To Be 21 Again….
What are you doing in Florida?
I keep getting asked, "What are you doing in Florida?" Well, I cannot tell you. If I did, I'd have to kill you.
Well, not really. But I would probably have to kill myself. You see, before I started here, I had to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). I am not allowed to talk about the details of the project. If I did, I could not afford the fines that would be levied against me. It would be easier to die.
That said, since I cannot say what it is we are actually doing, I can share a little about what I do at times. I work as a scuba instructor. But I trained as a scientist. This work incorporates a little of each of those disciplines.
This week, I am testing the breathing resistance of various components used in scuba diving. No, I cannot say why, so don’t bother asking me. The work involves installing equipment, or pieces of equipment, to a breathing machine. I use a manometer to measure peak pressures generated during inhalation and exhalation cycles. Then, once the test cycle is completed, I record the data, and either change the test conditions, or the piece of gear being tested.
A complete set of cycles takes me about 30 minutes to complete, and then another 10-15 minutes to set up the next series. It takes about three and a half minutes to complete a cycle. A little over a minute of that time I am busy recording test conditions, and data. The other two minutes I am idle. Well, not exactly.
The other two minutes, I work on other things. I work on my website. Two minutes at a time. I write blogs. Two minutes at a time. I answer emails. Two minutes at a time. I read. Two minutes at a time. I write articles. Two minutes at a time. How much can I accomplish in two minutes? Well, you are reading the results now.
This reminds me a lot of when I was conducting the research for my geology thesis. I spent hours, days, weeks, months doing the same thing. I would drop a particle of gold in the top of a settling tube. Time it sinking. Record the results. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Then I would move on to the next piece of gold. And repeat. And then the next piece. And repeat. And repeat. I owned exactly three albums then, and I would listen to them over and over and over again on the record player. For hours.
Now? I have hundreds of these tests to run. I am listening to exactly the same albums as I did then (only now I am using YouTube). In a way, it is quite comforting. The repetition, the monotony, the life of a lab research scientist. So, to answer the question, what am I doing in Florida? Bottom line is, I am pretending that I am 21 years old again, I guess….