Last week was … well … a week. No mammoth highs, no particular lows. There have been some interesting things happen though. I guess this is running a little later than normal. Sorry mum, but you’ll manage I’m sure.
I’m internally running through the days. Monday (nothing interesting), Tuesday (just another day), Wednesday (yup, about that), Thursday…. Oooh oooh oooh, Wednesday Dan arrived, but you knew that because he featured in my previous post. Thursday we had a road trip back up the mountain. Remember last week when I wandered off to find a sunrise and also had a good poke around Georgetown? Well just past Georgetown (as in about six miles), along a twisty winding sounds-like-great-fun-when-no-snow pass, is the Cabin Creek Pumped Storage Hydropower plant (the two dams that the hydropower plant pumps and generates from are the southern two on the map below). This plant has a big change out of the turbines and generators planned and we’re bidding for the gig. This is why Dan is around every now and then. So Thursday we went for the site visit. I haven’t been in the bowels a pumped storage hydropower plant before, so it was quite interesting. I do have memories of the snowy mountains and being in that hydropower plant, but we got to explore all the levels on the site visit.
The main thing I learnt though – Moose can be domesticated 😀 Photos wouldn’t lie. This trip was pitched as a ‘stay all night and watch them work’ style trip. Thank goodness no one in our crew thought that was necessary. We drove up there and had a good look around, the site will be ridiculously congested…there is very little room between those hills. Very little. My bright idea is to put our storage on pontoons in the lower dam, but of course that’s just silly – we’d have to work out how to deal with them going up and down with the water level all the time.
Earlier in the morning I’d sent an email to the design boys – they are all set on using as much budget as they possibly can. They want to do designs for platforms during this bid stage that are totally unnecessary. Dan has the platforms estimated based on experience with a mark-up for potential risk…no clue why we need full detailed designs now. So I sent them an email telling them they were shot on their budget and they should not be spending any more time (and money) on this effort. That must have ruffled some feathers because I then overhear a conversation from the design guy who sits by me saying If it gets to that I’ll try and have her fired. Then he came my way, paused before he got to me, then headed off to talk to Mark (who wasn’t at his desk). I then had to spend all afternoon with that guy. Yay oh yay. On the plus side Mark and Dan are all on my side on this topic. Silly guy, made for a slightly awkward afternoon.
Thursday evening was the second fortnightly social hour. I was late both due to the site visit and then going home to drag Anna out. Anna’s last day here at Bridgwater was Thursday so I asked if anyone was taking her for a drink after work, the answer being no I dragged her to our drinks. It was a fun evening. Ron got quite drunk, he’d been in Denver for three weeks and was itching to go home, Stephen and Dan charmed Anna. Dan kinda didn’t want to leave by the sound of it, he and JJ had a chat long into the evening. Anna and I left about 2200, so it was much too late for this little black duck on a school night. Especially when my darned brain continued to wake me up at 0415 then only let me return to slumber about an hour later, just before my alarm goes off. Stoopid brain.
Friday was to be a day of wins as declared by the boss when he got moving in the morning (see SMSs, I can only assume he was delirious because he was awake so early for him). I told him as long as those wins didn’t need me firing on all cylinders, no worries. He sent me to drink more tea, I disobeyed and drank coffee instead. It wasn’t a tricky day, just a weary one. More adjustments to presentations, pursuits, and other great things like that. If only it were an eventful day it may not have dragged quite so much.
Saturday I went adventuring, but first I went for a jog and a coffee. While getting my coffee Arik (the barista) asked what I was up to, to which I replied the plan was to explore the Garden of the Gods. He suggested that while I’m there I should have a drive around Manitou Springs. Heading down the I-25 was great fun – I do love my car – it’s a 75mph road in many spots (and the speed limit is only for the far right lane if then), so I had fun! Until the traffic stopped – there are very few exits off this darned road. Some fool had been DUI and had crashed, I believe he even managed to kill himself, so there was ten miles of very close to stopped traffic. I got about six miles through it then finally an exit appeared and I was able to find a way around, thanks to the compass on the rear-view mirror it’s pretty easy. Head west a bit then head south. Eventually I caught back up with the I-25 after the accident and it was smooth sailing south. By that time though I was starved – LUNCH TIME! So I went to Manitou Springs for lunch.
