Saturday, December 5, 2009

The South Pole Diet Plan

Need to lose a few pounds while doing nothing? Or don't even want to lose any weight at all?? Well, c'mon down to the south pole! Even breathing burns more calories here!

Seriously, it's crazy. I've been eating 2-3 plates at every meal... way more than I usually would, and I've lost almost 9 lbs since leaving LA. At meals, I get way too full before I'm done being hungry. I literally can't eat enough! Just about everyone I've talked to has lost weight. One guy in my group has lost nearly 15 lbs since getting here. Of course, there was this one girl who was trying to lost weight and couldn't. Maybe the key is in the attitude...

Also, sometimes, the food isn't so good. I think I've already mentioned that the food here is pretty good, and I stand by that. It's especially good considering how far away we are from anything remotely resembling a farm, and since we're not allowed to eat seals or penguins (dammit!), it's pretty fresh. We've been out of freshies for a while. Freshies are fresh fruits and vegetables, so it's kind of rough eating frozen or canned fruit all the time. We should be getting in a new shipment soon. I remember when the latest shipment of freshies came in last week. I've never seen people go so crazy over bananas. Going ape, perhaps? Har har har... ok. Sometimes, though, the food is no good. Occasionally the only salad offered will be a pasta salad, or everything is made from potatoes and white flour. Sometimes (very rarely) it just tastes bad. So it's even harder to eat all I need on those occasions.

On a happier note, I think I've finally acclimated (acclimatized?) and I'm not feeling sick when I wake up anymore. Because of this, I've been more active. Aside from soccer, I've started playing volleyball twice a week and I've been going to the gym a lot more. Volleyball is a lot of fun. I haven't played it in a while and forgot that I'm pretty good at it. I'm also not getting as winded as I was the first couple of weeks. It's still noticeably harder to breathe, but it's getting better.

Things at the lab are progressing. I think our pace may have been too fast, because now we're running low on things to do. Come monday, though, we have 3 new people coming in and they will be hand-carrying our new focal plane. Once that gets here, it's going to be a lot of work, although there will be eight of us to do it. I just hope it's managed correctly. The hardest thing I can think of (removing/installing the cryostat from the mount) is at most a four person job. Just about everything else is a two person job. I really don't want to be forced to sit around with nothing to do. I hated that at Caltech, but at least there I could leave if I was bored.

I'm scheduled to leave in 10 days. As cool as it is here, I'm really looking forward to going home. I really REALLY miss my girlfriend. I'm able to talk to her 2-3 times a day on the phone, but it's just not the same. I also can't wait to take some time to see my parents. I haven't seen them in a while. I just really miss everybody and I can't wait to get back.

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