Feb. 18, 2014 8′ WC -2′

This is better now.  Negative two isn’t so bad when there is no wind to push it around.

Hardly any wind.   We have had extensive cold with little cloud cover, because the sun itself is inching farther North with each rotation and taking his warm with him.  The flights away from McMurdo are progressing smoothly for the most part.  We had experienced problems with the runway at Pegasus, and then some of the awful weather I had described for you cancelled a few flights.  The domino effect delayed the departure for many of my friends, but we are mostly back on schedule now.

The extended cold snap has rescued the runways, and the decreasing population at the base makes filling the planes much less stressful for all involved.  Many people, like myself, are in no hurry to leave.   I volunteered to remain a week past my original contract in order to help finish up the night shift in Vehicle Maintenance.  Once we hit the end of the contract for the remaining mechanics, they will discontinue work overnight in all facilities across the base.  There will only be a handful of safety, and weather personnel working from their offices during the wee hours March till August.  For temperature concerns, everyone else works a pretty standard 8a-5p Mon-Sat.  I also knew that the Pegasus runway was very soft this season because of the unusually warm weather.  They were limited to flying only planes with ski type landing gear for a long time which reduced the amount of gear coming in and people going out.  As things refreeze at this time of year, larger planes with wheels will be able to land.  The turnover for the new season will then finish quickly.  And there will be fewer people here to compete for seats on the scheduled flights.  I may have some leg room on the way home 🙂

Besides, we still have work to do, and I would rather follow through than hand it off.  Tonight Deven and I  started a project called a CTN – Carton Tracking Number – which looked to be easy, standard fare for this location at the VMF.  It is one of those 4x4x4 cartons that you have seen in my photos.  There is a certain number printed on the side of the box, and inside is the product manifest of everything that is supposed to be in it.  Most of the CTNs that I have handled since off load have been easy.  Everything listed was in place and nothing was damaged.  But tonight we are off to a wicked bad start.

The first two items I was looking for were needed -yesterday –  for an emergency repair.  They were in the box, but listed by the wrong item numbers and needed to be re-entered into the computer in order to be handled correctly.  We have so far found multiple bundles of 3 different items that were not even listed on the manifest.  I’m not even sure they are automotive parts.  Two more items came up with their  item numbers listed as discontinued.  Poor Deven had to take care of those problems because I had no clue what to do.  The stage is set.  He will be the Brains and I will be the brawn.

Although the reality that this box presents us, with it’s ridiculous input errors, with it’s myriad mistakes, we are working more like Pinky and the Brain.  The comedy continues tomorrow because we just found another something wrong…

“So, what’ll we do tomorrow, Brain?”

“The same thing we do every day, Pinky.  Try to take over McMurdo!”

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