Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A Summer Job Like No Other Part I

A Jobsite with a View
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2023 Charlene Brown

This painting is based on a photo by Rachel Hogg showing the view looking straight down from the top of a cell tower near Rainy River Ontario, after her tower inspection team was forced out of northern Alberta by wildfire smoke.

The following is excerpted from Rachel’s blog.

"This was a perfect day to illustrate the highs and lows of this job. Robin and I were in such good moods heading to the first site, and everything was funny.

This is when I think: God I love this job. This is literally the coolest way to spend my summer.

Then I climbed a 100-meter tower. There were quite a few places which needed new electrical tape or nuts that needed tightening, so it took longer than usual, about 2 hours to go up and down."

Note: There were several other pictures on Rachel’s post, having the following captions:

·  "If I have to suffer through these, you need to at least see a picture of one of the nasty buggers 

·  no idea what this one is

·  So many mosquitoes

·  Absolutely massive fuzzy hornet-looking thing that was at least 2 inches long that flew around me when I was 300 feet up – absolutely terrified me

I also don’t think I’ve sweated that much in ages. The last step in each inspection is re-tensioning the guy wires if the tension is outside of the allowable range. We have this spreadsheet which accounts for thermal expansion depending on ambient temperature, so we just plug in the outside temperature, see the adjusted allowable range, and crank the tension turnbuckle until it’s good. We had to adjust so many of the guy wires today, and it is no easy feat.  Both Robin and I have pipe wrenches, and are putting our entire body weight into it. It felt like being on a rowing machine, but for 2 full hours while being devoured by mosquitos. The biggest dilemma of today was: keep our jackets on to avoid becoming a walking bug bite? Or take them off to avoid becoming a walking pool of sweat? "