January 12, 2007

Mace and Space

Can I just tell you that this has been a totally crazy week? Now, I'm not a terribly big fan of just blogging "today I did this" and "tomorrow I'm going to do that", but some of these stories are entertaining or at least unique - so I share them now. Side note: Keep your eye on the blog for a YouTube video clip bonanza....coming soon!

So the other day, a buddy of mine got sprayed in the face with mace. Seriously. And he wasn't even attacking anyone! Actually it was a dude who sprayed him. The way he tells it, he pulled out onto the road just as someone was making a right hand turn at a nearby red light. The person should have stopped and then proceeded, but rather just went ahead and turned as though the light were green. This led them to think my friend had cut them off. In his rear-view mirror, my friend sees the driver shouting and flailing about. At the next light, she pulls up next to him. So he rolls down his window thinking they're going to exchange words. But before anything is said, the driver's boyfriend shakes up a can of mace and blasts my friend in the eyes!! Do you believe that?! Who does that? Even if he had cut them off - is this an appropriate response? Good lord!

In other news, I've finally been blowing things up this week at work. Like, for real blowing things up. Not just modeling the blowing up of things with "columns of numbers" (as Quantum is fond of saying). I spent some time this week learning the experimental procedure for the work that hopefully will validate my models. It included firing a laser at a paper (burning tiny holes in said paper) and then firing the laser at tiny carbon particles until they blew up. We got to watch it all on a high speed camera. The best part is, firing the laser is done by pressing a giant red button which then emits a terrifically satisfying beeping noise. I must say, I almost felt like an actual, honest-to-god engineer. Of course the real fun has yet to come. Some time in the next few months, we'll be taking the rig to NASA Houston to fly it on the Vomit Comet so we can blow particles up in microgravity! I'm quite looking forward to experiencing zero-g and believe you me I'll blog plenty about it (hopefully with pictures included).

Unfortunately though these flights have basically ruined my performance opportunities. The flights were originally scheduled for this month, but we have been postponed until March - likely preventing me from accepting the role in Company as well as preventing an escape to Chicago. I'll admit I'm disappointed, but I suppose when God closes a door he opens a window.

Finally, I had my audition today for the radio-style-play gig I mentioned. It went decent I suppose but I don't expect to get the part. The crazy thing is that the woman I read with had driven all the way from Baltimore for the audition! That's nearly three hours! Yee-ikes is all I gots to say.

So....uh....enjoy the weekend!


Hal said...

Hm, lasers and big red buttons certainly give you an air of authenticity, but do you have a white lab coat? Everyone knows you're not really a scientist until you have that white lab coat.

You through a clipboard and a pair of safety glasses/goggles in there and you've got that PhD in the bag.

Hal said...

Um . . . that should be "throw", not "through."

Dubs said...

Suddenly I imagine your life like that of Val Kilmer in _Real Genius_. When you get the evaporating ice rink perfected, call me.