Rest Area 300m: May 2005

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"Schwarzenegger strode toward television cameras on Laguna Seca Way to the sounds of the Doobie Brothers' "Taking it to the Streets,'' while flanked by 10 San Jose city road workers wearing Day-Glo vests and work gear. After speeches by the governor and city officials, a dump truck backed up and unloaded a mound of black asphalt and, as television cameras recorded the moment, Schwarzenegger joined the work crew, taking up a broom and filling the 10-by-15-foot hole, later smoothed over by a massive roller truck."

Earlier, according to locals, about 7 a.m. they became fascinated watching "10 city workers standing around for a few hours putting on new vests,'' all in preparation for the big moment with Schwarzenegger.

But their street, didn't even have a hole to pave over until Thursday morning.

"They just dug it out", one said, shrugging. "There was a crack. But they dug out the whole road this morning.''

Apparently, it involved ... "not exactly filling a pothole, but it represented the pothole aspect'' ..... of BART a transportation funding measure

We have an election here in NZ soon, better put me aside a new flouro jacket, I can smell a photo op.
Rest Area 300m

Places We Have Lunch

Urenui on a gray calm day. River mouth from local park. Excellent pies from local shop. This is getting pretty down town for us, usually we would be out in the sticks.
Rest Area 300m


Monday, May 30, 2005


"From Northland to Taranaki, also the central plateau and Bay of Plenty
Squally showers, some heavy with thunderstorms and hail. Snow about the central plateau. Showers easing early tomorrow, and skies clearing east of Taupo. However, further rain tomorrow night."

Suddenly, the road is a waterlogged, sodden thing. Potholes have appeared seemingly from nowhere. The southerly wind has a keen edge to it, the culverts are running full.
It's that time of the year again. We really earn our money now. Clammy wet weather gear, mud, sodden cigarettes, and damp socks. Ah the joys of winter.
Still it is a good time for Poohsticks & variants thereof. Today in the rain, while clearing out kerb & channelling, I let a few golf balls free. (there are plenty to be had after the roadside mower goes past the local Golf Course.) As this was on a steep hill, miles from anywhere, my workmate, working a kilometre down the hill was rather puzzled. He put them in his truck. Of course I nicked them and did it again. I got away with this twice before he caught on! I should have blamed storks. On a steep grade a waterborne golfball can build up a really impressive speed.
Photo Moksha

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I've been a bit slack answering email questions. Here we go;

Why not use prisoners, riff-raff & layabout scum to pick up litter, wash marker pegs ?

In a word safety.
You have to work within signs put up by someone qualified to do so, have a Site Safe Passport, vehicles with flashing lights etc. etc. While running down neer-do-wells in your car may be fine sport, the outcome would keep a big bunch of
bureaucrats busy for months.

What do you find on the road, anything valuable?

You name it, we find it.
We often find tools, stuff that has bounced off trailers and trucks, spare wheels, things that have been heaved out windows after domestics (CD's figure prominently), and zillions of wheel trims & hub caps.
You can also find dead dogs & assorted wildlife, the odd body, ( not us, fortunately) stolen cars, furniture, car parts and so on.
Alas no jewels, or gold bars as yet...

What are the strange numbers on bridges ?

In N.Z. Transit use a simple bridge number, then a route position, so Bridge No. 1234 then the route position (RP) which is really just how far from the beginning of the highway it is...
"The longest bridge on the state highway network is the Rakaia River bridge on SH 1S at RP 381/18."
= State Highway 1 South, 381+ 18 kilometres from Picton

What do you think causes the most crashes?

