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Archive for the ‘brandy’ Category

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Every Sunday we would go from the mine, East Geduld, where my father was a mine captain,  to my grandmother and step-grandfather for lunch.  My step-grandfather was a winder on the mines–a job that probably no longer exists.  Joe was his name and we called him Grandpa Joe.  He has tall and ginger.  He came from Ireland, courted my grandmother who ran Ma Brett’s Boarding House as a way to survive after the death of my grandfather–leaving her three children to bring up. (more…)

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This week I had reason to go back and re-read three papers I co-authored in the early 1980s.  It is surprising how far advanced we were then, and how little things have changed, or how little of what did has become standard practice. The first paper is at this link.  Rick Call was the lead on the work we describe in this paper.  He was a large buff man, with an enormous beard, a perpetual pipe, and a totally irreverent attitude towards authority.  He sent Ned Larson and me to Texas, where we sweated through the heat to get the data.  Then back to Tucson to do the calculations.  I recently reconnected with Ned who is now in Las Vegas and the grandfather of sixteen grandchildren.  He is still with the U.S. Department of Energy which he joined after working with me for five years on the UMTRA Project in Albuquerque.  He is a great engineer, as was Rick. (more…)

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The blogger muse prompted by opera & brandy demands release of mental pressure.  Thus a second posting on Mt Polley in one day.  This afternoon, I was asked what the implications of Mt Polley were to mining world-wide.  Some of the answers, unpremeditated, I gave. (more…)

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A friend accused me of being too serious of late on this blog.  So some comic relief. Last week I was updating a client’s tailings facility emergency response plan.  The Canadian Mining Association (CMA)document calls amongst other things for a statement on “Drilling and Testing.” (more…)

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He marched into my office and declared: “I am too old to consult at altitudes of 14,000 ft.” I replied: “Many wonder if you do not have a severe case of BDSM sublimated in peer review at high altitudes.” (more…)

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I barely passed chemistry during my undergraduate civil engineering degree.  I enjoyed the geology course, although it took a lot of intellect to learn the difference between sedimentary rock, volcanic rock, and metamorphic rock.  For I grew up in the flat, featureless landscape of the Witwatersrand where very old soils covered all rocks—the first rock I saw was in the geology lab. (more…)

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In my last week in southern Spain, we took a walking tour of Rota, the town just besides the Spanish Naval Base where four United States Destroyers are soon to be stationed.  The folk of Rota organized and paid for the tour which included a Spanish breakfast and lunch tapas.  I enjoyed the beer that came with the tapas. Some reflections on Spain now that I am on my way back to North America: Everything is well designed, but nothing works properly.  (more…)

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