Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Light and Dark

Hey there,

it is a very strange and disturbing sensation to wake up one day and
attempt to do something normal, something simple, something that you've
done with ease nearly every day of your life and discover that it is
virtually impossible because at some point recently when you weren't
paying attention, your brain fell out the back of your head. A large
number of us on station (actually all of us, to some extent) are now
experiencing some degree of 'toastiness' and it is quite disconcerting.

My vocabulary has shrunk to the proportions of an idiot savaunt. I
forgot the word 'door-handle' yesterday and was forced to describe it to
Allan, somewhat desperately, as 'you know, that whatsamacallit that is
on the thingy that covers the hole in the wall that you turn to open the
doohickey.' Sigh.

Tempers get frayed very easily nowadays, though mine is faring well for
the most part and I serve to mete out my frustrations mainly on myself
and avoid anyone else any additional suffering. To add to everyone's
trials, the storm that Allan has been predicting for six months finally
hit us on the weekend, peaking on Monday when winds hit in excess of 35
knots (70km/hr), visibilty was zero and so much snow was dumped on my
telescope that it quite literally shut down from the excess weight.
There was no use cleaning it as more got dumped on for everything i
shovelled off, so for the first time in several months I shut the
telescope down for a day and a half. Walking out to work against this
wind was one of the hardest things I'd done all winter, I was leaning
into it at about a 45 degree angle and every step was an absolute
mission. One the up side, however, I walked home in what was likely a
record time, feeling as if a great hand was pushing me in my back, it
was all I could do to move my feet fast enough to stay upright!

To add insult to injury, when Allan was helping me get the telescope
de-iced today, I opened up the door to the little house on top of the
Viper room, where i keep my dewars, and just like in the wizard of oz,
the wind ripped the door out of my hand and clean off the hinges! While
waiting for a fix, Allan cable-strapped the door onto the house, keeping
everything inside warm, but making it virtually impossible to get in or
out of.

While I am typing there is what sounds remarkably like a frog or a
cricket in one of my computer arrays. I am pretty sure it is *not* one
of these creatures, however, and the noise is both irritating and
foreboding. Computers are not meant to sound like crickets and this is a
bad thing. Shall have to go and check on it anon.

No other news anywhere near this exciting has occurred since, so I
should probably wrap it up here. Apparently it is getting lighter but
with the bad weather, the world has simply gone from a dark shade of
black to a dark shade of deep-blue-grey. I had better go find the frog.

all the best,
smiles
Jess

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