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October 26, 2004

Keepin' On

Jim and I were scheduled for our first outing today: half an afternoon on Erebus. It was to be splendid--the simple yet interesting task of swapping out a GPS receiver on a station that is not working, and scoping out a location for a repeater site to transmit some data from farther away. Jim's never been up Erebus before, so it will be new to him, and that's fun, and the weather since we've gotten in has been ridiculously nice. Until today. Skanky weather, cloudy and snowing lightly, with this view from our office window:

On a nice day, there would be lovely large mountains in the frame.

So Jim is outside our office in the staging area actually working, and I am in here trying to think of what I can do so that I look like I'm working. We've been way too efficient this past week (we've only been here a week?), I guess.

There has been some excitement today, though. At lunch, we all got to sing Happy Birthday to Kelly Brunt, a friend of mine who has been coming down for a while. I guess this act in and of itself is not inherently interesting, but it was actually her birthday. As in, ever since folks discovered two seasons ago that Kelly becomes surprisingly embarrassed when the whole galley sings Happy Birthday to her, it has happened countless times, whether it's her birthday or not. I feel very, very privelaged to have been able to call attention to the occasion and start up the song on the actual day. It only happens once a year. And yes, Kelly was embarassed. Marianne, who is going to be out at a field camp with Kelly for a few days, put me up to it--I figure Marianne didn't want to do it herself and have to bear the brunt (so to speak) of Kelly's wrath out on the iceberg.

The other exciting thing is that I received a package from my parents today. And, it's my brother's birthday. So the way I see it, I got presents for his birthday. A book about witches (Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake), a soft fuzzy stuffed tarantula (I was obsessed with tarantulas in 5th grade and really wanted one for a pet. I did a report on them and learned that if dropped, their abdomens will split open "like a bag of jelly"), fuzzy orange Halloween socks with black cats on them, a down comforter (having nothing to do with Halloween) and an amazing amount of candy. All the good really junkie stuff that everyone gets as a trick-or-treater. So if you happen to be in McMurdo and reading this, come by my room for a treat! Tricks only available with prior notice.

I'm about to train Kelly and Marianne's group on how to use their GPS equipment on the iceberg, so I must run. Hope your weather's nice and that you're enjoying the week.

Posted by beth at October 26, 2004 3:15 AM


Your tartantula causes me to remember several years ago driving my neighbor's son and his friend up Mt. Hamilton, near San Jose Calif.to the observatory. Their mother was afraid to tackle the mountain curves in her car......I had a VW, and courage. Well, as you approach the top of the Mt. you drive by lots of Oak trees. We kept hearing things drop onto the car, then more and more...some dropping & sliding down the wind sheild. i stopped so we could have a look and we found ourselves in the midst of Tarantulaville. A huge migration....or something. All over the road......every place you looked, Tarantulas of all sizes. It certainly was something to experience.....to see. The then teens are now in their 40's and everytime I see them the first thing out of their mouths is:" Do you remember the day we drove up Mt. Hamilton?" A memorable trip.......none of us remember what we saw at the observatory but we certainly remember the Tarantulas.
Have a Happy Halloweeen!

Posted by: Muriel Haupt at October 26, 2004 4:01 AM

happy halloween! all i can say is, i'm glad i am not playing "can you top this" with you and muriel. aunt pat

Posted by: pat at October 26, 2004 2:10 PM

Happy Halloween, I love all of your costumes on your web page. I took Noah trick or treating with Shannon, he was a very cute giraffe. I wanted to ask you, was that a C-17 you flew in to Antarctica? Now that I know how to keep in touch, I'll keep you posted on all my adventures. I LOVE YA - BE SAFE DOWN THERE

Posted by: scott at November 1, 2004 2:39 AM