Sunday, June 24, 2012

Incremental success

On Saturday, after another 6-hour troubleshooting session at the end of another week of troubleshooting, we finally restored basic operation to the instrument in question.  It can currently only take data from directly overhead (zenith), but it is running.  I imagine it will be some time before we finish investigating the cause of the interruption, as well as (with luck and some considerable effort) restore full pointing capabilities to the periscope mechanism that gathers the light for the interferometer.

While I was doing that and my other regular duties, the kids were having their long weekend with associated festivities.  The dinner event started at 3:30 PM, which was the earliest I can recall for this sort of fancy meal in the winter.  Furniture and A/V equipment were set up in the gymnasium to watch movies.  They did end up showing “The Shining” on Friday evening, so that ritual act was performed yet again.  By the time I went in to get some leftovers for dinner, the galley was being used for a dance party, but I didn’t see too many folks cutting a rug.  I was pretty tired, so did not join in the fray.

In the interest of visually imparting some of the little details of this place I intermittently call home, I’m going to start sharing photos of the little things that make fill in the gaps between the grand “Pole” topics.  Maybe it will be interesting, maybe not, but I’m going to do it nonetheless.  First up are the little metal disks on a sub-floor access hatch on the way into/out of the galley.  If you hit them with your heel just right, they ring like a little bell.  See, that’s trivial, but part of the experience.

"I think the real reason so many youngsters are clamoring for freedom of some vague sort, is because of unrest and dissatisfaction with present conditions; I don't believe this machine age gives full satisfaction in a spiritual way, if the term may be allowed.”
~Robert E. Howard


Teacher said...

The details of life in another place and culture are an important part of the human experience. ( Can you tell I was a geography major?) Looking forward to the details.

Anthony Gilbert said...

I definitely like reading what you write Ethan. It opens up new 'adventures' and experiences for me. Almost like reading a virtual book. You definitely allow me to gaze into your world from afar and I don't have to experience the extreme temps. :)
except the 100 degree heat of Oklahoma right now. Want to trade?

EthanG said...

Thanks, Tony, I'm doing my best to keep things fresh in a very familiar surrounding. Temperatures aren't that bad with proper gear. They just take some adaptation. I wouldn't mind some summer heat, for sure.