Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I haven't posted in awhile. I came down with a terrible cold that turned into a terrible sinus infection. I think I was sicker with this cold than I've been in years. I actually took time off work, which can sometimes be a big deal. To call in sick on short notice (the week of is short notice), you first call the supervisor and let him know, then you call the pager phone. There's a handful of people who don't work full time on the ferries, but have their licenses and work elsewhere for Public Works. They're Relief Ferry Operators. Some work on the bridge crew, other on road crews. They rotate who has the pager phone, and when they have it, they're on call and if needed, stop what they're doing and head to the boats. Or come in on their days off. By the time I got off the phone with my supervisor, had a coughing fit and blew my nose, he'd already called the relief on call. So when I called the relief, he answered the phone, "Hey sickie!" He had no problem coming in, which was great. Some people make a bigger deal out of it, usually because the commute can be pretty long, especially down to this boat. But now I'm mostly all better and am back at work. I think the osprey eggs have hatched. I was looking through the binoculars, and I'm pretty sure I saw two grey fuzzy heads poke above the nest when a parent landed with some food. I can't wait until they fledge. It's hard to see them when they're still so small. Even though the nest is so close to the ferry ramp, it's up a 30 foot pole, so I can't see into the nest. The best view is from the other side of the river, looking through binoculars. Yesterday, my sister drove down with her kids, ages 5 and 2, to spend the week with family. They made it to the boat a mere 15 minutes before I closed for the night, which was perfect. My nephew helped me close up, by pushing closed the gate, carrying the flag, and wrapping the chain. It was great fun, and my niece ran along with us. I love it when kids I know come on board, there's so much fun stuff to show them. My nephew and I climbed down into the machinery room to turn off a machine for the night, but while we were down there, the air compressor was on, which makes a huge roar. I think he liked that, it felt very industrial. Today, a guy from the sign shop came down to the boat. I was so happy to see him. When they originally placed the signs for the ferry, they didn't get them all right. On the west side of the river, the stop sign is up so far that if a car stops there, I can't see them at all if I'm across the river. So a car will come to the ferry, stop at the sign, like they should, and sit there, not knowing I have no idea they're over there! So that sign will be moved down, closer to the ramp, so I can actually see them. On the other side of the river, we've got a big problem with semi trucks following their GPS and thinking they can come across the river. The problem is that there's nowhere for them to turn around. If a semi comes down, it'll have to be backed up a quarter mile, and around a sharp corner. Not fun. I've gotten into very heated arguments with truckers about that, when they try to insist they'll fit on the ferry just so they don't have to back up. I think I recall actually saying to a trucker once, "I am the captain of this vessel and what I say goes!" Shut him up quick! I wish I was more familiar with bird songs. There's a bird that sings right when I show up in the morning. It's loud and sweet. I would love to know who's singing to me! Sunday this week was crazy busy. Wings of Wonder, a butterfly garden in the little community here, closed its' doors and Sunday was it's last day. On top of that, it was Father's day, a sunny day, plus, it was graduation day at OSU, 20 minutes away, and Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker. I didn't have a break in cars at all between 9:30 am and 6 pm. At one point, I was struggling to come with a few spare moments to use the bathroom! I've been seeing a lot of heavy tractors this week. I took one tractor across, that was pulling a plowing thing or seeder or something, that could plow 24 rows at once. Right now, as I'm writing this, I'm carrying a large truck with a large tank on the bed, and the truck is towing a trailer that takes up both rows of traffic. On the trailer is a tractor that looks like it's a sprayer, for fertilizing fields. Big tanks, narrow wheels and long arms that swing out on each side. The driver just had to climb up onto the tractor to bring one of the arms back in, it'd managed to swing out. Hmmm, I'm sure I can come up with more random things I've seen or dealt with in the last few weeks, but I'll stop here.