Sunday, November 22, 2009

Freakin' New Orleans

Well, my intentions of posting regularly will be even harder to fulfill than before...

Last night around 6, I arrived at the "Camp" where I have been staying here outside of New Orleans to find the inner door to the house standing open. I went inside and found all of the doors in the house standing open... "Strange..." I thought to myself. I put my bag on the kitchen counter and got a drink of grapefruit juice out of the refrigerator. I swigged it straight out of the bottle. No one else drinks my juice, so why not? I opened the door to my room and turned on the light. I immediately noticed that there was a stack of t-shirts on the table where i keep my folded clothes that was out of place. it was on the "pants" stack. Hm. "Someone has been in my room," I thought. then my brain started processing info that was coming in. All the doors open... misplaced clothes... the drawers were slightly askew on the bedside table. The extension cord that i plug my computer charger into was pulled out from behind the bedside computer charger... was not there. Come to think of it, neither was my computer... nor the new Macbook Pro that was still in the box under my bed...

So i walked in all the other rooms in the house since the doors were open, and i noticed that there was also a flat screen tv gone from the master bedroom... mmhmm.

Robbed, Burglarized.

I called the owner of the house to see if he had been there. Nope. I told him what was missing. By this time i was feeling my blood pressure start to rise. I took a weapon in hand and checked the periphery of the house. nothing. The back door that opens onto the porch which overlooks the canal was slightly ajar... but that was all.

I called the police and gave them my address.

The St. Charles Parish Sherrif's department arrived around 7:30 and took down a report of the items that were missing and the supposed entry location. i called all my room mates to come home and see if they were missing anything. Nope. Just my laptops and the tv. Elias even had a laptop just sitting in his closet on a shelf. Untouched. Daniel had been there til' about 1. Kevin had been on the back porch around 8:30 am and seen some strange looking folks in a boat who asked him for directions... and they are our only probable suspects. Not that it amounts to anything.

I recall not being able to imagine anyone being crass enough to drove down a grown up road, across the canal on a rickety bridge to a run down house at the end of a dead end driveway. Yet, on the water possibilities of escape are endless.

So my super cheap lodging close to the work site has proven to be quite costly after all.

I just felt like venting a bit. Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 13, 2009

just an update

I ’ve done it again.

Not that too may people in the cybersphere have taken note, but I have failed to keep any account at all of my ramblings for the last few months. I guess that when my “Chronicles” cease to be transient, then I cease the chronicling.

Yet once again I have become transient, if only for a little while. I am working at Waterford 3 Nuclear power plant near New Orleans as an Industrial Safety technician. Don’t let the title fool you. I am here for the money and the freedom that this job allows me. There is definitely not much glory in being the purveyor of the proverbial “red tape” although in this industry I am most certainly not the only one. However, they are going to pay someone to be here and do this… so it might as well be me.

I am staying here in southern Louisiana in a very interesting fishing camp just south of highway 90 between Boutte and Avondale. The place is nothing special, but perhaps if I were here to actually do some fishing then I might have a different perspective. As it is, all I do is sleep and eat there in the evenings.

I have 4 roommates in this house. Kevin, Mike, Daniel, and Elias.

Kevin is a mechanic at Lucky’s garage here in New Orleans. Kevin is New Orleans born and bred. Kevin can be found most nights sitting at the kitchen table with a Steel Reserve in hand surfing the internet on his laptop, watching TV, and eating something that was frozen until he microwaved it.

Mike is a pipefitter who works night shift here at the nuclear plant. I only see Mike if he is having a day off or if I am having a day off. Mike is a loud talker and he likes to watch TV and talk about government conspiracies.

Daniel just recently moved to New Orleans from the Miami area in search of work. He is a journeyman electrician. He is having trouble getting a job in the area, but not because he hasn’t been looking. He got accosted by the police yesterday for sitting in the parking lot of a Walgreens waiting for a phone call.

Elias is a radiation protection technician here at the nuclear plant. He is staying in the “nice” room in the house. The room is usually reserved for Joe, the owner, but somehow Elias managed to procure the use of it for himself. Elias is from Idaho. He has been living out of his car for about the last 3 years. He surfs the internet on a miniature laptop and does not understand the game of football.

I live in a 10x10 room on what used to be the porch of the house. Every time someone shuts the front door it shakes the wall next to the headboard of my bed. I mostly keep to myself. I try to go to bed by 9:30 since I have to get up at 4:45 to be on time to work. Four days ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a gecko crawling across my neck.

I have a reputation in the house for making food every night. I don’t really like to eat out of a can if I can help it so I tend to make myself some thing that I do like. Earlier this week Kevin came in while I was cooking and said “Whachucookin?” I told him it was squash, onions, broccoli, and bacon. “You an yuah frikin veguh-tuhbles” he huffed.

