Thursday, August 27, 2009


Well, since I don't think I've ever shown a picture with Krissie and myself standing by each other, and I don't plan on searching through my posts to find out, I thought I would throw this image up. It's one of my favorite photos taken by Mr. Benjamin Burke, title "Time Machine". It really shows the size difference between the two of us :}

Yup, I have my head shaved quite often down here! Sorry granny, I know you hate to see it :} Look at how ginormous I look compared to her. The photo was dubbed "Time Machine" because Krissie came into Ben's and my office during the summer and showed us the cool little battery powered disco ball she found in the Met office. We then went out into the hallway found a good source of sunlight and began to attempt to travel in time! We're amused by so little down here :}

We had a lot of weird looks from the folks walking through the halls: they were obviously just jealous of our cool doodad!

You can see the little light reflections bouncing around everywhere. Oh how the winter would have been different if our buddy Ben was down here with us :}

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is to you, all of you fine folks who i've ever helped with a computer/electronic type gadget. I'm hesitant to let the secret out, but it is time I come clean:

(click on image for the larger more readable version)

See original comic here, as well as other fun comics for nerdy people :}

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So, got to -98F yesterday...Still no -100. If it doesn't happen this year then it will be the first time that the South Pole didn't hit -100F two years in a row. Global warming isn't real my tush!

I got things to do down here dang it, it better hit -100F

Oh well, so some good news: one of my designs won the t-shirt design contest. I figured at least one of them would win. They were pretty freaking cool if you ask me, though I might be a bit biased. There was only one other design that I thought would beat me, and I think it came close, or at least there was enough interest in it that they are going to see about maybe making two shirts. The rest were all pretty boring and/or trashy. Sorry to anyone who made them, but the f-bomb on a t-shirt is about as white trash as you can get...but that's just my opinion. I wonder how many people that statement will tick off :}

I made a few designs and though only one of them won the station's vote I will be making a couple of the others for myself and Krissie.

Here are the designs:

This was one sticker design

This was another sticker design, it was a last minute thing. I spent a lot of time making the graphic and then had nothing to do with it. It didn't look right on a t-shirt design, so I threw it on a sticker with some text.

And here are the shirt designs:

This was one design, the one I voted for. I think only one other person voted for it. This is one of the designs I will make for myself.

And this is the other version that was up for voting. I may make this one, not sure.

I had a bunch color combinations I liked but had to settle with a couple so I didn't flood the folks with options, and I chose to go with neutral colors to be more accessible to the community. Not everyone loves blue like me :} I will probably make a darkish blue version of the above white design for myself.

This is approximately the color I would like to use:

Here are just a few of the other designs using the above graphic that I really liked as well.

A nice ringer, though the company that I would be getting the shirts from doesn't have the color combination I like in the ringer style, I just think it looks good this way so I may look for another company.

And a jersey version:
This is close to the long sleeve shirt design I want to go with. It looks really good with a black and white long sleeve shirt, the sleeves being black and the gray you see above being white.

Now Krissie also had a design idea. She wanted the lost dharma thing with a pole in the middle. She even went to the trouble of drawing me a pole. I told her I though I would probably be able to draw two lines and a circle (the pole) freehand, without a reference ;}

Here's how it came out:
This is the other design that didn't win that we will be having made anyway. I don't want one, but Krissie definitely does. We battled over the back of the shirt for quite sometime. She wanted the crooked fading LOST intro font thinger, but I refused. It didn't go with the design at all. After I showed her the font she wanted on the shirt she agreed it didn't go with it. We went through many, many fonts even some free ones I downloaded to find something that appeased me, I mean her ;} She now likes to comment on the feng shui of t-shirt design as she puts my obsession with the flow of the design :}

I had, and still have tons of ideas for designs, I just didn't have time to put them all down. There were a few designs i just tossed because I didn't like the end result. Each one of these designs took me a good deal of time. You have no idea how long it took me to figure out how to get that stinking light reflection on the ball of the pole on Krissie's design. It wasn't necessarily difficult once I figured out how to do it, but I was teaching myself how to use adobe illustrator the whole time I was designing this stuff. A VERY painful process.

So I had one day left to complete all my designs. Two were done for the most part, but I had more ideas. That's one of my biggest problems, I can never shut off my brain. While going through the fonts for Krissie's design I came across a little lost logo that I liked. I thought I would try and turn it more South Poley.

