Thursday, November 30, 2006

September 10, 1975: Wednesday

I dreaded having to go out into the tent and try to sleep. I’ve never slept well out in the open (except when we were hitchhiking in Kansas), especially when it’s cold. I almost froze to death at Chadron.

But for some reason, it’s tolerably comfortable in this Italian tent in a Bowers bag, next to Jim. I find out Jim is Officer in Charge at Scott Base. He owns one third of a construction company and is forty-two.

More clues to Dr. Treves’s age. He was a grad student at Ohio State when Jack Nicklaus was there. Have to ask Dad about that one. He fought in World War II as a foot soldier.

Anyway, I don’t know why I didn’t freeze, out in 30 below zero winds, isolated, on the very Continent of Antarctica. This is the boonies. You can’t get much farther away. But it was so calm, peaceful, delightful. I didn’t freeze either because of a better sleeping bag or it was all psychological.

That doesn’t mean that I slept well.

My back hurt.

I dreamed. See, the moon was a silver crescent on the eastern horizon when we left. When we went to sleep it was an orange crescent on the western horizon. It never got overhead. It just kind of rolled around the Horizon.

Anyway, I dreamed. The kind of dream of stark emotion. This one was amazement. The kind that you’re not sure you’re asleep, and when you realize you are, you’re relieved. I dreamed about hitchhiking. Me and Berzel on this farm by a lake on the 4th of July, watching the moon grow from a crescent to full, then burst into a thousand sparkling twinklers and fall to earth as another moon appeared in the sky above and to the right. At anyone time you could see three moons ascending to the zenith, like a time-lapse picture of changing phases.

In the morning I had to take a piss. (I think the word is onomatopoetic). Told Jim I had to or I’d float away. When you go in snow, your body’s fluid (at 98.6º F) melts the top powdery layer until it hits the hard, cold ice and just lays there in a yellow pool of steep walled snow.

We (Dr. Treves, Jim, and me) went out to drill holes in the ice to see how thick it was, if it could support a drill rig. We went off to find the sites, got the drill stuck in the ice, had to dig it out, and went home. Jim and I walked over to Gneiss Point to look for rocks. I picked up some amphibolite. We told Dr. Treves what we saw (he mapped this region, once) and it turned out I knew what I was talking about (half the time, anyway).

We ate lerps. The things cost six bucks a piece. Then we have a general discussion about Politics in which a California used-to-be-radical, Arizona construction worker, three Nebraskans, and a Kiwi were pitted against each other. It was diverse.

Jim didn’t like our Constitution and our three branches of government.

I learn about some tricks the helicopter pilots play. They put a plastic tree by a wrecked ‘copter in the Dry Valley. They tell people it crashed while carrying experimental seeds. Only one tree survived, Pinus antarcticus. They tried to steal something off of a Navy ship. A sailor stopped them. They told the sailor they were CIA and had a miniaturized camera in their wrench. They took the sailor’s picture and the sailor gave them what they were after. When the Captain found out, he demanded it back. It showed up one night in the officer’s mess.

Time for bed.

While I was away, they had a fire. The other Jim burned two fingers. Nothing serious was damaged.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

September 11, 1975: Thursday

Again, curled up in my bag, I dream. A five part saga that runs like a play through my mind. In logical sequence the scenes are connected to form some sense to my slumbering mind. David Wininger is dead. The Newspaper is full of his photos and stories of his exploits. There is mass hysteria and people are wandering, grief stricken, over an Oriental bridge to mourn his death. I sit beside Joy (who looks like Lori, Cathy’s roommate) and I cry on her shoulder.

Then it is Peru, springtime, and the Peruvians are out walking around (Brian, Martha, etc., etc.). They’re having some sort of contest over there and people are swimming in pools behind chain link fences. There is some sort of controversy about where the sidewalk is pushed up by a tree root. It’s by the steps to the library and the trash can doesn’t agree with the candy wrapper.

I have the most desperate urge to leave the party at eight (there’s some sort of profound logic here), because I have to pick up Cathy in the City when the movie is over. But Kay and Rich are up there.

We’re at a farm, but this is a country estate, where there’s a holiday camp, with honeysuckle and lilac and climbing trees and a little house out in the woods where everyone plays. It has a bar. I try to get Berzel to share water with me, but the scheme just won’t work. The timing is bad. He’s with Karen B. (I think) on a bearskin rug before a roaring fire. Again, I feel the urge to depart, but never do.

The scene turns into a school building, where Kay’s class (Brettmann, etc.) is being taught advanced methods of causing paranoia. I think I am their target. They use Halloween tactics, chasing me through all sorts of imagined horrors. The school slowly blends into my house, where all the kids go next door to the Eckerts and ring the doorbell for Trick or Treat.

Me and Berzel have to walk to Nine-Oh-Five Ninth Street, but we get as far as the Radiator Repair Shop, where a pavilion has been built. Inside is an exhibit in which a turtle is metamorphosed into a horse, with documenting evidence. No admission charge. As we walk around the square of little booths, we see a turtle become an alligator, lay eggs and hatch caterpillars that turn into butterflies, which lay more eggs, which sprout wild flowers (tall things), which pollinate into rabbits, which grow up to be horses, one of which is in the front hall, tied to a doorknob and pawing a bare spot in the grass.

Two sheets of paper, under a plastic cover, are mounted on the far side of the exhibits. I glance up and see a screen. I know that this is the script for a slide show.

The lady standing at the exit asks me if I believe her theory. I reply, not wishing to offend her, that all things are possible but the probability of this series of events to occur is astronomical. She reminds me of Mayor Blankenship, but smells (and talks and acts) like the Lady from Holiday Hippodrome.

We leave, but have to go back for our tennis shoes, which we left by the other corner, down from where the slide show script is. We go back outside and sit on the steps to put our shoes on.

The steps are the west steps of the Methodist Church. The kids that went to Eckerts show up with Auburn Police Department patches. Jeff Wilson tells me it’s the Scouts, but there are girls with them, and more and more people keep showing up.

Berzel is gone and Kay is sitting next to me. Mom and Dad are standing up, asking the newcomers if they have patches. Every time I get my hands on one, Kay takes it away from me and passes it out.

More and more people arrive, shaking their Auburn Police Department patches (ol’ man Eckert gave ‘em to them to commemorate their overnight campout in his living room), over their heads, like a scene in Tommy, but no music. I stand up as they stream passed me. I walk down and ask Mrs. Ghandi, who is standing there on the sidewalk by the tree stump, looking gaunt and wearing her robe, if she is happy that she has contributed so many participants.

