Human Statue of Liberty

Base to Shoulder: 150 feet
Right Arm: 340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 feet
Right thumb: 35 feet
Thickest part of body: 29 feet
Left hand length: 30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet

Number of Men
In flame of torch: 12,000
In torch: 2,800
In right arm: 1,200
In body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000
Total men: 18,000

Picture was taken at Camp Dodge, Iowa. Taken in 1918, as they prepared for war.
Full Size Version here

Severe adrenaline after shock

Last day in Kuwait.

I had just finished the marathon system introduction conversation, and I was asked when my flight was. It wasn't for another two and a half hours, so I was invited to come and see something “cool”.

Now, this could mean anything, but in Kuwait it means you should expect just about anything. I literally can't even begin to tell you what kind of things you should expect in Kuwait.

It turned out to be something pretty conventional by some standards. It was a shooting range.

We paid our money, handed in our drivers license, and selected our weapons of choice. I of course had no idea, so just let the other guy do all the choosing. We had a choice of about 8 weapons, a selection of handguns and rifles, all the way up to some sort of fully automatic machine gun. My partner told me was there is no fun in shooting those type of guns because there is no skill involved, just the act of moving of lead through the air, and shredding your target.

Having decided which weapon we wanted, a 357, we then decided how many bullets we wanted to buy, and away we went.

Into the range then, but before you go in, you must wear hearing protection. They wont let you in otherwise. Even with the ear muffs on, the first couple times someone fired, I became airborne. It is so loud. Louder than I imagined. And there is no long reverberating recoil like in the movies. In fact, there is very little in common with the movies at all. It is just a short, sharp BANG that you feel in your chest

“Have you ever fired a 357 before sir?”

“No, I've never fired anything before.”

“OK, it's quite easy. Safety first: you always point the weapon down-range.”

“Got it.”

And on it went. I got my 1 minute safety induction, and had a few dry runs. I practiced cocking the hammer (in order to make the trigger lighter), aiming, and gently squeezing the trigger.

As I loaded in the first 6 bullets i found myself contemplating how weird this all was. In a few short hours time, I would board a flight to Dubai, and here I am lading a 357 handgun, and strongly resisting the urge to say, “…. well do ya? Punk?”

The first couple of discharges with real ammunition was an overload of sensations: the fierce bucking of the gun, the sparks and flame out the front, and the huge noise.

The most surprising thing of all though was the act of pulling the trigger. Because we were cocking the hammer prior to firing, the trigger was very light. So light in fact, that it was really quite impossible to tell exactly when it was going to go off when you are squeezing the trigger as gently as possible in order to keep your aim. This fact alone gave me the feeling that I wasn't in complete control of it.

In spite of all of this, I did quite well. All my shots where in a pretty tight group in the top left of the target, which I brought home with me.

My hands shook for hours afterwards, as I burned off the adrenaline.

Robert Hawkes C.E.T. as the 2009 Technologist of the Year

Robert Hawkes C.E.T.
Announcement by B.A. Rieb P.Eng.
Region Technical Manager
BJ Service Company Canada Ltd.

On Thursday March 5, 2009 announced:

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that ASET, The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta have nominated our friend and colleague Robert Hawkes C.E.T. as the 2009 Technologist of the Year. Robert was nominated by his peers and selected from a group of impressive candidates by a review committee within ASET. This award is in recognition of Robert's dedication of petroleum engineering and the many technical accomplishments during his career.

This prestidigious award will be given to Robert at the Awards Luncheon during the annual general meeting of ASET, March 27-28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 700 Centre Street, Calgary. The awards luncheon is held on Saturday the 28th, is a rather large affair and this award is the primary focus.

Anyone wishing to attend the luncheon in support of Robert can register via the ASET site or phone @ 1 800 272 5619.Please join in congratulating Robert on this wonderful achievement

Lotus Notes: Background Database Compaction not so background.

Problem: Can't send emails.
Reason: Inbox too full.
Solution: Empty Inbox and compact.

Result: This message:

Ok, so it doesn't explicitly say that the compaction is going on the background, but this status bar is where all the other background tasks are reported. The assumption is fair I think.

Unfortunately, trying to then open the inbox, results in this:

A strange allergic reaction

I think I might have developed a strange allergic reaction to Ella. I'm not sure what it is, but there have some recent occasions where I have experienced a burning sensation in my eyes, sometimes accompanied by some watering or a swelling in my throat.

I've read that babies that babies are born with under-developed brains and nervous systems. It explains colic and other strange behaivours. I've also read that as their brains develop, they will experience new emotions. Like happiness, sadness and anger. The anger explains the tantrums at around the 2-year mark.

I think Ella was witnessing sadness the other day. The crying was different, it was accompanied by wracking sobs that lasted far after the crying had stopped, and real tears with puffy red eyes. Right in the middle of this, I went to pick her up, and she stopped craying and through teary eyes, she grinned up at me.

That's when I had one of those strange allergic reactions.