September found Juanita travelling to Edmonton for most of the month to mind the grandson there and Paul travelling to Edmonton, Whitecourt and BC and back to Edmonton and to Meadow Lake and to Edmonton and to Meadow Lake and finally back to Edmonton to work from the 23rd of September onward.
Paul took work off for Thanksgiving weekend and Juanita and Paul travelled back to Meadow Lake where Paul, the cad, left her and returned to Edmonton. The plan is for Juanita to join him for the last week of October before returning to spend time with grandkids there while daughter Deborah and her husband Ernie travel to Belize in November.
Eliana Keziah Srochenski
Our daughter Rebekah has been bed-ridden with her pregnancy for several months. In September, Juanita came to mind her four year old son, Ezekial while her husband, Nick, worked a turnaround (oil patch speak for a maintenance shutdown) in Lloydminster. Late in September I came to Edmonton to start work at a mod yard (more about that below).
Well, Nick came back to Edmonton. Juanita went back to Meadow Lake for a while and I stayed working at the mod yard. On October 21st in the evening Nick and Becky said they were going to the hospital because the baby hadn't been moving as much as normal and they wanted to check things out. No problem, Ezekial was asleep and I was about to do the same. Shortly before falling asleep Nick called and said they were doing a stress test and those could take several hours. No problem, but could Nick please be back by six when I leave for work. I set my phone on alarm-only and went to sleep. I learned long ago that a cell phone not on alarm-only catches calls from the bar at closing time looking for "George" or some other character I don't know and can only answer in the negative as to his presence.
Five o'clock rolled around. I checked the garage. Both cars there. Good.
Then I checked the cell phone. Text messages had been flying. Becky had gone into labour and somewhere around 2 a.m. Eliana Keziah had been born. Good news!
I cooked my breakfast and Ezekial showed up and I helped him get some cereal and congratulated him on being a big brother. I also explained that his dad had not got much sleep so he should let him sleep some more so he wouldn't be crabby. Also the he, Zeke, should make sure he got a good nap that afternoon so he wasn't crabby at Awana that night. Nick showed up for a while and went back to bed as did Zeke. I went to work.
Juanita arrived on the 23rd as planned. We have visited the baby a few times. Becky is out of the hospital but is back there every three hours for feeding. As of today, the 28th, Eliana no longer needs an intravenous IV for supplemental feeding, she is out from under the gro-lite they use to treat jaundice and she no longer has a breathing mask on.
In a few more days, if she continues to progress, she should be able to be brought home.
Mods but no Rockers
Modules are like giant lego blocks that are assembled to build oil refinery and oil sand processing plants. They are structural steel frameworks as big as can be transported on a highway. On that framework the pipes, pumps and instrumentation are all pre-assembled to connect with mating modules and sections constructed in place.
Modules are built in "Mod Yards". There are cost and quality benefits to building in a metropolitan area as opposed to a remote construction site. It is easier to find skilled workers since thay can be home every evening. There are several mod yards in the Edmonton area owned by various construction companies. The one I started with in September is owned by an American based multinational company. I am working on QA/QC (quality assurance and quality control) of instrumentation. Many of the employees I work with are long-term employees who take great pride in the quality of the mods producred by the yard.
I had planned to look around for work in the first week of October.However, about ten at night I was mindlessly surfing and happened to check the web site of the UA local in Edmonton. There was a listing for a QA/QC job about ten minutes drive from our daughter's house in Edmonton. I phoned Juanita and woke her and in her half-awake state she agreed it would be a good idea for me to go back to work. I set the alarm for 3:30 am and got up and drove to the union hall for the dispatch time and got the call.Then I drove to the other side of town, hugged Juanita and drove back to Meadow Lake to work like a fiend to get the stuff done that absolutely had to get done in case I didn't get back until after winter had set in. Then Sunday evening drove back to Edmonton to be there for Monday morning orientation at a hotel near the mod yard.
The mods we are currently working on are for two customers. One set of mods will be assembled into a tailings treatment plant at an oils sands facility. Once running as designed it will mean an end to tailings going to a tailings pond, major water savings and, eventually, the treatment of the contents and elimination of existing tailings ponds. This will be an environmental boon. I am sure the watermelons will find something else to complain about.
The other mods are for a carbon sequestration project. Some consider this an environmental boon of sorts, as well.
When I completed my instrumentation apprenticeship in 1980, a brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in partnership with a predecessor company of my present employer doing oil refinery instrumentaion with them. They encouraged me to join them. I didn't like the climate of their location so declined involvement. It turned out to be a good choice based on the economic climate shortly after that. Pulp and paper in the early 1980's was not great, but oil and gas turned out to be terrible.
The present configuration of the company seems pretty good to work for. I don't sense any of the hostility that radiates from other employees toward their employer in some of the other places I have worked.