It's been a long few days at work. We've finally launched a new version of our website, representing thousands of man hours of effort, creating a whole new site full of scientific content, protocols and products to help molecular biologists find the reagents necessary to snip DNA up into little bitty pieces, study it, put it back together again, and sequence it into long, complicated genome structures that tell us more about who we are. Plus: hey! a cool shopping cart!
We're also in the middle of selecting a brand new ERP platform, which - if you're anywhere close to a manufacturing or other large organization - is a Big Hairy Project. We're working with a set of research labs to create a new automated workflow to take data from several instruments and turn it into analyzable data on amplified DNA purity & concentration. And we're taking our commercial software and interfacing it with a new kind of freezer that acts like a combination mini-bar & coke machine, except instead of Dr. Pepper, you can get yourself your favorite flavor of polymerase on demand.
It's all pretty wild stuff, and an exciting time for me and the team trying to connect and coordinate all these pieces together, and make it look easy like a good IT group can do.
I've been getting into the office pretty early, and getting home well after the sun goes away, but you know, this is the kind of thing that gets you excited about your contribution, and makes you feel pretty special.
When I got home this evening, my ten year old daughter (still lovingly referred to as 'Critter' around here), asked me if I could help her finish her chore.
I should back up.
When the Critter irritates us or looks a trifle bored, we reach into our standard parenting bag of tricks to keep her productively occupied. Sometimes she moves cinderblocks around (we had a few left out from the autumn pig roast). Sometimes, she gets to clean out the nesting boxes in the chicken coop. If all other inspiration fails, she is sent to pick up the dog's poop from the yard, which both cleans up the lawn, and gives us some pretty good deer deterrent to spread around the garden.
Our dog is pretty big. She poops a lot.
So this evening after dinner, the Critter asked me if I could help her with her chore. She explained that she had filled up the bucket with so much St. Bernard poop that she was no longer able to lift it by herself. And it's probably going to snow tomorrow.
So, after a longer than normal day (weeks) launching a new website that will process literally millions of dollars of transactions, enabling the breath-taking discovery of the fundamental building blocks of life, and mounting a touchscreen onto your average stand-alone Kenmore appliance in order to transform it into a freezer-sized iTunes eCommerce app, I get to stumble around my yard in the dark with a flashlight looking for a rubber bucket full of frozen dog shit, so I can find a place to dump in the woods.
Big picture, it's all probably good for my pride. But it sure as hell is hard to soar with the eagles when there's a trug full of frozen St. Bernard crap waiting in the dark with your name on it.
Need to keep yourself grounded? I have a ten year old you can borrow...