Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dawg Tired

Some of you might remember ol' Ernie that I wrote about somewhere around a year ago. He is doing very well now. Allen has got him fattened up and healthy and he's just happy as he can be. In fact, he gets so excited, and is such a prolific slobberer, when someone comes to visit that Allen was attempting to get him to sit still for just a minute so I could take his picture.
His ears are so long that they fall in his bowl when he's eating and get caked up with goop. Somehow he manages to clean them though.

We finished tying our last tilt panel today. Thank goodness. My back and knees may never recover. They are supposed to start setting the panels Monday. The welding machine arrived yesterday for me, as I will apparently be welding the panels in place. Yea!!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about the article. My hits for the blog have gone way up for now. I suspect that will return to normal soon. Well, I wish I had more to write about but my brain has already turned in for the night and my body is pressing me to join it. We will get a couple of days off for Easter weekend so maybe I can write a somewhat more coherent post then.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey Ya! (Revised)

EDIT!!! The author of the article was good enough to send me the link (it wasn't up yesterday) so it's HERE and there is also a nice photo gallery HERE.
You can get a pretty good idea of the article from these photos I think though. If you have been following my blog for any time you already know all of what is in the article anyway. I thought they did a wonderful job on the story and photos both. I was surprised that it was such a large article. I got the whole front page of this section and half a page a little further back. Many thanks to all who made this possible. I really appreciate it!!
My Mom was really excited. I went up to her house today and took her out for her birthday lunch and while we were out I bought a couple of copies. Daddy Rabbit wanted a copy so I got one for him too. So, another nice thing to add to my scrapbook. For who to read later I don't know but it was fun.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Nothing But Flowers

For lack of anything else, and because I love them so, I'm going to inflict some more daffodil pics on ya'll. They are so beautiful to me. I need to buy some different varieties though in some other colors. This particular clump has just gotten huge. Right now they are up to my knees.
I put my dirty ol' paw behind this one so you could get a sense of scale and I have fairly large hands for a woman.
Now, I am not sure what variety these are but I like them a lot. This is the first year they have done much. They were a gift from a feller I dated a couple of years ago. He said they came from his grandparents old homestead so I know they are a fairly old variety. That is one of the differences between dating a white collar man and a blue collar. The white collar man will usually bring you a cut flower arrangement. Very pretty and all but a blue collar man will bring you a truck load of flowers he dug up just for you and you will enjoy them for years to come. Mouse brought me quite an assortment of flowers from his place. I hope the peonies from him live and do well this year. I've never grown them before.

Well, still working like hell. I think we only have about 6 panels left to tie so maybe the majority of rebar work will be over. At least the kind where we stay bent over all day anyway.

The newspaper article comes out this Sunday. I'll put a link up for ya'll as soon as I can find it. Every time I've been in a publication in the past it always stresses me out a little. I'm always afraid people are going to read the article and then write to me, or the publication, proclaiming what a freaking idiot I am. I'm not sure why I imagine that happening. I think part of it is because it is being published in my old hometown's paper and I have already had a couple of people make a few snide remarks about it. I can't help it; people approach me about this stuff but it kinda hurts to have people you think are friends make jokes or ugly remarks to you instead of being supportive. Oh well, I'm just me and that's all I know how to be.

*Talking Heads

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Draggin' The Line

Alright Pablo, best I can do to show a draggin' muffler. This has been one of those weeks that would make it difficult for me to recommend this work to anyone. I guess I've been it doing so long I've become acclimated to it to some extent.
And that's not a shadow on my arm; it really was black with grease. The wire we tie rebar with comes with an oily substance on it to help keep it from rusting and as you pull it from your reel it just works it's way all over you. I took one other photo that showed the contrasting skin colors much better but figured it was maybe a little too risque.
Well, my bed is calling very strongly to me. Hope you all are enjoying warm weather as we are here. It was beautiful today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Appalachain Spring

I think it's finally here! Lord, I hope so. I need some warm sunshine so badly. It snowed yesterday morning but was short sleeve weather this afternoon.
Well, I'm still tired; still working overtime. My butt is dragging so low, if I had a muffler I'd be throwing sparks for half a mile. Maybe something new to post about soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Ain't Easy

We started pouring the panels at work yesterday. I am on the rodbusting crew so as soon as we get a half dozen or so ready, they pour 'em. Poured seven yesterday; only twenty something to go. I ain't going to lie to you, I'm tired. I thought I might do a little on the house when I get home since it is still light now that the time has changed but I have just been wore out so far. I did plant some lettuce and onions one day.

When I say the rodbusting crew, this is what I mean. We tie all the reinforcing steel that goes in the concrete. See how they are bent over like that and it appears that they are walking forward at the same time? Well, that is what you do, tying all (50% in the inside) the intersections of steel and you stay in this position for most of the day; except for when we are toting the steel over to the panels and shaking it out. I am sore, bruised, swollen and sunburned and we are a little less than halfway finished but I had rather be with these guys than with lots of others. That is Head on the right, once my student now my foreman and Mark on the left.
At least it is warming up. We keep our coveralls on in the morning but it gets warm enough in the afternoon to get blistered. Time to get the sunblock back out. Everything is sprouting around the house! I'm so excited that spring is coming finally.

We also heard the confirmation today that the company from Mississippi has bought our company. We are not sure what will happen now. I know we will finish the project we are on now but after that, who knows?
Well, nothing going on at the house to show ya'll, maybe I'll have something soon. They are predicting rain for Sunday, my one off day, so not sure if I'll get to do much. Maybe I'll work on that pottery I owe some of ya'll.

*Allman Brothers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Give Me Strength

So, the newspaper interview went well I think. They were extremely nice and seemed pleased with everything. They didn't run away in disgust when they saw the house in person anyway! Since I have been asked numerous times I will put up a link to the article, if there is one, when it is published.
For now though, work on the house is going to take a back seat to my real job. I am on overtime and with the outside crew working on tilt-up panels. The past two days we have been tying rebar in the panel forms. They want to pour 6 panels on Friday and I believe we got the 6th one tied today. I am not ashamed to admit though that 10 hour days of staying bent over at the waist, tying steel on the ground is kicking my ass. I haven't played rodbuster since summer before last so a few days of soreness is to be expected though.
Some of the soreness is from laughing so hard at the guys. They really make the day go by. If you could see all the stuff that happens you would really wonder how we actually manage to be such an efficient and hardworking crew. The day starts out with Hippie walking out of his tool belt because he has such a lack of a butt, there is nothing there to hold his belt up. He finally resorted to suspenders. Thank goodness his tool belt was the only thing that fell down. The other guys just rag Hip all day about everything and Head was accusing Hippie of him letting a light stand kick his ass because Hippie couldn't get it to fold up right. Then at the end of the day, Big Sexy lost one of his teeth in a footing. I don't know what it is about the guys losing their teeth on the job. He got his bifocals out to look for it but soon gave up. Somebody will probably stumble up on it tomorrow. I'm just glad Daddy Rabbit doesn't actually come out into the field very often.
See I got the rafters and eaves painted on the clerestory? I think it looks much better. Well, there is just not that much going on besides work. It is gloomy and cold here. We have kept our coveralls on all week, all day just about. I have photos from the RR job dated March 13 where we are all running around in very short sleeves. I want to see the sun!!

*Eric Clapton

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nothing I Can Do About It Now

Well, I got as much done as I could but, due to persistent rain, it didn't amount to as much as I would have liked. I did manage to get this window trimmed out. I thought they might want to take a photo of one of the few finished areas of the house! It looks so much better with trim on it. Nothing like a little publicity to throw yer butt in gear. I also got a few things cleaned up in different places and finally put a switch cover over the porch light switch.
We kept waiting for the rain to stop to attempt to get the brackets and pick board up on the roof but it just would not quit completely so we just went for it. Allen made the brackets (you can see one on the far right under the board) and we got them all ready and secured and hauled that heavy ass board up there. This is the 24' board and it weighs about 150 pounds. If the roof had been bone dry it would not have been as daunting but we got it anyway. As Allen said, things are better now because before, if we fell off the roof, we would hit the ground and roll off into the ditch at the foundation. But now, we'll just hit the ground!
In this photo you can (maybe) see that I had painted the plywood and I managed to get the rafter tails finished too. The wood looked so aged and bad I hated for them to take any photos of it like that. It looks much better now.
So, I'm going to try to get home tomorrow a hour or so before they get here and maybe tidy up some more. I just hope to don't say something too stupid in the interview part.

