Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Monday, January 26, 2004

23-24/1

We are back to full speed. Michael has replied and it magically made most of our problems disappear. I don't know what we would do without him. Honestly, how was I supposed to guess that to fix a corrupted compressed file all I had to do is type: "dd if=hdb BS=102983 skip=3"? To me, it makes just as much sense as a movie from David Lynch. The important thing is that everything now works and it makes a big difference to our confidence. Jon in particular needs all the positive energy he can get since we have been eating mushrooms at almost every meal. I don't know why he does not like them.

The major thing that happened today is the balloon launching marathon. As the coordinator, I am very happy that it went as planned. The idea is to launch a weather balloon every two hours to get a better idea of the daily variations of the temperature and wind speed through the atmosphere. We did the same thing exactly a year ago so we will even be able to do a comparison between the two years. So for the marathon we had a team of four players: Eric, represented France, Brad and Lance represented the US and I represented Australia. Being the party animal of the station (I wish.) Itook care of the three night flights. The first launch took place at 2am, the second at 4am and the last at 6am. Needless to say, no one saw me the following morning. I didn't really mind the first two but the last one made me regret my bed.

Speaking of bed, I should mention that I attempted to sleep in the DIMM shack a few nights ago. Since I work late and usually finish my night by a final check on the DIMM, I thought it would make sense to try to sleep there. There is a sort of bed in the shack and a pillow. So I aluminium taped the windows to get rid of parts of the light getting in (remember the
sun does not set yet) and laid down. Unfortunately, the temperature was not quite high enough so I didn't fully fell asleep. At about 9am (just when I was finally sleeping) the DIMM made a sound of complain asking me to re-centre the star. A bit grumpy, I restrained myself from kicking it and using it as a new skidoo trailer and complied with its demand. I decided to
go back to my tent to grab a couple of hours of sleep when Eric walked in the building a bit puzzled to see me up so early. I now fully appreciate my little bed in the tent.

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