Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another year has vanished, last year at this time I was a few days into my trek to the top of Kilimanjaro which turned out to be just an amazing adventure and I was very privileged to meet many new friends.

Since my return I think I have grown personally, professionally and mentally it truly has been a great year even though I broke my elbow on Mother's Day while mountain biking in Deer Creek Canyon.  It did impact many of my plans for this year I think it actually was for the best as it made me change my entire training program and I am now in even better shape, funny how my right arm is now stronger and I am left handed strange.

While many people are with out work I wake up each day and pinch myself, I work for a great company that allows our team to truly do what is best for our customers and country, I have often said that I have had many employers, several presidents and administrations but deep down my core mission has never really changed, I feel truly humbled to be involved with so many  amazing  people and organizations  that really do AMAZING things. 

I think this past year  has one of the biggest  transformation/growing for me as my lofty goals and ambitions have only grown larger and  I have had to alter 99.9 percent of my life in order to prepare my body and mind for these new challenges.

As I look a few years back at myself and where I am today I so much  happier, I had become everything I have always been against I was obese, lazy and just not healthy. What a difference a couple of years makes, I have never felt better this past year  I logged over 600 hours exercising, burnt over 237 Thousand calories and increased my over all fitness by leaps and bounds. I used to be a Motrin popping fool, I am very happy to say that besides a dozen or so supplements, I have not taken any medication what so ever since my last Motrin while on Kilimanjaro, I do believe that exercise and a proper diet solves everything.

It's funny how you observe something or someone and you think there is no way in HELL I could ever do that, don't ever under estimate what you are capable of is all I can say for example  in early Feb of last year I saw someone in the gym doing jump ups onto a 3ft  box, I thought wow interesting and figured that I would never achieve near that, 2 months later I was stacking 45 lb plates on the 3ft box cause it was no longer a challenge.(note to self avoid jump ups with a broken elbow ;-)

I just wish Apple would develop something to slow life down so that I can enjoy more of it, I did manage to to attend my 30 year class reunion and made it to my sisters for Thanksgiving after missing last year due to my trip to Tanzania. Once my arm was healed I managed to log a few weekends in Salida, Crested Butted, Vail, Halloween in Moab on my new bike so not a bad year and I have became even more of a gym rat.

Next year is going to be amazing I plan to do the sand to stars ride on the Big Island in early spring, 13,939 feet of climbing over 47 miles, I am sure the ride down will be much more fun, I am looking for someone that would like to be my support team and drive a SUV up so I don't have to carry everything myself.  I bulked up this summer so I need to lose a few pounds of muscle while still maintaining a size to strength ratio, I started rock climbing again and had forgot how much fun and hard it can be.

So many people ask what are you training for, while I have many objectives and most don't understand why my default answer now is Life that being said I will continue to live life to it's fullest and like everyday is my last day on earth, I hope that all of my friends have an amazing 2012

Friday, November 11, 2011

Well it has been way too long since I have posted anything on the Binary Bitch and what a great day for a posting 11-11-11

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 2 & 3 Just Wonderful

Well Crested Butte is a Home Rule Municipality in Gunnison County , Colorado , United States A former coal mining town now called "the last great Colorado ski town", Crested Butte is a destination for skiing , mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. The photo above shows that just about anything goes in this small mountain community, with a population of just over 2500 and peaks around 5k during tourist season it still has that kewl feeling. Day two start off very slow.... nothing in this town moves fast after a little breakfast we headed outside to make some adjustments to my 29er, all 3 shocks needed air after a hour of playing with it I was ready for the afternoon ride. I headed out with Jim to show me the 3 bike stores in town I was in need of a wide front tire for my 29er the current rave and some arm/elbow pads as I plan on doing a little down hill later in the week. I have yet to find a type A personality in CB, everyone is laid back, the only people driving cars are over weight tourists the locals and many of the longer termed guest walk or ride bikes everywhere. As we walked through town we stopped to chat with many of the locals that Jim knows, I think he has been spending summers here since the mid 90's and everyone wants to talk about which trails are open and the latest gossip. By the the time I had found a tire and my pads it was lunch time, besides having some of the best single track in the country CB for it's size has a large quantity of great places to dine, we headed to Teocalli Tamale, given the name I had had to try the spicy Tamales over black beans and rice with some vegetarian green chile on top...... 5 stars can't wait to go back to sample a few other items on the menu.

