Friday, August 15, 2008
Coming Around Again
Well, we have made up for getting rained out that one day! I was going to try to post again during the week but there are just not enough hours in the day. The 3-day weekends are nice (when we get them) but the ten hour days just don't leave time for anything else because it ends up being 13 hour days with travel etc. So, anyway, we have formed our last panel and now we will wreck the forms and let the panels sit for a while to gain strength before they are picked up. We still actually have to pour the last two. Most people think that concrete is as strong as it's going to be just as soon as it sets up but that is not true. 7 days is usually a minimum cure time and I believe the concrete reaches it's full strength after 28 days (I could be mistaken about that) although concrete really continues to cure for years theoretically. If you have poured any concrete that is suspended in any way or will be moved, 7 days is a minimum to wait before you drop your forms out.
In these photos you can see that we just keep stacking the panels on top of each other to save space. A chemical, called a bond-breaker, is sprayed on each panel to keep the next panel from sticking to the one below it. Hopefully. That's a lot of concrete to break up and dispose of if you screw them up. These panels average around 24'x 36' and probably weigh 35-40 tons each. Each has 2 mats of reinforcing steel in them, which you can see in these photos. In the old days they hired rodbusters to tie all that rebar but nowadays the carpenters are expected to do it all. We wear many tool belts these days, literally.
In the last post I made, I mentioned that I had deleted a post from last weekend, citing that I thought it made me sound unstable. I was surprised to hear from so many of you who said that you had written things that you later deleted or never published etc. I think it's funny that we are so sensitive about things we write for complete strangers to read but are willing to act like freakin' nuts in front of our friends. Why is that? Why would you care what some people, whom you will more than likely never meet, never speak to on the phone even, are going to think? Anyway, what I wrote was nothing indecent or truly psycho, I just talked about more patterns I had noticed happening lately. Look at the photos above, do you see any patterns in the grids of steel? I see all kinds of stuff. I don't know if it is my art training, which taught me to see pattern, color, etc. or just my natural inclination but I always pick out the repetition of line or shape in scenes, sometimes to the exclusion of the actual object I am looking at. One time we were building a hospital and I was walking across the parking lot after it had been striped and painted. I found myself standing over some shapes in the paint that I just could not make out; they were so odd but lots of them. Suddenly I realized I was just standing on top of a series of arrows pointing the way out of the lot. I felt like an idiot but all I could see was the series of same shapes the negative areas created around the painted arrows. Now, my sister on the other hand is just the opposite it seems. She can find a four leaf clover in about 2 seconds no matter how big the patch of grass. I can't find one to save my life. I've tried for years with no success. I asked her one day how she does it. She thought for a moment and then said, "well, I guess I can just see the one thing that is different from all the rest."
So I'm wondering if this tendency to see literal things a certain way translates into how we, as individuals view life. I know I'm not the only one who notices variances in patterns etc. Does my sister only notice certain events if they are different that what would normally occur, like the 4-leaf clovers? I don't know as I'm not around her enough to tell. I notice repetitive patterns of behavior or events, as I have noted in this blog before. I have always thought, because of this, I would have made a good detective!. Further discussion just gets you into predestination and related topics, which I definitely do NOT believe in, and is really more than can be mused over here. I have only the most minute understanding of life but I wonder about lots of things. I guess it is just an effort to make sense of a life that is so different than what a lot of other people seem to experience. Or is it?