Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coffee, anyone?

After a long weekend, one of my co-workers from ATC Associates encountered this.

All she wanted was a nice cup of coffee from her Keurig machine, but she had to spend a while cleaning the cup out until she decided it was safe to drink out of.

But she was kind enough to let me take a picture. Cheers!

Monday, December 26, 2011


I am a fan of the word "snark."

I was asked by a client to provide a definition of it, but I found a definition at that I feel sums up my usage of the word.

"SNARK: verbal ingenuineness that is brief, subtle, yet quite stabbing. snark is often marked by deep creativity & use of psychological attack. It employs coldbloodedness and is best served unprovoked. Snark can contain hidden complimentary meaning under a mean face, but it hurts more than it strengthens.

usu found in adjective form: 'snarky': making use of snark."

Using it in a sentence: The Industrious Hygienist sometimes makes snarky remarks about the Asbestos Beast and its inability to be consistent in scheduling attacks.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Because I am too lazy (and cheap) to send a card to everyone I know...

Happy Holidays from the Industrious Hygienist, her fantastic husband, and her crazy dog.

The adventures will continue in 2012.

This is the front of the card.

This is the inside of the card.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Manga - Part 3

Enjoy the third and final installment of the Holiday Mangas, encompassing Days 9 through 12 (and the day after Christmas) of the "12 Days of Christmas: Preparation for the Holidays Industrious Hygienist (IH) Style!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am amused by weird things.

Everybody wants a little Chin Fo.

This is my neighborhood Asian restaurant, and something about the sign caused me to giggle non-stop while I was trying to order Pad Thai and Mongolian Beef for lunch today. They're used to seeing me or my husband at least every other week, so they probably just thought I was being extra friendly and smiley. But you know the truth. Chin Fo. I'm grinning like an idiot just writing this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Abandoned industrial buildings are cool.

Something about abandoned industrial buildings captures my interest.

 Maybe its because they used to serve an important purpose, and now they just take up space and rust away. Maybe its because they serve as a record of older technology, and the wanna-be archaeologist/anthropologist/engineer in me wants to figure out how the machine worked and why they switched to new technology.

Either way, these old scrubbers are abandoned in place, and they're tall and imposing. Part of me wanted to get closer, climb inside, and check it out.

The wise/obedient part of me decided that the pictures would have to be enough. I didn't feel like risking tetanus (dirt + rust), histoplasmosis (bird poop), spider bites, cuts from sharp edges of equipment, or disciplinary action from the client.

But I can't get over how cool the derelict scrubbers were.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Manga - Part 2

Here are Days 3 through 8 of the "12 Days of Christmas: Preparation for the Holidays Industrious Hygienist (IH) Style!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Alaskan Malamute

If you refer to the "About Me" section on this blog, you'll probably find mention of my Alaskan Malamute.

His name is Shadow, and he is AWESOME. Yeah, most pet owners say their dog is awesome, but mine is. For seriously.

Here's five reasons why:
1.) He is taller than me when he stands up. We can dance if we want to...(we can leave our friends behind...) I am a safety professional by trade, and The Safety Dance song (linked above) is one of my fav goofy songs.

2.) He is an adept sponge, dish towel, hot pad, and food stealer. But when I give him my evil eye/glare, he runs outside and drops it in the mud for me to retrieve.

3.) He makes friends with everyone and everything that isn't a Rottweiler. All his lady friends at Camp Bow Wow and the staff there say he is quite a charmer.

4.) He has forced me to go out and met my neighbors and be all social on our daily walkabouts.

5.) He lets us sit on his couch from time to time.

This is what my husband brought home. SUPER CUTE.

Now that he has entered his teenage years, he's depressed and hates his job so much that he lays on his couch and cries.
I'm just kidding - he doesn't have a job. :) He's completely spoiled. We dressed him up as a pharmacy technician to see how well he fit into husband's clothes. Sometimes we're weird people. Our dog has his own Ikea couch. Enough said.

Holiday Manga - Part 1

So, somewhere around Thanksgiving I got it in my head that I needed to do a series of Holiday Mangas. This has lead to approximately 6 to 8 hours of time per drawing (a.k.a. my last few weekends), but I am pretty proud of them.

