a tiff, tussle, snarl, and snap on Facebook today


someone once remarked that eventually all internet disputes end up with one party calling the other party a Nazi……had a tiff, tussle, snarl, and snap on Facebook today that did not get down to the Nazi stamp but produced a very long sigh of resigned disgust and with that, I decided to deactivate my Facebook account.  I will find another way to spend that chunk of my disposable time.  What was that other saying?  How do you  kill time without injuring eternity?

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Nikon FM – great 35mm film camera


Nikon FM MD-11 by gnawledge wurker
Nikon FM MD-11, a photo by gnawledge wurker on Flickr.

Manual Nikon SLR body with motor drive….The FM model has a flip up AI tab on the lens mount that permits use of non-AI as well as AI and later Nikkor lenses.

This camera was purchased new by my late father who ramped up his interest in photography when he retired. It is a shame that he got this just a few years before autofocus hit consumer level 35mm film slr cameras. He struggled mightily with his bifocals and the FM viewfinder, also with getting a decent exposure for his photos. For some reason he liked to shoot color slides and slides are unforgiving when it comes to exposure.

I bought the motor drive around 2002 and it certainly works well if it does add a lot of weight to the camera, (lots of AA batteries).

My plan is to load this baby up and take it out for a spin this Spring to honour him. 2013 project.

another walk down the dream road


since my favourite season is Fall, I sometimes wonder if when I die and I am walking up to the Pearly Gates hopefully for admission that the scene will look like this……I imagine that in Heaven, you have the choice when you wake up each morning to select your age for the day, the weather and place, the people you will see, a whole host of choices…..I expect that Sundance the cat, Diamond, my first golden retriever, and Shakespeare, her little brother, will all meet me at the gates. Shakey will have a tennis ball in his mouth. And we will walk further into the woods and then down to the beach so I can throw the yellow ball out into the blue grey lake waters.

Spring cleaning/plotting


Fellow came to size up our windows and doors plot and provide an estimate today.  Grace did her staccato short cut woof to brace him when he entered but after a moment they were friends.  We have one leaky door and a number of windows that are still from the original construction time of the country mansion (slight exaggeration) and they are single pane with a non-dazzling R value of just one.  So we have some deciding to do, where to establish our thermal perimeter.  Since it is Spring we have months to decide. This place is a cedar siding exterior on a cement block foundation, winterized cottage constructed in 1969/70.  Most of the windows have been worked over at least once.  This new plot will bring the entire perimeter to a much better heat loss bargain for next winter and the winters to follow.

snippet of memoir from Syncrude Project 1974-75


As a university student I was fortunate to use a family connection, something I rarely did, to get a job for the summer on the Syncrude Project in 1974 and 1975.  These two work stints helped enormously with tuition and expenses.  I was an “oiler”, an apprentice operating engineer helping with backhoe operations out on the mining area of Syncrude.  This was in the very early days.  While the plant was being constructed, we were out on the former muskeg swamp digging first generation drainage ditches to drain the swamp and to get larger draglines in to dig further drainage ways.  My second summer I worked more in the “Upgrading” area where the plant was coming in to shape.

I am in the slow process of writing a memoir of those two summers.  Here is a snippet of scribbling looking back to those days:

spill pile slide

I was standing in one spill pile when it slipped and the avalanche of loose soil carried me down toward the excavation hole about fifteen foot of travel downwards and I ended up buried in soil up to my waist.  If it had been a larger pile I would have been at risk of having the pile cover me completely and I might have easily suffocated. There was just my operator nearby and he would have had to jump off the backhoe and run to the spot and dig me out.  Not sure how easily he could have reached me if the soil was loose.  Not sure he could have walked over it quickly.

Near Miss

In the Upgrading area, an awkard digging situation with some risky aspects. Digging one hole late on a Friday with the Frenchman from Saskatchewan, Guy, operating and the area crawling with supervisors and engineers and the hole flooding in with water, a local First Nations fellow working as a labourer down in the hole.  Guy could see me across the hole but the labourer was below his line of sight.  Rain pouring, loose soil, soft soil, and traces of soil caving in on all the sides.  Someone suggested the labourer use the bucket to lean and support himself and use his spade shovel to uncover some detail below the visible line of the hole. It was getting later and later and the light was poor, overcast from the rain clouds.  Part of the issue was that no one was coming out to work on this part of the site on either Saturday or Sunday.  Perhaps it would rain all weekend and cave in everything. Finally somebody warning me to get Guy to  stop and me giving him the hand signal to stop the machine.  We came close to injuring the labourer.  One of the superintendants said to me, “Nice work, you were getting close to breaking that kid’s legs.”

Good thing I had learned the hand signals that as a hoe oiler I was supposed to know to communicate with the operator.  Boom in, boom out, hoist down, hoist up,  and of course, STOP everything Right frigging now.

mud pile quick sand

I did get stuck in some wet soil one day.  I was lucky that the bank that all the spill piles were set was hard dry soil.  Gave me a solid bottom to stand on.  but I was stuck in up to my hips.  When I tried to get one leg out that worked fine but I then had nothing to push against to get leg number two out of the muddy goop.  My operator had to walk the hoe over and set his bucket next to me.  Then I had something to push against and was able to get both legs free and crawl into the bucket.

This was pretty hilarious for my operator and a couple of other backhoe teams working way out on the Mining area digging drainage ditches.  My General Foreman came by in a Nodwell Swamp Buggy, the vehicle we used to transport crews out in the morning, carrying diesel fuel drums for refuelling, mechanics, and carried crew out at the end of the shift.  He suggested I might want to go back into camp and change clothes.  I said it was okay, it was a warm day and was willing to look a little silly and I suppose not draw any more attention to my misadventure back in the bunkhouse area of base camp.

Base camp was doublesided Atco trailers, we had small, single rooms, communal washroom/showers, and a laundry room, mess hall, camp store, recreation hall with TVs, pool tables and straight board shuffleboards.  I got pretty good at the no bank straight shot shuffleboards.  Sadly the non-bank boards were not that popular back in Ontario.

Fort Verde – US Army Post – Apache Wars era in Arizona


taken in 1998 with a Sony Mavica Fd 7 digital camera…. I wonder how far advanced digital cameras will be ten years from today. Note the width of those floorboards. This fort had no wall or palisade, just a collection of small buildings. 1880s era when th US Army fought the Apaches.

Archaeology question video


brief interview video with Huronia Museum Director Jamie Hunter. I am getting my feet wet with video interviewing.

Gnawledgewurker and his knowledge work blog

movie camera line art 1 getting my feet wet with video interviewing……asked Huronia Museum director, Jamie Hunter, about the first archaeological artifact he ever found, and followed up with a question about other interesting artifacts he has found.

see https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151307611036525&set=o.128426127331830&type=2&theater

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