On our stretch of highway, speed & fatigue by a country mile. Usually a combination of both. The driving on auto pilot syndrome.
"Driver fatigue is difficult to identify or recognise as contributing to a crash. This means it’s likely that fatigue is under-recorded, and contributes to more crashes than we realise. Australian estimates indicate that fatigue accounts for up to 30 percent of single-vehicle crashes." LTSA

Saturday, May 28, 2005

We have had one problem stretch of road that finally got the go ahead for a major make over. A specialist crew worked on for about four weeks. It was ripped up, reshaped, and lovingly groomed for sealing. Then it rained. Too wet now to seal it was tended till it could dry out. Then it rained again. Once more the crew got out the grader and drag brooms and studied the weather forecast. It rained again. For Three weeks now this has been going on, a desperate attempt to hold the job up to sealing quality so that if drying weather comes, the seal can go on. Speeding traffic is also a major factor, ruts and potholes can form in no time unless the traffic keeps to a crawl. A couple of speeders have gone through the fence in the early morning, and ended up in the paddock upside down. They got little sympathy. A request went in for police monitoring, and the radar guns have come out. A few culprits are in for a very rude shock, the odd ones that have barreled through the 30k limit at normal speeds will lose their licence for a while.
"Speeding offences of more than 50 km/h over the limit can fall under the categories of careless, dangerous or reckless driving, depending on the circumstances. These offences also result in an immediate 28 day licence suspension."

The crew working on this stretch are a normally chatty lot, but they are getting grumpier by the day.
It's raining again, I think I will give that area a wide berth for a while...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Occasionally we will have an emergency services vehicle come through our work site, lights and siren going. Usually it is an ambulance. Obviously we get it through with all dispatch. We have often been warned by R/T or CB radio that one is heading our way, so we are ready for it. Radio communication is a wonderous thing. The other day one went through with the boss inside. We didn't know it at the time, but he had " taken a bit of a turn" at work and was packed off to hospital by the local nurse, who was taking no chances. Fortunately he was soon back with us and moaning about the suspension on the rather elderly local ambulance, and the state of the road. One of my daily reads, has a description of a lollipop person, or school crossing warden, who should be shot at dawn. You just never know when your turn may come, hopefully not as a result of a zipper problem ...


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Artist Improves California Freeway Sign

A confusing Los Angeles free way sign so disturbed one local artist that he took matters into his own hands by scaling the sign and adding his own directions.
For years, Richard Ankrom, 46, knew that the word ‘NORTH’ should have been included over an emblem for Interstate 5, two miles before the exit from the Harbor Freeway.
Finally last August Akrom went to work donning a hard hat and orange reflective vest to avoid raising suspicion. His pickup truck had a logo on the side that read: Aesthetic De Construction.
He had studied freeway signs and specifications of the Federal Highway Administration and had tracked down reflective material for the letters. The work is so genuine that the state transportation officials couldn’t tell, until a newspaper leaked the story.
Best of all,there are no plans to take down the sign or press charges. “It needed to be done,” Akrom said. “Hopefully it will help people out, which was the whole point.”
link & video

Now Pay Attention !

The dynamic changes to the vehicle fleet will likely continue to pose issues concerning visibility and signing requirements, as is evident with the proliferation of SUVs and minivans versus signing practices to accommodate sedan passenger vehicles. To accommodate the full range of driver eye heights, i.e., the range of vehicle types in the vehicle fleet, including tractor-trailers, more emphasis should be placed on the resulting observation angle.
Put the bloody sign where you can see it....

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Annual Leave?

"We are about to be invaded. The Barmy Army are on the move.
"This invading army intends to infiltrate thoroughly. They have worked closely with Lion Breweries to ensure their troops never suffer from thirst on this long, arduous invasion.
"There have been all kinds of figures plucked out of the air in estimate of the total number of fans from Britain and Ireland heading for New Zealand. The latest figure is 20,000. And that’s one heck of a lot of extra people to keep supplied with beers, meals, beds and such like. Lions supporters have booked 1800 campervans and 1500 rental cars nationwide.
Now this army are going to travel down our highway from Rotorua after the first game, to New Plymouth. Three days later there is a game in Hamilton and they go back through again heading north. (map)

And guess who removes the rubbish from the rest areas?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Know Thy Zipper.... !

