Saturday, April 12

A Watery Grave

Friday morning I spent working with coworkers on the Chemical Heat Pump. We were checking lines and pressures and fixing leaks, and we finally had it ready to run. We started running tests. It was a mix of interesting and boring - waiting around, but I am finally starting to understand the system and how it works, and the thermodynamics behind it.

We left for lunch at noon, and stopped by the office to check email, etc, before heading back to the lab. I was trying to print something when cell phones started ringing, and a couple people ran out of the room. I thought they just didn't want to be late to start again after lunch, but when I was walking up the stairs, I noticed that the ceiling was dripping and there was a puddle...never a good thing!

When I got up to our floor, I stopped short of walking right into a big puddle! The water source to our project wasn't attached properly, and flooded the entire floor! So I spent the afternoon pushing water around to the drain, and mopping up. There was several inches of water over a very large floor section, and around quite a bit of electrical equipment. Fortunately, I don't think anything was ruined. It was quite the surprise, though! Now the project is delayed for a couple weeks while all the safety reports and precautions, etc are taken care of. Oh well!! :)


There is a new member to our team and one is leaving, so yesterday my 'team' went for dinner after work! It was a lot of to hang out with everyone. I believe I provide a lot of entertainment at such dinners, for a couple reasons. 1) I try to speak Japanese, which in and of itself must be pretty amusing; 2) I ask, "Kore wa nan desu ka?" (What is this?) a lot, which is generally followed by a discussion and my coworkers trying to explain something Japanese to me in English; 3) I have interesting reactions to some of the food...

I don't put wasabi (the green stuff) in my soya sauce when I have sushi - it's pretty strong tasting, and I'm not a big fan. BUT! At dinner yesterday, there was wasabi in the rice, hiding under the sashimi! When I ate it, it was super strong, and it shocked me a bit. They laughed at that. The other things we ate were all delicious, save one - but I kept that under wraps. One of the dishes served was two small, whole fish (heads and eyes included). It looked...interesting...and still had all the bones in it. Some people didn't eat the head - I ate one, but not the other. The fish were cooked long enough that the bones were pretty soft and edible, but I didn't like them - so I picked a bit. Overall - dinner was delicious!

I convinced everyone to go for an hour of karaoke, after dinner - and I asked/insisted in Japanese. I think they only said that they'd come because they felt sorry for me - the poor white English girl trying to speak Japanese; we'd better just go. :) Half kidding! It was a lot of fun!! We sang about half English and half Japanese - most Japanese people know some of the more popular English songs. I sang to Karen Carpenter with one of the girls, and to Simon & Garfunkle's 'Let It Be' with my boss! Did I mention I have a pretty sweet boss? Between dinner and karaoke, it was a great evening.

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm jumping into bed! Tomorrow I'm going with some girls from the dorm to Kyoto to dress up as Geisha! I'll hopefully post some pictures and some Geisha info tomorrow.....

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