18 Miles and a Road Trip

There’s not much new and exciting going on around station… in fact, I was itching for some break in the monotony so much that  I hitched a midnight ride out to Pegasus with one of the shuttle drivers with whom I’ve become friendly – a young man named Blake.

I scheduled it for this past Tuesday, when I had no running scheduled and I’d have the day off the next day so I didn’t mind being up late. Also, I had just received mail from some friends – newspaper clippings from Kathy, a friend of my mother’s, and a bunch of NY Times crossword puzzles torn from one of those page-a-day calendars from my friend Dan back in Menlo Park. Dan had also included some treats from Trader Joe’s and a copy of a local newspaper. So when Blake suggested I get off station by joining him for the hour + ride out to Pegasus and back, I packed up some of the treats, clippings, and a crossword and we made a little road-trip out of it. We listened to music, I read articles out loud, we did the crossword, and snacked. It was nice to have a little change of scenery and we hoped we might see penguins. (We didn’t).

The next day I was scheduled to run 18 miles and I managed to get them done but the pain in my left foot that I first experienced in early November has been getting worse and it’s worrying me. It doesn’t hurt much once I’m a couple miles into the run, but afterwards, when I stand up after stretching or eating dinner, I can hardly bear weight. Sometimes it’ll even just start throbbing when I’m sitting or lying down. I’ve had Mel – our fuelie/massage therapist – work on it, I’ve worked on it with the golf ball, I’ve iced, I’ve rested but it doesn’t seem to be getting better and it’s bothering me more and more often when I’m at work – again, usually when I get up after sitting down for lunch or taking a quick break to check my email. I’m thinking I may need to go to Medical soon just to make sure there’s no fracture or anything…

As for your dose of pictures, it’s mostly just us goofing around in the kitchen, trying to keep things fun and interesting…

I made a potato fort…


Bex takes her relationship with our mop to the next level…


We’ve been having fun with the signs for our “action stations”… Gary, one of the stewards, is a talented artist even with dry-erase markers, so he likes to lend a hand…

IMG_5001 IMG_5003

The bakers have even been getting into it.


I took this picture for Sadie because she loves pasta with a white wine clam sauce… I wonder if this would be enough to satisfy her…


And then there are times where you just have to wonder what a marketing department was thinking…. I honestly think “smear” goes with “balls” on the list of words that should never be associated with food.



And it looks like someone else had a little fun with the lost and found board, given the new 24 hour pizza station…


I realize the 24-hour pizza station is something I sort of glossed over earlier – it’s one of the “updates” that has been implemented in the galley this year. Once things got re-started after the shutdown, we had our brand new pizza oven installed – it’s one of those conveyer belt type machines with two ovens stacked on top of each other. We started providing pizza 24 hours a day in late November, after a few trial runs to get the timing right in order to cook the dough but not burn the toppings. Additionally, we opened the “American Grill” which is where the old smaller flat-top and char-grill was previously located. The grill was removed and replaced with what is essentially a ginormous George Foreman grill and from 8am until 8pm, it is staffed to provide one “specialty item” a day, along the lines of burgers, chicken sandwiches, steaks, etc. Naturally the galley staff had to be re-organized to accommodate these two new stations, which is how the Dinner shift lost Zak and is now composed of Lisa, Julie, myself, Rebekah (Bex), and Ben. Other changes include the death of Sarah’s sandwich line – instead there is a constantly stocked deli sandwich line where people can make their own sandwiches – and the provision of waffle irons and waffle batter 24/7. I think the Air National Guard guys really like this – particularly the pizza and waffles – but I can’t help but think we’re moving in the wrong direction, health-wise, for the rest of the station. It’s already hard enough to provide nutritionally sound meals when we go for weeks at a time with no Freshies…but now when they don’t like the healthier options we provide, they can just stuff their faces with pizza? And of course I’d love to say it all comes down to personal responsibility…but we’re also talking about a community where, last year, I received a complaint from a gentleman that our serving spoons were too big…which meant he was putting too much food on his plate so he was overeating. (Not sure if you remember that story from a previous blog post…) On the upside, the galley is preparing fewer flight lunches because we’ve installed “Grab and Go” fridges, which are stocked with leftovers from the bakery (brownies, Rice Krispie treats, bagels, etc), as well as basic sandwiches (PB&J, ham and cheese, etc), juices, crackers, etc. So now the ANG flight crews can come wrap up some pizza, some snackie-type things from the Grab and Go, and head out. I’ll be curious to see how these changes continue to evolve next summer when I pass through on my way north from Pole, and if they’ll require any more staffing changes for the galley.


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