Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Greased Lightning

Wow, this week is absolutely flying into the past. There has been the usual litany of work, as well as a much smaller amount of recreation. The even-as-I-type-still-to-be-definitively-named band's practices are going well. Tuesday night we started work on some new songs that I'm not singing/rhythm-guitaring, but will be playing the bass guitar for, which was a fun change of pace. Emergency response teams got a little excitement yesterday with a fire alarm to respond to some heat trace that roasted around the door to the emergency power plant in the elevated station. It wasn't a serious threat, and was under control by the time we arrived. There wasn't even enough smoke to set off a smoke detector, but wow did that get my attention when the announcement came over the all-call.

We've had our first 2 planeloads of tourists recently, which is always a bit surreal. I couldn't imagine what life would be like if I could drop $40,000 on a vacation and not feel like I'd short-changed myself financially in practically all other practical sectors of my existence. I'm signed up to be a tour guide again, so we'll see how that goes.

"Deconstruction" of Sky Lab has commenced, from the top down. I'll try to get some pics of that as it goes. The VLF beacon is back online, though not at full power, and we'll have another grantee down here in just a couple weeks to do more work on the infrastructure. The current grantee departs today, weather permitting, and it's almost going to be like losing one of our techs in the lab, since he's been here for a full month of the season already. The siding crews are working on cladding the final bits of the elevated station, the cryogenics facility, and the Dark Sector Lab. IceCube is drilling and has occupied the B1 Lounge, as is their wont. Some antenna riggers arrived a couple days ago, and will be removing some disused towers from out grid east of the station. Some new/changing projects of mine include the CosRay detector platform is supposed to be moved pretty soon, and the cables for the Dartmouth antennas have been trenched, laid, and filled in. In general, the station is a hive of activity, as it is every summer. If I had more unstructured time I'd probably be spending a good portion of it wishing for the calmer tempo of winter. Unless something changes, it looks like I'll be working straight through without R&R this time, so my stretch of consecutive work days is going to be rather lengthy by the time this 13 months is over.

"That all courage was a form of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily."
~"All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy
"You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair."
~Taisen Deshimaru


Jeff Lutz said...

Definitely want to see the progress of that. I spent some good time in Skylab when I was down there.

Sy said...

Hi Ethan: We're friends of Harry & Leola and they alerted us to your blogs. We've been fascinated by your entries and intreaged by your quotes at the end of each one. You're apparantly well talented - adventurer, engineer, musician, adventurer and author. Keep up the good work! --Sy & Shirley Reitman

EthanG said...

I'm glad folks find this stuff interesting. It's good to know people are actually reading it.

I'll do my best to keep regular tabs on the Skylab/Dome project.

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