Friday, December 29, 2006

I need a new BOOK!

I'm in a rut. I need a new book to read. Something from a new Genre. in the last 6 months I've been stuck reading sci-fi books (like Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Giun, etc...) Now I think I'm pretty nerded out.

I know the readers of this blog are numerous and diverse, any Ideas?

I think I'm ready to tackle something good, interesting, maybe a classic?

The Nostrils of Satan!!!

Here's an article of absurdity. Religious people are the dumbest fucking group of people I've ever encountered...and Fundamentalist religious groups are some of the most dellusional masses of human waste on the planet.

Of course, thats a bit of an exaggeration, but not telling people the stratigraphic age of the grand canyon in order to avoid offending religious zealots should be grounds for termination at the park service.

As an educated geologist and working professional, I'm offended that my national park service is bowing to a group of assholes and ruining the true dynamic history of one of the coolest places in the United States.

my favorite quote:

"As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Records and music

I've been collecting hardcore records since high school.

only not really. I listen to alot of hardcore music. and in high school most of the music came out on records. not all, but alot of it did.

so I'd buy that shit, mainly from Oarfolkjokeopus records on lyndale street in Minneapolis (now called Treehouse records). or from Mailorder only mail catalogs from Victory records or Very distro.

about 5 years ago I realized alot people pay alot of money for records. Hard to believe that shit that I bought from record stores, or bought from labels back then is worth alot of money.

Like look at this auction on ebay:

Chain of Strength - What holds us apart

Some of my closer friends might recognize that record and tshirt that I had in high school...I think my very straightedge friend erik eventually wore/kept that shirt.

I bought this very same record from Oarfolk in high its selling on ebay for no less than $40.00. I have alot of records like that. not nearly as much as some of the record nerds that are out in the world, but I have quite a few.

I've been trying to collect records that I really like, records that I liked back in high school and college, and new shit that's just really cool.

Its hard to believe that an old Judge LP I bought from Chris Jensen, a high school friend, now sells on ebay for well over $200. (A Judge LP called "chung king can suck it" often sells on ebay for more than $1200...yeah, ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!)

I'm gonna start a new semi-regular post to this blog: records I have/want and why.

This chain of strength 7" is the first. A great hardcore band, and a great record. glad I bought it for $1.99 in high school.

(also, the kid running the auction is a retard, it doesn't match those other COS records, in fact this is one of the more common pressings of the 7")

Jackson, we come.

We leave for Jackson (where my wife is from) tomorrow morning. which means I won't be updating the old blog here for a few days I think. I know that my readers are already legion, and I'll soon unleash my fight-club-like master plan soon...

Anyhow, as I sit here and watch Dune on dvd, I thought I'd post a few links I saw today.

Giant Squid!
- Some Japanese researchers caught and almost brought a live giant squid to the surface. lots of great pics of this thing on the internet, in fact, you probably know about this shit already.

Liquid Coal Making a comeback? - An mildly interesting article about liquid coal...kinda relates back to a post I made a few days ago.

My LastFM playlist! - Last FM is a site that records what you've been listening to. You can see that not only am I still listening to alot of hardcore and metal music, but also I'm listening to alot of the exact same shit I was listening to 10 years ago...have I stagnated? maybe. I think I'm kinda caught between really liking hard music, and also coming to grips with how fucking ridiculous it is. New bands are tough to get into. Maybe I need to just start listing to the dave matthews band and enjoy riding the shitslide into middle age.

Cute overload - one of Karen's favorite sites. Kinda scenester, but its also hard not to check it every day.

Pharyngula - its a science blog that I read almost every day at lunch. its run by a science professor at morris MN. Very liberal, very sciency, very athiest, and very uncompromising. its the kinda blog I wish I could maintain if I had talent, education, intelligence, timing, and wit.

well thats about it for now. the harkonnens have just destroyed the atredies base on arakis...I better pay attention, because in a little while paul will change his name, make out with sean young, and then yell "Long Live the Fighters!".

good times., waiting, and wanting to go home

So today I’m sitting at work, back in the office, back in reality after a pretty great trip to a resort town, and spending yesterday playing in the snow.

Today I get to hear everyone’s shoveling stories.

Honestly, I just want to go home at this point. I don’t care to hear anyone’s stories, I don’t have much work to do, I’m listening to this crazy ridiculous black metal band called Anaal Nathrakh, and all I can think of is “how the hell am I gonna get home this afternoon.

Unfortunately I have no Crested Butte Pics to show, because we haven’t downloaded them here at work yet and I don’t have the camera to do it.

