Saturday, January 24, 2009

Building the Capitol

Mark and I spent the afternoon building a 3D puzzle of the US Capitol. It was great fun. Thanks again Pete for the puzzle.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My first post

So I'm finally getting around to posting something on the blog.

This is a generalized description of my work.
I am working in the plant. I have an office in an office building at the front of the plant, but I have access to and go into the refinery and the units themselves on a regular basis. Anytime you go outside in the plant you have to wear all the safety gear. Exxon is very strict about safety standards. Sometimes annoyingly strict. I wouldn't say there is any real danger in my work. Right now I am working on a filtration system for one of the tanks that ships out heavy specialties - heavier than motor oil and lubes. Sometimes they randomly have solids that show up in these products, and then they can't ship it out to the customers, and they end up paying money to have the railcars, tanker trucks, and ships just sitting around waiting for them to be able to load them up. I've also been charged with finding out what the solid stuff in the tanks is. There are a lot of possibilities, but the chemical analysis show that it has a composition similar to a mixture of coke (not the soda) and dirt. No one seems to have much of a clue as to where its coming from, and it's not consistent. Yesterday we had a meeting where we all sat around and wrote ideas on a white board. I felt like I was on an episode of House. Fun times.
So far I've really enjoyed this stint at the refinery. After nearly completing the chemical engineering major, I am much more comfortable than I was in my first term. I understand most things that are going on. The work environment is certainly different than Fairfax. Up there, you had to wear a shirt and tie all the time and it was just an office. In the refinery, it's nice to be able to actually go out and see the equipment you're working on or the system you're designing. I also love living about 8 minutes from the office building and 1 minute from the refinery gate. I get to come home for lunch every day and usually am home before 5 in the afternoon. It's much more relaxing than being in school.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I found out this week that my arabic painting is going to be in a show at BYU starting on Feb 2nd. It will be up for two weeks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our new apartment

Mark and I are mostly settled in our new apartment here in Baytown. As you can see, there are still some boxes that we need to take care of. But I really am pleased with our apartment, it is clean and surprisingly spacious, and extremely peaceful.
Our dining room/my art studio.
Our living room/my art studio
Our kitchen and laundry room. You will have to convince Mark to write the adventures of the washer and dryer.
Our study, the messiest place in the apartment.
Our bedroom.

Mark in Uniform

Mark got his unisuits for work this week. Technically, they are his FRCs "fire resistant clothing". The first set he brought home came down to mid-calf. Not much protection for his ankles, sorry I didn't get a picture of those before he got one the right size. So stylish.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In Baytown

Mark and I finally have internet up at our new apartment so pictures will be forth coming. We moved in on Saturday with help from Charlie and Steve. The drive was surprisingly enjoyable and didn't seem all that long. We listened to the Da Vinci Code and talked and watched the miles pass by. The weather got warmer pretty consistantly as we drove south but every once and a while show would again be covering the ground. It was 11° in Green River, Ut when we started our second day of driving. Fortunately, Saturday was a balmy and sunny day. We were able to move in with almost now delay...after the front office returned from a hour and a half lunch break timed perfectly with our arrival. I was pleasantly surprised by the apartment. It is clean, has quite a bit of storage space, and is just great for a family of our size. We are still in the process of organizing our stuff and putting it all away but it feels much more like our home now and I am happy to be here.
So far, I like Baytown. It is a fairly small town with very old small run down shops next door to modern giants. I don't think the elevation changes more than 5 ft throughout the area but I don't mind except when I care to see the sun setting over the refinery. There have actually been gorgeous sunsets each night that we have been here.
yes, Dad, I can smell the plant at various times during the day; it comes and goes. Sometimes it takes me a minute to remember what the smell is. But I don't mind it.
It has rained most of today and yesterday, but I've mostly been indoors or running errands trying to get everything set up here so I don't care that much. After Saturday, I thought maybe it would stay warmer for a while, but it has quickly gone back to cold weather.
I'll get pictures up soon.