Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Plugging Away

I'm still here doing this whole multi-tasking thing at Pole. Since posting last, I've also gotten to swap out 32 big batteries for the VLF transmitter and excavate an autonomous VLF receiver from the field. That latter activity took several hours of shoveling on Monday morning, and was the biggest hole I've dug here to retrieve the smallest piece of equipment to date. I've also started writing a consolidated SOP/checklist for how to do my job as science tech. It'll be the equivalent of the Grand Unification Theory (that may be hyperbole...) for the Cusp Tech position, but is mostly being done to facilitate coverage for me if I need to leave to do work in the deep field or-by Odin's beard-actually get R&R in January.

I'm also pushing forward as best I can with getting the fire brigade up and running. For some reason it is taking a LONG time just to get people onto the team, which has consumed a lot more of my time this year than previous. We have to be fitted for our respirators by the safety engineer, go through a brief physical with medical, get a properly programmed radio, and be issued bunker and SCBA gear. That's just to be allowed and equipped to respond, and doesn't even mean you have the training to really know what you're doing yet. All that process of building the team and bringing skills up to sufficient proficiency is what's on my plate for the coming summer (and then I get to do it again for winter). It's tough to schedule training when you have folks working on 3 different shifts in the same team, not to mention the fact that I have a "good deal" of work for my own primary job to do every single day. Oh well, I think it's important for the station, and it will hopefully look decent on my resume if there are any jobs to apply for when I leave here.

"Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body."
~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

2 comments:

Sherri said...

I showed my students here at Marion and Goessel your blogs. They remember going to KU Engineering Expo last year and watching the students as they worked on building an airplane that was to be used there in the Antarctic. They were wondering if you were using that plane.
They were also wondering if your short showers were cold because in two minutes water is just getting warm. What are your other living conditions like?
By the way...they enjoy your quotes. Lord of the Flies wouldn't be remembered from Costello's English class would it?

EthanG said...

I don't use the CReSIS plane here, and didn't help engineer it while in grad school at KU, but had friends that were involved with it. I worked on a satellite that eventually blew up upon launch with the rocket and a bunch of other satellites.

Showers are reasonably warm, fairly quickly. Frankly, I only use about 2.5 minutes of my allowed 4 minutes of showers per week. The feel good, but are a hassle, and your skin can get really dry afterward.

Hmm, how far back did I use a "Lord of the Flies" quote? I'm fairly sure I've read it since high school. I was around before there was a Costello's English class, though.

Glad some folks are enjoying the blogs, and I'll do my best to keep them interesting.
E