Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Settling In

Been here a bit more than 24 hours, and I'm settling in. Mostly I've been preoccupied with debugging a particularly nasty system error in our device driver; hopefully I'll have that wrapped up soon and can join Kael, Keith and Dave in higher-level deployment and testing of DAQ (the data acquisition software).

Once I get acclimated to the altitude I'll be much happier. It's been hitting a bit harder than last year, though I took the diamox they encouraged us to take in McMurdo. Unfortunately the diamox makes my hands and feet and face feel like they're buzzing, which is irritating. And I'm generally out of breath, and have to pee constantly (apparently the body adjusts its pH to the new altitude this way). Out in the Dark Sector (the radio-quiet area where our experiment is) the facilities consist of a "solar" (i.e., painted black) toilet; the solar toilet is essentially an otherwise unheated outhouse with a styrofoam toilet seat built over a half-buried waste barrel. Ah, the life of luxury.

All is pretty good, though, and it's fun to see familiar, sunburnt faces with unwashed hair (remember, 2 showers per week, 2 minutes each, folks!), and the same old tracked vehicles and space-age buildings and the endless horizon and the great big open sky with long simple cloud shapes a seemingly infinite distance away. I'm settling in and with any luck we can start to get stuff done quickly.

Time to catch the shuttle out to the Dark Sector.

No comments: