillions of cables, and a closet full of resistors, diodes, transistors, capacitors, LEDs, etc.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that a majority of my circuits won’t work, fortunately, I can choose to not be my experimentalist self and simulate the circuits on Falstad or PSPICE to save time. Over the course of the semester, modeling has saved my butt.

Now, all i need to do is find a way to simulate life… Oh wait, they’ve done that…

too bad I despise RPGs.


Caught up!

I’m finally caught up on grading and boy does it feel good!

I can now look at that pile of papers on my desk and smile 🙂



Halloween 2009 photos

Initial Halloween photo: Taken from Carsten and Nil

Easy/cheap costume to make… all you need is a box, construction paper, glue, and ~1 hour. Wearing the costume is a different story…. good luck fitting through a narrow hallway.


Getting better

I may not have to see a shrink about my problems after all. Taking time to do the things I enjoy (working out, hanging out with friends, living in a tidy house) has made me have a paradigm shift. Grad school will be only as awesome (or not awesome) as I make it. I can’t control situations around me, or change the people around me; the only thing I can do is accept things for being the way they are, and change the way I perceive the things happening around me.

This week has been a rather ‘light’ week in the sense that I’ve had only one oral exam, and while I should be grading more this week, I’m not overly concerned about returning papers back to my students (I’m technically a week behind… but that’s what Thanksgiving is for right?). I guess I need to find a hobby, maybe not this semester, but next semester and in future ones, It will be necessary for me to take time for myself and meet people who aren’t chemists. Chemistry 24/7 is kinda driving me crazy.

I need to take time for myself; I’ll probably be more productive anyway.



Not much to write about but I’ll leave you with a pic of my dining table that I should have posted last week. I will get around to painting the legs/rim of the table white someday.

It is the one cheery part of the day today.

The sun isn’t predicted to come out until next week.
Go figure.



This weekend has been interesting to say the least. My house is still a pigsty… wooden bed frame still needs to be sanded/stained/and assembled and until I get around to doing this, I will have parts of my bed frame lying all around the living room/kitchen. Normally, I try to keep things on my kitchen counters to a minimum. I don’t like seeing too much clutter. I think my mind is going a bit crazy seeing all the stuff that I have to do.

The Before:
Current State:

I’ve spent most of my time in lab over the weekend working on electronics. Friday night, after electronics lab, I went to a friend’s place for ‘card night’ which ended up being an evening of giddyness and cheap wine. I spent Saturday morning in electronics lab, Saturday afternoon working on sanding wood for the bed, and Saturday night studying for electronics. Today I spent the morning chatting it up with my mom, having my dad school me in electronics, and studying for the exam, and then in the afternoon, I spent time in lab. Sense a trend yet?

Fortunately, I’ve had time to make use of my oven and awesome cooking skills. Here’s the pizza I ended up making. Some friends came over and it was nice to just chill out, eat pizza, and mousse and not worry about stuff.

Now reality sets back in.

Time to study. again.


taking time to play in the meadow

So yesterday, some chem friends and I ditched seminar (before the boring speakers came) and instead went outside and played in the grassy knoll outside of the chemistry/technology building

You can see the building my office/lab is in. You can also see that the bottom half of me is not in the building. Yay!

It was refreshing to take yesterday evening off. I’ve actually gotten more than 6 hours of sleep last night (personal accomplishment since starting graduate school), and I’m starting to feel better about everything here in general.

I guess that’s all for now. I have a full day of teaching to look forward to (NOT), and I’ve got to finish up writing some LabView VI’s for electronics.
I’m hoping my dining table I ordered comes in the mail. I’ll take pics when I get it all assembled! It’s so nice to get paid a regular salary again 🙂


Crazy busy times

Things have picked up rapidly here in the last week. I’m already deep in the muck of electronics, and have so much to do for that class it’s not even funny (Finish lab, write report, study for oral). I also found out that I have my oral exam next Monday night from 7-11 pm… that’s past my bedtime! Then, in addition to all this, I’ve got to teach. Today is my first day teaching and I got stuck doing 2 sections of gen chem lab. UGH. I teach from noon to 6:30 today. I haven’t yet decided if I’m thankful to have both of my sections back to back on the same day; in a way its great since I can get the teaching stuff out of the way and only have one day gone kaput. In another way, I could see this being terribly bad, since I have to sit through 6 hours of whiny students. I’ll be sure to update you on how things go in any case.
To make matters worse, and my life busier and more exhausting than it needs to be, the first year students are required to go to these C500 seminars where professors give a 20 minute shpiel on their research. I’m all for these, I love learning about new research and I think it is crucial for us to know what profs in the dept. are doing… but the fact that these seminars are at 5:45pm is ridiculous. I get to campus at 7:30 in the morning, and staying on campus for longer than 12 hrs without a break is starting to get on my nerves. I guess I’ll have to get used to it.

This is grad school of course.