Jango Board-Weaver was our initial contact for our Siberian operation. He was the one who secured us the deep crust blasting certificates and generally got our most ambitious project off to a good start. Later on however our relationship soured over some unpaid parking fines and it became necessary to distance ourselves from him.
Later Marco Croûte de Monsieur took over the role of fixer, he was in pretty good shape as you can see from this pic, he never seemed to wear a shirt and yet the petty bureaucrats we encountered along the way never seemed to bat an eyelid.
The renown father and son team of blast watchers Poulios and Petrus Enflez were oiled up and on duty 16 hours a day. They primarily use the Cropenberger technique of peripheral blast watching although Petrus being younger sometimes uses a mid-finger mounted giegernometer as well, you can see him winding it up in this shot.
Marsh pools are sometimes an unfortunate side effect to our blasting activities but they only have a half-life of 1000 years or so, we believe that somebody will make a lot of money cleaning them up for us in the distant future, this is one of the ways we are contributing towards a stable and economically viable system. We have sold off a number of waste and damage futures over time to support our activities.
Antwon Spastique is currently supplying us with geothermal imaging equipment from a small lab he runs in Hong Kong, he happened to be in Siberia at the time on a long overdue vacation so we met up to exchange pleasantries and so forth.
These are some shots of our outdoor office at Tiksi, it has all the mod cons, gym fridge, tv although we could only get some dodgy siberian musical nudie game shows and a 24 hour golfing channel. Petrus became hooked on betting on the Siberian handicapped golf championship, which took place on the banks of Lake Ozhogino every year at this time.
RV problems - the roads in this region are more theoretical than anything else and anyway our driver Fehlender Gehirnmann is a bit over excitable, I told him to go left but he gave me the middle finger and went right, I never could stand that jeep anyhow.
This is Fehlender Gehirnmann explaining to the insurance agent why he chose to sink the jeep.
First blast test - this is a light pyrotechnic affair just getting the impact measuring equipment warmed up. We put Fehlender Gehirnmann's suitcase next to the charge, you can see his trainers flying up into the left-hand corner of the image. He had to wear cheap russian clothes for the rest of the trip - they were all synthetic and made him itch but it serves him right the bastard.
The blast sights, we were very pleased with our blast craters this time we are getting a consistent and fairly massive crater each time now and the project is looking promising, the feedback we are getting from Bernard Trier and his colleagues at Munschk Centre Du Recherche Comprimée Avançée De Carbone is to go deeper and harder to try to trigger some larger seismic shifts.
This is a deepcrust crater from our last visit, we are particularly pleased with it's slow rate of collapse.
This is a new device that is in early stages of testing but could turn out to be quite productive in urban situations. We call it the filtre venu massif effect and it works primarily in conjunction with liquids, it needs a surprising small amount of equipment to produce these kinds of effects and we have managed to keep the side effects well concealed so we are hoping for a public license for it soon.
This is the sunset after the day of principal blasting had been completed, I thought this view across Lake Ozhogino was spectacular, probably enhanced but some unstable isotopes floating around in the atmosphere as a result of our activities, which fortunately there is no real way of measuring so it usually is not ascribed to our activities.
After a tough day in the field what better way to unwind than watching the masked wrestling guilds contests at the Tiksi community center and downing glass after glass of yellow cabbage wodka and nibbling on dried musk rat feet.
The Tiksi surroundings are pretty bleak they have winter for 280 days of the year and the rest of the time it is just cold. This is the Tiksi High street
This is a picture of the local cow eating some mud and shit.
This is the courtyard of our accommodation, if you look carefully you can see the chef with his shotgun looking for something to shoot and call dinner. Aside from a single cow and a few musk rats there is not much formal agriculture in Tiksi.
What ever we don't want or don't think is safe we just chuck in this rusty old drum and leave it behind for some one else to clear up.