Tuesday, March 25, 2008

shrinking horizons

Today we had a nice little blast out of eastern Antarctica. The altitude there is significantly higher, like at AGAP camp where I got to work those couple days back in January, so it's necessarily colder. The cold air rushes downhill in what is called a katabatic wind, and that's when our temperatures plummet. Unfortunately, that direction generally is the one in which I have to face when walking to ARO, so though most of my body was warm on the walk out there today I still had a frigid blast coming right through the vents in my goggles. Even so, it's amazing that a -105F wind chill didn't feel colder. All that wind and the decreasing light made for some fairly low visibility earlier on in the day, which always makes it feel just a little more like what I envisioned Antarctica to be like before I got down here last year.

I was out at ARO for almost 6 hours yesterday doing a triple calibration of one of my instruments. It is an ultraviolet monitoring project, and since we've very little time with sunlight left it is in the gradual process of scaling back to a very minimal operational status for the duration of the winter. I wish I could say the same for myself... Anyhow, with the wind and cold up there yesterday it was a really short time before fingers started to get really a bit too cold for comfort. Between doing that sort of stuff every day and playing loads of guitar, my hands are having a bit rough time of it.

Did I say guitar playing? Does this mean that the band is back on for the winter? That's a big affirmative on both accounts. Mid-winter will probably be our first gig. We have 10 songs tentatively picked out for our set list, and it should be a lot of fun to be "in the band" for the first time. I'm planning on doing some lead singing as well as playing guitar, so you know it's going to be a cold place somewhere when that actually comes to pass.

Speaking of music, my brother's band Vegetable is trying to get into a battle of the bands called the Deadwood Derby back in Lawrence, Kansas. They have to get voted in by the public into one of the 6 possible slots for performers. If you'd like to hear some of their songs, just click the link to their Myspace page. You can vote online once per day until March 28th at lawrence.com if you want to show them some love and help get them into the contest. Your support would be awesome!

Much obliged...

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