2010-04-16 22:36:48.000 – Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

Valley, ho!

Sometimes, after pondering the meaning of life, I sit and wonder what the origins of the phrase ‘skeleton crew’ consist of (well, that might be a tad melodramatic).

In any case, that question will remain a shrouded mystery to me, as I did not do the usual bit of research I normally would before writing a comment such as this one. The reason for this lies within my question.

A skeleton crew is exactly what is present on the summit this week. Our fearless leader Steve has taken his leave of us for a week of vacation in more temperate climates. In addition to that, we are volunteer-less, leaving our crew for this particular shift as two observers and one intern.

It is quite an experience to witness firsthand how the Observatory functioned back in the day when there were no volunteers and only two observers per shift. Although it has kept the three of us a little extra busy this week, it has also allowed us to participate in some new experiences, like cooking dinner for the crew. It does give me a new found appreciation for our dedicated volunteers, but I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time in the kitchen yesterday afternoon preparing dinner (or lunch, in my case) for our scant party of three. I suppose those are my strong Italian roots breaking through!

I am fully confident that we are capable of handling the work load for the week, but the foreboding aspect is the lack of Steve’s presence in particular. No, it’s not the absence of a British-accented voice in conversation, or the perennial anti-chick flick vote while we decide on the evening’s entertainment, although the latter is particularly appreciated by me. It’s the lack of the seeming treasure trove of knowledge and skill pertaining to our IT matters that leave us feeling a bit on edge. We try not to mention Steve’s absence too loud, especially when the server room is in ear shot, in fear that our servers might overhear and decide to take up arms against us.

So far, we haven’t had any issues (please knock on wood), and we’re hoping that trend will continue through the balance of the shift!


Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

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