Jul. 30th, 2017 04:28 pm
silailo: (Default)
I did finally make it to the burn scar to survey the dozer line. I took a break at the end and this was my view:

Read more... )

I did a site assessment while I was there, and I finished up just as a thunderstorm was moving in.

On Monday--assuming I'm not pulled away from any of my projects--I'm going to go up to another burn scar I didn't make it to last week because of the road. I found out from someone else that the road is fine and that I should be able to get through with my truck. The fire engines were able to do it, after all. But I was also told they had to fly people in. o_o

These were some of my views on the way there last time:

Read more... )

silailo: (Default)
When my parents came to visit, we went to City of Rocks National Reserve.

Photos under the cut )

Honestly, I'm a little disappointed in my Canon Rebel. I thought it would take way better pictures than this, but really it's no better than my point-and-shoot. It might be because I don't know how to take decent pictures to save my life, or work an expensive camera, in which case I can probably take great photos with my point-and-shoot if I knew how to fully utilize its features.
silailo: (Firepower)
Maybe I'm being a little too hard on my roommate. Despite our differences, she's actually a nice, sociable person. I think she's introverted like I am, too.

It's going to be crazy hot here next week, but it'll be a bit hotter in the town where I used to work, which is weird because I'm further south now in a drier place. But I'm higher in seal level, so maybe that has something to do with it. The other day I was working at 7000 feet.

I did some survey by myself for the first time ever. I don't know how many acres it was, but in total it probably took about six hours. It was difficult because it was on a slope at a ski resort. It was nice to move at my own pace, and because it wasn't in some remote wooded area, and close to a road, it wasn't scary (I have some seen some spooky woods that I would never want to be alone in). The resort has an abandoned chair lift that the owners want to take out and reinstall a new one.
Pics under the cut )
silailo: (adios)
I stepped out of my comfort zone today and went on a day trip to Nevada. I wanted to visit the ghost town of Metropolis, but I had no idea what to expect on how to get there. I figured a dirt road led to it, but there was a stretch of semi-paved road (or what used to be a paved road) that was so awful I almost considered turning back. My car is kinda old, even though it hasn't shown any sign of dying any time soon. And it's little. It's not a truck.

But I was so determined to get there. This is the first time I've driven to a place like this by myself.

I love the Nevada landscape. It helps that have an affinity for bleak, austere landscapes. Maybe it's from watching westerns for so many years, or maybe it's because I spent my early childhood on the dry side of the Columbia River Gorge.

The ghost town was so quiet. There was no one else around, though a truck drove by on the road I was parked on. I passed a couple of people on the way there and saw some houses, probably ranchers. Several times I had to slow way down because there were cows on the road. They don't even move until you get really close, and then they're like, "Pft, well, ooookaayy, fine, I'll move."

Pretty much all the land around there is managed by the BLM, as is most of Nevada. Not sure who keeps an eye on on the ghost town, though, probably the BLM. But it appears the town is left to decay with no effort to preserve it. The basement of the school house was still intact, although one corner of the roof had collapsed. I went down the steps a little but didn't go in because I wasn't sure how stable the place was, plus it was really creepy down there. There were lots of modern garbage, places where people had made campfires, graffiti, and some small dead animals, including a dead snake (poor snek. It wasn't a rattlesnake, thank goodness). I almost expected to find a corpse or something, lol. What I saw from the steps was probably all there was anyway.
More pictures under the cut )


May. 28th, 2017 10:22 pm
silailo: (mingchao colors)
I found these on my external hard drive. I miss making dolls. The two on the right are customs, whereas the one on the far left is the original.

Sadly, I had to remove the lipstick and eyebrows of the pink Megara because the paint was bleeding into the vinyl. I don't know what it is about paint with red pigments in it, because it always bleeds into the vinyl. I've tried different methods to prevent it and have never been successful. Luckily, the staining will eventually fade once the paint is removed. I don't know how long it's been, but the staining has pretty much vanished on my pink Megara. Now she needs new eyebrows and lips.

Two more pics under the cut )

Pic fix

Apr. 30th, 2017 06:32 pm
silailo: (mingchao colors)
I fixed a bunch of pictures I had in some entries because I moved my Flickr account a while back and deleted all the photos from my old one. If you're interested, I have some pictures I took during my last two work seasons under the photo tag.

And here's a picture just for fun:

I'm not procrastinating, YOU'RE procrastinating!


