November 28, 2004

There may be something "to" it

It would seem that there are a select few of the ladies out there who kinda think that a guy wearing work boots is "studly". (You know who you are.) I've never had anybody come up to me in the street and say "Don't I know you from somewhere? You're Narcissus right?", but then again I've never had an angry mob chase me down the street with torches and pitchforks either, so I can't be all that bad. Nonetheless, I've noticed a few members of the "finer sex" paying a little more attention to me than usual. Not that I'm bitching, of course, but it seems to be during the times when I'm looking like the southbound end of a northbound JackAss.

Case in point: Last Wednesday, it was getting chilly in the afternoon, and I had spent most of my time hanging off a ladder 40 feet up in the hoistway. Ford decides that he could use a cup of coffee, and I am inclined to agree that one would "go down good, right about now", so off I go to procure a couple of cups of Java. I make my way to the nearest convenience store, and pour us a cup of Joe. While in the check-out line (stuck behind an antigenarian who's only two gears are slow and stop), I notice this fine-looking little blond lass milling about behind the counter. I proceed to "enjoy the scenery" until it's my time to step up and pay for my purchases. It's important to note that it has been raining all week so far, so my steel-toe's are crusted in mud, my jeans are coated in a combination of mud and concrete dust up to the knee, my flannel shirt is covered in grease from the assorted parts we're assembling, my mustache needs a serious trim, and I've got a two-day growth of beard. Not exactly a "GQ" moment in my life.

Well I finally step up to the register, and the little filly that I'd been eyeing sees fit to step to the other side of the counter at about that time. She proceeds to tell me the story of how she's "Crashed the computer's", so they have to ring me up manually. I say something to the effect of "See? This is why we can't have nice things." back to her. Ice blue eyes lock with mine of "shit Brown", and we proceed to small talk back and forth while the total is tallied. When I'm about to step away from the counter, I don't get the usual "You come back and see us" send off that is quite common in this neck of the woods. I get admonished to "Come back and see ME." It was intoned in such a way as to make this particular farewell transform itself from the usual "just being polite" into more of a "come up and see me sometime".

I swear that if this keeps up, I'm neither shaving, nor changing my boots again.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:42 PM | Comments (5)

November 25, 2004

Holiday Update

I've been pretty wiped out over the past couple of days. After the long day on Sunday, then the drive to Chattanooga, I was already tired, but the brackets came in for the other freight elevator, so Ford and I jumped right to it. As I think I've mentioned, each of the brackets weighs about 150 lbs, and the rails weigh just under 500 lbs. This one is a three-stop, so there are three rails per side, and three brackets per rail. We've got a few tools to help hold things up, but I've had a really good Upper Body workout nonetheless. Holding that stuff up while I get it anchored to the hoistway wall is a LOT of work.

The bottom three brackets were the easiest to "set" as they are anchored into concrete, but the top six needed to be welded to a couple of steel beams that run all the way up the wall. Ford welded the first one, and I did the other five. This was the first time I've ever had the chance to try welding in my life. I really enjoyed it, but I can honestly say that the welds on the first two brackets are the ugliest things in existence. They get a bit better as they go up though, so I'm pleased with my progress as a welder. Two days took me from completely ignorant, to a "mostly decent" welder. I'm pretty frickin' proud of that.

I got "the call" from Tammi on Tuesday evening that let me know she wasn't going to be able to meet up as we had planned. I was "Most bummed" by the news, but I took it in stride. She's got her carreer to think of, and I'm sure that we'll get a chance to get together eventually. I'm really looking forward to that day. Since she hasn't posted since she left, I've really had to stop myself from giving her a call to make sure that she made it. I hope you're having fun with your Family, and that you and Momma Vi make it back to Florida safe and sound.

Wednesday night, I got home and started surfing through the blogroll, and came across a little Puzzler that BlogBro Jeff posted. What can I say? it intrigued me, so I answered as best I could. How was I to know that I'd become the proud winner of a sparkling new dead dolphin? I'm as "proud as punch" to be able to win a "code"contest, as I've not done any of that sort of thing for more than a year. An "Elevator Man" who knows computer code. I think it's a first.