This is the inspiration:
I don't like how there are folks in the black that just disappear because the design has all the characters completely black.

This is what I came up with:

If you notice I changed the design so that any shape in the black of the shirt is white and visible. The cool thing about this is that I used only the original font/logo I found. I just moved things. The exact details I will not divulge, mainly because the people reading this won't care :} If it's not obvious, it says POLE now instead of LOST. This was a HUGE pain in the tush, mainly again just because I needed to figure out how to do what I wanted. The actual process isn't too bad, now that I know what/how to do it.

And then, because I am NEVER satisfied with anything I do, and I had an hour left to complete the designs, I figured I should make it even more "Poley". What I decided to do was replace the cast with, well us. The design already was very difficult, but this next part was a nightmare. In a very large part because I was unable to save the files, photoshop and illustrator were corrupting the files, I nearly lost everything I did. There were a lot of not so nice words coming out then...

And without further ado, the winning design for the South Pole t-shirt design:

Pretty dang creative if I do say so myself :}

and here is the version I like, and may make as well:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Check these out

I recently uploaded a couple of panoramas to the site on request of the South Pole Doc Ella. It's a pretty cool site actually where you get to explore panoramas that folks upload, make comments etc.

here is my profile, take a gander at the panos

Friday, August 14, 2009

Frozen Pictures

Just thought that I would put up some photos of what I look like after coming in from snow stakes. These photos were from last month.

I was having a hard time seeing while trying to finish the snow stakes; my head lamp was dying. I called Krissie and had her bring my camera and some new batteries.

I don't wear goggles when I'm outside, they are a pain in the tush due to the very short amount of time before they completely fog over. And my glasses fog up instantly when I am outside with my gaiter on. I just have a little slit that I see through, unfortunately it was starting to freeze over making it quite difficult to see anything coupled with the dying headlamp.

The ice coverage was beginning to melt in the short amount of time I was indoors, which meant I could start to see again, yay!

You can see my eyes now!

A closeup; here you can see where my skin is turning white above my eyes. Most of the ice in front of my eyes has melted away in this picture. I had to go back outside after this and take a few more measurements, when I came back in and took my gear off there were ice chunks on the gaiter still after 2 hours of sitting in my warm office...

I love this place :}

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Purdy Pictures

Well the lens I had been using has been broken, it was in the capable hands of Robert to epoxy it back together. Apparently he brought his own super epoxy from home with him this summer. He's an engineer what do you expect.

So I may or may not be getting any more amazing shots. As it turns out the optics on the lens are messed up along with who knows what else. I took it out last night to try and get a photo with it and the pictures all failed miserably... Though I wasn't sure if it was the lens or the camera that was having the issues. To figure this out I borrow Tripp's lens and took some shots with it and they turned out fine, they will be at the bottom of the blog. Oh well, at least the camera is fine...

So unfortunately I was left without a lens this last Friday I think it was, maybe Saturday when I saw the most amazing auroras I have ever seen. The aurora's weren't super bright nor were they super colorful, but they were moving so incredibly fast it seemed surreal. It looked like a green river in the sky, the way the color was just moving throughout the length of the aurora. Needless to say it was indescribable, something you have to see for yourself. The sky was crystal clear as well which just added to it. Oh how I wish I had a camera then...

So here are some more pics from back when I was able to get some shots, continuing on from the previous pictures.

This photo is a shot of the Balloon Inflation Facility (BIF). This is where Krissie launches balloons from every morning. This happened to be on 7-24 her birthday.

Another shot of the BIF on Krissie's B-day, I converted about half of the images I took into my "moon" shots because again they were blown out from the lights. I didn't think about taking the shots after we shut the door, I was just shooting as she came out. There is a little video I made of this too that turned out pretty cool, if I can shrink it enough I will post it, along with the other picture videos I have made.

Would ya just look at that adorable little thing? Definitely an alien launching some sort of probe...

There was a pretty cool aurora hovering over the VMF when we were walking back from the BIF, personally I think it's the star child from 2000 space Odyssey planning his next move over the station... Do you see the face of an infant? If not well yer just blind, it's there I saware. The bright lights on the right are the VFM, not to be confused with the VMF... That's where folks go to fuel up vehicles, that should be enough to hopefully explain what VFM means :}

This is a few minutes later when a LMC tracked vehicle was entering the VMF

And this was a shot of Doc Brown in the DeLorean taking off out of the VMF at 88 mph! If you don't get this reference then I am very sad, very sad indeed...

