Monday, May 11, 2009

On the road again

Don’t pay the ransom, I’ve escaped!

It’s been a tough quarter, January was spent getting the home and the survival facility ready for the spring outage season. We loaded up and sailed on the twenty first, landed on the twenty third and started on the twenty sixth.

Lessons learned :
At twenty five below, diesel fuel turns to yogurt, and will not flow through injectors.
At twenty five below, when it finally starts, it sounds like someone is inside using a hammer to get out.
The transmission sounds like a twisted ball of rubber bands until it warms up.
Snow will not make a snow ball.
My mustache collects ice, lots, quickly.
Your first breath outside will freeze all your nose hairs together.

That was the first stop.

We worked seven, ten hour nights, for twenty one straight. All the pain of a night shift with none of the mitigating factors if it was on days. Blech!
I was presented with several work orders that no had ever done before, that’s positive I think. These particular valves had never had maintenance done on them. I also got my hands on some big valves types that I had never worked on before, good training.

The second stop is just getting started.

I spent two weeks in supervisor training, and am now a valve supervisor for general valve and air operated valves. Woo Hoo! We are working six, twelve hour days, with every Sunday off. It’s a union plant and Sunday is double time.

The trip to the first plant was a worrisome thing. We were running ahead of a major storm. It eventually hammered western Kentucky, but we were off the road by then.
I wasn’t seriously worried about the trip to the second job, it’s only three hundred and sixty miles, what could go wrong?

That was stupid.

I am usually addicted to the Weather Channel for one reason or another, wind or wave of ice.
Therefore, I was more that a little upset when we were caught on the road with a trifecta of winter slop.

First worry, the road is getting white, no problem, slow down. Next problem, the wind shield is icing, no cure for that.

Deal breaker, the idiots on the Interstate with me are still doing sixty!

There is no honor or courage in being stupid, and when you are risking being taken out by a random moron, it’s time to get out of the way.

We got a room and waited for morning. There was three inches of new powder on the parking lot when I went out to clear the wind shield, the DOT crews had done their usual wonderful job and magically produced a clear road by morning.

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