Oh well….here’s a picture of what the site looked like last year in October. At that time we had to rent 4wheelers to get around up there, almost as good as snowmobiles.

Thats our project manager on the right, and on the left is a coworker

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Out of the snow, into more snow, part 1.

Not much today, got back from crested butte and about 7 feet of drifted mountain snow, to denver, where we got about 2.5 feet of snow in the last day.

Here's a few pics so far, more to follow soon!

Believe it or not, my car is in the foreground of this picture!!!!

Me and the cone-dog.

Me trying to dig out the back yard, the snow is up to my thighs!

Tomorrow, I'll be back at work with pictures from the trip to Crested Butte. If you've ever wondered what its like to see a 2 ton snow-cat get stuck in 9 feet of fresh snow, then just wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Richard Dawkins: perfect.

I agree whole-heartedly...Nothing I can really add:

Taking the weekend off: Random Random Picture

So I'm not gonna waste anytime adding to this site this weekend (shit its already sunday and I don't want to sit here at the computer that long).

Next week will be a pretty light week on here too as I am going to Crested Butte Colorado for some field work. I will be watching to east-coast lightweights install a solar-powered water monitoring station at a mine site at about 11,900 feet.

if your thinking "how the fuck are they gonna get into the mountains at this time of year"...We're renting Snowmobiles. Sometimes my job is really awesome..."yeah man, I gotta go snowmobiling all next week...what's that?...oh, no its for work."

So I'll leave you with this picture:

Its the back side of Floyd Collins' old house near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. I had a chance to see Floyd's personal cave that he carved out, and see close to where he died, and see where they first laid his coffin. kinda creepy...really creepy.

The story of Floyd Collins is pretty wierd, worth a read. I was looking at old pictures on the computer this morning and saw this one and was like "damn, old Floyd Collins' house."

I went there on a field trip with Mississippi State University about 3 years ago.

Friday, December 15, 2006

So Here's a Thought...

I work for a HUGE corporation. The office I work at is under a dedicated contract: I only do work for the EPA. The majority of the corporation I work for doens't do that, they work on infrastructure, and building type projects.

The drilling job I recently went on (see early december blog postings), was for our corporate partners. The wells we were installing were for a really large (1.8 Billion Dollars) Coal-to-Diesel plant. The plant will take Coal found in wyoming, and through some kebler-like magic will turn it into low-sulfur diesel fuel. The plant is expected to open in 5-10 years from now (we were just looking to find enough water to sustain the plant out there).

At the same time here, my car is pretty old, and the wife and I are trying to hold off on a new one until there are better hybrids/hydrogen/fuel cell/etc... type cars on the market. It seems to me that the news reports that we are always on the cusp of the newests clean-fuel/hybrid technology for cars, like if we just wait 2 years, there may be a new technology laying around that will be better.

Here's the thing. The project I was working on was to create new diesel fuel. There's a sister project to this one in West Virginia right now too. If we are so close to an energy alternative for car fuel, then why are they building these massive plants for diesel? For 1.8 billion dollars and a timeline of almost 10 years for full production, they must have a good handle on the energy market...if someone were coming out with a hydrogen car soon, or if they thought the technology was close, they wouldn't invest in this shit....would they? I don't think so.

so what the fuck?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Politics and science.

There was a great article in the BBC today, and I think I've actually heard a bit about this before:

"Some 10,000 US researchers have signed a statement protesting about political interference in the scientific process.

The statement, which includes the backing of 52 Nobel Laureates, demands a restoration of scientific integrity in government policy."

One of the major fucking problems (amongst many) with the current administration is their continued scientific ignorance, in general and in our policy towards various kinds of research. George Bush is a creationist for crying out loud (which should be grounds for impeachment right there - Intelligent Designers are all crazy bastards).

In science, especially in research, there is a rigorous peer-review process (I know a little bit about it, as I've published in this arena before, and its very VERY rigorous). Peer review keeps science healthy, its a way to weed out poor science, and helps to encourage good science.

We need that, a good healthy scientific community is what we should be advocating. Government should stay the hell out altogether, or they should be required to consult with major academic oraganizations before they can make policy that restricts or gives power to any scientific entity. As a government leader, we should be looking to our scientists to help with all decisions regarding science.

A fucking creationist should not be governing our biology policy, our earth science policy, and they should be ripped apart by wolves if they think they belong in developing curriculum in our public schools.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

80's madness!

So Digg had This link today. 50 commericals from the 1980's. there's some terrific ones, from the juicy fruit ad, to billy dee williams selling Colt45 malt liquor. Transformers, micromachines, and the "this is your brain on drugs" PSA are all there.

