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This is a question Desperate Times

Stranded in a hotel in an African war zone with no internet access for two weeks, I was forced to resort to desperate measures. Possessing only my passport and the clothes I stood up in; and the warning "You can catch it shaking hands with a vicar out there" ringing in my ears, I had to draw my own porn in order to preserve my sanity.

Alas, it all came out looking like Coronation Street's Audrey Roberts, but, as they say, any port in a storm.

What have you done in times of great desperation?

(, Thu 15 Nov 2007, 10:10)
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So here I am...
approximatley 12,000 miles from home, here at the bottom of the earth. One of the most common questions I get from people is

"What do you do with your worldly possessions while you are down there?"

Well, some people get a storage unit, and some just leave them in their house and keep paying ungodly rent on it because they are idiots.

I present to B3ta myself..an idiot.

My room mate is..was..one of my closest friends, someone I knew I could trust to watch over all my stuff and pay the rent.

My landlord is my cousin who happens to live 5 houses down the same street. Who has also told me he is on the cusp of taking legal action against said friend for not paying his rent.

This friend has not returned any of my calls or given me at the least an e-mail. No one has actually seen him around and those who have seen a trace of him think he is living at his parents and hasn't been to our house in months. What does this mean for me?

My house is an older one but in decent shape...it was built in the 1960s, and we had to sign a legal agreement stating that there may be lead paint in the house, and should we decide to eat it we can hold no one responsible but outselves...I wish I could make that up on my own...but its true. So, old house, not perfectly weather proof, no one living there, semi-slob like room mate whos never around. The house was clean when i left but now, I desperatley wonder are those possestions still mine, or do they belong to whatever other living entities have moved into this presumably neglected home?

Ive asked my cousin/landlord for any insight he has, and as of this moment I await a response.

Sorry for the length...but 12,000 miles has to impress someone.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 20:21, 15 replies)
Quite impressive that you're able to be on b3ta at all, actually!
Keep us updated- this sounds like it has the makings of an interesting story!
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 20:28, closed)
It is quite impressive the number of satellite connections needed to get me on B3ta... but this is a research station, and those beakers* can't do without their internet.

Ill keep the updates coming, don't worry, I know it will be both entertaining and devistating to me.

*"beaker" Antarctican for scientist.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 20:58, closed)
Banal question but
given that it must be the start of summer there.... just how cold is it? I mean, I know it's bloody cold all year round but a ball-park figure? In Celsius?
Will keep fingers crossed for your house/worldly goods situation.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 21:12, closed)
Give me a second to do the temp. conversions...
Well currently it is 10:32am, and it is -9C, which is pretty warm. At the height of the summer it will reach 3 or 4 degrees C. The coldest ambient temperature I have been here for is about -53 or so. Windchills have gotten to -59 or worse. You can (and I have) thrown a bucket of boiling water out of a door and watch it turn to snow and ice well before it hits the ground. You get climatized down here after a month or so, I routinely go out at -12 or so in just a t-shirt without a problem...for about 15 or 20 minutes.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 21:35, closed)
Ever been for a piss outside
just to watch it all freeze?

That'd probably be the first thing I'd do...
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 22:00, closed)
I thought Al Gore said Antartica had gone? They've been lying to us! Out of interest, what you doing down there....
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 22:52, closed)
ok i saw the blog, youre a firemanguy. Cool. Although, and wait for it... I'm fairly sure snow doesnt burn! badum-tish I bet you never ever heard that one. You know, cos snow is like water, and stuff.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 22:57, closed)
fanny magnet!
I'm impressed by 12000 miles. That is tip top cool!
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 23:05, closed)
It tingles...
When you go for a piss in extreme cold and it freezes the second it his open air...

Now that my grumbling has subsided...

snow does not burn you are correct (which, sadly... is more than most people can figure out)

Penguins are not arsonists, however they are sneaky, and incredibly entertaining little bastards.

Santa lives on the opposide end of the earth, as do Polar bears... therefore all jokes involving either are null and void.

Yes people really live here, all working science grants or work contracts up to 14 months at a time.

No, I have never been committed.

Well, that covers all the standard Antarctica questions... so any new ones will be a welcome distraction.

I repeat...I have never been committed.

As for my need here... I am at the largest station on the continent, with over 100 structures and lots of science projects going on. hence, like any other town, they have a fire department...so here I am.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 23:08, closed)
As a (non antarctic, but still very geeky) beaker, i look forward to more of your postings! you must win a prize for the most isolated b3tard on the planet...

can i ask a question that you must have heard, how often do you get real life contact with the outside world (other than the the interweb?) - like ships and planes and that? And what's the time differnce from GMT (sorry, complete ignorance...)

and i've only moved 4,000 miles from home, but i left all my worldly goods in my old flat with my ex housemate who has OCD. she emails to update me on how clean she's keeping them. I'm scared...
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 4:13, closed)
Have you.....
...ever had a fight with a shape-shifting dog?

...considered "30 Days of Night" to be a documentary?

...made naked snow angels?

...gone off ice-cream?
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 9:52, closed)
speaking of fighting shape-shifting dogs
I once dreamt a full feature-length sequel to The Thing

it was excellent.
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 11:33, closed)
Which station?
Which station are you at? Your description sounds a little like McMurdo? My father was at Amundsen-Scott for a year when I was a kid.
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 15:56, closed)
Maybe your room mate has died.
It could happen.
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 17:21, closed)
We have a winner
I am indeed at McMurdo Station, although I will likely be going to spend at least a week at Amundsen-Scott sometime this season.

The time zone is the same as New Zealand for logistic purposes (as is the South Pole) so GMT+12:00.

Contact with the outside world... well we have regular (a couple times a week) Air Force cargo flights out of New Zealand. Also of course internet and the phone. Starting sometime in January our pier opens up, and we have a huge cargo vessel, a fuel tanker, ice breakers, and some science vessels come through for about a month or so. This is the furthest south any ship can sail into port, McMurdo Sound.

Ahh the thing, the most loved, hated, and over watched movie down here. Most people here are more concerned about zombie attacks, which I never understood, but stand ready at all times.

As far as the naked snow angels go... we are on Ross Island, one of the very few parts of the continent that has exposed land... which is made of Volcanic rock. This is also the driest place on earth..so no nice fluffy snow. That in mind im pretty sure a naked snow angel would result in lots of wounds with rocks embedded in them. Good thing we have a hospital.

I think i covered all the questions so far..if I missed some I'll get to them when i get to them.

By the way its +23 degrees F today...t-shirt weather!
(, Wed 21 Nov 2007, 20:14, closed)

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