Feb. 19th, 2017 03:37 pm
silailo: (adios)
[personal profile] nekhbet_love, this is the little statuette I was telling you about (the black one on the right). I've been trying to reorganize my bookshelves a bit. I'd like to put my fiction books with my nonfiction ones, but I might end up running low on space, and the store where I bought my shelves doesn't appear to sell these particular shelves anymore. I have to figure out where to put my DVDs and excess CDs. I might also need to do some weeding and get rid of books I really don't care about.
silailo: (Default)
A while back I complained about what I believe is the declining quality of collector's Barbies. I still like Barbies, but I tend to buy older ones because newer ones don't interest me. I'm not sure why. I would totally stop buying Barbies if other similar brands weren't so much more expensive. I'd love to buy a Momoko doll.

Right now I have a new set of dolls in my curio. One of them is the Great Eras Collection Flapper Barbie. I have to say this doll is probably one of my top favorites. This is Mattel's photo:

I borrowed my cousin's ring light for my camera lens so I could take detail shots without using my flash:

I mean, I really feel like they don't make Barbies with this much detail anymore. I stopped buying the Dolls of the World Barbies because their quality got cheaper and cheaper but the price kept going up. I also got sick and tired of the stupid super model body types with the weird bent arms. Those kinds of bodies don't sit well on regular stands and have to use stands specifically made for them. What also galled me was the fact that Mattel stopped supplying display stands with their collector dolls. Sometimes they don't even have shoes. They do this because so many people don't take the dolls out of the boxes (which I heard can actually damage the dolls in the long run), so I guess Mattel figured they could save money.

I bought the Maiko Barbie (a geisha doll) several years ago, and had never spend that kind of money on a doll, and never have since. She had a metal piece in her hair that tarnished really bad. Are you telling me I blew that kind of money on a doll made with cheap metal? Thanks, Mattel. Then there are the dolls that look like they're wearing metal when you know it's probably just plastic. Don't get me started on that stiff, junky material they use for dresses nowadays.


Aug. 6th, 2016 06:55 pm
silailo: (Default)
I really should update.

Work goes. I'm a lot less stressed this season than last season because I have a different crew chief and she's much more laid back. She left about two weeks ago for Montana to do some work on her thesis, though, and will only be back for one more week before she has to go back to school.

This season has also been way, way more interesting. We are finding new stuff left and right. We spent two weeks trying to document a brand new site that was literally on the side of the road. One structure, pretty much just a shack, had mysterious, thick wall coverings we later determined to be linoleum, but we're still trying to figure out if the designs on it are hand painted. The design looks a lot like a rug. We found out linoleum rugs were a thing back in the 30's and 40's, but this one was nailed to the walls, maybe as a way to keep out drafts, who knows. We also found newspaper stuffed in the cold cellar pit and in the walls, with a 1930 date on one sheet. All artifacts are pointing to a 1930's period.

Fire season has been pretty calm, especially compared to last year. There was a fire burning down south last week. The smoke cloud blew into town and caused me to have flashbacks from last year, lol. It blew away in another direction soon after. There is time yet for a big blowup, but hopefully that won't happen.


Bonus picture of a mine we found on survey:

silailo: (Default)
I want to say this was a bad week, but it was actually a good week despite all that happened. The worst of it happened when my coworker and I high-centered our truck on a really nasty road. We had to use the radio to call for help, something we had never had to do before and we didn't really know how to use the radio. We had an orientation day during the first few weeks of work and someone talked to us about using the radio, but there was too much information and it went over our heads. Anyway, a fire engine came to help us, and after two hours of waiting it only took them five minutes to hook us to their engine and pull us off.

Other than more nasty roads and one wet day, the rest of the week wasn't so bad.

I'm hoping to hear back from the Post Office about working over the holidays. I already did the drug test and background check, and called back the manager about being interested in the position--twice. But I guess I just need to wait. I've got three weeks left of work with the Forest Service. I'm actually looking forward to going home because I miss it.


This cabin was at the top of a horrible mountain road. It's too nice for our department not to already know about it, plus it's on the side of a road. But we stopped for a break and explored a little. It stunk of packrats, though. After we left, the road got a lot better.
silailo: (Default)
Still on light duty at work. I had my second round of physical therapy on Friday and have been doing a lot of stretches in the necessary places. Next Friday I have at least one more session, and then that same day I'm seeing the doctor for an update. I'm really, really hoping she'll clear me for the field. I can still sometimes feel a little something in my hip where I strained it, but it's not really painful. My physical therapist found the spot where I may have strained the muscle and used ultrasound to make it a little better and help it heal faster.