If you pay attention close there are 50 more commercials at the bottom of the page. worth checkin' out.

I had planned to put a few of the classics in here, but there are too many to choose from.

Crazy Lunatic!

I was hoping for Caligula...

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Black day for humans

So I saw this report that the white Yangtze dolphin is functionally extinct.

Critters go extinct as a function of time no doubt. In fact, if catastrophy or other natural changes in our earth don't kill off organisms first, they will evolve into new species within 2 to 10 million years. Evolution limits the age of all organisms at the species level to that amount of time.

But when a large animal is driven to extinction as a consequence of our unnatural actions, we have all lost something important.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dammit! one more week

Cone dog went to the vet today. here's the good news, she got her stitches out, and the bad news is that she has to wear her lampshade for another week.


its difficult to have 100% dog around the house with that cone on.


So I was reading Digg today and saw this article about how to get out of quicksand and it reminded me of a job we did near crested butte this summer.

I was working on this mine site where they were trying to remove a pile of mine tailings from a creekbed. Mine Tailings are the powder-sized ore waste that come out of a mine mill. They take the ore, crush it up into really small pieces, take the high grade shit to a smelter, and then pile up the powdered waste in to piles. In the old days, they'd just leave it laying around. Mine tailings are a large contributor to acid mine drainage problems.

Anyway, since at this site they had piled up the mine tailings in a creekbed, the tailings were saturated with water, and it acted like a quicksand. they were trying to remove the tailings with an excavator and a skid steer (bobcat).

The excavator and the skid steer were too heavy to drive onto the tailings, something they found out only AFTER they drove out there. the excavator sunk in over 4 feet, and the skid steer got stuck twice (once to the point where th operator couldn't get out of the cab) and had to be pulled out.

here's some snappy pictures:

Here's what it looked like right before the the excavator went into the tailings. the tailings were like this dry orange crust, that looked and felt pretty strong. we didn't realize they were saturated until after the excavator went in.

Here's the excavator driving out onto the tailings, its only sunk to about mid-tread depth or about 1 foot.

Here's the excavator trying to get out. the tailings were so deep that it had to use the arm to pull itself out, mud from the tailings had gone into the cab of the excavator, meaning that the excavator itself sunk at least 4 feet deep, and was still sinking when the operator turned to get out.

I don't have a better picture because the crew foreman didn't want me taking pictures of his operators fucking up the equipment. to be honest, they did a good job getting out, and no one knew the tailings were quicksand.

here's what the track looked like after the excavator got out. its a nice dry crust on the top, then completely saturated sediment underneath. the round sandy mounds in the front are sand boils, which commonly form after an earthquake after saturated soils and sand are shaken.

fun stuff.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cone Dog!

So we had the dog spayed... because of this we've temporarily renamed her "cone dog". here's a picture:

I really wish the cone could come off, because she runs around and runs into things with it, it gets dirty when she's digging around outside and its hard to pet her when she's being nice. she also can't hold her own bones to chew.

on the other hand, if you walk around the house yelling "cone dog, cone dog, cone dog!" she gets excited, jumps on you and you have to deal with her licking your face.

Here's what she looks like normally when she's hiking up near keystone in Colorado:

kind of a yuppie dog, I know, but she's pretty great. here's what she looked like when she was a wee lassie:

Die Yuppie Scum!

I still goto a lot of hardcore shows. I usually go by myself because none of my friends like hardcore. That’s a fact that’s always kinda bothered me. For something that I enjoy so well, I don’t have any real friends that are into the same thing.

I do know some people. Whenever I goto shows here in Denver, there’s about 6 or 7 people that I regularly talk to/know. One of them is about 5 years younger than me, and the other day at a show we were talking about shit money or something, and he said “you’re a yuppie, what’s that like?”

At first I was like, “what? I’m not a yuppie…a yuppie is that asshole in the park, with his SUV, black lab dog, and technical jacket.” I’m punk-rock, I’m hardcore, I’m underground, I’m in a scene…

But I’ve been thinking about that for a bit. I’ve always considered myself to have somewhat of a social conscience, certainly not nearly the same level as my good friends. Maybe I am a yuppie. But then is being a yuppie a consequence of growing up a bit and getting a job that pays more than $7.50 per hour? Who knows.

Here's things that are yuppie:

1. Subaru car - preferably one of the outback legacy series

2. REI or other brand technical gear..wearing this shit around when your not on mount everest

3. talking excessively about outdoor sports: here's a clue, EVERYONE in colorado skis and goes camping, your not special, and no, no one fucking cares about how many races you are in.

