Friday, March 7, 2014

Frostbite and Pineapple: The Forgotten Post

Wow, I feel proud that I write enough I forgot about a blog post. I wrote this about three weeks ago and forgot to publish it. Oops, no wonder it seemed like so long without a post. Anyway, here it is. Apologies for the grumpy tone, I was cold.

I must say, I really lack sympathy for everyone complaining about how cold it is in there respective states.  Let me explain how cold it is here.  I have to take a 45 second walk outside to get to the bathrooms. In order to go there I wear the following layers, normal clothing (2 shirts, sweatshirt, jeans, very warm socks), coveralls and heavily insulated boots with spikes so I don't fall over on my treacherous journey. An enormous parka, gloves, and a hat that goes over my ears and has a pull down flap for a face layer. The only skin exposed is a strip of my cheeks and my nose. If I cover my nose, my glasses immediately fog up and I am blinded. In my 45 second walk, my nose gets so cold that my eyes involuntarily start to tear up. It feels like someone punched me in the face by the time I get inside the bathroom building. It may be cold elsewhere in the country, but when you start to feel sorry for yourself, just remember I risk frostbite every time I have to pee.

Even worse than bathroom trips is having to count inventory of our product stored outside. I wear gloves, but they have to be thin enough for me to write things down so my fingers go entirely, 100% numb in minutes. My method for surviving this involves breaks every few minutes in other peoples offices and the warm up shack that we use to defrost our liquid products. And I get a bit jumpy.  Not only am I concerned about polar bears, but there is a rumor about some giant blue fox creature. I saw it briefly through the foggy window of a bus from far away, but it looked too large to be a fox to me. Travis suggested I would be safe as long as I "marked my territory" around my mud shack. No thanks Travis. I sure do appreciate how awfully helpful he is sometimes though. But the wildlife is why anything that moves in the wind makes me jump and makes my heart race. Even when my glasses aren't fogged, the steam that comes off our rig stays low to the ground in a foggy cloud. Often the wind blows clouds of fog around you while you are walking outside. My worst fear is walking out of a white out cloud and being face to face with a bear. Or a mysterious northern chupacabra or whatever the heck that blurry snow creature might be. Not to mention I'm always making sure I pay close attention to where all the loaders, big trucks, and pick ups are. I don't want to be featured on an episode of Ice Road Truckers because one of them ran me over.

My office stays surprisingly comfortable. The exception being anywhere close to the floor. Especially under the desk. I have taken to sitting with a space heater four inches in front of my legs. This is the only way to keep my feet from feeling like I have been outside playing in the snow all day. On especially cold days, I've had to take off my boots and warm my feet and then my boots in front of one of the heaters. This is when I've just been inside, mind you. It's chilly all the way up here. My office is apparently gaining a reputation for being a warm spot on the rig. Mainly because I blast all three heaters on full heat all the time. I think some people come to visit just for that reason.

I've noticed a few random oddities about the food up here. Everything seems to be pineapple flavored. Pineapple juice is everywhere even when the few other flavors run out. Which just seemed to be an odd choice. There's apple, grape, and orange too, but it much smaller quantities. Pineapple juice is the only one I've never failed to find. The only yogurt I could find was pineapple as well. My theory is the management is attempting to fool us into thinking the weather is tropical, as there appears to be a similar abundance of Hawaiian BBQ chips.

But that's all the random bits of forgotten blog post I have for today. Here's to hoping I don't have a frostbitten nose for wedding photos!


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