To observe observing observers can be interesting. If for no other reason then for the sheer meta-ness of it. It seems to take a special kind of personality to willingly go away to a faraway island, and spend two weeks at the top of a mountain looking at the Sun every day. Everything revolves around data. Everything. Mood swings are frequent, and depend a lot on the seeing. I have never seen such happy and excited people as observers when the weather is good and all the equipment is working. On the other hand, when something is not working... Sometimes you just want to hide. And when the seeing has been bad for a long time they tend to get downright depressed. I think one of them, who were here working for almost four weeks straight, actually started to go mad by the end.
Some quotes (taken entirely out of context), to illustrate typical observer exclamations:
“It's not totally useless, maybe.”
“God, the Sun is so fucking big!”
“Push it until it breaks, then you know you will have gone too far, right?”
“Total-totals in units of bullshit.”
But I'm still sane, right? I get days off, and my future doesn't depend on getting a lot of good data in a short time. I don't feel very crazy, and I actually like living up here (I love it still, after over nine weeks). But maybe that's exactly what a crazy person would say? I am talking to ravens, after all...
Also, what is up with astronomers being such Macintosh geeks? 13 out of 15 observers have had an Apple laptop. Could someone explain this tendency, which clearly deviates from the population in general?
Love and meta-observing,