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Construction Thursday 1/4 October 19, 2007

Posted by jeanne in construction news, Gardening, Urban Development.
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nesday 6/7 pouring columns with the boom pump

they have put up a sprinkler system on the commercial floor, i believe. we saw it this morning as we did the dog walk along bissey. they put a different colored steel beam at the SW corner of the parking deck, don’t know why. they’ve put forms all the way up to the top of the commercial floor, that’s a 2-storey column poured all at once. the other two columns are still only one storey, and the boom pump is here waiting for lunch to be over. the mexicans are all sitting around on the vault, leaning against steel beam sitting there. it’s not clear whether they’re being lectured to, but they’re all facing into the center, and they all are very quiet. i just think it’s lunch.

when i came home there was a little black guy with a hardhat, standing on the sidewalk in front of our house, going down to the diner for lunch. we stopped and talked. curtis. he was telling me that he’s the only american on the steel crew, the rest are mexicans. the boston guy isn’t steel union, but he was talking to one of the steel union guys, and as the union guy left curtis must’ve turned to the boston guy and said there goes the best of the best, to which the boston guy said you’re smarter than the average bear, and curtis responded which bear, the black ones the brown ones, the panda ones, etc. being the only american, the amigos hate him, and bitch about america all the time and hate it here but won’t go home. he feels discriminated against and doesn’t see why people can’t just forget about the past differences, sorry about the alamo. i think he thinks the americans won at the alamo.

they were bringing in a blue contraption with a lot of teethed sections of steel on a tow truck, small flatbed. it’s blue. it looks like it might be something to ride up and down utside the building, like a window washer unit. it doesn’t really look like an elevator. maybe the tooth things are ramps they haul it up. it’s an elevator that attaches to the outside of the building.

out front the sewer replacement crew is down at the shops again today. there’s a dumptruck sitting outside our house, and the road is still closed on our block, so we can back out without looking very hard, and walk down the middle of the street with the dogs.

it’s going to rain at some point. the stuff’s been building from the wester gulf coast since yesterday, and today the stuff along the gulf is being sucked up this way and feeding the clouds. this morning we saw the tops of the buildings in town covered by low clouds. it’s 65 tho. but no sun all day.

everything about the construction looks crooked. standing on the NW corner across the street, the top of the elevator shaft, the highest part of the building, is at a different angle than the roof of the building, which looks like it slants down from bissey street to the alley. the top of the elevator shaft looks like it slants down toward bissey street. the new steel they’re putting up on the deck along cyde street looks like it’s slanting down toward the alley, and the piece they just stuck on, of different metal, slants even further. i wonder when they’re going to put the non shrink grout between the top of the columns and the steel spacer things.

curtis was telling me that they horse around up there with the steel, and it should be dead serious between people then. also that they don’t watch each others’ backs, and they don’t support him by warning him when he’s about to put the beam in the wrong slot. that’s the most dangerous part, that they’re not working as a team, but a bunch of macho jokers. he says he’s almost at the end of his steel career. he was taught the old way, and it’s different from how they do things now. i don’t know whether he means the mexican work habits or the methods for installing.

there are lots of white guys with hardhats and non-construction outdoor wear on. jean jackets and brown curdurouy pants, for example. they’re standing around, craning their necks to look up, walking purposefully somewhere past us.

lunch is over, the steel guys slip their hanesses back on. amble about some more waiting for things to get going.

the boom pump moved to the back entrance and is sitting inside the gate with its blue boom extended, and they’re waiting for the cement truck. they poured awhile, then the boom truck went away and another cement truck came up behind him.

i spent some time in the back moving my new purloined rebar out of sight and screening dirt fom the rocks to put on the wildflower place i’d raked up. moved a hellebore to the side walk in that bed under the window, started laying out raised beds for the vegetable garden. picked the rest of the weeds in the wildflower place. the directions say wait until february, so i’ll improve the soil a little more and leave the seeds in the fridge. time to start a tomato plant in a container inside.

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