After lunch back to the house the long way..... you can never get enough walking around CB, we headed out on the lower loop not a long trail about 9.4 miles and only 600 feet of climbing but the scenery was just spectacular and I was trying out my helmet cam, I captured about 45 mins of video which I cut down to around 7 minutes but the set up works very well.

After a hot shower and a Stella it was time for dinner off to Marchitelli's Gourmet Noodle the food was amazing and off to the Secret Stash the best pizza place in town for a beer and a shot of tequila, they are also famous for their mango margaritas.

After tossing around all night I work up early to watch a little Tennis before heading out to breakfast and a quick walk around town again.... Jim is resting today, he is still recovering from his spill last week so I headed out to Green Lake Trail 4 minutes past the trail marker I had wished I had bug spray or cream in my backpack as the bugs were eating me alive, I kept pushing ahead the first part of the trail was pretty steep and it just continued to climb and the level of technical difficulty increased with altitude, the trail is 9.4 miles long and peaks out at just over 10.5K so just at 2K of climbing... the views were just amazing, this could easily become my favorite trail in CB.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Off to Crested Butte

After a week of testing the IRIS payload in RTP along with the entire Cisco team plus MIT and John Hopkins I managed to get a early flight home. While i was hoping to head straight to Crest Butte, my neck and back advised me to wait unit I could see Dr. Rob on Monday morning good thing I did, I went from constant pain to nothing in less than 4 hours during my drive to Crested Butte.

A very quick drive down 285 to Buena Vista and over Cotton Wood pass just in time for lunch at pitas in paradise with my good friend Jim Deer, after a tour around town and a 1.5 hour trip to his therapy.... Jim took a nasty spill on his MTN bike last week and need to have his back and leg worked on before heading out for a bike ride.

We left his summer rental and headed across town towards wagon wheel trail, Crested Butte is 8885 feet in elevation so the 1100 of feet of climbing is always fun, it was a nice single track trail that parallels Kebler pass road out and back was about 15 miles.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lima Peru - Nothing is what it seemed!!

Well after searching the web for more links to send to Franki and looking through the J. Peterman catalog, I have given up for the day of finding her anything that she may actually buy other than her addiction to flip flops and T-shirts. I keep hoping I will remember one of my dreams, I feel deprived now that I am missing 6 years of my life per Franki's latest research on the dream state.

Well on to the real story...... It was 1995 I was a Network engineer at Holmes & Narver an Architecture & Engineering firm out of Orange County CA and the parent company of Antarctic Support Associates (ASA) I transferred there after the network installation in Antarctica was finished, HN bought into the idea of leveraging all of the IT knowledge we gained from our endeavors on the 7th continent.

I had just finished a project where I spent a year of my life in Memphis Tennessee and also met my good friend, soon to be co-worker Doug Wojcik, that is a story in it's self and I look forward to documenting that encounter.

My project had just ended and we sold the IRS on taking all of the AS-Built drawings and documentation and burning it to a CD with a HTML front end, remember this was 1994-1995 time frame the great web tools of today were only in my wildest dreams. I quickly became a pretty good HTML coder with my favorite text editor notepad, some how HN caught wind of this and thought it was a great idea and our PR person quickly arranged for a interview with Construction Business Review for an upcoming Information Technology issue and they named it the Intranet Project Archival with a tag line tomorrow's technology today. It got a lot of press and I was finally in the cross hairs for something positive rather than the normal who is the that long haired geek that keeps telling us we operate our company in the stone age.

Well a few weeks after the article was published one of HN's agents out of Miami said they may have an opportunity and wanted more information on my back ground and said they would arrange a conference call with a group or Peruvian monks.

Let’s start by saying that in the early 90’s I was still wound very tight, had little patients, was very quick to spout off and looking back now I was very fortunate to have not pissed off more people. Remarkably I kept moving up the corporate ladder very quickly and ended up being the first associate vice president at HN that was not a professional engineer (PE).

So my HNSI buddy arranged the conference call and I quickly began my research on archiving historical documents, lucky for me at about the same time IBM had just started some electronic cataloging of the Vatican archives and there was quite a bit of interesting data which made me sound very convincing during our initial conference call. I had no idea that 4 days later I would be on my to Lima to meet a bunch of Peruvian monks and perform a site survey on thousands of historical documents which they refereed to as the conquistador archives.

