Opportunity Sol 392 (Spirit Sol 412)

Even though it's because I'm a dumbass (a patriotic dumbass, but a dumbass all the same), the rock we're IDDing is still named "Normandy." So when Albert Yen asks for suggestions for target names, I immediately suggest "Utah," "Omaha," and "Juno." I forget about "Gold" and "Sword," but no matter; the names stick. We'll be IDDing Omaha.

Jeff's father's very sick, so he has to leave town unexpectedly. Cooper gallantly volunteers to fill in, little realizing that he's already committed on Spirit (an unusual occurrence; no wonder he overlooked it in the schedule). So Jeng fills in for him.

It's a simple IDD day: unstow, then MI and MB Omaha; later, we change tools from MB to APXS. I could just about sequence it in my sleep. Because the generally flat rock surface is slightly uneven at the microscale, I get paranoid about the lateral MI move to take the stereo image, and sequence it in an unusual way -- the way we used to do it, by retracting the IDD farther from the surface before moving it over. In the end I decide this is simply too paranoid even for me, so I put it back to the usual way. Unsurprisingly, this prompts another discussion about the RPs and their relative paranoia. Jeng identifies himself as closer to the less-paranoid Wright/Leger end of the scale than to the Ashitey/Biesiadecki/Maimone end (which, it must be said, is where I locate myself). Since John happens to be here to ask, I ask him whether he considers himself or Chris to be the least paranoid RP.

He laughs, then thinks about it. "I am," he says. "But both of us -- well, both Chris and I feel that the rovers are more capable and robust than is generally acknowledged, let's put it that way."

Good spin. But I realize that even though I put myself on the more paranoid end of the scale, I must have some boldness when it comes to driving. After all, I'm currently the long-distance record holder for both rovers. I can't be all that much of a scaredy-cat.

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