Monday, October 29, 2012

back in the saddle or what

back in a saddle anyway

Just spent six and a bit days working as the wellsite geologist on a coring job in west Gippsland.

After ten years, to turn up and smell that diesel exhaust wafting past me... takes me back to my first jobs, many years ago now of course.

I think the job went well, apart from it being the weirdest shortest job and EWR ever, and then did not fill out one page on a meter by meter description of---- SAND, CLAYS, and LIGNITE, cos I did not think to ask what else is needed. But next time... I will have to get a BETTER job description [RTFM]. But they paid up quick and expenses too, so an outlay for a large screen lappy is good for the next job I can get at least. But will charge going rate rather than beginners rate- lost out heaps, can see why they let me do it this time. Live and learn.
If you ever get a delivery van---- excellent choice I think for an onsite office..
And only one and a half bottle of red for four nights, reckoned I dried out!

Setting it up

The Rig

Drilling and Geology Office

View from Office

Lil ol bit


I haf sum nuus

Good and bad news on last status-

Thanks to my aunt, I have gotten onto my neurologist's clinic, and got a booking earlier than January  this week in fact.

de bat nuus- still not 60% in the left eye- the orange street lights are now just grey glows in the dark.

It was not good to be on the first geology job with a bung colour filter I tell you. I had to ask one of the fellas if some clay was brownish or reddish, that's what I'm losing out on- colour judgment.

If it is just "optical neuritis", there is still the chance that it will come back to normal. I can nearly read this screen properly now, with funny after images chasing the words across the page, distracting me in shades of blue and yellow, through a greyish filter.

Crossing my fingers that it will all be okay in a few more weeks, it's been three weeks so far... Maybe I can go onto capaxone[?] sooner than later, as joan wants me too.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eyes are dim

Eyes are dim I really can see tho...

Documented today

"Hi Joan
My visual acuity is still the same in the left eye-  but can read the screen with it, not like yesterday, maybe getting better. There is a slight ache behind and up the left ryr, and it sort of hurts to rub it too. My other concern is, is it a tumor etc growing near the optic nerve?


It is weird- concerns the after image mostly.

Like when from my bed I look out at the hall wall, and move the doona half way up, there is an after image with purple pixelating speckling spots in the shade as it moves up, and a lasting darker after image when I drop the doona, while still looking at the wall of course.

It is like there is a slow down of information, and time is needed to fill out an image properly to match the right eye.

It makes it hard to read, the central focus spot is getting smaller than a few newsprint words in diameter, and that is with spectacles.

For instance staring at a line of words and I raise to the line above, it is pixelating until I  slow the rate of ye movement and it is recognisable again.

Is this too much?

Bye, I am off to work Monday

A reply was to SEE A DOCTOR
then referred to optic neuritis- which I checked and voila
Hmm- exactly!


left and right
left like an after image sort of
The dimmness is nearly spot on, colour too brown here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

real work

Ah to be back in the field

On a dry day

This week I have started off in a new direction, parceling the kids out for a short while to get back out into the field, as in a Wellsite Geologist capacity.

Hands were shaken two weeks ago after a short email exchange two weeks before that.
Naturally, mind thinking at warp speed- what do I need etc.

Anyway- it rained yesterday at the coring site, the drillers were back in their yard surprisingly, and I wasted a day travelling there and back. The boss was not pleased at this abortive start, back on Monday nevertheless.

A Marvin day, ready to geologize, but Waiting on Weather.

a letter

Attn Ernie ****
From Tony Ford, 146 Fitzroy Sale, 11/Oct/12

Hello Ernie,
I last saw you in February 2012. I wish to have a chat maybe or a reply about MS related(?) eye sight problem if the following information is not enough.
You thought at the time that I had a pretty mild case of MS if at all.

Yesterday, Wednesday 10/10, I stared out my window at some white flowers- thinking I had slept on my arm/hand with my face, as my left eye seemed rather reduced in capability- that is, like I was wearing dark sunglasses compared to the full glarey whiteness that the right eye seemed to perceive.

Overnight. Because Tuesday I went to bed with “full capabilities” as discussed last visit. There is a reduced perception of ‘redness’ of the right eye still.

My optometrist and my GP suggested I better get in touch with you about this and think about a course of capaxone(?) soon. As my case notes state, my father’s sister has MS, and she has in the past related that the sooner I get on something the better I will be.

After the eye episode, I was in a panic mode, as I drive a lot for a living, and to tell the next thing, I started a new (Geology consulting field) job today.

