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Re: 667

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:59 pm
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 10 - Outside Temp 233F

Long day. No results.

Every sort of baffle we tried to build to stop the whistling the back-up cooler makes, made it worse. Tried everything. If the air flows from that corridor, it whistles somewhere. Hope we dont need to use the backup is all I can say at this point. Its annoyingly loud.

On the plus side, I didnt have to help sign up and assign the kids to any classes. Since theres nothing else to do down here (almost nothing) they are loading em down with classes. Since the folks that selected these kids supposedly sent us the best and brightest, we're giving em nothing but college level stuff. I hope they can take it, it gonna be like a full college degree program in 2 years near as I can tell. A lot of the courses are practical stuff tho so its not all dry book learning. Electronics and agriculture and fixing stuff. You have to assume that every job there was before is going to be done by these kids once we go upstairs.

I hope that once the classes get going, the level of griping and teasing goes down. A few of the meaner kids pick on the rest of them incessantly and it gets on my nerves.

Dinner was great again as usual, fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, all the fresh veggies are gone now. Still have apples and oranges and such, but no more tomatoes or lettuce. I was never a big salad guy but I miss em more now that I cant have em.

Brad is looking forward to the Navy's next little job. Every one of the Ballistic Missile subs was loaded with a version of the Trident Missile that carries a satellite instead of a warhead. They built em in case there was a war and someone managed to shoot down our comm satellites. Now that the space snow storm is over, they can replace enough of them that we wont be totally dependant on the internet for commo. Dont know yet if they'll be able to get radio signals thru the atmosphere tho, so they're gonna launch one at a time.

The outside temp is stabilizing. Best news so far.

Off to bed. Gnite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:56 pm
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 12 - Outside Temp 234F

Skipped a day. Sick as a dog. Feel like hell.

Probably should have mentioned last entry that everyone was sneezing and felt crummy. Not surprising, tunnels and caves are like incubators for germs. Can only thank god we were so careful with the humidity when we were getting the air flow sorted out. Reports from other shelters sound like they are having it far worse in some places. Dozens or maybe hundreds dead nationwide, thats a lot these days. 1 kid and 1 expert in the infirmary here. Everyone non-essential pretty much in bed. Allison is the only one staffing the cafe, and all she can handle is making huge pots of chicken soup and leaving out sandwich fixings. A bologna sandwich and chips for me, and a big bowl of soup with crackers for dinner. Glad nothing went wrong today, wouldnt have been anyone healthy to take care of much.

Bill says the chatter from the National Science guys is grim. The temp has peaked but not falling at all. They're worried it will never drop, and we'll be down here til we starve. Bill worries that it'll cool off, but then an ice age will follow before we can grow any new crops. He says Im lucky not to be stuck in a tunnel with a pessimist.

Short entry. Off to bed. 4 hrs, then a half shift so the other guys can rest.

Re: 667

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:04 am
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 14 - Outside Temp 234F

Busy Busy Busy
Feel better today. Intend to get a lot of sleep.

First day of Classes. Not as bad as I was afraid. Besides duties monitoring the engines and pumps, and the DAILY plumbing chore of unclogging a toilet, I am teaching 3 classes. 32 kids in each class. 1 morning, one after lunch, one before dinner. Thermodynamics. Everyones favorite!

Morning class is mostly jocks. Hardly any girls. The middle class is mostly girls. The later class is mostly nerd boys and a few really bright girls. Added together the ratio is 50/50 boy/girl. The morning class is the least motivated. Just about everyone in the shelter is part of a clique already, or buddied up with someone. Anyone who wanted to just sit quietly and be alone buddied up anyway just to keep the Psych Gang from bugging them constantly.

I gave all three classes a gung-ho speech first thing. I dont know if any of it sunk in. Told them that once we come out of this tunnel, they will be taking over each and every job that ever existed before, and they would be doing those jobs with a lot less supervision than before. Mistakes and screw-ups will be a lot more serious when there arent people checking every calculation. Thermo is all about heat. Heat is a very immediate problem. It did help that our class area is right next to the backup cooling rig. I can tap on a pipe and say "the flow of heat in and out of this will determine if you live or die". I dont remember being quite as focused when I was taking Thermo.

