Some of you have expressed curiosity about how certain things work around here given the snow, lack of indoor plumbing nearby, and recent evacuation of portopotties. I understand some may afraid to read on, but for those of you not too yellow to continue, I will sprinkle some knowledge onto you. Or should I instead compare this torrent of learning to drinking from the fire hose? Most of us try to drown out nature's call during the night, but sometimes one feels practically bursting with motivation to go with the flow. Here are a few of the readily available means to contain one's...excitement.
The most obvious option is the good old fashioned water bottle. You cannot travel 100 yards on the base without going past pallettes of these. Readily available, certainly water tight, but the narrow opening requires a high degree of markmanship. Capacity: 500 mL, good enough for one midnight session, but not much more.
One step up from the entry-level models is the Gatorade bottle. Not as ever-present as the water bottle, but still easily obtained from the cafeteria for free. Slightly larger capacity at 591 mL, but more than one voyage and you'll have to change boats midstream. Most importantly, the wide opening relieves the anxiety of all but the most self-impressed.
Some of you must be thinking, "Don't you work in a medical facility?" One would guess that products made for this purpose would certainly be the best. Indeed, one of my "peers" prefers this model because it accodomates over 1000mL and has a large glow-in-the-dark lid. Which opens easily with the slightest push.
But as far as deployment durabilty is concerned, we haven't even gotten our feet wet yet. And we don't ever want to, which is why I swear by the medical irrigation bottle. Holds just as much the "other guys" but has a level base and symmetical shape so it stands more solidly. I've had to depend on the watertight screw-on cap more than a few times, so I recommend placing it under, rather than beside, the bed as an added precaution.
Furthermore, as tempting as it is to just roll over in bed and lean over the side, I cannot vouch for any system that does not involve a well balanced, standing approach. And don't think that keeping the lights off will help you get back to sleep faster, or that you can judge the fulness of the container by sound alone. One rogue shot or depth miscalculation will cost you ten times the amount of sleep you thought you were saving.
Females are not automatically excluded (imagine a funnel flattened sideways) and a few report "a hard time imagining going back." Most claim they do what they have to do to survive deployment, but afterward it's all water under the bridge.
Some may argue that the line of good taste has already been crossed, but the convenience of these home remedies has inspired some to creative, if distasteful, efforts. Knowing that I like to build things, one of our technicians approached me about the feasibility of drilling a hole waist-high in the wall, and running ventilator tubing down to the ground under the dorms. I like to tell myself he was kidding.
I have also heard reports of larger containers being, um, dual-purposed to meet all of one's needs. It's going to have to get a lot colder before I seriously consider that option.
So, there it is. You can either soak in the knowledge like a sponge or let it fall like water off a duck's back. But if you were worried before about being outside "the know", don't worry now:
(this post dedicated to the Edmonds, my sisters Becky and Lisa, and The Red Fox, an old family car)