4. wearing carhartt clothing of any type if you have a white collar job...especially if you wear this clothing with technical gear.

5. working for a non-profit. Non-profits that I've worked with are a fucking sham, merely a tax-shelter for the rich. Her: "I work for the watershed counsel! its a non-profit, we're overseeing the clean-up of this site." Me:"No you don't, its an EPA superfund, the federal government is cleaning it up, your just a public liason that does nothing."

6. graduating from a non-public college, especially graduating from a religious school, and then somehow acting like WHERE you went to school is important.

7. Drinking starbucks.

8. wearing shorts/tshirts that cost more than $3.50 to go exercising with.

9. Being an engineer. (don't get me wrong, I have alot of engineer friends, but the majority of yuppies are engineers).

Now here's the thing, what's wrong with being a yuppie? nothing I guess. I mean really, there are all kinds of people in the world, who gives a shit if you like the Dave matthews band or not. I'm not sure why I took particular offense to that. I always just thought of myself as being too punk rock to be a yuppie.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Site Updates!

I updated a few of the snappy things on this blog this morning. I still don't have it all the way I want.

I thought you should all marvel at the great job I did, since in about a month I'll get busy with life again, lose interest, and slowly let this site sink to the abyss of the archived internet.

right now though, I feel pretty good about it. I'm planning on posting what ever the fuck comes into mind, no real good forethought, no sense of character, nor any consideration of who might come across and read this site. I think I might also swear a bunch in here. because when I think to myself, I swear a lot.

I already had one person ask me what cataclasis was. cataclasis is a process that destroys rocks in fault zones. If you grind up rocks in a fault during and earthquake you have cataclasis, and you end up with a rock called cataclasite.

I thought it was a really clever and vaguely metaphorical reference to life...or a petty attempt for someone as shallow as myself to come up with some such statement to compete with far better bloggers and writers. Here's a picture of cataclasite:

Back At Home!

Of course, I'm back at home now...nothing like being away from home for a while to make you appreciate sleeping in, good coffee, and your own bed.

Here's a few pictures of the site (if you click on them you can get the sweet larger version!):

The geology out at the site was pretty cool. These are some terrific cross-bedded sandstones, with some really cool cannon-ball sized nodules that are sitting on the ground in front of them. (Bonus: the Wind Farm in the background)

A picture from the rig: Fuckin' Cory, Mike, Pedro, and Peter setting casing.

Picture of the rig deck after cold weather came in...

Here's what the rig looked like.

I was paid to hike around and make a map of the geology in the area, it got to be colder than life itself out there. do I look like a ninja?

While I was out mapping, I found a spinal column hanging out of the outcrop. I don't think its that old (as in, its probably not a true fossil yet). its probably a horse thats a few hundred years old.

Ahh! beautiful Wyoming! This is the entire site area, both rigs are in this picture but very tough to see, and you can see the wind farm in the background. Did I mention that it was really fucking windy up there? (also, those bones are from a previous field geologist they had out there that couldn't handle the madness).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Not much to

Both rigs are back up and drilling. This morning the moon was going down in the west just as the sun was coming up in the east. Even though this part of Wyoming is pretty boring and the views aren’t all that interesting, it still has these fleeting moments when its pretty cool. Sunrises can be really nice, and if the moon is out, the whole place has this muted grey glow about it that only disappears once the sun comes over the horizon.

I swear, this blog would be sweet if I remembered to bring my fucking camera chord.

That said, what is it about this Wyoming wind? Its crazy. Its 15-25 mph every day sustained. I’m sitting in a small field trailer that rocks back and forth like a boat in the ocean. Hiking around is really hard because the wind carries all this grit and dirt and shit that gets into your ears, your eyes, nose, mouth, ass, etc… its nuts. And its almost neverending. There’s an American flag on top of the rig derrick out here that was new at the start of this project. Now, its been whipped by the wind so much that all that’s left of it is the blue and the stars and the red and white strips beneath the stars.

Its Monday, which mean’s we’ve only got 4 full days of work left, and I’m starting to get really excited to get home. Nothing makes you appreciate your own bed more than spending 2 weeks in dirty ass Wyoming.

Both rigs are back up and drilling. This morning the moon was going down in the west just as the sun was coming up in the east. Even though this part of Wyoming is pretty boring and the views aren’t all that interesting, it still has these fleeting moments when its pretty cool. Sunrises can be really nice, and if the moon is out, the whole place has this muted grey glow about it that only disappears once the sun comes over the horizon.

