Archive for March, 2007


Friday, March 30th, 2007

Today we made some Spätzle with Schnitzel for lunch. Cooking for 50 people always has its challenges. Luckily, Robert knew how to make Spätzle and Frances, one of our cooks, knew how to be organized enough to be ready on time. So everything went well and we had a great lunch.

Making Spätzle
Robert and Frances making Spaetzle Spaetzlemaster Robert Frances is getting the Schnitzel ready
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In case you want to give it a go, here is the recipe:

  • For 4 persons

    500g flour, or about 2 1/2 cups
    approximately 250ml/1 cup water
    5 eggs
    1 t salt
    2 large onions
    300g/1 1/2 cups grated Emmenthaler cheese
    50g butter (or your preferred oil for frying)

  • Sift the flour and mix with the eggs, salt and water. The dough
    shouldn’t be too sticky.

  • Cut onion into rings and saute in butter (German method) or olive
    oil (a healthier alternative) until golden. If you’re very efficient
    or if you have a second pair of hands to help, you can do this
    concurrently while you boil the Spaetzle.

  • Boil some salted water. With your Spaetzlehobel, Spaetzlebrett or
    any other ingenious method you’ve thought of, consign portions of
    Spaetzle into the pot. They’re done when they float to the top, so
    whip them up and chuck them into a dish. Periodically strew cheese
    and pepper to taste on the layers of Spaetzle ; the hot noodles
    will melt the cheese and turn everything into a yummy mass. When
    all the dough is finished and your kitchen is in an absolute mess,
    finish off the Spaetzle layers with the remaining cheese and the
    golden onions.


Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Yesterday I took a walk out to Spoolhenge. It is one of the few local attractions.

The main axis of Spoolhenge is aligned northeast-southwest, and while early research assumed this was an inaccurate alignment on summer solstice horizon sunrise, a far more credible interpretation is that standing on the right hand side of the Heel Spool and looking between the upright pillars of the grand trilithon the monument offers an accurate alignment on the winter solstice sunset. In short, this is how we accurately determine the seasons down here. So I went out to check, and sure enough, the sun is about to set and it will get dark soon.

Panoramic view of Spoolhenge Spoolhenge Spoolhenge Closeup
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Some people insists, that these are just a bunch of spools, waiting to be sent back to McMurdo.

Back Up and Running

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

My hoster has been nice enough to move me to a faster server. When I tried to update the DNS entries with my domain name provider in Germany, I found out that he had disappeared without a trace. I talked to a really nice fellow in Germany who was unfortunate enough to get the guys old fax number as a phone number. He told me that he has received hundreds of calls but didn’t know anything about the other guys whereabouts. Amazing how nice he was after being bombarded by all these phone calls.

After trolling through old email headers, I could identify the company which the how broke company was a reseller for. I called them up and they have been incredibly helpful. They have changed the DNS entry for me and set things in motion to transfer the domain to a different provider. Nice to see that good customer service still exists.

Hopefully, the domain transfer will go without a hitch.

First Storm of the Season

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Today I woke up to find my window covered in snow. We are having 20 plus knots winds. It is really bad for CMB observations, but it is a lot of fun to be outside.

First Storm of the Season
A heat wave and even the wind has died down to 17knt. The South Pole at 20 knt winds. You can just about make out the Dome from the new Station
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The South Pole Day SPA

Thursday, March 1st, 2007
South Pole Day Spa

The Station is preparing for winter and the Summer Camp is closing down. Today we got the official word that we can use all the remaining water in the Ice Palace. The last plane left a little earlier than anticipated. So I guess there was some extra water.

Normally we follow the “Two minute showers twice a week” rule. So this sounded too good to be true. I made the track out to Summer Camp at two in the morning and took a loooooong shower. Probably the longest shower in South Pole history. Well, maybe not counting Jerry Nielsen.

The Ice Palace is a strange place. It looks like a campground bathroom combined with an industrial site. It does have big windows. So I could sit inside after my shower and stare at the frozen landscape outside. Minus 55° and not a soul to be seen. Very relaxing.

The South Pole Day SPA
Just today, the South Pole Day SPA is in the Ice Palace The Ice Palace has the ambiance of a campground bathroom, combined with an industrial site. Today though, it is the most luxurious place on the planet. Normally the puppies enforce a two minute shower. Not today!
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