I really want to get back to the field. Well, I also need to since one from my crew is leaving for school in a few weeks, cutting us down to three people, but only two can go out in the field since I can't.

I've been thinking about grad school again. I sort of put it out of my mind for a while since it stressed me out to think about it. There's been a lot of uncertainty and the idea of going back to college sort of made me ill, especially when grad school is supposed to be a lot harder and more intense. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, and I'm not 100% sure what exactly I want to study. So I've had to reexamine my interests again, like I did before I decided on my Bachelor's degree, and I may be getting closer to a conclusion. I've taken an interest in a professor in Montana and the work they've done, so I ordered a book they wrote and printed off some of their academic articles to read. Their interests seem to be similar to mine.


I'm updating my Yuletide letter with the anticipation I'll be doing it again. This year I'm sticking to my guns and not caving by requesting/offering fandoms that are already getting requests and offers just so I can be easily matched with someone. My request will likely be a pinch hit.


Aug. 21st, 2015 04:31 pm
silailo: (Default)
Our house is starting to smell like smoke. This morning the sky was orange, but it's just gotten worse. The smoke is so thick that it bothers me too much to go outside. At work yesterday we could smell it as it slowly crept its way into the building. Even my room right now smells a little. I was really hoping it wouldn't be this bad here compared to how it is up north, but the wind will shift and bring it just about anywhere. I have a slight headache right now.

Last week I spent a lot of time in the office, but by the weekend I got a message from my crew chief stating we'd be on fire support the next week. So that's what I've done all week until today. Monday I picked up a firefighter from the airport and took them all the way to a base camp about four hours away. She was surprised to find out there were three fires in the area they were fighting. Then, on Tuesday, I had to deliver some papers, and then Wednesday my coworker and I did road guard duty for something like eight or nine hours. It was really, really boring. And a little hot. We were posted on a road fire crews were using to get to and from a small fire burning just over a ridge, but we had to make sure the general public--as long as they weren't residents who lived up that way--didn't go up there. By the evening I noticed the ash that had been falling steadily all day was getting larger. When I stepped outside the car, I could see a point of orange light in the far distance. Then it flared up, and for the next hour my partner and I watched the trees crowning in the fire. It was still really far away, so we were safe, but it did make me nervous. It was really smokey by the time we left, and the drive home was eerie. It was getting past 8pm and the ash in front of my headlights looked like snow falling.

I flip-flopped over whether to stay this weekend and earn some overtime doing fire support. But Wednesday made me feel really...uneasy. My crew chief suggested I go home anyway. But now I feel guilty knowing they need the help. The fires are all over the news and my Facebook.

I hope the smoke goes away at some point and blows someplace else. It was a relief to drive into town and find some blue sky and clear air. But now...

silailo: (Default)
I'm surprised it's been this long since I updated. I haven't sat down at my laptop for quite a while.

Last weekend I volunteered for a dig at an old lake cabin. I was the only volunteer, so I was treated to a nice tour of the area as well as some food. I camped out in the yard of the cabin, though the owner lived in a house just up the hill. It was my first time camping in quite some time. I decided to camp in the yard because the nearby state park wanted a steep price for camping, but I did go swimming there once. I had planned on going back this weekend also, but I started feeling a weird pain in my hip on Monday. It got worse until on Wednesday I told my supervisor that I couldn't go out in the field that day. She had me fill out another incident report (I've already filled out one for another reason), and told me to go to the doctor. Since no doctors could take me that day because they were all booked, I decided to go to the emergency room. Turns out it's just a strained muscle. It sure hurt for something so simple, and I was mad that I was yet again on light duty. I was hoping that by the end of the weekend I'd be better, but it seems I won't be. The doctor said that even if I feel like I'm up to going back into the field, I'd have to see her first.

The whole workman's comp is a nightmare. I won't even go into it. But the hospital I went to scheduled my follow-up at my primary care provider in my hometown, but it turns out they don't even take workman's comp. They recommended another place, but I'm going to see if I just can't get back into the hospital where I was first examined. I need to call my case manager for how that works.

I'm not even sure this injury was work-related, but it came on suddenly on Monday. It could've been done over the weekend while I was doing so much bending and kneeling at the cabin. But since it started on Monday, we had to assume it was work-related. So I need to get a follow-up scheduled for the end of next week. I hope I'll be fine by then...

