Monday, August 2, 2010

Trip To The Copper Mine

A fascinating day for me.
I had a load of pipe and fittings for a copper mine up in the mountains near Miami, AZ.

I have viewed the vast expanses of copper mines that they are from "scenic viewpoints", I have never been IN a copper mine.

Well, today, I definitely went in.

First was the guardhouse.  Back your truck up and park over there.  I hand the man the information to call the person who is supposed to come and guide me in there.  He says he'll call the man "after you park over there", as if, for someone reason, I wouldn't do so. 

I then just wait in the truck.  I have had plenty of experience with guard shack guards - they want you to do things their way or they are simply going to make life miserable.  I waited about 15 minutes - they fnally come out and wave me in.

I only go into all of this because of the rather massive amount of paperwork I had to read and sign before going in there.  1st document was a rather lengthy disclaimer - you are going in at your own risk,  you assume all liability for any injuries or (whatever) that may occur. Yada, yada, yada.  On and on.  These people insisted I read the whole thing, so I did.  And then I signed it.

Next, rules.  LOTS of rules.  I read all of that.  Signed it.

Next, equipment.  They have a huge list of things you must have and how much you will pay when you leave if you lose or break any of it.  Well, I had a hardhat; steel-toed shoes; safety vest; safety glasses - all of it except a flag on a 10 foot pole that everyone that goes in there must have waving around for every one to see.  $40 for that if you break or lose it.  Wasn't very keen on signing paperwork for it, but I did anyway and kept my mouth shut.

Next - an ID card.  I would like to say here that it is easier to get into the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant - of which I have been in many times - than it is to get into this mine.  It was worth it, though.  I sign the ID card, they tell me it's good for a full year.  They hand me a flag and yes, they give me tie-wraps to attach it to the passenger side mirror on my truck. 

I then wait.  In fact, I fell asleep waiting so long.  There is some 6th sense in me that wakes me up - every time - I did so 2 seconds before a pickup comes pulling up, waving me to follow him. 

Now comes the fascinating part - driving down what I guessed was a 7% grade on a dirt roads, driving on the wrong side of the road because that's what they want, all lights on, extreme switch backs and all.  Down and down and down.  At the bottom, we cross over a small divide and head back up.  We go on a major haul road - GIANT dump trucks - the tires on those things were about 8 FEET tall .   We got stuck behind one that was trying to pull a hill with at least 100 tons (I'm guessing) of dirt and rock in it.  There must have been 50 of those things in there.

It was at least 20 minutes of driving on these roads before we got to the destination.  They are building a lake.  Not any ole' lake, either, it's an ACID lake.  A little shocking to hear them say that considering from the looks of this lake, it is going to be millions and millions of gallons of fluid, if not MUCH more than that.  The lake?  Will be used to leach the copper, I guess and however that works.  I am very inquisitive about such things, the man was not really giving up any real amounts of information. 

We get the load off the truck, spend 20 minutes going over the paperwork and justifying it against the quantities there, time to leave.  I have seen safety being put to the nth degree at many places, this one takes the cake.  And why not, there are thousands of tons of heavy equipment - very heavy equipment - running around all over the place.  People can easily get killed without stringent safety measures in place, I am totally FOR all of that, trust me, I am.

No surprise, either, that most of the men working there were at least in their 30's, if not 40's and up.  20 somethings simply don't have the life experience of older individuals who have experienced dramatic situations at work places and have learned wisdom from it.  I'm guessing these boys are getting paid very well. 

Really, an experience of a lifetime, at least from my perspective.  You do not just get to drive in to a copper mining operation.  Good luck trying to. You can pull of the side of the road at the scenic view stops they have all you want, but driving down into one?  Don't think so. 

Well, that took more than a day's work - meaning I will get off early tomorrow - cause' - we aren't allowed any overtime at all unless it finally ends that way at the end of any given week.  Tomorrow is going to not be so wonderful, either.  A HUGE return, I am gathering, why is it the big returns are always in the middle of a very hot summer?  You just die out there in the heat and now humidity, gag.  I'm thinking of buying one of those huge convenience store chiller mugs, loading it with ice and taking a gallon of water with me,I am not into dehyration while working my @$$ off.

Not unexpectedly, I have done nothing at home.  I got home, plopped down into this chair - remembered the fishies and fed them - those Koi are RAVENOUS eaters, they eat FAR more food than those goldfish do.  No biggies, it's not like it's hundreds of dollars worth, I'm just saying.  Probably 4 times the amount that any goldfish in there will eat.

Regardless, I am trashed and I'm outta here.

G'day/nite.

ben

Monday

Monday


Come into work with trepidation: will the run to Miami still be in the system?

Things almost always change overnight/over the weekend. Yes, it's still there! Plus a trip to Coolidge thrown in there, good luck with that. Apparently the salesman forgot to put that in there on the run to Coolidge on Friday.......



Okay, I like going out of town on road trips, especially when the company is paying for it and even more so in the semi. Don't ask why, I just love it.



The high yesterday was in the 90's. The electric use reflected that: $10 day versus up to $20 less than a month ago. Still have to run the AC to get the humidity out of the air and yes, 90's is still a bit too warm to say goodbye to AC.

Today's high slated at 98. Then back up in the 100's for the rest of the week - BUT - less than 110. That will also help keep cooling costs down. These overcast skies for the last week or however long have been fabulous. Pond digging has gotten a lot further simply for the better weather.



Weekends are always roughest on the dieting situation: at 197.5 this morning. I have not been able to get below 195. I'm sure I COULD by - doing something different I guess, just not there yet. I would have like to break into the 180's range by now, oh well.



News. Always some interesting reads on Monday morning. Apparently, big news is Palin's changing their lifestyle to avoid the writer who moved in next door. Who cares?

Good big news is they are going to try and plug the well. Fingers crossed isn't enough, praying and believing are much better alternatives!



I can also say that I could care less what press corps sit on the front row of the briefing room in the white house - THIS is news?



Ahhh, here's an interesting one: drunken bulldozer operator kills 11. Well, at least it wasn't an American incident, that's a lot of people and destruction for one machine and operator.



Regardless, I see nothing of great interest in there this morning. Same old hype about November elections - I am not sure who I am going to vote FOR in November, I am positive about who I am NOT going to be voting for.........anyway, I want to write up a 5-day eviction notice before I have to start in on work today, so I must be offa here. For the tenant that is now 2 weeks behind on rent and went on a vacation to California instead of - looking for a new job. Apparently she thinks I am going to wait until she starts receiving unemployment benefits which can and usually does take weeks before you get your first check. I dun thin' so, in the words of the infamous Ricky Ricardo......



G'day.



ben

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