Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Things go missing at the South Pole.

After a visit from the local Illuminati Chapter I have had to edit this page as it appears I am giving away a few secrets of the New World Order. The newly updated page has been stripped of all relevant data and makes no sense. The images have been replaced with the "Penguin Timer" and the logo for the Colorado Mammoth Indoor Lacrosse team.

If you have spent time at the pole you would most likely gotten an email, probably from me or another supervisor saying something is missing. We are always losing batteries, remotes, radios and even guitars. Lately there have been a rash of such emails about bowels from the galley, batteries for headlamps and a set of Bose speakers in the lounge. Here is my email I sent out:


There appears to be a missing Bose speaker in the B1 lounge. They look like 2 small black cubes. If anyone knows its whereabouts or story behind it not being mounted anymore please contact Greg Watson or myself.

Thank you very much.

Patrick McClure
IT Lead/System Administrator
Amundsen-Scott Station
South Pole, Antarctica

To my surprise I received this email:

From: Rehm, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:11 AM
To: McClure, Patrick
Subject: Re: Missing Bose speaker from B1 Lounge

I am using the speakers, various remotes, adapters, all the batteries, and every large bowl to build a weapon to fight off the inevitable alien invasion. Don'’t try to get them back as the weapon is very dangerous. I am just waiting to hear from Bob's CENSORED CENSORED and I will attack . . .

The CENSORED CENSORED Michael is referring to is Bob Melville's CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED which is joked to be Bob's attempt to call CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED. My current hobby is to learn how to juggle. This is CENSORED and Lane working on the CENSORED CENSORED:

Bob putting on a

So it appears Michael's preparing for the worst. I have more about Michael coming up. If you want to know more about Bob read Neal's All About Bob from May 22nd.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Today's Purchase

I broke down and bought a camera today. As many of you know I do not own a camera. Heck I did not own a laptop until I bought one to use at the Pole and I'm in charge of IT down here. Anyway I was able to pry my wallet open for this - A Panasonic DMC-FX01K.

My requirements, easy to use, smallish for travel, good lens, good outdoors capability. This guy appears to have it all that. I also picked up a 1GB SD card for it. I saw many people say this is the best travel camera ever. Others said there was too much "noise" in the picture. If I knew what "noise" in a picture was I'd be concerned. A Leica 28mm lens for wide angles should make those NZ landscape shots grander. They even have optical stabilization (on a compact!) for my shaky hands. Can't wait to try this out. It is on its way to Father's house and he'll play with it before sending it to Christchurch.

New posts coming...

I have a few new posts coming but I will throw some lightweight stuff out there for your entertainment as I continue gather all the post materials...



2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Shining Ones by David Eddings

3. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't use one have an optical mouse.



6. FAVORITE COLOR OR COLORS? Yellow, black and green.


8. HOW MANY RINGS UNTIL YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? Generally one, sometimes two if I am not at my desk, a dozen if I am sleeping.

9. FUTURE CHILDS NAME? Girls names I like Rachel and Chantel. Boys names I like Ian.

10. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate all the way. Vanilla candles smell nice.

11. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Not particularly, if I could take public transportation everywhere I would.

12. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? I guess this quiz was not written for men, not less Antarctic Adventurers.

13. DO YOU LIKE THUNDERSTORMS? I appreciate all weather more now that I have been to the South Pole. Back in Denver any rain is good rain.

14. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? A 1967 White Mercedes Benz 250SEL sedan. That car was sweet with lots of chrome. I miss that car :-(

15. WHAT IS YOUR SIGN? Sagittarius

16. EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? I will eat no broccoli before its time.

17. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB WHAT WOULD IT BE? President of the USA. I could impose my manifesto on everyone (que evil laugh).

18. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? My own hair color is good, minus the stupid greys that keep popping up.

19. FAVORITE MOVIES? Too many to list but a couple off the top of my head, Blazing Saddles, Blues Brothers and the Usual Suspects.

20. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? That's a good question, seeing how my bed is 3.5 Ft off the ground I currently have: three suitcases, a box of liquor (Finlandia, Bombay sapphire, Bacardi, Captain Morgans, 3 bottle of red wine, 2 6pks of Bass, a 12pk of Tui, a single Kilkenny and a bottle of Sandeman Tawny Port) an even larger box of toileteries and a backpack.

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? To watch live, Hockey. On TV football or the Stanley Cup playoffs.

22. YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST INTENSE PAIN? Popping my right index finger over the knuckle and having it pushed down the back of my hand while playing basketball. It's all better now but that hurt like hell.


24. PERSONS YOU SEND THIS TO WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I am posting not really sending. Anyone in Denver, probably Nikki.

25. KETCHUP OR MUSTARD? Brown Spicy Mustard.

26. HAMBURGER OR HOTDOG? Hamburger rubbed in peppercorn.

27. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON? Fall, girls always look great in sweaters.

28. THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? Christchurch, NZ after being in Antarctica for a few month. Honorable mention Montreaux, Switzerland on Lake Geneva.

29. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FAST FOOD? McDonald's fries and chocolate shakes.

30. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTH NAME? Patrick Michael.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Meteorology Forecast

Most of you know that we have a two man meteorology department here for the winter. They take observations of wind, temp and cloud cover. As far as I can tell they have a template they email out that says "cold, windy and dark" and then they throw in some measurements. But this winter they began to forecast (still cold, dark and windy). But now you can plan if the winds are 25knots (really bad) to stay inside and when the winds are 15knots (just plain bad) you can venture outside a little longer. The Jeter (The Don of MET) and his wacky sidekick DeRosa put this forecast up today.

So you can imagine my surprise when Denis, our French science lead called me over and gave me a hug in the galley today. The picture they posted is old, I still had my beard on it.

Anyway I guess I am little worn out and starting to look forward to the warm weather of New Zealand. I think this picture proves it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Why is Microsoft still in the browser business?

Has anyone seen the new Internet Explorer 7.0? Why is Microsoft still making this bloated software that is the biggest security risk you can own? I am a Windows user so I don't flame Microsoft as a hobby. But the Internet Explorer needs to go the way of Microsoft Bob. I have used Mozilla and now Firefox for a couple of years now because IE is slow and limits control of your browsing experience. Did I mention it is bloated? About 4x larger than Firefox and yet renders pages slower. What does the new version of IE offer? RSS feed and tabs... Hello Firefox and Opera have had those for years. Better security? When the browser is your primary connection to the internet, tying the browser into the core of your OS seems to be recipe for diasater. I would venture to say half of the security updates for Windows are IE related.

Why doesn't Microsoft just bag the whole IE package and buy Opera or put a team of eight full time developers on the Mozilla Project? The browser is an improtant part of the World Wide Web but not a money making part of the OS. It is important for Microsoft and its MSN division (featuring HoTMaiL) to keep appraised of the browser but there is little innovation left in this generation of the web. Maybe when Internet 2.0 is a reality the browser will be a hot commodity again. Until then IE should join its trusty stalwarts MS-DOS, FoxPro and Bob in the Microsoft retirement home.

My browser setup:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Read-A-Long with the Blur

In my time as a minor celebrity I often receive email wanting to more about me (mostly), the South Pole and Antarctica (sometimes). Let's stick with my strength and talk about me. I know my inner workings are the most interesting to my vast readership. So today I will give you a peek... What I have read since I came to the South Pole. I will only include books I wanted to read, not things I had to read (i.e. Microsoft Training courses, Cisco Manuals, How To - Soft Server ice cream machine). Here my list:

Galaxies like Grains of Sand Brian Aldiss ISBN 0-451-13416-8
Orion Ben Bova ISBN 0-812-53215-5
Make Love* *The Bruce Campbell Way Bruce Campbell ISBN 0-312-31260-1
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Operation Barracuda David Michael ISBN 0-425-20422-7
The Bear and the Dragon Tom Clancy ISBN?
The Magical World of the Lord of the Rings David Colbert ISBN 0-425-18771-3
Australia and New Zealand on a Shoestring Lonely Planet ISBN 1-74059-646-3
===Graphic Novels===
The Punisher Ennis, Dillon and Palmiotti ISBN 0-7851-0783-5
Rising Stars J. Michael Stranczynski ISBN 1-582440-172-1
Watchmen Moore and Gibbons ISBN 0-930289-23-4
The Inhumans Jenkins and Lee ISBN 0-7851-0753-3
Kingdom Come Alex Ross ISBN 1-56389-330-4
DK2 Frank Miller ISBN 1-56389-870-5
StormWatch Force of Nature Ellis, Raney, Elliot ISBN 1-56389-646-x
StromWatch Lightning Strikes Ellis, Raney, Elliot ISBN 1-56389-650-8
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Volume 1 Frank Miller ISBN 0-7851-0757-6

So feel free to pick one of these up and I'll be happy to talk to you about it. What I have I liked the most so far? I have to say the Clancy book and of course Bruce Campbell. The Bruce Campbell book is a fun read and made me laugh out loud. If your at the library pick it up. Hell buy it because people will want to borrow it. Of course mine is a signed first edition, so you can't borrow it. What's on deck? A bunch...
Domes of Fire - David Eddings
The Complete Idiots Guide to Trantra
Stonehenge Decoded - Hawkins
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen King
Vengeance of Orion - Bova
Learn Latin

I have a rant but I'll make that a separate entry...