Thankfully I did not see any bears. I did acquire a few new bruises. Another week of work and a stunning weekend weather-wise.
This week of work was up and down. Still not properly busy, but certainly had a couple of long days…more because things just keep rolling along and suddenly it is 1800. There have been many conference calls, a few meetings, and I have managed to put together documentation for us to get the initial go from the bosses to pursue over half a million dollars worth of work. Mondays meeting will be an interesting one.
Friday afternoon I tried to organise a crew to go for a beer after work. It wasn’t so successful thanks to deciding so late. Chad and I decided to make it a fortnightly event, so I think I managed to get an email to everyone in the team for the first week of February. That will be interesting. Anyway, turned out it was just Errol and I for drinks and we had a couple of brews and talked for a couple of hours. Interesting life that man – Jamaican moved to Florida 18 years ago and now in Denver.
*****NEW THINGS NO. 4*****
This morning I went for a walk at the Lair o’ The Bear park. Maybe a slide would be more appropriate. This park was a recommendation from William at work. He was right – it is a pretty lace for sure, even in the snow. I look forward to visiting again when you can see the footpath for the snow / ice. I got there about 0930 and there were a few big groups of people, turns out they were training for the Special Olympics. They were quite focussed on their walking in the snow so I didn’t chat much. To start with I headed along the creek to a pretty cool castle thing. It looked like some sort of accommodation but it didn’t seem to be open. I can’t imagine they get particularly much sun, so maybe some sort of summer retreat. Then I thought I’d try the bluff walk.
I started out heading across the creek then found that the paths were a bit icy. These were on the flat and managed to keep going with few slips. Then the path turned the corner and started up the hill…this is where it became precarious. I caught up to a lady with a sweet dog who had decided that stopping and returning the way we’d come was the right thing to do. She was right. Trying to get up the hill when its super slippery was not so easy.
On the plus side, matching bruises.
The drive up to the park was great fun. Morrison is a sweet town. I’ll be back when I’ve got more time and the inclination to wander the main street. I did stop in for a coffee, I asked the guy for a flat white, this guy said yes instead of my more recent response of we’re not Starbucks. We’re not Starbucks? Did you have a shit day love? A flat white is easier than a latte but no, they don’t do flat whites here. Maybe I should ask for a latte with no foam, I wonder what they’d think of that. Hmmm, maybe that will be tomorrows challenge.
I discovered something new and bizarre about Denver this week. I was talking to one of the car salesmen and he said that there is a law called the Blue Law which prohibits the sale of any engines (cars, motorbikes, boats, et cetera) on Sundays. This intrigued me no end. Turns out these laws were put in place to enforce religious standards. Seems it was only in 2008 that the residents of Colorado were permitted to purchase alcohol on Sundays. I can only assume that profits at sporting events went up after that law changed. Some of the other hilarious Colorado laws:
- One may not mutilate a rock in a state park. (Fair enough if you ask me)
It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence.
Tags may be ripped off of pillows and mattresses.
- In Denver: It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbour.
- In Denver: It is illegal to mistreat rats in Denver, Colorado.
- In Denver: You may not drive a black car on Sundays. (note to self, don’t buy a black car)
I recognise that all countries have some interesting laws (current ones in Victoria include looting shipwrecks and using a harnessed goat to pull a vehicle in public are both illegal, and flying a kite or playing a game to the annoyance of others – also illegal). Mistreating rats? Black cars? ripping tags off pillows….well I’m darned glad of that last one – I don’t like tags on pillows! If you’re coming to visit, make sure you read up on the laws.
Container News: My ship, NYK Artemis, has made it to Hong Kong. Not only did it actually get there, I assume safely, but it also left again – on this route. I wonder why it does’t just shoot a straight line through the middle when its not planning to stop in South Korea or Japan. Interesting. At the moment the NYK Artemis is cruising about 20 knots past the southern tip of Japan. I suspect we’ll lose her for a while while she wanders across the ocean.
Car News: I looked up car insurance. These people are insane! One month of car insurance costs about the same as one year at home. I shit you not, $250 per month. It should reduce some when I get a local drivers license, so that is booked in for Thursday morning. Maybe on Friday I’ll have a new car.
I headed to the Toyota dealer this week so I could try out the competition. My initial preference was the Rav4. Its all-wheel-drive and Toyota, how could you go wrong? Then I discovered the Subaru world of sedans and was converted. Anyway, I drove the Rav4 and it was much better than the beast. Better turning circle, more manoeuvrable, et cetera. Could be fun. Early this week I need to pop into the Subaru dealer again and have another drive, make sure I’m happy with it. Of course the Impreza is decently cheaper than Toyota, and will be cheaper to run.
And for those following along at home, I did not go to the rodeo on Tuesday. I was working and didn’t have the energy to be pleasant to new people.
Random Rant: I found more amusement in the US news. In a recent interview the interviewer asked President Obama about the on feminine hygiene products. Evidently, like in Australia, they’re mostly considered a luxury item. Now we all know that I don’t need that stuff any more, but it continues to strike me as amazingly ridiculous. In the USA, forty states tax feminine hygiene products, ten of those states do not tax lollies and soft drink. Because a tampon is a luxury item and that candy bar is not. Freaking astonishing. Don’t worry, Australia is just as bad, possibly overall worse as the tax is 10% instead of anything from 4% to 10%. Australia doesn’t tax condoms or sunscreen, but something that about 50% of the population uses, and must because we don’t get enough leave to sit in a bath for one week in four, doesn’t get included. Freaking idiots these law makers, and in case its not clear, I am indeed saying that men are idiots. President Obama has been quoted as saying:
I have to tell you, I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items; I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed. – President Obama | 16 Jan 2016
There is more relevance to this rant. It turns out that all the big boys spent the last few days of the week at a fancy dinner hosted by ‘the Beavers‘. Sure, its a construction ‘conference’/awards night held twice a year (January is the black tie event). But I hear that it is essentially a beer fest – for the blokes. I’m told the only female attendees are those who own companies, which is not uncommon for small businesses as there are significant incentives in the USA for women owned small businesses. I looked through the award recipients in each category for the last ten to fifteen years – two women made it into the Service and Supply awards: Patsy Fitzpatrick is the president of Charles River Co. (financial services); and Janice L. Tuchman of ENR (an engineering publication). Huge congratulations to these two women. Of 62 awards over the last fifteen years two women…
This made me think about the people in high positions in this team…there is one woman, the Marketing Manager. Otherwise they’re all guys. Equality? Nope. Then I extend that to who makes up the teams. I hear there is one woman coming into the estimating team, there are three in the marketing team (plus the manager), there is the awesome admin lady, and there is me. Really? In a group of about 30 office based people there are six girls and only one in a managerial position. Note ~13 of the 30 are the high level managers, one in thirteen isn’t great. And the Americans like to think they have gender equality down pat. That’s a similar level of ‘equality’ as the remote Western Australian mining site, even the Perth offices were better than that! And east coast Australia, even in the design and construct work I did in my first few years on working there were more women on the construction teams. Ridiculous. Rant Over. (PS you’re lucky I edited the cursing before I typed)