All the kids took those career placement tests before they came down into the tunnel. Pretty sure most of the jocks will be doing non-technical jobs up above. It wont hurt them to get some cross-training. Most of the girls want to be doctors or bio-scientists. The late class is the hard-core math genius's and engineer types and science geeks.

The best news today is that the kids are getting assigned intern jobs, so I'm going to get assistants for the classes, and the engine room and best of all, an apprentice plumber or two.

News from outside was scarce today. Bill thinks some of the tunnels are in real trouble and most of the traffic is expert chatter trying to figure out work arounds for the various problems that are cropping up. We seem to be trouble free compared to most and that really came as a shock to me. The next time Im snaking a toilet I have to remember that our tunnel is trouble free.

Bedtime. Gnite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:46 pm
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 15 - Outside Temp 234F

Temp steady at 234. Bill says it'll go up a bit more once all the lakes and rivers boil off. It wont rain til the temp drops. The science guys are worried about the day it starts raining. I'll worry about it if we're alive when it happens. One of the Arkansas tunnels went down today. Their fan stopped and they took too long to get it fixed. Seems their setup wasnt repair friendly, and once they started it again they'd screwed up the wiring and ran it backwards, sucking hot air in. Rechecked all our wiring and labeled every connection on all the back up equipment.

Brad says tomorrow the boomer will launch the first satellite. They dont expect to get a signal thru the atmosphere but they want one up just taking readings from the other side, they can downlink the info it gathers later.

Classes going well. Getting the kids into classes makes things seem more normal for them. I still cant stand the teasing. It seems meaner down here than I can ever remember. Probably nerves has something to do with it. Some of them are going to crack up tho. You can see it coming like every other damn problem down here.

Got our interns today. I have 2 guys assigned to help plunge toilets and 2 more to to be Teaching Assistants (TA's). 4 more are assigned to learn everything about the air system but those arent officially my problem. Im also going to teach 2 guys how to do EVA work (i guess it should be called ETA - extra-tunnel-activity) in the fire suits we have. We'll rotate kids thru that training till we have a lot of them trained.

Dinner was terrific again as usual. Pot roast and fresh bread and green beans. The food here is better than we got on the carrier and thats pretty good. Allison refuses to take credit, she says she only makes sure the menu has complete nutrition etc etc but I've seen the bunch of them all in that kitchen all talking at once and its an awesome performance. You simply cant give enough credit to how important good food is in a stressful situation like this.

Tomorrow I'll type something and send it to Brad telling him about my kids, and paste it here.

Gnite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:13 pm
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 18 - Outside Temp 234F

Well it serves me right, taking a couple days off from Logging.

I figured gee, not much news, I'll just start making entries on Sundays, day off, more time to type. So its Sunday, and there wasnt much to enter anyway. The only thing I really missed entering was the dinner menu. I really like dinner.

So its Sunday, and Sunday is always Ham and Scalloped potatoes. One of my many favorites. So Im chowing down with Allison, she's saying how much easier her job is now that her interns are catching on, Im telling her all I have left to do is check the engines one more time before sack time, and oh by the way look out that kid is waving a knife?

Did I mention I got stabbed a little? Allison was not too happy. We were just chatting and some guy 2 tables over was getting louder and louder and blah blah and then BLAH BLAH and DONT TELL ME WHAT TO DO and next thing he just freaked out. Started waving a steak knife around like someone was sneaking up behind him. He cut a girl on the shoulder before I got over the tables and shoved her under the table.

When I got up, I was way too close to him for safety, but I figured I could knock him down or something and sit on him till he calmed down. But he just thrust that knife at me like he was using a sword or something. I ALMOST parried his thrust nimbly. Now the embarrassing part, that I may never live down. I still had a plastic squeeze bottle of ketchup in my hand. I dont know why I didnt set it down. The knife went right thru the plastic and got the big muscle between the thumb and wrist, about a half inch deep and 2 inches long. Took 4 stitches to close.

Before I even felt it, I gave that kid a real nice left handed punch right in the middle of his forehead. He has three perfect red knuckle size welts on his head to remember me by for awhile. About the time his butt hit the floor I realized I was bleeding and that was about the end of it. The Psych People took him to the clinic area and gave him a shot. I was in the other end of the clinic getting stitched up. Allison was sorta upset to say it mildly til she realized mostly I was covered in ketchup and not blood.

