Showing posts from September, 2006
Well, I got the real word tonight at follows: Charles, This email is to inform you that you have been physically qualified for deployment. Your P.Q. status is good through 03.01.07. If you have any questions please call 1.800.688.blah Blah Option 3. Congratulations, and have a good trip! Thanks "Well, The first thing ya know old Chuck headed to the ice.,,, etc..." See previous blog for context. "Hills that is ... Terror and Erebus, scientists and malcontents" I am headed to the ice for the 2006-2007 USAP season. Yee Haw!
Well, I got my stress test done. The results of course were fine. I impressed myself on how fast you can get something like that done when you really are compelled. I could find no one in the greater Binghamton area that could do it in less than a month. I was hung up on at one point inquiring at a local cardioligist office. I started looking in Syracuse and was attended to very efficiently by CNY Heart Center on Genesee St. I made the appt., got it done and was back home by 5:30 PM. They helped out a lot. Just about everybody is willing to help someone with a plan like mine once it is properly communicated. Plane tickets next? I suspect I will be leaving on the 14th.
The Antarctica folks decided they want me to take a stress test before they PQ me. Hopefully, I can get that done today.
I am getting the sense of the convergence of folks going to the ice. I can sense the community coming together. It is almost October. This month marks the begining of the primary exploration season for the last 200 years. There are friendships being renewed and there is optimism to create new friendships. Through email activity you can see that it is rapidly approaching showtime for the austral summer on the ice. The show seems to start in earnest around Halloween. I am thinking about what books I will take with me. I think I will leave the books about Antarctica at home. I suspect the Mactown library is full of them. I have received my agenda for training in Denver although the dates are not set yet. I will not stop thinking about the Heroic age of exploration and the different eras of exporation in Antarctica. I suspect (next year as a matter of fact) that we are entering the next era, the era of participatory exploration. Where tourism is harnessed as part of exploration. This year
I am getting a little ahead of myself. It turns out I am not quite yet PQ'd. My medical should be approved Tuesday. My blood chemistry looked great in the sheet that I received. I am healthy. Not only am I healthy, I am healthy enough to go risk my health in the world's most desolate, highest, dryest, windiest, coldest, most remote continent. I ordered a new carb for the bobcat. I still have to order some extra camera batteries and SD cards. I think my laptop is in pretty good shape and I think I am feeling a little more like I am ready for this experience. The interary had me a little freaked out since it had me coming back to the States in April. April is emergency evac time from Mactown, not summer help coming home. I am planning on leaving on or about the 15th of October and returning in mid February. I will be in Denver for a couple of days on my way to the ICE. I have been reading and reading about Antarctica. Everything from the history of early discovery to detail
I have to check on my itinerary for the big trip to the ice. Something doesn't make sense. Today I am feeling a bit nervous about the trip to Antarctica and the known and unknown dangers. The following article speaks well about getting a job like I did. The great thing is that I have a fantastic job. I am a senior communications technician. I will be fixing and installing radio and communications systems. My job will have me traveling out into the field so that is a triple plus. I will be out and about working on stuff I love to work on. What could be better? I still have a lot to do. Used without permission from Work in Antarctica Getting Hired Is Difficult, But The Rewards Are Worth It By Benjamin Murray No matter how deep the world’s uncharted places that zealous travelers go, there is always one destination mocking their efforts: Antarctica. But I found that persistence, paperwork, an
Holy Shit. It happened. I received tickets to and from Binghamton NY and McMurdo Station Antarctica. (Actually from BGM to CHC, through Washington, DC, Denver, Los Angeles, Auckland NZ.) and then on Military aircraft to Mactown (McMurdo Station). The itinerary is almost as thick as the USAP Participant's Guide. I believe it. But then again I don't. It feels like it is going to get surreal after this point. I worked to get here. I will continue to work where (geophysical or otherwise) I need to go. But given a good grounding, I will believe it when get off the plane and see what I expect to see, much like my first (of many) trip to Japan (starting) in 1985. It happened. I first started talking about this in 1997. Accomplishment is sweet, but lends itself only to what is yet undone.
