Thursday, November 25, 2004


Posted by Hello
Greetings from the Great White South and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States! The Thanksgiving holiday down here is a bit complex. When it's Thanksgiving here, it's only Wednesday in the States. And everyone knows that Wednesday is certainly not a holiday. Also, it turns out that when it is Thanksgiving here (today is Thursday), it's not Thanksgiving afterall. Due to logistical concerns (i.e. the need for the base to keep running and planes to keep landing) Thanksgiving is not on Thursday in McMurdo but gets moved to Saturday. I suppose this could open us up to allegations of being unAmerican, but on the plus side all the poor Raytheon workers have the rare opportunity of getting 2 days off instead of just one. Yup, that's right, down here the contract workers work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day! So I guess this week they will be really thankful. They certainly deserve a couple of days. That's a tough schedule to do for 6 to 15 months.

Things here are going well. Been busy as all hell. The boss-man is still in town, so we all work just a little bit harder when he's around (or look like we're working a little bit harder). I'm looking forward to our Thanksgiving feast (on Saturday, not Thursday). The galley can only hold so many people at once, so the feast will actually occur 3 times for 3 different sets of people. I've signed up for the last dinner sitting in the hopes that we can linger a little longer after the dinner and not get pushed out to make room for the next herd of people. Nothing like the after dinner conversation of a Thanksgiving feast. Full tummy and the slight buzz of wine (actually it's usually beer, who am I trying to kid?), let the conversation go wherever it likes. Nothing is really offensive in this window of time. Hot button topics can suddenly be discussed with about as much passion as a convesation regarding lawn fertilizers. It's all good, everyone's cool, just sit back and enjoy the fullness of your stomach (and the buzz) and the impending weekend of football to come.

So yeah, sorry about my lack of blogging. I really have been quite busy. There's been some exciting stuff going on here that I will hopefully get the chance to talk about shortly. So I'll just leave you with a couple more pictures. These are from the other day when I had to free up a dive hole that was drilled several weeks ago. The preway in the hut (it's basically a kerosene heater) failed and so the hole froze shut. I went out intent on opening it up. I didn't realize that the hole was now up to 4 feet of ice. Luckily I had a chainsaw with me. Unfortunately the chainsaw blade was only 30 inches long. It was hard work and both me and the chainsaw ended up soaking wet in ice and slush. But it got done and quite honestly, it was fun. Although I was quite sore since the hole I was sawing was 2 feet below the floor of the hut, so that added a little extra challenge to it.

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Fun with a chainsaw. It was a race against time; finish the job or pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning. Allison was a huge help using the breaker bar to free up the chunks of ice that were cut with the chainsaw. Posted by Hello