Not a heck of a lot of other news. They havent launched the submarine satellite yet. Tomorrow we're having a briefing on "other tunnel troubles" which always turns into a honey-do list of improvements for us. More on the outside tomorrow then. Cant wait to hear the teasing Im gonna get in class tomorrow.

Never bring ketchup to a knife fight !

Gnite log, jeez.

Re: 667

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:28 pm
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 22 - Outside Temp 234F

Mid-week update.

Hand healing. Teasing continues. Ketchup Man. Ketchup Ninja. Worst part, or maybe a good thing, I absolutely wont eat any more ketchup for awhile. Allison likes that.

Satelitte launched. Almost no telemetry returns. Atmosphere is highly ionized. There isnt any real weather as near as we can tell. Temp is in 230's from Panama to the Arctic. Low 240s F entire Southern Hem. If theres anyone at the South Pole they arent talking. Russian hacker still sending weather Reps, but theirs is just like ours. Thin dusty fog near ground level. Low clouds go up who knows how high? More like steam actually. Bill thinks its a good thing, since they predicted this. No wind at all. None. Makes it eerie. And its pretty dark out too, like just before dawn. Nothing but a creepy dim pinkish glowing sky. Any darker and we'll have to rig work lights when we go outside.

The Captain has opened one entrance, with 2 adult guards standing by naturally. Its sort of fun to see how far outside you can go before you really feel the heat. The outflow of cool air lets you go maybe 20 or 25 feet outside if you crouch a little. Its a weird feeling.

Lost another tunnel today. In Ohio. I think it was a private type shelter, not one of the Govt built ones. They had about 1500 people in a cut and cover tunnel. They just bulldozed a trench, put in shipping containers end-to-end, covered that with dirt, wired up some ventilation and lights and water, They're gonna try to live 2 or 3 yrs like that. Not that much worse than ours I guess. And it wasnt anything about their method that failed. They had their generator too close to their intake port. Since theres no wind, and carbon monoxide sinks, eventually they started sucking in their own exhaust and couldnt re-route the tail pipe in time. Seems they didnt believe all their CO monitors screaming at them.

One of the harder jobs here is turning out to be the guy that monitors the data from the other tunnels. We can tell their CO levels are going up or the temperature in their tunnel is rising as soon as they know it. Bill says we'll lose a lot of tunnels in the first few months, infant mortality he calls it. Then the rate will drop til things start breaking from overuse.

Bed Time. Good Nite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:27 am
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 25 - Outside Temp 234F

Gonna lose the shelter in the Cortez Mine in Nevada. 2000 people in that one, all experts in some field.
They somehow got diesel fuel in their water. Not a problem in the cooling water, but its also in their drinking water. They're built as many stills as they have equipment for but they can only distill a few gallons an hour, nowhere near enough for that many people. Once they eat everything with juice and drink the little they have stowed, its just a matter of time. Better not to think about it.

Dinner today was good again. Ham and scalloped potatoes, which is everyones Sunday favorite. We all have to eat our veggies. I have to, the staff gives out small portions of everything now to ensure nobody gets too fat from lack of activity.

No news from the satellite yet. The Science Guys in Pennsylvania tried to shine lasers up to see how thick the steam cloud is, but they could only see the beams up to a few hundred feet. Bill sez his buddy in the Met Office there thinks the steam is thin down low, fairly think around 6000 ft to 12,000 ft, and then thins out all the way up to space. Bill says thats the Pessimistic Set, the one that takes the longest to return to stable normal temperatures.

I was gonna talk about the students and interns some, but theres been too much bad news lately to be chatty. Next time maybe. Gonna get some shut eye. Im guessing tomorrow we're gonna spend a lot of time on the water system again.

Good Nite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:31 am
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 32 - Outside Temp 234F

Working our tails off this week. Never looked forward to days off as much as here. Captain has 3 big Projects going and Im helping to some degree on all of them.

Theres a crew digging a connector tunnel up in the Northeast corner, where the ends of the corridors didnt quite meet. They broke thru Thursday. Since all the digging is under the factory floor they dont worry much about the ceiling coming down, they just shore up the walls and leave dirt floor. I guess they had already planned this since there is insulation and dirt above the concrete already. Now they are digging a plain old tunnel except deeper, just to give us some extra room which will give additional cool air if anything shuts down. The trick is getting air to the diggers, so I helped rig some air hoses.