I swear, this blog would be sweet if I remembered to bring my fucking camera chord.

That said, what is it about this Wyoming wind? Its crazy. Its 15-25 mph every day sustained. I’m sitting in a small field trailer that rocks back and forth like a boat in the ocean. Hiking around is really hard because the wind carries all this grit and dirt and shit that gets into your ears, your eyes, nose, mouth, ass, etc… its nuts. And its almost neverending. There’s an American flag on top of the rig derrick out here that was new at the start of this project. Now, its been whipped by the wind so much that all that’s left of it is the blue and the stars and the red and white strips beneath the stars.

Its Monday, which mean’s we’ve only got 4 full days of work left, and I’m starting to get really excited to get home. Nothing makes you appreciate your own bed more than spending 2 weeks in dirty ass Wyoming.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Now On a Lighter note...

So back to the drilling.

Part of the reason I’m so sick of dave is also because both of the drill rigs are not drilling right now. In Justin’s rig, they dropped a piece of well pipe (40 feet long and 8 inches wide) 1,643 feet down the hole they’ve drilled, and they had to get a tool from Denver to get it out. kinda crazy...the tool they use to get it out is basically a 15,000 lb carbide tipped spear. they ram that down the hole and shove it right through the fucking piece of steel thats down there.

On the other, rig, they “twisted off”, which means the drill pipe in the hole came apart, so at the bottom of the hole there is about 850 feet of drill pipe with the drill bit on the end of it sitting at the bottom. They have to go back down with another type of tool to reconnect and get it out. crazy.

When the rigs aren’t drilling, we don’t have anything to do. Neither do the drillers.

Here’s what I’ve been doing on a typical day:

1. Arrive on site
2. Sit here and think about posting on this blog
3. Wait for the sun to come up
4. Listen to dave tell me about why his kids are dead inside and why life is so black
5. When the sun comes up, I take the truck and drive out to the hills around here and hike around until about 11 am.
6. come back and eat some lunch, and update the map I’m making on my computer (work shit)
7. Go out to the rigs to see what Gorge or Justin are doing - either cooking huge pieces of beef and eggs or shooting small mammals.
8. come back to the doghouse and sit around.
9. leave the site.

Yesterday Jasper was telling me about work they were doing in Meeker, Colorado. Apparently the locals in Meeker don’t like Mexican workers in their town, and he started a barfight with some drunk locals because after 2 beers the bar refused to serve Jasper and Rosilio (Rosilio is the other drill hand, he’s like 25, another Mexican immigrant). I can't imagine. I'm a pretty white guy, even act pretty white, but would suck to get off a 12 hour shift, head down for a cold beer to chill out, and the bartender all the sudden doesn't like you. fuck that shit.

He also told me about this other driller that used to be able to chain up drill pipe by himself without the winch. Each pipe is 900 lbs, I guess he could lift up one side, and slip a chain underneath without a winch. he must be HUGE. I guess his name is Joe too.

That’s about it, its pretty slow here right now, I wish I had more interesting shit to say, but I don’ has been really quiet, except for the wind which blows constantly at about 35 mph and rips your face clean off if you stand facing it.

I have been taking some good pictures, and this blog should be nice and jazzy once I can post some of those. I like this blogging thing. fuckin' a.

Bitch Session

My coworker here, Dave, is the other geologist that’s on this project. He’s the most fucking annoying dickhead I’ve ever worked with. Or maybe not I don’t know…it is tough to say right now.

We’re working 12 hour shifts, and staying at a little house that the company rented, so I have to see this guy for my entire waking time here. We share a truck to and from the job site, so the only way I can get away from my coworker is to go mapping…hiking around outside. Usually going hiking isn’t a problem, but its about -20 here and we have 30 mph winds. I can’t stay outside for the entire 12 hours. And I have to share the house with him.

So here’s Dave: he’s like 50. His wife just left him for a young guy about 3 years ago, so he’s divorced. He’s got 4 kids. He’s a fucking catholic, so you know already he’s a crazy fucking nutball.

Of course, he’s fucking bi-polar and has to tell me in brutal detail about the cocktail of drugs he’s taking. He tells me in brutal detail about how his teenage boys are also bi-polar, and they tried killing themselves. He tells me about his wife, and how she’s fucking young guys and not caring about her kids. He told me about how his wife beat him and he called the police and had to have his kids testify against their mother at the divorce. Its every goddamn day. Everyday he talks about it.

I get it. I fucking get it…your life sucks, you’re a stupid piece of shit, and you’re depressed.

