Monday, December 5, 2011

The Chemist

As of today, I am no longer an unskilled laborer, but a chemist. I now perform tests on body fluids, looking for drugs, or at least I will once training is done. Last night was my last night at the airline, throwing bags and pushing planes. It was 12 degrees when I left, and it was snowing, not just cold. Today, I started my new job, which for a change was mentally taxing, not physically. I'm sure part of the stress is just the result of working a late night at one job, and then starting a new one in the morning, but the vast majority is trying to take so much in at once. I have a new building, new faces, new names (names are always hard), and the procedures we do are fairly complicated, although anything is going to seem complicated by comparision to the old job. I think I got a fair amount down for the first day. I'm familiar with most of the machines we use, even if it will take me a little while to get the programs down well, and I have the basic procedure down, although it does vary depending on the drug we're looking for and the fluid we're looking in, and there are plenty of specifics I just don't have down well enough yet. Still, within a couple of weeks, I ought to be a contributing member of the group, rather than a drag on those who know what they're doing, and they say in about a month I'll likely be apart from the group I trained with, doing it all on the third shift (graves).

Monday, September 5, 2011


We've got a dog again. It's maybe a little sooner than I would have gone for, but MJ has been missing her dog for a good year now. I think it's been significantly tougher on her than it has been on me. He's six months old, so still has some puppy hyperness, and he's a big dog, an american bulldog mix. We got the brand of food that he was used to, and are working on switching him off of it to something less expensive and less foul smelling. His previous owner had him on one of those specialty brands that they try to oversell you at the pet store.

MJ's totally in love with him already. The kids are less sure. Chien-Po's pretty much good, just gets knocked over a bit. Bandit reminds me a lot of my sister's dog, Duke. He's just all muscle and so excited. The previous owner had a one year old and a three year old, and they all got along well. Dash, is significantly more concerned. He tells me that when he's older he'll like Bandit, but he seems to be more of a cat person.

Aside from that, our dog seems to be getting used to our house, and vice-versa. He's learning which toys are not his (most of them), and picking up basic sit, stay commands. We've also noticed a few allergy issues among myself and the boys. We didn't have any problems with Penny, who was also a short haired, frequently shedding dog, but it's been a while. I've had itchy eyes and the boys have had excessively runny noses. We're hoping that will clear up in a little while as we get used to having a dog around again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fire Fire Fire

Well, the smoke detectors work. Not for detecting smoke necessarily, although I hope they're good at that too. The one in our bedroom decided it would start detecting air. seems we have air. The wiring that connects all the alarms together so that they all go off at once leaving us puzzled as to where the imaginary fire is coming from and how to shut the whole mess off works well too. Also, they are sufficiently loud to wake any occupants and/or send them fleeing from the building. Good times.

In other news, I've retaken my MCAT by now. I still have about three weeks before I'll know how I did. I'm hoping for better. I got a 31 last time, and on my practice tests this time around I managed a 38 and a 40, as well as a 32. While I suppose 32 is technically an improvement, I'm still hoping for something at least a little closer to 45.

I'm also looking for better work. MJ is a little stressed with work and all lately, and I can't blame her. They've got some changes going on that affect her department pretty significantly. I'd like to carry the full weight of bringing home the bacon, but that's just not going to happen with my current job. Among the various lab jobs I have been applying to, I've also started applying for emergency dispatch. It's not as related to my recent education as some of the other jobs I've applied for, but I was trained as an EMT at one point, have family in law enforcement, and I think, have a generally level temperament, polite but able to be forceful when needed. Also, as I found out today, the county I'm currently testing with offers a part-time, hourly position requiring at least 20 hours a month. There's a commitment I think I could keep up with even while in medical school.

So, that's my excuse for not getting around to blogging for a while. More than enough going on to keep me busy, but nothing big enough that I absolutely had to post about it. Maybe now that I'm not so busy studying for the test I'll actually post a few more things.