It’s been awhile since I last posted, and in the meantime many things have happened, including Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner here was on Saturday, in order to give people a 2-day weekend. Much wine flowed, and it turned out to be a really nice evening. That day though, I actually had the most fun before dinner when Lindsey and I spent about an hour running around in the snow and taking pictures at the telescope and pole marker.
Liz on the roof of DSL on Thanksgiving day.
Liz at the geographic south pole.
We futily attempted to make snow angles and slide on the hardpacked snow, but despite our failures it was good to get out and run around a bit. The only sucky part was that it was about -40 out, so anytime we took off our gloves to take a picture, our fingers froze. One interesting thing about the South Pole is that there are a million flags on bamboo poles to mark the roads. These make very good makeshift javelins.
Liz throws a flag-javelin.
We took the optics and receiver cryostats and all the electronics out of the telescope a few days after I arrived here, which resulted in Martin and I spending a few days re-cabling everything and setting up the receiver so it worked again. After that, I thought I was done with connecting the 8 bazillion (about 150) cables between the electronics and receiver, but we ended up doing some troubleshooting to find bad SQUIDs, and as a result I have spent many days un-cabling and re-cabling the electronics boxes with Martin. Check out the awesome cabling action below.
Liz and Martin recabling the readout electronics.
Liz with the now re-cabled the readout electronics.
Martin, Steve Meyer, and Lindsey left a few days ago. We’d had a lot of fun times together and it was sad to see them go. The last night they were here before the new crew showed up, we has a little get-together in the galley. Martin almost got his head eaten.
Martin in the galley.
Steve Padin is leaving tomorrow, which will also be sad. I’m left with the new crew of people who arrived a few days ago (Brad, Abby, and Helmuth), and we’ll all miss Steve’s extremely cynical sense of humor. Brad tells me I’ll have to step it up a notch to keep the laughter rolling.
I don’t know if I mentioned this, but on all flights to, from, and in Antarctica, you have to wear your full ECW gear. At first I thought this was a bit strange, but now that I wear my Carhartts and Big Red every day, it’s seems completely normal. On the way here (that was over a month ago now!) I was on a plane packed full of people wearing black and red. The flight to Pole was way too early in the morning after a party at McMurdo the night before, so most of us slept for at least some of the flight.
Liz and Steve on the flight to pole.
In other news, I got a hammock and lots of chocolate in the mail for Christmas. That makes me happy.