funranium: (Aces)
Nick Johnson has committed suicide: http://feralhouse.com/nick-johnson-rip/

He really wanted to go back to the happy tranquility of Antarctica after Afghanistan. A lot. The letter from Lockheed-Martin Antarctic Support was...not kind. "Hey, that thing you did about the place you love? Fuck you very much." The fact that there were two job offers, and then a last-minute rescinding of them, means that the background checks were good, he passed the physical & psych qualifications, but someone had a grudge and yanked it. I can only assume that was the last straw.

Big Dead Place, both the book and the website www.bigdeadplace.com, are the most honest, and often hilarious, picture of Antarctica and the trying labor situation working there. Of the beauty of the continent, the bizarre but wonderful people that choose to go, and the absolutely insane attempt to impose corporate culture on the Ice by various US gov't contractors.

I let you know because you are all fans of the bizarre, the beautiful, and enjoy taking a chainsaw to the needlessly cruel corporate. I encourage you all to have a dig through his website and, in your copious free time, his book.

I will miss his insight into a continent I left a decade ago. His insight into blundering organizations is, sadly, evergreen.
funranium: (Default)
Fallout Shelter No. 9 1/2
Fallout Shelter No. 9 1/2 - the kind of wonderful things you find while Urban Exploring

Cross-posted from Funranium Labs

At last, the long promised "Bathrooms of Antarctica" post.

Once upon a time, in the dawn of the new millennium when Geocities and Angelfire sites still littered the internet, I came across a brilliant website, now lost to the ages, entirely dedicated to one man's exploration of the world via it's bathrooms. Now, you might not be terribly impressed by a series of pictures of porcelain from exotic locales (especially since the view doesn't change all that much in bathrooms) but I took away a valuable lesson that complimented my interest in Urban Exploring. If you want an excuse to go visit any given place, it doesn't get better than "I need to pee". This is how I came up with a new rule for myself: every day, use at least one toilet you've never used before. I have some friends with shy bladders or crippling cleanliness-focused OCD to whom this sounds like absolute torture, but it has served me well. Following this rule, I managed to learn the UC Berkeley exterior and interior within a matter of weeks. By the time a year had passed, I shocked employees that had been at Cal for decades with the ease that I traced the fastest/easiest path in three dimensional space between destinations. Just call me the Human Hamiltonian.

I've used urinals that were barely more than a funnel soldered into a joint on a drainpipe in mechanical chases. I've stepped into heavy oak paneled and door stalls with massive works of porcelain that are best described as "eliminatory edifices", not toilets. I'm impressed with the utilitarian simplicity that is the New Zealand bog, where you're standing on grating from the time you enter the bathroom and the entire floor below you is the drain. So, pick a wall and the they only thing you really need to manage is not urinating on your fellow patrons. For some folks this easier said than done, so it pays to be alert.

Where it gets interesting is when you discover a toilet you didn't expect, such as the one in the middle of the old power plant for South Pole Station so the person on watch who can't leave can still take care of business (the aforementioned funnel attached to a drain line). Would you recognize such a convenience if you saw it? I heard numerous tales of westerners who achieved extreme discomfort before realizing the hole in the floor was the toilet when visiting Southeast Asia, not a place where the toilet was stolen from. When water is precious, you don't waste it on such things as flushing. Of course, at South Pole Station, water is a luxury because it has to be melted using precious fuel. Every time you flush the toilet, you've effectively sent your business down the drain with JP-8 jet propulsion fuel. For this reason, the new elevated station has .5L per flush toilets and the waterless urinals that seem to be increasingly popular in California in years since I returned in 2003. But what about the previous iterations of the station and what of the remote buildings?

The Poopcicle
The Poopcicle - sewage pipe flange leaks are forever at the South Pole. Note that there's another one at the next flange.

The first thing to know is that running water only happens if you have liquid water and pipes sufficiently insulated to bring it to you...and take sewage away. This is a problem in the Dakotas, much less Antarctica. In McMurdo, they get away with elevated insulated pipes but South Pole has to put all their pipes will under the ice for extra insulation; the constant -80F of 20' below the surface is preferable to the variable -8 to -108F of the surface, plus they'd get buried by blowing snow anyway. You've seen wrapped pipes before I'm sure, but please look at the sewage line for South Pole Station. That is a 4" line with 10" thick of insulation and then the corrugated pipe. It was just barely enough to keep liquid water flowing in and out of the buildings of the central station, from the meltwater pumping well to the previous played out melt well that now serves as sewage bulb. What I'm getting at here is that flush toilets are a luxury at the South Pole and always have been because Fuel Is Life and how much of that do you want to spend on water you don't absolutely need to survive?