I was so excited after just completing my first magazine interview and now on my way to Lima with the possibility of building a team to electronic catalog these national treasures was pretty over whelming and I knew deep down I was in way over my head but knew that I could assemble a world class team if anything really panned out.

So after arriving the Sonesta El Olivar Hotel Lima we were advised it was not safe to travel many places without a body guard and that recently many foreigners were taken hostage and made to with draw as much money as possible at various ATM machines, once your limits were reached so did your usefulness and you were killed. This immediately set the HN BD person on edge more than he already was, not sure he could smoke any more than he already was. Well the Monks were just amazing I really wish I had taken several of Jeff’s executive transformation courses prior to my visit, I am sure I would of listened 90 percent of the time instead of constantly trying to solve the problem in real-time. We arrived at a old building that was just amazing and for the life of me I cannot remember the name or find any photo’s other than of one of the many rooms we visited.

Upon entering the first room I quickly realized that most of the archives had been poorly stored and were in very bad condition, a vast majority of them you could clearly see were covered in mold and were in some stage of major decay.

I spent the better part of that day going from room to room allowing the Monks to show me around and only to hear that there was 12 more buildings like this around the country that would also be part of the effort, I was QBF-9 ( Q and Z Operating signals are concise codes designed primarily for use by communication personnel in exchanging information incident to the handling of messages or in establishing communications) which means flying on cloud 9 my BD counterpart was also very excited only to be short lived. I was still in shock at the horrible condition of the archives there were either just stacked on the floor or in hundreds of feed like bags and some on shelves, during the tour there was an amazing painting just laying on the floor and the window was missing and it was misting directly on the painting. Many of the documents that I saw looked rusted the ink had a high IRON content and as it aged it become discolored and just flaked off the parchment.

After a long day the Monks took us to a local restaurant that was just amazing they had a local drink CHICHA DE MAIZ MORADO which translates to purple corn drink and served a lot of organ meats which are very popular in Peru.

This is when they started asking me more questions about networks, email, VHF communications systems and encryption...... as the evening progressed a few more Peruvian cocktails with the Monks they asked if I would be interested in meeting with a group from the Peruvian Government as they were trying to solve some IT problems, I quickly said yes and the BD type had caution all across his forehead.

Well we agreed to meet with them the following evening, we were picked up by a caravan of SUV’s and we were off to a large Military complex which was also their Navy’s communications HQ. he Peruvian Navy (Spanish: Marina de Guerra del PerĂº, abbreviated MGP) is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with surveillance, patrol and defense on lakes, rivers and the Pacific Ocean up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the Peruvian littoral. Additional missions include assistance in safeguarding internal security, conducting disaster relief operations and participating in international peacekeeping operations.

The BD personal was ready to lose his mind, I had over the course of my previous life spent a fair bit of time overseas and often working with forign government agencies and solving their communications problems. After a tour of the Naval Communication Center we were escorted to a large very fancy conference room, after the normal introductions they wasted no time and began asking question about VHF frequency hopping radios, email systems and the ability to intercept communications.

I quickly realized the Monks had more than conquistador archives on their agenda, I had know that the Peru-Ecuador boundary issue is the oldest continuing border dispute in the Western Hemisphere, they showed me on a map where they wanted to monitor VHF signals and it was an area that I was actually very familiar with, I suddenly realized that we were in ass deep in the wrong kind of shit.

We finished the meeting my BD tag along had a TS/SCI clearance as he did lots of classified proposals and was just upside down... all he wanted was to be on a jet airplane. After arriving home he immediately make contact with his security officer, many days later after dozens of reports phone calls the GOV actually said we could move forward however HN was a very conservative company and quickly decline. Oh well it was a great trip!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Big Sky MT IEEE Aerospace Conference

I arrived Bozeman around 1030AM, sprinted to the Hertz rental car counter and quickly grabbed my bags and off to Big Sky. The planets aligned perfectly and I arrived at 1145AM, checked into the hotel changed and grabbed a Yeti dawg for lunch and was on my way to buy a lift ticket a little after noon.

No warm up runs, up 2 lifts and I was on the tram, visibility sucked and the wind was starting to blow, for those of you that have not been to Big Sky I highly recommend it, a great place on a powder day. The summit elevation is 11,166 ft with a vertical drop of 3666 ft,

If you want to tackle one of the A-Z Chutes, the Pinnacles or the Big Couloir you must register with the ski patrol prior to the challenge. (The latter is 42 degrees steep and half-a-mile long). All of these can be amazing of course depending on the snow conditions, you have to bring a transceiver, a shovel and a partner and a little courage.

After 3.5 hours I was beat and headed back to the hotel to locate my co-workers that had just arrived, they were also here for the IEEE Aerospace conference. After a hour of playing tour guide, JA and I grab a beer and some Nacho's to hold us over until dinner. We skipped the buffet and had dinner at the local Italian joint, great food... I had a polenta encrusted Walleye and some risotto, everyone enjoyed the food and very cheap for a ski resort, less than 100 for the three of us.

We headed back to the plenary progam, this evening it was a talk on Robotic Insects:

The Harvard Microrobotics Lab seeks to eluciate how to apply biological principles to the creation of robust, agile, inexpensive robotic insects. However, biological inspiration alone is not suffcient to create robots that mimic the agile locomotion of their arthropod analogs. So after a long day of skiing, a few beers and then dinner we entered the auditorium the speaker was speaking so fast we all looked at each other and just chuckled.

Here are just a few of the topics that were covered during his presentation:

Airfoil Fabrication, Bio-inspiration 2: thoracic mechanics, Control mechanics: Body Tourque Modulation for a Microrobotic Fly, Rotational Dynamics and Aeroelasticity, Bio-inspiration 3: Attitude estimation sensors, Actuation: Scalable microactuators, Unsteady aerodynamics modeling airfoil optimization thrust control.

I was trying the best I could to keep up with his vowel movement, it was impossible to listen and comprehend what he was saying, as I panned the crowd they were either smarter than they guy talking and were having their own conversations on their own theory or they were like me finding just a little humor in every slide. Don't get me wrong this was an amazing talk and the possibilities are endless across many fields.

I kept trying to link his technical descriptions and problems to strippers climbing a 50 foot pole and then leaping off to buzz around bar, not quite the <100g>

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


My recent post on the meaning of 02 & buzz word bandit would not be complete without adding BWOO - Big Waste Of Oxygen.

Many thanks to Steve Pollock for jolting my memory banks.

The buzzword and 02 bandits are both members of the BWOO tribe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Buzz Word Bandits

During the Internet boom, two of my favor sayings were 02 and buzz word bandits, meaning:

Buzz Word Bandit - A non technical person who espouses technical terminology for sole purpose of maintaining employment.

02bandit - Better known as the oxygen thief of the day, everyone knows at least one person who we have thought that he or she shouldn't be allowed to breath the same oxygen as the rest of the planet, we should fire up and for only a dollar you can post a photo of your favorite 02bandit for the day.

Given the recent decline in the job market I have found an increased need to use both of these words, I had really hoped they would remain somewhat extinct.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Erebus Ice Tongue Ice Caves 1990-1991

As I mentioned before one of the favorite places for the residents of Ross Island to visit are the yearly Ice caves. The Erebus glacier comes down from Mt. Erebus and protrudes off the coast of Ross Island forming an 11-12 km long ice tongue out into McMurdo Sound. An Ice Tongue is a long and narrow sheet of ice projecting out from the coastline. It forms when a valley glacier moves very rapidly out into the sea or a lake. When the sea thaws in the summer, the ice tongue floats on the water without thawing. It also calves off in places forming icebergs. When the ice around the tongue melts in the summer the waves of sea water constantly batter the edges of the tongue, carving very elaborate structures in the ice. Sometimes these pieces will calve off and sometimes the waves will cut very deep caves into the edges of the tongue. In the winter the sea water freezes once more around these new shapes.
The Entrance to the 1990 Ice Caves

Looking out the entrance of the 1990 Ice Caves
A Sunday Tour in progress

The magical blue colors are amazing

One of the best caves we have seen, in the photo left to right - Phil, Joe and Joanne
A shot of the ice crystals on the top of the ice cave

A Trip to the Dry Valley's

As I think back now I really did win the Antarctic lottery during my first winter-over in 1990, while most FNG's as we were called Fucking New Guys seldom made it to any of the tourist hot spots like Cape Evans, Corzier, Royds, the Dry Valley's or even the Ice Caves. The McMurdo residents do have the luxury of having Hut Point the home to Discovery Hut, the shack built by Scott in 1902 as a staging post, the hut is kept under lock and key and is only opened for tours a few times a year, the Kiwis controlled access.