He also sits around all fucking night after our shift watching these true-life crime profiles of crazy murders and shit. Your already depressed, why watch that shit?

To top it all off, he’s like this fucking racist, misogynist, shithead. Here’s a good example..he’s telling me about how he’s started dating again. He met this woman, and found out she had 2 kids from her previous husband, who happened to be black. So he says to me, “I really liked her, but what am I supposed to do? I can’t walk around with those kids…what am I, the guy mopping up after the nigger man?”

Everything is “nigger dick”, “Jew fucking assholes”, “lazy wetbacks”, “fat bitch women” , etc… or the best is when I do some hard work and he says "thats it, Joe, now you're working like a white man!"

I can take that for a little while, but part of me wants to just say “listen man, FUCK OFF already”. But I can’t, because I have to live with the dink for the next week.

So yesterday he went to Laramie for some supplies. Apparently there was some white-out blizzard between here and Laramie. So what does he do? He fucking gets all jacked out on like some starbucks double latte, then drives through it. When he got back, he was all freaked out, and fucking jacked on caffeine. So when we got back to the house, he’s like “aww, shit I’m having some anxiety episode” or some bullshit and starts popping lorzepam, ambien, every fucking sleeping/anti-anxiety pill he’s got because he can’t sleep and then watches tv until about 11 pm.

It’s a pretty small house, there’s no door on the bedroom I have, so that means I got to stay up until 12:00 am listening to him fucking walk around and watch TV and freaking out. The last 2 days I’ve slept with tissue shoved in my ears and the pillow wrapped around my head because he’s a fucking annoying prick.

That’s why I haven’t posted in the last two days: the first day he was freaking out, and last night I was so fucking tired.

fuckin' dave man...fuckin' dave.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Prison art and and freezing balls

So A new crew came on shift today. the Head driller's name is Tony. He's been to Prison 4 times: in Rhode Island, Colorado, Utah, and Maine. For no less than 11 years.

How do I know all this? because he keeps a prison notebook. he showed it to me. He's actually a great artist, or at least he can draw really well. He has a whole notebook of the prison guards at the various places he's stayed (see above). The last page of his notebook had a picture of calendar months all laid out in this grid pattern, with at least 11 years worth of months. I was really impressed. it was almost cliche, you know? this guy, who's been in and out of prison for years, works manual labor as a driller, is also a really gifted artist. Had there been some other stimulus in his life, he may have been a very financially and socially successful person.

right after he showed me, he stood over and strattled the space heater in the doghouse and said really loud "hey, I'm warming my ballsac!"

As an aside, he also told my coworker Dave that the biggest dick he ever saw was on a 5'2" mexican in the rhode island showers. "and it wasn't all the warm water either!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

God help me....

How to take a shit in a port-o-potty at 6 am with an ambient air temperature of -4:

  1. Start the nearest truck and drive it within 15 feet of port-o-potty.
  2. Stop calling it a “port-o-potty” and start calling it “the blue room”
  3. Wait 45 minutes or until the truck’s interior heated temperature reaches at least 94 degrees.
  4. Place roll of paper towels on passenger side of truck
  5. Put in a large jacket, a winter hat, gloves, winter boots.
  6. turn on ipod in your ears with the most caustic music you have turned up really loud.
  7. enter blue room
  8. Drop pants, lift lid, sit down. (NEVER NEVER look into the toilet.)
  9. concentrate on music as hard as you can so you don’t notice the back of your legs and ass going numb
  10. void
  11. grab a ball of TP, heat it underneath your jacket
  12. wipe, pull up pants, drop lid.
  13. open door to the blue room
  14. squirt copious amounts of hand cleaner into hands, ignoring its deathly cold touch.
  15. enter truck as fast as possible, wipe hands with cleaner, wipe hands off with paper towels
  16. scream at the top of your lungs as your ass slowly gets feeling back.
  17. weep quietly for 20 minutes.
  18. go back to work.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mexican Illegals + cold weather = another post on this website

Coffee is the best. I even like Folgers…that’s what we have out here. Its fucking 5:30 am. Despite the fact that it was 12 hours, it feels like I was just here 20 minutes ago.

When I first started this in October, the head geologist said “its like that movie groundhog day…every day you wake up it’s the same shit. The sooner you get into that rut, the faster the time goes”.

So I was talking with Jasper today, both he and Gorge came to America as illegal immigrants from Mexico. I asked him how he got over the border, and he told me that he hopped onto a train. He thought it would have stopped in about a day, but it went on for 4 days before stopping. He crawled up near the engine and hid under some railing to stay warm. It stopped in California. When he got out, he didn’t know anyone or where to go.