South Pole Solar Outhouse (Note the freezer door style entry)
South Pole Solar Outhouse (Note the freezer door style entry)

The answer is to take advantage of the environment. During the summer, there are portable solar toilets that are transported around the station on skids and planted near the worksites they're needed most. 24hrs of low angle sunlight means that you can blacken the all the walls and be guaranteed that some part of the outhouse is getting enough sun to keep things melted. And let me tell you, as a toilet seat, 2" thick heavy foam insulation is damn comfy. They work particularly well at Pole as there are no storms that to obscure the sunlight; at McMurdo one good hurricane-blizzard (AKA Herbies) and they'll freeze solid without the sun, probably get buried under snow for good measure. For the remote camps, where you're just living in a tent for a couple weeks in the summer, you still have to have a toilet. The solution here isn't much different than a Coleman camp toilet. The good news is that smell quickly stops being an issue as everything freezes. For men, we have the added benefit of the makeshift urinal made from a 55gal drum and a funnel. During the winter, we used the same approach at the out buildings with the plastic bags placed outside to quickly freeze. NOTE: It's is very important to remember that you did this. Otherwise, someone will receive a very unpleasant surprise when they clear away some snow later on.

The "Old Pole" Heads - I imagine the hinge & splinters would get a bit uncomfortable
The "Old Pole" Heads - I imagine the hinge & splinters would get a bit uncomfortable

It is worth noting that the first two iterations of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (the IGY '57 station, AKA Old Pole, and "The Dome" in 1975) were built by the Navy. As such, they were able to take certain liberties with the comfort of the station crew. When you take into account that the no women wintered over at Pole until 1979 and none even visited prior to 1969, no segregate bathroom facilities were needed and even the main station were spartan. Interestingly, in terms of design, they're not all that different from Roman latrines. There's not all that much photo evidence of handy of life when Old Pole was active, but the base is still there, 80' under the snow and ice for people brave enough to go in and ignore the US Antarctic Program/Raytheon edict strictly forbidding entrance on pain of removal from the continent, forfeiture of pay & bonus, and ban from future return. So, let us just say that these photos came into my possession. Let's not discuss how I got them. Old Pole was abandoned because the weight of ice & snow overhead splintered a central support 8x8 timber. It takes a lot to break those. I'm to understand that when it buckled with a bang, the whole station heard and it sent out wooden shrapnel in manner that would have staked a whole platoon of vampires as an area effect weapon. That was 30+ years ago and the weight overhead has only increased, so enter at your peril.

The point I'm getting at here is that everybody, all of humanity, every day, poops. There isn't a society anywhere on Earth that doesn't have to deal with the repercussions of this, from the most remote tribe of the Amazon, to the financial house of the City of London, to the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Any place you go, you have a chance to learn how someone else goes. And, on a practical level, it is a chance to learn the place you're in great detail.

funranium: (Default)
Cross-posted from Funranium Labs

Right out the gate, I must highly recommend the work of Mr. Nicholas Johnson writer of Big Dead Place and curator of the website of the same name. I started giggling at his tales while I was still in Antarctica and it now helps me maintain a connection to a continent I never expect to see again. Whenever someone wants to know what going Antarctica is really like, I always recommend Big Dead Place because the process of going to and being in Antarctica is about people, not the place. The place itself is cold, strange, absolutely unforgiving, and staggeringly beautiful; what can make it a delight or misery is other people.

And, for good or ill, many of those other people aren't even there.

In the dawn of Antarctic exploration, you didn't get to know what happened on a voyage until the ship returned to port. Considering that expeditions regularly got stuck in the winter ice pack, that might have been a  matter of months between contact.

By the time of the Admiral Byrd and the Nazis declaring vast tracts of Antarctica to be Neu Scwabia, it was a matter of days until the aircraft in question could get back off the continent to tell tales of dash and daring-do.

With the International Geophysical Year in 1957 and the initiation of Operation Deep Freeze to establish the three modern American stations in Antarctica, constant contact was available via shortwave radio communication but mainly used for station critical operations. Personal communication by radio was limited to emergencies that actually percolated through the military chain of command AND someone decided was worth sharing with someone at the bottom of the Earth (i.e. births, deaths, things that might require a legal decision). Everything else was limited to the notoriously unreliable US Army Post Office, which can't get anything to you for the duration of the Antarctic winter anyway.

