Actual aggro status? I put in ~9 lab hours on Friday. 10 hours on Saturday (balanced with a 1 hour private tuition lesson). Then Saturday midnight my family arrived and I'd forgotten until the 2pm phonecall that it was this weekend they came. Slept at 4:30am as you have to have a nice conversation (maybe over a meal) when you have a rare family reunion, even if that is at 3:30 am. Woke up at 9:30 am after 5 hours of sleep and went in prepared to put in another 8~9 hours despite it being Sunday. Came back briefly at 1:30pm for lunch with family, then had to go back to work. Got signs stuff was going wrong so decided to abort the test prematurely and came back after 5am.
Had to have some decent VS matches with my brother since he was here. Was spread over a number of games, but it was VS matches which is what counts. 10am, found myself spending far too much effort to just stay awake so arranged a powernap with my brother who would remain awake until when I needed a guaranteed human alarm clock. Thus some SE V wrapping up later, I got less than 1 hour to trick my brain that it had slept. Put in some hours into marking. Couldn't do the 1B stuff - all the 2B stuff had used up my Kiryoku so at 6am when that was done, I lay down in bed again to give my back some rest (it's not the brain that needs sleep most - it's the body, and my back is particularly vulnerable to lack of sleep).
Idle'd away the time until 7:40am just trying to avoid going into full deep sleep. Got a ride to the lab by 8:30am, where I adjusted the apparatus and set it to warm up while I went off to the bank (20 min drive away). Doing Bank business took until after 11am because I had to go back and get my passport from my bag as proof of identity. Came back and noted things were Even More Wrong than before with apparatus.
With only roughly 1 hour of total sleep, I had planned on going home early and catching up on sleep when we decided to abort the test at noon and we couldn't contact my predecessor who built the apparatus (on low budget) for advice. I actually went home at 7pm, as we urgently needed to find the cause of the problem and an inspiration from the... er... "overall testing manager" gave a likely solution. Don't know if it's the real solution to the problems but it's the best lead we have so far. Actually, at 7pm I didn't go home, I went to where the rest of my family was, which was a big Chinese family's early New Year's party (Chinese New Year based on lunar calendar).
We planned on finding out today whether that lead was real or not, but got contacted by my predecessor who warned that we shouldn't go ahead until we undid something I did to secure the aim of the bulb - which seemed like a good idea until you factor in that "Blu Tack melts and vaporises". We're sensitive enough that "invisible water droplets (on freshly cleaned filters) evaporating" is enough to decrease our readings by as much as 50%. Invisible trace amounts of Blu Tack being around meant I had to clean filters and bulb - both would require hours and hours before we can test again (read: we lose a day). Furthermore, Cleaning Filters is the most hellish part of QE work I've had to do so far. I'm running out of time so don't feel like ranting about that. After the hard part is over, it's just being available for 6 hours afterwards to do the occasional simple action (read: flip them over, put them on heated casing) to them at infrequent (read: 2 hours, or 30 minutes later on) intervals. Since I got the call to Clean Filters at noon, I knew I'd be here until waaay into the night. I'm in the lab as I type this - it's 10pm here.
Tomorrow I have to aim to come in by 8am so we can get a test going early and tell CERN at 2pm (biweekly teleconference) the overall progress. Then negotiate with CERN on shipping issues... This weekend I need to put in 2 full QE tests, meaning 8~9 lab hours.
I wouldn't have minded all this aggro if it had been software issues. But this is hardware issues. At least I get a lot of time inbetween to do stuff with my laptop. And at least I'm still "doing Grunt work for CERN" which is partly what I'd hoped for when agreeing to spend 3+ years on a PhD.