tehluggage: (Default)
Going north, which is still a hell of a lot better than a yard shift, and I have a good engineer, so yay!

Bleh.

Mar. 23rd, 2011 08:08 pm
tehluggage: (AT-AT headdesk)
Dun' wanna go north. Ick.

On the other hand, if I find myself with enough downtime, I may do some writing. I has ideas, oh yes I do.
tehluggage: (Default)
It's not that I mind going west, really. Especially in this weather, where I can sit on the locomotive and enjoy the snow, while I stay nice and warm and sip my tea.

It's just that I really, really want to play AC: Brotherhood, and all this "work" stuff is really not helping.

Geez. What's up with that, eh?
tehluggage: (Default)
That is to say, I had expected and prepared to be conductor on a lovely little 1900 switcher. (Note: That was sarcasm.)

Instead, I find myself as conductor on 115 going west, with a great engineer.

Cool!

Oh boy.

Oct. 23rd, 2010 10:30 pm
tehluggage: (grumpy ninja is grumpy)
So while I don't particularly want 401, I'll take it in a red-hot second over conductor on the c71 switcher. Yeek. Here's hoping 401 does indeed pan out.


ETA: Yay 201!
tehluggage: (kaidan)
I have an admission to make. I-it's not easy, and I hope it doesn't change anything, but I understand if certain people won't want to continue associating with this journal in the future.

Here goes.

I...I have Sue hair. I'm sorry.




Aaahh running late aaah wtf am I doing on here where the hell is my watch
tehluggage: (anderson: OH SNAP)
No, really. I spent five minutes trying to think of a title, and all I could come up with were variations on fuck, fuckberries, holy fuckbuckets, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

...Er. Anyway. I'm sure it'll be subject to change, and odds are it's just for the week.

Eeeeeeee I'm set up on the West Cat Pool EEEEEEEEEEEEE.
tehluggage: (anderson: OH SNAP)
No more work train for me, but boy was it good while it lasted.

I had the caboose all to myself, and while the one day the heater didn't work was the one day it was fucking freezing, it was pretty damn awesome otherwise. We ended up shoving all the way out to Gap, which was a little nervewracking. It's one thing to head out with two people always keeping an eye on things, and the hoghead able to react to what he sees, not just what the conductor tells him. It's another thing entirely to have one person on the point, having to keep a very close eye on sixty miles of track. I'll say this much, though - it did wonders for my confidence.

After the work crew finished yesterday, the hoghead and I put the train away in Gap, then brought the caboose and light engines back to Calgary, which was a very fast trip. (Holy track speed, Batman!)

All told, it was a great week, I got to sleep in today, and I have the weekend off.

This means (finally!) gaming time, possible ficcage, because I have the plot bunnies, and general R&R. Yay!

Hmm.

Aug. 10th, 2010 06:00 pm
tehluggage: (Default)
Switcher tonight, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it'll be a good crew, and I'll be back tomorrow morning. On the other...it's a switcher. Ick. That means I'll actually have to work.

Yay!

Aug. 8th, 2010 02:38 am
tehluggage: (night watch)
Woo, goin' west on the Mountaineer! It appeared to be that or a morning switcher, so I am very pleased.

Here's hoping it's a quick trip, with a short layover.
tehluggage: (kaidan)
Gonna try and go see Inception in...oh, about an hour or so. Because of [livejournal.com profile] fangses, of course. ...Is anyone really surprised? Thank goodness for the theatre here in town, and not being on call until 1800.

Most days, anyway. Called yest- uh, Thursday, I think. ...Good lord. Anyway, called at 1600 for 1800. Granted, I was first out, but wow, they must have been desperate. Good trip, though! Nearly hit a grizzly outside of Lake Louise. He was a big bear.
tehluggage: (anderson: OH SNAP)
Wow. Thirty-three hours round trip to Field and back. If I hadn't had a great engineer (only the second time I've ever worked with him, and it's been a lot of fun both times), that would have really sucked.

But I did have a great engineer, so it was actually a pretty awesome trip. There's nothing quite like taking a train through the mountains to Field and back again, laughing like idiots the entire way. Over ten hours without giving our notice - both ways! - so that's a nice chunk of extra change right there. Then add heldaway, a nice little unit set-off at Keith, and I made out like a freaking bandit it was awesome!

And because we sat at the top of the hill on the way out, for something like two hours, the engineer and I had a great nap. Rolled back the seats, kicked off the boots and curled up. It really was great.

We also came up with increasingly bizarre theories as to why we were getting shafted, while on a supposed hotshot, while guys behind us on garbage trains were getting taxied through to Field. The favourite theory was that there's a giant beaver in the headquarters here in Calgary, and that it demands ass-kissing and virgin sacrifices to deliver a good trip. KALI MAA!! Obviously, we didn't kiss the ass of the beaver.

