I’m happy to have such a readership of friends and family as I do. I want to thank you all for your encouragement and the emails I get as I don’t think I’d be writing if the feedback wasn’t there. Keep up the questions and thoughts because they are the most enjoyable part of these emails.
I’d like to answer a reoccurring question about this writing I’ve been doing. Many of you have asked me whether or not I plan on making a book out of this and I’m definitely thinking about it. I believe that it’s possible, and might just seriously do a self-published book when I return, but that is indeed a question for the future.
For the moment I’ve been keeping a fair amount of notes and thoughts about this place, as well as just generally asking questions about things here as research for both my writing and a possible documentary I have in mind to do next year or in the seasons to come.
No I’m not planning on a documentary on seals, or penguins, or much of any of the Antarctic wilderness that’s here, but rather the people and the place that is McMurdo and whom we are. Some of you could have guessed it just by what I write about and how I write, and some of you have talked to me about my intentions, but consider this a friends and family press release. I can’t guarantee anything, but we’ll see if I can gather enough video to do it. (First I have to get the camera, which should be on it’s way…) There is also questions about trying to get a grant from the NSF to do this, verse doing it underground as a Raytheon employee. At this point it’s still a research project and nothing sure.
I have started talking and shooting tape for AFRTS (Air Force Radio and Television Service) which runs the Navy radio and television equipment down here (how we see second run movies, how we get Nascar, football, and Fox News, etc). They have the equipment to do shoot some high quality stuff (say for doing an HD quality interview going to PBS) and I get to use it to shoot, but this is more for me to learn how to shoot tape and interact with video editing better. They are even talking about putting on a few shows of MacTown News down here and they’d like some help from me. We aren’t talking about a full news service, perhaps just a total of 3 or 4 show each an hour long (I think), but it should be fun and an interesting experience. I’ve never done anything like a news show in my life, so this would be shooting, learning, and screwing up on the fly. (Yes I’ve played with a camera all my life, and some of you have seen me as a kid with a VHS tape recorder making mock-news things, but I figure this might be a of a bit more of a challenge.)
So that’s the big news of the last two weeks or so, but another interesting tidbit is that I’ve been talking to the people who do TeraScan work here and I might just be what they are looking for in a Science Tech at Palmer or something similar here at McMurdo. To back up a sec and fill you in about TeraScan, it’s one of the things we use to predict weather here. It’s actually a product made by SeaSpace and in conjunction with a bunch of other satellite equipment it downloads visible and near infrared satellite imagery from the 12 satellites that pass overhead. I learned a bunch of technical stuff about this which fascinates me, but might bored you all to death, but that’s it in a nut shell.
Basically it ties directly or by proxy into transportation, science, and survival down here so it’s vitally important to the station. They are always on the look out for good people who are interesting in learning to train and employee. Some seem to think that I’m a good candidate for the track of Science tech and perhaps even grantee and I have to admit that it does sound very interesting as a possible change in fields. (I don’t think I’d ever stop working with PCs.) Again, this is not a place where I can tell you what’ll happen, but I’m definitely finding a new range of options opening to me.
On a different note, some of you have been asking about what I might like for Christmas or my birthday. For those of you gun-ho about the Holidays and really want to send me something, you could send some packaged food. (Otherwise, a letter or even a hug when I return will do nicely!) I recently found out that New Zealand Customs only cares about Fruits and Veggies that are not packaged. This means that anything in a package, freeze dried, or even perhaps boxed can be shipped. (i.e. candy, boxed donuts, dehydrated fruits, beef jerky, chips, salsa, etc., etc.) Liquid isn’t allowed however. Right now things like that would be great. (If you could figure a cake out for my birthday that would be fun, but I think it’s a little late on that.) To emphasize, FLAT MAIL (Envelopes of any size) makes it here in less then 2 weeks generally. Packages (virtually of any sort) can take 4-6 weeks and tends to drive us nuts (as it sits in Christchurch tantalizing us)! Beyond that I’ve taken care of most of the toys I’d like to get. 😉 Thanks though for your thoughts everyone.
And on that note, I’ll get back to the life of Antarctica as more adventures await me…
Rich (a.k.a. “Chipotle”)