By my time in at Pole in 2002-2003, internet access was been available roughly 16hrs a day with speeds ranging from 200bps to 1Mps depending on which satellite was in the sky. We also had the Iridium satellite phones available to us, so a call home could be made at anytime or, more likely, a call to us. This means that we never really lost contact with home and, much worse, people back at home in America really didn't get that they were talking to people who were as isolated as it is possible to be and still be on Earth.

The United States' stations in Antarctica are managed by Raytheon Polar Services Company (RPSC) which, as far as I can tell, is the sole non-military arm of Raytheon. RPSC is run out of a corporate park in Centennial, CO with lovely groomed lawns and cubicle farms. It wouldn't look out of place in pretty much any commercial/light industrial commerce zone in America. Like any corporate office, they have ice cream socials, baby showers, birthday cake, summer picnics. Group bonding activities. Things that you'd put in the corporate newsletter.

Things you just absolutely cannot fucking do in Antarctica. Sending this newsletter, or worse invitations to these events, during the dead of Antarctic winter just shows a cruel failure to relate to the remote employees you are "distance managing".

All the normal trappings of corporate America comes with this level of contact: weekly sitreps, quarterly, HR code of conduct announcements, weekly safety meetings, etc. We had a station manager who's role, nominally, was to make sure that we fulfilled all the demands from the Mother Raytheon back in Colorado. As the year wore on, we had a decidedly less reverent adherence to these demands. I made a point of including horribly inappropriate songs in my sit reps (that song went with April 2003's sitrep, as I recall). Another person began doing their parts inventories as haiku.

But the safety meetings, that's where we achieved true virtuosity as we had to submit reports on topics presented and the insights gained. We ran out of topics very early on because, really, there's only so much going on when you can't escape and are on caretaker duty. The solution was to start watching movies and then justify this with safety lessons. I had brought my complete DVD collection with me, so were well set. One of the last things I purchased for the collection was the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volumes 1-4, which included a DVD full of the safety video shorts. Our very favorite was "Shake Hands With Danger", a video by the National Safety Council and Caterpillar from the 1970s.

Deep down, this entire post is an excuse just to get you to listen to this song.
funranium: (Default)
Cross-posted from Funranium Labs

This tale is prompted by hearing a familiar voice on the radio speaking to some elementary school students. One I hadn't heard in eight years since a rather grim alcohol soaked day at McMurdo Station, Ms. Cady Coleman, Astronaut. She is currently serving aboard the International Space Station.

As previously discussed, I spent a year in Antarctica at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. We winterovers were entitled to some R&R during the summer before the full "The Shining"-grade lockdown for 9 months set in at Pole. But did they send us to Tahiti to enjoy warmth, greenery, and mai tais? Noooooo...they used to send folks to New Zealand but there was a bad spate of people skipping on their contracts now that they'd already endured three months of The Ice. By the time my year hit, people at Pole got sent for a week in beautiful, comparatively tropical, McMurdo Base. I got stuck there an additional two weeks waiting for a supply ship to offload.

Too much happened in this total of three weeks and much of it was spent drunk or short of sleep for me to hope to get all in one go. For the time being, let us discuss Room 129 in Building 155. Eleven of us went on R&R at the same time in mid-January 2003. Six of us were in Room 105, where I was put, and the rest were in 129. Sadly, the occupants of my room were focussed on sleeping and reading. The other room had a strict schedule that went something like this:

1100 - Wake up.
1101 - Pour yesterday's burnt coffee into trash can, or other room occupant's boots as the muse demands.
1102 - Turn on coffee pot. (coffee pots in rooms are against the McMurdo rules)
1107 - Pour coffee. Add Irish Creme and whiskey to greet the McMurdo morning properly. Repeat as necessary.
1130 - Stack previous night's beer cans and liquor bottles onto the growing pyramid.
1200 - Lunch. Offend sensitive McMurdans.
1300 - Day Bar at Southern Exposure*.
1730 - Dinner. Offend sensitive McMurdans.
1830 - Night Bar at Southern Exposure*.
0030 - Midrats ("midnight rations", McMurdo had a specific list of people allowed to eat at this time which we ignored). Assemble bar on the dining room table. Offend sensitive McMurdans
0130 - Room party or lounge shenannigans.
0400 to 0700 - Go to sleep, maybe.

You can take you guess as to which group I spent the most time with.

