Friday, February 21, 2014

A Lesson In French Kissing

February 21, 2014
Tonight Marc (the interpreter) and I went to dinner at the man camp around 6:00 PM. We got our meals. Me, a great beef stew, Marc, a hamburger with his egg. As we sat down another man was at the same table and he talked to Marc in French. I could tell Marc was introducing me. I stuck out my hand to shake his. To my big, big, BIG surprise the man leaned over and kissed me on both checks!!!!!! I am a very tolerant person, but my hillbilly blood started to boil.
The man finished his meal and moved on. Marc had a big smile on his face and explained the man was a member of the Separatist Party. This party is about 30% of the population of Quebec. They want Quebec to separate from Canada and form their own county, with their own military, money, laws, speak only French, be loyal to France only, have their own flag etc. etc. They have some politicians in the government pushing for the change. That explains why French is the official language, the school speaks only French, the road signs are in French, all products sold in Canada has the English name followed by the French name. And why the greeting, for the French is a kiss on both checks. I think I would have acted very different 20 years ago.
In my travels to other parts of Canada I was told about the Separatist and just didn't give it much mind. By the way Quebec is pronounce by the Separatist as K-bece.
Another 15 minute item burnt into my memory banks!
This is how I picture my father's reaction to his newest greeting.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Life at the "Man Camp"

February 20, 2014
The day starts at 4:30 AM with breakfast. Any type of food you want. Get your lunch to go, salads, sandwiches, drink and deserts. Go to the car and face the first cold blast of the day. The temperature has been as low as -35F (-37.22C) and a wind chill of -50F (-45.56C). Conduct the training and return around 4:00 PM.
The camp has a total of 10--3 storey units, with 40 room per story (total of 1200 rooms) at present about 800 men and 10 women are staying here. If the company did not provide these rooms no one would come here.
We go to dinner around 6:00 PM, again great food, Steaks, chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs etc. Your chose what you want and as much you want.
The rooms are small but cleaned everyday (sure beats the tent I stayed in the African jungle). The TV has 30 channels, but only 3 in English the rest are in French.  The English speaking channels are ESPN, The Food Network and Fox out of Rochester New York. When Nicole was bed ridden from here accident she got Netflix and let's  me share. It has keep my sanity on my time off.
The French loves eggs. The interpreter has eggs in the morning, for lunch he has a cold egg sandwich and at night he has a hamburger with a egg or a steak with a egg or chicken with a egg. He is a great guy and very helpful in the class room, but at lunch when he has the cold egg sandwich and tells me how great it taste it's hard for me  to agree.  A few years back we were told that eggs are bad for us (that advice must not have made it to France).
The pictures show the man camp and interior. The picture at the mine is a haul truck getting loaded. The shovel cost $40 million and each truck $6 million. The mine operates 4 shovels and 40 haul trucks. This may help explain the cost of a new car and the iron in it. Today we are having a heat wave -8F (-22.23C) and sunny.  A good place to take vacation. HA! HA! HA! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thawing Out? Uh...Maybe

February 18, 2014

Back in the Newfoundland ice box. It's still cold up here but the temp. is on the rise. Only -17F (-27.22C) today. I am staying in a man camp this go around. All paid for by the mine. Room is ok and the meals are great. The students speak French so I have an interpreter which is a retired mechanic, working out OK. I am picking up some of the words, the technicians and people are very nice (something I did not expect). In the past my exposure to the French were upper management and they were very arrogant. Like they say "Don't judge a book by it's cover". I think Eve is interested in moving up here *sarcasm*, the clincher was the attached photo. I don't think this truck will not start until summer.

What A View From The Hotel Window

February 13, 2014
I got of  the ice box lasts week and fell back into the freezer this week. Will this winter ever end! The Great Lakes are even frozen! Attached is a photo of the room on the third flood at the motel. I got up and opened the curtains to see what the weather is like. The drifts on the roof covered about 3/4 of the window. The temp. is -27F (-32.78) with the wind chill -40 (-40C).  Got my first day done with the French ,interesting class. To my surprise the people are very helpful and easy going.

Attached are photos of my room at Bloom Lake. Not a bad place to stay for 2-weeks.  Two rooms limited TV (in English).  Thanks Bear for Netflix!


Did You Know That Snow Can Climb Walls?

January 25, 2014
Greeting from the ICE BOX. I went to Wal-Mart to get some supplies today. Attached are some pictures of the drift that happened a couple of days ago when the wind blew like crazy and the wind chill was -63. I need to share the pictures with you people in the sun belt.


There's Cold, Then There's The Unbelieveable

January 21, 2014
As I travel thru life I look back on the highlight reel of that journey (i.e. meeting Eve, our wedding day, the birth of Tiff and Nicole, Cassidy, great trips with family and friends, Christmas in Kemmerer with Grandma, my 68 Dodge truck etc.)
Today I can add another event to that reel. At the mine in Wabush they have a  sign reading temperature and  wind chill index. At 6:30 AM when I went to work the sign read -35F (-37.22C) and the wind chill index -63F (-52.78C).  Walking from the car to the office is about 50 feet, the blowing wind is like a sharp knife, and it hurts to breath. The cold weather never bugged me living in Kemmerer were it got very cold also. I guess it's old age. On the bright side it keeps the sweat out of my eyes, (a problem I had in Zambia) HA! HA!

It's Just the Beginning

January 19, 2014

Greeting from the snowball country! Today I spent three hours in safety training at the mine (same training I have done 100 times). My work booths have to be manufactured and approved by the Canadian government (another way of getting taxes) approved booths will cost about $200.00.  I attached some pictures out of the hotel window. The snow drifts are about 25-30 feet high. The town has only 3,000 people (the size of Kemmerer) one place to eat, one stop light, one gas station and gas is $5.80/gal.! They are only two mechanics in the class. Took 20 hours to get here. The temp. is -13 F and it's snowing!
Take care love to all!


Dad's New Adventure

My father, Ron Hale, is spending a lot of time work up in the Great White North of Wasbush, Labrador, Canada. The coldest place he's had to be in.  If Dad says it's cold...IT'S COOOOOLD! It's been interesting to see his letters, and I'd love to share them with you. Hope you enjoy them!