It was early December and the Winter-Over SAR team was off to the Dry Valleys for 3 days of training, greatest boondoggle of the year or I thought. The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of valleys just west of McMurdo Station, here is a little climate information from Wikipedia:

The Dry Valleys are so named because of their extremely low humidity and their lack of snow or ice cover. Together, at 4800 square kilometers, they constitute around 0.03 % of the continent, and form the largest relatively ice-free region in Antarctica. The valley floors are covered with a loose gravelly material, in which ice-wedge polygons may be observed.

The unique conditions in the Dry Valleys are caused by katabatic winds (from the Greek word for 'going down'). These occur when cold, dense air is pulled downhill simply by the force of gravity. The winds can reach speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) evaporating all moisture - water, ice and snow - in the process. Mummified seal carcasses can be found through out the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The above photo of the Wright Valley was shot on our
way down to Lake Vanda.

During the summer season you often heard the sounds of the Huey-N helicopter flown by VXE6, it reminds me of a B-rated Vietnam movie, however the only transportation to the Dry Valleys. Once we packed our gear and received our safety briefing we lifted off and headed north west across the annual ice of the Ross Sea towards Marble Point which is located on a narrow strip of land between Wilson Piedmont Glacier and the sea about 50 miles from McMurdo Station which serves as a refueling station during summer months, after a quick refuel we re boarded our bright orange taxi and off to 3 days of exploring one the strangest places on the planet, after spending a few days hiking about it is not wonder NASA has conducted many robotic experiments preparing for upcoming Mars missions through out the dry valleys. After landing our first priority was to set up camp, I quickly found a small patch of snow and set up my tent and hopefully out of the wind, while the others attempted to erect theirs on the martain like surroundings.

We had a mixed crew on this trip a Navy Corpsman Chief Dempsey, Phil Clerk and Paul the Palm both from Scott Base and one other besides myself and I will need to reach out to my fellow OAE's Old Antarctic Explorers to help resotre my memory.
After setting up camp every one began wondering around just soaking up the amazing views, I would of given anything to have a 10 megapixel digital camera, most of the photo's were taken with a cheap Fuji 35MM camera. The rocky terrain was just amazing, the wind has blown for millions of years shaping rocks like none other many are pyramid shaped others look like a bowl turned upside down, I was lucky to find two very small examples of both see the photo below

As you can see from the photo above that our kitchen had all of the comforts of home, while it was nice being on top a plateau for the amazing views being exposed in Antarctica is never a good idea.

The team wonder about for first 1.5 days and practiced reading maps based on scenarios presented to each of us, the terrain is so massive that one wrong turn could cause days of delays or even worse if it were a real SAR mission.

I was in charge of communications for the team, we each had an Motorola hand held and one backpack HF radio with a small ground plane type of antenna that could be tuned with jumpers for 4 different frequencies that were monitored 24/7 at Mac Ops, we were required to check in each morning between 6-10AM.
I was informed the morning of our second day that Mac Town was under condition 1 and no Helo's would be flying, the weather guessers said it could be several days before the storm was over. The new situation required that the team develop a new plan for the next serveral days, while we had plenty of food we were ready for something a little more exciting, so after a 30 minute conversation we agreed that tomorrow we would attempt to summit Mount Aeolus and the following day head towards Lake Vanda a small New Zealand research facility.
It took over 5 hours to reach base of Aeolus and we quickly roped up and donned our crampon's and made up way up a snow and blue ice path. For those of us with real mountaineering boots or the blue mukluks were doing just fine, however Chief Dempsey had the Navy issue bunny boots while they were by the warmest available they were not crampon friendly and the Chief had a hell of a time keeping them attached to his boots. He finally gave up and 3 of us quickly headed for one of the 3 summits,

Phil waiting to summit, there was only room for one at a time, I was directly across from them juggling against a wall to kill time.

Here is a great shot of Phil Clerk on one of the summits, the top was a bizarre sandstone and very delicate, we were very careful to leave no trace that we were ever there. We all headed back to Camp, the great think about climbing in the Antarctica is 24 hours of daylight in the summer months makes for very long or even multiday events.

After a good nights sleep, we decided to take only the bare minimum equipment with us on our trip to Lake Vanda, after breaking down camp and covering the gear we planned to leave behind with dozens of heavy rocks to ensure nothing blew away we were off.

