Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Just completed the next well, it's impressive, here is the flow test into the muffler at about 25% on the valve.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

ballistics trump thaumaturgics

I laughed hard enough it hurt, thanks Pete.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Battlestar Enterprise

Anyone catch this weeks episode of BSG, that the weapons locker number that the skin jobs met in was 1701 D? Same designation as the TNG Enterprise of the series fame ;). Nice homage.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is Jacque, my 3.5 year old daughter

During her lifetime, she is going to need almost 3.7x106 pounds of minerals and energy fuels to maintain her current standard of living. That is the mass of a 200 foot steam ship, all for one person.

1.72 million pounds of stone, sand and gravel
82,169 gallons of petroleum
911 pounds of lead
75,047 pounds of cement
32,654 pounds of iron ore
5,417 pounds of bauxite (aluminum ore)
578,956 pounds of coal
18,477 pounds of phosphate rocks (fertilizer)
1,546 troy ounces of gold
1,398 pounds of copper
31,909 pounds of salt
20,452 pounds of clays
773 pounds of zinc
68,034 pounds of other minerals and metals

It’s kind of staggering really. I hope that recycling gets a little better in her future. I think her future depends upon it. Non-realistic-anti-nuke-tree-hugging-
protect-the-environment-at-all-cost-regardless people annoy me, if you want to bitch at me from that point of view, you had better also be a grass-eating-barefoot-
clothed-in-fig-leaves person, if you are wearing petroleum-derived Nike's on your feet, polypropylene socks, rubber elasticized underwear or a synthetic-dyed wool sweater, I'm going to beat you severely about the head and shoulders with an organic carrot. I am _ALL_ about protecting the environment for my daughter's future, but doing it responsibly. We can all protect the environment, and have our toys too, it’s simply (but not cheaply) a matter of being good stewards of the environment. We do have to mine minerals to supply us with energy and materials (to say otherwise is not realistic), but it can be done in a responsible fashion. So, basically, clean up after yourself. When you dig a big hole in the ground and make tons of money, fill it back in and plant a tree. When you use something up, recycle it. Sustainability is the key, not reducing the population to subsistence level hunter-gatherer societies. Oh wait, PETA doesn't like it when we hunt things.

Some of this information was derived from Mineral Information Institute

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

tumble weed migration, part deux

well, it was really windy yesterday, I mean WINDY, I raced some tumbleweeds at almost 40 MPH down the road, I stopped to pick up some groceries, here is a view from the grocery store parking lot
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Friday, April 4, 2008

do you know these people IRL too?

This is one of my favorite web comics, I'm glad to see the author is posting again. I think I went to college with these guys:
click on comic to see the whole thing, and read the author's comments at the bottom.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Meats

I really wasnt wanting to deal with this yet, but the rough and very rocky road I drive every day had doen them in, they were delaminating inside and cracking on the outside, oh well. Yay! Traction!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WOW! that was close

This is a 17.5 inch Hughs Christiansen hard rock drill bit, it is the Mercedes Benz of drill bits, and it costs as much, as a nicely equipped Benz, $40,000-$60,000.

Here is the same type of bit with normal wear, all the paint is gone, the diameter of the skirts is slightly under-gauged, normal after spending several days down a hole making said hole deeper.

Here is another similar bit, although much more worn, the rocks we just went through were very tough, with lots of void space, where we couldn't maintain circulation of drilling fluids, this bit just didn’t want to go, so we changed it out, notice the extra wear on the skirts that hold the cones in place, they are slightly dished out from reworking the cuttings, this is very heavy wear on a bit.

Now, this is a Hughes diamond enhanced drill bit, it runs more around the upper end of the Mercedes Benz, say $80,000 (yes, I know Merc has some that run over $100k, but you don’t see many of those). When this thing came out of the hole everyone went OMG, we are lucky we aren’t fishing for those cones. This is the second most worn drill bit I've ever seen that still had its cones attached.

Notice the dishing from reworking the cuttings had almost eaten through the skirts and dropped the cones, normally when cones fall off, it is because the bearings have worn away and they just slip off the pin that the ride on. Here the base of the pin is almost complete eaten away.

This is actually an odd form of wear, because of drilling blind with water (blind meaning that the drilling fluid pumped down never returns to the surface). Water doesn’t carry the cuttings away as efficiently as thick drilling mud (a bentonite clay suspension with water and polymers). The annular velocity is low enough that the cuttings do not stay entrained in the flow of fluid and sit around the bit until they are reworked enough that the flow of water will haul them up the hole and out into the formation through cracks.

At the end of the day though, the drill bit worked, it got through the tough section, and made hole, so now we are running casing, of course, trying to cement it in place is going to be fun. Not.