She smiles and the whole throng goes inside and downstairs for cookies and kool-aid.

Back to reality (I think). After I get up, we have to go outside to call Scott Base on Jim’s FM radio. I have to hold one end of the antenna.

The wind blows fiercely and the sky is gray. Ross Island is clouded. The weather report is bad. We decide to stay another day. I look glum and go back to sleep.

It worked. As soon as I was comfortable, the sun came out and they changed their mind. We pack up and leave Marble Point.

Jim Matthews rides home with me and Jack. The snowtrack goes off to survey two other sites. We spend the afternoon following Tuesday’s tracks and wondering where the snowtrack could be. Their walkie-talkie batteries are weak and we loose contact. Jack leaves his door open all the way across the ice. Because I lack sleep, I think foul thoughts about it and our progress.

At six o’clock, Jim (the Kiwi) has to call Scott Base. When that happens, Mac Center orders us to stop and wait for them. They come bouncing across the ice. We refuel and go home. Something to drink, eat, and go to the bathroom. Then sweet sleep.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

September 12, 1975: Friday

Boy, I learn a lot of things today. Read some of Dr. Treves’s papers in the Antarctic Journal. There’s a Treves Cliff somewhere in Antarctica. There’s a Mount McCormick and a Cape McCormick. Cape McCormick was named after the surgeon on the H.M.S. Discovery in 1842 with Ross (or perhaps the Terror in 1894, I forget which).

Anyway, I found out where to notify the government that Mount Debrushka has been named. It’s a bureau in the Interior Department. They publish official gazetteers.

Jim Newman is writing a book. We went over to Scott Base, after unloading the gear, to talk to Robert Thompson about what we did. I guess we’ll be going back out next week.

I developed pictures. The one of the bridge reflecting in the River Avon is the prettiest, but as usual my rotten photography and impatient darkroom work leaves a lot that could be better.

We get the day off tomorrow.

I went over to give Jack his copy of a penguin photo. He wants my role of negatives. He’s a pretty good photographer.

Al was dissecting a Borchavinky fish in the Bio-Lab. He’s studying the synthesis of a protein molecule, which works as an antifreeze. He played the Carpenter’s Close to You album twice while I was developing.

15¢ lost in a Pop Machine
Traded Pete 23¢ Kiwi for
a quarter and had a Miller’s

Monday, November 27, 2006

September 13, 1975: Saturday

Slept ‘til eleven. All right!

I guess we’re going out to the Erebus Ice Tongue on Monday. We’ll have to get ready tomorrow. I put up the pictures I’ve developed in the hallway of the lab. Looks official. I get to use the lab’s Cannon camera. Cal’s going to teach me how to make thin sections with the rocks we got at Marble Point.

Pete screwed up in the darkroom. I went over and got things straightened. I’d forgotten how much fun it was to teach people how to make pictures.

Snooped around the Special Services Building. Nothing worth fussing over.

Dan brought a guitar down. Even let me play with it. I needed that. He had it tuned for playing lead, DADDAD. He let me retune it to EADGBE. I need practice.

We got these new red suits to wear instead of wind pants and parka.

Went down to listen to the Mad Dog Jack Radio Program. He had Dr. Treves as his guest. I could get to like it, if it weren’t for his Country Music. I found where my music’s stored. Tim’s got a program tomorrow. I think I’ll go down and help him.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

September 14, 1975: Sunday

Got up early to help Tiny Tim Zig-zag and His Radio Show. Boy I needed that. Three hours of Rock.

After lunchtime I go up to the lab and read Ivanhoe. He writes the way I do, but back then it was O.K.

We’re going to load equipment tomorrow, but only if the weather is good. Right now it doesn’t look good. I do my wash.

Dr. Treves gives his speech at the Chalet. It’s interesting, and we have a general discussion about the ethics of exploiting the Antarctic. I ask stupid questions, but Dr. Treves says there are only stupid answers.

I talk to Emmett. He likes to talk in that… slow… rambling… personal… style. And I have to go to the bathroom. What agony. But he gives me a Great Idea for a novel about a multinational corporation, oil, some enterprising individuals, and the usurpation of sovereign rights for the plundering of continental wealth. All right!

Bullshit with Peter about the State of Things. His problem is that he grew up in California.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

September 15, 1975: Monday

Weather isn’t good. Maybe we’ll go tomorrow. Got a phone patch to home. It’s still there. Auburn beat T-town and Nebraska beat LSU 10-7. They got my letters, so Andria probably got hers. (Except I don’t know if I had the right town, and no zip code. Oh, well.) No news. That’s good.

Cathy moved to a new apartment (no pets allowed), the landlord sold the house she was in. She brought Toodles to Auburn (must mean she has her sister’s car) and gave him to our family to keep ‘til the end of December. Why? Dad doesn’t like cats. Kay does. Mom might not mind a housebroken one. But Toodles McGoon is as sickly as Cathy is sometimes. It’s not like Cath to impose on people, especially without asking me. (But then, she couldn’t.) Mom didn’t sound too upset. I hope Cathy did it without imposing, even though she can be pretty nasty, when she wants what she wants. Why not Berzel? Or Kruegers (whose family she knows better than Mom and Dad)? But I must not think it means anything. Just accept it (and be thankful, praising its fullness).

We get a current meter. It looks like a meat grinder and we don’t know how to convert the readings on the dial to knots (or feet per second, either). We get Bio-Mike to look around and after supper we check out a current meter that looks like a Tommy gun. We know how to read it. It’s not as classy as the first one.

Dr. Treves and Dr. Barkov are the same age. Fifty. No more mystery.

I’m learning more things about names. I found the criterion used by the Board of Geographic Names for accepting names. It is doubtful that Mount Debrushka is twin spired. I’m half way through the pages looking for another name for 164º 10’ E and 77º 52’ S.

I may pull this one off yet.

Friday, November 24, 2006

September 16, 1975: Tuesday

Jim and Mike and Nartsiss and us go out to the Erebus Ice Tongue. It’s the part of the glacier that has gone out to sea. We drive past Turtle Rock. It is a very good name.

We walked all the way across the ice tongue. It’s blue and has real crevasses in it filled with snow, so you had to be careful where you stepped. I almost fell in one. The north side had layers of wind blown kenyite glass imbedded in the glacier. On the south side there are ice caves with beautiful icicles and things. What we wanted were intermittent layers of yellowish-brown ash in the ice. We collected some while Nartsiss got a core sample from the top. The generator wouldn’t start, and got busted, so we had to do the coring by hand. The new suits are warm.