Knowing that Vanda Station is full of rules and traditions we came prepared just incase we were lucky enough for a visit, upon arrival we quickly produced 2 bottles of Drambue which allowed us to enter the station. They produce the ceremonial knife which they used to open the two bottles and also quickly produced a set up rules in which we were to follow during the ordeal.

This consisted of answering trivia about the history of Drambuie all of which could be found on the bottle, others required more difficult tasks as shown in the next photo you were required to jump up on the table drink your entire glass and spin around 3 times then answer a question from one of the Vanda occupants.

As with any International party there has to be one in the crowd that just cannot handle his or her liquor, in this case it was "Paul the Palm" The next thing you know Paul is dancing with a mummified seal and everyone was in tears, the party continued for many hours more booze was found in our packs a little cognac and a little Artillery Port which only led us down another path, Hey can we join the world famous Vanda Swim club ?

Lake Vanda Station was well known for The Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club. Visitors to Lake Vanda Station could dip into the high salinity waters when the icecap edge melted out during summer to form a 'moat', and receive a Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club shoulder patch. Vanda staff would assist the melt by hacking out a 'pool'. Many dignitaries and politicians were inducted into the club, The dip had to be naked (Rule 1), complete immersion (Rule 4), witnessed by a 'Vandal' (Vanda Station staffer) and with no restrictions on photography (Rule 6) to qualify. Rule 10 allowed a natural figleaf, but it had to be natural and also naturally green without artificial aid, once again thanks to wikipedia for providing the rules as there have been long forgotten and even worse we were 45 days too early to joing the club, the water had not melted nor had any hole been cut yet this year. Never let a few minor details stop the determination of a drunken SAR team, while we were able to dig quite a big hole in the ice no water so we were unable to join the club.

The next morning we were awaken by Mac Ops calling Vanda on the HF radio, have the SAR team ready to leave in 2 hours, all with miserable hang overs we quickly cleaned up station and made our way to the airport none of us looking forward to the ride back to Mac Town.

Since then the Vanda Station was removed, I never manged to join the Vanda Swim Club, maybe on my next trip to Antarctica.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My First Antarctic SAR Mission " This is Not a Drill"

As I write this nearly 18 years later it's crystal clear as if it happened yesterday!

I was wintering McMurdo Station Antarctica as the communication guru for the winter, the Navy was being phased out and the new contractor was ASA or Antarctic Support Associates.
Since I was part of the winter crew they were over staffed during the summer and I was able to spend most of my summer exploring Antarctica as member of the Search and Rescue Team (SAR) or in the MARS shack a small building between Mac Town and Scott Base that was home to the a few HAM radio's that were used to provide Morale calls home (phone patches) and MARSGRAMS a short note 50 words or less that was sent via high frequency packet radio.

It was just before dinner and my pager went off, I had been carrying this since early October and it had only went off once for a SAR drill which I knew about ahead of time. I called called MAC Ops to see if this wa s a drill, it was not a traverse traveling across the Ross Ice Shelf had encounter a crevasse. I sprinted back to town about 1.5 miles and quickly changed clothes and grabbed my SAR gear.

As I made my way across town to Mac Ops, I saw other members of the SAR team funneling into building 165. Mary Ann Waters a Kiwi from Scott Base was the summer SAR team leader along with Brooks Montgomery an OAE and lead outdoor survival instructor, his job was to keep the beakers (scientist alive while out in the field) Brooks was from Salmon Idaho.

After a quick briefing on situation we quickly ran down the hill to the helo pad and began to load our gear on a bright orange Huey-N helicopter flown by VXE6 a Naval squadron based out of Point Mugu CA, they also flew the LC-130 Ski equipped cargo planes that ferry passengers to and from field camps as well as taxi service to the South Pole.

Upon arriving we quickly departed the Helo the SAR team led by Mary Ann Waters and Brooks Montgomery quickly began to assess the situation, the first task was to secure a few dead man anchors so that we could rope up and approach the crevasse. We quickly found out that the entire area was honey combed with holes, while setting the anchors a hole opened up between Brooks and I, so much for a quick rescue.

Once the anchors were set Mary Ann went over the edge and made here way down around the sled loaded with seismic explosives down 72 feet to the D8 Bull Dozer that housed 3 of of the traverse crew, I just sent an email to Brooks to see if he remembered all of their names, I know that one was Q our explosives expert.

