Thursday, February 26, 2009

Socked in by clouds

We're socked in today - cloudy and snowing, same as yesterday. It was partly clear all day but then started getting icky just in time for us to need a clear sky! We're staying down at the weather station again tonight which means I'll get more sleep, get some work done, but not get to see my family of muskoxen living by the road to the lab.

Yesterday was the Polar Sunrise party to celebrate the polar sunrise (first time of the year that the sun makes it all the way over the horizon), so it was rather convenient that Bernard and I were around for that. There's a Rec Room here with darts, a pool table, a ping pong table, a shuffleboard table (board?) and the Umingmak Bar - it was nice to relax with a few drinks, some games and some company for an evening. There's also a polar bear skin on the wall and some muskox skulls (which somewhat disturbingly have glittery christmas ornaments sitting in the eye sockets) and a WWII era "olive drab" coloured Steinway piano! It's the most northerly Steinway in the world. A few of the keys look as though they've seen better days but there are hammers and strings for most of them so it still makes sounds. I took a minute the other day to read through the small booklet with the piano which details its history. It's a Victory Model built in 1948 in New York, was sold to the War Department and was delivered to their depot in Philadelphia, PA. Apparently, the Victory Uprights were part of Steinway's war effort with production continuing until the Korean war, and most were shipped overseas so no one really has any idea how many of these pianos are left in the world.

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