Since we dont want all that dirt in the tunnel, we're using it to extend the entrances. We're dragging empty shipping containers to the West Entrance, lining em up end to end and covering em with dirt. The Captain wants that project to go faster than the tunnels can dig the dirt we need, so Im trying to rig a system to feed cool air to a bulldozer or backhoe. The hard part will be keeping the bulldozer from running over its own feed air hoses.

Biggest Project for me was building a third backup cooling array. The Primary is on the South side, the Secondary is just east of it on the SE corner, and we decided the NorthWest corner was a good spot for a just in case set-up. If anything went wrong it'd get pretty hot that far from the coolers. We can run this one at the same time if we want. Its bigger and nicer than the other two, real easy to work on and every cell has a valve, so if it starts leaking we dont have to shut it completely down to take pipes out. Gonna test it tomorrow.

Promised Bill I would include some personality details, which I suppose is something I should pay more attention too.

The interns are great. Mostly they've formed cliques based on their work assignments and class schedules. They've started giving their workgang nicknames, sorta like bowling teams. There are Tunnel Rats and Dirt Bags and Jock Boys and Bulb Bunnies. I spend most of my time with the Thermal Nerds, who are all in my Thermo class. Theres Stan, Tim and Will, and 667. Stan is a beanpole kid with red hair, he helps out the wiring guys when he isnt learning how to weld on my pipe building projects. Will is a high energy black kid from a rich background, he interns in the computer room, I think in normal times he would have been a typical hacker. What he knows about the latest computers and electronic gizmos sure makes me feel old. "Tiny" Tim is 6 foot 7 inches, looks dumb as a rock, talks slow and quiet, but he's just about the smartest kid in the tunnel. Played varsity football and they said he already had colleges scouting him his junior year. He checks my calculations on the pipe flow.
667 is all anyone calls the one kid. He stopped letting it bother him, but it was habit by then so it stuck. He's just pretty average really. He could go either way. Hard to imagine him making it with any of the girls down here, but I suppose theres plenty for everyone if you look at it that way.

One other guy I want to mention is Brad. We call him Boring Brad. I sorta feel sorry for him. He isnt a kid, he's an expert. All the rest of us adults have really more than one area that we are good at, but Brad is just good at the one thing, and thats making batteries. He knows everything about batteries. And damn little else. Unfortunately, we dont need any batteries just yet, and the Captain wouldnt let him make any inside the tunnel anyway, so except for giving one class for a couple hours every week, he has just about nothing to do. And he tries to help, but dammit if he aint the worst helper in the whole system. I'll talk more about him next week. This getting long and I need to hit the sack.

Oh and one more thing. Outside news - not much. Some rumors that some of the smaller tunnels in Europe have failed but no verification or reasons given yet. And the Nevada Tunnel that lost their drinking water is still hanging in there. They have to be getting pretty thirsty by now. Poor devils.

Off to Beddy Bye Boze Time
Nite Log.

Re: 667

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:48 am
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 39 - Outside Temp 234F

Another Wonderful Week in Tunnel 3
Busy as beavers again as usual. Spent the entire week in class or re-welding the entire new array. Just about every weld had a flaw. The Captain says we now have a fully trained welding crew. Learning by doing, and then re-doing. I'm just glad we had LOTS of pipe near the entrances. I didnt do any of the outside work either, the kids are doing nearly everything and we just manage and supervise and check all their work twice. I thought Stan was a pretty good welder, but the best one of the bunch turned out to be a little blonde gal who is a total natural with a welding torch. Amazing.

Bills crew have installed a totally seperate lighting system in the whole tunnel now, completely isolated from the primary, right down to the fuel supply. Now we have 4 seperate air systems, 2 lighting systems and 4 water wells. 2 big diesel generators and 4 smaller backups ready to start. There are 4 tanks of fuel buried outside in 3 spots. If theres safety in redundant backup, we have it.

Will has been getting a lot of information from the net. Seems there are a lot more small tunnels/shelters in Eastern Europe that we didnt know about originally. Mostly they either arent hooked to the internet or arent talking to just anyone. Will chats with a Russian girl, and I swear he's picking up the language. It seems pretty odd when a black kid starts lapsing into Slavic slang.

