Been a while

It’s been a while since I posted so I thought I better get on here and say something before you all started thinking I had been eaten by a seal or fell into a crevasse or something.

Everything is pretty good. I can’t believe I’ve been here over 2 months now, only 5 more to go, and the WINFLY folks will be here in 4 months.  I talked to the boss man in charge and he’s already told me I can have the PC Tech position for next winter.  So I should be back home for about 4-4.5 months and then I’ll come back next winter.

I’ve taken lots of random pics, mostly outside, over the last couple of weeks but I’ve just been too lazy to post them. So I figured I’d go ahead and post a ton so this will be a pic heavy post.

I found these couple of articles about Antarctica related stuff that sort of has to do with the area I’m at.  One of them is about Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano in the world, it’s right down the road from here.  The other is about a 12 mile x 21 mile hunk of ice that fairly recently broke off of Pine Island Glacier, or PIG as it’s refereed to around here. I’m not totally sure how far away it is from here but PIG is one of the field camps people from here goto every summer for some sort of research. I’ve done maintenance on all the laptops they use for the PIG camp, so I sort of have a tie to it, in a round about way.

 

It’s weird the things that wind makes the snow do…

In case you needed to turn on the hall “lites”…

On the other side of the door and it’s spelled the same so it must be right…

Just in case you find yourself in need of some fire and you happen to be all out…

Random outdoor pics…

We had the last sunset for the winter a few days ago.  Some folks went out to Pegasus to get a good view of it.  The airfield is named after this aircraft that crashed here in 1970.  Here are some pics of the last sunset.  The sun is gone now and it’ll be several months until we see it again.  It’s still dusk/dawn-ish out for some parts of the day but it’s getting darker and darker everyday.  When I goto work and get off work it’s pretty much dark, but we get some light in the afternoon. Pretty soon it’ll be totally dark all the time. I miss the sun already…

Going…

Going…

Gone…

I thought the clouds looked kind of cool, plus the fog coming off the water…

 

Sun & Moon

 

I know I told you guys about the paging system going down a week and a half or so ago. Well we came up with a permanent fix but we’ve been waiting for a few days to get some clear weather to head back up to T-site again.  We got that this afternoon so we went up and took care of it.  The sun was out so I took my good camera with to try and get some good pictures.  The moon was chillin on the horizon and it looked really big so I got a couple shots of that too.

 

 

 

The flat white spot is frozen ocean. The rest is open ocean. We’ve had some winds lately that made it break up and carried that ice away. Obviously some of it has stayed.  It’s still amazing to think that that ice will be thick enough to land a quarter million pound cargo plane on in about 5.5 months! Although there is a rumor that we won’t be using the sea ice runway for some reason this coming summer.

 

Big Bang Theory & Snow

Hey, everyone.  So what’s happening at home? Anything good?

Today isn’t too bad outside temp wise. I think it’s only like -5, I know that “only -5” sounds ridiculous but it’s been like -20 or -30 and a couple days ago it was -53, that day sucked!  So today isn’t too cold. There is a ton of snow falling though so it’s everywhere and impossible not to track into every building you go into.

A few weeks ago they announced some kind of huge scientific discovery that was made down at the South Pole.  It’s apparently a really huge deal in the scientific world, someone told me it was like the biggest discovery of the century or something.  I do know that it made it’s way into The Big Bang Theory if you watch the show.  In last weeks episode it was the thing they were talking about in the beginning that had something to do with gravitational waves or something.  That’s one my favorite shows, so that’s pretty cool.

If you want to read about it here is some info…

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/17/primordial-gravitational-wave-discovery-physics-bicep

http://blogs.ucdavis.edu/egghead/2014/04/01/physicists-reflect-on-gravity-wave-discovery/

 

I took this pic early last week.  We had some pretty good wind over the weekend. It broke up and blew out a bunch of the ice that had formed.  The large dark area at the top of the pic is open water.

 

 

Blah

It’s one of those dreary days here today. It’s been completely overcast for a week or so but it’s still been mostly decent out. Today is the exception, it’s a beanie, gaitor, and jacket zipped all the way up day today.  There is a pretty good deal of snow blowing around, having it blowing into your face when you’re walking is always fun. It’s pretty much just my eyes that are exposed so the snow will hit your face and melt, then you’ll get a good gust of wind that blows right in your face and will start to freeze that melted water in the corner of your eye a little. My favorite is if the timing is just right with a gust of wind and you blinking, if you blink for too long you can feel your eye lashes kind of tug on each other when you open your eyes because they were trying to freeze together. That’s a weird experience. It also doesn’t take very long of you breathing through your gaitor for a bunch of the water vapor in your breath to gather on the outside of the gaitor and turn to ice.  As I’m sitting here typing this I can hear the wind outside, that never makes for a good day.