Sherman Pass

This picture was taken on a mountain pass as I was making my way to the dig. There was a band of smoke in the air from area wildfires.

No progress on the next chapter of The Long Dark. I don't exactly have writer's block, but I do need to figure out a certain key element and I just haven't had the mind to do it. It was easy when I wasn't working, but now work takes up most of my thought processes.


Jul. 3rd, 2015 09:59 pm
silailo: (Default)
I just bought a bunch of stuff today I really didn't need. I get paid Monday, but quite a lot will go to credit card bills and rent. But that's okay because that's life. For some reason I got a big hankering for consumerist spending. Well, I didn't spend that much... I'm very sensitive about money.

I was really hoping we'd do our Diamond City recon yesterday but something very important came up and we had to get it done ASAP. Diamond City isn't exactly a priority, but since we were leaving work two hours early yesterday we figured it was better if we did the project another time when we had a full day to accomplish it. Now I understand why we work ten-hour days instead of eight. We'd barely accomplish anything if we worked eight hours a day. We spend so much time traveling to our locations.

Good news is I don't have to work Monday, in observance of the Fourth. But this is also sort of bad since it means less pay, but I guess I'll live.

Tried to work a little in chapter 42 of The Long Dark. I'm just not feeling "it" right now, but at least I made a little bit of progress. Fatigue from the work week really takes a toll on my mental capabilities. It seems all I want to do is go out and do things, which ultimately leads to spending money, since I do nothing after work except make the next day's lunch, take a shower, and go to bed (when it's still light out!). I feel like a cowboy who's been on the trail for weeks or months and finally makes it to a town where he blows his wages on clothes, booze, and whorehouses.

On the bad side of the news, I just found out my paternal grandmother only has a few weeks left to live. Her kidneys are only functioning at twenty percent. She's been in decline for a few years or more, and it seems to be since she was treated for breast cancer several years ago. She really went downhill after they started treating her. So it may be that I'll be going to a funeral soon.

Monday evening we got a bad thunderstorm that caused us to lose electricity at the bunkhouse. The refuge headquarters had a generator, and for some reason they didn't think to give us a generator until late the next day. By the time we got back to the bunkhouse the power was already back on. But at least after the storm passed the temperatures cooled way down and made it easier to sleep without fans--well, for some reason I still couldn't sleep, but I was fine anyway. I took the above picture on my way to work the next day. I pass by this way every morning and usually there are cows grazing over the grassy hills.

On a final note, I will be volunteering for a dig nearby in the coming weeks, which means I won't be coming home on some weekends. Instead, I'll be camping out at a state park.

silailo: (Default)
Wow, it's been a while. I've been keeping a paper journal, but I just don't have much energy to post here. After this long there's a million things I could talk about, but I won't.


This is a cabin that was found on a survey several years ago. It just so happened to be close to one of our surveys last week, so our crew chief decided to let us have a look at it. It's a multi-room cabin, meaning these people weren't poor when they built it. It also has that interesting shingle siding. There was a barn nearby, too. By looking through homesteading records, our crew chief and her colleagues were able to determine who owned that land and who built the cabin. It was in really good condition when it was first found, but now the roof has caved in.

Haven't touched The Long Dark at all. I do have chapter 42 nearly completed but I sort of hit a writing block. Work doesn't leave much room for thinking about story plots.


Jun. 6th, 2015 04:41 pm
silailo: (Default)
I had to come home for the weekend because I forgot my Social Security card that I apparently needed for a form. But it's kind of nice to come home to a clean house because my bunkhouse leaves a lot to be desired in some spots. It's an old house used to house firefighters usually, so some stuff's not in the best condition. I can stand stuff like that as long as its clean, but one of my roommates isn't exactly the cleanest person. The kitchen sort of grosses me out. I tried to mop the floor and clean off the counters, but with three--and soon to be four--people living there it's hard to keep up on. And no one else does it except me.

Since starting work on Monday, we've only been out in the field two (maybe three?) times. Seems we spend most of the time driving to our locations. I'm excited for our upcoming projects, though. There are a few that seem really interesting and exciting.

Today I went to some antique stores and a book store. Got a couple of books and some vintage postcards. I probably shouldn't be spending money on unnecessary things but I splurged a little anyway. I scored really well on the postcards, though.

Looking in the Mirror

September 2017

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