Stock-take is not to be taken lightly at Casey but certainly race day festivities are! Misty also finally reveals herself in this week’s Mad Minute.

Mid year stocktake for the mechanical section

Throughout any given year at Casey, many intense labour hours are completed, in the background, by a small team to assist with the Australian Antarctic Division’s science and research programs.

This small team is entrusted with maintaining an array of mobile plants such as: Hägglunds over snow vehicles, quad bikes, earth-moving machinery, outboard engines and Zodiac watercraft to name a few.

It is also tasked with maintaining fixed plant such as the main and emergency power houses, small generators and pumps and the transferring of fuels around station.

These jobs ensure that the many visitors to the station can maintain, as close to normal, living conditions similar to those they have become accustomed to back in Australia and ensure the works program for the year can be achieved in a safe and timely manner.

It is certainly not coincidental that to enable this to happen all tasks are carefully planned and numerous contingency plans put in place in the event of an equipment breakdown or failure. It is also no secret that Casey station is the busiest of all four stations throughout the summer period and has the greatest amount of mobile and fixed plant equipment to maintain.

In order for all this to be successful many factors have been considered. None is more important or arguably more painful than the job of stock-taking.

Stock-taking or inventory checking for Team Dieso is the physical verification of the quantities and condition of all items held on station that enable the above mentioned tasks to be carried out.

The team has now commenced what will certainly be a long and arduous task of finding, counting, sighting and recounting the thousands of spare part items we have here on the shelves, in the MPH (Main Power House), in the EPH (Emergency Power House)and in the Greenstore.

Given that the nearest mechanical store, workshop or manufacturer is some 3000+ kilometers away the need to be accurate, precise and order enough spare parts for the coming season is extremely important. Accordingly our emphasis is on getting it right the first time.

Jason Blackwell, Mechanical Services Supervisor and Plant Inspector

A day at the races

With State of Origin behind us and the AFL finals still weeks away, we were hoping that the Tour De France would get us through to the Olympics opening ceremony starting this coming weekend. Unfortunately with Evans out of contention for a podium finish, Goss denied a chance at the sprinter’s jersey and no one challenging Wiggins at all, Casey needed a bit of a sporting pick-me-up last weekend.

Fortunately, leader of Team Dieso (Jason the PI) came up with the idea of a race day. This was seized upon with the normal gusto by all and sundry on station and by Friday night the artificial turf had been laid out, form guides printed, picket fences built and painted and a suitable marquee erected in the wallow for a ‘Day at the Races'.

As to be expected, considerable effort was made to dress suitably for the day. Fascinators were much in evidence as were hats and ties. As one would expect at a race meeting, whilst the punters were dressed colourfully, not everyone was dressed appropriately.

Champagne in the marquee, a beer track-side, binoculars, shouting, cheering and no small amount of cursing all featured in what was a fun and boisterous day where everyone was a winner.

Misty’s Mad Minute introducing Misty!

NAME:  Misty McCain 

NICKNAME:  Mystery, Mystique, Misty Moo, Ted

ROLE ON STATION:  Plant Operator

OTHER APPOINTMENTS:  SAR Team & Fire Team, Actress, Costume Designer/Creator, ST, Dieso & School Liaison

Describe yourself in 3 words.  Happy, kind, random.

Who inspires you?  People who believe anything is possible, love unconditionally and know how to build a bridge.  Also Gary Reynolds, my former boss, where I am today is because of you.

What is the one thing you enjoy most about your current job?  I have a top 3: helping people, being outdoors and TEAM DIESO!

Why Antarctica?  I love snow.

What did you give up to come to Antarctica?  Hamish & Andy.

Do you have a home to go back to?  No, home is where my bag and Wuffy, my teddy bear, are.

Any work lined up on your return to Australia?  I wish.

What other occupation would you have if not a plant operator?  Ninja.

Are you continuing study/ tertiary ed. / services duty?  I practice Vipassana meditation and will be close to qualifying to study the Satipatthana Sutta on my return to Oz.

If not at Casey this year, what else would you be doing?  I would have ski bummed at Jackson Hole, then headed to Japan to volunteer in the tsunami rebuild.

Hobbies at Casey?  Cross-country skiing, sledging and mad exercising.

New hobbies for home and the future?  Zumba, wearing a pedometer and it’s highly likely I might watch another State of Origin.

Buying any large toys on your return home?  A yacht to live on.

Holidays planned?  Zambia, Ireland, UK, Russia, Mongolia, China.

The Red Shed is burning down and you are only have time to save one thing?  Wuffy.

You are stuck on a deserted island with one person?  I’d have to choose Wuffy.

Which other Antarctic station would you like to visit?  Rothera, British Antarctic Survey.

What are your tastebuds craving most?  Nothing.

One item you wished you brought down?  My puffy Cabella’s vest.

Your favourite hut?  Smoker’s Hut.

Favourite Antarctic wildlife?  Canadians.

Most important thing you would take on a jolly?  Spare thermals and socks.

Favourite summer highlight?  Watching all the summer romances unfold.

Antarctic highlight?  Summer at the Ski-way.

Winter highlight so far?  Relay for Life.

Name three people you would like to invite to the Midwinter Dinner?  Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Gosling, Sir David Attenborough.

Name one person you most like to winter with?  Sidhattha Gotama Buddha.

If your life was a song, which one would it be this week?  I’m Not Over by Carolina Liar.  For you Charlie.

Favourite day of the year?  Every day.

Favourite place in the world?  Lying on my back in really long grass, watching the clouds. 

How do you have your jalapenos?  All over.

If Comms could download one Olympic event for us to watch this year, any request?  Cross-country section of the 3-day eventing.

What is the first thing you will do when you return to Australia?  If I fly back I will probably be crying. If I am on the ship I will be celebrating with all my buddies.  I will jump off the ship, roll in the dirt and climb a tree.

Any messages for anyone?  Thank you to Jeff, Aaron, Micky, Mark and Jason for believing in me.