Friday, February 24, 2006
posted 2/24/2006 07:33:00 PM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Winding down

The last few days have been really busy as usual, but lots of fun and we've completed an amazing amount of work!

The hose reeling crews yesterday ended up getting just about all of the Willy hose rolled up last night, and the morning crew had the rest done well before lunch today so essentially the project took a day and a half - super fast! At one point Doc even had the evening reeling hose onto two different trailers simultaneously, which I don't think we had ever done before. Instead of working on the hose rolling, I spent yesterday morning running Scharen out to Pegasus to fuel up some things out there, then the evening was dedicated to breaking down the fuel pits. We made a bunch of progress with shutting down the fuel pits in the evening, then finished it up today. Both Bodie and Patrick had their birthdays yesterday, so we had a fun party at Bodie's place to finish the evening! Think tonight I'll go visit with my friend Cindy at the coffee house to chat about Mongolia, where she spent several years teaching for the Peace Corps. Might wander over to "Hut 10" (something approximating a normal house that we have here for special DV [distinguished visitors] or to check out for parties and get-togethers) after that for another going-away party too. We'll see!

Had a really random small-world sort of experience the other day that I forgot to mention on here. A few days ago one of my DA (diningroom assistant) friends mentioned to me that there was a new winterover DA who had heard about my AT talk and wanted to track me down to say hey. Turns out it was Streetrod (real name Rachael I think,) who is a 2004 AT backpacker that I did a 'shakedown' with when I was working at Neels Gap! At Neels Gap we would, for free, go through a new hikers backpack with them to talk about gear stuff, backpacking techniques, logistical stuff, and whatever randomly came up. So, it's a fun, informative, and relatively unique service where we (the staff) often end up getting to know customers a little bit, and it turns out one of those backpackers I worked with ended up finding a job down here and remembered who I was! Really weird to randomly bump into someone you know from a totally different time and place without having a clue that it was going to happen. Nice surprise!

Finally, my redeployment date has moved semi-officially to the 27th, so I need to get rolling and pack up all my stuff! (not too much, we've got a 75 pound checked baggage weight limit to adhere to. Fortunately, your carryon doesn't count towards that weight ;)

The crew has been in really good spirits lately too, which is especially nice when we're all working very hard and things are already going smoothly. Lots of good humor, friendly jokes, silly pranks, etc. going around. For instance, a funny conversation blip:

Setting the stage:Scott is congratulating the crew for our fantastic job pigging the Willy line. Seth is in the meeting with everyone else, but was one of two or three fuelies who was working on normal town duties instead of pigging.
Seth:I'd like you all to know that I'll gladly take credit for the success with the hose rollup, thank you Scott.
Scott:No, thank you Seth, we couldn't have done it without you.
Scott:Couldn't have done it without you being far, far away [grin].
Applause, laughter

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