Today was absolutely Wonderful. I got to spend it with Mom and Dad down on their boat, and we had an outstanding Thanksgiving Dinner. You must understand that my Mom really doesn't like to cook. If given the choice between cooking, and boxing Mike Tyson, I'm thinking that the "Ear Biter" might just have a fight on his hands. Although she doesn't enjoy it, she's Damn Good at it. With an oven the size of a postage stamp, she managed to cook a twelve and a half pound Turkey, Dressing, Sweet Potato's, Mashed Potato's, Green Bean's, Gravy, Rolls, and Cranberry Sauce. I got to spend a fabulous day with my Parents, and it even included a Nap after supper. In my new world, that's what you call bliss.

When it comes down to the Boat, I ran into a bit of a disappointment yesterday. It seems that the boat will cost me 19K, but the financier will only carry a note for 15K. I'm so supposed to come up with $4,000 dollars down, pay taxes, get it insured, pay slip rent, and set up electricity? I don't think so. As I was leaving the marina this evening, I ran across the seller, and he had the temerity to "Push Me" on the deal. Well, I believe that it will cost him at least $3,000 dollars, and a Month or more before closing the deal. He showed that he was desperate, but I can wait. I will either have this boat, or I won't, but he's not going to get the satisfaction of fleecing me. He's the one hurting for money, but I do not intend to be the next one in line. If he keeps pushing, he'll keep that boat for another year, and I won't buy it from him. No mattter how low the price goes, or how much I want it.

There's some shit I'll put up with, but that ain't it.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:58 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2004

Glutton for Punishment

I was all lazy yesterday, but I deserved it. I had a long week. What I normally do when it's time for me to relax, is head for the lake to do some fishing and spend quality time with my parents, so that's what I did. After I woke up at 9:00AM. (!!) In my defense, I took my roommate out to the bar for a few cocktails and conversation, and I managed to get myself pretty damn innebriated. Anyhow, I got some well-needed rest, so I was is no mood to do chores. Off to the lake with me.
I caught a few fish, and generally enjoyed myself. (Except for dropping my Zippo into the lake, but a magnet was used, and my lighter was restored to me. It dried out just fine, and is back in fine working order. Zippo Lighters. I highly recommend them.)

during the course of the day, my Sister came down to go to get her hair cut with my Mom. The Brother-In-Law couldn't make it, as he has been installing a residential elevator for the past few weekends. (He works "Service" through the regular week, but we are behind on a few of these jobs, so he is working overtime to help us get caught up.) I guess it was about 2:00 or 2:30 in the afternoon when my Sis' mentioned the fact that the guy who was helping Dean out with the installation had called off sick. I said something to the effect of "It's a shame he's all the way out in Newport (roughly 70 miles up the road), or I would go out and help him."

Needless to say, I wound up helping him out today. Left the house at 6:30 this morning, and arrived back here at quarter 'til eight this evening. That's a good work day. We got that elevator about 95% complete today. All it will take is for another guy to come out and install the door "interlocks", set the magnets (that tell the elevator where to stop on the floor in question), and adjust the valve that controls how the jack reacts. That's about a half-day's work (for one man) left to do. Not bad progress at all, and it was fun.

"But why in hell did you go out and install an levator on your day off?" I hear you asking. Well, the reasons are three-fold:
Firstly, I couldn't stand the fact that my "Bro-I-L" was out there working by himself. A job-site on a weekend can get to be an awful lonely place, and there are times when you just need an extra pair of hands to help get that piece in place. I wsan't going to leave him hanging when I knew I could be of service to him, so I went.
"B", By going out on my day off, I can show that I'm a "Company Man" to the boss. I really want him to know that I'm serious about this job. I really, really like what I'm doing, and I don't plan on doing anything else anytime soon. I'd like him to see that. (When we stopped by the shop on friday, he asked me how I was doing. I replied that I was "great", and then started telling him the story of me working on buying a boat. I hope he "read between the lines" and got the fact that I'm not going anywhere.)
Last, The Thanksgiving Holiday is coming up next week. I'll have the day off, but because I'm still in my 90 day "trial period", I don't get paid for the time off. I have to balance this out in some fashion, and this opportunity presented itself. I am able to ofset the hours lost from the Holiday by working a little extra. Nothing wrong with that.

(The above were listed in their order of importance.)

I'm currently listening to my "The Very Best of Shreyl Crow" CD, and it just rocks! I was telling my Dad about it the other day, and he proclaimed that he wanted me to copy it for him. I gave it some thought, and realized that it was more trouble than it was worth, so the last time I was at the "store", I just up and bought him a copy for himself. As I understand it, he's really enjoying the CD on his way to and from work every day. This gives me no end of pleasure. I really enjoy putting a smile on the face of the people I Love.

