End of a project

I am now committed. This morning, I got to work and started dismantling my jerry-built zebrafish facility. It was built to last, with annoying bolts everywhere, some of them quite high up on the structure, and now I can’t feel my right shoulder after all the wrench work above my head. We got the bulk of it disassembled and removed, and all that’s left right now is a lot of PVC plumbing suspended from the ceiling and going nowhere, with a huge cattle trough (the water reservoir) and a big ol’ water pump. That’ll go tomorrow, clearing up a whole bunch of bench space, which I think will be home to a new, additional incubator.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the stuff. Mary might use some of it to set up a herb garden in our sun room — it’s a lot of shelving and shallow trays. There is also a great deal of hydroponic gear I used to deliver recycled water to the tanks, and she got a glint in her eye and dreamt of a hydroponic drip system for plants…which may be overly ambitious.

But there’s no going back now. I’m going to be running an arthropod lab, rather than a fish lab, which is a bit of a change. I’m still young enough to change my research focus, right? Although not young enough to do serious physical labor without feeling like I overtaxed every muscle in my upper body.


  1. says

    Nope. I improvised and ended up buying some miscellaneous shelving.

    Do you really think I have a budget for little things like that?

  2. microraptor says

    You can’t feel your shoulder after doing work that involves holding your hands above your head for extended periods of time?

    Honestly, I’d say you’re lucky. I do something like that and I feel my shoulder for several days afterword. I really feel my shoulder.

  3. says

    I can’t feel my right shoulder after all the wrench work above my head

    You know, if you get one of those 1/4″ socket sets, they usually include an adapter you can chuck in a cordless drill. Those things are grrrrreat!

  4. unclefrogy says

    how exciting to be starting a new project with new challenges and new learning opportunities! The part I always have trouble with is letting go of old projects when they are not really “finished”, always seems a little sad, however it is always great to end up with valuable and useful salvage to recycle into some new unexpected project.
    uncle frogy

  5. justawriter says

    A solstice gift, a state not just promoting science tourism, but using a woman scientist to do it. https://www.ndtourism.com/articles/becky-barnes-paleontologist I have been on a couple of digs for mosasaurs in the Pembina Gorge with Becky and encouraged her write a book about her experiences. The North Dakota Geological Survey has increased the program to 50 days during the summer at four or five different dig sites in 2018.

  6. twarren1111 says

    Oh! You so should have your wife start a pot growing operation! No one will suspect you two!

  7. davidc1 says

    @7 And of course Doc can always claim it is for “Medicinal use,Officer” if he is raided by the Feds.

  8. John Hartung says

    Oh my god you are a spider scientist now this is amazing I am so happy for you merry christmas!!!!

  9. DanDare says

    It is bitter sweet changing projects. Mine are usually software so it’s less gruelling physically. Each project makes a period in the past distinct.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve been watching alot of various CSIs for a couple of weeks.
    (tilts head to the side)
    I suspect you are up to something.

  11. wzrd1 says

    I say, his and hers labs. Spider lab for you, separate, but equal hydroponics and permutations of hydroponics lab for your wife.
    First addition, artificial illumination. Got my eye on a fine sulfur lamp, excited by microwave energy, that’s just right for plant growth, so the day is as long as the operator says it is.

    As for arms up, feel glad, I’ve had enough injuries that my arms up that long, I’d be unable to use both of mine and I’m a mere 57 years ancient, with a herniated disc and osteoarthritis from stem to stern.
    I still work with 20 something year olds and impress them to follow me, even on really bad days, when, instead of them huffing and puffing trying to keep up, I’m trying their patience in staying with me as I limp on.
    Considering some are current service members in the reserve forces and have to maintain the same level of physical fitness as their full time active duty peers, I am just that fit, just also, that repeatedly injured, so the barometer comes into play.
    Which is precisely why I retired.

