Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Greetings from Louisiana!

Hello my few but faithful readers!  This post is coming at you from the Bayou State!  Down here for work again.  The end of the year trip is always crazy-hectic because in addition to the quarterly inspections & sampling I do, there’s also a bunch of annual ones that have to be done as well…and our client asked me to fill in for him leading an annual training class as well.  I have never led a training before, so that was mildly terrifying in thought…but I did my first one yesterday, and it wasn’t horrible.  I didn’t pass out or anything, so I guess that’s a success!


The bummer is: at some point between when I left Missouri, and Sunday night, I developed a little tic of a cough…which then evolved into a pain-in-the-tuckus sinus infection.  So Strawberry Menthol Halls are my best friend right now. 

But, I count my blessings, because it’s in the 60-70s here, and overcast, while it’s in the 20s & calling for snow back in Missouri. 

ANYWAY… My flight got in Sunday night, so after getting off the plane I met up with my best friend for some Community Coffee:


Then we met up with a few old friends for dinner at my favorite Mexican place in Lafayette: Azteca’s (I highly recommend the Fajita Burrito).

Monday, I led my training session (while popping cough drops like Pez to stifle my cough).   I was forewarned by my boss that the most important thing about doing training is: GET GOOD DOUGHNUTS.  These guys judge you by what you bring them to eat. Thankfully, having lived in Laffy for 3 years, I showed up armed with doughnuts & kolaches from Gautreaux’s on Westgate.

(If you haven’t had a kolache (kuh-lah-chee), it’s a savory breakfast pastry.  In Louisiana, they’re typically stuffed with sausage, or sausage & jalapeno, or ham & cheese.)


Personally, my favorite kolaches come from Home-Cut Donuts or Meche’s, but Gautreaux’s is closer to the place we were having the training.

But ever the jokesters, one of the fellows in my training asked, “where’s the boudin & cracklins???” *sigh* Can’t please ‘em all.


So today, I get to visit some of the bridge sites along Hwy 90, which runs between Lafayette & New Orleans.  The railroad follows this  highway (the railroad contracts us to do these inspections for them).  My first stop for the day is a fun one.

See, for these annual inspections, I’m doing an inventory of the chemicals & materials that are stored at each site.  This information gets submitted to the local police & fire departments, so that if there’s ever a derailment/accident/emergency/fire at one of these places, the emergency responders know how to properly deal with it…after all, there are certain chemical fires that shouldn’t be sprayed with water.

And at my next site, the majority of their storage is inside this ridiculously tall tower…I think I counted a hundred-something steps when I was there last year.


BUT—the view once you get up there, is just awesome.


And it’s a beautiful, weathered old-ish structures, so it makes for some pretty fun pics.


(Never thought I could appreciate the color of rust so much. :) )




Tonight, I’ll finish my day in New Orleans, & will be meeting with a very good friend of mine for dinner (and a craft cocktail, but we’ll discuss that on Thirsty Thursday!)

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