I believe I'll turn around and play along with "Picture" one more time, and then call it a day. Four AM comes up pretty soon, and I've still got to fold my laundry, and pack for the drive to Chattanooga in the morning. I'll join you all as soon as I can.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:59 PM | Comments (7)

November 20, 2004

Weekly Update with Johnny - Oh

When we left last friday, the driller's were planning on working through the weekend. The plan was for them to sink the hole, and then pull their rig out either on Sunday or Monday. after starting my day at 4:00AM, meeting Ford at his house, and then driving the two hours to Chattanooga, we arrived to find the rig still sitting in the hole. Come to find out, they had a problem with their compressor, and had to drive all day Sunday to get another one. They took all day Monday just finishing the drilling.

Tuesday came, and there was much feet-dragging by the drillers. They managed to get the pit shovelled out, but that was about it. I'm sure you're starting to see a pattern forming here. Wednesday, they broke the damn drill rig when they were trying to remove one of the sections of pipe that are used to extend the reach of the drill bit. They managed to completely break the gearbox away from its frame. Thursday and friday were spent with them welding new steel in place to fix the rig. When we left Friday afternoon, the rig was still hanging off our rails. We are now a week behind on this job. Due Date: December 15th. It's gonna be a long, hard slog to get this beast in there on time.

Here's some pictures:

One Busted Drill Rig. You can see the rails that it is hanging off of there on the left.

Another view. You can see all the stuff siting on the landing there behind the rig. another piece of good news: when they poured the concrete, they left a 2 inch ledge that juts out into my hoistway. That's going to have to be removed...all 6'6" tall by 18'9" wide of it. I'm glad I don't have to do that job.

There's the little Jack that will make the elevator raise and lower. It was black before the drill threw mud all over it.

One of the nice things about getting up early in the morning for work is that you get to see some really pretty things, Like Mist on the river:

and one of the most beautiful sunrises

I've seen in a long time.

I know, I know. What about the boat? I've talked to the financier, and we are in the process of working things out. I'm hoping to get things resolved sometime next week, but with the holiday coming up, it may take even longer than that. :^( Ah well. As long as there is forward progress, that's all I need. Things are looking good, but it'll take a little time. Trying to track down financial paperwork when you are 100 miles from home is a real bitch.

So far, things are good, and the prognosis is favorable for things to get better. I'm still trying to come up with a good way to get to the web while I'm out of town, but it'll take awhile to get enough scratch together for the equipment. I hope you all can put up with only weekend posts for awhile. Sorry about that.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:16 PM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2004

"Home" and vigorously towelling myself off.

I'm finally back from "Chattanoogie". It was one hell of a week, so I'll have stories to tell sometime soon. In the meantime, I'll be cathcing back up on a weeks worth of blog reading. I'll post pictures/stories and such, in the morning. Until then, It's good to be home.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:10 PM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2004

I'm going for it!

I told the guy who is selling the houseboat that I am interested today. He got my cell number, and his banker will give me a call. It's all in his hands now. I'm so excited I could just burst.

I talked to my current roommate last night about this potential move, and he was very supportive (which kinda surprised me). He said that he'd hate to see me leave, but I'd be crazy not to jump at it. That was a big load off my mind, as he's been really great in helping me get through a tough time. Now that I'm back on my feet, he's still behind me. That's a good friend there.

I still haven't figured out the whole "Internet Access" problem yet, but a few suggestions have been made. WiFi seems to be the most prevalent among them, but unfortunately it doen's seem like an option at this time. You see, the Marina that I will be staying at is kinda out in the sticks. The town doesn't even rate a stop-light, so there's not much in the way of choices for internet connectivity out there. I'll probably have to go the dial-up route for awhile until I can get an ISDN line dropped. Cable may still be an option, but I'll have to look into it. Noone else out there has any wireless that I can slurp off of, so that's out. I'll probably be the one who gets wireless in there, and then they'll all slurp off of me.

I decided to take a few shots while I was over there today so I can share with the class. Check it out:

(Sorry Bou, nothing but the larger image when you click)

Here's another:

I think it's pretty cool!