I did think maybe it was an anxiety related episode.

As I type this, it is still hard to read the screen with the left eye alone- like a macular degeneration effect in patches making it hard to concentrate when reading, and with a grey filter on whiteness (flowers, a white wall)- almost like the trick of polarised lenses.

There is a slight ache around the eye orbit(?) back around behind the eye too.

The only symptoms(?) I can relate is a slight cold like infection that lasted a few weeks before hand, and a small dose of the runs Tuesday, if that makes any sense.
There was also a small tingling effect down the right side in some places about a few weeks ago when I leant my head forward, for a few minutes only, not since.

Barrie the optometrist found nothing wrong on inspection yesterday-
I said I would have you informed that I visited if you need some retina images.

I will be in the field the next two weeks, but would appreciate your time, attention and soonish response on this matter, I know you are probably run off your feet in the type of thing.

Kind regards

Tony Ford

Since this was sent, last night, I have tried to evaluate whether 48 hours after this blindness(?) has changed.
I think it is a little worse, texting takes twice as long anyway.
Typing this is not to bad with both eyes, but with only theright I really have to PECK slowly at the keyboard!!!!!!!!!
Sight is smudgier too I think.
Ernie has not replied as I type this out.
I love reading, and if this gets worse, how can I drive at night, or even through the city.
thinking that I should have pushed the medicine regime, what ever the small side effects.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


That's Not Quiet Right!

After I got up to make coffee this morning, after the howling fighting horde had whizzed off to school, I looked out at Tarn's jasmine bush with its white flowers tumbling over the...


It was foggy smoggy and weird. I rubbed my eyes to clear them up as I had done since I was a kid.

The Same...

Oh oh.

Yes, the right left eye had lost definition  as if some pixels could not recognise all the colours of the white flowers.

The sky and well everything was like seen through a smoked and vaselined lens.

Bloody bugger!

Looks like another MS episode.

Or macular degeneration.

Got on to the eye doc, my aunt with MS and the local doctor.

Nothing to do, looks like the neurologist needs a call and get onto the "capaxone" asap?

left eye
right eye

I tried to see what I could do to show what was wrong, and may add to it-

Thursday, October 4, 2012

constant surveillance

Disease and Constant Vineyard Surveillance...

Dear me and Gosh

So it is the start, for the backyard grape vines, the start of the growing season!
Two days ago I found yellowing leaf edges on the new leafs! And drying out ones too. Diseases?

I am trying to "count the chicks" I suppose, watching out for the flowers on the vines.
It does not look like a great amount of grapes production this year.

The plan to cut back on how many canes grow each year on each vine maybe a bit outlandish, if there is only a few bunches per vine...

And if disease prevents the flowers forming...

I went down the street to the local plant nursery as some help required. Returned half an hour later with the evidence she [a North American?] lady needed to help me out with, from an old [looking] "plant growing advice book". The advice she gave was- I better get the Wettable Sulphur spraying program started asap for the required prevention activity.

Today 5 Oct

Advice day 4 Oct

That would have started straight away if the wind was not blowing the proverbial off it's dainty chest.

And it still is, so that is not helping my small apprehension. From the above pics, you can see not advisable to spray for two days now, and it did not help on the 4th that it was HOT...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Flowers forming

Flowering time in TPV

I am a little confused about this. I thought there would be quite a few more branchlets forming before any flowers would arrive, because there may be less fruit from what I can see!
Maybe I am being a little pessimistic, as it is only the first week of October, and we have had plenty of rain as well as watering and feeding and spraying them...

Speaking of, there are a few degraded leaves, even a few yellowish ones today, so I will have to get the mildew sprays out so to avoid last years cockup!

Garage grapes


Pinot Noir



Last years cuttings Shiraz

Last years cuttings Shiraz

Last years cuttings Pinot Noir

Monday, October 1, 2012

preparation is a key

If Indeed new Job expresses itself

As noted, a reminder and a 3 hour break equals prospectively new job

As addressed over here, and [here too] I am anxiously awaiting to start another job, consulting geologist, what I was trained for and vocationally oriented for nearly eighteen years. Cough Cough.

Am I getting ahead of myself?

The last few weeks has been an anxious time- What will I be doing, Who are these guys that want a junior* Geologist to run a core job, Will I need this or that, What about a new PC or netbook or laptop or Notebook, a microscope, a tablet to sketch samples and site, Where is it, Will there be more,  Will the old van be enough to travel two thousand miles to a two week job or swap it, and will the kids be okay with Aunty and Big Brother?    ??????? Long distance calls and one face to face.

