Sunday, September 21, 2008

Big Bird

This Heron hangs his hat in Nevada at the Avi Casino Golf Course, which is about 1/2 mile from the Colorado River. I tried to quietly walk up to him to snap a picture, but he spooked and took off. I've been driving past him every afternoon for about a month. I don't know if he's a permanent resident or just a tourist.
Mrs. UC took this picture with her zoom lens. He's about 300' away from us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Structural Steel at Caesar's Palace

In this shot, both cranes are picking up this huge truss. The truss weighs 180,000 lbs.
Almost down.
Landed. Now the iron workers will fasten the truss to the column with bolts.
While one crane is still hooked up to the truss, the other crane swings in the connector beams.
This is the lovable bunch of fellows I work with. From left: Zach, Aaron, Leonard, Wes, Ronald, Jason, Cisco.

More Good 'Toons

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Truss-Setting at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

The steel structure of Caesar's convention expansion is going up. Here the crane is picking up a truss. All four of these photos were taken by my boss, Roger Meadows, carpenter foreman in charge of layout.

When the truss is placed on its column supports, iron workers in "zoom booms" bolt it into place.
In the background you can see the Rio Hotel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

B.B. King in Laughlin Concert

Mrs. UC and I went to a concert last night in Laughlin, Nevada. B.B. King performed at Harrah's. The weather was perfect, warm and calm. Here's some observations about the concert.
Entertainers seem to require audience participation. I would prefer to quietly listen to the music, but was encouraged by B.B. to hoot, holler, clap and whistle every ten seconds. While I certainly think applause is appropriate for a long solo, all else is irritating.
Now for the audience. Is it impossible for a human being to sit still for 1-1/2 hours? Sadly, yes. The fat young woman in front of us was constantly looking around at the crowd and fiddle-farting with her damn hat. A fellow in the next row over would stand up every minute and holler adorations, blocking the view of the people in back of him. And Mrs. UC and I both had fat, elbowy people encroaching on our seats. Neither of us likes to duck elbows, and avoiding skin contact with strangers detracts from enjoyment of the show. And then there's beer breath, bad breath, body odor, and horrid colognes. Am I overly sensitive?
The crowd at this show was mostly old people. B.B. King is one week shy of his 83rd birthday, and he sat in a chair for the entire performance. He rocked, so I admire him. As for his 50-70 year-old fans, what a bunch of fatsos. They limped, waddled and rolled into the amphitheatre on crutches, canes and wheelchairs. One woman, a 350+ pounder, rolled in on a wheelchair and then went up our aisle and down the next in her slow, confused search for her assigned seat. As she slowly shuffled sideways and tottered in front of me, I prayed she would keep moving. If she were to fall back on me, I would have been pinned and crushed to death. So yes, America, you are FAT.
As for the show, B.B. King rocks, and his band is a superb bunch of musicians.

Monday, September 1, 2008

More Than Words Can Say

A Couple of Questions About Gustav

Can meteorologists predict where a storm will hit and how strong the winds will be? Is it an over-reaction to evacuate a city just because a hurricane MAY be headed that way? Would you live in a place where the mere possibility of a storm would send you running? Is it a sane thing to live below water level? Shouldn't the fact that your home is below a levee be a cause for concern before signing the mortgage? Should a house be designed to withstand known weather patterns and predictable problems like earthquakes and fires, and shouldn't the building codes we are forced to comply with reflect these regional problems? Should the taxpayers be forced, year after year, to bail out people that ignore peril? Was there any irony in supplying Katrina victims with trailer homes? One more question: Did y'all ever read the story of the 3 little pigs?