North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia

North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia
North, but still south... the fijords of Fuegia

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the South Pole! Life continues to fly by down here, having great times and starting to grow things as well! Exciting times. So a few snippets of life over the past week or two. There was the second big bingo event of the season, and it was followed by a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the gym. So many folks took the opportunity to dress up... and then decided later to document the event properly with a photo at the Pole. I'll leave it to you to guess if there's anyone you know in the photo.



 This weekend was Christmas, and I started off the day opening presents with a good friend of mine on station Rachel Javorsek.  It was a cozy scene in our corner of the galley and it was a lovely way to begin such a great day. 


After checking out our goodies, we quickly donned our outside gear to join in the annual "Race Around the World" event, constituting a 2 mile path around "the world" of the Station and, well, the world, since we crossed all longitudes of the globe. This is a creative event as well-- some get serious about running (the fastest person completed the course in 13:32, about a minute and a half ahead of the next runner...) others walk, jog, ski, drive, sit... costumes optional. 

Here's folks milling around at the start, with our Christmas Tree at the marker:



Here's all the runners all strung out along the course to the right


And examples of the various methods of propulsion...

  



It was a great walk and really got some excellent views of "the world" from atop one of the snowpiles that dot the station "grounds"-- there's lots of snowmoving that happens, either uncovering drifted in storage, or leveling/grooming areas of high traffic... and one might ski/sled/slide down said snow piles if one was feeling a bit frisky...






We got a bit frosty after walking around-- Raja seems to always win the frost flower contest. 



Brunch and awards ceremony followed, then set up for the big dinner.



I was a wine steward for the first seating, which was really fun to help others enjoy their meal.

The three seatings were done by about 8:30 and there was a "cultural" interlude before the disco dance party started-- a bunch of folks who attend the swing and salsa dance classes had a chance to show off their stuff. It was great fun and I think we recruited a few new folks since we were having so much fun on the dance floor!


Next post, I promise, will show what my work is all about here... my boss from the University of Arizona is here and digging into the chambers electronic controls, troubleshooting and doing the groundwork for firing up the system. We've got wee seedlings growing for many plants that will be in in the hobby system, our production crops will start germinating this week.

Wishing everyone the warmest hugs and coziest holiday season--
love jos :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

It was a lovely day, started with a gift in my office topped by a battery-powered candle flickering a warm glow in the darkness.  Then by lunch the word had gotten out to a friend in the IT department, who promptly put a happy birthday wish up on the station scroll, which is broadcast to the entire station via monitors in the galley... so that resulted in plenty more well-wishers through the afternoon.  Then yesterday evening, the carpenter shop had already planned a big party so I had a built-in celebration to go to.  Excellent meat, with some sort of jalapeno rub which reminded me of home, grilled up outside with salty chips and plenty of cold beer on hand... good times were had for sure. 









I do want to add in pictures of what I'm actually doing here instead of just all the fun I'm having after hours... we're here to work, but the human connnections make it all come together.  That'll be in the next post.

Before that, I do have more fun stuff to share... there was an open mic event last weekend, and I actually performed with some folks, singing of all things.  And played the egg, but that's another story.  Tried to upload a clip but I think the movie is too big.  Anyhoo, here's a photo:


Before this internet pass ends, I'll include a couple of links to posts of friends of mine-- one here at the Pole, one from Palmer Station, over on the Antarctic Peninsula below South America.  Check out their photos, they do a great job describing and documenting what goes on down here.

http://marcopolie.blogspot.com/  (South Pole)

http://briantarctica.blogspot.com/ (Palmer Station)

Love to all, more to come--
:) jos