In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

jescordwaineratgmail.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

So, Where Did I Go?

Galveston. We've acquired some projects, and it looks like the scope of work will increase. That will lead to maybe months of out of town work. I'll get a VPN service, so I don't feel so paranoid about using a motel wifi for connection.

Anyway, Galveston is something everyone should see at least once in their life. Why? There is no reason why. It's unique, but a lot of the things I found unique decades ago are now changed.

If you haven't been in a long, long time, you'll find Galveston has grown and many of the things that made it very special floated away during hurricane Ike.

When I was a child, when you reached around 61st street, Galveston became rural. Many of the old WW2 bunkers and gun placement foundations were still to be found on the land side of the seawall. Hotels, strip malls, restaurants and other wonders of urban blight have assimilated the past and turned it into the neon, fluorescent, nationwide clones of modern retail. Otherwise, if you turn your head at the right moment, you could be in any city in the country and feel right at home...if that's what you find comfortable.

The ferry/ferries are still there. The newer ferries are much larger and you can have an option of up to two to ride on any given day. The wait during this time of the year can be short; depending on what time of the day you decide to go for the ride. At night, only one runs and the wait can be up to an hour; even if you're first in line.

Across the ferry - on the Bolivar Peninsula, anything you once remembered is probably gone; except for the old lighthouse. Hurricane Ike turned a substantial amount of the peninsula into clean sand. Most of the old cabins and stores are gone and the new building are not the same as the old. What once were quaint, sometimes almost ramshackle camps, are not built to standards that demand a height above a storm surge and able to take hurricane force winds. In construction code, that means much more money to afford to live there. Many didn't return and the new property owners are more affluent. That may be good, but it removes some of the unique characters you used to encounter along the beach.

I'm not a big tourist type of person, so I'm more comfortable in the other part of Galveston, which is major port. Industry docks far outnumber the cruise ship dock and it's somewhere many people would feel uncomfortable if they happened to wander away from the seawall.

That's where I'm working. The facility processes sulpher (that's a correct spelling too; although Blogger would rather I spelled it sulfur.) That's how the customer spells it, so that's good enough for me.

If you've never been around sulphur, you probably don't know how the wonderful yellow color hides the nastiness of the stuff. It smells bad, catches on fire with as little as really low humidity and the steam heat required to melt it for processing makes a day in the facility similar to wandering around the edge of a volcano.

We wear hydrogen sulfide monitors, since it's prevalent with sulphur. In high concentrations, it will drop you within seconds and the prognosis is dire if that should happen. If you don't die, lifetime problems could become something to deal with.  

So, that's were I've been and probably will be for awhile. As they say in the movies, this week has been a real slice.

6 comments:

  1. I understand the shore fishing is excellent around the bay. If you can find the book, Moss Mallards and Mules, give it a try. It was set in that area. Can't remember the authors name but its a fine book.

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    1. I've fished and crabbed at the cut at Gilchrist, which is a man made channel between the East Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It can be a lesson in futility, or a good day.

      The bay is fed by fresh water estuaries and rivers. At the southern end, there's good saltwater fishing. The same can be said of the west end, near and at San Louis pass.

      Further up the bay, the brackish water is good redfish and speckled trout fishing.

      Floundering at night, with a lantern, is a good way to gig flounder, or stingrays. Flounders are good. Stingrays are bad, if you think you have a flounder and find the stinger.

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  2. Replies
    1. They say high concentrations give you a whiff, then the H2S affects your sense of smell, your breathing becomes labored and you pass out. Without a monitor, this can happen within seconds, if you happen to be in an area of high concentrations.

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  3. Do you know blog commenter Jim at New Sunk Dawn (formerly New Sloop Dawn) out of Galveston?

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    1. No, I don't. I'll look at his blog.

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