Monday, July 25, 2011

GoMnomnom: Heavy Things

Things are going pretty well. I've got less than a week left out here. It feels long, but I can't complain. One of my bosses has been more mellow since he got back from vacation and the other one seems preoccupied with getting me to laugh. As long as the second one doesn't start pulling boners or killing folks with fish, I can accept that.
I forgot my electric razor in my suitcase at Terry's and I only brought three disposable razors out here, but the kicker is that I put off shaving until I had a full, bushy beard and now I'm not sure if three disposables will be enough to cut through the beardiness. Oh, the drama!

Anyway, I'm building up the pad for my time at home and trying to work on some actual fiction (in addition to two tiny projects I'm doing). Look forward to more 7252, more 1000 Words, more Sunday Morning Soapboxes, some Actual Fiction, and more of The Prisoner (of course more Prisoner).


Crane Operators
One of our primary jobs is to lift big things. I liken the big crane operators to ‘mech jocks; they operate the giant piece of equipment that ‘does it,’ where the ‘it’ in question is 'move the things we’re being paid to move.'

It’s more complicated than that though. In order for a crane to grab anything that large, it needs to be balanced, stable, and securely hooked up to it. Our deck crews take care of that by making sure that the slings that connect the crane to the load are attached to points which are strong enough to bear their share of the weight. They make sure that those points of attachment evenly distribute the load. If you don't, your load (or you) will probably land in The Gulf of Mexico. People would then yell at you and make you pay money to pick it up.

That wouldn’t be the worst part though; you’d have to hire divers to do it. :(

Okay, so you need a good deck crew to make sure you can safely pick these pieces up. But they aren’t made of tinker toy parts; they’re metal structures designed to withstand hurricanes (mostly). That’s not something you put together with dowels or take apart with the tool set you keep in your car. It’s an issue for welders.

Welders are the second-largest population on the barge. They cut the platforms loose, weld on the structures needed to grab them safely, then, after we move everything, they weld those pieces down again so they don’t slide into The Gulf of Mexico while we’re sending them into shore.

And the lifting and rigging and welding only happen if the crane's working. It’s a massive piece of machinery that needs power, hydraulic pressure, motors, cooling lines, and electrical control systems to work properly. If you can’t control the block that holds the slings, raise/lower the boom, or rotate the crane, then there’s no point in using it. While only one guy controls the crane, there’s an entire team of electricians and mechanics making sure that it works, and works safely. If they’ve got time, they keep the rest of the barge working too.

And the rest
The rest of us, from the medic to the clerk and the guys that do the cooking and cleaning are all support for that. Well, maybe not the clerk so much. He’s always blogging or some shit.

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