*****New Thing No. 8*****
Manitou Springs is a strange little town to me. I realise it is a tourist town, so its not at all representative of what a normal town should be, but the architecture was all over the place. Some of it looked very similar to the stuff I saw in Peru – I guess South American influences – and some of it was the small Victorian era type houses like in Georgetown. The place was quite busy as it was a stunning day, so I parked and went for a stroll. I wandered up the main street and found a Turkish place for lunch, good food and fast so I was happy. Then I kept on wandering around the town. Here are a smattering of the photos from my wanderings.
The art through the town was pretty cool. I first saw this chainey bull from the street and it looked like a devil type head. Then I walked down to look at it properly and I guess it is more of a bison. The light globe looked like it has solar panels attached, so I hope it lights up at night. Maybe some time I’ll get there and have a look. The art wasn’t just reserved for the outdoors council style stuff, the shops also had some fun stuff on them. I was particularly struck by the pirate “Welcome to the ancient mariner where the customer is never right!” Pity I found it after I had Turkish as I’d have wanted to go in there for lunch – see how wrong I can be 😀
I guess I left there about 1530 with the intent of heading to Garden of the Gods, actually fulfilling the mission I’d set earlier. By the time I got there and found a carpark it was after 1600 and the sun was going down behind the mountains, so it was getting cold. I guess I walked about twenty minutes (felt that long, likely only about ten) and gave up. I’ll go back early one morning when there are less people, less children, and hopefully more sunshine. I wonder what sunrise would look like from there? Now that is worth considering.
Saturday evening I did all the really fun chore type stuff. Groceries and preparing dinner. I did the slow cooker Jambalaya (with my own adjustments) again, so I added all sorts of vegetables to make it a well-rounded meal for my lunches. I didn’t get to cook it because it was too late by the time I had chopped it all up, so I turned that on Sunday morning.
Sunday started with a walk in a different area to normal. I headed across the west side of the I-25. I haven’t been that way terribly much as the parks / green spaces don’t really link up – they’re a long way away. So I did some walking along the paths out that way. I aimed for the Fiddlers Green area so that I could see just how far away it is. Fiddlers Green is an amphitheater which seems to annoy some but draw others in. Those annoyed are usually those who live nearby and (I assume) have less tolerance for fun. What I discovered was that not only is Fiddlers green not far away, but also they have a little park there with these awesome statues of Alice in Wonderland (and other things!). I like this one of Alice and the Cheshire Cat.
Then I had a date with Jane at the Denver Central Library. That was fun! We found the photo exhibit (Un)common Threads. Janes favourite was a photo of bones attached to a barbed wire fence with a boot upside down on the post smack in the middle of the photo. It was my second favourite, such oddity with the boot in the middle, liked it. But my favourite was the black and white photo of a huge gorilla graffiti art – I need to find that gorilla! Of course that put me on a mission to find the Koko’s Kitten book…it’s a library, they should totally have the book! They did, it was in the basement so we sent the attendant down to get it. I guess I was about 7 when I read that book, its super sad still now! While waiting for the book I taught Jane how to play checkers (we were in the children’s section and there were checkers boards). I won, but only out of luck, it came down to one piece each. Then I found the returns place – that was surprisingly cool! They have automatic conveyors that do most of the work for them.
After wandering some more through the library I decided it was time to head outside. We wandered around the general Civic center and Arts Museum area. The highlight – a giant cow. Seriously. Giant. See the photos! I climbed up and was followed (briefly) by Jane. Pity we couldn’t get a photo of both of us on the giant cow, it was seriously huge. So cool. We wandered about, found more statues, then headed to a café and got some juices and had a chat. Then back to Marks for dinner. Dinner came with the Shelton family (six children total) and a fire. Can’t ever go wrong with a fire and children with access to an immense number of pine needles. It was cold but not too bad until I went inside and realized that my back was practically frozen! Ah well – fun evening.
And due to the dinner this post didn’t get to you until today. I guess I have excuses for Monday night as well but they involve me exercising and prioritizing paying bills rather than writing the blog 🙂