This was that afternoon, pretty nice and quite bright auroras then.

Still the same afternoon. This is the Scott tent and the ceremonial pole.

Yup same afternoon, this is one of a few photos I took during a time lapse sequence.

And another shot from the time lapse.

It started getting very large and bright and purple, and then the battery froze...

This was from the 7-28, this is the geographic south pole marker. The moon was only a small crescent but still incredibly bright as you can see...

Same day, just a bit further back. The moon looks like the sun...

Pretty nifty shot if I do say so myself.

Then it stayed bright with no auroras, and the stars muted to the point of not being visible for the next little while until the moon finally decided to go away. Though I went out to get some shots while the moon was up, I really like how blue the skys are when we have the moon up.

Looks like daytime doesn't it? This is one of my hero shots with the hood up, though I rarely if ever wear the hood up.

This is what I normally look like if I'm going out somewhere, snow stakes, etc. I really love that my foot prints are really the only ones visible in the scene.

Nice little shot of the station.

Me playing around with the exposure long exposure.

Again playing around with the effects of the long exposures.

I originally planned on going all the way out to SPT to take some moon photos but got way too cold. It's entirely possible that my clothes fell off while I was taking photos... Though I can not confirm that.

Though if such a tragic event were to happen, then this would have been the temperature at the time
I would imagine this to be quite cold if one's clothes were to fall off; though I, of course, would have no idea personally.

Last night I decided to go test the newly repaired lens, and the pics just didn't come out how I would have expected them. I was a bit worried that the camera may be the problem, but was very hopeful it was just the lens. So I went and found Tripp and asked if I could borrow his lens for a couple of shots to confirm this hypothesis. These are the photos that I grabbed with his lens.

The black on the left side is the station, you can see a couple of little meteors. As you hopefully know yesterday was the Perseids meteor Shower which was supposed to be an amazing show in the northern hemisphere.

And without the station in the shot.

That's all folks, unless I can borrow a lens from someone there won't be anymore night shots, but we will be getting flooded by the evil sun in a few short weeks anyway...Stupid sun, who wants ya?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thawing Out

The first blog entry has been completed. It is a small portion of the itinerary. So for the two people reading this (mom) go check it out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Off Ice Blog

I've created a new blog for Krissie and my travels and experiences while off the ice. The address is oh so clever:

Man I am one clever fella!

I will be posting to it occasionally while we are still one the ice with our to-date travel plans. And then once I am off the ice I will try and get photos and such uploaded for our adventures.

New pictures will be coming shortly

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More Purdy Pictures

This is a selection of shots from July 16th to the 23rd. I took a bunch of photos as usual that will eventually end up on my flickr page. Until then, enjoy this small collection.
The following 4 photos were taking on the 16th of July. I decided to go out and take some shots of the telescope one night around 10pm so bundled up and headed to the scope. I was lucky enough to find some interesting wispy auroras when I arrived that were not visible from the station.

This is a shot looking back towards the station from SPT. The building on the left with the incredibly bright light is MAPO, it's where I took the pictures for the Moon civilization post, same night actually.

This is SPT. The dang thing was moving on me ruining my shots. I didn't really notice this at first until I started looking at the photos. The camera would freeze so I would go into SPT warm up, let the camera defrost and then go out and try again.

Notice the light aurora on the ride of the image. The building in the background is ICL, and that big bright ball int he sky is Jupiter ( or so I've been told).

This was taken on my way back to the station, by that time MAPO's light had been turned off. You can see the green haze that was present all around me. I've never seen an aurora that was sort of just a film across the sky. To the naked eye it looked cloudy, but it was actually the auroras.

The next three pictures were taken on the 21st of July around 11:30 or so.

It was quite dark outside and next to no aurora was visible to the naked eye. The sky was incredibly clear however and full of stars so I decided to go out and take some photos. They all turned out quite dark, but still pretty decent. This photo you can see a small meteor going through the milky way at the top of the image. And the large ball of light is again Jupiter.

Just the Milky Way with a slight aurora haze through it.

