Friday, July 28, 2006

Is it a bird, is it a plane......

Sometimes it's good to remind yourself that you're special. With that in mind, we decided to have a Superheroes evening were everyone came as their favourite superhero or villain. As usual there was a great turnout of costumes, ranging from well known characters to the more esoteric, and the completely made up. As I was on gash duty that day my costume was a bit last minute, and some of the more interactive elements didn't get included unfortunately. I won't give away too much about my outfit, suffice to say it's tricky eating a posh dinner at the table when your udder keeps getting in the way......

The Halley Superheroes. Protecting the Antarctic from evil.

On the Monday after that Liz and Vicki decided to make our lives a misery by recovering the pool table. Normally this would be a good thing, and it was well in need of doing, but we'd only just got used to the old cloth. To say it had some eccentricities would be an understatement, but it was always hugely entertaining trying to judge the strength of shot needed to get up the 1 in 3 slope to the bottom corner pocket, and the feeling of satisfaction as you watched your opponents ball settle into a large divot on the table was rarely surpassed. Now of course we are all having to relearn our game and it's not easy. Well that's my excuse for my recent appalling form and I'm sticking to it.

Next month will hopefully see us going out to Windy Creek to visit the local penguin colony. As a prelude to that we have been brushing up on our rope skills, so we've all had a session with Simon using a z-pulley system to rescue each other from the treacherous crevasses that lurk in the lounge, and then another one abseiling off the Simpson platform and jumaring back up again. Having had to be lowered down by Simon twice due to rope entanglements I finally managed a proper descent, and he assured me that the total cock up on the first two attempts wasn't entirely my fault. Good to know........ Simon also gave us a talk on the perils of sea-ice as this is what we'll be walking on when we go down to see our black and white friends. I don't think I'll have a career with a mountain rescue team anytime soon but hopefully I''ll remember enough to keep myself and whoever I'm attached to out of trouble.

Alex hanging around under the Simpson building

Last Thursday was Mark's birthday so we've had a good excuse for some celebrations. Vicki made him an excellent cake in the shape of a guitar, complete with strings. (After much mucking about with strawberry shoelaces it was decided that piping the strings on with icing was by far the simplest method.) Then on the Saturday Mark invited us all to a very exclusive night club in his workshop, which was decked out complete with lights, sound system, multimedia wall displays, and even a microphone for karaoke moments!

The weather has been fairly consistently cold lately, which is not a problem as we're all well wrapped up, and it also opens up new possibilities, such as frozen hair sculptures. Most of us don't really have enough but Kirsty and Vicki ventured out onto the platform, and after dangling wet hair upside down for a while created some impressively wild hairstyles, with Kirsty managing the best impression of someone being electrocuted.

Vicki goes for the windswept look

Kirsty after seeing her bar bill

On the work front, there's been more catenary and balun raising on various masts and aerials, preparation of field radios for the upcoming trips, and some anti-virus niggles to sort out. A few of us have also been in the garage giving Anto a hand servicing a snocat, so hopefully it won't break down on the way to Windy.

"Looks like your left hand throggle mulch flange is a bit worn"

A bit bigger than the one on the Scim

Hopefully my next update will include some shots of the local wildlife. In the meantime a couple of pictures of the Laws looking dramatic against the night sky.


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