Saturday was the big station Thanksgiving celebration.  Holidays are always celebrated on the weekends here to give the station crew a second day off (they usually work six days and have Sunday off).  Thanksgiving and Christmas are more special than normal and people often dress up a bit.

Some past and present SPT folks eating some delicious appetizers before dinner .

The food was amazing as always, and it was great to have all the dishes associated with Thanksgiving despite the fact that we're 10,000 miles from home.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole... and lots and lots of pie.  Since the galley isn't large enough for everyone to eat all at once there were two seatings and the SPT-ers were all in the first seating.  After having our fill of all the delicious food we headed to the B1 lounge to play some games before heading out to the dance party a little later in the evening.  I learned how to play backgammon, which is really cool, but it took me a while.  I got destroyed several times, but I'm starting to pick up on the strategy.

Brad and Tijmen locked in an epic post-Thanksgiving chess battle, while Amy destroys Jay in backgammon behind them.  She destroyed me too, but Jay and I had never played before...

The weather the evening we celebrated Thanksgiving, with a pretty picture of SPT.  Getting warm!

 Before and after Thanksgiving has been a lot of coding and analysis for me since the camera is still in use.  There's been a number of times I've had to grab data off a computer back home and waiting for the satellite pass can really suck.  But, when the TDRS satellite comes up in the afternoon... well, we all get pretty excited.  With TDRS you can actually check gmail without waiting 10 minutes for your inbox to load.

Best part of the day: start of the TDRS afternoon satellite pass.  30 kB/s  download speeds here I come.

The weather has also been pretty nice the last few days and while the calibration team that arrived before me finishes up their final measurements I went outside to take some pictures when the horizon was so visible.  On days like this it really hits you that there is absolutely nothing out there.  You can see for miles and miles and all that exists is drifting snow.

Jay and I at the Pole marker.

The weather today was incredible.  You really get the sense of how much nothing there is out there.