13.12.2008 28 °C
I have still not adapted to a 12 hour work day. We eat breakfast around 5 AM and start work at 6 AM. Work officially ends around 6 PM and we eat dinner. Last night we didn't leave our computers till after 8 PM.
Today was a strange day. Started normal, then I got drafted to work freight. Having gotten nice and sweat soaked moving heavy pallets of trash and empty crates off the ship and heavier pallets of incoming boxes onto the ship, I returned to find one of my programmers has been drafted for cabinet/counter renovation in the Chemistry lab. After lunch, the paint fumes on our deck were so bad we got driven off the deck. Best description was awarded to "trying to breathe with a two dry erase markers in your nose." So we spent most of the afternoon unpacking boxes in chemistry and xray labs. The air conditioning died for about an hour towards the end of the day and we had to shut down our computers. Normal outdoor temperature is in the 80s and very humid. Our progress today was not as good as yesterday.
Got to drill a hole through one of the nice new chemistry counter tops to run power cables through. I didn't believe the research lead when he said the standard drills would not work and fetched a big drill over. Working with an 18 volt heavy duty hammer drill it took all my weight and almost five minutes of steady pressure to drill a 1/2 hole through one inch thick of whatever that counter top was made out of. My hands vibrated for an hour afterwards. Wonderful non-reactive, non-conductive semi plastic/formica who knows what stuff. Incredibly hard. Left a very fine black powder dust from the drilling.
They are planning a special Christmas dinner here for this Sunday night. It is a bit before Christmas because a large part of the work force is headed home until mid-January. They have already been here from 2-6 months and are taking a break. After Sunday, my group of four will comprise 1/4 of the work force left on the ship. I have already warned the project manager that if we keep getting drafted into manual labor, then our work will not get completed on time. He knows, but I doubt it will actually completely stop.