Watch your step or the Blues will get you

Date: Weds, 11 April 2001

So there I was innocently visiting friends up the hill at T-Site (our antenna farm) and next thing you know I'm playing in a blues band. Whoo! I could only play guitar on the song that had only one chord, but their singer didn't make it to rehearsal so I sang some. Amplification is fun. Unfortunately the antiquated Navy radio equipment that requires two full-time technicians is getting replaced by modern stuff next summer, so the big old barn with ancient racks and its own living quarters, band practice room, and beer-brewing area will be replaced by a shiny new blue box about half the size. We must maintain our connection with the outside world, whether we want to or not.

We had our once-a-month two-day weekend which was nice. The two days off work made it obvious how fast the light is changing this time of year: it was much darker when I got to work today than it was last week, no pink at all. Just dark blue sky and ghost mountains, and a full moon. We still get some direct sunlight in town during the day but that'll be gone soon enough. There was a green flash yesterday, a beautiful clear green glow for maybe a second as the sun set. The wind is up today, and it picks up the dry snow: if a gust hits while you're walking down the street, all of a sudden you're ankle-deep in powder snow flowing downhill like water.

We might have a medevac flight later in the month, the FleetOps folks are preparing the runway just in case. Nobody here is about to up and keel over, but there are a couple of people who are causing the doctor serious concern. It depends on whether an appropriate aircraft can be taken off its schedule elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The NSF has asked the NZAF (New Zealand Air Force) if they've got one handy. Since there's still light and it's not too cold here it won't be an extraordinary flight, but it'll still require a lot of coordinated effort. Rumors are flying, of course. They include: they're using the medevac as an excuse to get rid of some of the steelworkers, now that most of the heavy work is done on the three new buildings; or, management is resisting the medevac because too many people will quit and leave. Don't believe a thing until you see a plane on deck.

In entertainment news, we had a Mass Casualty Incident drill last week. I was Medical Comms and got to compare the setup here with the Trauma Team at Pole. Here we have professional firefighters on the scene and a whole triage unit set up in the firehouse, security personnel, designated stretcher bearers, you name it. The system mostly worked with a couple of noticeable hiccups (if the two ambulances are busy, we don't have any other vehicles designed for stretchers - gets awkward). Hooray for drills.

Not much else going on. Phones are quiet, classes are still busy. Best to all,


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