I worked today for 11 straight hours, with non-stop "events" occurring all day, both positive and negative, accidental and planned, and it drove home how awesome my job is so I thought I'd share with you. Also, it is my eighth consecutive day working in a row, and my next day off is this Friday.

I got in at 7:45 this morning, for no reason other than my parking space last night was in a construction zone that needed to be cleared out by 7 am. I normally roll in around 8:30, sometimes a little later. Some well-dressed fellow showed up at 7:55 looking for the PR guy for an interview. No one else was in, yet, so I gave the guy the tour and told him everything I could think of about the place and entertained him until he had to use the bathroom and I called Mr. PR. He thought the interview was scheduled for 8:30. Oops.

Once PR guy was arrived and chatting with the young man, I closed the kitchenbathroomconferenceroom door and started my morning routine, taking measurements on the fluid in all of my digester tanks. This normally takes an hour and a half. Then the two leaders of the Engineering & Science Team showed up, back from their trip to Canada to meet with a potential new partner in business. I wasn't expecting them until tomorrow. My co-engineer gives my boss the 7 levels of bad news he missed out on over the last 3 days, and he starts running around in his psycho "Get Shit Done" state of mind. He breezes through my lab on the way to the office to inform me that the power was shutting down, don't start any of my reactions. This is bad news. My heat reaction takes 3 hours. I panic and finish using the blender and all the other power stuff I need to get ready for that reaction, but the power is still on and no one knows for how long, so I walk my little E-Z-Bake oven over to the auto shop next door and ask the guy who owns it if I can use his electricity for a few hours. He's fine with this.

Then our general contract company is trying to solve 5 of the 7 problems so two new teams of people show up to help with this. Then a group of Dudes With No Manners Who Fix Shit show up to replace our broken garage doors. Then the city electric company and their laborers AND engineers show up to install our 200-amp power service. Then one of our capitol investors shows up unannounced to discuss some of his concerns. And then we all died. Ok, no, but we did kind of freak out and feel totally overwhelmed. So the three youngest of us snuck out back to water our little vegetable garden (read: compost fertilizer test facility) and hide until someone went away.

After the power goes back on temporarily, I was showing my co-lab-runner the data she'd been missing for the last few days and explaining the new protocol that I came up with, when the electric company comes over to my pilot-scale digester wanting to mess with everything to see if they'd connected the new power with the right polarity. They told me "Oh, its no big deal, we're just going to run your pumps for a minute." And then my heart nearly exploded out of my chest. Because a minute on any of those pumps is like an entire day's work. Except when I do it, its all based on measurements and exact loading/unloading rates and fluid flow rates and precise timing and I didn't want them to ruin my data!!! But the engineer who initially built the system snuck in behind them and switched valves so they could pump their hearts out and it wouldn't do anything to the critical parts of the system, bless his heart. And the electric company had, in fact, switched the polarity of our electricity. Good job guys. Glad they payed you for that. I should tell you that our company relies very heavily on communication with the outside world via telephone or internet and without power we had neither.

Then, while we're waiting for two of the lead guys to finish up with the investor dude, starving because they've barred off the kitchen for the sake of private conversation among the chaos, we decide to start un-painting our new trash can lids that we tried to put together to make them stand out! To make food waste look pretty and exciting! But everyone was just hungry and grumpy so we mostly sat on the ground and shot compressed air at the spraypainted pieces of plastic.

Then all at once the electric company, its engineers, the garage door guys, our investor, and one extra team of contractors pulled out of our driveway, the power came back on and I got my little E-Z-Bake oven back. So the six of us gathered in the kitchen and had a happy little family lunch. Then went back to work. This was about 2 pm.

I went outside to start unloading some of the major tank in the pilot system, but my "Get Shit Done" boss is already up on a ladder with the top pulled off what should be an oxygen-depleted environment to install the new level sensor (which is actually just a float like a toilet) before I'd taken gas measurements and such... We reconvene and come up with a new plan, save the data, and come back 10 minutes later after I write up how long we need to pump INto the tank. Feeding went almost smoothly, except we ran out of food. Then while filling the feed tank from the stock tank, my boss goes "eh...just pump it for another minute" when I was going to do 30 seconds. 50 seconds later pooey, smelly, disgusting, rotted food effluent shoots out of the top of the tank because we've overfilled it. Kathryn screamed. Bill got the hose and told everyone to get out of the way so he could 'wash down' the inside of the trailer where these tanks live before it dried onto the walls in the heat and smelled forevermore. Then while unloading, I accidentally pulled a 1 atm vacuum on the pump. Oops, again. We were trying to calibrate the level sensor and everyone was yelling and there were 4 people in a trailer where 1 barely fits, and I got excited and didn't pay attention to the pressure.

So after that fiasco was all ended and the pilot system buttoned up and serviced for the day, I went back into the small lab-scale tanks. It was almost 5 pm. That was pretty smooth sailing. And then I tried to build a new sample port on my feed tank that integrated a level sensor. This would be better than the current configuration, which is to switch back and forth between the two, effectively making a giant mess every time. But the PVC cement made me dizzy, so I went home.

There was concert somewhere on Storrow Drive, which merited closing one lane to use as parking, so traffic was miserable, and people were driving like jerks. But I was too tired to care. My road home was literally a parking lot.

I got home at 7:45, was lucky to find a parking spot right in front of my apartment, and this story took me an hour and a half to write, so here you are, my dear readers, caught up to the second with my life. Now I'm going to go forage for food in my own kitchen because I'm terrible at feeding myself. I'll upload some photos from the day when I feel like it. Check back in two days.

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