1. An issue of Chemical and Engineering News with an article about how we have about the right number of chemists. Not a critical shortage, not a worrying surplus - just what we seem to need, if only by accident.
2. The lowest-priced supplier for a reagent turning out to be Aldrich.
3. A total synthesis paper that doesn't spend the first two paragraphs trying to convince me - and probably themselves - that the molecule was worth making.
4. A chemistry department graduate student lounge that doesn't make you want to throw yourself under the wheels of a bus.
5. An issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society without some report of nanorods of something, anything, you name it. Complete with photo.
6. An HPLC column salesman who tells me that yes, there is a problem or two that his company's products have not been known to solve.
7. Hanging a solubilizing group off of a lead compound structure and having the new molecule actually work better than the old one. You'd think random chance would have provided me with this experience by now, but you'd be wrong.
8. A protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor that actually works. You know, well enough where someone might pay money someday to put it in their mouth.
9. A vital competitor patent, five hundred pages long with nine Japanese inventors. . .written in English. Or German, or French, or Mayan heiroglyphics or anything other than Japanese.