After three and a half meters, the weather got miserable. We descended, packed the gear, and got the truck stuck. After a desperate drive to get the truck out of the snow and onto ice, into the whiteness we bumped along back to McMurdo. Unload and eat sandwiches.

Nartsiss was reading a Playboy. Jim said, “Is degenerate magazine, Nartsiss.”

Nartsiss nodded and said, “Da, degenerate.”

I go and lay down, then to supper (lunchmeat of all things). Dr. Dick is very complimentary about my age and ideas.

After supper is a meeting in the lab to plan for Thursday’s trip to Marble Point. We’ll have trouble with the weight.

It was Jack’s birthday. Sam Morgan stole his truck and we’ve hassled him about it all day.

They came to take the phone out of Cal’s office and put it into Dr. Treves’s. They couldn’t find the one in Cal’s office (it’s on the desk), so they just put a new phone in the office. That makes three. Not bad for only eight rooms.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

September 17, 1975: Wednesday

Went up to the lab and fell asleep in the office. Tried to sleep all morning, but it’s hard in a chair with your feet on the desk. So I slept with my arms folded across the top. Except you hear everything better.

Dr. Dick got all my symptoms. I just can’t seem to wake up today. And I burp a lot. He wants me to get a nasal wash.

In the afternoon we get things into the pick-up. Two thousand pounds snugly fits. We give Sam Morgan endless hassle about his first trip out onto the ice. We got a note from NSF saying the holes at New Harbour are not feasible and to concentrate on holes close to home. We don’t understand. They must have thought the ice was only a meter thick.

It’s snowy. Blowing snow, poor visibility and gusty. Weatherman says it will clear up. Sure. But I still have to get up at five.

Went to the Library. Dan’s the Librarian. They’re giving away free paperbacks. I see (good ones only) Dr. Zhivago and some science fiction. I’ll go down and take a hard look when I get done with Ivanhoe, which is getting better and better. (It always was good.) They have Nicholas and Alexandra. Dan says it’s the Movie on Sunday.

Tim calls me Raoul. Funny, that’s what I told those two broads in the City my middle name was. Paul R(aoul) Baer. He wants to know if I’ll be here Sunday for his Zig-zag Show. Gee. I want the weather to be good tomorrow so we can get back.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

September 18, 1975: Thursday

I awake at 5:00 a.m. (more or less). The weather outside is good. Mount Discovery and New Harbour are very close and the dark brown storm cloud is over Marble Point, receding quickly. We go to the BFC. Sam is already there. He had a good night’s sleep. I didn’t. David Wininger is alive and in the Air Force, shaking hands on “R” Street at UNL, which is now somewhere in New Zealand. I get letters coming out of my ears. Weird dreams.

The Kiwi vehicle shows up about 6:30. We chase it around awhile, then head out for the ice, Cal at the helm.

The pick-up needs speed to get through the drifts. But speed kills, you know, besides bouncing all the gear out of the back. Then we get on thin, soft, crusty snow and the pick-up breaks right through.

We get out. Dig it out. Go back and find a lost crack board. And press on. Sam, driving like a man possessed. He has an Italian wife (like Andria) and three kids (12, 10, 8). Cal, me, and Dave out on foot finding safe places. We give up when we get ol’ 590 buried to the axles. I guess I didn’t wear the right shirt. Should have worn 51 again.

We turn around and head for home. Decide to take 504, a trackmaster (the Bio-People’s) and a sled, which is this nifty little red contraption. We unload, load, and pack for leaving tomorrow. So long Zig-zag.

Dr. Nartsiss asks about my education. He has seen Nicholas and Alexandra. He didn’t like it. Too sympathetic towards the Tsar.

Put in a real long day today. But the sunset was worth it.

Traveling towards the Dirty Ice this morning it became clear that Mount Debrushka is a one spired summit, not the twin peaked mountain I had hoped. But this does not lessen the beauty, does not diminish the glory. For the mountain is a tribute to beauty. And glory. And half of infinity is still infinity.

The sunset from the side of Observation Hill was like a Nebraska sunrise across the Nemaha Valley.

In fiery splendor of orange and gold, the sun slid behind the Royal Society mountains, above the Blue Glacier, reflecting down cascades of fire and smoldering orange. The sea fog, catching this splendor, returned the dying light with a whispered, pastel flame. The clouds, once gray and blue, now shone in purple majesty, robed in tones of soft, soft pink, reflecting down to a small thin layer of wispy clouds that stood within the cup of the mountains to receive their orange hue of twice reflected light.

Three seals on the endless expanse of white-blue sea ice enjoyed the splendor of their universe.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

September 19, 1975: Friday

Up at 5:00 again. The morning is farily decent. But five minutes after I get to the BFC, the wind comes up and snow starts blowing all over the place. Sam and Dave and I go get gas. It’s a howling gale outside. We go back and decide to wait ‘til the forecaster gets to work at 8:30. I go back to bed. It’s bloody miserable outside. Can’t see fifty yards. Dr. Treves decides not to go and says I can have the morning off.

I don’t feel like sleeping. So I go check out the radio station. I procure the key from some sleeping guy, who was nice enough about the whole thing, just a bit groggy.

A tape is playing and it takes me five minutes to get it turned off and to figure out how to turn me on. After a lot flip switching and hoping, I get things turned on. I start out with “Roundabout,” my theme. I go by the name “Raoul’s Radio,” Ø945 to 123Ø. (Notice how the Navy puts things through their zeros). I keep saying “Armed Forces Radio” instead of “American Forces Radio.” Played both of Cathy’s songs. Even got two requests (from the same guy) for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” off the Concert for Bangladesh album. It’s a bit of a hassle pulling out albums for one song and shoving ‘em back. Can’t get the full appreciation of the song. And I like to do things while I listen, but on Radio you got to keep busy running it. But I like it.

After lunch, as the gale continues, Cal shows me how to get rocks ready to make thin sections. It’s all a matter of judging how smooth a rock surface is and the various tools to get it smooth.

The rocks we’re working on are from the bottom of the Sound, collected by Al and Steve while they were fishing for things on the bottom. One’s a basalt and the other’s a tuff.

I guess Cal and I will describe the bottom rocks, make tables about them, and publish it in the Antarctic Journal. I guess that’s what they did last year. But I’m not certain anbout any of this. Dr. Treves is point counting minerals today. Something else I don’t quite understand.

