I didn't get to do any flying today. We had all the gear ready to go at the helo pad, got weighed and everything and the pilot said he was going to cancel. He was apologetic. He's the boss. He makes that decision and it is him who has to get back in there to get me home in a few hours after we set the equipment up. I don't want to be stranded, although we would be ok because of the training and survival kits etc. The trip will be rescheduled for this coming week. There will be a lot more as well. So I spent most of the day working in the shop fixing all sorts of weird things. I even took a look at a Bridgeport Mill control board. I do like fixing electronics. We had a departmnet meeting today as well. There are about 25 people in the IT department. There is a good mix. My job is a cross discipline job since I work on systems and I am often alone out in the field. I work on a very wide variety of stuff from TVRO dishes with satelite receivers with Cisco 2500 routers to 900 MHz, freq hopping point to points, to field HF rigs, to military gear, to Cisco wireless 802.11x, to Iridium phones, to radio systems that function as regular phones out in the field. There is more variety that I even thought, which is good. I am going to attend "Sea Ice" training Monday. That class will teach me about how to read cracks and conditions for traversing sea ice as well as items such as how to pitch a tent on the ice during high winds. I will also get trained on the Pisten Bully which is a tracked vehicle suitable for traverses.

Today it was about 15 below with 35 knot winds. That wind is a killer.

The big talk on station is whether the first pole flights of the year can happen. It was -64 at pole today and the don't attempt it until it warms to -50. So what may happen is some of the deep field camps might get put-in sooner. I had dinner with a guy I know who is probably leaving for the Western Antarctica Ice Sheet (WAIS) deep field site on Monday. He will be out there for 4 months. He is the medical person. There will be a maximum of 75 people at that camp. It is a 4 hour plane ride in an LC-130 (presumablely longer if they end up going in the DC-3). There is nothing out there. Nothing but flat ice, wind and cold. They have a multi-year project going on out there drilling thousands of feet deep for studies.

It is Saturday night in Mactown and we get one day off a week, Sunday. I am not sure I can handle it. I do have some paper work to do and I did make arrangemnets to get a tour of the hydroponic garden as well as finally get up to the Ham shack. Maybe I will get on the air. The I will see what it is like to be on the other end of a pileup. I will be setting up skeds with folks as I try and burn a hole out of the bottom of the world.

I expect to be going out to the Long Distance Balloon (LDB) out on the ice shelf soon too. It is a big project and I believe it is the principle means of measuring the ozone hole. Speaking of ozone and lack there of we were instructed on UV radiation. We actually are exposed to it all, UVA, UVB, and even UVC. Sunglasses are not for looks down here.

This is one of the small helos (A-Star). We were going to take a Bell 212 today (like the one in the background). Hopefully you have noticed that I have started uploading both hi and low res photos, click on the photo for hi res.


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