Alright, I have not started, no cold feet, just, what about the current part time job stuff? Argh, have to stop that thinking crap!

So thinking YEP I HAVE IT IN THE BAG even though my past colleagues have not been 100% helpful answering deep questions on how to get back into the industry- ie who to use for insurances if getting out solo and all that behind the scenes business stuff------ Bugger it, I went and listed notebooks and insurances to use anyway, got to think positively...

Well, as they wanted me asap, then I can forget the insurances and work for them instead of consulting, and do that crap for the next contract- YAY, a smallish upfront saving for the moment.

Lucky me, a shop nearby had a 40% sale off an interesting Toshiba P870 notebook, which I GRABBED, and then thought I might get a larger screen mobile phone that took an hour to extract from the shop(!) as I was in a hurry by then for the 5 o;clock beer with Aunty as well as get a dinner together for kids and friends but then did not have to, and next day, got Office for the notebook, and put all the stuff I might need together- a kids video microscope care of Aldi will work just great, as will a large writing tablet (Aldi again), but had to get new drivers for them, install ACDSeePro6 suite, find the small hand lense, find stored away India ink for a stencil pen with the pens and stencils just in case, get out the sand grain comparator cards, the old tally books and drilling notes, the wellsite handbooks, the core marking pens, a tape measure or two for recovery percentages, the pilots case I repaired just a few months ago, resurrected old brief case for the notebook- it is that large it only just fits! The Samsonite brief case that was bought 1997 remains locked since 2002... it's a cool one, but now just a reminder... An alarm clock that does not wind up but not connected to the mains...  Lists...

Out of breath writing that!

Do I need a g-pick and hard hat too? Maybe my brother's old kitchen table set up in the van as a desk out of the rain and wind along with a deck chair? And a tarpaulin as a veranda, and an Esky for the ice and Coke?

[not exactly excited, expectant]

Now that call....

*been out of the field for ten years almost exactly this month, and twenty nine years this week since I started in it! Too many coincidences really- specially as all the repairs and cleaning up done prior to the job application! See previous posts an the almost-fantastic achievements. Cough Cough.

time to fly again

to and fro

Looks like I have been attempting to sort the house, car and finances out. For a reason.

[late addition- prescience]

So as to start real work and to leave the kids in part time care of their aunts and uncles and grands.
And their Big Brother.
Yes I said, with butterflies in the pit of the tummy, I said yes to a job offer.
On the understanding that a certain aunt will be around to care for the "new orphans".

The certain Aunt actually found the job offer online, which I dutifully and manfully forgot to follow up for a few days until I was casually reminded again. Back home, a quick look over the offer- looked simple and plain enough, but rather than go through hoops and forms, just sent a quick few lines after lunch, saying maybe [me] not what they wanted, but click my CV link anyway and get back to me one way or the other.

Less than three hours later, a Positive Reply!

A call and email before dinner even, about a long distance phone interview the next day! An ambit day rate claim was taken at the low end, and was the main motive of the offer I found out, but, foot in the door of the oilpatch(?!) After all the ups and downs the last few months, fixing and scrimping, a real job in the field I like to be in; exploration and getting my hands dirty doin' it.

So far, it is just pie in the sky until the company calls again, that the drilling rig is ready to core and that my services, rusty as they are after ten years of childcare, are to be utilised. On Deck as it were.

The kids are excited that Dad has a new job. [but NOT YET! they are spending money in their heads already] A trial, that could be continued far far away, over a certain holiday period. For a small fee. A fee larger of course than the present stop gap courier job that just tides us over a week at a time.

But as stated, the rub is Away Job. I should not worry.

The gels are probably fine, in company of Aunt and Cuz if I am away, but will it be too much for either?

I don't stress and worry at home with them, too much, just sometimes yell about what has not been kept up to a clean standard, feed them and taxi them and find dollars for them. Sounds cruisey.

And #2Son is nearly voting and keeping his room and nose clean for now and can cook up for himself too. Also cruisey, but the party life style as well as school requirements on top of the job he needs just to pay for his phone bill worries me a little. Maybe he can live at his GFs hoose, I sure her Ma will keep him in line!

So I am maybe going to be a working part time dad to teens.

Will I get another anxiety attack about them and fall in a heap?
Will I have to then keep the little job forever?
Will I make enough to get a new roof?
Will Aunts' family handle it all?
Can #1Son be a fill in for me too?
Will the kids be good for them all?
Will separation be good or bad?

Will they be the same afterwards?