This remarkable vehicle is a zipper truck, creating an extra lane on a Hawaii highway. A quick and painless way of moving rush hour traffic faster.
This; however, is far from painless, eyewatering in fact.....
"All males: Beware the penis fly trap"
"It’s a subject guaranteed to make any man wince.
But for those unfortunate enough to have experienced the pain of getting their private bits caught in the zipper of their pants, there is one small consolation - they’re not alone.
The Accident Compensation Corporation estimates there have been at least five dozen successful injury claims since July 2000 from men who have needed medical attention for "penis entrapment". For relatively minor injuries, the claims were for medical fees, but some of the cases were so serious the victims needed time off work to recover.
ACC says it’s likely such injuries are under-reported. And St John ambulance staff say it is "not uncommon" for them to get calls for help in such situations.
However, it can be acutely embarrassing for the victim, as Herald on Sunday reporter Amanda Cameron discovered when she spent a night on the town with St John staff..... "

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dig This!

We all have a favourite shovel. You get so used to using one particular tool that a different one feels horrible, and unbalanced. We have other spare ones, but a missing shovel is cause for a lot of anxiety. Some of the old hands have had theirs for years and woe betide a new boy who touches it. On one occasion a favourite shovel got buried under a truck load of mud. The distraught owner spent hours probing for it with a steel rod. To everyone's relief he found it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

My truck has regular maintenance at our workshops.
Here we see a new power plant being carefully lowered into position

Thursday, May 19, 2005

This beautiful old car is a Doble, Steam powered, built in 1922.
It could do 95 MPH and a sustained 75 MPH. Abner Doble built his first car at 16, he was a perfectionist, so much so that his engines were guaranteed for 100,000 miles! This became his undoing, his cars were beautifully built, but very expensive.
"The Doble company made only 43 Dobles before the company failed in April 1931. The thing that killed the car was that Abner Doble was a perfectionist, not a businessman. He kept making improvements along the way that just drove everybody batty. The cars were extremely well-made, but they were very expensive. There were no gaskets anywhere--everything was machined to fit perfectly."
Jay Leno has one.
"But best of all, it's wonderful to drive. It's like a fast train. You go down the road and it makes no noise at all. This car is quieter and smoother than conventional classics. Don't forget, there's no shifting--no grinding gears. And there's no gas pedal. To change speed, you just turn the throttle wheel, which is made of ebony with a polished, cast German silver spider insert."
Abner Dobles paper, "Steam Motor-vehicles" (1916) is fascinating reading. He sold me!
"In 1930 and 1931 Mr. Doble traveled to New Zealand to reorganize the Price & Co. plant and perfect a steam bus." (This is going to require some further investigation at the library!)

Dragged out of bed at 3.30 am this morning, slips & rocks on the road. The fringe of the weather system that is causing carnage in the Bay Of Plenty will hit us soon. Reports coming in from there have the rescue services very stretched and very tired. We also had the worst road smash in a long time yesterday, the guys attending (north of us) said it was like a car bomb had detonated.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Highway cones weren't always as plentiful as they are today. If you look at old pictures or paintings of the countryside, you might not see any highway cones at all."
Then along came Johnny Highwaycone....


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Google Alert ! Ducklings Safe !

FLASH ! This just in.....

"A ROAD worker rescued seven ducklings from a drain after their mother was killed by a car. Jimmy Dickinson, 53, a supervisor from East Renfrewshire Council is used to retrieving keys from drains but he was called in to save lives after the orphaned ducklings became confused.
He sprang into action when he heard the five-day-old mallard ducks had been crossing the A736 Lochlibo Road in Neilston on Thursday evening with their mother when she was hit by a car.
The young birds were taken to Hessilhead wildlife centre in Gateside, North Ayrshire where they will be reared until they are old enough to go back into the wild."

It is Duck Shooting season here in New Zild. They are a bit wee, but they do have a lunch look about them.

Looking after the zillion or so signs on our stretch of the highway is a full time job for one man.
They are continually being knocked over, shot at, spray bombed, even set on fire. They need regular washing, especially those that are permanently in the shade, which grow moss & lichen and slowly go green. They have to be checked for correct alignment, height, and distance from the roadside. Most are High Visibility, and rely on gazillions of tiny glass beads to reflect light. They are not cheap.
Prowling the roads checking them with our sign man is an education. He has a Google Map vision of the road, and knows every sign personally. Constantly having to fill in various sign sheets has also given him an encyclopedic knowledge of the reference points on the road. (If you have been paying attention, you will know that reference points, or RP's, are the kilometre pegs which tell us where officially we are..)
Over on the always fascinating PLEP there is a link to a delightful story of a sign lover. "He is legendary in the neighborhood, a mysterious figure trapped and enchanted by a love of road signs and little metal markers...."

