Finally PQ’d!

Howdy folks.  So I found out Tuesday that I’m finally “PQ’d”(physically qualified) for deployment. For those of you that I haven’t told, before you can deploy to Antarctica you have to pass a full physical, dental screening, psychological test(winter only), drug test, and a Labcorp visit where they take approximately 16 pints of blood and 4 quarts of pee from you.  After you submit the results of all this testing then you get to wait, and wait, and wait until it has all been reviewed by the USAP(United States Antarctic Program) doctors and they give you the official thumbs up to deploy. I did have a bit of a hiccup this time around. I passed the medical and psych but I had some periodontal issues they weren’t happy with.  So I spent the last week squeezing in 4 visits to the periodontist so he could poke, prod, and torture me with pointy, metal objects until I cried, screamed, and sobbed “uncle” and he finally had enough and signed my paperwork.  I got my travel itinerary yesterday and I’m leaving on Monday at 7pm. Phoenix–>LA–>Sydney–>ChristChurch, then about 2 days in Christchurch for orientation and ECW(Extreme Cold Weather) gear issue. Then I’m scheduled to fly the rest of the way down to the ice on Friday(Thurs here).  The total flight time, not including layovers, just time in the air to get to the ice is going to be just over 27 hours! I’m not afraid of flying, and I don’t hate it, but still, 27 hours!!  It’s not 27 straight thankfully, but that first days trip from Phx to Christchurch is 19 of those hours. I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining about a free trip to New Zealand and Antarctica, because I’m not, I just hate being trapped in those horrible airline seats. Oh well, until someone invents a transporter then I’ll just suck it up and deal with it.

On a different note, I got a real camera to take pics with this time around.  Last time I just had a little point and shoot camera and it did an ok job of capturing stuff but there were some things I couldn’t really get.  I’m hoping to get some good shots of the nighttime sky for you guys.  The nighttime sky there is absolutely unreal so hopefully I’ll get some good stuff for ya



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