Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review - December - Filtration

Branford, CT  2017

I never claimed to be an artist, and todays technology makes it easy to create artistic effects.  This is what one gets using the iPhone 8 Plus camera and the "portrait lighting" setting.  I don't think this is what the engineers at Apple envisioned when creating this setting, but in this case I think it turned out pretty neat.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 in Review - August- Mystic River Bridge

Mystic, CT  2017

No year in review would be complete without at least one picture of the historic Mystic River Bridge, a frequent subject of this blog. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 in Review - July - Persistence

Persistence by Amy Foster
Mystic, CT  2017

I looked at this for quite some time and took numerous pictures, but I'm not sure I entirely happy with any of them.  It is an interesting sculpture, which I came across in a Mystic Art Gallery last summer.

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 in Review - June- Boardwalk

Niantic, CT  2017

I take a lot of photos along the Niantic Boardwalk.  I think I need to get out a little more and find other venues.

Merry Christmas

Niantic, CT  2017

For all those who visit this blog today, Merry Christmas!  I awoke this morning to a light snow fall, which I think is just perfect for today.  We got a White Christmas, but not so much as to be a problem for those who travel today, at least not for those of use close to the coast here in Connecticut.  I've heard there were larger snowfall amounts farther inland.  I'm sure that by noon today, most of this snow will have melted.  May all your days be merry and bright and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 in Review - May- Reeds and Trees

Clinton, CT  2017

At first glance, those small trees could be mistaken for large, tropical palm trees.  

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 in Review - March - Bandshell

Tarrytown, NY  2017

On the way back from a weekend with family in New Jersey we stopped at this park as the sun was setting over the new Tappan Zee Bridge, which I think has been officially named the Mario Cuomo Bridge.  After photographing the bridge, I caught this modern version of a bandshell bathed in the warm light of the setting sun.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 in Review - January-Boardwalk

Niantic, CT  2017

It's that time of the year when everyone looks back and comes up with the "best of " lists whether it be movies, books, albums, cameras or even photos.   So not to be undone, and also since I've been having a hard time coming up with timely and what I consider quality photos,  I'll be presenting one photo from each month in 2017 for the next 12 days.   They might not be my best photos of the year, but for whatever reason,  they didn't make it into my blog on my first pass. Perhaps some of these photos deserve a second chance.  This was taken in January, after one of our more significant snowfalls in 2017.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Workspace

Branford, CT  2017

Most of my work is done in this "hood", a ventilated cabinet of sorts, which keeps any potentially noxious fumes from getting into the lab.  Most of the time, my hood looks like this.  Sometimes, it might even be cleaner.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tools of the Trade-LCMS

Branford, CT  2017

I've been in the pharmaceutical business now for close to 40 years and have seen many advancements during that time.  This is one of them.  This instrument allows us to analyze small amounts of material and identify the components of the mixture.  Contained on this bench is a high performance liquid chromatograph, which separates components of a mixture, and a mass spectrometer which can identify the components of the mixture by their determining their exact mass.  This instrument didn't exist 40 years ago, but now has become routine, and indispensable to our work.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Branford, CT  2017

After a reaction is run chemists need to isolate the desired product from the reaction solvent and by-products.  One way to do this is to partition the reaction mixture between two immiscible solvents, in this case water and ethyl acetate.  You can shake both solvents in this funnel, and allow the layers to separate, much like oil and water separate.   The product of interest is more soluble in ethyl acetate, so it is extracted into that solvent.  Hopefully the water dissolves all the other impurities and is easily removed.  The extract is being dried here to remove some traces of water, before the solvent is evaporated as shown in an earlier post.  Most times my extractions are colorful like above.  When I'm lucky, they look very clean as below.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tools of the Trade - Rota-Vap

Branford, CT  2017

No synthetic organic chemistry lab would be complete without one of these.  The Rota-Vap is used to remove solvents under  a reduced pressure, or vacuum.  This lowers the boiling point of the solvents we use and allows them to be removed at reasonable temperatures under mild conditions.  The smoke you see in the bath is for effect only.  I accidentally spilled some dry ice in the water bath creating the classic chemistry lab/mad scientist scene portrayed in many movies.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Sculpture

New London, CT  2017

I've noticed that new sculptures are appearing in public places around New London.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

First Snow II

Niantic, CT  2017

Another picture of our first snow of the year in southeast Connecticut.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

First Snow

Niantic, CT  2017

It isn't officially winter here yet, but we had our first measurable accumulation of snow yesterday into last evening.  Some parts of Connecticut saw up to 5", but here near the coast, we only had a couple of inches.   Most of the snow had melted by noon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam, CT  2017

Although this cabin is on the grounds of Gillette Castle State Park, it's a good brisk hike from here up  to the castle itself.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

St. Nick

Niantic, CT  2017

He's a comin'......  Can't believe it's December already.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Chester Hadlyme Ferry

Hadlyme, CT  2017

This ferry operates seasonally and crosses the Connecticut River between the towns of Chester on the west and Hadlyme on the east.  There has been a ferry operating at this site for over 200 years.