*: For reference, Southern Exposure is also known as The Smoking Bar. Once upon a time it had been the Chief's Bar during the Navy days. There were two other outlets for booze, The Coffeehouse (formerly the Officer's Club, a very old quansit hut), and Gallagher's, AKA The Non-Smoking Bar (formerly the Erebus Club, the enlisted men's club, renamed after the death of CPO Gallagher (ret.) who died on Ice in 1997).

I seem to be digressing. Let's take the story to February 1st, 2003 standing in the main entryway to McMurdo's primary building, Bldg 155, with NASA astronauts Eileen Collins and Cady Coleman. I'd gotten to help them move their remote campsite a few weeks earlier as they were doing meteorite collection on the ice sheet by the Pecora Hills. I have no problem whatsoever being menial labor on the endless frozen expanse when I get to hangout with astronauts. Hell, I moved their bucket toilet with glee and sat there for three hours in the cold waiting for a plane to take me back to safety.

Both Cady & Eileen had been on previous space shuttle flights. Eileen, in fact, had been the first female pilot the shuttle had ever had. There was some concern of damage to the shuttle for reentry. Thus, they were watching the Armed Forces Television monitors with rapt interest and sharing small tales of the awesome of going to space. Being the science nerd and child of Cape Canaveral I am, was hanging on every word.

Then Columbia exploded.

There was a a sharp intake of breath. One of the construction folks screamed "NO!" at the top of her lungs.

I turned to Cady and said, "I have a bar worth of booze in my room if you'd like a drink RIGHT NOW." She and Eileen slowly nodded, looking rather shellshocked. They'd just watched their co-workers die. No, more than that, these are the people you have been studying with, sweating in the gym with, and trapped in a spam can with for years. Being an astronaut is somewhere between army platoon and tightly knit doctoral program group. These were more than co-workers or friends; they were fellow explorers on the frontier.

I would like to state for the record that it is rather hard to drink me under the table. I have survived evenings with naval personnel from several countries, a misadventure with a watch worth of Coasties, hard rock miners, gutter punks and emerged staggering tall (albeit holding The Plunger of Honor one time...long story, don't ask). However, these two women had me holding on to the pool table for support as they kept clearing it with deadeye accuracy and taking more and more shots of gin. Commander Collins is 5'1" and almost didn't get to be an astronaut due to a space program worth of suits designed with the six footer John Glenn in mind. I doubt she said "Fuck you very much, NASA" but she did make sure that a suit was available to fit her by becoming part of the suit design project.

At the end of it all, Cady asked if I'd like to see the video she took on the shuttle. Her personal camera. That may have been the high point of my Antarctic experience.

To Cady and all the astro/cosmo/taikonauts, I wish you the very best as you keep humanity's future in the stars going forward. To the names on the memorial a Kennedy Space Center, and all the others that have lost their lives as we try to escape the gravity well, I raise a glass.
funranium: (Science Diet)
To explain what the hell I was talking about the other day with the my creation of the word "nuclearche", let's fill you in on the whole story.

[livejournal.com profile] robyngoodfelloe found this article regarding the oddity of the Dry Valleys near McMurdo in Antarctica.  I would like to bring your attention about two thirds of the way down to the picture of the Most Important Seal Carcass EVAR.  "Why is this most important seal carcass", I hear you ask, "Do you have the brain worms again?"  No, I don't but let me explain myself.  It is so for two reasons:

1) It is a good example of the danger of doing science and not questioning your assumptions. 
2) It is used as a basis of support for Young Earth Creationism (YEC) that is less shaky than the idiocy of carbon dating dinosaur bones and I want you to be able to call bullshit on it.

DISCLAIMER: To people I have given this rant to in person, I have squared away my numbers.  I got several of them wrong in off the cuff conversation due to the rounding and order of magnitude errors of the brain.  As a physicist, getting it within plus or minus an order of magnitude is normally good enough.  Not this time.

First, a quick review of the basis of carbon dating for those that don't know it... 

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Carbon Dating )
funranium: (USAP)

It was about this time of the winter that people started getting wistful for the things back home and what intended to do, promptly, when they got of the Ice.  Midwinter had recently passed but the elation of reaching the halfway point had now dissapated in the cold realization that there were months yet left to go.  This is when most people broke and headed deep down the Spiral of Toast.  Elaborate drunken plans of questionable logistics/finances/sanity were crafted in the dark smoky confines of Club 90 South.  Most of them didn't survive the harsh sunlight of landing in Christchurch.