*Willie Nelson

Friday, March 12, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere

Oh, I didn't mean to get so far behind on posting! I've just been busy at work and around the house and just haven't felt like I've had much to say really. Not sure why. Anyway, it's been raining like hell around here. I now have 2 creeks in my yard in addition to the one by the drive. We've been rained out at work a couple of days this week. Well, one day a few of us went in, though it was raining, and about the time we were going to get to leave an 18 wheeler pulls in with 20 or so tons of rebar for us. So, break out the raincoats and unload him. It took a couple of hours because we only have a backhoe with forks for such. We don't have a crane. I was the lucky one on the back of the truck rigging the bundles. I could see lightning flashing off in the distance at times. It never got close enough for us to feel real uncomfortable although there were a few times we considered it. But, have to get the truck unloaded; he's got places to go.
In between thunderstorms the sun has been wonderful and things are sprouting everywhere. On the drive home today, I saw the slightest blush of color in the Redbuds that line the highway.
I got to run a 60 lb. jackhammer some at work today. That was the small one. I felt kinda bad for the outside crew. They kept having to run in and out of the rain but were determined to stick it out because we've missed so much time. One of the last times Hippie (some of you may remember) went out to see if it was still raining. He came back in and proclaimed the coast was clear; rain was gone! So, they all drag out their tools and get back out in the middle of the site, far away from shelter, ready to work....and the bottom just falls out. They did not speak kindly of Hippie. Something about his senile ol' ass.
I have this weekend off in order to finish as much as I can before the newspaper people come to take photos. I hope I get a good bit done. After this weekend though, I'll be working as much as they'll let me. Things are looking very bad for our company. I am on one of only 2 decent size jobs we have. There is talk of being bought by a construction company from Mississippi. They are forcing many of our older superintendents to retire, whether they are ready or not. I don't know what we are going to do. It's very sad to me that we may all be split up to work for other companies. But maybe we can hang on.
I noticed this the other day walking to the mailbox. Sort of an unfortunate placement of growth. I did not plan that at all, I promise.
Well, hopefully I'll have some more to post about on the house soon. Right now the bed is calling. Those jackhammers seem to make me tired.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


The ditch is gone! Yea!! Everybody say YEA!!! The conduit is in but there is nothing in it yet, however. I need to grade this area just a little better.
Mouse came down this weekend and was a great help to finish the siding here on the south side. Just have to caulk and paint and then I'll move on up to the clerestory section.
I've been piddling around with trying to build this raised bed and get it backfilled. I would like to plant a small kitchen herb garden here.
I only have one week to get as much as possible done and clean up around here before the people from the newspaper came out. Eeeehh, too much to do. Especially now that we are going on overtime at work. 10 hours for 5 days and 8 hours on Saturday. Oh well, at least I'll make good money. My posting might be sporadic for a while now but I'll try to keep putting up some stuff. There may not be much about the house since I probably won't have much time to work on it though!

*Midnight Oil

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pump It Up

Today was one of those days where you are working out in the mud, it's spitting snow, wind's cutting through all your clothes and you just can't get warm no matter what and you wonder to yourself, "why in the world did I ever think I wanted to do this for a living?" Fortunately I was in the warm at times but still had to work out in it some. The guys have been pouring about every other day, trying to get all the casting pads ready so we can start forming and pouring the panels. Concrete pumps are so cool. If you are wondering why we are pumping this concrete so close to where the pads are (why not just drive a truck over there?), the pads are so close together there is not room to get a truck through and casting pads are only about 3 inches thick, not near enough to support a truck driving over them.
I bet these boys had to stay late tonight because of the cold. When I left at 3:30 they had just put the first troweling machine on. That's not good. The mud's just sitting there and I'm pretty sure they added the stuff to make it go faster. Don't let the way Nate is standing there with that hose fool you. He was just taking a break; those hoses are extremely heavy and we often times have to push and pull to direct the concrete in certain directions.
The truck drivers have an easy time of it. They just back up to the hopper on the pump and pour it out.
Know what that big sponge is for? As you might guess, the pump truck drivers must keep their machines very clean and it takes them a while to clean and wash the truck after the pour. The pump lines must be cleared, obviously, to keep any mud from setting up in them so the operator will take this sponge and snuff it up the trunk of the pump! The pumps can suck in either direction. The sponge travels the length of the lines and is pooped out the back of the truck! It's pretty cool.

I have been working inside, completing our office, which will be turned over to the owners at the end of the job, for them to use as a maintenance shop. This has been nice on these cold days but I would like to be working with my guys. I walked by a group of them today and they stopped me. "When are you gonna get finished in there so you can come out and work with us?" I said I was trying but Daddy Rabbit kept coming up with more stuff for me to do. They huffed around a little and kicked some dirt clods. Reminded me of little kids wanting me to come out and play. I'm anxious to get back in the groove of things myself and that bunch will keep you laughing.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How Bizarre

I can't believe we have had yet another measurable snowfall. I can't remember the last time it snowed this many times in one winter. I am in such a sorry funk. Blek! I have got to get out of it. They are predicting highs in the 60's this weekend. I so hope they are right. I've got to get out of this freefall.