It's got a 115 horsepower Mercury Outboard motor (can you say low maintenance?), 70 gallon fuel capacity, Gas/Electric refridgerator, two 20 lb propane tanks to run the stove-fridge-and water heater, 100 gallons of water storage, and my very own "head" with a shower stall and everything. The pontoons are a plus, as I don't have to worry about water coming into the "bilge", and they are foam filled, so even if I cracked one, I wouldn't have to worry about the whole boat sinking. The siding on the outside (while not the prettiest) is extremely low-maintenance, and this thing has been in a covered slip for most of its life so the roof is in great shape. There's even a five kilowatt generator on the back deck, so if I head for a cove I am completely self-sufficient. The only downside I see so far is that there are no heaters built into the vessell, so I'll have to use kerosene or ceramic space heater's in the winter. I can live with that.

I've even thought up a perfect name to christen her with...Water Closet. Suits my twisted sense of humor quite well I thought. Keep your fingers crossed for me out there, and I'll let you know when I get this boat.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:15 PM | Comments (12)

November 13, 2004

Thinking of new digs

I've only been at my new job a month now, but things seem to be rolling along. All reports are that I'm doing a good job, and so far the outlook is very favorable. I'm not sure if it's too soon or not, but I'm thinking of moving out of my current abode.

It's not that I'm not beholden to them, but the little things are just stacking up a little too high. I currently live with my "roommate", and his girlfriend, and her eight-year old daughter. There's just something in the human genome that makes a little girl SCREAM at a middle C for hours on end. I just can't put up with that. Especially now that I work for ten to twelve hours a day around jackhammers and hammer-drills. When I hit the house, I'd like a little quiet for a small amount of time. That's not to be had around here. Even when the "little one" is'nt around, her Momma is alway's screaming at the top of her lungs about the lack of money she has, or the state of cleanliness of the house. Basically she's nothing but a Drama Queen (in nothing but the most derogatory use of the term), and I'm more than a little tired of it. My roommate Loves her (and can put up with her shit), so I have to remain silent.

Well I was down at the Marina visiting Mom and Dad this morning, and it seems that there is a vacancy out there. Some of the people who owned a boat out there recently upgraded, so there's a 14 by 40 foot houseboat available for $20 G's. The current owner has a connection with a banke who is wiling to finance the deal, and I am incredibly interested. With the "note" on the vessel, and the slip rental, I'm still coming out better than rent on an average apartment. Also, here's the freedom involved. If I don't like where I'm at, well I can just start the motor and move somewhere else.

If I can resolve the whole "Internet thing", then I will be moving onto a houseboat shortly. Damn I hope it works out like I'd like it to.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:46 PM | Comments (6)

November 12, 2004

The Ladies in my life

There's at least one good thing about working on a construction site all day: You can always find a place to relieve yourself. My Namesake is always around. The main problem is: you need to make sure that you time your Movements Shits Poops Craps so that you either "go" at he hotel, or can make it home before you let fly. There are construction workers using those things all the time, so you can imagine that the whole "Next to Godliness" meme hasn't exactly caught on. Believe me, the moment would have to be dire indeed, before my sweet little cheeks(tm) would grace the edge of that bowl.

It's Wednesday morning, and I got up at 4:00 AM in order to get to my "Lead's" (We call him "Ford", because he has the only one in the fleet of shop trucks. Everything else is Chevrolet Vans (Full-sized and Mini) excluding one Nissan pickup) house by 5:00. I stopped off at my local "Convenience Store", and bought myself a cup of coffee. When I arrived at Ford's house, we jumped in the truck, and struck out for Chattanooga. The C-Store that's over by his house was still closed, so we just drove straight through. All the while that I was sitting in the passenger seat (sipping my coffee), all I could think of was "Ford doesn't have one". After leaving the house at 4:30 AM, and arriving back home at a quarter-til-seven that evening, I had to wake up at 4:00 AM the next morning. This time I brought two cups of coffee, because I didn't want to have Ford go through this...again.

I am an every-day drinker. At home I'll have anywhere between 3 and 6 beers, and a minimum of two 12 oz. glasses of Bourbon before bed. That's every night (without fail) for a little more than 7 years now. So, there's a little bar and grill across from where we were staying, and we went over there for supper. Needless to say, I had a beer or two, but I had nothing to do with this.

