Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some pics

Barn dance bar. Can I get you a beer?

Me putting up a mirror on top of the telescope

This was the craziest sundog I've ever seen.

The Case of the Stolen Birthday Beers

Yesterday (in my time zone) was my birthday. It started out well enough in that all the problems of the week had since been fixed and things were progressing. In NZ, I had bought three beers that I planned to drink on my birthday, a North Coast Old Rasputin, a Green Flash West Coast IPA, and a Bear Republic Racer 5. All excellent beers and I had been looking forward to enjoying them since I first got on the ice.

So friday night, after dinner, I go into my room and grab the beers. I open the Old Rasputin and put the other two in the leftover fridge in the galley. I sit in the galley with some friends and colleagues and enjoy my beer. Also on friday night, but no less important, was the Barn Dance. I promised I would bartend during the dance so I headed down to set up the bar. After 15 or so minutes, I went back upstairs to grab my other beers but much to my dismay they were gone. Vanished. I looked around the fridge, moving aside the old roast beef and mac n cheese but alas, it was apparent that some vile creature had absconded with my beers. I frantically retrace my steps, warning all that I meet that there is a beer bandit on the loose. I go to the B1 lounge, which I like to describe: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." They had not seen my beer, and they were disgusted that someone would take them. I walked out to summer camp and the smokers lounge. I interrupted the replay of the Steelers game. Tebow couldn't save whoever stole my beer.

Eventually, I was convinced to let it go--after all, there's nowhere the thief can go--so I went back to the Barn Dance and continued to bartend. It was actually a great time. They had a live band with a fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass. The fiddle player, Ed, is really amazing. It was so much fun to listen to and really made me forget about the beer bandit.

I ended up having a fun birthday despite the thievery.

The next day, I got a call that my beers have been spotted sitting in the hallway across from the greenhouse. They left a note, although I don't know why they didn't reclaim the beers for me, but eventually the perpetrator got the note and returned the beers. She gave me guff about putting things in public spaces. I didn't expect I would have to lock down everything I leave around station, but good point beer thief. Real showing of character, taking things that clearly aren't yours just because they are in a public space and unlabeled. I think I'll walk around station taking things that clearly don't belong to me and then blaming others for enabling my kleptomania. See that hat, I like it. I'll take it even though I didn't bring it down here or buy it in the store. That lounge chair in the tv lounge? I think it would look better in my room. I'll take it because it's in a public space and not labeled. I'm still so friggin mad. I'm glad I got the beers back, but who steals beer? Honestly?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some pics from New Year's

Pic of me with Daniel in the background.

Really cool pic of Daniel.

Jon on drums.

Race Around the World Pictures

The starting line at the Race Around the World.

towards the end of the race. Note the weather.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's

An Epic shot of me and the drummer from the show. This one shows up on the monitors in the galley from time to time.

This was my first New Year's at the Pole. The previous two years I was here either just before or just after. I was really looking forward to it.

My band had been slated to play last out of 4 bands. I was happy with that since I knew that people would probably trickle in up until midnight. Actually, it turned out many people were just waiting for my band to play. I ran into them in one of the lounges and they asked me what time I was playing and said they would make sure to come down for that.

First off, ego aside, all the bands were excellent. It was really a lot of fun. Now, with my ego fully engaged, we kicked a lot of ass. My new nickname around station is "Rock Star".

The first band was a folky/bluegrass band. I felt kind of bad for them because by the time they went on there wasn't a large crowd. They were really great (as expected). Up next was a funk cover band. They played "Higher Ground" (Chili peppers version) and the "Superfly" theme song that really stood out.

The next band was a classic rock cover band. They played some Doors and Van Morrison, etc. It was great but they had a really long set and I was getting antsy to play.

Next up was us. First off, all the other bands were 6, 7, or 8 pieces and we were just three dudes. I felt under qualified to play. We opened with a bluesy Gov't Mule song and the crowd really started going. We then played a really funky jam on a riff that Daniel (the bass player) put together. They crowd REALLY liked that one. Then we played some Hendrix (Hey Joe and Red House). Next was Jeremy by Pearl Jam. That was a fun song since it's so much fun to sing. Next we did another jam, kind of Rage Against the Machine style. The jams were really tight--much credit to Jon (on drums) for holding it all together. Finally, we played Sober by Tool. Everyone seemed to really love it.

At this point, it was nearly midnight so we got off the stage to ring in the new year. Earlier in the day, I had helped convince a bag-piper to play Auld Lang Sine so he played the song with a Saxophonist. Afterwards people were asking us to keep playing, so we got back on stage and played some of our less prepared and more jammy songs. Eventually, it was time to join the party so we took our bows (with sombreros that somehow made their way to our heads) and handed it over to the DJ.

For the party, many people dressed up in crazy costumes. Lots of bright colored wigs, wacky 80's clothes, etc. Some of the people intentionally changed into crazier costumes for my band's set. There was even a giant penguin costume (naturally). I just wore my dinosaur knit cap. Nothing too crazy. New Year's is also fun because that's when the fancy Scotch comes out.

Today, a few people from the SPUD telescope are leaving but a whole bunch more get in. It will be pretty lively around here this week. Our "bosses" get in this week as well as the last BICEP2 grad student, Justus, who I'm really looking forward to seeing.