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Stauchy Blog » 2007 » January

Archive for January, 2007

The Pole Moved! - Monday, Jan. 1 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

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It’s a New Years tradition at the South Pole to move the location of the Pole marker to reflect the actual location of the South Pole of the Earth. Each year, the ice shift by about 10 meters, so each year, the pole marker, which moves with the ice, needs to be moved to accommodate for this shift. With the move of the Pole, a new marker is placed atop the new location. It is designed by a winter-over person from the season before and the winter crew votes on the winning entry. For high resolution pictures, see the gallery: New Years at the Pole (more…)

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HAPPY 2007!!! - Sunday, Dec. 31 (JRS)

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

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On New Year’s Eve there was a big party in the gym. Previous years’ parties were part of South Pole Lore and generally involved a bit of craziness, like people dancing in a cage. Lynette and I aren’t usually New Year’s party people and we’ve tended to take it easy on New Year’s Eve in the last few years, but we were pretty excited about what this year had in store. For high resolution pictures, see the gallery: New Years at the Pole

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Brits, Hannah McKeand, and Indians - Friday, Dec. 29 (JRS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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In the past few days, we’ve had three NGA (Non-Government Activity, or as we call them, tourists) groups arrive on skis.  Four men from the Royal British Navy, about a dozen people from the armed forces in India, and a soloist who was out to break the record for quickest solo trip from the coast to the Pole. 

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I remind me of my brother - Thursday, Dec. 28 (LAS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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Today is my brother’s birthday.  I wasn’t sure how to best get ahold of him.  My plan was to try to call, but since I was getting his cell number from my mom when the alarm went off on Monday, I still don’t have it.  So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE!! I got news today that I am even more like him than I knew I was yesterday.  We have both had the pleasure, now, of experiencing a torn meniscus.   

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Deal with the crews & the Power Plant Alarm - Tuesday, Dec. 26 (LAS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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The Winter Site Manager, Andy Martinez, and I made a deal with the RPSC work crews.  If they can go 5 weeks without a safety incident, will take on any haircut they want to give us.  The deal starts today.

We got up this morning and attempted to make phone calls to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We got a lot of answering machines, for the most part.  We did have a nice conversation with Jason’s dad, my brother, and my mom.  While we were on the phone with my mom, the alarm in the building started sounding.  With a real quick “gotta go - love ya, bye”, I hung up the phone and darted to my office to get my yellow hat, monitoring equipment, and clipboard that allows go to an emergency site with me. Jason took off to don his bunker gear. (more…)

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The Race Around the World - Monday, Dec. 25 (JRS & LAS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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We did sleep in a little. Unfortunately, we missed the annual POW ceremony with the veterans on station, but Lynette did manage to stand on 2 feet in time to head out to the Pole for The Race Around the World. It’s a Christmas tradition here at the Pole, which involves three laps on a 5-k course around the Pole. For higher resolution pictures, see the photo gallery: Christmas at the Pole (more…)

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Christmas dinner - Sunday Dec. 24 (JRS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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Christmas is probably the toughest time of year to be away from your closest friends and family. The prospect of not getting to spend our Christmas with those folks and be a part of Christmas traditions was a definite downer. However, we’ve made some pretty good friends here, and, like with Thanksgiving, the galley was decked out to be made homey looking and the kitchen staff fixed a wonderful banquet, which made it just about as close to home as you can feel at the South Pole. For higher resolution pictures, see the picture gallery: Christmas at the Pole

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The Big Labowski (or not so much) - Saturday, Dec. 23rd (LAS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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Tonight was an “appreciation BBQ” for the FEMC staff.  The FEMC manager invited me down to join the festivities in the carp jamesway.  I joined the early weekly wrap-up and safety meeting, which was followed by BBQ ribs and beer.  Several people showed up.  Sarah told me that they were going to have a Big Labowski party in the summer camp lounge tonight.  After the party dwindled a bit, They had gotten the supplies for white russians and had the movie ready.  More...As more non-FEMC people showed up to the BBQ shin-dig, I called Jason and told him to make his way out to the BBQ.  As the BBQ dwindled down, we made our way over to J11, where the Hawks had moved their party. We hung out for a bit before making our way to the lounge.  A couple of games of foosball were started and Emrys and Charlie headed out to ARO for some of the “cleanest snow on earth” for the white russians.  During the wait, someone hooked their ipod to the stereo system and we were suddenly in dance party mode.  Eventually, it became clear that it was a dance party that would never dwindle down for the Big Labowski.  As the night carried on, the party became a “show me your underwear” type festivity.  We weren’t in the mood for dropping trou, so we headed home.

-LAS

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It’s a Cookie Masterpiece! - Thursday, Dec 21 (LAS)

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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Today was the first meeting of the Employee Safety Committee.  A lot of good ideas were brought up and addressed and we selected an officer and minutes-keeper.  I did most of the talking and am looking forward to seeing what this group accomplishes on their own. At 7pm we had the cookie decorating party. 

More...It started out fairly simple.  We had sugar cookie dough, rollers, flour, and cutters.  After a few rounds of cutting the Christmassy cookies, we got more entertaining as we located the Halloween cutters and random things.  I started taking personal requests for cutting cookies out with a knife.  It started easy enough.  There was a candy cane, a canoe and oar, a hammer.  Then the weird requests started flowing.  I did the empire state building, with king kong on it, followed by the leaning tower of Pizza.  There was a replica of our dome and the ceremonial south pole.  The final request was a sphinx - a real toughy.  I may have found my new form of artistic expression.

