Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Overheard at the Radisson Hotel just accross the street from SeaTac airport

I was leaving the hotel earlier tonight and as I passed through the doors three men were meeting in front of the hotel. This is the snippet of conversation I heard as I walked out to my car:

Dude 1: What kind of strip club takes quarters!!?

Dude 2: No, dude. The bus takes exact change.

Dude 3: !

In other news, one may be inclined to notice that this is the first blog post I've written in a while. This is due to a number of factors. The first is that I've been traveling a bit, and often without consistent internet access. The second is that even when I have had consistent internet access said access was through a satellite connection at my work computer in a very public place on my ship. Bottom line is that it has been inconvenient at best to access the internet in a semi-private blogging fashion for some time now. This has all changed with today's acquisition of my new blogging implement; a Dell inspiron 1520 15.4 " Intel Centrino WinXP notebook computer. Huzzah!
Now, I've never owned a portable/laptop/notebook computer before. I've always been somewhat ambivalent about them. Specifically, why would I want to pay more, for less, simply so I can take my work with me? I don't. But now, due to the aforementioned situation re: internet and computer access, I decided that it made sense for me to own one. And now I do. Enough said about that.

So what's been going on since I posted last? I moved away from Boulder, for one. I am now Field Operations Officer on NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER, currently at beautiful Federal Center South in lovely Seattle, Washington. All my stuff got packed up by elite government agents and shipped off to Ketchikan, AK, where it eagerly awaits my arrival and subsequent finding of a new home, or home away from home, if you will, as my more permanent home will be NOAA Ship FAIRWEATHER itself, or herself, or whatever. So far my job has been to attend lots of classes, interspersed by make-work admin stuff, occasionally hiatused by actual FAIWEATHER-mission inspired work. The leaving-of-Boulder part was hard, emotionally difficult, and realized by a 2.5-day drive to Seattle, so I could hop on a plane to Ketchikan, so I could get inside-passage experience bringing FAIRWEATHER down to Seattle, so I could attend the Seattle Dining-in (which was a riot), and then hop on a plane to San Diego so that I could attend a 6-day sonar training course. Upon my 3rd arrival back in Seattle in the span if two weeks I attended some more training, then the Field Procedures Workshop, and some more training. This week, I'm taking a Bridge Resource Management class with other FAIRWEATHER officers and some fellow NOAA officers from NOAA Ship OKEANOS EXPLORER.

I write this from the aforementioned Radisson Hotel just across the street from SeaTac airport. Due to some of the repairs being done on the ship as part of our alongside repair package, it has been declared uninhabitable. I suppose you could still live on the ship if you wanted to, but you would not have any running water or working toilets. Just like camping! But minus the fun! I was just starting to get comfortable in my new FOO room when we were kicked out and sent to the hotel, but I must admit I wasn't too fond of the fact that it was a bazillion degrees in my stateroom. I really can't honestly say how hot it was in my room as the thermometer on the thermostat only went up to 95 degrees. I can say that the chocolate bar with crystallized ginger and a love poem inside (thanks, T!) was completely liquefied by the ambient temperature. Not just soft, like from being in your pocket, I'm talking completely liquefied. Also, the water from my brita filter tasted like melted plastic. I've never experienced that before. I think the heat was actually melting the plastic.

So this is comparatively the lap of luxury. I can adjust the temperature in my room! There's running water! The toilets work! I have a sleep number bed! And wireless internet! Hopefully by the time we re-inhabit the ship, they'll have that heat thing figured out. Until then, happy valentine's day, ya'll!

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