couple of ??

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    hi guys. you all seem to be really helpful so i was hoping you could help me with a couple of questions. i’m new to all this and am supposed to be heading south around the 15 of oct. first of all i was wondering when i should expect my tickets. i was originally told around three weeks prior but its already inside of two weeks and still no tickets.
    second: i’ve read a lot of you guys responses to other peoples packing questions and it brought up one of my own. in regards to your carry on: you are allowed a laptop in addition to your regular carry on, i have a backpack to carry mine in, is this allowed or do i have to remove the laptop and check the backpack or can i carry it all?
    i just wanted to add that at first i was a little skeptical about my decision to accept a contract in antarctica but after reading the posts u guys have made i’m not nearly so anxious. looking forward to meeting all of you. cant wait to head south.


    hi cc77,

    Where’s home?

    Your tickets may be electronic, and you’ll get an email with the reservation link. If you don’t see them soon you should probably talk with either a ‘deployment specialist’ or the person who hired you. If they’re paper tickets, there’s no tellin’ when they’ll arrive (some folks have had the FedEx truck pull up to their house with the tickets even as their taxi for the airport was honking outside). I know that’s not very reassuring but ’tis the way things work sometimes.

    Not sure what to tell you about the laptop backpack. If it’s not much bigger than the laptop itself it should not be a problem.

    Right now things are stressful because it’s all unknown. Once you hit the road it’s a lot easier to relax. You’re about to meet some very interesting people…



    thanks glenn. i did get in touch with them and they said i should be hearing something from the travel dept. today.
    i’m a carpenter from arkansas heading down to work on the new station.
    you at the pole??
    oh and i seem to recall reading something somewhere (possibly from you) about an external battery pack with a cord going to the camera. would you know how i might find one of these? i cant seem to find one for my camera model. not asking you to find one for me but if you know off the top of your head would be greatly appreciated. btw its a canon digital rebel xt


    Hey, Cooter —
    What part of AR you from?
    No, Glenn’s not at the Pole – in fact, he’s not even really IN Antarctica – he’s at Palmer, waaaaay up in the Banana Belt.  🙂
    There are alot of us that shoot Canons down here.  Our favorite place to order from is B&H Photo, in New York.  They’re great about shipping stuff down here.  I’m waiting on a new 30D, myself.  They MAY have external battery packs, but I’ve never really looked for them. 
    If you’re going to Pole, listen to what Glenn advises.  He has ‘visited’ there before.  😉  If you were staying in McMurdo, then an external pack isn’t really necessary.
    Enjoy your flight down, and remember – We’re all here, because we’re not all there.


    the external battery is nice but not a necessity. Get several regular batteries in their place and keep them warm.


    That’s all I’m taking, an extra battery.

    …Not in Antarctica? I guess all that ice outside my window is an illusion…

    CC77, I hope to see you there.



    well i got an email from travel dept. leaving for denver on 17th. guess i can stop worrying about that part of it now. also i done a litte research on the Aairlines website and it turns out you are allowed your regular carry on and one personal item as long as the personal item is not over 36 linear inches.(in case anyone else was wondering).
    i’m from clarksville ar. its about 50 miles east of  ft. smith. its gonna be REAL nice to get away from this place for a month or twelve. where’re all you guys from??
    i got a gig of memory with my camera……that gonna be enough to keep from being a pain or should i get more. i plan on taking a LOT of pictures…(easy to plan from this here recliner though, might be different once i get down there)
    and just for the record this forum is about on the level with a valium and a six pack as far as anxiety relief goes. thanks


    Whew! I was about to write you encouraging you to call in and ask about your tickets….glad they showed up.

    Pole is a great place, you’ll enjoy it, and it isn’t THAT cold during the summer. And there will be some great people around including Glenn (not including me this time 🙁

    I’m assuming you can download pictures from the camera to your laptop, in that case 1G of camera memory will be plenty. I suggest you pack a few blank DVDs for saving your pictures as well as those from others that are shared on the server. The PCs in the computer lab will burn to both +R and -R DVDs–I brought some with me, never saw them sold in the store.