 

For my final cut, I took the ball that was left and mad a sizeable, and very impressive, GT.  GO JACKETS!

-LAS

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Airdrop - Dec. 20 (JRS)

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

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There had been a slight buzz around station since the beginning of the season about an airdrop that was to occur during the summer. It has been several years since the last airdrop, but for several reasons, they had been stopped. To see more, higher-resolution pictures, see the Airdrop Picture Gallery. The Air National Guard, who operates all of the flights in and out of Pole, decided that they wanted to ensure that an airdrop was safe, in the event that an emergency drop was needed. Here is a blurb from Lt. Col. Greg Pyke about the airdrop plans:
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95 Years @ Pole - Dec. 14

Friday, January 12th, 2007

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An email from our NSF representative:

Today 95 years ago today, Roald Amundsen and his party arrived at 90 South, the first person/s to stand at the geographic South Pole.  Take a moment to reflect on what it must have been like to achieve that goal at this very location, alone, and without any back up support.  And now today we have the Elevated Station, SPT, IceCube drill camp, LC-130 operations, etc.

Jerry  

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Your newest Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado IS…. - Sunday, Dec. 17 (LAS)

Friday, January 12th, 2007

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 I slept in quite a bit this morning. I managed to get myself up to order final items from the “it was stolen” list before too much of the morning satellite passed. I was working at my desk when Jason returned to the station and came up behind me. He patted my head and said “That Liar.” He was referencing the fact that I did not, in fact have a mohawk. I asked if he was disappointed. As I expected, he assured me that he was not. We went to brunch with several of the hawks and Jason got caught up to speed on what he had missed the night before. After brunch, we each went to our offices to do some follow-up work. While I was sitting there, I remembeered that I hadn’t checked my hotmail account in a while (stauchy@stauchy.net gets checked WAY more often). I had an e-mail from someone with an “@dora.state.co.us”. The subject was “Colorado PE License”. I knew it was the final decision on my licensure as a PR in CO in Civil Engineering….SCORE! You can view my license number at the following link: https://www.doradls.state.co.us/alison.php

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It’s Mohawk Time! — Saturday, Dec. 16 (LAS)

Friday, January 12th, 2007

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Tonight was pizza night in the galley.  Jason and I went to dinner and chatted with some friends as we awaited approach time for his departure for South Pole ROCS (Recreational Outdoor Camping School).  As we were eating dessert, I got a call from “J11″ on my radio asking about dinner options.  “J11″ is one of the summer camp jamesways that houses some of our friends on the FEMC crew.  They are a really fun crew and we always have a great time.  There is a mini lounge area in the middle, and a bunch of the day shift crew “debriefs” there after work with some drinks.  I had nothing better to do, so I asked Francie (our production cook that is wintering with us) to whip out a few pizzas for me to wrap and carry out to summer camp.  (more…)

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SP ROCS - Sat, Dec. 16 (JRS)

Friday, January 12th, 2007

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Lynette went to happy camper school the day after we got to McMurdo I’m a Happy Camper!, and now it was my turn. South Pole Recreation set up three weekends of camping trips, similar to the Happy Camper, and called it SP ROCS (South Pole Recreation Outdoor Camping Session).  For more, higher-resolution pictures, see: SP ROCS Picture Gallery (more…)

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Lynette’s Twin Otter flight to Scott Glacier & Charlie’s birthday-Dec 12 (LAS)

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

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Today started like any other work day. Sometime mid-morning, Tracy, the comms coordinator called and asked if I was interested and had the time to join one of the Ken Borek missions to support the establishment of a field camp at Scott Glacier.  Assuming that weather was in MY favor, Keri Nester (the winter-over materials person) and I would assist with loading a twin otter with supplies, fly out approximately 1 hour to the glacier and assist with the unloading of equipment before flying back.  I prepared my bag of ECWs, water, and snacks before heading to lunch.  The call came in during lunch that we were “go” for the mission.  For the picture gallery, see: Scott Glacier Picture Gallery

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Toga, Toga, Toga - Sat, Dec. 9 (JRS)

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

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Neither of us had ever been to a Toga Party before coming to the Pole.  Charlie, the food material’s person, and Sara, the welder, had been planning on having a Toga Party since not long after we arrived. (more…)

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The New Rodwell - Thurs, Dec. 7 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

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At approximately 2000, I met with Martin Lewis, the Operations Manager, Josiah, one of the night shift heavy equipment operators (and co-driller), another experienced driller, and John, an NSF rep here to help with the Design team who also used his knowledge to help with the procedures for the drill.  We reviewed the JHA and additional safety issues before heading out to the location of the new rodwell.  Our existing rodwell is coming close to being spent and this summer we need to complete a new rodwell and allow it to operate/warm water for a year before switching from the old rodwell to the new.

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Ice Cube and the SIMCO Drill Rig- Tues, Dec. 5 (LAS)

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

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About a month ago, ICE CUBE drillers had an accident which injured one of the drillers.  Long story short, the person got their hand caught between the centering clams and the auger.  He’s ok, thankfully, but it caused us to take a close look at the drilling procedures.  A brief description of the day and of ICE CUBE.

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There’s a Fire Alarm at Ice Cube Drill Camp (Drill) - Dec. 2 (JRS)

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

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Just about everyone on station knew that a drill was coming.  There had been talk about it all week.  Everyone thought that it was going to happen at Ice Cube, and each day, the rumor was that it was going to happen the next day.  The anticipation was driving me nuts, and my stomach hurt all the time with nerves.  Today at about 9am, the alarm finally sounded. (more…)

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