We would give Johnny Signmaker a job, anytime.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Hiram Maxim made a fortune from his invention of the Maxim machine gun, and he used a good bit of that fortune to explore heavier-than-air flight. Maxim began his aerial experiments at Baldwyns Park, England, in the late 1880's, leading to the construction in 1893 of his enormous biplane Test-Rig, which weighed about 7,000 pounds. The machine's two steam engines each produced 180 h.p., and turned two propellers each 17-1/2 feet in diameter. Since the device was intended to be a test vehicle, it was held to a track, preventing it from rising from more than a couple of feet.

"Chocks Away... Anyone Got A Light?"

"At the Oakland Airport, California, U.S.A. a short time ago a silent airplane slanted across the sky, showing a thin trail of white vapour. It was so silent in operation that spectators heard the pilot shout a greeting to those on the ground. He banked into a turn, and was watched sliding to a landing, and, with the propeller spinning backwards, roll to a stop in less than a hundred feet. This was Mr. William Besler giving his first demonstration flight, and it was, we think, for the first time in history that a man had flown in a steam-driven aeroplane...
Lady Bailey, in her long flight some years ago, mentioned flying for several days over the tree tops of huge forests. Had her petrol given out over this region, it would have spelt death to the occupant of the machine, but had it been necessary for her to land in a partially cleared area, and presuming she did so without a crash, petrol supplies would most certainly not have been obtainable. The pilot of a steam plane with an interchangeable firebox would, in such an emergency, be able to collect sufficient wood fuel to enable him to take off again, and continue on his way. These are just a few ways of looking at our future, but such days will most certainly come, and may come soon."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Seething weirdosity exudes from Arcata's every orifice

Sunday, April 17 4:31 a.m. The sonic smorgasbord on Chester Avenue included a woman screaming, a man saying "shut up" and someone else singing. Three youths said they were out "looking at the stars" and were told to go home.
11:25 a.m. Key elements of a call to an upper H street apartment complex included a naked man, an uncurtained sliding glass door and children present. Management has gotten so many complaints about Mr. Welcome-To-My-Naked-Ass that they've started the eviction process on him and said ass.
11:55 a.m. A vomiting dog found on the Seventh Street overhead was taken to a shelter.

How Numb Was My Bum....

"He is of medium height (5'5") and well built (about 140 pounds), he has a very pleasing manner. He is naturally the fairest of blondes, but so thoroughly have the sun and the wind done their work that, were it not for his light moustache, his face would be taken for anything rather than a white man's. He is an Englishman by birth, and is about 29 years of age. His attire consisted of a blue flannel shirt, brown knickerbockers, blue stockings, canvas shoes, and a once white military helmet hat. A notebook was strapped to the head of his machine. His clothing showed unmistakable signs of hard usage. His knickerbockers have been replaced many times."

Thomas Stevens, was the first to ride a bike across America, and went on to travel the world. It was a "High Wheeler" he taught himself to ride in parks around San Francisco.

"Stevens used his recollections of the trip and the information recorded in his notebook to write a wonderful 38,000 word description of his trip that appeared in the April, May, June, and July 1885 issues of Outing magazine. His larger two-volume work, Around the World on a Bicycle, that includes most of the material in these articles, was published after the completion of his world tour in January 1887. "
( can be read on line or downloaded )

His trip has inspired others to have a go.

TORONTO -- Rush-hour traffic on Canada's busiest highway was snarled Wednesday morning after a tractor trailer hauling beer collided with a small car and flipped onto its side spilling its load of 2,184 cases of beer.The entire load of beer was spilled, creating a "sea of beer," police said. Bulldozers were called in to clean up the mess.
Careful scrutiny of the photo's reveals a lot of undamaged cans & bottles. Also a bulldozer would not be used for salvage, but a rubber tyred front end loader. The cargo would be loaded into trucks and probably taken to the landfill. The party there is probably still going on. If this happened on our turf, there would be a lot of visitors when I arrived home!

