The winner in yesterday's contest is "Anonymous" Aka Patricia!
It was a Duck Decoy.
See it got run through the machine(on accident) and its head, and tail are missing.
Today we did a spot cut, and sunk a truck in the mud. By the end of the day I was completely surprised that we had trucks driving out to us, as the field was QUITE muddy!
For the random picture today I bring you:
A small angry cat!
Along with the random picture I may have neglected to mention the fact that the same night I had my little incident, I also won tickets to a Vince Mira concert.
These are some shots I snapped last summer when I was house sitting for my aunt and uncle. This is a wind chime they have out front.
Since I am in the process of switching to day shifts this week(and probably part of next week) will be random picture week. I will dig into my files upon files of pictures, and find some random shots to post here!
Today I had the intriguing experience of being on the other side of the fair fence. See for 4 years I was a showman out there, and always on the 'inside'. I would get up and be in the barn at 5 am and not leave again until 10pm. I rarely ventured out(except to show and use the restroom), so I did not see much of the fairgrounds.
I must say it was rather enlightening to be one of the 'public' out there. Though I never did make it to the barns, I did get to see all the displays and such which was rather nice.
Oh- and new schedule this week 6:15am till ????
Yesterday I received some horrid news.
They(Sci Fi, and MGM) have decided that they are canceling Stargate Atlantis.
Now I realize that to most people this isn't 'horrible news' but to a fan it is. This show is in the prime of its life, and is being shut down just when its really getting its own feet under it.
They also announced this morning that they will be releasing a new Stargate series in 2009- Stargate Universe. At the moment I don't know much about it, so I can't really comment.
On a brighter note- I bought and paid for my plane ticket to Burbank in November. So I am officially going to the Creation Burbank SG Convention!
See that giant scar up there? Yeah, the REAL story of how it happened is pretty embarassing(I'll share it at the end of the entry). So I need a good story as to why I have it.
* It is about 4-5 inches long, and a year old
* It's on my upper right arm
Current explanations include:
* So I tried to pay for gas with it but apparently they are only taking LEFT arms these days.
* I got in a fight- but if you think THATS bad- you should see the other guy!
* Oh, that? Its nothing, kid just tried to steal my machine, and I wrestled him for it- a little too close to the header(harvesting part)
So what is the REAL story, you ask?
Last summer, when I was working nights I came home after an extra long shift(about 15 hours), and crashed out in bed. My cat was sleeping next to me in the bed, and at some point during the day had a bad dream, during which she was fleeing some horribly horrible creature(or at least I hope it was horrible). During her escape attempt she decided to take a flying leap off the bed, launching herself from my arm onto whatever. I woke up and found this lovely gash, along with 3 smaller gashes from her toes.
A while ago I promised a friend that if/when I got a chance I would snap a picture of some of our larger slugs around here.
Now I live in the northwest and we are known for our rain, but right now it is our 'dry spell' *shhh!* don't let that out! So it is rather hard to find slugs.
That is until the other day, when I came home and found this little beauty lounging by my front door. Now I apologize for the cruddiness of the pictures but they were both snapped with my cell phone after a loooong night at work, then breakfast.
I estimate that he when fully stretched out was probably 6-7 inches in length.
This story shall be in the past, so close your eyes and imagine its 2003 again.
The date is August 19th, and its 75 blistering degrees outside, but inside, a squat white barn, you'll find two people decorating for a fair.
On the ground stands a man of considerable height, armed with his tool of choice- a staple gun. On the fence and wall you find a girl, her hair pulled back into a haphazard ponytail, her body carrying the fatigue of two straight weeks on the fair circut.
The man hands her the staple gun and she tacks another piece of random decoration to the wall, and hands it back to him. He takes it and moves onto the next enclosure on the other side of the opposite fence, as she starts to shift her weight from the fence she is balanced on to that one. As she sets her right foot onto the fence post, she feels it give way slightly, and suddenly she is slipping, falling through space, until suddenly she contacts the cold metal bar, fully astride it- hard.
The girl hoists herself off the fence and continues working through the quickly intensifying pain, until she can no longer bear it. She excuses herself to examine the damage and finds a large and growing bruise. Quickly she informs the man who decides that maybe they should head home, get her seen by a Doctor. As they speed toward home, the girl's pain growing more intense by the passing moments they stop, and pick up a block of ice. The girl tries to comfortably settle the ice on the injury, as the man speaks hurriedly into the phone, informing another of what had occurred. As the miles fly past the girls pain intensifies to the point she is screaming in a mix of sheer pain and terror.
