Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Pure Land

A nod to Ira for the title.

I've been at Pole about 30 hours and am getting used to the altitude. Getting off the plane was a thrill as always (I have video which I will post as soon as I can get some cozy time with the satellite).... the blast of sound from the propellors, the bite of the air, the endless white, familiar structures, and colleagues waiting to greet us. No need to attend the orientation for old hands - just march over to your room and start to unpack. Same faces as last year in the corridors, and the same smells in the air. And the same feeling of oxygen starvation....

My room is again in the station. It's louder in here than in Summer Camp but I prefer it because everything is close at hand: work area, gym, galley, Quiet Reading Room for meditation, bathrooms... all without having to go outside. Of course, it's a recipe for shack-wackiness, but you can't have everything.

The night shift are getting ready to deploy the 14th string of the season. The "stretch" goal is 18, and still in reach. There have been a few injuries but nothing serious so far. So we are keeping our fingers crossed. Many things from drilling through my software work are much easier because procedures are in place and, for the most part, people are better trained than ever.

I will sit out this string deployment to give my blood chemistry time to finish adjusting to altitude. I had some headaches and the usual symptoms but the adjustment is going at least as well if not better than last year.

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