The nice part of this situation is that I haven't partaken of the "The Devil's Drink" (aka: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey) in many days...without mishap, or withdrawal symptoms. Sure, Sally's is a little softer, but she can at least control her (And the Gollum's) intake. It took a "Real Job" and a time out of town for me to do the same. In my defense, at least I didn't top off my hip flask, and go out there in spite of myself. If good things come in small packages, then sometimes better things come in NO packaging whatsoever.

Our very own CheeseMistress recently had a moment where she surprised someone. Well, I caught Ford talking to another of the "Senior" mechanics, and he was telling stories. He said something on the order of: "So I got done with the first one, and reached for my wrench and it wasn't there. I turned around and found "him" standing there in the way, and I thought about saying something to him, but I noticed that he was doing just what he should be, so I kept my mouth shut". It's amazing. The effect that actual competency, has on a few folks is absolutely stunning.

I wanted to say something special for Veteran's Day, but Tereasa said it better than I ever could. Sometimes a chain-letter is really worth the BS that you have to put up with to get it.

If you're one of those people who think "Thank God it's Monday", then you should consider the following. Every Monday morning, All the "construction" crews meet to get a little training on the elevators that we install...beginning at 7:00 AM. I'm expecting a "good" sleep-in on Monday. 5omething like, laying in bed until 5:30 or 6:00. So I get a message that I should meet Ford at his house at 5:00 AM on Monday.

I hope the rest of the week doesn't go as good.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:39 PM | Comments (4)

November 10, 2004

Careful what you ask for.

I wanted to be an "Elevator Man (tm)", and now I am one...but but but: noone mentioned Freight Elevators when I signed on. It's easy to assume that an elevator is going to have some heavy parts, and they do. 200 lb doors, 400 lb Jacks, 50lb brackets, etc. There's a little gruntin' and groanin' when you're putting the pieces where they go, but nothing too bad.

When you're dealing with a freight, you can just multiply all of the weights listed above times 3, and you'd be pretty close to what they weigh. The car "gates" that we unloded today each weighed 677 lbs. Each half of the hoistway doors weighs in at 600lbs plus. (Actually, I think that they're even heavier than that, as when we were using one of these to unload all four doors, and their steel "I" beam packing crate, we were picking the back wheels up off the ground, and the boom wan't even extended out 20 feet.) The single 16 foot long Jack that will lift this elevator will weigh in at upwards of 1300 lbs. We're unloading that booger tomorrow. The plans show that the oil reservoir for this thing will stand at 6 feet 3 inches tall, and I estimate that it will hold 350 to 400 gallons of hydraulic oil. Nothing on this damn job is small or easy to handle. The doors and mounting components for them took up an entire flat bed Semi-Trailer, whereas the little passenger one for over at the Tennessee Theater was delivered in one Semi-Trailer Van...The whole damn elevator. Everything.

Speaking of the TN Theater, remember when I mentioned that I was destined to stay on that job until the elevator was completed? "The best of plans mislaid" I guess. We got word today that our "gang box" (Which is a big steel container on wheels that construction crews use to store their tools in onsite.) is going to be moved from the TN Theater to the Hunter Museum tomorrow. I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that I'll be in Chattanooga for the duration. I can't bitch though, one of the requirements for this job was the ability to work out of town, and I cheerfully said "Sure. No problem." Dangit! I really wanted to bitch!

The good news is: That it seems that I'll be able to see an elevator go together from start to finish.

The bad news is: There are three elevators on this job. The freight I'm working on now, the passenger that I showed you the rails for the other day, and another freight as big as the one I'm on now. Groan. If anyone out there is a stock speculator, I highly recommend buying a Ton of shares in Chattem Inc. (The makers of IcyHot). Shhhh. Don't tell them it was me that sent you.

I think we all need to put our heads together, and try to come up with something to help me out with my Internet withdrawal problem. So far, it's not been too bad, but I see it turning into a major issue in the near future.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:43 PM | Comments (6)

November 09, 2004

Stop! Tammi-Time!

I just got off the phone with my esteemed Blog-Sis Tammi of Road Warrior Survival. What a delightful conversation! The topics ranged from anything to everything. Work, play, relaxation, living conditions, ancient history, and what's going on right now.

She was so sweet that she tried to get off the phone with me after an hour and a half, but still kept on talking for another hour. Lively, energetic, and incredibly smart (for a chick ;^) ). My blog-family is peopled by some of the finest folks I've ever had an opportunity to be associated with. That, and she and Boudicca (by proxy) aren't "bored shitless" by all my elevator talk. I'm just as happy as a "feller" can be, in that I'm finally getting to know a few of the siblings better. These are the people that I read every day. Without long as I have access to the web.

