Let’s see the last update you had was about the LDB Balloon Launch and my delirium at being up for 24 hours. Well then it’s been about a week and we’ve got some news to update on. First while I’ve mentioned the first LDB launch that we got footage of. Two days ago (on my birthday here) the second Balloon launched and failed. This is the first time in quite a time a launch has failed, but it was a failure on the part of the balloon rather then the payload. It failed to make it to the cruising altitude. They are working out recovering the payload right now and are debating a new launch of the same payload as they have one more balloon left. So that’s been the hubbub about science around here right now.
It snowed yesterday making for another picturesque day in Antarctica and making it feel like Christmas around here. Many are hoping that it’ll snow day on Christmas day, but it’s a toss up on that. We still have no mail yet, although the first of 22 more C-17 flights is scheduled to fly today in addition to a LC-130 that’s rotating down, so between the two of them I think we are getting freshies and a bunch of mail plus some other science cargo. The rumors I hear indicate that it’s unlikely we are getting all the mail before Christmas, but it’s hard to believe rumors these days.
Speaking of which, I gave hints that I’ll be working for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service next year, and I’d like to give an update on that. I turns out that was slightly in accurate, I looks like I’ll be doing it before the end of this season. John Booth who’s currently the Broadcast Engineer is going to be leaving a month to 6 weeks earlier then the rest of us, say in early January rather then late Febuary, so it looks like I’ll have the job early. This is bit of a change up from my PC tech routine, but the PC techs are a bit slow this year because of the fabulous job they’ve done in building this homogeneous system down here. It’s a nice system, but it certainly gives me time to work on other things.
Oh and speaking of nice systems. I just found out (by accident) that the 720-568-1000 apparently does work for reaching here directly. This is the direct line for the McMurdo Station Dispatch room in the fire department. I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because we are a small town the fire department is where we house all our Telco equipment too so it’s a multi-purpose office. In any case you can feel free to call me down here using that number and ask for extension 3070 (which is my Dorm number).
I want to switch gears and give you an update on my birthday and Christmas. For those of you who I didn’t call or get a hold of on the 18th (in the states) I want to say thanks for the happy birthdays cheers I got. (Remember it’s the 19th here when it’s the 18th there). We had a great time for my birthday as the bars were closed and we were able to have a smaller party at the Coffee house for a few of the birthdays in December. We made quite a night of it. It was a great birthday as I received quite the number of hugs congrats from home and here making the day perhaps the best present I could have asked for.
Christmas on the other hand is coming up here on Sunday so we get a flip from the usual, and we’ll be doing Christmas dinner on Christmas day rather then our normal Saturday routine. We have the Vehicle Maintenance Facility (perhaps the biggest open area in town) being cleaned out right now for the annual cleaning prior to the Christmas party on Friday. Saturday is extra day off and many are planning on hiking castle rock loop, or having parties, or other random events, then Sunday is the big day. The Christmas dinner should be as spectacular as Thanksgiving and we thank the galley for all their hard work.
I’ll have to say that life seems a bit more subdued around here then it was during Thanksgiving. We are into the grind and putting our nose to the wheel. Once the icebreaker breaks through, things should get interesting. This place becomes a beehive of activity when they start loading and unloading ships.
In other news I’ll be in Antarctic Sun for the Christmas edition. Check it out on Monday of next week. http://antarcticsun.usap.gov
Hope everyone’s having a good day in the states. See ya!