Introducing the "12 Days of Christmas: Preparation for the Holidays Industrious Hygienist (IH) Style!"

Sing along (if you're alone and no one can hear how ridiculous you sound) to the well-known tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weirdest sample to date

One of my co-workers from ATC Associates brought back a sample of stucco/lathe that had fallen down from an understairs closet in a historic building in central Phoenix, Arizona.

I was supposed to take a sample of the lovely salmon-colored paint *sarcasm alert* for lead paint analysis, and then split the paint/surfacing/plaster into three samples for asbestos analysis.

I wanted to take a picture of it because it was the weirdest sample I have seen yet. The stringy things stretching out of the sample are most likely horsehair or goat hair.

A cursory Wikipedia search for "horsehair plaster" explained to me that horsehair has been commonly used in plaster until about 1950. I will say that the sample smelled weird, felt weird, and was extra crumbly (in asbestos language, we refer to things that can be crushed with moderate hand pressure as FRIABLE materials).

The sample came back with no asbestos detected (yay) but it did have Lead-Containing Paint (LCP). LCP is paint that contains lead less than 0.5% by weight (500 parts per million) or 1.0 milligram per square centimeter. The issue with LCP is that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) industry standard practices do not technically apply. The only guidance that the Client needed to use for the restoration project in the understairs closet was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for lead in construction.

But I still say it was a weird sample. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spiders! ZOMG.

I love Arizona - I have lived here my whole life (except for a five-year stint in Mission Viejo, California).

I especially love rainstorms. Up by Meteor Crater along the I-40, in the northeastern part of the state, you can experience some spectacular storms.

This year's Monsoon was pathetic, and I am still hopeful for some good winter rains down in Phoenix.

But while I was driving back to my hotel in Holbrook, I pulled off to the side of the road to get this shot. It didn't quite capture the amazing way the sheets of rain colored the sky with every shade of the rainbow, or how ominous the thunderclouds were, and how still the high desert was. We even got some quality hail during that storm.

I arrived at the Site the next day to do some asbestos sampling of a two-level roof on a control room building. My co-worker and I had been up there just before the storm started rolling in the night before, and there were NO spiders anywhere to be seen. We were warned to keep an eye out, but we didn't see any webs or creepy-crawlies on either roof.

When we got up to the roof in the early morning, we saw this giant arachnid monstrosity waiting at the top of the stairs. We both shuddered with the heebie-jeebies and stepped around the crazy spider.

But then we took a look around the roof, and were amazed to see that it was covered in shimmering, dew-laden spiderwebs. I tried to think of it as a scene right out of Charlotte's Web, but instead I was having flashbacks to Arachnophobia.

Here's another view of my arch-nemesis. It was not a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse, but I kept my distance.

I have tentatively identified it as an Orb-Weaver Spider, which is apparently a (and I shudder to write this) friendly spider. It rarely bites and is a pretty chill spider. Makes fancy webs and such. G-d must have thought it funny to give these spiders such scary markings and then have them be Mostly Harmless.

But there were spiders everywhere. Co-worker and I guessed that the rain brought them out, but we had no idea they could spin webs that fast. Every girder, pipe, and railing had webs spun to it with spiders soaking in the early morning sun.

It made for an exciting morning of asbestos sampling, since we didn't know that most of the spiders we were encountering were harmless. We kept dodging the rain puddles and trying not to whack our heads on all the overhanging piping, all the while looking for webs to avoid.

Just for the amusement factor, I took a snapshot of the Health and Safety Plan (HASP) we filled out in the morning before starting work. "Insects" is an understatment. I tried to find the one where I wrote "ZOMG giant spiders" but I think I re-wrote it to make it look a tad more professional. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Personal Milestone

I reached a non-important personal milestone on Tuesday. I managed to capture the moment my odometer reached 66,666 miles. This doesn't mean anything crazy or demonic or whatever. There's a couple extra sixes in there for good measure.

This is not important to anyone but me, but I have been trying to photograph a neat-o sequence of numbers on my odometer since I bought my first car in 2000. It's very difficult to do if you are the driver and rarely have passengers.

Ironically, I was going about 66 mph when I took the photo:
66mph at 66,666 miles!
Pulled over for this picture.