Tuesday, 13 November 2007

More Sturm und Drang

So OPEC got together and decided to ramp up production. They also want assurances from their big consumers that demand will stay high. I wish we had our clients by the huevos like that. The thing is that their resources are running out. This is probably why you don’t see a lot of refineries getting built – why put hundreds of millions of dollars into something that isn’t going to be employed for very much longer? Anyway, doesn’t $90 a barrel seem like just a freaking bargain these days? We WILL be paying $4 a gallon before too long. It’s already gone over that for premium at times at two stations I see regularly – the Mobil or Exxon right by the Watergate and the Exxon or Mobil (I think they are both Exxon) at the Goldsboro/Macarthur rotary.

We thought we might have struck oil on site today. We were digging the permanent sump pits, which are the last time we will be headed down deeper into the ground for anything, and the clay layer at the bottom popped loose in one spot. It looked like Old Faithful. I tell you, Alexandria’s got some damn water pressure down beneath the ground. Seriously. I brought in a 6 inch diameter diesel powered pump, which has about a 1500 gallon per minute capacity, to handle it. The issue is that I would have flooded King Street if I’d run it hard enough to get the water all the way out of the hole. Running the thing at approximately 1000 gpm, together with six 2” electric pumps, brought the water level in the sump back down pretty effectively. The problem is that the pressure of the water in the sump helps to keep the flow rate down, so the lower you get the water, the faster it tries to fill the sump. Lame. Anyhow, a 6” diesel pump running at full volume makes a fire hose look like a water pistol.

We’ve also been shooting gravel into the pit, to make the bottom layer. These trucks pull up and shoot gravel off of a fast moving conveyor belt into the hole. There is such poor access to the site that we have to do tricky stuff like this all the time.

I got out for a nice 70 mile ride with some team mates on Sunday, then helped a team mate put his new team frame together. It was the first time I had built a bike with Sram road stuff. It goes together pretty nicely – not much different than Shimano or Campag in terms of degree of difficulty. Last night I lifted. I’m not really used to lifting legs. I’ve always had comparatively strong legs, so I never really felt the need, but now that’s the thing I have to do. It’s pretty neat when you’re on the sled and you watch your thighs when you do a press. After a year of cycling, you pretty much look like an animal when you do that. Also, it’s cool when the absolute steakhead you are switching sets with has to use way less weight than you do. It was pissing the guy off pretty good, too. Sucker.

So tomorrow I have a lot of fun to deal with these water issues. When will they ever end? In the meantime, it’s home to hit the rollers and watch a few episodes of Weeds. If those freaking writers stay on strike it’s going to put a real damper into my ability to cope with trainer workouts.

No comments: