A mundane cleaning day


Did you know classes start in 2½ weeks? It’s astounding; Time is fleeting; Madness takes its toll…but rather than doing the time warp, unfortunately, I spent several hours doing basic custodial work in the lab. First, a colleague and I scrubbed up the cell biology lab, shuffling computers into storage and putting away glassware, because that space will be used for a different course Spring semester. It’s tidy! And shiny!

Then I went into my lab, which is cluttered and grimy, and I need to make a few trips to a dumpster and polish up a whole lot of stuff — the sink is piled high with empty spider vials that need washing, for one thing. Today I set aside all the menial labor, though, and instead dismantled my microscope and cleaned up all the optics. That was fun! I may do it again tomorrow!

The filth wasn’t as bad as I feared, fortunately. One glass surface had accumulated a bit of dust and grime, and was fairly easy to wipe clean. I did have to take apart a few subassemblies, but thankfully, good German engineering made it easy.

I had to test it out with a few photos, but whereas the engineering was cooperative, the spiders were not. The entire interior of their condo cube was an intricate network of spider webs everywhere, so opening up the cube always tore their webs, making the kids frantic and excited, so they were mostly unwilling to sit still for their portrait.

I put a sample spider photo below the fold, and you’ll see what I mean — it’s all criss-crossed with silk, and I played a few lighting games to make it visible. Also note that the image is much, much better than the last spider photo I posted here.

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