....I swear that was a lot funnier at three in the morning.
tehluggage: (Default)
Or not. Actually, in this kind of storm it's really better to be at home rather than driving. Yeah, I know it's May, but this is Alberta! We don't believe in normal weather, we consider snow in May, June, July and August to be perfectly acceptable. Hell, this makes it two winter storm warnings inside of a week! I just hope this one doesn't end with us trapped inside the house like the last one.

The job continues to be pretty cool, even though I've been flip-flopping between the road and the yard like a freakin' yo-yo. Last week I was on the night road spareboard, this week I'm set up on a yard job. Yeesh. But I did manage to go out on a west trip Saturday night, so that worked out beautifully. Had a great trip out, nearly ran over a bear at Banff, and made it into Field at seven in the morning. You know, the usual. (Hah!) We'd made it out of Alyth just ahead of the Mountaineer - the passenger train - and when we rolled through Banff, the passengers were starting to gather at the station. I still find it incredibly amusing to be zipping through on the big freight trains, and have all these tourists pointing at the engine and taking pictures. I felt like sticking my hand out the window, and waving like the Queen.

...Man, I'm glad I don't have to work for the next few days. It is one nasty storm out there.

So!

May. 23rd, 2009 09:33 pm
tehluggage: (Default)
Redesigned Ye Olde Blogge, as you may or may not have noticed. It is now predominately green-themed, in keeping with my mildly unsettling and probably (hopefully? We shall see!) temporary thing for the colour green.

Also did quite a bit of gardening today, which resulted in many, many more freckles for me, which is not a bad thing, and a rather pretty new look for the front flower garden. ...Which is also not a bad thing. I might have gotten a tiny sunburn, but I'll wait and see on that one.

The Big Trip was awesome, every part of it, and I fully intend on putting up selected pictures of the trip/taking pictures of the souvenirs I bought and that likely only I will find interesting. Pretty green skirt is pretty.

The dog is still a moron, but is a friendly moron, so we'll keep him around for now. Frank is like a little kid whenever he goes outside. He scrambles down the front steps and flails around in the grass, pretending to hunt. Fuzzy is back, and it's like he never left. He's decided to tolerate Frank, which apparently translates to happy play-fighting, and then teaming up with Frank to come and sleep on my bed, thus immobilizing my legs in the morning. He'd like to be mutually ignoring the dog, but the dog hasn't figured out the ignoring part yet. Broom tries to play, and winds up getting a swat on the nose. Most amusing.

Still haven't been called back yet, and I may end up getting another job in the meantime. ...Really not something I'm looking forward to, as I've been spoiled by the railroad.

"Whaddya mean, I can't wear my coveralls or my boots? And...you're *not* going to call me when you need me, I have to follow a schedule? What kind of job is this, anyway?"

Ah well. I'll live. Somehow.
tehluggage: (Default)
Lord, it's going to be a busy two days from here on in. I've got appointments to schedule, last minute details to take care of, packing to finish, rooms to clean, (bleah), and a whole host of other tasks. But you know, it's gonna be totally worth it.

My first big solo trip, and I get to visit friends around the world? How cool is that? Plus I've been wanting to visit England ever since I can remember, so that's gonna be pretty damn awesome.

I'm a little nervous, certainly, but mostly just excited. The sister enjoyed her two big trips just fine, so I think I'll be okay. And really, the only time I'll potentially be staying at a hostel is in England, and then only if I can't swing staying with an Irish relative.

'Sides, I'll have Yamamocchan here to help keep me connected, and hopefully I'll remember to do a little blogging while I'm gone.

Sort of related to all that, I really do miss work. Sure, it's nice an' all to be able to go traveling like this, but...I love my job. I love going to work, I love hearing all the wild stories from the old timers, and I love taking trains to Field and Red Deer. I don't even mind that most of this seems to occur at three in the morning, at roughly minus a million degrees Celsius.

I never thought I'd be able to find a job that I loved so much, one that lets me work outside, and stay far, far away from anything resembling 'business casual'. The fact that I can go to work, throw on the coveralls, (with the one leg being all grease-stained from the leg down from kneeling on the rails to do up air hoses), and stomp around in steel-toed boots is just so damn cool.

I know I'll be called back soon enough, and I'm (mostly) prepared for getting laid off again, because hey, it happens. And it's happened to plenty of the guys I've talked to, ones who've been there for thirty years. It's certainly not like I'm the first conductor to be laid off, ever.

...I dunno, I guess the point of all that is I'm really, really looking forward to going away, but that I do miss my job. The big lesson here is not to blog at two in the freaking morning, obviously.



Also! New!kitty is Frank. We decided this when we realized that new!kitty eats like a pig, but since he is in fact a male, Miss Piggy just didn't quite suit him. Frank, however, after Frank Oz, who did such a wonderful job of voicing Miss Piggy, suits him to a tee. The fact that he could also be referring to TV's Frank from MST3K is an added bonus.

Huh.

