Monday, March 2, 2009

By the Beard of Beelzebub

..at least this Monday does. Pretty much everything that can go wrong has done so today, and additionally a couple of things have gone wrong which by most laws of reproducibility and thermodynamics ought to have worked. It's Monday and then some. A partial list of what's gone the way of the 8-track, the BetaMax and the laser disc would include:
  • I woke up with lower back pain. I NEVER have any form of back pain, and I didn't work legs or back at the gym yesterday. Just one of them things.
  • Once I got to work, some automatic update feature of the antivirus program malfunctioned, resulting in some inconveniences including random error messages threatening to shut down the computer without saving my work.
  • A colleague performed some experiments on some of our samples this morning to (hopefully) verify the features we observed by means of other techniques. It's taken some time to get to the point where we have a version of this system which really looks promising, so we were hopeful. He didn't verify our results so much as totally debunk them and annihilate our working hypothesis in the process.
  • In working on a revision of a manuscript due back to the journal soon, I was looking up and downloading references from Web Of Science to beef up our rebuttal letter to the reviewers. I had to start over twice, as WOS shut down on me and erased my "Marked list" on two separate occasions. Turns out I hit the jackpot and managed to attempt to download my list of references first when WOS performed a scheduled maintenance shutdown (which technically was my bad) and then later at the exact time when the WOS platform upgraded between versions 4.4 and 4.5.
  • Some of our nano-products actually revert over time, which by my account is dangerously close to violating the second law of thermodynamics. There's no way this type of product formation should be reversible at room temperature, and even if we'd added lots of energy and overcome the barrier, it shouldn't have re-traced the original reation route. T2 explicitly states that the sum of entropy changes in system and surroundings exceeds zero. And so the odds of a polydisperse system not exhibiting any significant hysteresis when reversing a reaction/process which ought to be irreversible........On the plus side, it could be cold fusion and not problems related to our system....
  • What started out as a straight-forward email exchange revealed some upcoming obstacles which in all likelihood force us to postpone the new course in applied nanotechnology one year.
In short, this Monday crapped out like a Skoda on a freeway.

25 comments:

Anders said...

Once I got to work, some automatic update feature of the antivirus program malfunctioned, resulting in some inconveniences including random error messages threatening to shut down the computer without saving my work.

Welcome to my world! At my workplace, that's a feature. The IT-department demands that every PC should update the anti-virus program in the evening. And by pure luck, the software which controls my instruments have a 50-50 chance of crashing when the AV updates. So much for running samples over night, which is done 5 nights a week...

Wilhelm said...

The damn anti-virus program is somehow incapable of updating, though. Might have to get them IT geeks involved if it ain't better tomorrow.

Anders said...

Get the one with the B5 t-shirt and Star Wars gadget in the belt...
:-)

Wilhelm said...

..these are not the droids you are looking for...

Anders said...

In short, this Monday crapped out like a Skoda on a freeway.

Wonder why T-bombz hasn't commented on this...
:-D

Wilhelm said...

T-bombz has a Skoda? Didn't know or notice...

Anders said...

Yes, he does. And now he's P.O.ed, and is ready to meet you outside 7-Eleven at noon to throw hands. Seeing how you guys are almost twins, we're in for an interesting fight. I'm taking bets now...
:-D

Wilhelm said...

....seeing as how T-bombz probably can see his own reflection in the 7-11 window, there is scant reason for me to interfere by showing up... :-)

T-bombz said...

T-bombz has a Skoda? Didn't know or notice...

You sat in it, but were probably too obsessed with the music.

Yes, it can both be driven and play music at the same time!

Wilhelm said...

You sat in it, but were probably too obsessed with the music.

Could be - you were blasting Avantasia and Stratovarius as far as I can recall

Yes, it can both be driven and play music at the same time!

You quoting Skoda brochures now? :-)

Did I deeply offend you? Are there things necessitating the Code of Duello ca. 1776? :-)

Anders said...

Could be - you were blasting Avantasia...

That's spelled Anastacia...
:-)

T-bonbz said...



Could be - you were blasting Avantasia and Stratovarius as far as I can recall

I knew you would recall that part!


That's spelled Anastacia...
:-)

Only when you bring and insist to listen.


Did I deeply offend you? Are there things necessitating the Code of Duello ca. 1776? :-)


I'm not easily offended.
Besides, Skoda prices will stay quite low for as long as the Skoda jokes are around.

Wilhelm said...

I knew you would recall that part!

You betcha', bro

Besides, Skoda prices will stay quite low for as long as the Skoda jokes are around.

Glad to be of service

Wilhelm said...

T-bombz: Are you happy with your Skoda? How does it compare to previous vehicles, etc.

T-bombz said...


T-bombz: Are you happy with your Skoda? How does it compare to previous vehicles, etc.


Yeah, I'm happy with is. Don't have that much to compare it to, but it's working fine, and much cheaper that other cars in the same category.

Wilhelm said...

...so your next automobile is going to be in the Skoda family as well?

T-bombz said...


...so your next automobile is going to be in the Skoda family as well?


Might be, but I guess that the first car to decease will be the other one, the 14 year old Seat. I'm thinking that owning two Skodas would be too much. But hopefully the good old Seat will keep rolling for a few more years.

Wilhelm said...

Good point. How does Skoda rank in the emergency stop category compared to other brands like Ford and Toyota?

T-bombz said...


Good point. How does Skoda rank in the emergency stop category compared to other brands like Ford and Toyota?

I have no idea, whatsoever :-o

However, it does not run so fast, so I guess it stops quickly.

Wilhelm said...

However, it does not run so fast, so I guess it stops quickly.

:-) More a function of engine size than brand, no?

T-bombz said...

:-) More a function of engine size than brand, no?

I don't think so. After all, it's got almost 60 horsepowers.

Wilhelm said...

LOL....I'd laugh if not for the lurking suspicion that our 1.6 Focus station wagon ain't that far off in hps

Anders said...

As a classic car collector, here is my take. The Skoda held up pretty well on the Dansich highways, fully load with luggage and a five member family, without breaking down once. Which I presume means it's fast enough. So I as the Spinal Tap says: Break Like The Wind!

Wilhelm said...

..at speeds approximating or exceeding the legal limits? :-)

Anders said...

..at speeds approximating or exceeding the legal limits? :-)

...

I'd laugh if not for the lurking suspicion that our 1.6 Focus station wagon ain't that far off in hps

:-D