Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nov 16

It's like this all the time now, no matter how much I'd like to catch up and not always be running after deadlines already gone. It's not as if I didn't know I didn't know I would be leaving for Peru today, or that this package had to get out to Romania ASAP, or any of the other things.
I was happy to have an afternoon flight, thinking I'd get all the work stuff done Thursday no matter how late I'd have to stay. Then I could sleep in on Friday, go down to the store for just a bit more catlitter, and make my easy way to the airport.
And it could have been that way if...
... if only my Thursday at the office hadn't been shortened by an imperative to be home by 7 to hand the keys over to the cat guy. Then he was late coming over and by that time I figured I'd stay at home and just go in briefly in the morning to take care of the last details.
In the morning I still wanted to sleep in, so I did. 
And I still needed to top off the catlitter stock, and took time.
And then my boss noticed I was in, and mentioned I should include the pathology department in the little grant we're submitting, a last minute change that makes perfect sense - he's right to have me add it - but it wasn't the print & sign, in & out, that I'd expected.
Taking care of that pushed back getting the package to Romania to the mail office. And that meant I wasn't there to oversee the whole process, and I'd forgotten that the form has to go through the logistics office as well before it's approved. So I gave everything to the mail guy at 11:40, who said it was all in order, and hightailed it to the airport. I learned later that the logistics guy didn't sign before the 3pm deadline, which meant the package could not go out that day but came back to the lab, where I had neglected to warn anybody this might happen. Because the mailguy said it was good to go! So nobody knew what to do with it, and that got around to the boss, who put another black mark next to my name. Just stick it in the fridge for the weekend, and Monday it will leave for the east.
Now in Paris, waiting to fly to Amsterdam. As if that eastward city were between me and my destination, Lima. There's a comfy hotel and a nice glass of wine on the program for tonight, before taking off tomorrow for my 5th continent. Waiting around, I realize I didn't take a spare camera battery. Wonder how much charge I have left ... 2%... great. 10 pictures and I'm done.

In Amsterdam they take their time getting our bags to the carousel. Plenty of time to learn the many ways of getting to the city.
1. taxi. Leaving any time, takes about 30 minutes, costs about 43€
2. shuttle. Leaving every 30 minutes, takes about 30 minutes, costs 15.50€
3. train. Leaving every 10 minutes, takes 12 minutes, costs 3.90€
There will always be taxi people, and they do go exactly to your destination. But who's taking the shuttle?

Schiphol Airport is kind of a big shopping mall with planes. Happily, there is an electronics store just by the exit to the hotel shuttles. They don't have my particular battery, but they have better: a universal charger that will take my dead battery and charge in at wall sockets, or even car cigarette lighters, around the world. Better than the one I left at home. Can rest easy tonight.

Friday, November 16, 2012


first hotel info
second hotel info
third hotel info
slide show (printed)
other slide show
memory stick with slide show
meeting program
plants moved to kitchen
email to catguy about plants
cats in
... er, two cats in. Third cat will be dining in the unheated cellar again.
camera, zoom lens, etc
socks & suchlike
package sent to Iasi
points for lab meeting sent to colleague
office plants moved to secretaries' care
grant to boss
...er, passed through a colleague but that should be good
taxi to the airport just in time!

Only failure I'm aware of so far: battery in camera is just about dead, and the two spares are at home. Shit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I should have known

Really, what was I thinking?

A few weeks ago, the bossguy sent around the notice from the Ligue (one of the private non-profit cancer research funding organisations) saying it was grant-writing season for big equipment that could be co-financed. He wanted to know what sorts of things we had in mind.

So I responded that an automated DNA extractor for the diagnostic lab probably fit their criterea and is certainly something we need.

I thought, from the way he put his question, was that he was gathering up our ideas in order to make an executive decision about which one to put forth. After all, we can't send in half a dozen grants, for everything from everyday equipement to the lastest in genomic rocket science, with no rhyme or reason or coordination between them. They can only afford one Christmas present for us: better to send in one perfect request they can't deny than a packet of half-baked ones sure to fail.

I figured he'd get back to us on that. All he asked me was to identify a potential item.

So last Friday he just mentioned in passing I'd be sending in that grant by the deadline, right?

when's that deadline again? Thursday. Great.