Drifts

John Jacobsen
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home All Posts

Earlier post Bon Voyage southpole

Later post Reveille southpole

6338735475_78d2300746_o.jpg

Feeling a bit run down this afternoon. Got up and decided it was my first “workout” day, working out consisting of twenty minutes of walking since this is still just my fourth day here. Had a nice walk and a bit of a stretch, and then a SHOWER, my first since McMurdo. Feeling pretty peppy, I had decided today would mostly be a day off, to rejuvenate and prepare for the week ahead. I was headed back to my room to practice, and ran into WO Carlos who informed me that a server had crashed in the IceCube Lab (ICL) and that the detector was therefore running short one string. So much for a day off, but this was another training opportunity, training being primarily what I came down for. Sven and Carlos and I suited up and Sven got a snowmobile with passenger sled ready (I was happy not to have to walk the half-mile distance there and back, having perhaps already pushed it a bit by walking in the gym).

I’ve been thinking more about what I wrote the other day, about being tuned into differences between this trip and previous ones. In fact, I have mostly been struck by the sameness. The rhythm of the plane rides here, the same faces year after year, the process of acclimatizing to altitude, the same nooks and crannies (unmarked bathrooms, locations of semi-private phones for calling home) — much has simply not changed at all (at least in the past several years, since the new station was built). It feels as though this place is on another plane altogether, not part of Earth or the world at all, a kind of parking ground for (temporarily?) lost souls. I would liken it to the Tibetan notion of bardo, but bardo is an in-between state between incarnations, and this place doesn’t feel in-between at all to me, but somehow out of the normal flow of things. Limbo, perhaps.

A shift in perspective came to me as I was riding the sled out to the ICL. The winds are still quite high, keeping the wind chills below -60F, and making snow drifts and sastrugi everywhere. As we crossed the skiway I looked out across the vast space and thought about the drifting snow, the constant shifting and drifting, and realized that the change I was curious about, in myself and in others, is more subtle, a building and shifting over time which is hard to notice even on the time scale of months or years. Yesterday in the galley a colleague of many years, Robert, looked at me and said, “You’re getting grey, man.” True enough. The wearing of time sometimes is noticed not in sudden shifts but in gradual drifting, accumulation, wear and tear and the greying of hair. Doesn’t sound cheerful, I guess, but it was actually a pleasant notion to contemplate as we zipped across the wide white waste.

After which, of course, we quickly fixed what needed fixing and headed back for brunch.

6339469060_6153b75109_o.jpg

Earlier post Bon Voyage southpole

Later post Reveille southpole

Blog Posts (140)


Home

Reflections on a Year of Daily Memory Drawings art

Repainting art

Daily Memory Drawings art

Questions to Ask art

Macro-writing Macros code clojure

Lazy Physics code clojure

Fun with Instaparse code clojure

Nucleotide Repetition Lengths code clojure

Updating the Genome Decoder code clojure

Getting Our Hands Dirty (with the Human Genome) code clojure

Validating the Genome Decoder code clojure

A Two Bit Decoder code clojure

Exploratory Genomics with Clojure code clojure

Rosalind Problems in Clojure code clojure

Introduction to Context Managers in Python code python

Processes vs. Threads for Integration Testing code python

Resources for Learning Clojure code clojure

Continuous Testing in Python, Clojure and Blub code clojure python

Programming Languages code

Milvans and Container Malls southpole

Oxygen southpole

Ghost southpole

Turkey, Stuffing, Eclipse southpole

Wind Storm and Moon Dust southpole

Shower Instructions southpole

Fresh Air and Bananas southpole

Traveller and the Human Chain southpole

Reveille southpole

Bon Voyage southpole

A Nicer Guy? southpole

The Quiet Earth southpole

Ten southpole

ISO50 southpole art

In Defense of Hobbies misc code art

Closure southpole

Takeoff southpole

Mummification southpole

Eleventh Hour southpole

Diamond southpole

Baby, It’s Cold Outside southpole

Fruition southpole

Settling In southpole

Revolution Number Nine southpole

Red Eye to McMurdo southpole

Faults in Ice and Rock southpole

Bardo southpole

Chasing the Sun southpole

Downhole southpole

Coming Out of Hibernation southpole

Managing the Most Remote Data Center in the World code southpole

Photoshop on a Dime art

Man on Wire misc

Posing Rigs art

Metric art

Cuba southpole

Wickets southpole

Safe southpole

Broken Glasses southpole

End of the Second Act southpole

Pigs and Fish southpole

Last Arrivals southpole

Lily White southpole

In a Dry and Waterless Place southpole

Immortality southpole

Routine southpole

Tourists southpole

Passing Notes southpole

Translation southpole

The Usual Delays southpole

RNZAF southpole

CHC southpole

Wyeth on Another Planet art

Detox southpole

Packing southpole

Nails southpole

Gearing Up southpole

Gouache, and a new system for conquering the world art

Fall 2008 HPAC Studies art

YABP (Yet Another Blog Platform) southpole

A Bath southpole

Green Marathon southpole

Sprung southpole

Outta Here southpole

Lame Duck DAQer southpole

Eclipse Town southpole

One More Week southpole

IceCube Laboratory Video Tour; Midrats Finale southpole

SPIFF, Party, Shift Change southpole

Good things come in threes, or 18s southpole

Sleepless in the Station southpole

Post Deploy southpole

Midrats southpole

IceCube and The Beatles southpole

Video: Flight to South Pole southpole

The Pure Land southpole

Almost There southpole

There are no mice in the Hotel California Bunkroom southpole

Short Timer southpole

Sleepy in MacTown southpole

Superposition of Luggage States southpole

Sir Ed southpole

Shortcut to Toast southpole

Pynchon, Redux southpole

Flights: Round 1 southpole

Packing for the Pole southpole

Goals for Trip southpole

Balaklavas southpole

Tree and Man (Test Post) southpole

Schedule southpole

How to mail stuff to John at the South Pole southpole

Summer and Winter southpole

Homeward Bound southpole

Redeployment southpole

Short-timer southpole

The Cleanest Air in the World southpole

One more day (?) southpole

One more week (?) southpole

Closing Softly southpole

More Photos southpole

Super Bowl Wednesday southpole

Night Owls southpole

First Week southpole

More Ice Pix southpole

Settling In southpole

NPX southpole

Pole Bound southpole

Bad Dirt southpole

The Last Laugh southpole

Nope southpole

First Delay southpole

Batteries and Sheep southpole

All for McNaught southpole

The Big (Really really big…) Picture southpole

t=0 southpole

Giacometti southpole

Descent southpole

Video Tour southpole

How to subscribe to blog updates southpole

What The Blog is For southpole

Home