Gorge used to hop back and forth across the border all the time before he finally made it to stay. He’d come over, they’d catch him, and the next week he’d be running back across the border.

That’s gotta be a tough way to make it in the world.

A cold front came over today, dropped about 2 inches of snow and the temperature fell to about 15 degrees. Combined with that nice Wyoming wind, the wind chill is in the -10’s right now.

Despite the weather, I walked all over the place outside mapping the geology. now my lips are all chapped and my face is all windburn. Still, I’d take a day of mapping in the cold over sitting in cubicle-land listening to my coworkers talk on the phone about how they have too many bills to pay.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rabbits, Beef, and...

I slept terribly last night. Not sure why. Seems that out at the house here, I wake up at about 2 am and can’t get back to sleep or I’m completely exhausted from the previous night and sleep like a rock. Go figure.

Anyhow, the drilling crew on one of the rigs is switching tomorrow. Cory’s team is leaving, and Gorge’s (pronounced whore-gay) team is coming on. I worked previously with Gorge, and his deck hands, and they are good people.

Cory did tell me something funny this morning though.

Gorge likes to cook, something that he himself told me a few weeks ago. I can appreciate that, because I kinda like cooking too.

When I last worked with Gorge, I came in one of the first mornings I met him I (about 5:30 am), and he was cooking a 6 lb beef roast in an old metal 5 gallon bucket. He had cut the bottom of the bucket off, and placed an old propane space heater inside of the bucket. He then laid a piece of sheet metal over the bucket and cooked the roast over the heat.

So I said “that looks good”. To which Gorge said something like “eh, amigo, cooked in 5 hours!”.

Later that week they had made this potato/tomato/roast stir fry using the same space heater stove, and they gave me some. It was pretty good actually.

So…Today I was talking to Cory, and mentioned that I had some of the roast with gorge’s team a few weeks ago. He started laughing and said “you know where those Mexicans fuckin’ keep that roast right?”

Apparently Jasper (Has-pah), Gorge’s deck hand, stores all the food in the bottom of his clothing locker in the doghouse. No refrigeration, and next to his boots. So apparently he had this roast sitting in his locker, next to his dirty boots and grease-covered coveralls, sitting on a piece of sheet metal for 1 week and they gnawed away at it all week long. They’d pull it out at lunchtime, hack a chunk off, throw it over the space heater stove and serve it up with a tomato.

…On a side note, Justin has stopped trying to shoot rabbits with his pellet gun, and moved on to shooting mice. This morning there was a nasty stack of mice (probably about 10 mice) sitting on the kelly deck outside the doghouse. Good job Justin!

It must’ve been tough for him to resist shooting rabbits. There are a TON a rabbits here. Early in the morning when you drive to the site, there’s groups of rabbits all over the place. Every so often, when you drive down to one of the rigs there will be 3-5 dead rabbits that have been run over by the drill crew during shift change. I’ve almost hit them a number of times out here.

Each night the rabbits are cleaned up by the coyote’s and/or the bald eagle that’s out here in this valley.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

11/27/06 - Just Another Day in Wyoming

Today was partly cloudy, colder about 40 degrees, not much wind.

06:00 – Actual conversation to with Cory this morning:

Me: “Are you gonna trip out* and switch this morning”

Cory: “Shit, fucking button bit down will fucking tear right through that cock-sucking sand, fucking not getting anything drilled now, fuckin’ button bit”

Me: “slower than shit…”

Cory: “fuck yeah, I asked Pedro (the night crew driller) Why he fucking didn’t fucking trip that fuckin’ hole, shit drilling 30 minutes per fucking foot”

Me: “fuck”

Cory: “yeah, we’re fucking trippin’”

*Tripping out: when they need to change the drill bits on the end of the drill stem, they have to pull out the entire drill stem. On this rig, it’s at about 1,650 feet deep, so it takes about 6-7 hours to do it. Typically, drillers hate tripping out because its hard work (each piece of drill pipe weighs about 5,000 lbs). They also get heat from the tool pusher for wasting time pulling the drill stem out and not making the hole deeper.

12:00 – There’s a new driller on one of the rigs, a real n00b. There’s a hierarchy in drilling: n00bs always have a yellow hardhat, and only after something like 1 year do they get to wear a white hardhat. So this guy has a brand new yellow hardhat, his name is Mike and Cory is kinda pissed because they are trippin’ out today. Trippin’ out with a n00b is “fuckin’ bullshit, man.”