It took almost 3 hours to safely retrieve the very lucky occupants of the D8, while no photo’s were taken during the actual rescue the following photos were taken on Friday after Thanksgiving as we recovered the dynamite and sled, the D8 like so many others has become part of Antarctic history.

The Legendary Hover Craft, while it was a great idea it always seemed to be broken.

A look at what portion of the sled is still above ground

As we start to unload the sled

A shot of the D8 In its final resting place

Another shot of the Crevasse while removing the sled.

Another shot of the Crevasse, not something you want to drive over in a D8 with a bunch of seismic explosives ;-)

And finally after recovering all of the dynamite from the crevasse, we just realized well now we have to load it on the sled again.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Artwork for the LDD

My artist and longtime friend Jim Williams called and said lets get together to discuss a few things, I was busy at the time preparing for my trip to RTP this week and said I would call in a few hours.

I have been on a see food diet for the last 3 days, not a good thing and after eating again I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and had a quick shower.

I headed off to a local bar called the Sunset Grille a few blocks from Jim's house, anxious to see his latest sketch, upon entering the bar I see another acquaintance Jim Hart who I met via some of my co-workers on the IRIS project. Jim was a big fan of the T-shirts I had made for the democratic convention that showed a white outline of a donkey with the caption "I am just here for the ASS"

Well the other Jim arrives and I ask where is the sketch, he left it at work the night before I had said I might stop in, that was the night I ended up at Del Frisco's with Franki
(Bad Influence or BI for short) two weeks in a row I have had too much to drink and been surrounded by smoke, Oh well back to clean living and exercise for me.

Well since Jim forgot the sketch off to the next topic of discussion my other long time friend James Koustas and founder of Koibox our failed nail polish company has for sometime wanted to escape Denver and head north to Montana.

He was ready to close on a small bar in Red Lodge last year when at the last minute his partner backed out, he was recently married and his new bride did not want to move, Jim was devastated and has been looking for a new opportunity every since.

My question was sheesh he was only married a short time how attached could he be, not being shallow just that this was a great opportunity for him. He was going now where fast in Denver and to pass up the opportunity of owning a very cool bar in Montana just didn't make sense to me.

So James found another property the Rainbow Lodge located just up the road from Big Sky, I have driven by this place 100's of times and eaten there once prior to the fire. Since Jim has been in the industry for many years I figured I could pick his brain on what questions to ask about the property. I am headed to Big Sky for the IEEE Aerospace confernce in early March and will peform a detailed survey of the property, it is very nice 11 acres on the Gatlin River.

So Jim promises me he will scan the sketch and email it to me this week, I will post upon arrival.

Well back to the treadmill for 3 more miles or walking while I watch some more TV, I look forward to warmer weather so I can start riding my mountain bike and hiking with BI #1

What is a blog ?

a. Twitter on steroids ?
b. A modern day dairy ?
c. The ham radio replacement ?

I have these lofty ambitions to write a couple of books! The first with the help of my rekindled friend Franki Flowers I have started this blog to capture my random thoughts, so that someone much more talented “Franki” can translate and make my thoughts of the binary bitch consumable and hopefully very lucrative.

As with every I do it is usually ass backwards so why not start with the present and work my back to crazy days of growing up at Silver Lake Beach Club.

For years I have had hundreds of crazy ideas that like most one never pursues or even gives them a second thought, when the concept came to me for the book, after registering the domain name, starting the LLC and trade marking the concept I shared the concept with a few people and everyone loved it. Over the past 12 months I have been doing research and recalling the past 6 years of my life.

I will post the name in short order, I must ensure my legal documents are in all in order.

I’ll call my first book LDD for short until my legal affairs are in order.

How Technology Changed Antarctica – A recap of how Internet and Fiber Optic’s changed the 7th Continent.

Silver Lake Beach Club – What people really want to know about what happened outside a little town in Ohio in the late 70’s

It was Early April 2008 6.5 years since starting my new job as a “Space Initiatives Manager” I explain that one later. As with many jobs today the world of constant travel, planes, rental cars, the first conference call while your still in the shower and the never ending virtual meeting only leads one to a lifestyle that which is not only unhealthy but promotes excessive behaviors and with out intervention guides one down a road that no one wants to traverse. I was a victim and like the rest of the world I was on a one way trip to an early death or even worse a medical misfit requiring constant care if I didn’t change my lifestyle.