Thanksgiving weekend

Last weekend was Thanksgiving weekend around here and not only did that mean stuffing our faces with food, it also meant a two day weekend!  Two days off in a row is an amazing thing around here where normal work weeks are 54 hours over 6 days. 

Saturday morning I woke up, put on my long underwear, and headed out to the chapel to participate in the 5K Turkey Trot race. It was pretty cold that morning, but once I started running, everything was pretty great….it was a beautiful sunny day and we were running down hill with the wind.  A 5K?  This is going to be a walk in the park! However, after the turn around spot we started heading back to town and the wind hit me like a mack truck!When I got to that uphill bit I thought I’d have to give up, but I booked it the last two minutes and passed 10 or 12 people.  That earned me a slick shirt.  I got 37th place in my division of under 40 and 50th overall with a time of 28 minutes and 5 seconds.  Not too bad for someone who has done zero training since leaving the states. 

 I spent the remainder of the morning and afternoon relaxing, doing laundry, and watching movies in the lounge.  Then it was time for Thanksgiving dinner! .  I’ve never seen such a line to get into the cafeteria.  It went down highway one (one of the two major hallways in building 155) and looped back around.  I sat with Karl, Carl, Moira, & Alex and stuffed my face.  I ate raw veggies, asparagus, roasted root veggies, mashed potatos, stuffing (both vegan and not), salad, rolls, a hunk of very rare roasted red meat, a crazy combo of polenta/portabella/eggplant/tofu/gravy, and pumpkin pie!  Wow, I was full.  After resting a bit, I adopted Meredith (or Megadeath as she’s known around the kitchen) for the “Adopt a DA Program”.  Basically I went back in the kitchen and washed pots and pans for an hour so she could have a break.  It was pretty fun for an hour, but I don’t think I’d like to do that for my job…but I guess it’s better than playing with poop. 

 The next day, after brunch, I put on my ECW (extreme cold weather) gear and hopped in a Piston Bully (a big antarctic tank like thing) and headed out to the Andrill drilling site.  I had won a raffle for a trip to the site (which very few people get to go to).  The site was pretty far north and west of town (a three hour drive over the sea ice).  For part of the journey I sat shotgun while Anne Del Vera drove.  Anne is one of the four women who were the first to ski to the South Pole.  It was pretty great to be able to chat with her.  She’s awesome.  As we got closer, I could see the huge drill come into sight.  The drill is covered by a enormous tent, kind of like a circus.  f getting outfitted with steel capped boots and hard hats our tour began.  The drill was absolutely massive.  They were not drilling that day, because they had recently pulled up a new section of ocean floor core, but they were preparing for the next drilling, which involved sliding section after section of 20 foot long pipes into the hole and fitting them together.  To test whether it had been screwed in properly, they would release the pressure and fill it with sea water, and if it wasn’t done correctly, sea water would spray everywhere….I caught some in the face. 

As far as work goes, I’m still working in the poo plant,  but I’m being trained in to work in the power plant.  You see, things are not as organized as you would believe out here.  There are four power plant operators (two day shift and two night shift).  One day shift operator is leaving in less than a week and the other leaves in about a month.  As far as anyone knows, there are no people lined up to take their places.  Guess who may be an official power plant operator? 

Tonight is the first, and possibly last, performance of my new band, Muffin Monster (the Muffin Monster is the machine that chops up all of the shit as it flows into the waste water treatment plant…that’s the actual brand name).  Muffin Monster consists of myself on drums, Zach the cook on vocals, Chris the firefighter on guitar, and Chris 2 the firefighter on bass.  We’ve got a few covers under our belt by Sepultura, Minor Threat, and Lamb of God.  The reason this may be our last show is that our guitarist is being transfered to the South Pole for as little as four weeks but probably as long as 8 weeks.  I’ll be sure to post any photos I can get in my next blog entry. 

Thank you all for your emails and snail mails.  Keep ’em coming! 

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One Response to “Thanksgiving weekend”

  1. toabuckets Says:

    N8,
    Your trip to the drilling site must have been amazing. How often do you have to stop and pinch yourself to confirm is that this all really happening? Are you keeping a paper journal?
    Love,
    Dad

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