I’m glad it’s bad outside because the trip’s postponed ‘til Monday. So I’ll be here Sunday to help with the Zig-zag Show.

At supper Jack gives an impassioned and bitter attack on the State of California. “Why, I checked into a motel and the lady said, ‘That’ll be 28 dollars.’ And I said, ‘I ain’t stayin’ for a week, just this one night.’ And she said, ‘That’ll be 28 dollars.’ And I said, ‘Good, when’s dinner served.’ And she said, ‘You’ll have to go down stairs if you want to eat.’ Why, in Arizona you can live for a month on five dollars and a tank of gas.”

There’s a whole lot of nonsense going on. I guess it’s Friday night. Playing pool we get this dialogue.

“You geographers are pretty good at pool.”

“Isn’t that the schists.”

“Only if you’re gneiss about it.”

“Or if you take it for granite.”

“That’s a marbleous statement.”

“Oh, stop this punishment.”

Dr. Treves and Cal lost the Earth Science Lab and Mrs. Treves to Bio-Mike and Al playing pool, and that starts with “P” which rhymes with “T” and that stands for Trouble, with a capital “T,” which rhymes with “P” and that stands for Pool, right here in River City. Ooooh, yeahhh!!

At least they won Hallet Station back. They didn’t get around to playing for the USARP Mountains. That made Dave happy ‘cause there’s a Bresnehan Mountain.

Bruce, the Winter Over CosRay guy, who reminds me of Tom Weaver and who got a little absent during the night, told me there’s a list somewhere that if you put your name on it, you’ll get a mountain named after you by the Board of Geographic Names. But Mount Bresnehan wasn’t named that way. So I still have a chance of getting Mount Debrushka on the map, if bureaucracy doesn’t make things impossible.

I finished Ivanhoe. I’m glad that Athelstane didn’t die. He was a good guy, and necessary to reconcile Richard Couer-de-leon with Cedric, so everyone could have a happy ending. The author took a lot of liberties and things for granted, but then, he’s famous.

I stayed up ‘til way after one talking to Bio-Mike. He came out in his bathrobe to the game room and asked about my education and age. He told me about his girlfriend (a year older than I am), named Janelle, but doesn’t fit the description of a Nebraska Janelle. It was a good and interesting story and I think I shall remember it, for it may come in handy some day. It’s about a high school biology teacher who falls in love with one of his students, but after she graduates.

I think Mike wanted to talk. And I hope I didn’t goof up in listening by interjecting too many comparisons with Nebraska. But the point was made that People are People, and their differences just make their similarities that much more remarkable.

Monday, November 20, 2006

September 20, 1975: Saturday

What a way to start a day.

Dr. Treves came in to wake me up. I over slept. Then he said here was a time and a place for work and a time and a place for taking pictures, and they do not mix. I nodded my head. If I’d been in a worse (or better) mood, I would have argued the point with him, having grown up as work being the taking of pictures. Also I can only think of three specific instances that I have not helped, but all are questionable. I take my lumps, for they are there to be had. And to learn by.

The storm has abated and the Southern Foothills are mantled in a light powder of purity, Mount Debrushka cloaked in the softest fur of white that I have ever seen. It is beauty. It is right.

The Life Cycle of a Thin Section: First, Dr. Treves tells you to practice on benmoreite. Then you ask Cal what a benmoreite is. Then you cut the rock with a rotary saw until you get a piece the size of a cover slip.

Then you pour 180 grit on a revolving wheel and make the rock smooth, with no grooves. Then you pour 400 grit on another revolving wheel and polish until it’s glassy, with no scratches.

Then you pour 600 grit on a revolving wheel and grind until it has sharp edges and no scratches. Then you put it in the oven to dry. Then you frost a slide by rubbing it in grit and drying it.

Then you mix up this epoxy glue. (Heaven knows in what proportion. We experiment.) And stick the rock to the slide.

Then let set.

This Life Cycle will be continued after it has thoroughly set.

Jim Newman came by. And he, Cal, and me went to take pictures of the ice runway at Williams Field. I feel guilty.

After supper I act as a good luck charm for Dan playing poker. Then I go and have a heavy intellectual discussion with Bio-Mike and Doug.

Is the Human Race a Success or Failure? Will the Human Race Survive, if it Changes its Own Environment so Drastically? (Big Nuclear War Argument.) Given the Same Conditions Present on Earth, How would Life Evolve on a Distant Planet?

Finally it got around to good ol’ College Days. I had thought that my life was filled with fullness and flavor. But I perceive that these High School memories do not hold weight amongst those who have gone on in life. Even though the ideas are the same, high school is a bit immature. Yet college is Good Times. Besides, I am not a natural story teller, and it takes a lot of explanation to convince someone about Auburn.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

September 21, 1975: Sunday

Up to help Tiny Tim and the Zig-zag Show. We blew a circuit breaker. Listened to Bridge of Sighs by Robin Trower, the only new stuff we could find. Played some funny USARP commercials.

Went back to bed at 11:00 and slept ‘til 3:00. Went to the library to study up on the Kings of England.

We’re going tomorrow. Hopeful. I remember to get out my rubber gloves. See a movie in the Chalet about Palmer Station and the Glomar Challenger. Very boring.

Tom, the guy from Kearney, plays a good guitar. I write three scenes for Antigone and Mercedes. I am going to finish it down here while my ideas of Cathy remain constant. I have to search out Tragic Flaw, Third Act Climax, Comic Interlude, and Final Motives. Especially in a Sense of Time. The hardest thing is to get Antigone and Mercedes into the right relationship of close friends.

I meet two drunks on the way to my room. Regular Navy guys. They want to know my name.


“Oh, a Cuban. Come on, we don’t wanna talk to no Cuban. We’re you born in Cuba.”

“No, my first name’s Paul.”

“Paul what?”

“Paul R. Baer.”

They laugh and stagger away.

“Is that all you want?”

Then they really laugh. I think they were after my body.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

September 22, 1975: Monday

Had trouble getting 504 started. Took the batteries out of the BFC’s stake-bed and jumpered 504. Went out and hitched up the sled. Had trouble getting down Main Street Hill. At the bottom we coupled up the chain and chugged off across the ice. At one spot the red flags went North and the orange flags went Straight. We took the Orange Route and ended up in rough ice. We got out to check on things and discovered that 504 had two (not one, but two) flat tires. We hobbled back into the garage and Jack fixed it in half an hour. Meanwhile we got gas. They let me off to make sandwiches. I fix six peanut butter and jelly and six baloney. The guy looked at me and said, “You must be one hungry mother.” He wasn’t even Black. The mess cooks were having some dispute with Navy over who should put up more coat hooks. It’s not my Problem.