The man decides home is too far and turns for the nearest emergency room. They reach the relative 'safety' of the place, and he wheels her inside to the admittance counter and explains what happens, as the nurse dismisses them saying it will be a while, the girl suddenly feels the urge to relieve herself, she informs the man who wheels her to the bathroom door, as the girl stands up he catches sight of the pool of blood below her, and suddenly she is whisked into the back.
The next while is a blur of nurses bringing her ice packs and questioning them about what had happened when finally a doctor arrives. By this time the girls mother had arrived, and was sitting anxiously with them in the small room. The doctor examines the wound, and informs them all that while he KNEW them, he would still have to transfer the girl to the *other* hospital for Women and Children as they were just not equipped to handle this kind of thing. The kind doctor sat down next to the girl who was floating high in a drug cloud and informed her that they would be Transiting her to the other hospital. With great hope and enthusiasm the girl looked up at him, and excitedly asked, "So I get to ride on the BUS?!" This question set the room afire with giggles, and guffaws as he calmly explained that no, they were going to give her another dose of pain killer, and load her into an ambulance.
Another period of time passed, and the girl was transported to the *other* hospital, where upon arriving under the medics diligent care, she was wheeled by the nurses station in the empty ER. As she passed the girl looked over, and calmly waved at all the assembled personnel, and exclaimed, "HEY EVERYBODY, How you doing?!" As this was quite the grand entrance, and them having all heard about what had happened, they gathered in and out of the girls room until she left for surgery.
She was in surgery for 4 and a half grueling hours, during which according to the doctor she almost had to be transfused. She woke up the next morning in the pediatric unit as the only walking(somewhat) and talking patient, there were 3 days of semi-blissful rest and recuperation before the girl was discharged and sent home to fully heal.
**The proceeding story is completely and totally true.
The Girl is played by me
The Man is my father
The Other woman my mother
And the ER doctor? Was an old high school classmate of theirs.
After last night's(Friday) little 'incident' I DID go to work tonight(Saturday) and did fine. Though I was momentarily freaked out to find that our field had a random telephone pole in the middle of it to taunt me.
We worked a 'short shift' though our crew could have kept running though we didn't finish our field in time to move. So therefore we got shut down and sent home.
I blame the machine that ate a stake as it left us with 2 machines in an approximately 45 acre field. Of course having gotten on the proverbial horse again, I did most of the work. Go me!
This morning I was involved in a rather unfortunate accident at work. I survived it, and so did my machine, but my pride, and nerves are a wee bit shot at the moment.
See on Thursday we switched back to 12 hour shifts. So last night(Friday) I was working my second 12 hour shift on about 6 hours of sleep. Now normally I am fine with not taking breaks as it really disrupts my 'rhythm' at work. I got in my machine at 7pm last night and other than a couple of 'organic' breaks while waiting for pea trucks early on in the shift I didn't stop working except our early road move. We moved into a crap field that had been underwater earlier this year thus screwing it way up and making it hard to harvest. Add in the fact that we had 3 machines in a space that wasn't big enough, and you have lots of fun. So I was told when I requested a break that I could 'go do whatever the hell you want' so I went and knocked out the front portion of the field before assisting with the almost finished back. I was then lined up as lead viner for a road move at the end of shift(about 5:15 am shift change is at 6:30).
After last week's incident in which we took out power lines we have all been hyper vigilant about our bins being dropped for road moves. When I got in my machine I had yet to drop it, so the foreman had me drop it and we went on our merry way.
All along the way for some reason our viners were scraping crap that they shouldn't have been(read lines, trees, etc) and we mentioned this to our lead and our follow car but they said that there wasn't anything they could do about it.
Part way through our move and almost to our destination we recieved a call redirecting us from our original destination to a new one. We were given a road, we'll call J Loop, to go down. Well J Loop does what the name implies and loops around and connects to the main road in two spots. What we were not informed was that we needed to go past the first entrance to J Loop and turn onto the second one. So we reached J Loop road, and turned right onto it. This was now about 6 or 6:15 in the morning and was rather foggy and still semi-dark. So we are driving down the road and our lead car gets a ways ahead of me, and I am approaching some wires that look rather low so as is customary I slowed way down to pass under them. As I was passing under I heard a TINK! on my mirror, so I slowed even more, when I suddenly heard a TUNG* somewhere behind me. Not liking the sound I slammed my machine to a stop, and grabbed my CB and alerted the follow and lead car that "I think I nicked a wire" to which the machine behind me responded "YES". The guy from the lead car and the follow car all came running and had me idle down my machine, and sit there while they figured out how to de-tangle the wire. Meanwhile I was sitting in my cab not touching anything, bawling my eyes out.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity(was probably about 10 minutes) they determined the wire wasn't live and were able to remove it from my machine and very carefully direct me down the length of the remaining road and into our field.