(Thanks Sean)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Paraskavedekatriaphobia Day
Friday is the best working day on the road. Work Sites have to be organised so they can be left unattended over the weekend, this usually means that we try to leave as few speed restrictions as possible. This is especially true of a long weekend. The traffic also gets heavier on a Friday afternoon, which is also a good excuse to get off the road early. It is also a good time to sort out your vehicle and gear. This afternoon I noticed that one of my rear tires was losing air, so I headed off to the tire man to get it repaired. Changing a tire on a truck is a pain, and involves quite a lot of effort. It is much easier to watch someone else do it, and they will give you a coffee too. I hung around and made sympathetic conversation, pondering what it must be like to have life serve you up a career as a tire repair man, then freshly inflated, sped homeward toward the pleasures of the Fart household and straight into the laser beam of a Highway Patrol Police Car.
It also happens to be "Deal To The Trucks Week".
The Speed limit for Trucks in this country is 90 kph, for cars 100 kph, I had to pretend I was a car to get off, and have no expertise at hypnosis, so I fell back on the good old cringe & grovel method, with a sprinkling of flattery.
The Cop, though, eyed me up and down and then gave me a good bollocking. "You should know better, .. you guys are pretty good and you are spoiling their reputation.... now on your way and keep that speed down "
I slunk away, ticketless but chastened, and still feel a pang of guilt hours later. I almost would have prefered a ticket.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

We recently received an infringement notice for breaching the weight limit of the truck you operate. A fine of $350 has been enforced for being 600 kg overweight on the rear axle.
We would normally ask the vehicle operator to pay these fines, where the operator determines the responsibility....
Considering several factors, including your work history, the site situation, and the amount the vehicle was over, we will not be asking you for any contribution to the fine.....
However we ask that you operate with caution when determining the correct load, in the future....

"At times you are required to work on the Transit N.Z. highway systems. As part of this you will soon be required to be a Site Safe Civil Passport holder to be able to work on their roading networks.
At the completion of training you will become a certified Civil Passport Holder. Your plastic I.D. photo card will have to carried at all times when working on the TNZ highway systems....."

Aha! I see a pothole, ... Lets see, .... shovel, ..emulsion, ..premix, ..gloves, ..hard hat, ..flouro jacket, .. Signage,..STMS indentity card, ..Pothole reporting sheet, ..Sign erection timesheet, order number, ..route position reference,.. Hazard awareness sheet, .. Timesheet, ..Civil Passport photo I.D..........


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tibetan Road Workers Having A Meal Break.

Lunch is an important part of my day. I'm not into the usual truckie diet of pies and bread rolls, ... well except for breakfast. I carry a small portable gas cooker which folds away into a plastic case. I have a pot & frypan, cutlery, salt, tinned foods & instant noodles for emergencies, bread and butter, the odd onion etc.
I also have a fold out camping chair, none of this sitting on damp piles of gravel for me.
So having found a conducive spot, I try and park the truck cross wind, manouvering for maximum sun or shade. Once I am satisfied with the Feng Shui, I can cook my meal. Monday a steak, yesterday chicken casarolle, today good old bacon, eggs & tomato.
At first my brother roadies were amused and a little scornful. The smell of bacon & mushrooms, or frying steak soon fixed that. Cookers have slowly appeared, now we all have folding seats. Lunch is a glorious picnic. There are, sometimes, signs of amusement from the passing public, we don't give a stuff.
I do though, get a bit of stick from the mechanics at the workshop, when I have to move a pile of kitchen equipment, so they can trace a wiring fault, or tilt the cab, especially when I am cautioning them about breaking my eggs, or spilling my herbs. Doesn't worry me though, while they brown bag it, I knock up some crumbed fish, complete with parsley & lemon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Big Joe & Phantom 309

"So we rode and talked the better part of the night and I told my stories and Joe told his, and I smoked up all his Viceroys as we rolled along.
He pushed her ahead with 10 forward gears, man that dashboard was lit like the old Madam La Rue pinball, a serious semi truck.
Until almost mysteriously, well it was the lights of a truck stop that rolled into sight ...."

