Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thoughts of tunnel end lights

This past weekend we had a lunar eclipse, which was interesting. I think the one I saw here in the summer last time was more striking, since we’re used to the moon disappearing (just not that quickly), but seeing the sun dimmed for the first time was quite interesting.

Late last week I had to fix one project by shoveling off the top of a rooftop-high snow drift that had obscured its GPS antenna, so the time signal went bad and the controller unit shut down. Who would ever have thought that a pile of snow 12 feet tall could cause any problems?

We just received our airfare credit amounts for redeployment. You can use it straight-up to be taken back to the airport from which you originally deployed, or you can opt for “leisure travel” and revise the itinerary or totally do something different. You just have to use the company’s travel agent in Christchurch, and can use the equivalent dollar amount towards your new flight itinerary. Unfortunately for us, but good for the U.S. taxpayer, the contractor gets a really discounted fare because they book so many tickets. It seems like this is a major milestone, at least mentally, for wintering down here. You are presented with the prospect that at some point you will leave and go off to exotic locales, even potentially that elusive one called Home. It also presents a challenge because this turning of one’s thoughts elsewhere can also increase dissatisfaction with the all-too-familiar surroundings, people, and activities while still on the Ice. That this coincides, roughly, with what is known colloquially as “Cryin’ July” is probably not a coincidence at all. You just have to keep your perspective and maintain a firm hold on your mind game.
"Nothing is more important than that you see love and the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways."
~Fraa Orolo "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson

3 comments:

Becky said...

Probably also contributes to that toasty feeling. Thinking about getting off the Ice, that is.
I would easily believe that a 12 foot pile of snow would cause problems. That the equipment was put in a place where it ended up being buried would seem more of a hassle. Can you put up a wind break so it doesn't need shoveling out again?

EthanG said...

The building is already acting like a windbreak, dumping snow in its lee. The shovel will just have to suffice.

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