What do we do on an uneventful cold spring night in Antarctica?
We go bowling, that's what! Yes, there's a bowling alley here. The lanes are kind of warped, and the lighting's kind of bad -- wait, that's most bowling alleys, right? Well, the lanes are even more warped than usual. (At least that's what I tell myself.) Actually, the grand truth here is that if you are a great bowler at home, you are a lousy bowler here, and if you are a terrible bowler in the states, get ready to rock out at Mac Town lanes. I am, however, a mediocre bowler both here and at home. So it works the same for me.
The lanes are old. Historic even. The pin setting isn't automatic, it's done by little pin monkeys, like my friends Hally and Greg!
Whenever someone bowls, they have to jump down and throw the pins back in the machinery. Then they can reset the pins.
They wear special striped socks so the people bowling can see if their legs are in the way. Ideally.
I think if people bowl while the pinsetter is still setting pins, they are owed a big big tip, even more if their legs are broken.
I guess Brunswick made this equipment long long ago. There aren't many, if any, bowling lanes like this left around, and awhile ago, the company tried to get ahold of the McMurdo lanes, in trade for a state of the art bowling system. The lanes are, in fact, museum worthy, in the company's opinion. Problem is, if you get a new bowling system, you also have to have someone here to FIX the bowling system when it breaks. I'll bet that person charges more than the $2 an hour they pay the pinsetters.
One more little story -- I got stuck in a mattress avalanche today. Tasked with measuring and counting mattresses from oh so many years of various mattress orders, I dove in with both hands, and got more shocks than I ever have in my life. Static electricity is such an issue here that McMurdo is an iPod graveyard, because we short out our electronics all the time. But never have I met such static electricity than I did in the mattress closet in 203B. Shocking!