It wasn't until about a half hour later in the van that I heard the full extent of the damage I had done. Apparently when I hit the wire it popped out of a barn, sending sparks flying through the air, and popping an old short pole(about 7 feet) and bringing it down onto a fence. According to the boys when I make things FUBAR I'm a wee bit of an overachiever.
*TUNG- the sound an empty coffee can makes when rapped on. Not a good sound on a giant metal machine that has just contacted power lines.
First off, is my machine starting up to go back to work and driving down the land. We were cutting diagonally across the field. The monitor shows that my barrel pressure is about 1,500 psi (which is very LOW) and my speed is 1 and a half miles per hour.
Second video is dumping. I didn't film this one, instead had my friend J the Truck driver do it for me. All the peas in the front of the truck bed, are MINE!
So, I just wanted to take a moment and say:
HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY!!!! To my best friend Lacey!
I'll go have a drink for you ;)
Hope its everything you want, my dear, and then some. Just remember soon as you get that bun out, first rounds on me.
So today I had the honor of purchasing my very own first wine selection. I bought a bottle of Pink Truck Wine. This wine is made by the Red Truck Winery and was just delicious. It was very smooth and well blended with just the right top notes, and undertones. It is the perfect combination of sweet and dry, with a wonderful bouquet that doesn't overpower the taste.
I had heard many wonderful things about the Red Truck brand, but had yet to try it, and so was quite pleased to find it lived up to all the hype. I know I'll be purchasing another bottle(or 2) on my next shopping trip, as the one in the fridge is nearly gone.
Tonight the family took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and embarrass me.
They ordered me a margarita, that was big enough to swim in, and then proceeded to give me crap when I didn't drink it all. They(my father) also informed the restaurant that it was my birthday, little did I know he mentioned WHICH one it was. *sighs* So I was sitting there expecting churros, or some other dessert thing to be brought out to go with the sombreros and off key singing. No, that would have been too easy. Instead the restaurant provided me with a straight shot of tequila(that they literally poured down me).
Later that night my dad and I went out grocery shopping, since we weren't working, and I was going to buy my first bottle of wine. Well him being Mr. 'Expert' *pshaw* he recommended a nice Chardonnay. Ennh, it was okay but not my cup of tea.
So yesterday at work was quite eventful. Apart from ending the night with a mini birthday celebration, it was CRAZY!
So we arrived found out we were in the midst of another Plant Flood. Though this time we were told to fill up our bins(as we needed to get the heck out of the field and couldn't sit and wait).
I filled my bin and was sitting chatting with A from day crew(as he is the helper) and we were laughing and joking then the truck showed up and dumped us. So we got back to work on our piece of field, when suddenly we got a lower infeed clog. Nothing quite says fun like digging through wet pea vines in the rain!
The foreman had me go and line up and start 'sticking off'(cleaning the sides of the machine) for the road move. We lined all the viners up and were getting ready to move. Suddenly we are being SCREAMED at to 'get on the road' so we all scrambled up into our machines, and start heading out. This is where the trouble started.
At the field entrance there was a low hanging wire that went to a house. We have our 'dump on the go' bins that we are supposed to run out as they stick up rather high(more than most wires).
I had run mine out but clipped the wire with my antenna, though did no damage. The viner behind me(I was lead) got under it okay as well, and I had pulled up onto the road and was stopped parallel to the house. I glanced over my shoulder and saw that the 3rd viner had his D.o.G up, and I was reaching down for my CB when BANG! the house next to me goes black. I knew immediately that he'd caught the wire, and was all 'oh crap', the field boss(not the foreman) started screaming to stop(as it WAS a live wire) which he thankfully did. They then had to slowly back the machine out of the line, and NOT pull down the pole it was tugging on. They got the machine out and onto the road and we were able to move onto our field(thankfully the driver was NOT injured).
