The combination of being ridiculously busy and having poor (if any) internet when I do have downtime has prevented me from blogging at all this week. I am at this moment starting a calibration night shift (~11 PM to ~noon), so I’ll take advantage of this time when others are sleeping to use the unclogged internet!
Going back a week to Thanksgiving to begin. It’s never easy to be away from home for the holidays, but the wonderful Thanksgiving(s) we had here made the holiday special all the same. Last Thursday, the LDB galley staff went all out and cooked us an incredible feast for lunch. It had everything you could want from a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. And some of us poor souls had to stay a little late and eat the left overs for dinner too.
What more could you want for a Thanksgiving meal?
Around here, all holidays are moved to Saturdays. Since most people work six days a week and get Sundays off, this gives them the opportunity to get two days in a row off and to be more able to enjoy the holiday. So the big day was last Saturday. We worked a somewhat shorter day, and then met for the big dinner at 7. During the day, Cynthia used her mad crafty skills to make accessories out of materials in the lab. So folks looked a little more spruced up for dinner!
I didn’t take any photos on Thanksgiving, but I have stolen Cynthia’s to share with you.
To make sure we got a table for 19, we arrived early and waited in line for the doors to the cafeteria to open.
Steve and his velcro bow tie (with SPIDER bling too!)
Jon helping Lorenzo put on the cable wrap tie Cynthia made for him
Ed (in the coolest zip tie tie) helps carry our load of wine.
Ziggy puts his overalls to good use to help carry in our enormous collection of wine.
Jeff grabs some turkey.
The kitchen staff really went all out.
Maybe the best table.
Penguins carved into the watermelon!
Ziggy grabs his free glass of wine.
Folks sit down to eat before we have done any damage to our large collection of wine.
John puts on his sommelier hat and offers John some wine.
John couldn’t get the wine open, so Johanna showed him how it was done.
Freezing Man, the dance party that followed Thanksgiving dinner.
This week, we have been working like mad to get our instrument flight ready. You have two competing interests- being very careful to make all the measurements you can to calibrate your instrument before you launch it and can never calibrate it again, and also completing every pre-flight step as quickly as possible so we are ready whenever the weather is suitable for launch. Other competing interests- like sleep, relaxation, fun- are no longer so high in priority. Because of that, I don’t have a lot of pictures from this week. So below is a somewhat random assortment.
First- trunion throw competition. Once the arm wrestling tournament ended due to too many injuries, we came up with a new contest- who could throw the non-flight trunions (basically, hunks of steel) the furthest. Jon and his Icelandic strength took home the prize.
Second, Bill and I checked out the Obs Tube again in sunnier weather than the first time. The colors were new, and the whales were making tons of sounds.
Finally, a couple pictures from the last few nights of calibration. My main job right now is pointing a spectrometer at our detectors so we can characterize their response as a function of the frequency of light they detect. The measurement is going really well, and hopefully should finish up tonight, leaving me with a mountain of data to analyze. It can be a pain to calibrate over 2000 detectors, but there are worse problems to have!
Bill takes his first trunion throw.
Jon heaves the winning toss.
The ice looks green from underneath when there is sunshine above.
Looking out over the sea ice from the Obs Tube.
My first skua sighting.
It’s not going to be an easy day when you turn on your first electronics box and it is speaking Japanese.
Takin’ data! Very happy with how detector characterization is going.