When in Christchurch: Lolly cake and male modeling

where can i buy zithromax capsules IMG_3557 After 31 hours of movies, drug-induced sleep, and caffeine-induced wakefulness we finally made it to Christchurch via Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Sydney. The flights were surprisingly painless: only one 30-minute delay and no lost baggage. On top of that, my row wasn’t full on the 14-hour Los Angeles-to-Sydney flight so I got an extra pillow and plenty of space to spread out my things. The only hiccup occurred at NZ customs, where my juggling balls were confiscated (they were filled with millet)… Once through customs we were greeted by ASC staff and quickly sent to our hotel where we appreciated some hot showers (take ‘em while we still can!), before walking around in search of dinner and some beer. The following morning we went to a café down the street for some coffee and lolly cake, which was one of the few things John said I MUST have while in New Zealand. For those of you unfamiliar with lolly cake (lolly=candy), it is a dense chocolate-coconut cake packed with colorful, stale marshmallows. I suspect that it was created by a devious dentist who was starting to lose business, because I’m pretty sure I got a cavity just from looking at it.

20151022_074429After breakfast we headed over to the Antarctica Center to get outfitted in our extreme-cold-weather (ECW) gear and be briefed for our flight to McMurdo station tomorrow. Someone in Denver missed a stroke on the keyboard and my clothing form said that I was 5’1” instead of 5’10”. After getting the right sized gear and wanting to keep the tradition started by former Antarctica360 PhD students Graham and Forrest, we naturally had to do a photo shoot showing off how good we looked.

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Thoughts On Antarctic Showers

IMG_3525I went shopping for my Antarctic shower today. I found the various types stacked in cardboard boxes next to the baby diapers in an aisle of Costco I had never been down. I weighed my options and decided on Kirkland Brand Moist Flushable Wipes, Enhanced Cleansing & Freshness—Ultra Soft. Most people probably don’t consider that five weeks of deep-field work in Antarctica won’t involve running water. The closest thing to a hot shower we’ll get will be a handful of moist towelettes that will never meet their “Flushable” purpose. Preparation for geologic fieldwork in Antarctica is a series of odd purchases and tedious logistics. Things must be printed out, correspondence must be sent, and files must be saved. We’ll be tromping around the Dry Valleys of Antarctica without internet for a long time. I’ve never been unplugged for that long and it’s the first time I’ve felt self-important enough to prepare an “out of the office” automated reply email. Needless to say, geology isn’t at the forefront of my mind the day before I ship out—though it will be, soon enough.

            Tomorrow Rob, Nick, and I will fly to Christchurch, New Zealand, where we’ll begin our journey. As far as I know, we’ll grab some gear and receive some initial training before we take another flight a couple days later to McMurdo, Antarctica. In McMurdo we’ll grab even more gear and receive even more training before we are deployed via helicopter to our field site in the Dry Valleys, where we’ll set up camp. I feel somewhat like the ragtag team from the movie Armageddon that’s unprepared for the extreme conditions we’re about to encounter. Unsurprisingly, our seasoned leader, Dr. John Cottle, appears mostly entertained with how green we are. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has only two weeks to get us ready to work in Antarctica, but I’m confident we’ll be prepared. Now that I think about, I still have to buy another water canteen and write a will… — Demian.

 

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