I got asked what I missed most.  I had to give that some thought.  While I certainly missed hiking in the redwood trees, I'd gotten used to missing them over the previous several years in Silicon Valley.  It was then that I experienced what I would later call a Horse On Fire moment...

I could feel the acceleration through the curve.  The wind rushed in the sunroof and through my hair.  The smell of Sierra pines in the warm summer sun, but the air is cool with the altitude passing through Silverfork and Twin Bridges.  There was a Whatchamacallit bar in the door pocket and a Cherry Coke in the cup holder, traditional Hwy 50 road trip snacks.  The California Alpine drive is savored, going through those turns endlessly, but never arriving in Lake Tahoe.

Jake: "YO!  PHIL!"
Phil: "Huh?  What?"
J: "You stroked off for a moment there.  Got another CD in the case?" (CD is shorthand for Canterbury Draught)
P: "Uh, yeah.  Sorry."

I had a couple more fugue moments in August and September where I got to enjoy driving in the Sierras.  If I had any in October, I don't remember them. 

I'm not hallucinating like I did in Antarctica but, man, a drive to Yosemite or Tahoe sounds like a good idea right now.

funranium: (Default)

Then Hollywood has provided the means for you, The Consumer, to experience it. The method is simple:

1 - Get a bottle of robust spirits. I recommend something like Jamesons. Begin drinking.

2 - Watch "Moon". Pay close attention to the desperate, sad and resigned end-of-contract eyes on Sam. Continue drinking.

3 - Realize that the experience, much like a winter in Antarctica, is not over yet. Watch "Dark Star". Continue drinking until the pain and consciousness go away.

Congratulations! You have just had the South Pole Winter Experience!

Seriously, awesome movie. I suspect many more viewings of "Moon" are in my future.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

funranium: (USAP)
Because I had to define a few things for [livejournal.com profile] rick_day , I thought I'd repost them here.

"The Ice" (n) - Colloquial name for the continent of Antarctica.

Polie (n) - A person who has wintered-over at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Polie (adj.) - 1. Pretaining to the actions, people, or places at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. 2. Patently crazy, primarily evidence being the willing agreement to spend a year at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Winter-Over (n) - A person who has stayed at one of the Antarctic stations through an Austral winter.

Winter-Over (adj.) - Crazy

Toast (n) - The state of diminished faculties associated with a winter spent at one of the Antarctic stations, likely related to thyroid hormone imbalance due to extended darkness and cold.

Toasty (adj.) - A descriptor of foolish acts or person who is likely suffering thyroid hormone imbalances due to a winter-over conditions.

Taking from these definitions, a Polie is double crazy.

funranium: (USAP)
I just picked up the Twin Peaks gold box, which is what dredges the story up from the depths of memory.

Mark the Science Electrician, Patty the Cargo Mistress, and I tried to organize a Lynch-A-Thon over the course of several weekends during the summer.  This didn't work out well since the only day off during the summer is Sunday and people generally decided to devote that to drinking (or the recovery from).  Understandably, it ended up being just the three of us in the Summer Camp Smoking Lounge.

Oh the poor smokers of Pole.  They only had two indoor places to hide and both are gone now.  The new elevated station is decidedly non-smoking.  There had been plans for a smoking lounge but they were changed.  If you want a smoke now, it's out into the wastes for you.

I really can't do justice to the windowless, thick point sharpie marker graffiti'd, place where furniture came to die that this was.  Every time you sat down, you were enveloped in a fog of ash and cigaratte funk.  The only thing you could ever find left in the bar was a bottle of Jack Daniels but there were never any shot glasses.  The profane scribbles on the wall spoke to a heritage of five decades of drunken, surly construction workers and Navy enlisted men.  Once upon a time, it had been the Last Chance Saloon, its facade somehow constructed from crates.  Truly, it was heaven second only to Club 90 South.  I long to be seated behind the bar there with my feet propped up on the cooler still....

A little after 3am, after the the last of my victims passed out or staggered home, I packed away my portable bar and the three of us went over to the smoking lounge to watch the pilot of Twin Peaks which had just arrived in the mail for Mark.  He had shipped his complete VHS set to himself two months before leaving for Pole, making a total transit time of four months before it came off the plane in Antarctica.  After finishing the pilot, I dug into my portable bar and brought out the bottle of Hapsburg absinthe that had been smuggled to me from New Zealand by the pilots.  I figured that the green fairy was the only way to cope with Senor Lynch after nearly a decade without watching the show.  Mark and Patty agreed. 