I get to call Mac Center and say, “Mac Center, this is 504 trying again for Marble Point. Over.”

“Roger, roger, 504.”

Back across the ice to the Dirty Ice. Have trouble getting 504 and the sled up. The snowtrack had to come back, attach itself to the sled on the other side and pull us both back for a clear shot at the ramp. We finally get up and see before us the vast gray sea, McMurdo Sound, stretching far to the North, the sun, small and golden, reflecting off it. The Sound, actual water anyway, is a rarity. And we delighted in its gray green choppy waves, which flashed and sparkled in the saffron sun, like Karen Aufenkamp’s eyes. One penguin, proud and lonely, strolled along the shore, almost like a beach, with the waves lapping onto the ice, the sun obliquely casting its enormous penguin shadow. It was time for a Kodak stop. The snowtrack went on to the other side of the Dirty Ice to find a safe way. There they encountered a flock of penguins. We had trouble getting 504 over a hump. The birds wandered over to see what was happening and laugh at us dumb humans. When you chase a penguin, he’ll get down on his belly and push himself along by his feet and paddle with his wings. Another Kodak break among the penguins. A seal surfaced and he’s a tired old fellow, yawning and shying from the camera. But he obliges me with a picture, a sausage with two black eyes. On across the ice. It is clear now what exactly Mount Debrushka is. And the pictures and the maps agree. She is a single peak, for certain, standing proudly at the front.

Halfway through New Harbour the heater top falls onto the batteries and we have a temporary short, with heaps of sparks and hissing sounds. Almost woke me up. The sky that night was a color I’ll never forget, a royal navy blue, so deep and dark, but not purple, an expanse of depth matched only by Debbie’s eyes.

We leave the sled at the edge of the ice and chug on over to the Hut at Marble Point. Sam didn’t want to go over the tide cracks. We thought about getting a post and padlock so no one would rip off the sled. Pitch tents, eat lerps, and go to bed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

September 23, 1975: Tuesday

We put all the non-essential gear into 504, decide to set up a tent at the drill site and sit around for twelve hours. Have a bit of a problem getting the snowtrack started. We had to heat up the engine with a little Primus stove, and even more of a problem wedging six people and equipment into it. Halfway across the Point, we incur another flat tire. We get out (at last). Oh, our aching bodies, tortured from pretzel positions. We walk back while Dave Hope drives the snowtrack. Finally the tire and tube fall off the rim. We abandon it and walk back to the hut. We fetch some rope and a box (in case we have to carry the generator back to get 504 started). We wind the rope around the rim so it doesn’t jump the track. The rope unravels. They tighten the track by hand and very slowly it returns to camp. We plug the generator in, to heat up 504. We try to start it. No luck. It’s late and we’ll try to start it in the morning.

We eat “hoosh,” which is a bunch of junk thrown into the pot by Dave. Mostly lerps with some stuff from the Kiwi’s food box. We learn some Kiwi things, like “cake of chocolate,” “biscuit” for “cookie,” “torch” for “flashlight,” “ta” for “thanks,” and “doovery” for “doohickey.” I start to read The Cornerstone by Zoe Ouldenbourg, a French novel about the Middle Ages. It’s interesting. About the old double standard between men-women and noble-peasant.

We talk about school systems. Dr. Treves has tenure. It becomes a stock phrase. Also we have to keep our options open. One of these is to forget about the hole and go home tomorrow to return some time later, with only four people. Dave and I will stay home. I feel put down, confused, like I provide no useable help out here. I must find out if it’s true. But then, I’ll be in charge of the lab. Have to put up our short-wave radio that Chief Penafeather is going to give us.

Sam stays up all night to watch over the generator. I take the alarm clock to bed to relieve him at 4:00 a.m. He decides to stay up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

September 24, 1975: Wednesday

The night was cold. My feet are the only thing that really got cold. Not even my eyelids. But boy, do my feet freeze. And it takes forever to thaw them out in the morning. Such excruciating pain. But these red jump suits sure work. Never been warmer, outside.

We can’t get 504 started, not even by heating up the batteries and cooking the oil. About noon we call Scott Base and tell them what we need. They’ll come out to get us. The radio didn’t quite work right. Their transmitter was bad.

In the afternoon we build a crude snow wall around the snowtrack to keep the wind off. At six o’clock we’re informed that Jack and Tonto (the Scott Base mechanic) will come out a six tomorrow morning to rescue us.

The weather is cold (-37º C), and windy. We read and talk. Fortunately we have enough books. Sam wants to go out and name Morgan’s Rock. Dave H. says you have to go before the Board to get one approved, officially. They don’t allow you just to go out and do it. I tell them I’ve already picked mine out. They’re pessimistic. Even if it wasn’t named by 1966, every mountain with an elevation mark will have a name by now.

It won’t hurt to try.

Anyway, it’s not the actual official name that counts. It’s my naming of it that’s important. The honor by which I am bound to uphold, whether or not the rest of the world recognizes it or not. It’s between me and Debbie.

Sidebar: Many secrets are by no means official. Yet they are official in our hearts.

The zipper on my cowl got stuck. Then broke. Had a weird hassle pulling it over the top of my head. Scratched my forehead. Took fifteen minutes before I could see and breathe.

Dave might have taken a sour opinion of me. He’s the cook. Does it at home. And I eat the most. And we all say rotten things about the food. And I always say the last rotten thing.

At 6:00 we do our radio show with Scott Base. “Scott Base, Scott Base, this is Jolly One, Jolly One. Jolly One, over.” “Roger, roger.” “Roger, roger.” “Etc., etc.”

I get frostbite on my nose. Just a wee patch.

Now I am a real Antarctic explorer.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

September 25, 1975: Thursday

During the night we have a gale, 60 mile per hour winds. McMurdo is worse. No rescue today.

Dr. Treves says its the Catabolic Winds, right on schedule. “Catatonic?” “Gastronomic.” “Metabolic.” “Acrobatic.” “Catastolic.” It becomes a standard joke. Very boring. Although we have enough food and candy bars, Sam and Dave H. are running low on cigarettes.

To keep busy we get the chain saw and cut snow blocks and finish building a wall around the vehicles. Mighty nice workmanship. In the afternoon we talk about moving the Wannigan (Marble Point Lodge, that is) up onto the flat bed with the hut (Marble Point Civic Center). The place will be crowded with eight. We need the extra room. We get a winch and start to pull it up to the flat bed. We cut blocks to make a ramp up.

