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Tag Archives: totally true stories

That was exactly how the tree felt.

You may remember that I have a slightly adversarial relationship with fruit trees.  This hasn’t changed.  But I was content to just let this relationship be what it was.  I may not be best of friends with fruit trees but I wasn’t going to go out of my way to antagonize them.  The trees apparently don’t feel the same way.

The other day, I came home from work and was taking care of some stuff around the yard in preparation for trash day when I realized that one of the green date trees had decided it would be a good idea to load up only one of its branches with fruit.  Just one.  Completely covered in fruit.  So obviously, the branch snapped and broke off.

Now I have a dead branch covered in almost ripe dates on the floor.

I thought about just throwing everything away as I’m not the hugest fan of green dates or the tree, but I knew my mother would be greatly displeased with such a decision.  She highly values her date trees.  So I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to pick every single date off the branch and then get rid of the branch.

Now, the thing about the date trees is that they’re covered in thorns.  I’ve been stabbed by them before.  I try and learn from my mistakes.  So this time, I went and donned a pair of leather work gloves before bothering the branch.

The tree was not having any of it.  It stabbed me anyway.  Through the leather of my gloves.  Into my thumb.  And then broke tip of the thorn off in my thumb so deep that I haven’t been able to get it out with a needle.  I’m not squeamish about digging around in my flesh with a needle either.  I have a hole in my thumb now from picking at the area around the thorn with a needle.  But you can just barely see the tip of the thorn.  I definitely don’t have enough of it to grab with tweezers.  Jerk tree.

Looking around online for splinter cures, it looks like maybe an Epsom salt compress might help coax the thorn out far enough so I can grab it.  Yay.


Guys.  I have a fascination with sinkholes (because they’re generally spontaneous) and other giant holes in the ground, like blue holes and the Door to Hell and excessively deep open pit mines (I once worked at one, but only as a contractor).

And I have discovered a giant hole in the ground.

Ok, so I did not personally discover a giant hole in the ground.  I discovered that it exists.  And this giant hole in the ground is really the now inactive Mirny mine, the second biggest open pit mine in the world.  The biggest one is the Bingham Canyon Mine (the company that owns this mine also owns the one I worked at), which I actually think looks less impressive than the Mirny mine.

Here is the Bingham Canyon Mine.

Bingham mine 5-10-03.jpg
Bingham mine 5-10-03“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


And here is the Mirny mine.

Mirny in Yakutia.jpg
Mirny in Yakutia” by StaselnikOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

They are impressive looking, wot?  Especially the Mirny mine.

So, both photos show you a giant hole in the ground, but even though you don’t really have the context of the surroundings for the Mirny mine, you can see that the grade into the pit is much steeper than that of the Bingham Canyon Mine.  It looks much more like a giant hole than it does a canyon, which is arguably less impressive than a hole.

But take a look at these photos here.  You can see that there were support buildings pretty much built right up to the brink of the pit.  And the hole is just…giant.  It’s kind of mind-boggling that there’s this giant hole in the ground that helicopters are apparently not allowed to fly over because the air is too unstable for them to maintain proper flight.

I also like the story with the De Beers people only having 20 minutes with the mine to try and solve the mystery of it’s never-ending gem quality diamonds.

Um…that was it.  I just wanted to show you a giant pit in the ground.  You can carry on with your day now.