In Antarctica

For those of you who are just joining us, I’ve been in Antarctica since Oct. 12, 2009.

To Live is To Fly
Townes van Zandt

Won’t say I love you babe
Won’t say I need you babe
But I’m gonna get you babe
and I will not do you wrong.

Livin’s mostly wastin’ time
and I’ll waste my share of mine.
But it never feels too good
so let’s don’t take too long.

Well you’re as soft as glass
and I’m a gentle man;
and we got the sky to talk about
and the world to lie upon.

Days up and down they come
like rain on a conga drum.
Forget most, remember some
but don’t turn none away.

Everything is not enough
and nothing is too much to bear.
Where you’ve been is good as gone
all you keep is the gettin’ there.

Well to live’s to fly
on low and high.
So shake the dust off of your wings
and the sleep out of your eyes.

It’s goodbye to all my friends.
It’s time to go again.
But think of all the poetry
and the pickin’ down the line.

I’ll miss the system here;
the bottom’s low and the treble’s clear.
But it don’t pay to think too much
on things you leave behind.

Well I may be gone,
but it won’t be long.
I’ll be a brinin’ back the melody
and the rhythm that I find.

We all got holes to fill,
and them holes are all that’s real.
And some fall on you like a storm;
sometimes you dig your own.

The choice is yours to make
and time is yours to take.
Some dive into the sea,
some toil upon the stone.

Well to live’s to fly
on low and high.
So shake the dust off of your wings
and the sleep out of your eyes.

Well shake the dust off of your wings
and the tears out of your eyes.

Follow me at scottafar.com.
I’m flying.

Shake the Dust Off of Your Wings and the Sleep Out of Your Eyes

Due to my overwhelming charisma, powers of positive thinking and Jedi mind tricks, my waiver request to allow me to travel to and work in Antarctica has been approved by the National Science Foundation. I’m not yet sure when I will be leaving, but it will be soon, probably in the next two or three weeks. Originally scheduled to leave home on September 27 and arrive at McMurdo Station on October 3, it now appears as though my schedule will simply be two or three weeks later than originally planned.

It has been a roller coaster of a summer; first being offered the job in June, then being denied in July. Applying for a waiver and seeing more doctors and taking more tests through August and into September. Missing deadlines while waiting for a decision. Each day thinking, “today is the day,” only to hear nothing. I finally heard today. It feels as if a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Now I need to plan my packing. And buy sunglasses.

(Whoever gets the musical reference in the title of the post gets a cookie*)

* Not really; there are no cookies.

These Aren’t The Words I Was Looking For

“You are not medically qualified.”

These aren’t the words I was looking for.

I finally heard from Raytheon’s medical department today. They have determined I am not medically qualified for deployment to Antarctica based upon an illness from which I suffered in early 2007. I have started the process of obtaining a waiver from this decision since, you know, I’m not sick. This process takes up to eight weeks. While I hope they reverse their decision, after speaking with the medical staff, I am not hopeful.

As it stands now, I am not going to Antarctica for the October, 2009 through February, 2010 season.

From Dream to Nightmare

Just last week, I received an email from Raytheon seeking information to assist with my housing assignment for the Winfly season. Winfly is the process of bringing people to McMurdo to begin the transition from the winter season (with its 157 people) to the summer season (population of over 1,000). I was hopeful that upon being medically qualified, I would be sent to Antarctica in mid-August, rather than early October.

Funny how things change.

I will get to Antarctica some day, just probably not this upcoming season.

Thank you for all the support, phone calls, emails and encouraging words everyone has given me through this process.

Now the Wait

The paperwork is complete.
The medical and dental exams; the blood work and drug testing are done.
I’m in excellent medical and dental condition (look mom – no cavities!) and don’t use drugs (or alcohol or tobacco for that matter).

Now I just wait for the doctors employed by the powers that be to tell me the magic words: “You are physically qualified…”