Sunday, May 27, 2007

A non-holiday weekend

While most of the American workforce will be celebrating Memorial Day weekend with an extra day off, it will be just another Monday work day for us on the ice. We don't get any of the standard holidays off but we are treated to a TWO DAY WEEKEND once every month. Normally we work 9 hour days, 6 days a week with only Sunday off, but this last weekend was our magical TWO DAY WEEKEND and that extra day off felt like a having a week of vacation. Almost. OK, not really but two days off feels like you can really relax and recharge.

So how did we celebrate our non-holiday weekend? The heavy shop (garage) held a BBQ and horseshoe tournament on Saturday afternoon and most of the station turned out for the fun.
Here Tim and Dan are tending the BBQ, a homemade grill fashioned from two 55 gallon drums welded together with wrenches for lid handles.
They hooked up an elaborate ventilation system onto the grill but unfortunately, it still got a little smoky in the shop. The solution: open the garage bay doors which dropped the temps inside down to below zero, but then again, we're used to that.

We were treated to hamburgers, brats, pasta salad, chips and a great assortment of beverages.
Here's Neal trying to make up his mind on what to drink. Notice our style of beer cooler - a banana sled full of snow.

Katie, Francie, Liz and Michael enjoying the BBQ and day off.

Just about everyone turned out for the BBQ and the added highlight was a horseshoe tournament. Someone found some homemade horseshoe pits on the berms, some sand used as packing for paint containers or something like that, and a set of horseshoes somewhere else. It never ceases to amaze me what you can find down here.
Here's the arena in the garage bay where usually the loaders are parked. They got moved outside and were kept running the whole time, otherwise, they'd freeze up, never to be started again in the -70F temps.

Brien at the pit winding up for the throw.

There was plenty of spectator and player seating for the tournament which went on into the night long after the brats and burgers were gone. So we may not be heading to the beach or mountains for Memorial Day weekend, but we still had our BBQ and fun and our equivalent of a long holiday weekend...even if it's only two days long.


At 4:56 PM, Blogger Neal said...

My jacket still smells like hamburger.

At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Craig said...

I see in one photo that the "Hog" still is at the Pole. (the Alpine snow machine customized for the around the world race). It's a good thing I fixed the exhaust fans last winter, lol!

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Bob Brennan said...

Hi Heidi,

Greetings from New Hampshire where it finally has turned a bit like summer. Kids have just started swimming outdoors anyway.

All well from here. We check in on you pretty frequently and think of you often. I hope you are getting on ok now that you are about mid-way through.

Very cool stuff our 'homeless' cousin is doing these days. Take care!


At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Tara said...

OK, at the risk of sounding like a dumb Aussie, what is Memorial Day commemorating?

Also, when you say your revelling went into the night... well, how do you define "night" when it is dark for 24hrs a day?

You know I'm teasing you!

Love ya!

Tara xoxo

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous brien said...

Hi, Tara:

Hope you're doing well Above Under :)

Memorial Day is something like Anzac Day ... only for all wars and all veterans as well as for personal memorials for family and others.

Basically a long holiday weekend for most Americans and the start of Summer above that Equator thing, which I've heard exists but can't quite remember. I think it's hot there, right?


At 5:02 AM, Blogger Blur said...

I am writing to say Michael looks very strange being clean cut and having short hair.

But I feel compelled to clear up Brien's statement. Memorial Day is to remember all the people who have fallen in service of the country. Veterans of the military are commemorated on Veteran's Day.

Sorry about spelling but this stupid SunRay does not support inline spell check.

At 4:22 AM, Anonymous waste girl said...

I hope those salvage drums weren't current supplies of the waste dept!! Man, everything goes to shit when I leave!

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got another game you could try, it's called Cornhole. Check it out at This is all the rage here at our office.


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