The Strange Case of the Missing BirthDAY – Day 57, 8/31/2009

It's almost 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, 30 August 2009 here in Washington, D.C.   I think it's about 11:00 a.m. tomorrow on The JR, but I've lost track. 

I wanted to write a birthday greeting to my friend and JR curator Jerry Bode because today is his birthday but it isn't today where he is!  Was he cheated out of a birthday?  And if so, why?  And what can be done about it?  You be the judge.

To quote from Jerry's Friday Facebook post, "The JR will be adjusting for crossing the international dateline on Sunday, that is we will go from Saturday to Monday skipping Sunday. As Sunday is supposed to be my birthday, if Sunday doesn’t exist does that mean I can stay XX for another year?"  Stephanie answered, "Happy "un" Birthday Jerry! Since we skipped it, I actually think you get to subtract a year!"  We should all be so lucky.  Peggy was more analytical about it, posting "I would wish you a happy birthday, but that day is going to go away. You will stay trapped in time forever, in that tiny cabin, unless you allow the possibility that it actually is your birthday and crossing the date line is just an artifact of time keeping.  But make sure the galley guys make you a cake."  Click the photo to the left to see that teeny, tiny cabin. 

So did Jerry have a birthday after all?  If he wants one, I hope he has/had/will have one.  If you don't know him, you should.  Jerry is one of a handful of amazing JR staff who have sailed and worked in scientific ocean drilling since the Glomar Challenger days.  His wonderful blogs reveal an interesting perspective on changes in everything from technology to life onboard the world's most interesting research vessel(s).  They're worth a read.  Best of all, Jerry Bode embodies and exemplifies the can-do attitude among staff aboard The JR.  Here's how he closed his description of the Catwalk on our Ship's Tour page:

If the Catwalk functioned just as described it would be a very boring place to work in.  In fact, the drilling operations sometimes present challenges such as shattered liners or perhaps cores with sediments being extruded out of the liner because of expanding methane gas.  On rare occasions there have been instances of exploding liners because the trapped gas produced too much pressure.  Every cruise offers up unusual catwalk problems, which test the ingenuity and humor of the Core Lab Techs.   But that is the beauty and draw of working on such a unique ship: to test your problem solving abilities while working at the forefront of science -- and all this with a spectacular view.

So this was a blog about the International Dateline, a great guy, and all the folks on The JR who, just like Jerry, work so hard and give so much of themselves.  Happy Birthday Sean, er Jerry Bode.  I'm so glad I got to sail with you.

Photo:  Jerry above the drill floor.  Credit:  Chris Beveridge, IODP/TAMU 


Marika Rosser 4th block

That was really sincere of you to write a blog for your freinds birthday.
have you made it to Japan yet?

Happy Birthday!

I was working on my own blog to this effect, but you've said it all so well Leslie. From the first day I met Jerry, he welcomed me into the office we share on the Forecastle Deck. He has shared with me stories of his many expeditions with this program, and its predecessors. He even shared a picture of himself on the Glomar Challenger back in the 70s! And he has done it all with the most amazing attitude. I was even able to convince him to post his own blogs here AND I got him addicted to Facebook.

Jamie, the yeoperson, made a beautiful poster documenting and celebrating Jerry's life and career on board the Glomar Challenger and now the JR. She had it displayed in the galley for everyone to see, along with some words about him from his past colleagues.

Jerry, it has been a true pleasure to sail with you these past two months. Safe travels friend.

You Were Too Quick!

And since you beat me to the punch, I've tweaked your title a bit. I wanted to point out that we've only been at sea one day since the last blog, and yet the date has moved ahead two days. :)

Good idea!

Thanks Doug -- Yes, Jerry's been blogging since his return to the JR. If you haven't read his earlier pieces and you have a moment, go look them up. The link to the Catwalk page is in the blog. Hopefully, we'll figure out why it isn't showing up on the tour menu.