October 21, 2012 PQ'd and Waiting
The past 10 days have been flying by! I've gotten PQ'd (that's physically qualified-in other words they figure I have a good chance of staying alive while I'm in Antarctica) after a couple of calls to Galveston, Texas and a search by the USAP medical department to find the forms I sent in August. If any other PolarTREC'rs are reading this, do not send your paperwork in during WINFLY season - it goes into the wrong file and then seems to stay there until someone goes looking for it. That took care of panic #1. Panic # 2 was less serious - it involved figuring out if the USAP office in Denver had gotten my travel forms, which had also gone out in August with the medical paperwork to Galveston. They had the papers, but I still don't know if it was the August copy or the set I redid at the end of October. Oh well, you learn not to question these things as long as they get done.
I'm supposed to leave on November 1- that's only nine days away! My current priority is to get packed! This picture is the heap sitting on the ping-pong table in my basement. The tent hanging in the background is NOT going - it was airing out after it's last use. I've packed one large dufflel bag and have another pile that will go in the carry-on. My biggest quandry is which boots to take. I'll be issued the Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) bunny boots, but I still need something else to wear around McMurdo. One pair is reasonable in size but not made for very cold weather; the other is really big but much warmer. I guess I'll just have to flip a coin to decide.
Christmas in October
One thing my dear wife asked me to do before I leave is to get the Christmas Tree out of the attic and set up. I've never put up a Christmas tree in October before, but since I may not be home until right before Christmas, it seems like an OK thing to do. She and some friends plan to decorate it in early December. Until then, it's going to have to sit happily in the living room and be a conversation piece. Do you notice the leaves on the trees outside?