Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sun and Storms

Greetings from sunny Palm Beach, FL.  I am forced to be here due to training, as the Institute of Internal Auditors forced me to come here for my class.  I am staying at The Breakers, which is the same place the class is being held.  This place is kind of ridiculous, and totally out of my usual socio-economic situation.  Case in point, the bathroom mirror has a TV built into it.  Yes, you read that right.  On the downside, there is a hurrican heading towards Florida (maybe), so later in the week, when I'm trying to drive from Palm Beach to Orlando, things could get potentially interesting.  It's always something.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back in the Mountains

Greetings from Beckley, West Virginia, the home of Tamarack.  No, I've never been there.  Nor am I likely to rectify that oversight on this trip.  I'm here to audit financial controls at my company's Pocahontas mine just a few miles outside of town.  It is cold and rainy here, so I'm thinking that my decision to only pack short-sleeved shirts isn't such a great thing.  Ah, well, such is life.  On the plus side, the local Fox Sports affiliate is in Pittsburgh, and the Cardinals are playing the Pirates currently, so I can watch Cardinals baseball on the TV at the hotel.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughts from Gillette

I am sitting in my hotel room in Gillette, WY watching football on TV and trying to figure out what I really think about Gillette and eastern Wyoming.  Here are some thoughts in no order.
  • There are no trees in eastern Wyoming, at least, not naturally.  It is all rolling plains here and there just aren't any natural trees around here.  That is very strange to me.
  • Potentially related to the above, the 50+ mile drive to the mine site every day is pretty boring as there isn't much to look at.  Scrub, more scrub, some grass, more grass, cows, horses, elk, that's pretty much all there is.
  • Elk are pretty cool.  They're a bit thinner then deer are, or at least the ones in St. Louis.
  • There's no farming around here, all ranching.  And coal mining.  There are a lot of coal mines around here.  In the airport at the baggage claim, literally all of the advertisements are for mining equipment and mining software.
  • Speaking of the airport, it is a glorified hallway.  I'm not kidding, it is just one rectangular building with the rental car counter and baggage claim on one end and the gate on the other end.  It is the smallest commercial airport I have ever seen.
  • Gillette, WY is the only place I have seen Bundaberg ginger beer for sale in a gas station.  That is coolsville.
  • Highway 59 heading towards the coal mines has movable gates like railroad crossing guards that they can drop across the highway when they close it because there is too much snow.  I am glad I am here in August.
  • Speaking of August, we have had highs in the upper '70s or lower '80s this week.  That is a nice change of pace from dangerously hot St. Louis.

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Mountaineer is Always Free

Greetings from Charleston, West Virginia!  I am here for a day of training before flying out to Gillette, Wyoming on Tuesday.  I'm staying at the Marriott in downtown Charleston.  Yes, Charleston has a downtown.  They even have a mall and movie theater and everything right downtown, which is more than I can say for St. Louis.  My colleague Tony and I took advantage of the movie theater to see the Captain America movie last night.  It was pretty good, if even more unrealistic than I expected it to be.