21MPH & -42F

 

On the bright side, I still haven’t slipped and fallen on my ass yet.

 

2 Day weekend

Heyyyyy

So how are all my homie peeps?  I took a handful of pics over the last week or so but haven’t posted them yet, so here ya go.

So far everything is pretty good here.  We had our first 2 day weekend and it was awesome.  I didn’t really do much but it was sweet to not have to get up early on those days.  The start to the weekend did kind of suck though.  It was Friday and my calves were killing me from working out. So I thought rather than have to walk up the hill twice I’d just bring something to eat, skip lunch, get out of here early, and only have to walk up the hill once. It came around to about time to leave and someone called saying that he, and his coworker weren’t getting their pages. It seemed a little weird that more than one person have that problem so I tried paging myself and it wouldn’t work. SHIT! Dude! It’s time to get out of here at the start of a 2 day weekend. Seriously? This couldn’t have happened at noon or something? Of course not. I tried doing a bunch of things from here but they just weren’t fixing the problem. So we had to drive back up to T-site where the transmitter is. On the bright side it was an easy fix once we got up there, and it was also a beautiful day so we didn’t have to contend with the weather.  I ended up getting back to my room a couple hours later than I thought I would, but it could have been much worse.

Pretty much all of last week the weather was great. That’s kind of unusual, the weather is really schizophrenic here. It’ll be gorgeous one day and then horrible the next day or two. Yesterday and today have been pretty blowy out, it was Con 2 yesterday but I didn’t have to go outside so I didn’t care. 🙂

 

This pic was from last week when it was really nice outside.  You can see the ice has really been setting in. With all the wind yesterday some of the ice looks like it broke up and it floated away.  It’s hard to see because there is a lot of snow blowing around though.  Most of the ice is still there and still looks like it’s in one piece. It’s the area way off to the right in the pic below. Just about everything in the pic below is still there.

This big guy is one of the vehicles that they use on the South Pole Traverse.  Every year in the summer they take a little drive down to the south pole to take them fuel and cargo.  The South Pole is about 850 miles from here and it takes them somewhere around a month to get there.  They have huge sleds that they have cargo and huge, multi-hundred gallon fuel bladders that they tow behind. 

Just in case you forgot where I am… 🙂

One of the days we had to go up to T-Site it was really nice up there but there was a big layer of fog over Scott Base and the water/ice. You can see Scott Base a little through the fog…

T-Site

I had to go back up to T-site yesterday and it reminded me about the videos I had taken a week or so ago.  T-Site is where all the higher powered radio transmitters and big antennas are located.  There are also a couple of NASA Ra-domes up there that have ground stations that receive a ton of data from a couple of JPSS satellites orbiting overhead.  Last week we went up there to shutdown about a half dozen higher powered high-frequency transmitters that are normally used in the summer for various things.  Well the group that deals with all of the aircraft related stuff needed to do some sort of test on the air traffic control transmitter. So we had to go back up yesterday to turn it back on.   Yesterday was pretty uneventful but it reminded me of the videos I took when we went up there to shut everything down.

 

Since I brought a GoPro camera and various mounts with me then I thought I’d try and get some cool video by mounting it on the side of the van while we were driving around up there.  It turns out that the suction cup mount didn’t want to stay on the side of the van, it only stayed stuck for a few seconds before falling off.  I think it’s because rubber part of the suction cup was freezing and losing it’s pliability so it wouldn’t stay stuck.  I can’t blame GoPro because I bought some cheapie mounts off of E-Bay.  So this is the best video I could get, it’s worthless but I thought it was really funny to see me stick it there, have it sit there for like 4 seconds and then fall into the snow. Haha, atleast I noticed before we drove away, and it didn’t fall off while we were driving.

Since I couldn’t get it to stick I just tossed it up on the dashboard.  As we started to pull away I thought of trying to see if I could get it to stick to the inside of the window. It was warm enough inside the van so it stayed put. I hadn’t planned on filming from inside the van but it was already on the window so I figured, what the heck, and just started recording.   Like I said in a previous posting I’m really not sure if you guys care to see boring crap like this where I’m just traveling around or whatever.  Then I figured maybe it’s just boring to me since I’m here, and maybe it would be interesting to see the stuff if you weren’t here. So I thought I’d go ahead and post it, if you don’t want to see it, then you could, like, not press play or something. Haha

Anyway, this was the drive back from T-Site to my work center.  It was a pretty clear day so you can see a few good views of the ocean.