Tom Waits, "Nighthawks At The Diner"
photo Dave Nance

The Mirror Cliff - Bhutan.

"Black streaks indicating the sudden application of brakes mark the sharp ominous bend where the Trashigang–Samdrup Jongkhar highway (Bhutan) turns towards a sheer rock face.Here the highway clings to the rocky face for about 100 metres before cutting another sharp turn and disappearing behind the hill This is the mirror cliff or Melong Brak in Sharchopkha the most famous landmark on the highway."
This is supposed to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Many were killed constructing it. "I personally saw more than 15 vehicles go down that cliff. Many of them were heavy trucks"
The workers were supplied with food by air drops There is a Hindu Temple nearby constructed by Project DANTAK (The Border Roads Organisation) after one of it’s road workers, who was fatally injured, saw a vision of Lord Shiva at the present temple site.
I have the odd vision now and then (hot tar fumes are not only good for clearing your sinuses) but nothing as exotic as Lord Shiva yet. Guinness figures predominantly.....

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Highwayman

Claude Duval (1643-70) was born in Normandy. Making friends with many English exiles in Paris after the Civil War he became a footman to the Duke of Richmond and travelled with him to England after the restoration of Charles II in 1660. With a newly acquired expensive life style to maintain he turned to the road where, at the head of a gang, he gained a reputation for politeness to his victims especially the ladies.
Celebrated stories include his dancing with a lady coach passenger while her powerless husband looked on and returning a silver feeding bottle to a mother whose baby had started to cry. He was arrested in January 1670 in the Hole-in the-Wall tavern in Chandos Street while excessively celebrating his latest hold-up. Despite petitions for pardon to Charles II by several ladies
of high rank he was executed in the same month at Tyburn.
He was buried with many flambeaux, amid a numerous train of mourners (most
of them ladies), in Covent Garden. A white marble stone was laid over him,
with his arms and the following epitaph engraven on it: --
"Here lies Du Vall, reader, if male thou art,
Look to thy purse; if female, to thy heart.
Much havoc hath he made of both; for all
Men he made stand, and women he made fall.
The second conqueror of the Norman race,
Knights to his arms did yield, and ladies to his face.
Old Tyburn's glory, England's bravest thief,
Du Vall the ladies' joy! Du Vall the ladies' grief."

And Now For Something Completely Different...

I have been promised a new truck in a couple of months. I want one that will do this. It can act as an ordinary tipper, but has this party trick with it's sliding tray, and has a winch so you can retrieve heavy stuff directly from the site. Of course an onboard kitchen would be handy too.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

For Amanda, Cindy, & Sarah

A couple of us spent an idyllic morning on the river the other day, splashing bout in a small dinghy as a surveyor measured the profile of the banks, and sounded the depths. The mist had cleared, the sun shone, it was tranquil and all was at peace.
It is not always like this.
Last Christmas day, we were to go to a friends place to have Xmas Dinner. An especially tasty wild pig had been dispatched with extreme prejudice, and we were to provide the deserts. The cars were packed and as we readied to leave and travel down through the Awakino Gorge, the skies suddenly opened, and for twenty minutes there was a torrential deluge. Sporting a new Father Xmas hat, and a handknitted jersey with a clown on the front, I didn't fancy getting soaked, so I dallied till it eased and then headed off in my little MX5. Two kilometres into the Gorge, all was confusion and horror. A van, carrying seven, had failed to take a 45 kilometre corner and was in the river. There were three children still inside. The river was high and running fast. There was no sign of a vehicle. The emergency services were arriving in force. A helicopter made sweeps of the river. A brave paramedic was winched into the river and towed upstream to see if he could feel a vehicle with his legs. I had a flouro jacket, boots and swandri in my car, so I changed out of my hideously incongruous Xmas clothes, and set up Traffic Control. The van was found, fairly close into the bank, and a good two metres under the surface. We all knew the outcome. The normally chatty fire brigade were pretty quiet. A line was attached to the van and secured by the local towie, and the long wait for cranes, and the police dive team to come up from Wellington began. Xmas dinner consisted of hamburgers, our table the bonnet of a police car.
It was getting on for 10pm when the crane finally & slowly lowered the van onto the road. Fruit, travel snacks, and Xmas presents spilling out of the shattered back window. The three girls were still strapped in, they were taken out by the fire brigade and finally finished their trip to New Plymouth in two unmarked hearses. The van was righted and lowered onto the towies trailer. We cleaned up, generators roaring away, nobody saying much. It was nearly midnight by the time I finally made it to my friends place. I didn't feel like celebrating Christmas. I thought about drinking an awful lot of whisky, but I didn't. I went to bed.