I think it's really interesting that two people can ramble on and on about our personal lives, with complete strangers, on our first "audible" encounter. I guess it's easy to open up to someone who you've had a sort of relationship with for a little while. I mean, if all the talk about beds (rowr) there at the end of the conversation wasn't "personal", then I don't know what is!

Remember, my sweet little Tammi-licious, you can call me anytime. I truly enjoyed it.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:57 PM | Comments (2)

November 08, 2004

Chicken Little, reporting as ordered.

I did a quick scan of the news before I started reading the old blogroll today, and I noticed this little gem. It would appear that the fucking sky is falling. I mean

North American wildlife species ranging from butterflies to red fox are scrambling to adapt to Earth's rising temperatures and may not survive, according to a study released on Monday.
Ahhhhhhhhhh! Aaaaaaaahhhhh! Ahem.

Let's see how bad the whole "Global Warming" phenomena rally is shall we.

Heat-trapping greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles, factories and other human activities have boosted Earth's temperatures by 1 degree F over the past century, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change said in a report.
Aaaaaah! Ahhh-what? One fucking degree?! Over a span of a hundred years. Hmmm. Maybe we should assess things a little more closely.

From the above data they were able to extrapolate that

global temperatures (are) expected to rise another 2.5 degrees to 10.4 degrees F by 2100
. Huh? It took us a century to raise the temps by one degree, and now it will be 2.5 to 10 in the next century? Does not compute. Sure, there are more pollutants out there since the beginning of the twentieth century, but I don't feel that contamination is the root cause of all the temperature changes. Could it be? Could it just be, that the Earth is a constantly changing ecosystem? Never thought of that did you? You arrogant prick!

From a quick Google search, I found the speculation that the Earth is roughly

So far, oldest dated Earth rocks are 3.96 billion years.
years old. What the hell makes you think that an observation of .099 % of the total time of the Earth's age makes it something to worry about? (For that matter, what makes you think you have enough data to make any type of assumption?) A century isn't even a drop in the bucket, and you're going to use that as a system of measurement? Fuck off!

It is my contention that you can do one of two things under the "Changing temperature" scenario, you can either adapt, or die. Luckily Us humans have the ability to build shelters to provide us with our (currently) optimum living conditions. The "lower" critters don't have this abiltity, so they migrate to where they need to be to meet their optimum survivabilty needs. Once they arrive to their new place, they wil do one of two things. Conquer the animals currently occupying that space, or be wiped out by them. A third option (providing that species are remotely similar) is to breed with the animals there, and create a new animal from the two. That is evolution at work. An old species will die out, but a new one will take its place.

As far as I'm concerned, the entire planet can tip itself on its ear, and there will still be life here. It won't be the same as what we've got now, but it'll still be Terran". If it comes down to it, I'd rather adapt than die. If there's a few species of fox or butterfly that have to bite it in the interim, well fuck'em. They couldn't hang, so "see ya!". I'll be busy petting your grandkids... and teaching them how to hunt food for ME.

If it's survival of the fittest, then I intend to be the "Fittest" bastard around. Anything else can just get stuffed and placed into the nearest museum. You can't save everything , so why try? Let the system work as it was designed to. Kyoto be damned.

Am I wrong?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:10 PM | Comments (7)

November 06, 2004

I HATE concrete guys

I know, I know. Hate is a strong word, but there it is. You see, an elevator shaft is supposed to have a 1/2 an inch tolerance all the way up the hoistway. The way I figure it, that's a lot of room for error when you're trying to keep something "Plumb", but aparrently not. One side wall "stair stepped" out from the wall as it went down, and the other side was "waving" at us at it went up. That 1/2 inch turned into more than an inch and a half on one side, and around four inches on the other! Do these people have no pride in workmanship, or can they just not read the plans? Hellifino, but they sure made my life miserable yesterday. We Got 'er Done nonetheless. It only took an additional eight hours from what we'd initially planned on, but it's done.