Mar. 19th, 2009 01:04 pm
tehluggage: (kaidan)
I was not expecting a road trip, I'll tell you that. Unfortunately, it's not a west trip, which sucks. Going north, on what sounds like a grain train. On the one hand, it's a nice simple train. On the other, it's a really long, heavy train. That has the potential to be bad.

Ah well, I need the money, and since I'm done in a few days, this'll be a nice little chunk of change.

...Also, I totally need a train icon. Gonna have to find/make one eventually.
tehluggage: (grumpy ninja is grumpy)
...So this day kind of took a turn for the worse. I mean, I was expecting it and everything, but it still stings.

Just got the phonecall today, to expect my layoff notice in the mail. Fuck. And you know, you just *know* they're going to be calling us back by June, and they'll be absolutely frantic because half of the people they laid off will just say "Fuck you", and never come back. And that means I'll be screwed on the spareboard. ...On the other hand, if the people who don't come back are ahead of me, this means more turns, which means my seniority goes up, which means I can hold the road that much sooner. Still, this is not the way I wanted to go into spring.

And you know, it really doesn't make much sense. Vacation is going to be gearing up, which means they'll be short of men, again. Oh well, when they want me back, I'll sure as hell be taking my two weeks. Sod 'em.

I suppose it does help that ill-mannered new!kitty is snoozing in my lap. Sure, he's sleep-groping me, but that's a small price to pay for lap!kitty.

Ow.

Jan. 10th, 2009 03:31 pm
tehluggage: (Default)
Before I embark upon, yet again, another bitch-fest, a bit of terminology.

Sometimes, the Operations Manager, or OM, will call a crew on a road trip, and ask them if they want to protect a certain train at, say, Red Deer. To protect the train means that once they reach Red Deer, if that train is there, they'll hop right back on and head home, with little to no delay. The downside is that instead of a twelve hour clock, you're working on an eighteen hour clock, and if the timing is off, you'll end up working a very long shift with little sleep. The upside is that you don't rot in the bunkhouse for twelve hours, but instead are headed home right away.

Anyway. I was about thirteenth up on the spareboard yesterday afternoon, and figured I wouldn't work until at least tonight. Ha. Ha ha. I get the call at quarter to four, telling me I'm called for 103-06 at 1710. Good thing? It's a hotshot, so everyone gets out of my way. Bad thing? It's a late call, which means I'll be scrambling like mad to get to work somewhere on time.

So I head to work, and I find the brownhouse absolutely packed with train crews. Apparently there'd been an avalanche on the Mountain Sub, which is the Subdivision west of the Laggan, which is the one I really like, so there was no west traffic going that night. At all. There had to have been at least four west crews, another four north crews, and for some reason, a yard crew that apparently just wanted to hang out with us.

Of course, being railroaders, we took immediate advantage of the wonderful opportunity afforded to us to gossip like mad. It was great! The chatter mostly revolved around the avalanche, and if/when the west crews were going to be canceled. Ultimately, the Train Yard Coordinator gave us a call after I'd been there an hour anna half, and he started canceling crews right left and centre.

"Okay, where's the conductor for 199? Hey there, you're canceled, have a good night. Grab the guy for 403, would you?" And so on, and so forth. I believe I watched four crews get canceled in the space of ten minutes. It was oddly amusing.

Regardless, a very long story short, we eventually caught up with our train and headed north. Along the way, the OM rang us up on the radio and asked us if we'd like to protect 260-09 up at Red Deer. 260 is a big money train, and we were making great time, so we said sure, why not.

And...it wasn't a bad decision, per se. It was just that our eighteen hour clock ran out at eleven this morning, we tied up at ten am, and out of that seventeen hours, about fourteen of them were spent on a train. The rest of it was at the Red Deer bunkhouse, the brownhouse and me, outside, wading through knee-deep snow. That was good, 'cos it kept me awake.

So I had a long night, but I made a pile of money. All in all, a good day.
tehluggage: (anderson: OH SNAP)
Yeah, it's late. Not my fault, though!

On a related note, there are many uniquely vile things about working for the railroad. Getting a phone call for a road trip ten minutes after going to bed is one of them. A very special one of them. On the bright side, it appears to be a relief trip, so I think we'll be coming straight back to Alyth. Thank God, because I've been up since fucking four am.

Whoogh...

Dec. 15th, 2008 08:05 am
tehluggage: (marimo is made of awesome)
...Good lord, 33 hours round trip to Field and back. That's a long fucking trip. Of course, that does include 15 hours sitting at the Field bunkhouse, but still. Ten hours on a train west, and then ten back out east to Alyth. ...Man, I think I'm so tired now I'm not actually tired anymore. Also, it's like minus 40. I like the cold and all, but YUCK.

Be warned: it's lots of chattering about railroads. )
Anyway, that's kind of an average west pool train trip in a nutshell. And even though it sounds like a lousy trip...I can't wait till I can go west all the time. I'd forgotten how much I missed it.

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