Saturday, February 12, 2005

Day three in NZ

Well it is my third day in NZ. There is a lot to do, so much it has been wearing me out. Went to the open market yesterday and it was quite interesting, lots of foods and clothes to look at. Hit a couple of museums and spent a lot of time at the pubs with the rest of the crew.

Tim arrives tonight so that will give me an amigo to hang out with. Brandon Grantham was supposed to be here on Friday but looks like he got bumped from the flight (or decided to spend a few more days with his fiance down on the ice). Either way he should be headed here tomorrow night. Although I did wait in Bailey's for a 3 hours to find out he was not on that flight. If he gets a room with a hot tub that I can use, all wil be forgiven.

I leave on the 16th and arrive in Denver on the 16th, thanks to magic of the international dateline. In case anyone is interested my patrick DOT mcclure AT USAP dot GOV still works, it just forwards to my ithandyman account. Although I had to blow away all emails in it(actually I have a copy but I need to restore it and do not want to on a public computer).

Well I'm running out of time at the cafe again. Talk to you later...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

In Chch

Well I made to Chch with relatively few issues. I pretty much slept for 12 hours but then again I started at 9a and did not arrive at my hostel (Thomas' on Hereford, the Y was full) until midnight, took a shower, went to Mickey Finn's and called it a night at 3a. Woke up as hungry as can be in the afternoon and visited... McDonald's.

I met some locals on Wednesday and went to eat at Ferment last night, got a great deal on a 300mg filet. A very upscale restaurant one of the locals I met is a waiter there and worked out a good deal for me. I tipped him well (which I think stunned him, as they do not tip for booze or food here).

Tonight I am going to meet up with Brandon Grantham at Warner's Bailey's Bar. The USAP home away from home. They stay open late and serve food late for those weary USAP traveler's.

Well just visited the information center and am going to try to take a day trip to Lyttleton where the beach is. Was going to try today but it has been rainy and windy.

Still have not seen the Super Bowl, the tape was lost in cargo, so they had the pig roast anyway. I did hear who won (the pilots off the plane took a snowmobile out to the pole and planted a Patriots flag and had their pictures take with it, that was kind of a give away).

It looks like I am headed home on 16th and should arrive at DIA about 7p. Need to confirm that of course, but it is a good estimate.

Well time is running out, I'll post when I can.

Monday, February 07, 2005

PS... FYI...

Do not ruin the Super Bowl for me... We are watching it tomorrow (Wednesday). So please, do not mention anything about...

except maybe if the Raiders come from behind and win, that would be okay.

Two days before redeployment...

Well everyone it's two days before I carry my bright orange bag to the "herc" and redeploy to New Zealand. Today the boss left, I leave on Wednesday and the network engineer leaves on Friday leaving the computer side of IT two guys for the winter. I received my evaluation and "possesed skills well beyond a help desk lead". McAfee told me on the flight line today to talk to him in early April if I wish to return as System Admin, its mine if I want it. That's a whole year position but a significant jump in pay. I have applied for the one full time IT position at the Centienial office but I am not holding my hopes out. From what I gather there are already a bunch of internal applicants for it, I am on the outside looking in at this point.

Tomorrow I have "bag drag" and get weighed for the flight. I am dreading my 75lbs limit. I came here at 68lbs and hope I have not gathered much more than that. I am probably going to leave some items to "skua", most notably my timberland boots. They have done well but are very worn in the sole. Plus they are heavy and I need the weight. I should have sent a third box home.

I have been working very hard for the last two weeks. I got "volunteered" for a rec project that everyone beat me up about. There was a film festival here, 18 submited movies, about two hours of running time. Guess who got to make the compliation DVD? I gathered all the source data and migrated to a standard format. Thankfully Nathan "Dr." Bahls pitched in and built a very nice background and used iDVD to make a menuing system. I'll have to bring a copy home, its pretty impressive. Anyway I have slept for a total of three hours today and about 10 for the last three days. I am beat but it's time to pack so here I am cleaning the workstation (and keeping my public informed).

Speaking of weight, I have remained within four pounds of my original weight all season. Today I weighed myslef in the gym and I am down 11 pounds!!! I hope the scale is wrong. I pulled a groin running a couple of weeks ago so I have not been to the gym as much. I would think my weight would go the other way and ballooned up. I have been eating as much as always, maybe less ice cream (it's -40F, a little cold for ice cream).

The story about pictures... Well I have copied a lot of pictures here and now have access to a nice camera. But the geocities site times out my upload/download limit after a couple of MB's. So when I get back I'll probably have to bite the bullet and get a realy host and spend - gasp $5/month on a real provider.

Well I am off to pack as much as possible. I doubt I'll be in the office much tomorrow so this maybe it before I get to Christchurch. It has been an interesting experience but I look forward to positive temperatures and darkness to sleep in.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Station Closing Party - I missed it...

Sorry for the absence but it has been a difficult couple of weeks here. Last week David Benson took his R&R week, which made me the system administrator. Not to mention traffic is at its peak now, with scientists scrambling for time with their projects. Everyone is very transient right now including our staffers going on R&R and replacements coming in and getting a taste of the pole. Dave’s replacement was Chuck Watkins, a full time tech out of Denver who I met briefly in my time training at Raytheon. He did a great job handling the help desk and repair aspects of the job. I was left with email; DOS based AREV systems and general administration of network. It worked out pretty good although I am glad to have Dave back; last night was my first good night sleep in two weeks.

The last day for shipping was on Sunday so I got my boxes out. We can still send letter mail for another week or so. The line was about the length of the main hallway and took over three hours to get through. I used my influence and got to the front of the line.

I have not done much besides work for the last couple of weeks. They had the station closing party on Saturday but I was working as I could not get all the sys admin stuff done during the morning and ended up working until 3:30a.

If anyone is interested Raytheon posted all the jobs for next years austral summer on the site. If you want a trip Antarctica this is a good place to look. I am sure there will be a rush.

I depart Amundsen-Scott a week from Wednesday, the 9th. At least that is the plan. If all goes well I’ll leave Christchurch on the 16th and Tim will be on the same flight. Of course one day of bad weather or another break down of the C-141 and that can change. Speaking of Tim, he leaves McMurdo today for two week of vacation in NZ. Must be nice.

I'll try to stay active even if it means staying up til midnight to get my avid readers their South Pole updates.