For supper Dave feeds us beef curry with vegetables. We’re happy, even if we do get tired of the same cup for drinks, soup, and supper. On the radio, Dave H. asks ‘em to bring cigarettes and rum. Go to bed early.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

September 26, 1975: Friday

Up early. Bladder won’t let me sleep. Feet don’t sting so much. It seems strange, to be sleeping in a Scott tent in the Antarctic wilderness, waiting to be rescued. I love it. We have a joke about Scott’s diary. “’Tis a pity. I can write no more.”

The weather at McMurdo is “dogged out” as the Kiwi’s say. Bad weather for the next 18-24 hours. That becomes another joke. We hoist the Wannigan onto the flat bed in the morning. A great engineering triumph, with ice bars and heaving and winching and getting it on the balancing point of the skis and climbing onto the front for more weight.

It’s too large on the skis to cut a hole in it and attach it to the hut. So we leave it sit, door facing door. We decide to build a wall between them, to cut down the wind blowing between them. I am in charge of building the wall. Well over fifteen feet high. Double walled at the base. When it’s done I get a green flag and crawl up the Wannigan and place the flag on top of my snow wall. Cal gets the camera and documents the event for DVDP.

What ecstasy. On top of the world. What sweet victory over the forces of nature. I’m sure the Pyramids are of mortal design.

The Catabolic winds come up and blow the wall over.

Sam and Dave H. run out of cigarettes. We fix the wall as best we can, admiring our home reclaimed from the wilds, and bring our alarm clock and sit on the front porch.

Sidebar: Anatomy Punch - University of Minnesota Medical Center By way of Dr. Treves:
1 Gal. muscatel
1 Fifth cognac
1 Qt. apple juice
1 Qt. pineapple juice
2 Drops orange bitters

The weather is warm (above zero, even), the day sunny. How can McMurdo have such rotten weather? All we need is a Welcome mat to make our home complete. Our next project will be to construct the Jackie R. Steinman Memorial Crapper.

After five days of heroic enforced constipation I must go and disfigure a rock. Everything comes out all right. Read and retire, after rummaging through the Wannigan’s food boxes (like kids at Christmas) and writing in the Wannigan’s guest book.

Monday, November 13, 2006

September 27, 1975: Saturday

I get up early, before anyone else. Didn’t step on Dr. Treves, either, when I got out of the tent. No rescue today. We use the Wannigan (or East Wing, as it is known) as a cloak room.

Dave H. and Sam go to the Jamesways and rummage through them looking for cigarettes. They find four and smoke them.

We tell Scott Base to call Jack up and play us a request on his radio show, “We’ll be Home for Christmas.”

McMurdo might have bad weather for the next 18-24 hours, but the weather here is fabulous. I go outside without a jacket, just hat and gloves.

This being a weekend, I get a discompensation, to go out and relieve my bowels. I finished The Cornerstone. Like Stranger in a Strange Land, it got too mixed up in its own personal justification for religion, towards the end. Left two problems unresolved and didn’t blend the story lines together. The climax was well constructed.

In the afternoon I go down to the Jamesways. They’ve been there since Deep Freeze III in ’58. The helicopter pilots pulled a joke about the Nurses at Marble Point. They put a red cross on the Dispensary Jamesway and dressed a pilot up in a nurse’s uniform. They’d fly a guy over the camp and the “nurse” would come out and wave. They fooled a lot of people. I went and visited them. They must have been out to lunch.

Sidebar: Another Joke - "Having to wait until the helicopters fly to be rescued." We said that the first night, when we saw all the food, not thinking it might be true.

No cigarettes. But we retrieve IGY rice, Jell-O, and cinnamon. I walk back, the day is just beautiful, and eat graham crackers with honey and peanut butter. We eat beef curry with rice and vegetables, Jell-O, and apples with cinnamon and sugar. I read The Wizard’s Back . (The King is a Fink, you know.) I pick up Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love and retire.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

September 28, 1975: Sunday

It’s half-past September. Will we ever get rescued? Not in the next 18-24 hours.

We construct the outhouse. A fine piece of noble workmanship. We pose for the inaugural picture. Dave on the board and the rest of us queued (a Kiwi term for lined) up, waiting.

Scott Base plays Tom T. Hall records, when we call them at 6:00, to check out the distortion on the radio. One night it was 95%. But tonight it was only 75%. We could recognize “Welcome Home.”

I read. Heinlein is just a joker having fun. I’ve already counted six allusions to other author’s S.F. books and shows. We finally turn the stove off, it’s so warm. I borrow pen and paper and write notes because I had only planned on remembering three days, not seven.

Sam has done his Christmas shopping from the Navy catalog. He has a mistress. Admits it. He’s had one the 13 years he’s been married. I couldn’t live like that.

The book is about this dude who is two thousand years old. He’s a lot like Jubal, independent. A good ol’ guy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

September 29, 1975: Monday

We’re being rescued today! Hurrah! 41 and 503 on their way at eight o’clock. We walk out to the hill overlooking Marble Point and try to make radio contact with Mac Center. Dr. Treves explains the geology of the place to me. But to see it for myself, without help, is impossible. I wonder if I ever will.

Sam walks down to the ice and puts his ear on it. He claims he can hear 41 whining it’s way here. In the afternoon Cal, Dr. Treves, and I take a four mile walk over to a cinder cone, slide down a snow bank to the Bay of Sails, and walk around the coast to Gneiss Point.

About 5:30 p.m. we make contact with Jim Matthews, who is with Jack and Tonto. He thinks it’s Jack calling. We ask for an ETA and put supper on.

They’re a little late, so we eat. Finally, we’re rescued. Four people (a guy from Penguin Power and Light, also). It’s like an invasion. Now I know how the Winter Over people feel at Win-Fly. But they bring out the cigarettes and rum. And it’s Party Time.

First we get out this parachute, a huge silk thing, and drape it over the Civic Center and East Wing and 41, like a big circus tent. It’s amazing, like Ringling Brothers, especially with all the lanterns and talking during the Party. Dave is a nice guy when he loosens up. No animosity with him any more. Jack dedicated his whole show to us.

The stars are out for the first time in awhile, even though you can see where the sun is going down at eleven o’clock. I’m surprised I recognize so much. I point things out to Sam.

Friday, November 10, 2006

September 30, 1975: Tuesday

Demon Rum gets me up very early to relieve my bladder. Proud of myself. Not too drunk. Didn’t even feel like getting out and running into a brick wall.

