Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Actually, this is the whole turtle but that title refers to something else that I'll tell you about in a minute. Neither I nor Allen had ever see a little baby box turtle before. I am guessing that is what this is. If you know better, please tell me. So, we were talking about that one day and then just a few days later, I found this baby in the water line trench. If you ever want to trap you some turtles, dig a long trench. But anyway, so I took some photos of the little guy to show Allen and prove to him that they do start out small. Oh, and this one was full of himself too; he hissed and carried on the whole time I had him.
Construction workers sometimes refer to the hardhats as "turtle shells"; as in, "Put your damn turtle shell on". And if you bend over at the same time as another worker near you and bump hardhats, one of you is supposed to yell a certain, slightly obscene phrase that refers to 2 amorous turtles. We have a lot of weird little rituals and things to pass the day.
The heat now is just staggering. No one can remember it being this hot for this long. As Karen says on her blog, Rurality; work, work, work, hot, hot, hot. Amen. We are in the desperation phase now at work. The boss has brought down 2 big, 55-gallon drums of cool water for us to kind of splash in to cool off. We have tried every kind of sunscreen on the market but we are all burnt to a crisp. We are having to tie our own rebar and drive lots of metal stakes so it's misery to pick anything up. Of course, we wear gloves but it's so hot that doesn't always help. If you work in a nice, cool happy! We enjoy our work though.
When it gets miserable like this, we also tell stories and jokes to pass the day. Often times we work in pairs or small groups so it's easy to talk and work. Today's stories were "Humorous ways we almost cut our fingers off, set ourselves on fire or tore parts of our clothes off at work." I thought I topped them with a "Set myself on fire story" but one of the guys came back with an incident he witnessed on another job. I think it was a parking deck. So, this rodbuster is using a large impact drill on these rebar connectors and wasn't paying attention to what he was doing. Rodbusters are the guys that tie the reinforcing steel and are known for being rough, loudmouthed individuals. Well, something on the drill got caught in the leg of the guy's blue jeans and in the flash of just a couple of seconds, ripped his pants completely off his body. Anthony said all that the guy had left on was the waistband! I would have paid money to have seen that! Wait a minute, I think some people do pay money to see something like that. Anyway, the guy just duct taped his pants back together and kept on working. So.... always keep some duct tape handy and keep those drills away from your legs. The funny thing is, almost everyone I work with has done something similar to this.


pablo said...

Geez, stories like that never come up at my air-conditioned office!

We found a baby turtle once in our woods. It was smaller than yours even. And like Allen, we took it as proof that turtles really do start out small (never really believed it before that).

edifice rex said...

Oh, but I'm sure that ya'll have some interesting stories of your own kind!
It's funny how you rarely ever see an actual baby turtle. I guess they're pretty sharp on hiding.

Floridacracker said...

I tied steel and dug footers on a Kmart construction site one summer in FL so I can relate and respect your working conditions.
I was chuckling out loud reading the pants/duct tape story.
How about NO AD sunscreen 60 SPF at Walmart?
It works pretty well.

Rurality said...

Hmm does one of those guys only have 3 fingers left? Goes by "Lucky"? :)

I feel for you out in that heat. Of course if you were home you'd probably be out in it too!

edifice rex said...

Hey FC! And you left such a good job to become a teacher! ;) I have not tried that sunscreen but will look for it.

Hey Karen! HA! No, but I do know another carpenter that actually does only have 3 fingers but we can him Shorty. Unfortunately, we did have one of our superintendents recently cut his thumb off with a circular saw.