Okay, decided to make the best of the wonky sleep schedule, and start embracing what passes for “night” around here. When I popped awake at 11:00, I just got up, threw on my Big Red and headed back into Station to get a bit of work done. I spent the past day trying to compile the SPIFF movies into DVD form, punctuated by composing increasingly-punchy email to Pole-all announcing that the TDRS satlink was dead, no wait, it appeared to be back, er, sorry, guess it’s down for the count. At least at midnight, no one expects there to be an internet connection.
Also took the opportunity to join in at midrats. “Midrats” means something like “midnight rations” – it’s the lunch/dinner meal served for folks on swingshift and graveyard. I’d thought there’d be a good chance I’d be up, so I’d sent email asking Big Country if I could drop in. There are some special things about midrats, reminiscent of Fight Club rules (but without the punching and psychosis):
1. You don’t talk about midrats.
2. You give Big Country 24-hour notice if you want to attend midrats. And you say “please”.
3. Really, you don’t talk about midrats. (to folks on day shift – it’s okay that I’m blabbing this to the world at large. I guess.)
Rules #1 and #3 are for your own protection. The food here at Pole is really awesome, rivaling that at the fabled Google cafes. The galley crew down here is here because they really love what they do, and relish the chance to spoil their Polie clientele. But midrats is one step above awesome. The midrats galley crew is cooking for maybe 30-40 instead of ~200, and there’s a real leap in what you’re able to do with those smaller numbers. Tonight? Big Country and his team dished out Montego Bay shrimp on a coriander rice pilaf, with sweet potato fritters on the side. Boca Negro chocolate cheesecake with some fabulous sauce on top for dessert. Wow. You talk about a dinner like that to someone on day shift, and it could get ugly.
Anyhow. Just a bit after 1:00 a.m. now, and I’m really close to having the SPIFF videos sequenced. I’m going to hit the “render” button, throw Big Red on and head back to Summer Camp for the second half of a night’s sleep. Something tells me tomorrow’s going to be a full day.