The reason for the new crew member? Cody, who is 20 years old, just got his 4th DUI and can’t drive a car anymore.

11/26/06 - Wyoming...what?!

Today is sunny/clear, wind picked up around noon approx 30 mph.

We’ve got two rigs out here, I’m working with 2 crews, one crew headed by a driller named Cory, the other by Justin.

These drill rigs are run by 3 people: a driller and 2 deck hands. For the project there is a guy who is called the “tool pusher” or the rig superintendent. He’s like the driller’s boss…more about this guy later (trust me, this guy is great).

I took a few pictures of the site this morning as the sun was coming up. But, like my fucking underwear, I forgot to Bring the cord to download the pictures.

05:30 - In the mornings we give each drill crew a health and safety meeting; we just remind them to wear safety glasses, don’t slip or fall, watch out for your co-workers, etc… Its also a good chance to introduce ourselves to the drillers. Introductions are important, I guess.

At this morning’s briefing, Cory’s crew told me about this other tool-pusher out here. Most of the crew is staying in a small shitty hotel in Medicine Bow, but this tool pusher (named Tony) was driving back to Denver after each shift. That’s a 3 hour drive one way…a crazy commute considering we’re working 12 hours a day.

I said “why is he doing that?!” Cory told me that Tony is shacking up with a crack-whore (his words), and that at night, this woman was selling Tony’s things at pawn shops around town to buy drugs with, so he was driving back to make sure she wasn’t selling his TV, microwave, etc…

I asked Cory “why doesn’t he kick her out?” He replied “dunno”.

11:00 -At about 11 am today, I went down to get samples and talk to Justin. When I got to the doghouse, Justin was putting together a pellet gun. I said “what are you going to do with that?”

He replied “Boring here…gonna shoot some rabbits…”

Later, at about 4 pm, the other geologist here, Dave, came back and said “I guess they shot a few rabbits down there, but the deck hand said the rabbits have some disease, so they aren’t gonna eat them”.

Funny thing is, they aren’t the first crew to suggest that they were gonna kill and eat the rabbits out here. Drillers must really like rabbits.

Also, nothing says work-safety like shooting a pellet gun out of the window of the doghouse.

11/25/06 - First full drilling day

I arrived for my second 14 day duration here on 11/24/06. and I’m a total moron. TOTAL moron. I forgot to pack underwear. I have 2 pairs of long underwear, but no skivvies…nothing. You may be wondering, “how the hell do you forget your underwear?” In my defense, the dog was running around the house, and I was trying to do 3 other things while trying to pack. Still…its not the first time I’ve forgotten something like this. I was on a field job in North Dakota and forgot to pack any pants.

So, Imagine my awkward conversation today. “umm, Dave…I forgot to pack underwear, could you go and buy me some?” Bare in mind, that I just met Dave about 6 hours ago.

He was making a run to Laramie, and was happy enough to buy me some. Though I did have to endure the conversation that started “yeah Joe, I buy my kids underwear all the time, do you want the woven, or knit? I suppose you wear small, right?”

Hopefully the rest of my time out here won’t be so bad.

Blogging my drilling project

So I’ve decided to blog about my experience here in Wyoming. Partly because it gets boring at times, and partly because I find so much of what goes into this project interesting.

I should preface this by saying, that everyone that I’ve met on this project, from the drillers to the other geologists are really great people. I find the stories of the drillers and the gossip to be hilarious, maybe a little tragic, but I do have a lot of respect for everyone out here. Drillers are probably the hardest people I’ve ever met. Standing outside in 40 mph winds with a windchill well below zero and throwing around 5,000 lb pipes for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week is pretty intense, and these people work a lot harder than I do. That said, they also make a lot more than I do.

So I’ve started blogging about this experience. Here’s a little background on this project: We’re drilling a series of 4 to 6 wells to accommodate new growth near Laramie, Wyoming. Its out in the middle of nowhere. About 1 hour away from Laramie, near the small towns of Medicine Bow, and Hana, Wyoming.

They need a lot of water, so the wells are really deep (between 2,000 to 3,000 feet deep). They are by far the deepest wells I’ve ever been associated with, and its really interesting to see how it all works. There’s HUGE equipment, lots of machine noise, etc… real burly man type shit.

My job is to log the cuttings to the wells, and in the daytime, map the surface geology and provide sub-surface interpretations to the project manager so that he can determine where to place the next wells.

I work 14 days straight, 12 hours a day, pretty standard for this type of job.

(OH YEAH, if your worried about all the links and shit on the side of this page, I'll update that when I get back to the real world.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to Cataclasis

the new home of all things me.