Big event of the week turned out to be a fight I broke up between 667 and several of the Jocks who were roughing him up pretty harshly. I got to the tussle and split everyone up but not before 667 took a shot to the face and a bad nosebleed. Some of the counselors are giving the Jocks a stern talking to, but I dont think this is the end of it. I talked to the Captain about offering some sort of self-defense class, but he said he had planned to start that sort of training much later on, when things had gotten more settled. He wants to give ROTC level military classes to a certain percentage of the kids eventually, but he's worried that right now any sort of martial art training would just make the bullies in the bunch even worse. No way to teach judo just to the ones getting bullied. Better to wait til we arent so busy and give it to everyone he says.

The most unsettling news of the week comes from Nevada. The Thirsty Tunnel lives on. I hate to say how. Since they can only distill about 100 gallons of water a day for over 1000 people, they have to collect and drink their own urine. Im not normally a squeemish type, but somehow picturing 1000 people toasting themselves with a big glass of piss makes me feel creepy. Thank God for our wells that go right down to the aquafer.

One more tunnel down this week. 1000 + folks in Green Bay Wisconsin killed when some sort of fire broke out. The Tech folks are still looking at the telemetry to figure out how it killed everyone. They think maybe the electrical system was shorted when they tried to fight the fire and somehow they lost their generator.

Had a long discussion with the kids about life after tunnel. Its just dawning on them that in theory they will all have two wives. Naturally the girls arent acting too pleased with this sort of arrangement, but just doing the math, it looks like America is now about 70% female. I pointed out to the guys that the situation would revert to normal in One Generation, so they would be the only ones forced to endure this hardship. They seemed oddly restrained. I suppose it does sound too good not to come with some sort of catch. I guess they'll figure out a way to work things out tho, they'll all very bright kids.

Thats enough for a night. Off to Dreamland.
Gnite Log

Re: 667

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:38 am
by Saxon Dog
Personal Log - Tunnel 3 - Day 46 - Outside Temp 234F

Just when a person starts feeling good, like we are in control and have a good chance of getting thru all this, the bad news comes thru and you get that tight grip in the stomach. Starting to think its just going to be dumb luck that gets any of us thru this.

Wisconsin is gone. In just over a week, all three of their main tunnel shelters caught fire. Green Bay, then Milwaukee, and finally the Madison shelter. There are a few small shelters left in their state, but now everyone is wondering if any shelter is going to to last long enough. Bill says looking at the telemetry is bad enough. But seeing the video is worse and Im glad its not my job to watch. All the big shelters have webcams, mostly at the critical points, like the generator, fans, and cooling arrays. Ours has em in the cafeteria and at the big intersections. In a way its comforting to know someone might be watching, rather than any thought of intrusion.
Bill says its like watching a slow motion plane crash. Their tunnels just filled with smoke til the picture was useless, but you could still hear screaming and crying for 10 or 15 minutes. Some of em hadnt died from smoke inhalation by the time the temperature rose up past what people can stand. If theres a word more powerful than dreadful I cant think of it now.

Everyone wants to know about the Nevada Tunnel. Yes they are still drinking their own wizz. The doctors felt compelled to hand out info sheets on the subject since everyone can easily imagine something like that possibly happening to us. Yes, you can drink your own pee, no, its not recommended. In a long term survival situation it can cause a few problems, but its better than dying of dehydration. Worst problem seems to be the salt that your body needs to flush out goes back into the system and starts building up, so they're all going on low sodium diets. It helps a lot that they are getting some clean water. They drink about 3 quarts of pee a day and just over half a pint of fresh. That'll go up to a full pint when they get their second distiller working soon. Theres plenty of heat to boil water, anything you set outside gets hot fast. Problem was they didnt have enough pipe to make the cooling coil to condense the steam. They solved that by tearing out most of their lighting system and using the conduit. They dont mind being in the dark.

The kids still refuse to get along. I break up fights almost every day. The Jocks are the worst. Seems like they have to establish a pecking order no matter what the cost. I suppose the girls have the same sort of thing but I dont see it. Allison says men just are blind to that sort of trouble, and I suppose she's right.

Even worse than the bad news this week was another suicide. One of the guys from my morning class. He didnt show up for class and I sent 667 to fetch him. He comes back and says theres something wrong with the kid. I got there just in time to watch the life leave him. It was nasty, he had drank some sort of cleaning fluid cocktail and there was foam fizzing out of his mouth as he just faded out. I'll be happy if I never have to see that again.

Im hoping next week there will be some better news.

Gnite Log