I will end now… I have to go do some actual work.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

On the Blog again...

Lame title, I know...

I have been away for quite some time now

Away from home and away from the blog.

I am still in California working at Diablo Canyon. We are supposed to be wrapping this job up pretty soon, but as of today we are still not finished. I am slated to be here until there are less than 50 people on site which should translate to somewhere around April the 3rd.

As for today… I have been sitting in the office for about 10 hours now. And I am going to be here for about 2 more. As long as there are people on site we are supposed to maintain 24hr coverage. So I am sitting and reading Small House blogs and chasing interesting rabbits around the internet. I am here for support and documenting any possible safety related event that might occur. Which means everyone on site is striving to make sure that I have nothing to do. And thus far, they are doing a good job of it.

I am getting to the point where I am just ready to leave, not just today but for good. The real reason that I don’t like to have a “real” job is that I don’t like to see the inside of the same place and do the exact same thing every day. I like change and opportunities for creativity. This job has ventured into the realms of drudgery…

For a while I was able to see outside the fences. I held my head up as I was walking in to work. I caught a whiff of the fresh breeze blowing in off of the water or of the earthy wind that came down out of the canyons as the temperature changed and I was able to transcend this reality. Yet as the job has progressed and the level of urgency has risen with every completed evolution; this place is literally humming with anticipation of completion. People are focused on leaving and getting out of here; and yet the job is not finished, and I am still here.

But I am still trying. I am trying to remember that this is a good place to be. The weather has been unbelievably nice. Well, except for today. It poured rain for the first 5 hours of the day (I woke up at 3.) and then it slacked off and cleared up leaving the world feeling fresh and clean and about 25 degrees cooler. There is a brisk wind blowing around the eaves of the building that I am in causing a “Wrooowh…nrwooowh” sound. The wind threatens to tear your hat off or the papers from your hands every time you walk out the door.

Did I ever tell you that there are hundreds of sheep and goats on the hills in the meadows bordering the plant? Yep. They turned them loose in here about 2 or 3 weeks ago when the grass started getting a little high. It is the way that the plant controls the weeds and grass on the hillside. Otherwise they would have to figure out a way to control the growth of the grass on a 30% grade. Rather than pave it or invent a crazy technological mower (which is more what I would expect from a nuke plant) they went old school and bought some sheep and goats. You can hear them making sheep and goat noises if you walk behind the turbine building. There are tons of little ones jumping around and acting like they should. Maybe I should go back and watch them for a while.

This is getting a little long. I think I might hunt up some pictures to post just for fun.

Thanks for stopping by…

But mostly, Stay classy.


The plant as seen from a cliff out on the edge of the water.

A generator lying on the floor in the reactor building waiting to be picked up.

The reactor cavity. (No the blue glow is not radiation.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

it's got me

There is something enchanted about California.

As much as i hate to admit it, as much as i am trying to find fault with it, as much as i like home... I must admit it.

It is here, it is palpable.

I watched the Sun set today over the Pacific ocean.
I stood watching from jagged cliffs that stagger directly up out of the water about a hundred feet or so.
The sun grew huge
and slowly, slowly, slowly
slipped over the edge of the world.

Even after it was gone below the horizon,
by some trick of the eye,
it could still be seen.

It was so bright that it shone through the edge of the massive expanse of water that lies just to the west of here.

And as if finally sank
I turned to walk on.
And the other men who had stopped there with me went their way.

And that was on the walk out to my car
in the parking lot as i was leaving work.

There really is something to it.

I can't put a finger on it yet.

But when i do, i'll let you know.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blog Redux

Well, It has been a while...

I am sitting in my "apartment" in California writing a little bit just to be doing. It is about 9:42 here on a Saturday the 9th of January, and i am working again... this time it is at Diablo canyon Nuclear power plant.

The weather here in California is unbelievable this time of year. It was in the 70's today and it was sunny and clear and really nice. I miss winter... a little... One season makes me appreciate the others, but it seems like i have skipped winter this year. It does get foggy here and it gets rainy and maybe a little windy, but in all actuality, i don't think it really counts as winter.

There are tons of things that i could write, but work for the most part is nothing to write home about. It is mostly drudgery intermixed with a good yarn here and there from the people that i work with. There have definitely been some good ones... some of them true.

Perhaps that is the direction that i should go with this, telling the stories of the men that i work with for all to hear.

I Promise that i will tell more about where i am and what i am doing before this is over with but this is just a little post to get me warmed back up to the idea of sharing some of what is going on with me these days.

I'll throw in a picture or two just to liven things up

I'll talk to you soon