We have the snowtrack fixed early, load up, and go out to the drill site. 190 centimeters of ice and 400 feet of water. The chain saw breaks down and we can’t get any current measurements. Take sightings for a novel method of positioning.

They get 504 going and we rendezvous at New Harbour. A couple of growsers (things on the track) break and we stop to fix those. Then we push for home. Jim says it’s more than 100 miles, not the 70 we’d thought. It’s getting late when we get to the Dirty Ice. Penguins and seals all over and lots of open water. They spot a whale. (I didn’t see it.) We push on home. Very tired. Wind picks up just outside of town. A permanent bad weather area, I guess. We get to eat. Take a long, long shower (and boy, does that feel good). Sleep in a real bed, which Pete had strewn with his junk. Nine intrepid days, over.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

October 1, 1975: Wednesday

Spend the morning figuring the latitude and longitude of the drill site. I pick two points, 180º apart, on a straight line through the drill site, then two other points, similarly. The Fang through the left side of the third mountain on the first range north of Gneiss Point (turns out to be Mount Doorly) and Mount Bird through to the Hogback. Using their latitudes and longitudes as coordinates on a Cartesian field, I determined the equation of the lines, solving simultaneously to find the point of intersection, namely the drill site.

I had to convert seconds of arc into decimal points. I am worried that the graph is scaled so that the unit division is not always the same length. But since I am doing only positions and not distances, the conflict is taken care of. I come up with 77º 25’ 17” S and 164º 33’ 20” E. That’s 2 seconds off in latitude and 7 seconds off in longitude, according to what the guideline says. That’s not sufficient. I must determine my own error.

I spend the afternoon unloading 504. And then go down and develop negatives, plus three large pictures of the Outhouse Inauguration.

I get a phone patch home.

Nebraska is 3-0, ranked 4th, beat Indiana 35-7 and TCU 57-0. Kay (I talked to her, she was glad, I think) is a homecoming candidate. Becky B. is the prettiest candidate. Berzel is officially engaged. I forgot to ask if it was to Karen. Yesterday I had a funny feeling about being a best man at his wedding. Hope it all comes true. Toodles lives in the basement. And they haven’t heard from Cathy. I’m going to call her next week.

Develop all the pictures and go to sleep about eleven.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

October 2, 1975: Thursday

All morning was spent writing this journal, from notes and memory, for the last nine days. Put up pictures from the Erebus Ice Tongue and Marble Point.

Went over to Scott Base in the afternoon. Had trouble finding the place where you put the microphone onto the radio. It was right there in plain sight of course. We talk about making a road to Marble Point. Logistics. A D-8 bulldozer. Etc.

Dr. Dick comes up to check on us, our working group. Information for his virus study. We get called by John Oliver, the diver, to go help them on their dive. They’re going to get us a sample of the bottom sediment. They dive in a fish-hut hole. The ice is 8 feet thick and the water temperature is -1.9º C. (I stick my hand in it, just to say I had.)

The core samples have all sorts of strange little creatures and worm burrows and live clams and something that looks like a trilobite. We’re going to centrifuge it and run it through a photospectrometer and get a plot of particle size.

Next week we’re going out and take some current measurements on this side of the sound. Dr. Treves says we’ll publish it. Not many current studies down here.

Read and retire.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

October 3, 1975: Friday

Today was a busy day. Tom, the Nebraskan, came up to put Plexiglas on the Satellite Photo. Emmett and Dave dropped by and said to put Plexiglas on all the maps. Jim Newman picked up my Marble Point negatives and Ensign Carter checked out our refrigerators.

We got out and cleaned up the Micron Photo Sizer and Centrifuge. We’re going to do a size analysis on the core samples we got yesterday. We figured out how to run the contraption, what it does and why. But all the manuals are in Japanese, so we can’t do anything about interpreting the data.

Started to make a thin section of a Marble Point dike basalt. Remembered all the steps and didn’t even need very much help.

Did my wash, read some early Mad books. I worked on Antigone and Mercedes, a little. My concentration was interrupted. Sam read parts of Richard M. Nixon, the Second Part.

We’re moving into the Hotel tomorrow. It’s not all that bad, even though there were frozen blankets all over the laundry room and the doors needed repainting with the paint spots on the carpet. There’s a red hat by the door that says, “Nebraska Cornhusker Football 1971-1972. Go Big Red.”

The thing in the Mess that says, “Structure, Lounge, 1 each G-0375-ML935,” was stamped on by Jim Matthews. I thought it was official.

Monday, November 06, 2006

October 4, 1975: Saturday

We went up to the lab and watched my rocks dry. Made another thin section and put them in the oven to bake. Moved all my junk over to the Hotel. Jim the Kiwi was supposed to be my roommate, but they moved him in with Max. Got a room to myself. Sound familiar? Clark will probably be down on the first flight.

Got a short wave receiver. Took it up to the lab and plugged it in. Nothing. Not even any static. Called them back. Doug was there. He diagnosed our trouble as a lack of speaker. He and us put up an antenna and installed a speaker. The thing works. Fiddled around with the knobs. Boston-Oakland and Cincinnati-Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

The Hotel reminds me of the Dorm. The rooms are smaller, but are carpeted. I’m on the ground floor two doors on the left of the front door. I face the street. The sheets are clean, just not white. I have a blue bedspread. Rearranged the furniture the way I like it. I’ll be comfortable. Beige-yellow walls, brown rug, wood-grained furniture, orange chairs. Three Sams in a row.

Lost one Bic black pen. Spilled an Oly on my pants leg. I wish they’d invent tops with pull-ring openers. Six days ‘til the mail is in. Hope I’m not disappointed.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

October 5, 1975: Sunday

Helped Tim. Calvin even liked the music. He really put it on ol’ Mad Dog Jack. Asked him about Vulcanizing his Chickens. Remind me to tell that one to you someday. Jack got so riled up he’s going to have a special program Wednesday to get back at Tim. The Chalet Lecture was by John and Jeff and their diving pictures and their work with food cycles. The Winter Overs leave on Sunday. Last night they had a party. They strung up a hippie Summer crasher, kidnapped Jack and tied him into a straight jacket, and packed ol’ Nartsiss’ ass. (Any form by which cold snow is administered to one’s bare bottom.)

Sam got a sliver of metal in his eye. The Winter Over physician (they call him Doc Crazy) had to come down from the party to gouge around Sam’s eye.

