Wednesday, July 30, 2008
First thing Monday morning, Ed called Chuck-the-building-inspector, to come sign off the rebar. The footing inspection went well, and Chuck walked through the rest of the project to see if he could head off any other hitches. Yea! We passed! Ed and Chuck went up the ladder topside, and Chuck says, "Hey, how'd that cat get up here?" Mittens, the union steward, apparently decided to tag along. Ed says, "Ladder." And Chuck says, "Well, how does she get down?" Ed says, "Ladder." So back down they all went. Ed, Mittens, and Chuck, in that order. Silly me, I was cameraless.
After a few phone calls, Ed arranged for a pumper truck and cement to be here at 0730 Tuesday morning. And darned if they didn't show up exactly when they said! Now, I'm no fool. I know that these guys will be out again in the next couple of years while we work on this project, so I met them with coffee and blueberry muffins. I want them to look forward to working with us.
I gotta tell you, that pumper truck is amazing. This place is tall...even for a two story building. Tom-the-pumper-guy, shows up and says "Piece of cake!" (actually piece of muffin, but whatever) . Tom proceeds to use a little robotbox to extend the boom and swing it over the garage. The robotbox is like what guys use to drive those annoying little radio-cars all over the sidewalk, except this is no little car. The whole time, he's chatting and sipping coffee and brushing muffin crumbs off the robotbox. It was amazing. Then when it was time to pump the cement, the cement truck dumps the cement into a hopper at the front of the pumper truck, and the pumper truck sucks it into the boom and pushes the wet concrete up over the building and down a little tube where Tom puts it into our forms with the precision of a surgeon. I think this was the cleanest cement job I've ever seen. By 0830, both trucks were finished, cleaned up, reloaded with muffins, and headed out the driveway. I went around and put in most of the J bolts, and Ed had the support brackets for the posts set. By 1100, Ed was ready to knock off the forms. At this point, the cement is firm but crumbly, so Ed can still knock off the extra cement around the forms, but has to be careful not to yank on a J bolt and break off a corner. He takes off the boards, scrapes off the cement and stacks them up. No sense in wasting the wood, it can be used again for something else. Then, lunch...
Those of you who don't
like pets may as well skip the next section.
Now let me digress for just a moment. Ed likes food, but most of the time he eats to fuel his body. I really like food and eat because I like ..well..to eat. Mittens, Midnight, and Abby... they eat like it's a mission, a craft, a calling. So when Ed breaks out the ham, he draws a crowd.
Mittens is polydactal, which means she has six toes on each foot, which she uses to her advantage. She isn't a bit afraid to get between the dog and the snack. Notice Abby's intent stance..the focus... the love...the puddle of drool. If only I'd paid that much attention in algebra class..of course, I wouldn't have drooled. But everyone gets a bite, including Kendra the elder cat. She will probably never show up in a picture, she's so shy. You've heard of the Alpha cat? Kendra is about an "R".
After lunch, Ed started working on staging for the trusses. Saturday, my daughter and son-in-law, Dan, Dan's friend Abraham, and my granddaughter are flying in with Ed for a construction marathon. Dan and Abraham are both construction monsters, and I told them if they work, I'll feed them like kings. The trusses are supposed to come on Monday, and Abraham has to leave on Wednesday afternoon. Ed called the truss company and told them we would like the trusses here ASAP on Monday as we only have a crew for a limited time. The trusses get put up in a bundle by crane and then "walked" into position by the construction crew. Dan told Ed that on the commercial jobsites, they usually walk the plates with the trusses. I gotta tell you, that's so high and so scary, it makes my stomach hurt...and the hospital is really really far away. Ed built
a catwalk/scaffold along the inside of the back wall. By 1600 it had started to rain (first rain in 26 days) and Ed called the game. The rain gauge showed .59" in 24 hours. Not bad, and the skies are clearing now.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
You can't really see it but Ed has on a long sleeved t-shirt. That's because it's hotter than Hades here (Just how hot is it in Hades and who has the thermometer?).. I think it hit 98 today, which feels way hotter when you're working like a donkey. Anyway, to avoid chemo or possible death later, he's pretty careful about sun exposure. After that, he moved 27 sheets of cedar soffit, about the same size as the plywood. Isn't it weird how the first sheet weighs about..I dunno.. 20 lbs? But by the time you move the 33rd sheet, it weighs about 168 lbs?
On Monday, we both were up top installing plywood on the two support walls. Up the ladder, down the ladder. Up the ladder, down the ladder.
Mittens, the union steward, showed up and harped about the lack of hard hats and safety harnesses. " You can't be up here without the proper shoes. Where's your hard hat?" , she says.
Tuesday Ed was back at work on putting the plywood on the eyebrown dormer. First of all the the curve has to be perfect. Second of all, it's really really way up high, and it's on the outside of the building. So I decided to go down to the vegetable garden, because I couldn't bear to watch. "Just scream loudly when you fall, so I can run up and find you", I said. "Where's that danged union steward when I need her", I muttered under my breath. So there are no pictures of Ed precariously balanced on I-won't- even-tell-you. He measured and precut the front one, then put the back one up as sheets and then cut off the excess with the saws-all. Much easier, which of course is a relative term.