We got to our 'new' field(it was the back half of a field we'd done previously) and I opened(was the front most machine in a 'parade'*)
I tried to cut a land but that didn't go so well. See when you cut one you are supposed to cut straight using a point on the horizon in the direction of the angle you need. Well the foreman only gave me directions over the radio and didn't hop up and point where I needed to go(the most left, southwest corner of the field is what I was told) so it ended up rather screwy and curved. Of course this got the boys ribbing me that I must of started drinking rather early, since it wasn't my birthday yet. No, just the fact that my point I'd picked happened to be a plane really didn't help.
So we played with another crew(my dads) and we ripped the crud out of the field and got it all done by midnight. We shut down and the boys and I were sitting around ribbing J about his little 'electrifying' experience when they started ribbing me that I should go on a B-double E-double R-U-N of course I did NOT contribute to the delinquency of minors. So hopefully later I get to go out to dinner and celebrate my birthday.
One of the most annoying aspects of this job has to be when the plant 'floods'.
This happens when 1 or 2 things occur:
1) A particular crew(s) hits a 'high yield field' and swamps their trucks with peas, thus swamping the plant
2) Shift change when all the trucks are coming back for 'clean up'(the last dump).
Last night we had a record 4 hour plant flood. Apparently between the combination of both a high yield field and a shift change, they flooded the plant out.
So we arrived in our field (late) at 4:30, and sat there doing NOTHING until 8pm. We literally stood around BS'ing from about 5:45 until 8. Than we fired up our viners, got to vining and almost flooded our poor trucks at one point.
I wanted to bring to your attention another term that I have coined when it comes to work.
Viner Disco- V the act of having a full bin of peas. Causes the 4 ways and the beacon to activate, thus alerting the whole field to your activities. (Video to follow)
Well, well, well, what they say is true sh*t does roll downhill.
At work when we've been running it has been a 6:15 pm to 7:30 am shift for a total of 13 1/4 hours.
Apparently they are now switching viner drivers and pea trucks to a 'shorter' schedule of 3:15pm to 1-1:30am with arrival back at the farm shop around 2-2:30am(we get paid until the 2 whatever time).
Ought to be fun as my whole sleep/awake schedule must now change as well as my arrival schedule. My dad and I work different crews which ought to get interesting as well since we are hardly ever near each other and one of us(more likely me) will end up waiting for the other every night now.
I had a pet Iratus Bug on my front porch.
Today was another scorcher topping out in the 80's so this evening when I got home I put Kenzie to bed and decided to kick back and surf the net from the front porch. I was sitting there minding my own business watching the sunset and cursing the annoying kids next door, when suddenly my neck started KILLING me. I reached up and touched the right side of my neck just about where my neck meets my shoulder, and felt a HUGE bug bite forming.
This is what it looks like:
Please excuse my weird chin thing I've got going on here!
How else would you explain this gnarly looking thing than one of these:
The first part of this post is pretty self explanatory- I snapped some sunset pictures the other night when I was working. They didn't turn out quite as good as my sunrise pics but oh well!
The second set of pictures I was going to save until the next video gets posted, but since I don't know when that will be(I still have to shoot it when I work next), I'm going to post them now.
The other night I loaded my bin as full as I could, and then snapped pictures. This is what 5,000 lbs(or 2 and a half TONS) of peas looks like. They are then loaded into the pea truck, taken back to the plant and flash frozen and packaged.
So, here I am driving along going from west to east, across the field. I was driving about a mile and 3/4's an hour.
That loud humming? I get to listen to that all shift long.
Oh and the radio conversation at the end? The mechanic was trying to tell one of other drivers how to slide his bin so that he could fill it 'right' as the other drivers have been only getting 3/4'er loads.
I also snapped some videos (from inside my cab) while I was driving.
Control Panel pictures:
The buttons on the left of the picture are my levelers, the yellow button starts my harvester, and the ones on the right control various aspects: throttle, parking brake, six wheel/four wheel drive, road/field gear, tine speed, tine height, and the concave(header cover height).
How we tell which speed we are throttling up to. Are you going rabbit? Or Turtle?
My joystick that controls all the harvest functions. The top two yellow buttons are side-to-side levelers, the middle red buttons are to raise the header(part that harvests the peas) up is to drop it and down it to raise it, the green buttons on either side are the ones that slide my bin.
Okay during last night's shift I took the time to snap a bunch of pictures of my cab so that y'all could see where I actually work. I'm going to post them over the weekend.
The View Out my windshield when we are on the road:
My catwalk from inside:
My Bin from inside: