Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pulling Teeth

Lately that is what it feels like trying to get anything done around here! I actually did get some work done on the house this weekend and I will show that soon. It's not very exciting though but it is some progress. It occurred to me recently that I have not shown the inside of the house in quite a long time and some readers may not have seen much. Unfortunately, it has not changed a whole lot lately. I have sheet rocked the living room side of this partition wall. The other side is the kitchen. I need to continue the Durock wrap on around the upper sides and then this area (the Durock) will be tiled. I may also build a small hearth with a stone cap below the wall heater there. I plan to make at least part of the tiles myself for this wall. I'm thinking of tiling it in a commercial tile, either ceramic or stone, and then inlay a design of my own making of tiles I do, to create a mural or something along that line. Where the wall indents on each side, there will be built in bookshelves. I just had that small bookshelf already that I put there to hold a few of my books and art. And in case you have not been reading long, that plywood wall is not finish; it will get a better surface than that. One day....
On a completely unrelated topic but one that still is related to the title, Pablo asked the other day if we ever get to do anything like the little time capsule on any of our jobs now. You may remember a long time ago when I worked on that mansion restoration, our crew put a small capsule of items into a cavity in a chimney on the house for whomever to find one day. That was Pablo's idea by the way! Anyway, do we ever get to do anything like that on new jobs? Well, no, it's hard to find a good place on new construction. Something about commercial work just doesn't make for good opportunities. We do have a few old traditions that we still hold to though and his question, for some reason, reminded me of this story. The superintendent that I worked for at the railroad always insists that we throw money (small change) into the first footings that we pour. And yes, he'll throw his own; he doesn't make us throw ours! It's best if it's the very first pour you make on the job but can be any one of the first big pours. He says that is an old tradition observed so that you assure your job makes money. In other words, you don't run over schedule etc. so that you lose money. He is one of the most esteemed supers we have so maybe he has something.
Anyway, back to the story... We have this older carpenter that works for us that is just one of those people you have to meet to believe. We call him Hippie (years ago he had real long hair) and he is about as backwoods redneck as you can get. Hippie is so redneck, his false teeth are missing teeth. He is an absolute sweetheart though and I love working with him although he pisses and moans all day long. So, one day they are making this big pour. I was not on this job but one of my regular partners was relating this to me. Now, as I have said before, on big pours you often don't have time to eat. Sometimes someone will bring a bag or box of food out and you take turns running over and grabbing a bite to eat in between trucks or whatever. Well, someone had brought chicken wings to share with everyone this day and Hip got a break and ran over and grabbed a wing. He was talking to my partner and eating this wing, when he took a big bite and as he tore some of the meat off, two of his teeth came flying out also and sailed over into the fresh, wet concrete! Hip just looked at Anthony and said, "well, I'm not going in after those." I was laughing my butt off when Anthony told me this and I asked Anthony, if throwing money in a footing makes the job go well, what you reckon throwing teeth into the footing does?! He just laughed and shook his head. "Your guess is as good as mine".

*Green Day


pablo said...

Well, I hope nothing about that big pour comes back to bite you.

(Sorry, but I had to beat FC to the pun-ch.)

Floridacracker said...

Dang Pablo, you did it!
I was laughing too much to think pun.
Too funny.

Elizabeth said...

Since Pablo beat everyone to the "pun-ch" I will have to "chew" on the story to come up with another one. Just got back from Alaska and am not acclimating to the humidity here in Pa. I don't know how you work in the heat and humidity all day. I would die...

karl said...

wonderfully funny post. it's nice to see the progress on your house. your description of your tile work sound wonderful.

the description;
"Hippie is so redneck, he's missing teeth in his set of false teeth."
made me roll with laughter. i know people like that, maybe thats why it was so funny.

Funder said...

Hi Edifice Rex - just subscribed, but I've read your blog off and on for a while. I'm a small-scale renovation girl myself, and we've always just written our initials all over everything we uncover.

Studs we're about to sheathe? "SP 2008" or "EF CLASS OF 08." New pieces of creteboard? Screw them down then tag them. New sheetrock? Well hell, if you write near the joints the mud will cover it - "S POWELL IS THE BEST!"

We hope that in 20 or 50 years, the next renovator will uncover our work and think "wow, at least their studs were flush."

(I am EF, my boss is SP. Also hello to the other Elizabeth!)

edifice rex said...

Hey Pablo! HA! well, all the guys know that Hippie's bark is worse than his bite! Aahhaahhaa!

Hey FC! Yeah, you're wearing off on us!

Hey Elizabeth! Well, we thought we were going to die this week; it was BAD. But, I guess we somehow get used to it.

Hey karl! Thanks; I've got a bunch more stories like that. The guys are such a hoot.

Hey Funder! glad you are reading here! We sometimes can slip in something like that at work but so much of our concrete and such shows. I do sign things at my house though. I've written several things on the Tyvek under the siding!