Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recent Activity

My Diamox prescription has worn off, and I'm feeling pretty good with the altitude. Two days ago I tried working out for the first time. I got winded a lot faster than usual, but my recovery time wasn't too bad. I guess, because of the altitude, I'm breathing heavier anyway, so I'm still taking in a lot of air. The weirdest thing is that, no matter how hard I seemed to work, I didn't sweat. Other guys in my group reported the same thing: Winded faster, didn't sweat. After that, I took my first 2 minute shower. It made me realize how much water we waste by taking long showers. It also made me realize that as soon as I get home, I'm going to take a loooooong shower. The water heated quickly enough that I didn't use up all my time waiting for the water to get hot enough.

Earlier that day, the hoist was fixed and we were able to load up some crates. We're on the 2nd floor of the Dark Sector Lab (I've tried to post pictures 4 or 5 times, but the internet is so slow... after an hour in a half, I usually give up). We had 3 crates that were mostly filled with computers, and then one crate filled with random other things. We decided to call it a day once they were hoisted.

The next morning at around 7:30 am, we went out there an unloaded the crates. It took us about 45 minutes to do it all. After that, Cargo brought out an enormous palate filled with about 10 crates, 6 of which were these big blue crates which we shipped most of our stuff in. Of course, only about 3 of these crates were filled with stuff we could actually use in setting up the lab. So we spent the better part of the morning playing musical crates to get the ones we wanted upstairs and the ones we didn't downstairs. When we load crates upstairs, you have to open up the gate on the balcony of the 2nd floor, which requires you to wear a body harness and strap into the wall. So with all the winter gear and a body harness, you totally look like a gi joe cobra commando (again, pictures once the internet stops sucking). After that we called it lunch. After lunch we trudged back out and unpacked the 2 crates that we had brought up, and then played musical crates again to get 3 more up that we wanted. We unpacked all these crates and called it a day.

At one point during the day, we couldn't walk out to the Dark Sector since planes were landing/taking off (the runway goes through the path to dark sector) so me and one of the guys in my group went to the pole. Yes, there is a pole there. It's only about 20 yards away from the from entrance. There's the ceremonial pole with a big barbershop pole and a bunch of flags around it, and then there's the actual pole, which is maybe 50 feet from that, with a sign. I took some pictures which I'll post when I get the chance. So... I've been to the south pole. Literally.

After dinner, I went into the music room, as I do pretty much every day, and there were already about 5 or 6 musicians playing. I asked if I could join, and they said "sure!". There was an older guy, maybe in his 40's on guitar/singing, a bass player with an electric upright, a drummer, a banjo player, a mandolin player, and a harmonica/guitar player. I figured, I wouldn't add much on a regular guitar, so I picked up a 12-string and played along. They were mostly bluegrass tunes, or early rock songs played in a bluegrass style. It was a lot of fun. Once the guitarist heard me play, he asked me if I wanted to join the band. I did, but the main show down here is on new years, which I won't be around for. So we just decided to jam whenever we could, and maybe we'll do an "open mic" type thing. We also talked about the possibility of playing music for thanksgiving, which I am all for. It was just fun to jam for a while and everyone was really impressed with my playing. It was a lot of fun!

I played with them until bedtime, then went to sleep. I didn't sleep well last night, lots of tossing and turning, and waking up. I kept having nightmare after nightmare which would wake me up. Got up this morning just before 7am and had some breakfast. Even though the kitchen is closed for breakfast in the morning, they have instant oatmeal and cereal, etc. that you can have. We're all meeting by the front door at 8 to head out to the DSL. Although most people have the day off, there's no rest for the scientist. This is more of a complaint than a call to arms.

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