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battyden

Den's Journal

Stories by a short, fat bastard

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back in Dubbo
bloke genes
dewhitton
Wednesday

0430am Wake up
0430-0440 Sit on bed and wonder where I am
0440-0455 Shower and dress in PPE (Helmet, safety glasses (over seeing glasses), long-sleeved shirt, jeans, steel-caps, gloves (carried, not worn unless needed) Head to Mess.

The camp has two messes: the dining mess where food is served, and the Wet Mess which sounds horrible but it's where you can buy beer. Everyone on site is permitted 4 cans of mid-strength (<3.4% alc/vol) beers per day. The beer can't be taken out of the wet mess, but it is cheap and very cold.

0500-0530 Eat breakfast. Bowl of sultana bran, tea (English Breakfast), paoched eggs on toast, tea, some bacon. Pack lunch (Celery sticks, carrot sticks, pile of lettuce, cold chicken leg & thigh, some blue-vein cheese, some smoked cheddar, some brie, large bottle of water)
0530 Walk to Admin to meet my Site Supervisor. The sun is almost up and it is 25C.
0600 Arrive on site. Do Pre-start meeting, ITPs, JHEAs, and test plan with electrician
0630 Actually get to site. The sun is up, it's 30C
0630 - 1130 Work on site. Fix electrical problems, fit safety rails, adjust oil seperator, drink 5 litres of water. The temp hits 42C at 70% humidity. Start pump and do first test spray. A dozen peewees appear and start playing in the water. Local mafia appeased, head to lunch.
1200 Back on site. New electrical fault stops pump. Sparky traces it while I work on some leaks and hydraulic flows with Site Super.
1300 45C at 70%. Finish 2 litres of water. Work on system
1400 feel sick and get tunnel vision. Ordered back to crib to drink water and cool down. Didn't want to get into water collection sump - I know where that water has been.
1430 Back on site, feeling... sloshy... from water
1500 no longer feeling sloshy on the inside. Outside is wet. Work on commissioning
1600 Start commissioning. All the water cannons spray 1000 litres/minute Attracts 2 peewees per second for 20 seconds. Mafia war breaks out. Use hand hoses to break up hostilities.
1700 Finish commissioning and 7th litre of water since lunch.
1730 Declare unit finished. Head back to office to finish paperwork. Sun is setting, temp down to 43C
1740 Site Super's Supervisor and site owner arrive and want full demo.
1740 - 1830 Sit in crib room drinking water and waiting for the suits to return. Meet equipment maintenance crew who will be using wash. Instruct them on correct use. ("And no horse-play if someone is watching. No, you shouldn't squirt the safety office. Because it is bad.")
1930 arrive back in donger. strip off, sit under cold shower for 15 minutes.
1950 Hit Mess. The Beef Vindaloo looks good but it has a giant jalapino sitting on top, so I decide to go for something a little milder: curried vegetable patties, a piece of fish, saute'd "potato's" with bacon bits, green beans, brocoli and some cheeses. And a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea. Head back to donger in the dark. The temp is down to 30C
2030 Watch QI
2100 sleep with the A/C set to 20C

Thursday

0430am Wake up
0430-0440 Sit on bed and wonder where I am
0440-0455 Shower and dress in PPE (Helmet, safety glasses (over seeing glasses), long-sleeved shirt, jeans, steel-caps, gloves (carried, not worn unless needed) Head to Mess.
0500-0530 Eat breakfast. Bowl of sultana bran, tea (English Breakfast), paoched eggs on french toast, more tea, some bacon.
0530 - 0730 Head to site, check system. then head back to donger to pack.
0800-1015 Drive to Paraburdoo airport. The Toyota Prado we'd hired made the trip very civilised.

I finally checked my luggage in at 1030. While she printed up my boarding pass I heard a flight being called. I wasn't too concerned because I was booked on the next flight. As the check-in lady handed me my pass, she said "I put you on this flight so you don't have to wait here. It's better to wait at Perth airport." I thanked her, put my laptop through the x-ray, and submitted to an explosives-residue test.

The 717 would have flown to Perth almost empty had it stuck to its schedule. Even though it had "boarded" and the flight was "closed" they kept checking people in until the plane was full. Then we took off.

Perth to Sydney was in a Qantas 747-400. The entertainment system crashed and took 2 hours do reboot. I read my book. I don't need no electronic entertainments. In-flight food was Portugese beef-n-beans on rice. Very yummy.

And so at 2030 I arrived in Sydney and my accommodation at the Airport Formule1. Somehow I ended up in a Good Room. It was large, filled mostly with a queen-sized bed, and the bathroom was larger then the donger. I could sit on the toilet without touching the wall, or the shower curtain. Luxury! The only down-side is that, due to its location, the only near-by food is from Krispy Kream, Macdonalds, or KFC. I tried one of the Macdonald Healthy Choice meals. It filled me but it really was a little tray of disappointment.

Friday
Land in Dubbo at 0930. Spent a few hours showering and washing clothes. The inside of my luggae was starting to smell a little toxic. Then down to the office for half a day of writing reports and taking phone calls.

And that was my big adventure in the Pilbara.

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45 degrees shouldn't exist. Oy.

It gets to 45 here in Dubbo, but humidity is around 10%. It's hot but all you have to do is get out of the sun to cool off. At 70% shade isn't enough because perspiration doesn't evapourate fast enough.

Yeah, it rarely gets above 35C here, but it's humid, which makes it pretty disgusting.

Sorry about the Mickey D's. They're pretty toxic no matter how you look at it. Sounded like quite the adventure.

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