    So, if you and your wife don’t want the water handling equipment, despite not currently having a location to utilize it, I’ll winterize it, store it until we exterminate our current domicile’s inherited bedbug population, which is currently being experimented upon as the majority of their peers opportunistically feed upon us at night.
    I think I have a specific version of fungus that will likely cause a near mass extinction of the bastards and we can move to our desired domicile conditions.
    Which require a proper sized garden for me to play in.
    And my production on a 4×4 meter play space impressed farmers.
    I also learned, the hard way, never plant related species nearby, so research your plants…
    Ever taste the results of mint and basil growing adjacent? Personally, I rather liked it, but most obviously wouldn’t.
    But, the watermelon near the cucumbers, in a region known for gherkins being advertised as cucumbers and the astonishment of the regional individuals was well worth the effort of crafting my own soil from calcium carbonate, saline salt and silicone dioxide soil, from the animal market that largely had lamb and camel contributions, peat moss to acidify and react components, cat litter for “clay” to form a matrix, adjust to proper ph and moisture retention under 120 degree F, high wind desiccation conditions.
    Only took five waterings a day, could’ve done far better via underground drip irrigation, which was a later strategy.
    I literally never had an ending season.
    Which also included corn and continuous tomato and pepper output.

    Yeah, got my retirement plan?
    Raise sheep.
    Tasty, largely self-caring for, self-feeding, require modest maintenance, overall and occasional expensive veterinary interventions.
    So, I’ll be with peers.
    For, I go to Veterinary Administration appointments for care on a regular basis. ;)

    OK, I’ve been waiting for years to stage that joke.
    Rather than my more accurate, “politicians are expected to say that veterans are #1, we veterans are tired of looking over to confirm that the third digit is being presented and we’re expected to cheer”.
    Then, from that, it either is a BOFH theme, resulting in an extinct politician, via an absent elevator, laser wielding shark, moat, surprise bog that never was present in the concrete jungle before, security androids, stepped outside, inexplicably, since the area the previous non-smoker has no fire escape or well, anything to stand upon or an FM400 system inexplicably fired upon said individual’s entry to the data center and for some odd reason, the fail safe system failed lethally.
    Some stories, based upon my own experiences in technological unintended results.

    That said, I don’t normally plot out the actual demise of someone. Usually, I allow them to follow their own path to premature demise.
    But, in interdepartmental squabbles for funding, I am known to use creative obstruction and still manage to accomplish an out of budgetary gain.
    One case, requiring specifically, manually requested and keyed SmartCards, 178 were required, including my own, as a security measure. Mandatory compliance date was approaching, so a US Army Brigadier General was growing concerned. During our mutually loathed weekly teleconference (glad am I, for I have a face naturally inclined toward radio), discussion advanced upon the entirely unfunded and hence, impossible project.
    So, when does ASG Qatar consider its compliance date?
    “Sorry, it isn’t going to happen here.”
    Silence and suddenly, the General came on and said, “Excuse me? Why won’t your location comply?”, in an extremely dangerous tone of voice.
    I replied, “Neither I, nor my tenant organizations have the resources required to support the infrastructure at this time for an additional SmartCard reader and its required installation, so it isn’t going to happen, Sir.
    Two days later, the SmartCard reader fairy delivered a case of the previously only available via significant organizational costs, upon my desk chair, while I was out to lunch.
    Upon questioning at that original meeting, I was quierieysd as to how long it’d take to get all elevated access users issued their cards and we’d switch to magic that entirely failed to perform, as predicted, I said, “Two weeks”, and the theater Information Assurance Officer said, “Surely, you mean two months“, I replied, “No, I have 178 users to elevate, I know how long it takes to request a certificate and how long to populate the card and distribute it.
    Two weeks.
    After the readers arrived, it took 12 days, with zero loss of productivity, as I planned for such projects or emergencies.

    True story, entertaining to me, my wife and my peers.

    tldr; set a price, if neither you or your wife wants the equipment, I could use it for winter crops and some experimentation of my own.
    Largely for consumption, but I’ll happily share what I did to accomplish the results, in minuscule detail.

  12. Johnny Vector says

    I’m still young enough to change my research focus, right?

    My dad switched to studying scallops when he retired to Nantucket at age 70 or so. Prior to that he was an astronomer.

    So, I’m gonna go with “yes!”

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