Getting Samples Ready

Song: “I Am The Fly” by Wire

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

I spent far too much time awake last night. A ghost would wake me up and I’d be there, worrying while I stared at the wall or ceiling. I’d get back to sleep eventually, but the interruptions are doing a good job of interrupting my sleep. Add to that that it’s very difficult (if even possible) for me to get some sleep after I get up in the morning, and I’m running a ways behind in my sleep right now.

My exercises went okay this morning. Not as good as they did on the weekend – being by myself makes it much harder for me to ignore things and my stuff gets interrupted as I repeatedly get up and go make sure that things are okay. Still, I felt better after my exercises were done, and that’s exactly why I do them.

It was a pleasant outside again today. Pretty warm but not oppressive. They were calling for rain in the afternoon but it didn’t show up. That’s okay, maybe it’ll show up overnight.

My walk went reasonably well. I tried walking towards the creek but I got too uncomfortable and ended up stopping and waiting for a minute to see if I could calm down a bit but it didn’t work and I headed back home. It would’ve been nice to get down to the creek, but what happened today is about what I expected.

I sent out my texts again today. It took me a lot longer than usual to pick the little video I attached to the texts but that’s okay. I’m starting to run out – looks like I’ll have to dig up some more soon!

I’m putting in an effort to not check my text history for everyone I text. It took a lot of time in the past, and now that I’m texting more people than I used to (and texting them 5-6 days a week), the amount of time I spend going through my text history has grown to be pretty ridiculous. It takes me the better part of an hour to send the texts out, and anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours to check the histories. It’s been trending down since I’ve been working on this but it’s still way too much time to be scrutinizing something that will (at worst) require a couple of texts or a phone call to clear up. Still, I’m making progress.

I spent a couple of hours today working on setting up samples for the microtome prototype that FA built. I had three samples soaking – one in methanol, one in isopropanol, and one in car antifreeze. I let them go all night, and I think that was a big mistake. The sample in the methanol looks kind of bleached out but is still about the same size. The one in the isporopanol is the right colour but shrunk and is now a thin little brittle stick. The one in the antifreeze looks about the same and feels about the same. I only have space for two samples right now so I worked on putting the two from the alcohols into a paraffin bath.

The paraffin bath I made by putting a tea candle on a couple of sticks in a saucepan and then added some water to the saucepan, turned the stove element on low, and waited for the water to warm up and, in turn, melt the wax. I wanted to keep the temperature as low as possible so I didn’t end up cooking the samples, so I fiddled with the stove dial to keep the temperature around 50-55C.

After the bath, I took them out and let them cool, then put them into the microtome sleeves and filled up the remaining space with more paraffin. They’re sitting in the freezer right now, and that’s where they’re staying all night. If everything goes well, the alcohols displaced all of the water in the samples, and then the paraffin displaced the alcohols, leaving a paraffin-filled sample held tightly inside a paraffin block. Tomorrow, they go onto the micrometer and slowly get dialed out and I will try to get a very, VERY thin slice of something to look at under the microscope.

I played some more Star Trek Online today. Finally made it to Admiral, and with that, a whole bunch of other things that I don’t understand became available for me to play around with. Sending crew on missions? Putting my old ships like the Bursitis and Halitosis to work solving problems all over the galaxy? Doing research and development to get the Pinkeye better equipment so that it spends more time fighting and less time fleeing while various parts of it are on fire? Lots of new stuff to do.

Well, I should probably be getting to bed. Tonight’s probably going to be a short night again. Fingers crossed, though!

Stay safe.

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