Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Wonky AASTO

Hi All,

the AASTO is back standing on its little yellow legs for the first time in a few years. Like a building that's had a couple too many beers (really Jess, thats terrible) it isn't at all too certain about it. This morning, Froggy the cranedriver was back, and before 9am the AASTO was a couple of metres off the snow, and the tower was looming in front of it. Before the guylines were used to steady it, you could put your hand on the building and it would creak in the other direction and sway back. A bit concerning. I headed back indoors for a meeting, and the carpenters came in at lunch and told me that even after the guylines were put down, the AASTO still had a bit of a drunken lilt to it! We are hoping in the next week or so it will settle into the snow a bit. In the meantime I have promised not to hold any barndances in there. Damn.

The carpenters are going all out and today are making a set of stairs to make getting into the AASTO easier, which will be good. I meanwhile sat through a science meeting, and then an I.T. meeting, and then a construction meeting, and have therefore met far too many people for today. It was all useful though, and if all goes well, next week is planned reasonably well.

Last night was the first night I could keep my eyes open past 8pm, and so I went up to the music room in the Skylab which overlooks the dome, and had a bit of a jam session with a couple of people who play acoustic guitar. It was fun, and there is an Open Mike night next Saturday, where I *may* join them for a couple of songs. We'll see how we go ;) This did mean I missed Slushies - which is out in the Clean Air building. Slushies is an event where one of the meteorologists heads out into the Clean Air sector, upwind of the station. This space has the cleanest air, and snow, on earth. It is filtered over nothing but snow and ice for nearly two thousand kilometres. They grab an esky full, and come back upstairs where everyone grabs a cup, fills it with snow (which is powder-fine) and adds their favorite alcoholic beverage. Maybe next week...

Tomorrow is Sunday, where most people get a day off on station. I will maybe even get to sleep in until 8:30am. Wow!! Dana, the science tech, has a problem with the VHF antenna, and I have agreed to go out with him while he sees if he can find the trouble. He also said a tour of the underground Seismic Vault might be possible - and one of the last opportunities, as they are sealing it permanently in about a fortnight. He also is sending me some great photos of the AASTO cruising past the tower, station, and the Geographic south pole, which look really good. I will try to get them posted when I receive them.

Hope you are all having good weekends,
cheers
Jess









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