In this talk I will give an introduction to observational cosmology focusing on how ground based CMB telescopes work, in terms of the hardware infrastructure, software setup, and day to day operations. We'll go over everything from cryogenics to superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) to the Generic Control Program (GCP). I'll then give an overview of daily operations and maintenance in the extreme environment of the South Pole in Antarctica, focusing on my experiences deploying for 10.5 months as a winter-over for the South Pole Telescope. I'll share some stories from life at the South Pole before progressing to the scientific results that have come from the South Pole Telescope and other CMB experiments on the ground and in space. I'll end with an outlook of the next 10 years of CMB astronomy and leave plenty of time for questions. But I'll tell you in advance, that in all my time in Antarctica, I never did manage to see a penguin.