Sunday, October 29, 2006

Night Shift Life

Things have been pretty slow going the last couple of nights. We haven't had enough core to fill the whole shift but I've been staying awake the whole night to keep up the schedule. With my free time, I've been doing various things. One of those things has been adding new features to PSICAT. Today I finally tracked down how to do Eclipse update site mirrors. This is an important thing because we've got a bunch of people down here using PSICAT but there is very limited bandwith, so I don't want everyone having to download from the main PSICAT update site in Ames. So I finally tracked down how to specify mirror sites (and when I say 'tracked down' it wasn't that hard to figure out, I just hadn't looked previously). A couple of lines in an XML file later and we had a McMurdo-based mirror site.

Adjusting to the night shift hasn't been too bad since the first day or so. I think I'm actually sleeping more during the day than I had been during the nights. Yesterday I got into the gym before my shift started and I'm going to try to make that a regular occurrence. I also did some laundry yesterday, so I should be good for another week.

The night shift is much different than the day shift. There is hardly anyone in Crary Lab, which is nice because we have the run of the place but it also sucks because they turn the heat down/off and it gets pretty chilly. Tonight Kelly and I hung out in the freezer and watched movies on my laptop because it is the warmest room in the building (it sounds odd that a freezer in Antarctica would be warm, but it is the best insulated room in the building). They have a special meal for the night shifters in the Galley at midnight (called midrats for midnight rations). So far our nights are filled with waiting for meals to begin, but I'm sure once the core starts really flowing in we'll look back on these free nights fondly.

Coming up soon, I think I might post a blog entry about everyday life here in Antarctica. Here's a teaser: "work is the stuff that fills the time between meals".

No comments: