Monday, June 26, 2006

It's up in all of it's glory!

My turn has come in the calendar photo shoot. You may want to shield your eyes from the glare:
Mr. December!

To see all the previews check Jeff DeRosa's blog here.

If you are really interested in the calendar I have it up on a site, but want to limit distrubution. Email me if you want the whole deal.

WHIFF (Winterover Halfway Internation Film Festival) are slowly getting posting on Google video. Search for South Pole. I'll put more links up as they get there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mid Winter Greetings

Mid Winter (The Winter Solistice in the Southern Hemisphere) was yesterday. That means the Sun starts its painfully slow return to the Pole. Estimates are 52 days until twilight. One thing that is a tradition is the Mid-Winter Greetings. We get them from all the stations, the President and many other people associated with Antarctica. Here is the one we sent out.

A note from the President.

I am out of time but hopefully I'll get motived and post all the Mid-Winter Greetings from all the Antarctic stations. And if you're lucky we'll have some prime cuts from the WHIFF.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We're in Forbes!

A quick note, we are in Forbes. A Forbes writer came down this summer as a tourist. It is expensive but with the Forbes charge card I don't think it was a problem. Here is the link.

Art Work and what's going on!

So I got this email the other day from the lovely and talented, Mistress Tonya - former Polie. In it she included some artwork she did for a class so I thought I share it with my loyal readership. Tonya's pretty hot so maybe she'll send pictures and I'll post some of those. I need something to drive up the ratings here.

In other news I have been really busy lately. Mid season reviews are due and I submitted them. Everyone in the upper echelon had issues with them and had me change things. Most were pretty helpful in general. I guess I am a little harsh in my evaluation of others and terms such as worthless and ignorant should not be used. Who knew?

We had mid winter dinner on last Friday and a two day weekend. That was great. If I was not so far behind on everything else I would post pictures.

I just completed a real-time Video TeleConference (VTC in geek) with the new Head of Raytheon Polar Services Company and the supervisors on station. It went well, so well I am sure they will want to have more of these things. That's a bit of pain for the IT group but it's why they pay us. The new boss does not really affect the day to day things here at the Pole, but he seemed like he had some good ideas. I think he was caught off guard when told of the 64 people on station only one was full time, the rest were contractors or scientists. When asked about retension improvements, he mentioned the employee survey of 109 pages. Of course this survey did not include any contract employees but the two groups should have similar issues. I think he missed the boat on that one but we will see. All in all it was nice to see the big boss take an interest in the smallish but flagship nonetheless of the Antarctic program.

Finally I am putting movies together for WHIFF (Winter Halfway International Film Festival). They are presented tomorrow and I am with Don Jeter. I need to finish screening them and get burning for a DVD. Boy when does this job ever start to cruise?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Men of the South Pole

Jeff DeRosa and Don Jeter are putting together a calendar of the most desirable men on the continent... Polies! If you want a preview of some of the pictures you can check .

Here is a picture of the geniuses behind this endeavor:

Don on the left, Jeff on the right in the worst hat on station.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Big Breakfast, The Dish Pit and Rehm

Life at the South Pole is sometimes tedious. There is no sunrise/sunset to end one day and start another. So that leaves the galley crew as the unofficial time keepers on the station. We know it's a new day when Michael Rehm makes breakfast. Check out Michael's blog here.

Every Sunday the galley crew gets the day off and everyone fends for themselves. But once a month Michael heroically foregoes his day off and makes what is called the Big Breakfast. This is a larger spread than normal as people actually have time to sit down and eat for awhile instead of scurrying off to computers or FEMC strecthing class. This last Big Breakfast I "helped" Michael. As everyone who knows me, I have trouble boiling water but even I can wash dishes. Michael started at about 1am to serve breakfast at 10a. I got in at about 3a and helped out until about 10a. Michael worked until about 1p.
That's the flattop Michael uses for making pancakes, omelets, hash browns, etc. You can see Bob Campbell in the background lining up for breakfast three hours early. Big Breakfast is a big deal.
When the galley crew dirty's up a pot, pan or bucket and places it on this little cart. That's when the dish washer springs into action. There is normally more then one pot here, I had been cleaning for 4+ hours to get this close to caught up.
Jeff DeRosa was the overnight MET guy for the month. The MET guys work 7 days a week, 12 hour shifts. But they do have some spare time between observations. So Jeff came in and made bacon, a lot of bacon as a matter of fact.
This is where you spend your time when you have to work in the galley. I volunteered to help with Big Breakfast but everyone has to spend a full work day in here about every two months. It is pretty mindless work but at the same time challenging in that I am not used to standing for 8-10 hours at a time. I spent last Friday in here for my entire day. No paperwork, no reports, no meetings (well two meetings, less then normal though).
Another view of the dish pit.
A picture of me in the Dish Pit. If you are in the galley at all you have to wear a hat, even to clean dishes.

Here is the spread that Michael put out:

So that's a Big Breakfast and an introduction to the Dish Pit. How do you reward a man like Michael after a grueling day of cooking? One word - SCOTCH! I had a good time helping although I was beat by the end of the day. I would be remiss if I did not post this picture of Michael:
You too can bring your advanced degree to Antarctica and feel like this! This is actually left over from the summer when Michael did nothing but wash dishes (not as glamorous as it sounds). All you kids out there, only seven years of college and you too can cook at the South Pole!

Avalanche Hockey Beard

Please Note: This post is color coded for the non-hockey savvy.

As you may or may not know I am a hockey fan. Originally being a Hartford Whalers fan from my days in Western Mass. When I moved to Denver I kept that allegiance. When the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver and became the Avalanche I watched with interest but still rooted for the Whale. The Avalanche won a Stanley Cup in their first year in Denver. Denver had never won at anything before. That was an incredible run. Then the Whalers moved to Carolina??? What's up with that? So I now root for the Avs except when they play Carolina and I can wear my Whalers jersey.

Almost Current

Fellow hockey fan P. Neal Scheibe and I decided to support our teams with a hockey beard. Neal's heavily favored Red Wings of Detroit were bounced by the lowest seed in the playoff in a little over a week in pursuit of Lord Stanley's Cup. See Neal's beard here (April 21st).
The Avs upset the #2 seeded Dallas Stars in short order. But were found wanting against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and their rookie Russian goaltender. So here are pictures of me shaving my beard after the Avs were eliminated.

Pre-Avs loss. About two weeks of no grooming. This was officially itchy.

This is my baby face after a beard trimmer and new mach3 razor blade. Now if I can do something about the hair.

Be careful. It can be lonely at the South Pole. If you get too silky smooth, this is a possibility:
On a side note the Carolina Hurricanes have advanced to the finals for the Stanley Cup. So maybe this year is Carolina's year. The Whalers never won The Cup in their illustrious history.

Go Whale!!!