South Pole

Due to a mysterious change of scheduling, I will head immediately to the
South Pole in the morning (or SPOLE, as it is known here). When I return, I
get my Snow School (“Happy Camper”) training, training on the use of a
snowmobile, Sea Ice training, recreational safety (so I can hike up
Observation Hill), and waste training. Since I hope to head out to various
Ice locations, especially Sam Bowser’s foraminifera group at New Harbor, I
may ask for dive-support training, too. Everything is referred to by an
acronym or abbreviation… Raytheon (RPSC) even publishes glossary lists
explaining what they all mean. Raytheon is also officially enforcing a “40
lb lift limit” for all RPSC employees this year, which is rather amusing
when you consider how many times we each dragged around our personal 75 lb
cargo duffels in the past few days (load-balanced by a carry-on bag of
Extreme Cold Weather gear and laptops slung over the opposite shoulder). On
the way into the plane to the Ice, we were handed (“uplifted” was the term
they actually used) brown bag lunches that must have weighed about 48 pounds
each, including water bottles and juice and sandwiches and fresh fruit and
granola and chips. I was wearing earplugs, but I swear the young man who
handed me that bag lunch said “lift from the knees, lift from the knees!”

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