Monday, June 30, 2008

Flight Contintued

Helicopters, quite possibly the most dangerous peace of equipment I will ever have to work around. But when it comes to a flying experience there is nothing else like it.

The very first time I flew in one was back in 2004, I received the safety briefing which, tells you where not to walk or stand to avoid becoming ground pork. After that briefing we managed to make a mess of the field days, missing the pick up points and on the following occasion taking the completely wrong path off the mountain. Thankfully the work I am doing now is some what more strait forward and the terrain lacking in mountains.

As work has been seeing me spending more time in choppers I have had the chance to see some of there quirks. The bird I have been riding in is Hughes 500. A common as dirt little bubble domed beast with seating for 3 and a pilot. The Hughes is military left overs, they were built in the thousands in the 70's for a little quagmire the Americans had gotten them selves into and they were built to be disposable. They were designed with a operational life of 200 flying hours, which works out to spending 8 days in the air, it was expected that they would get shot down well before that point so it was not a serious issue for the army. Despite there being designed for the US military, I am convinced that their shoulder harnesses and seat belts were designed for the VC.

Its not enough that the safety gear barely fits me, but the doors suck. A few times in the last two weeks I have seen a passenger door pop open in mid flight and to day I saw the pilots door do the same. Its a bit of a drag. Now for a passenger door, assuming some one is in that seat, its a simple matter of slowing down and shutting the door in mid flight. For the Pilot, its not so simple, the need both hands to fly, so it is not pracitcal to close the door 200m into the air. This lead to our putting down in a picturesque little out crop on the side of some nameless lake.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mystery Eggs

While the flowers might behaving sex all the time, not all the action in nature is the flowers. There are however some bits bits that failed to fit in to a simple classification and are still interesting photos.

Friday, June 20, 2008


A Northernlites Public Service.

On June 4th I passed through Vancouver. This was a hurried visit, I was heading back to work by way of Edmonton that evening, but I was there for a special Occasion. My older Sister, Nienke, who had defended her Ph.D thesis was having her convocation and so I arranged along with the rest of the family to be there for it. Being as how we had both skipped out on our own grads after we completed our BSc`s it seemed right to go to this next and likely last one. Besides she is running out of things to graduate from.

Now it was Vancouver which means lots of liquid sunshine, rain, but worse then the rain was the fog. The event was being held in a semi-enclosed space at the top of one of main university buildings at SFU and the fog was running amok the whole time. It naturally thickened as my sister was call forward. Despite the difficulties and the cold weather a few good shots made their way out of there.


A Midsummers day Orgy

Northernlites is venturing into new ground with this post. Thats right this is the first post ever about sex. Thats right, what Newfies have and the rest of Canada only talks about, sex. Now I am not going to blast you with my personal life, since firstly I don't have one due to living and working in dog fuck nowhere, and if I did no one reading this would care to know any details.

Out here in what passes for summer every thing is having sex, there even the odd inter Kingdom relations as insects pollinate flowers, the perverts. Since I found my self with what turned into an hour of time to kill waiting for a chopper when out and shot images of a range of the flowers I could see out there. I am sure that if roses had any sense of personal space they would have felt invaded by my prying lens.
Since I could not hear them object and since they all looked over 18 I went a head and took some nearly pornographic photos of the flowers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flight Part N of N.

Its been a busy week a string of events left me looking after some aspects of the project that are normally the domain of others above me. So far I have not fucked this up and I am out of time to make a mess of it as the chief geo will be coming back tomorrow.

Thanks to this set of conditions I have been flying back and forth to the drills off sight frequently. So I have been out in the land and taking some photos.
Some little things, flowers I think are a form of Saxifrage, some moss, A Dash 7 and some random lakes from some chopper flights.

I also learned that in Huges 500 the doors suck and that they can pop open in flight which happened to the pilot yesterday. The solution, bring the bird to a near stop and well close the door and go on your marry way. And that is why you always ware your seat belt, because its a long way down an the trees look awful sharp and pointy and the rocks hard and flat.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Strangerthings Episode 4

So my favourate internet film producer has produced the first part of episode 4 of his Scifi shorts series Strangerthings. I commented after episode 3 came out that they were new to the game and still had some kinks to work out. Well I have to say that episode 4, written by the internet famous Matt Wallace, who I will come back to after I get around to reading his book, The Next Fix, was there best yet and most polished in all areas.

This latest episode cliffhangered on creepy note that has me iching to see parts 2 and 4. I highly recommend that if you are not in dial-up country give it a chance. Its more professional nearly ever respect, they have grown a lot and they can still tell a good story. So go and visit them, and tell Earl I sent you. Strangerthings

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wild Life.

So Once again its time for the Nothern Lites photo dump. Ever since I got my new camera I have been turning into more of a shutter bug then normal. I had the chance and the idea in planned in my head that I should photograph some of the local wild life. The real star of that was the cicada, which was pointed out to me and moved from its odd perch on a wall to a grape vine. It took a few shots for me to get it right as there was too much back light at first but once I used the flash it came out perfect.

The real tricky thing was trying to shoot humming birds, they are so twitchy that even a shaky camera behind a window will send them fleeing, but after dozens of failed attempts I did manage to snap a few good ones.

Later in a different neck of the woods I shot a tamer more solid creature, some Gastropods.

Dam good time off

A Dam good time.

I'm back, from the south. Once again I had a hectic two weeks off, this time visiting more places then perhaps any other time off in the last two years. In fact my time off contained my two year mark with this company. On May 26 2006 I stepped off a Cessna Grand Caravan at Discovery NWT for the first time, to the greeting of a diamond driller giving the plan the finger as we came to a stop.

So where was I and what was I doing. The new thing was spending more time in Nelson and other more southerly parts of the west Kooteney's. When I had written the Life and times of stumpy I had not yet gone to Trail. As i write this I have passed through that town 3 or 4 times in my time off, including a some what guided tour. Along with a Trail tour I got a Dam tour too.

The Big dam tour was unplanned and happened over two days, Day one the Boundary dam, which powers Seattle, and was spotted while driving down the Pend Doreille road when taking the dog for a swim. The two other dams were spotted the following day and are on the Canadian of the river but down stream of the Boundary dam. And consist of the Waneta and 7 Mile Dams. With the Waneta Damming the Pend Doreille river just before it meats the Columbia and is nearly on the Boarder. This tour also covered much of the specks of the dams power generation ability and owner ship much of which I have since forgotten.

Boundary Dam

Waneta Dam

7 Mile Dam
That's all for now, I will return with animal close ups for my next post.