I decided to go out to ARO since I had never been there to take night photos, and I really wanted some photos of the LIDAR. This is ARO, the straight green light is the LIDAR, essentially a laser pointed at the sky. Cully has an insanely cool picture of the lidar on the station pointing up into a swirling sky of stars from a 25 minutes or so exposure. I'm sure it will be making it into the National Geographic Daily Dozen next month, and honestly as cool as it is, probably win. Not gonna tell him that though his head's too big already.

The next two images were taken the same "night" though technically were taken on the 22nd early in the morning. I went in to let the camera warm up and once it was good to go I came back out around 12:30am. The shots were completely blown out because the light was on at ARO and I didn't think it would be a good idea for me to go fiddling with switches in there until I found the right one to turn off the outside light. So I turned them into more moon shots. Something I am find works beautifully if you have over exposed images and bright light sources.

I love the flair effect, very spacey

I like this shot because of the large bright star sitting on the end of that pipe thinger on top of ARO.

The following 4 images were taken the same day the 22nd during the afternoon around 2:30pm.

The colors were incredible, I had never seen pinks so brilliant in the sky or my images. This is the Scott Tent folks put up to sleep in sitting next to the pole. The image confuses me because it looks incredibly crooked with the horizon, but the pole is vertical.

Just a nice shot of the crazy colors looking out into oblivion. There is nothing in that direction for 900 or so miles.

I also really wanted some shots with the dome, something I had not done either. So I made my way around the dome as carefully as possible. There are a bunch of very large drop offs that would suck to fall in. The hill to the left is the dome, a bit crooked but still a pretty cool picture.

And here's the dome, the big ball of light is again Jupiter. The plume you see in front of the station there is the exhaust from the power plant.

The next 4 images are from the same day again the 22nd, but this time between 11pm and 12ish am. I was doing my snow stakes that night, a very late start on them around 10pm when I noticed the craziest deep blue I had ever seen in the sky. it wasn't green, it wasn't turquoise, but blue. I had never seen that color before, it was so cool. I stood out there for a while just admiring the aurora when I started to think, hmm should go get my camera and capture this. But then I decided, no, I need to finish the snow stakes. They needed to get done. So I just kept working away at measuring the snow stakes when 15 minutes later it got quite bright and even cooler and I said, screw it, time to get the camera.

By the time I had made it inside, grabbed the camera, realized I forgot the battery, ran and grabbed the battery, realized I forgot the card, ran and grabbed the card the aurora had nearly dissipated. This is what I was able to capture of what was left. The pictures do what I saw earlier that night no justice, oh well.

This was not magically created in photoshop, the blues you see are real and were so much more amazing while I stood out there in awe.

That's ARO's blazing porch light.

So the aurora died away not long after this, I took the camera inside and finished the snow stakes. I then began to tell Krissie the story of the crazy auroras when she said Lance (the other meteorologist) just told her the auroras were crazy out there. He had just taken an ob. So to investigate I went out to the ob deck and checked, and wow the auroras came back and in full force!

So I grabbed the camera which had thawed out in the time it had taken me to complete the snow stakes and went back out. This was technically now the 23rd as it was 12am when I headed out. here is a sample of what I caught.

The sky was full of blues and purples, it was crazy.

This is a shot of what was directly over my head. I pointed the camera as straight up as I could. This is Krissie's favorite.

I like this simple image because of the drastic colors in the aurora. It looks to me like a flame, from a butane torch at the top tip, where it is the most blue.

I learned the next day from Cully when I told him about the crazy colors I saw the night before that what I was witnessing was the largest, strongest solar wind we would ever see this season. It was at the maximum strength( k value I think he said) and would never be that powerful again. Wow was I excited, I was out there for this event on accident!

This next shot was on the same day, though during the afternoon. I took a time lapse from this spot and made a little picture movie. The camera unfortunately froze up right when the aurora was getting strong. Cully had called out the aurora, but by the time I got out there it had nearly dissipated. Funny thing he said when I got there, "I know my camera is going to freeze right when the aurora picks up and gets strong". I laughed and said ya that would suck, and well guess what. My dang camera froze right when the aurora started to really get bright :{ Oh well. The video is really cool because I also caught greenhouse Joe in my pictures and you can see him taking photos and then walking back to the station with the headlamp.

This was the final image of the time lapse, this is right when the aurora started getting bigger and brighter. Oh well, guess I just have to come back down here again ;}

more photos to come...