    We learned something new at our checkin at the CDC yesterday.
    They have changed the rules for the military flight down. On the comercial flight you get a carry on and a personal item, but not on the military flight. You only get one carry-on and your laptop has to go in it. Keep that in mind when you pack. You also need to be able to put your street clothing and shoes in there as well. The carry on has to fit in a box that is about 30 inches by 10 inches. That is just a guess on the size. Somebody else might have the exact dimensions.
    A gig of memory will be fine. I wasn’t aware the computers at the pole burn DVD’s that’s cool. McMurdo isn’t there yet. They have DVD readers but not burners. There are a couple of computers that have card readers built into them. My one at work doesn’t so I’m bringing down a reader to plug into the computer there.
    And Glenn while you technically have snow. You are above the Antarctic Circle, Just like Denver.


    hmmmmmmmm……..soooo complicated. so heres another question. what about razors? you allowed to carry them on the plane? and how about leatherman tools? should i leave these at the house and grow a zz top beard and not fix, cut, screw, open, scrape, file, saw, or squeeze anything the whole time i’m there?
    i got myself some dvds so i should be ready to roll as far as pictures go. are you allowed to connect laptops to the net or do you have to use the puters supplied? oh yeah….and whats this i heard today about them confiscating your laptop in denver so they can scan it?
    and do you pronounce it skooooooooa or skwa??  (skua)
    so many questions….so little time


    Does the one carry-on with the dimensions you describe mean that you no longer carry an orange bag on the flight to McMurdo? Or is that separate? Or is this referring to the size that your orange bag must compress into?

    If they’ve eliminated the orange carry-on bag does that mean you have to provide your own carry-on bag and that you need to wear all your survival gear (instead of stuffing it and all of your heavy stuff into the orange carry-on bag)?

    As for the Pole common use computers, Brian Shunamon and Mike Ray did a great job getting things set up last winter. There are also card readers available.


    >so many questions so little time

    Know what you mean. You can plug your computer into the network, but it does have to be checked over first (in Denver or Chch) to make sure you have antivirus and similar stuff installed. The network is also used for all sorts of scientific data, and the FBI has been involved more than once in hacking cases on unprotected science computers, latest incident last summer.

    There is also a wireless network in summer camp where you probably will be living, so keep that in mind, if you don’t have wi-fi now you might want to buy a PC card (no network plugins out there).

    Bring your razor…or grow a beard. They sell razors in the store, as well as non-aerosol Uncle Tom’s shaving cream, which I personally hate.

    Bring a Leatherman or similar stuff if you’re used to having it at hand, but don’t overburden yourself with tools, after all there are lots of tools around to use on the job and otherwise. Think about bringing things that might be less common like audio adapter plugs, mini USB cables for your camera, a set of rechargeable batteries and charger (if you have something that uses batteries) etc. If you don’t need them, a friend may need to borrow them. You said you were there for the summer only but that doesn’t mean that a small mag lite or similar flashlight won’t come in handy.

    The word “skua” is pronounced SKOOOO-a where the first syllable rhymes with “shoe.” The only place it is pronounced “skwa” is in that horrible Susan Sarandon movie about Pole and Jerri Nielsen’s medevac a few years ago. I hope you get an opportunity to watch that movie on station with other Polies to get the full flavor. Oh yeah, there is lots of stuff to skua…unless you have long legs, long arms and big feet like me 🙂


    You still get the orange bag. It just has to compress into the box. You can bring safety razors now on flights. Knives are still a nono. They need to be packed in your checked luggage.
    I’m going to try to check all my orange bags and just bring my backpack with the computer in it. I’ll let you know if there are problems.


    Well, I just landed in McM, after 2 extra days in CHC…  It’s good to be back.  There was a change with the cary-on luggage.  They still give you the orange bag, but if you fill it up, it’s over the size limit, so test it out as you’re packing.  Your laptop now has to fit into your cary-on, and can not be seperate, like in the past.  I ended up putting my laptop case, toiletries & change of clothes in my orange bag, and NOTHING else (book and music player were in my parka pocket), and it fit into the box.  Everything else (razors, knives, etc…) all can go into the checkin bags. 
    Mike, have a good flight, see ya soon!  – Z

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