Nice day

Hi and stuff or something.

So I’ve been sick for several days now and it sucks.  I’m trying to keep myself high on Dayquil but it’s only working a little.  Oh well, what can ya do.

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day here so we took the opportunity to go up to “T-Site” to get aquanted with the equipment up there. T-site is a big open area on the mountain above town where we have about 2.3 zillion* different antennas and radio setups that people use all over town, and in some cases different places on and off the continent. There are some pretty great views from up there so I took a couple shots for you guys.  After we left we went over to Scott Base to drop off some pagers I had to program.  Pagers, you say? Yes, we are absolutely rocking the state of the art in 90’s technology!

If you didn’t know, Scott Base is the New Zealand base that’s just a couple kilometers away down a dirt round and around a mountain. We work fairly close with them on a lot of stuff. So while I was over there I took a few pics of their base and the water from their view point.

 

Me on my way to lunch, damn it’s so nice out today!!!

From T-Site, you can sort of make out a group of green buildings in the lower center of the picture, that’s Scott Base.

Scott Base…

The Kiwi’s use a 220volt system like they do back in the real world and we use 110v like we do in the real world. Well every vehicle has electric warmers you have to plug in to keep the battery, oil, and transmission fluid warm when the vehicle is parked for a while.  So over at McMurdo there are a few plug in’s that are 220v for the Kiwi vehicles when they come over. There is also a small parking section over at Scott Base with 110v outlets for our vehicles when we go over there.  This parking meter is in our section. 🙂  You find lots of silly, funny stuff like that down here…

Ok, enough for now. Time to gorge myself on cold medicine again.

*The number 2.3zillion can not be confirmed at this time.

 

 

Howdy. I took a few pics today so I thought I’d post em. I also heard a story I thought was interesting. I heard someone talking about a near plane crash here earlier in the summer season so that made me curious. I asked her about it and she apparently does, or at least did work out at the airfield so I would think she would know what she’s talking about. I did find this story about it too, so I know it happened… http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=175300

Apparently a New Zealand Air Force 757 was bringing about 120 people down here. Somehow some sort of miscalculation or something happened, they got here and fog had moved in and totally obscured the runway. They didn’t have enough fuel to turn around or make it anywhere else.  So they circled for hours waiting and hoping the fog would clear but it didn’t. Eventually they had to just set it down or gravity was going to do it for em. I guess they got everyone totally geared up in their ECW in case they crashed and survived you wouldn’t want to be out in the elements without your gear on. They got everyone in those crash positions and the pilot brought it in.  Someone else told me they almost landed with the landing gear up, thinking it would be better to set it down on the planes belly, I guess. They had the mass casualty crew on standby and sent extra fire fighters and a bunch of medical supplies out to the airfield just in case.  In the end the pilot landed safely and everyone was ok.  They’ve decided not to bring passengers down on the 757’s anymore. That’s how I got back here after my R&R the last time I was here, no incidents, except that my window shade wouldn’t go up so I didn’t get to see the scenery very well.  Anyway, there is one coming tomorrow to pick people up but it’s coming empty, or maybe just filled with cargo.  I guess there were a few people here in town with family and friends on board, a couple of married couples too with one on the ground and the other in the air.  That must have been nerve racking as hell to know that person is circling overhead for hours with no way to safely land!  At least it all turned out ok in the end!

Lookie, my very first antenna install as a comms tech, woohooooooo(the one in the center of the shot, not that big ol’ mess). Ok, technically I wasn’t the one who originally installed it, but I did have to take it down to do stuff to it and put it back. I think it counts so I’m claiming it as my own…

While I was out working I saw a couple penguins down by the water but I didn’t have my camera on me.  I had to go back out there a little later so I took the camera but the penguins were gone and there were 5 or 6 seals there instead.  You can really see how much of the bank was undercut by that storm I mentioned in the other post too…

And you thought your electric bill was insane…

Here are a few pics of my room.  It’s actually the same room I had when I did the winter last time.  This dorm has been remodeled a bit so it does look a little different.  I’m the only one in the room so, yes, all that mess on all the beds is mine.  I’ll be rearranging it in the next week or so, maybe I’ll show you the new pad when it’s done.  Here is my post from the last time I was here to see what the room used to look like. http://rickieinantarctica.blogspot.com/2012/03/mtv-cribssss.html

Videos

So I figured out how to embed videos into the actual post.  Rather than edit the last one I thought I’d just post all the videos here on a new post.

So I hope you’ll forgive my crappy video taking ability. Also a couple of these videos might have been better if they had been shortened a little or maybe strung together into one video.  I’m not exactly a video editor so I’m just posting them as is for now.  I want to find some good, ideally free, video editing software so I can do all the cool stuff and make the videos look better.  It’ll be a long winter so I’m sure I’ll get better at it as time goes on. In the meantime here are the unedited videos…please forgive me.

P.S.  I had bacon at breakfast!

Workday 1

Hey folks. So I’m here now.  I got in here Thursday about 11pm, Arizona time. I started work today, so far it’s been pretty uneventful.

So it turns out there was a fire in my dorm lastnight and I didn’t even know it.  It was a small one in a clothes dryer and it was caught and put out right away, so it never set off any alarms.  It’s still kind of unsettling that I was sleeping while there was a fire, but if it had been any bigger it would have set off the alarm and I would have woken up, so I’m not really worried about it.