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Sunday, ah Bliss. A chance to loll around with Mrs Fart, listening to music, while my truck dozes outside the window.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

We must be one of the few road crews who often use a boat. There are a few major rivers that cross our area of operations, and tomorrow a couple of us have to take some engineers along the riverbank to take soundings in an area that is being scoured out, and threatening the road. I'm looking forward to it. There's nothing like a frolic on the river. The Boss though may have to go fishing if the bar is O.K.. The rest of us will just have to wait till Saturday and hope the sea behaves itself

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Sex Conundrum

Male and female brains differ quite a bit in architecture and activity....

A whole bunch of highly paid scientists have made the earthshaking discovery that men and women think differently. They had to get monkeys to play with toys, mucked rats and puppies round, and prodded babies.
What really puzzles me, though, does this mean there people out there that think that males and females think the same?
Or is this a man thing?
How GAY is your website? — The gay-o-meter.
1/10 = HETERO.
Must have been the Bulldozers that did it!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Girl's Stuff

Ladies Who Lush

"In the coming weeks I will be visiting my chateau in Paris, a gift from a very close gentleman friend, a member of a minor European royal family, in thanks for a small but exquisite favour I once performed for him. The aristocracy can sometimes be so charming."

Some Bloke's Stuff

This Bulldozer, a Caterpillar D11, has a normal operating weight of about 103 tons, so they might have a bit of a problem here.

unless you also have a hulking great excavator.

then it's easy peasy.

The cat has landed

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dosing The Bull

It is not certain who invented the first bulldozer, however, the bulldozer blade was in use before the invention of any tractor. It consisted of a frame with a blade at the front into which were harnessed two mules. The mules would push the blade into a heap of dirt dumped by a cart and spread the dirt or push it over a bank to fill a hole or gully. The fun part came when you wanted the mules to back up for the next push."
The term 'bulldozer' technically refers only to a shovel-like blade, over the years people have come to associate the term 'bulldozer' to the entire vehicle both blade and crawler tractor combined. "
Around 1880, the common usage of 'bull-dose' in the United States meant administering a large and efficient dose of any sort of medicine or punishment. If you 'bull-dosed' someone, you gave him a severe whipping or coerced or intimidated him in some other way, such as by holding a gun to his head... In 1886, with a slight variation in spelling, a 'bulldozer' had come to mean both a large-caliber pistol and the person who wielded it... By the late 1800s, 'bulldozing' came to mean using brawny force to push over, or through, any obstacle."



There are sections of the road where we work that also carry various pipes and cables. We have to be pretty careful not to hit them. The main gas line feeding the North Island runs pretty close to the road in places, but it is well marked and regularly patrolled. The main worry are fibre optic cables, often only a metre from the edge of the road. We always contact the phone people before any digging and they mark their location after wandering around with a magic machine. If we then hit one the minimum cost to us would be $3000, and much more likely to be ten times that, so basically you grab your gear and hitch hike home and start looking for a new job. It is amazing how little is known of the location of other pipes and water mains. Often we have to rely on someones vague memories of a location, or our powers of deduction. Having a very alert digger driver helps too.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

"Vodka was a must of a combat ration. Russian soldiers carried alcohol drinks to encourage themselves on the field of battle. The soldier got 2 cups of vodka (15-18%) every day.Simple workers were not deprived of their due share of vodka, too. One glass (charka) of low quality vodka was supposed to every builder, road worker or docker."
The History Of Russian Vodka

Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
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