It was cold in the Hotel last night. The dream I had of Joy was compensation enough.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

October 6, 1975: Monday

Boy, the weather was bad. Dr. Treves couldn’t go out to the Dirty Ice to see if they could get a road through. There was blowing snow all day and very cold. I slept with pajamas and Mukluk liners. Didn’t bother going to breakfast.

Gather up supplies for our 24-hour vigil over a fish-hut and current meter. Learned how to drive a trackmaster. It’s sort of easy, pulling on break levers. The battery cable in 504 shorted out and left us powerless, while I was driving. Then we got it going and I drove her into the garage without knocking anything over.

Straightened Nartsiss out on the difference between Nebraska red and Oklahoma red.

Measured cables of wire. Neither one was over 200 meters. Took them to the Navy to get them spliced.

Mike’s learning to play the Guitar. Tim and Doug know how. I have half a mind to play bass for ‘em. Dan, who’s leaving, taught Mike and me “Blackbird” from The White Album.

Warmer in the Hotel tonight. But it’s one o’clock and tomorrow is going to be a long, long day. Cashed two travelers cheques, then splurged at the Ship’s Store. Bought two sweat shirts, $3.75 each. One is Joy’s, for her birthday. The other is for Kay, I think. It might end up being Cathy’s. Have to find everyone a small souvenir.

Days Total:
$7.50 Operation Deep Freeze Sweatshirts

Friday, November 03, 2006

October 7, 1975: Tuesday

Dr. Treves went off to the Dirty Ice. Left us in charge. Cal, actually, because he had the list of things to do. I was tired and crabby about his go, go, go ideas and slowed things down, obnoxiously. We final settled down into a working compromise.

After lunch we took Al and a Navy Seabee out to catch fish with Steve and Ed leading the expedition. Didn’t catch a darn thing. I think it’s a rip-off. Get these unaware guys out in a fish-hut, close the blinds, and let ‘em hold a fish line for two hours. Then we replaced flags going home. Almost made us miss supper. Almost made me mad. No one should be deprived of supper. The job can wait.

Dr. Treves got back. 504 had a flat. So did 503. The Dirty Ice is passable with a D-4. With 5-ton trucks we can move all the equipment.

Made preparations for our 24-hours of current measurements. Going to take temperature readings and water samples for salinity tests.

Finished Time Enough for Love. Enjoyed it immensely, even though Heinlein doesn’t know what “moderation” and “will power” mean. Much better than Stranger in a Strange Land, although the theme was different.

Took a sauna and shower. All right! Talked with Doug and Pete. Pete explained Sidhartha to me. I think he might be right. The theme is the exact opposite of Stranger in a Strange Land.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October 8, 1975: Wednesday

Grumpy again this morning. Pete left his bag in my room.

I wanted to hitch the sled one way. Dr. Treves wanted to do it another. So I started, and Cal came around and told me to do it the other way. Gees.

Got over it. Remembered the joke told by Grabacki. An Illinois State Patrolman stopped a pretty you lady. “Gee, officer, are you selling tickets to the Policeman’s Ball.” “I’m sorry lady, State Patrolmen don’t have any Balls.” He looked up, thought about it, got back in his car, and drove away. It’s supposed to be a true story. Have to tell it to Deb.

At the fish-hut we unwound the spool of wire that Bio-Mike gave us. Measured off 400 meters. The wind came up and we had a white-out. Couldn’t see the fish-hut from 200 meters. Started to rewind onto another spool. Kept winding and winding. Must have passed our mark. Went out to remeasure and discovered the paint marks hadn’t been wound up yet. Dr. Treves put tape on the paint marks, which promptly slid down the wire. We finally pulled the strands apart and put little wires in between for a mark. These got torn out when the 100 meter mark hit the wood block we were using to keep the wire from eating the floor. After a lot of trial and error we figured out a system of pulleys, pry bars, and brute strength to raise and lower the current meter. It’s fun to watch the messengers slide down the wire and feel them thump the machine.

But it’s a real pain to haul up the stuff from 300 meters, especially when the spool warps, the crank comes out of its socket, the wire frame bends, and your back aches. We get some good readings (over 1.5 knots) and direction (150º from magnetic north, or SSW).

We fished. Caught nine Borchs. And the seal showed up, chasing the fish away. He filled the hole, posed for pictures, and blew snot all over me.

We had pastrami for lunch and steak and strawberries for supper. After the eight o’clock, 300 meter reading, it got so unbearable to bring it up. The stand broke and we decided to call it a day and went back to the Hotel. We’ll try to do some more tomorrow, if we can find a winch with a motor. Doesn’t look like I’ll get a chance to be a D.J., on orders of Dr. Treves (on a permanent basis, that is). And it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to phone patch Cathy tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October 9, 1975: Thursday

Spent the morning fixing 666, changing tires, changed growsers, and tightening tracks. I did all the underside work. Felt like a real mechanic. Berzel would be proud. Got really dirty, too.

Ate pastrami in the lab.

Drove out to Winterquarters Bay to rip off a motorized winch. Then out to the far fish-hut to fetch the sled. Did a little fishing. Caught nothing.

I drove! The trackmaster! Like a tank. Clutch at hand, twisting her in and out and between sastrugi. Didn’t wreck her or anything. We kept 666 and plugged her in up at the lab.

Moved out of my office and over into Cal’s because of all the people coming in tomorrow. Mail tomorrow, too. The weather had better be good. Waited around to get a phone patch. Magnetic storm the last couple of days. They didn’t reach me by 8:30. So I went back to the Hotel.

I don’t want to write too much here. Want to save it all for letter writing (if I get any)!

A geneological sidebar:

What’s in a Name? (A book in the lounge):
Baker O.E., Bakere Village Bread Baker: Walter and Alan Le Baker, 13th Century Shield: Sliver background, five ermine seashells on a black X cross; an ermine covered lion on a blue stripe across the shield top.
Davis Eng.;Wel., David (Heb.) Beloved one: Name traces to Bleddyn-Ap-Cynfyn, 11th Century Welsh king Shield: Red background, three silver boar’s heads.
McCormick Ire.;Scot., from Gaelic Mac-Cormaig Son of the Charioteer: Clan originated in Ireland, but some descendants migrated to Scotland centuries ago. Shield (Irish): Silver background, a red, indented-edge cross stripe between three blue eagles, all within a scallop-edge black border. Shield (Scottish): Red background, three red disks on silver chevron, set between three silver daggers, point down. Ick is Irish. Ack is Scottish.

Owens Wel.; Eng., from O.W., Owein Well born one. Shield: Silver background, a black rampant lion, a black rectangle in the upper background.