Theo and the Gondola, Together at Last

Jon on a ladder, inspecting Theo's plumbing Last week, at the end of my time on night shift, Theo was moved onto the gondola. I missed the operation itself but, thanks to camera and lens loans from John and Jon, I got some photos of the result. We also concluded our epic water balloon fight. Sean and I won by getting the most wet while wrestling over a garden hose. […]


Photographtastrophe I know I haven’t been super punctual about posting photos this time around. Sadly, things took a turn for the worse when my general-purpose lens lost a fight with the floor. […]

Night Shift

Dawn at CSBF I spent much of the past week on night shift. Here’s a few photos taken during the parts of the days in which I wasn’t entirely zombified. […]

Attempted Science, Animals

Natalie's drinking war face With Theo fully cold again, we’re back to attempting to characterize detectors. We ran lots of tests this weekend and primarily learned that Theo is really good at sensing when radio transmitters operate in the highbay. Sadly, in learning this, we didn’t learn much else. Also, animals (mainly Laika). […]

Joseph Comes to Spider-land

More of Joseph and the SIP CSBF’s SIP is ready to install in the Spider gondola, so that we can command and communicate like we will during the flight. This means that our flight engineer, Joseph, will be spending more time over in our highbay. And that means that I need to spend a couple days attacking him with the camera. He defends himself with frequent evasive manoeuvres. They are not always perfectly effective. […]

Forbidden Cave of Wonder

Forbidden Cave of Wonder Because Laika insistently follows people, she’s often found in the common area of the highbay building. But it has become necessary to remind her, via signage, that she is not so welcome in the Forbidden Cave of Wonder (not to be confused with the Cave of Forbidden Wonder, or the Forboding Cave of Wonder) (aka the lab). And to further demonstrate how wondrous a place it is, I have a few photos of people doing tedious jobs. […]

Needs More Dog, And Other Adventures

Attempting to blow out sparklers Yesterday was Jon’s brithday, so Anne planned a surprise water balloon fight for when he and the night shift arrived. And a special meal. We divided into teams by shift, and identified ourselves with bandanas: red for the early shift, camo for the day shift, and stars for the night shift. Laika joined the red team. She also got a new (replacement) toy, so I followed her with a camera for a while. After playing with her myself. The festivities were interrupted when Barth took a nasty fall (while strafing Sean with water balloons). He dislocated his shoulder, getting hurt a lot, but is expected to eventually make a full recovery. […]

Detector Testing (Science Happens)

The Fourier transform spectrometer In between disruptive cryogenic events, we have a couple of days of useful time. A couple days ago, during such a time, we got some detectors up and running to do some tests. Various gadgets are attached on top of Theo, data is recorded, buttons pressed, knobs twiddled. And then science happens. […]

Things That Explode (Intentionally), etc.

Black widow A few days after Canada Day, the City of Palestine put on a fireworks show. Presumably the delay was to sort out logistics after they’d realized their error. It was fun, but I decided, for the most part, not to enjoy it via a camera. Jamil has many pictures to fill the gap. We got our own fireworks too, which is why I’ve delayed posting. Our first attempt was prematurely terminated due to using up our one lighter. Otherwise, we’ve had to vacate the west side of the highbay, we’ve split into shifts, and steady progress has continued—even regarding cryostat weirdness. Plus I nearly sat on a black widow spider. Then I took some pictures because they’re so cool looking. […]

Star Camera Portraits

Yours truly The other day Natalie moved the boresight star camera from her desk to the gondola floor. This gave it a view of people. Portraits ensued. Natalie was kind enough to convert these to a usable format for me. […]