Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter yells "Hello!" finally, orbitals & Loops

Just for a change, the week's weather forecast in the valley has actually been mostly correct.  It's been cold & doesn't seem to have stopped snowing much at all.  After all this time, it's nice to finally make winter's acquaintance.  I think it's been, on the whole, colder & with more snowfall than the entire five week period I was here over January & early February.  The biggest downside so far is having to get up ten minutes earlier to make sure I get to work on time after scraping/brushing all the snow off the car, warming the car up & driving a little slower than normal.  Being at work all week, I haven't had the opportunity to get any decent photos during daylight, but here's a few I snapped late this afternoon.

I don't think we'll be using our lawn chairs again for a while.

Don't leave your bike outside.

 Looking across the tracks to Lady Mac at dusk, with a clear sky for the first time in a week.

This week at work we've been shovelling a fair bit of snow each morning off the path ways - another first for me.  With two concurrent kiln shuts coming to an end, there has been a fair bit going on.  I seem to have spent the last couple of days sorting & then adding steel mill balls(big steel marbles really) to the mills.  It's a far cry from my process engineering degree in some ways, but it has everything to do with a unit operation so it's vaguely related if you think hard enough.  The balls roll all over the place (I haven't managed to spill too many so far), but throwing the first few in to each wheelbarrow they roll all over the place & then bounce off each other in interesting ways.  Should I be worried that all I can think of are s, p, d & f orbitals, then van der Waals forces, & finally when there are a few more balls in the barrow - crystalline structures?

Next week I'm being sent to another LaFarge plant in Kamloops for the week to do another conveyor survey.  Apparently, the Kamloops plant is a baby one - so it shouldn't take me too long & I won't have to climb quite as many stairs or ladders.  I'm excited to have a week out of the Bow Valley & the prospect of catching up with Krysta & Steve again in Kelowna at the end of the week.  It does unfortunately mean that'll be two weekends' delay to the first ski of the season for me.  But I seem to have found another back-country ski buddy for the rest of the winter (Alex & I unfortunately do not have corresponding days off, any trips Megan & I do will be constrained somewhat by the Finn factor) - one of the other temps at work.  We're an interesting bunch of temps - one is earning some money before entering police school, one is a heavy diesel mechanic, one has operated various plants up north Alberta (oil territory), one wants a millwright apprenticeship, a few want to stay on at LeFarge permanently & then there's me - a process engineer with supervision experience on a work visa who will leave in May for some great mountain-biking.

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