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.