Sunday, January 08, 2006
posted 1/08/2006 09:43:00 AM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Started out work Friday with a long (20 miles roundtrip) snowmobile drive to run some sample bottles from Willy Field out to Pegasus for potentially fueling a C17 full of DVs. DV is short for "Distinguished Visitor" - in this case it was a few senators and a bunch of representatives. Turned out that it didn't need any fuel, but no biggie, it was a nice drive. Had a little bit of confusion and chaos a couple hours later when the ANG thought they were going to bring a plane over to fuel it at something like 1am for a 2am takeoff. Let them know we were leaving at 10pm, so they'd either have to reschedule things or get fuel somewhere else (maybe not in that exact wording, but not too far off - those guys should know by now that we're not a 24 hour operation.) They ended up doing some rescheduling and Jodie and I suddenly had three LC-130s in the pits at the same time. Think that might be some kind of record. We ended up fueling 5 skiers and a twin otter that evening (that's a bunch,) and still got off work a little early since there was supposedly nothing else out there that was going to need fueling. Unfortunately, there was apparently a bit more confusion very early Saturday morning and Trevor (who had the [new] duty pager) had to go out there and add an additional 1,200 or so gallons to one of the planes because it's mission had changed a little bit. Learning that these DV visits(the root of all the craziness) are fun stuff!

Three LC-130s in the fuel pits
Three skiers in the fuel pits

Saturday was not without it's own issues, but on a much smaller scale. There weren't any planes to fuel, so Jody and I basically went out to the pits, helped out with finishing up a fuel transfer to fill the aviation tanks, double checked that there was nothing that would need fuel, then left.

About halfway to the Scott Base transition, we saw a twin otter coming in for a landing, looked at our schedules to confirm that it wasn't landing, watched it land, crossed our fingers that it wouldn't need fuel. Then Gina hopped on the radio to say that the twin otter guys had called the office and would be needing to refuel a plane... So, I hopped back on the radio to ask our shuttle driver to stop (we were in a delta, so the cab and passenger compartments are separated by several feet and a big noisy diesel engine.) Got out of the delta and started walking back to Willy, hitched a ride on a different delta and got dropped off a the fuel pits. Turned out that there had been a bit of a miscommunication between the Italian program whose plane it was and the ground support people, and they were very apologetic for calling us in to fuel a plane after saying that there was nothing left to do. No big deal though since it was still well before our shifts were over, so I wasn't working late or anything - just another day at Willy!

The MAAG (pronounced "mog", McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery) happened Saturday evening. Some neat stuff, but unfortunately I didn't think to take my camera and therefore have no pictures until I can get copies of some from other people. After checking out MAAG, I visited with friends until late and then went to bed!

Q:hello Ian from Brandon, a sixth grade student who is interested in
monkeys. becuz they are awesome. -Brandon

A:Hey Brandon! Yeah, monkeys are pretty cool. Don't have many of them down here, unless you want to count people as being less furry monkeys that don't usually fling poo.

Q:What is the coldest temperature that you have experienced? -Kelvin

A:Not sure exactly, but I think it was down around -20F when I first got down here, honestly don't remember the numbers. Think with windchill figured in, I've been out in -60 to -80 or something along those lines. At any rate, pretty cold. Had my beard freeze to the inside of my facemask a few times. Sunglasses would nearly instantly frost over when stepping outside on cooler days in October. Will try to get some more concrete numbers later!

Q:at school here looking through your postings. a student noticed that
you say "stuff" a lot and wonders why. how are you!!! -Mom

A:Doing pretty well I suppose, just life as usual. Work, sleep, repeat... Counted the word "stuff" 10 times on the current page of entries (mostly in that last post,) which is probably a little excessive. Guess it's just a handy word to use.

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