We had a visitor today. The “Spirit of Enderby” showed up, it’s a sight seeing type ship. They went around the corner over by Scott Base and then came back and a bunch of people got in a smaller raft and came ashore. They hiked up Observation Hill and then down around Hut Point and went on their merry way. I’ve never checked on it myself but I’ve heard those sight seeing tours can be like 10-12 grand a person! Suckers! Not only did they send me here for free but they’re paying me to be here, wooohoooo! 🙂

Last time I was here I lost about 45lbs, well I put it all back on plus about 15 since I have been sitting on my butt at home.  So I’m determined this time to make an even bigger loss this time and actually keep it off.  Someone is determined to just make it difficult for me though. When I was in the store today I found that they’re selling bottles of hard alcohol. Last time around it was just beer and wine in the store and you’d have to go over to the bar to get the hard stuff. I don’t like beer or wine so it was pretty easy to just ignore them. I do drink the hard stuff so I’m going to have to make sure I stay away from that. Also there is now 24 freakin hour a day pizza available in the galley! I could seriously eat pizza for every meal so this is not good! I’m going to have to develop willpower of steel!

Well I took a few pics of the ocean since it’s all open right now.  I also made a couple videos using the GoPro I got of us getting on and off the plane. They’re a little more jumpy than I was hoping for, but I’ll show you the best ones.  It looks like it’s not going to let me attach the videos directly into the post like I did with the pics. So we’ll see how this whole video thing works…

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Lots and lots of open water, for now at least…
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The visitors hiking up OB Hill. Is it really interesting enough to take a pic and then post it? Ehhh, probably not…

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So there was a pretty gnarly storm a week or so ago. It was causing some pretty big waves that were eroding the shore line and have undercut much of the ground right up against the water, so you can’t get too close to the water right now or there is the chance the ground could give way and send you for a swim, and I don’t want any part of that.  It also almost washed away the seawater intake pipe and the pumphouse. You can see the white building at the end of that little peninsula, that’s where every drop of water we use goes through before it gets desalinated. The darker dirt areas is where they had to go back in and replace earth and big rocks to beef it back up, they also had to replace parts of the foundation of the building.  So lets hope for no more big storms, I don’t think it would be very fun here without water. Haha

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ECW

Well I promised to bore you guys with something today, so here goes.  So today was the day to go to the CDC(Clothing Distribution Center) and try on all of our ECW(Extreme Cold Weather) gear to make sure it all fits.  I saw a couple people I knew while I was there too so that’s cool. So I’ve got all my gear ready to go for tomorrow and I’m just killing time gorging myself on fresh fruits and veggies that I’ll really be missing in a few months.   Check in time back at the CDC tomorrow is 7am, I think the flight is supposed to be at 9am. The C-17’s aren’t down here right now so we’ll be going down on an LC-130 “Hercules”, it’s like the standard C-130 but the “L” means it’s the ski-equipped version.  You can check it out here if you want… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_LC-130  It takes about 5 hours to get down there on the C-17 because it’s a jet powered plane, but the Herc is a prop plane so it’ll take 8 hours instead. God forbid the weather goes bad by the time we get to McMurdo and have to turn around and come right back!  So if all goes well I should be back on the ice tomorrow at 9pm, Arizona time.

 

My gear all ready and waiting for me to get back tomorrow morning…

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Yummy fruitage to gorge myself on, they didn’t have any strawberries though. The grapes are kind of a disappointment, but everything else is yummy. Of course I had to get some kiwis in kiwi land…

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Well I guess that’ll be enough of that for now.

I lied

So when I posted earlier, on Facebook, not on here, and said that I didn’t take any pictures on my trip so far I lied. I forgot that I did take a couple on the airplane with my phone.

 

I still think the little “Skyview” thing on Qantas flights is just as cool as hell!  Anyone can watch this camera from their seat back screen, as you can see here I was doing. It’s so cool to watch as you’re taxiing around, taking off, and landing.  So I thought I’d take a pic to show ya if you’ve never seen it…  We flew on an A380, that plane is absolutely HUGE, if you’ve never seen one check this out… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A380

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Do you know what this is?  That’s right it’s an entire row to myself for a 15hr flight! Hell yes! Hell to the yizzess!

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A hotel room isn’t normally a big deal, but how freaking awesome would it be to sit at that table with the windows open if it were raining and enjoy a nice beverage with a friend?!

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Alright, that’s all for now.  I’ve gotta go try on all my cold weather gear tomorrow morning, then I get the rest of the day to myself. So maybe I’ll have something interesting to tell you tomorrow. If not, then I guess I’ll just bore the hell out of you, deal? Deal!

 

Contest

Ok so my brother said something about me slipping on the ice and it gave me an idea.  I thought it might be interesting to have some sort of little contest about how soon I slip and fall. It’s pretty much inevitable, nobody goes there and doesn’t fall at least a few times, so it’s really a matter of time. I thought maybe I could give the winner some sort of Antarctica related memorabilia I’ll bring home.***   So if you want to participate you can leave a comment with your date either here on the actual blog post, or over on the Facebook update for this post.  Minor little slips where I catch myself don’t count. It has to be a full on, fall directly on my ass type of situation.

 

***Since this is my contest I reserve the right to stop giving a shit if I get bored with this whole thing.  I also reserve the right to choose what the prize will be, if you anger me then the prize will probably be a bag of Antarctic farts. I also reserve the right to haunt your dreams, piss on your soul, and talk smack about your momma. I also reserve the right to have sex with your momma if she’s attractive and a dirty freak. All Rights Reserved, Patent Pending, Lasagna is Tasty.