Did I mention that it was absolutely essential that we get the rails up on this job? Didn't think so. This paticular elevator is hydraulic, but it's of kind of an interesting configuration. There's only one piston for it. It attaches to the bottom of the platform right in the middle, and pushes up from below. The problem is that there has to be a hole dug down pelow the bottom of the pit (as deep as the rise of the piston) to accommodate this one large hydraulic "jack". In order to drill the hole, the drilling contractor needs to have to rails to mount his drill to, and he should be there as I type this. Absolutely no choice in the matter, had to be done so that the guy's can auger the hole. (There have already been a couple of delays due to the driller, so we are up against our time frame pretty bad.)

While my "Lead" and I were waiting to get the rails in for the freight elevator, we went ahead and stacked the rails for a passenger car that we alrady had the parts for. Here's the shaft of that one looking up.

(You can click to enlarge any picture I post)

Nice, straight, purty, "Omega" rails, just waiting for them to drill the hole for the "jack" for this one. Speaking of which:

The big black thing that's laying against the back wall behind the ladder is the Jack. It's about 28 feet long and weighs in at a cool 900 pounds. That is the small one on this job. Speaking of the job, we are installing these elevators in the Hunter Museum of American Art. If you look at the renderings on that site, it pretty much shows you a bright and modern architecture, but the original building couldn't have been farther from what you see on their site. Witness this:

As you can plainly see, they are adding all this ultra modern stuff onto each side of a freakin' mansion. I'm sure that the architect on this project thought that he was doing something pretty special by upgrading the look of the original house, but I think that he's ruined this building. I'd rather have seen the design go in as an extension of the original building, and not as such a departure from it. Don't get me wrong though, I'll still take the money from the job.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 05:33 PM | Comments (5)

I'm Back, and I'm Frickin' Tired

I had a pretty good trip right up until the end. What should have taken about four hours turned into a twelve hour marathon, yesterday. I didn't get back to the house until after 10 PM last night. I'm still trying to catch back up on the 'Sphere, and recuperate from my week away.

Congrats to "W" on the big win, and I'll be back to blog some more later today.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:55 PM | Comments (5)

November 02, 2004


This is my general purpose greeting. The time of day has nothing to do with it, and that's what makes it funny. This morning (actually) I ws in Chattanooga, TN working on a project that has three elevators. There's two "freight", and one "passenger" lift on the job. Art Museum dontchya know? The "rails" for the first elevator (freight) that we were supposed to put in place, haven't arrived yet, so we are working on the passenger elevator. It's hydraulic, but only one piston. (Which means that there is a hole drilled right in the middle of the bottom of the shaft that will house the piston. This hole is roughly as deep as the travel of the piston, which is three stories)

So, as we are hoisting the hydraulic "jack" up into the hoistway (so we could set it over in the corner...the hole for it to go into hasn't been drilled yet.) the rope that we are using to lift it with busts a braid. (There are three ropes braided together together to form the whole "rope", and one of them had snapped.) I'm not saying that the it was due to the fact that the rope was running across a sharp peice of molding, or that the "jack" weigh's NINE HUNDRED POUNDS, was the cause of the breakage, but there it was. Luckily. we had enough good rope to retie it, and get it leaned up in the hoistway.

A "big bait" of problems then arose. The shaft wasn't styraight, the "sills" are about 8" out of plumb, and so on and so forth. We finally throw our hands in the air and concede that we're out of time for the day, and load up the truck. (I'm pretty sure that I haven't mentioned that I slept on the floor of the hotel room last night... can you say muscle aches?) Drive about two and a half hours back to home base, and then the "kid" we're working with decides to reveal a few things to "Management" that he shouldn't. I think that the "Lead" and I wee able to recover nicely fromhis indescretions, but Dammit, we shouldn't have to.

Drove my 25 minutes home fromthe shop, and got my Voter Registration Card, and proceeded to the Polls. Cast my Vote (Which was a LOT quicker, and more painless, than I figured it'd be), and then headed to the house for some well earned R & R. Got Home, and perused the blogroll, and now I'm finally posting a little something.

Luckily, I only have to get up at Five in the mornig to make it to my Lead's house. (Where we will strike out to Chattanooga once again, in order to continue the installation of a bunch of elevators.) Yup, I came a Lot of Miles just to make sure my vote was cast. That's what you do when you have to. Damn, I hope you did the same. (Without all the excessive travel, and physical labor.)

I'll be "blogless" for the rest of the week, so I'll see you all in a few day's. Just 'cuz I ain't in your comments, doesn't mean you aren't in my thoughts. Give the 'Sphere a good cleansing before I return wouldja?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:39 PM | Comments (3)