After a glass each, we figured what the hell, we can watch the next two and it'll be time for breakfast.

After four episodes, and a few more glasses, we decided that alcohol metabolized to sugar just like all other food which meant, basically, that we were having breakfast already.  (I do not claim that this was good reasoning)

Eventually, we had watched it all including 'Fire Walk With Me', had drank an entire bottle of absinthe between the three of us, and hadn't eaten in 24 hours nor slept in 48.  We were, understandably, a little bit loopy when we finally emerged into the never-ending daylight glare of Antarctic summer.  When I turned around to look back at he entrance of the smoking lounge, door still open, it seemed an inviting gateway to infinite darkness.

That was when we decided to rename it The Black Lodge.  Shame they tore it town 4 years ago.  Probably still in trash boxes waiting to be shipped out.
funranium: (USAP)
This is a reply tale of drunken woe I gave to [profile] chuckdawg and his most recent wonderful tale of Tim 'n' Hank whose drunken adventures seem all too familiar at times.  I highly recommend him if you have the time.  I figured I should share it with you all too.

For your enjoyment, a tale of approximately January 2003 at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

funranium: (USAP)
For the northern hemisphere, it is Midsummer's Eve.  Break out the maypole and frolick thusly.

To the denizens of the South Pole, this is Midwinter.  Every day from here on out is one closer to daybreak...which is still three months away...and a flight out.  There is still more darkness yet to go, more booze yet to drink, a further depravity left to sink into, but at least the goal is within sight.

Raise a glass to the Frozen Chosen walking the downward spiral of Toast.  Truly, Polies are mutants not meant for mass production.
funranium: (USAP)

Is it required for female astronauts to hold their liquor and be bad ass at pool?  Because the two I met in McMurdo, one of whom is on TV right now, whupped my ass at 9-ball while putting away gin and tonic.  Luckily, I got one ball down before they cleared the table; I did not have to drop trou and run a lap around the table.  NASA rules (though others have claimed them as Australian rules) are pretty tough on the competitive pantsless circumstances.

funranium: (USAP)
To another round of souls now half through the Long Night.

Midwinter is an important Antarctic day.  Though it is just as dark and cold as the predeeding two and half months, and likewise the two and a half to follow, it is the day that everything changes.  From here on out, you know that you are drawing nearer to sunlight once more.  Some people were excited by the prospect; personally, I was enjoying the endless night but that's just me and I ain't quite right.  

More importantly, it marks that half the winter is done, that from now on you are coasting toward First Flight.  The escape that brings green grass, the smell of humanity (sewage), and new people in lovely Christchurch.  Some people just sort of kicked back and enjoyed the ride.  Others went plummeting into the depths of despair as they realized "Fuck, this winter is only half over" and drank, moped, or raged their way through the next four months.

Pessimism versus optimism, fortitude versus adaptability.  Midwinter broke people.

It was also a fantastic party.  We had 70% of the station population in the bar for a shindig that was rocking, including many people that hadn't set foot in the bar the whole year up until that point, some of whom that didn't even drink or smoke.

The Puritans had tried to organize a karaoke night up in the galley.  It wasn't exactly a big hit and it failed completely when everyone headed down to the bar after a drunken expedition was made by certain brave souls to retrieve frozen burritos willing to brave the Sober and Unfun.  I was one of those souls, as was my good friend and electrician extraordinare Mark (AKA Handy Crotch).

Mark checked the songbook.  One of the available songs was Sammy Davis Jr.'s "The Candyman Can".  Mark dragged me and another poor bastard up there to sing a rousing rendition of "The S&M Man".  The plug got pulled on the speaker after the fourth verse when it appeared that we had no end of verses in sight.  Oh, how we offended the Puritans.

I raise a glass to the Frozen Chosen on this most special night.  Steady on through the Long Night and don't spill your drink.

"...the S&M Man, the S&M Man, cause he mixes it with lust and makes the hurtin' feel good."
funranium: (USAP)
For the past several nights, the memory of Volleybag has been preying on my mind. I know I have mentioned this to many before but I must purge my brain. I have to preface this with the fact that the places and things I am about to describe are going away or are gone. The heart aches just thinking of it. 



The Dome and old buildings are going away. With it shall go volleybag as I knew it. Last I heard, the metal skin of the Dome was going to be reconstructed somewhere at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I will have to make pilgrimage when that day comes, but there will be no volleybag under the Dome.

December 2012

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