Duplexer Drive? This new microwave drive unit seems a little too simple to be real.;jsessionid=NMGHKBGMCGMM
I mailed in everything (hopefully) to be PQ'd. I should be hearing something soon about exact dates, plane tickets etc. I purchased my mandatory sunglasses (Ouch$). I get reimbursed for about half from my employer. The place I purchased the sunglasses from specialize in extreme and mountaineering eyewear. I still have a lot to get and do. Working on creating/using check lists is an important step at this point. I am already getting booked for a business trip to Las Vegas in late February just after I get back from the Ice. In some ways this adventure to the ice will be brief. In other ways it will be long. I suspect depending on the day it will be one of the two, not the grey in between. The following list is used without permission from: Quick facts about Antarctica Size: 5.5 million square miles (14M sq. km). Fifth largest continent in the world. As large as the US and Mexico combined. Gov
I am getting packed up to leave San Diego. The CIDM (Center for Information Development) conference was good. Next year the conference will be in Atlanta. The weather was great. San Diego is in the tropics after all. Bill Hackos and I had some great discussions regarding Baumol' diesese. One of the things that is interesting is that almost everyone was a farmer just two generations ago. These displaced workers are not really considered displaced anymore are they? I have a Dentist Appt tommorow morning. I should have the last of the PQ materials in the mail after that. I am thilled to be going. I am thinking of how it might change me. This is a good thing. I am thinking about presenations I will be giving after I get back. I certainly enjoy giving presentations. The experience will be good material. I was thinking about a motivation speaker I saw a few weeks back. The theme of the speech was "getting a front row in life." I like the concept, but it falls short of where
I am in Philadelphia airport right now. Bonnie just called to let me know that Resses didn't make it this time. We had that cat for at least 18 years. Over those 18 years she used up a whole lot more than 9 lives. I remember when she was missing for week one time. I suspect she took a ride in the back of my truck and it took her a while to get home. She had a good life with caring owners. She could just about do anything she wanted, whenever. She lived with us in 5 different places. It was getting hard for her to adjust to different places to live. I feel good that we let her die at home, quietly. Rest in Peace Resses.
I mailed in all my Medical stuff today to become PQ'd. There was a bunch of arcane information to gather. It took a couple of weeks to get it all. It appears a lot of it would be good for research statistics not much else. For example, there is a very strange prevelance of gall bladder problems for people who winter over in Antarctica. No one knows why. Gathering additional data can help figure things out. There has been a lot to do. I have have had as many injections as trips to medical buildings. I have to thank Chris at Parkway dental and the folks over at Dr. Kennedy's for helping me get all this done when everyone else is waiting months for appointments. I am off to San Diego Sunday for a couple of days for a conference. Thursday when I get back I have my last Dentist appt. before submitting my dental work (and xrays) for getting PQ'd. I don't think the Resses cat is going to make it until I deploy. She is very sick. She has been taking water but nothing else.
I should be physically qualified (PQ'd) next week. I recovered from my teeth extraction quite fast. My bite has changed and that has given me a bit of discomfort. I have one more doctor visit (I think) and one more dentist visit. The next step after being PQ'd is receiving plane tickets to the ice. My POD (point of departure) is Binghamton NY. I will fly commercial to LA and then to Auckland and then to Christchurch NZ. I will be in Christchuch for a couple of days with orientation and we have to wait for weather, logistics and get my ECW gear (Extreme Cold Weather). From Christchuch I wil get on a Air Force C-141 (most likely) and fly to Mactown. Mentally I have moved from extreme excitement to a more subdued cautiousness. It will be a very different experience. You just cannot mentally prepare for the unknown. The humdrum boring issues are the ones to be cautious of, missed flights, lodging problems etc. This is a flower arrangement the grandkids made a couple of weeks back
Well, I am sans 6 teeth today. I had 4 wisdom teeth and 2 molars pulled over the course of 45 minutes yesterday morning. It is the first time I have had a tooth pulled. If I had my wisdom teeth pulled a few years ago I wouldn't have had to get the molars removed. Now I am on the track for perfect dental care. I have been at the fringes for years. The extraction wasn't too bad I guess as far as they go. There were no infections and most of them pretty much popped out. Only one of them hurt as it got yanked on and only one of them got really crunchy. It was also the first time I have had nitrous oxide. I find it to be very similar to beer without the nasty headache. It is over now and I can relax. I still have a lot of paper work to get through to be physically qualified. There are a lot of things to do in a very short amount of time in my case. The really good thing is that when I ask these professionals for expediency and explain that I am going to Antarctica, they really wor
I am having issues with my computer at home. I am reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling the system. It is very time consuming to go through and fix these things but what else can you do? I have no net access at home for the next few days. The good thing is that this will give me more confidence of the computer for Bonnie while I am gone so we can email each other easily. McMurdo now has 2 T1 lines this year. That will be a big help compared to how it has been there. There are a lot of folks (with lives off the ice). Bandwidth would be a requirement. I don't expect gobs of bandwidth but hopefully I can buzz through some emails as the opportunity presents itself. It appears I am getting some teeth pulled to go to Antarctica. Today I find out how many. So... I am giving some teeth up to have the opportunity on top of all the other sacrifices. I have never had a tooth pulled up to this point so I am a bit nervous. I hope this will be the last on the list of sacrifices. It is