Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Day,

Well yesterday was one of our classic crummy days here, windy and light drizzle sprinkled with showers in the morning turning to heavy rain by 2:00 p.m., which persisted much of the evening. On the bright side it was relatively warm for here .... upper 60's.

First order of business yesterday was for Will and Peter and I to weight, record, load, unload and shrink wrap a pallet of blue bins down at Ward Timber, this was accomplished by about noon. In the meantime, Dave and Joe were mucking out the front end and will timber today. Dave will be late coming in as our Jim Crow (railbender) broke. The working end that grabs the rails just disintegrated and he is milling a new one, which he has been working on the last few evenings and will bring it in today. Hopefully the front end will get timbered and I can do some washing there..... not particularly promising at present though there is another purple pocket in the face. Depending upon amount of blast damage we may get a tub or two of specimens.

The three of us started to head up to the mine, Peter to do some mucking out of the East Crosscut if possible since there was a bit of a mess there from my washing and looking on Sunday. Will, showing his jumping prowess managed to miss and hit his right knee on a rock which left him in some pain and humiliation so he stayed back to nurse and take an ibuprofen or two.... he was moving pretty well by late afternoon though he will have a nice bruise. I've found there are plenty of places to bang yourself around in the mine without looking for the odd extra one.

I worked at the front end till bait and had one nice specimen to show for my efforts and a bag full of small to medium sized twins. When we all came down for lunch there was a message from Kerith that the new chainsaw was to be delivered about 3:30 in the afternoon. This caused some consternation since the farmer had taken the lock and we found the gate wide open in the morning, still at noon and when I went down at 2:30 p.m., still open. Lots of work to do to prepare. We had to get the hydraulic lines off the old unit, these have been in place about 5 or 6 years so they were rusted and married in place. Thank god for WD40 and constant beating on them, years ago we had elected to leave them on since getting them on and off in a muddy environment is risky and difficult. We finished up about 3:40 and I drove back down with Will to see if the gate was still wide open.... it was locked so we unlocked and took the lock back with us.. This left me hoping he had not shown up early and turned around and gone home thus making for a frustrating afternoon. About 15 minutes after we got back Kerith shows up the representative from ICS who had used his SATNAV but had input Burnbrae's postal code and had gotten totally lost coming in from Birmingham. Kerith came with him since there was no way he would have found it on his own. A quick course in putting on bar and chain and adjustment. We had been given a 500GBP trade-in on the old 823H unit purchased in 1998. He took one look and said ...."keep it, what I am going to do with it? Put it in a museum?"

The rest of the afternoon was spent making sure that the hydraulic lines attachments would work on the new pigtails on the 880 unit. Hydraulics yes, water line no. So some scurrying around and we found a connection that would work and we are now ready to rock and roll on big rocks and small ones too. Today's picture shows Will Larson doing his best air guitar with the chain saw. It was nearly 4:30 p.m. and Dave and Joe and Peter had finished the mucking out of the face/ Final act of the day was to get a big rock up near the face down and moved out in anticipation of sawing it up. Since it was about 350 pounds it took everyone but I think Dave did the bulk of the work. Very last thing we had a visit from the Durham County Council's Mike Tweddle who will be up again on Wednesday in anticipation of a projected blast that afternoon if all goes well.

Thatís all the news there is.

Cheers,

Cal and crew



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