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2007-06-01 - 7:04 a.m.

...and now the other stuff...

Yesterday, I got another email from the famed climate skeptic student from Dutchess, requesting further information about her grade. Apparently she doesn't believe that I graded her fairly. sigh. Whatever. I am debating whether or not I should even bother to reply to her, given that we already had this conversation a year ago. I probably will, and simply refer her to the chair.

I spent yesterday out at Peninsula U, and although I did not accomplish exactly what I wanted, I did manage to proceed quite well, which is gratifying.

I've been getting some great feedback from the folks down in Oregon, and I spent yesterday fielding emails from their faculty who are trying to help me to get the best samples for my project. It was simply uplifting to see how helpful (and efficiently helpful) everyone was. I will drive down on Monday and come back on Wednesday with a car full of MUD. woo hooo.

I also made progress with my attempts to finish out my quotes for equipment, which is a full time job in itself. I discovered that my colleague at Peninsula U (who has the same position as I do) reached a point where he was ready to send the money back because this bleedin' system is so damned complicated. It took him TWO years to get his money, by which time he had two months to spend it all. There is definitely a systematic problem with the way this government agency deals with science funding, and I'm not the first to experience or complain about it. He also feels that he lost at least a year out of his life dealing with this baloney. Misery loves company. It doesn't make the situation better, but it makes me feel less like the one squeaky wheel. It sounds as though the whole cart is wobbling. But anyway, I think I made some progress, within the constraints of what I can and cannot do.

We also have progressed towards figuring out a way to get an entirely new system set up at Peninsula, which will represent the cutting-edge technology in the field. This just happened into our laps and has so far been basically effortless. There a long series of 'ifs' in our efforts to reach this point, however. For example, right now, I need to dig up an old HPLC somewhere...working on that....AND I need to be able to massage our system so that I can change the allocation of my funds to develop this new system... argh.

This is an amazing bureaucracy.

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