Sunday, June 27, 2010

Of Psychopaths and Idiots

McChrystal is a psychopath--in my opinion the perfect man to lead a psychopathic mission to economically and morally trash the USA. And Obama is a complete effing idiot--in my opinion the penultimate "man of the people" and the perfect president for America.

So don't wait for the sound bites. Go read the Rolling Stone Article for yourself. A good read, but depressing as hell.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The New Las Vegas City Hall 2

Here we are pouring column footings. See the rebar sticking up? That's for the 18-foot-tall concrete columns, almost a hundred of them, in the basement. Not only did Carlos and I lay out the location of these footings and column rebar, we also nailed up the "templates", the 2 x 6's that support the vertical rebar.

We pour, on average, 1000 cubic yards of concrete a week.

I'm taking these pictures on my lunch break.

Here's a closeup of one of the column footings. The location of these footings and the column steel, the depth of the hole, and the top of the pour are my (and Carlos's) responsibility. If we screw up, it's down-the-road time for us. Fortunately, we have several people who watch our back. They might catch a large mistake, but if we place that column steel 5 inches off layout, I doubt anyone would catch it until it was too late. Jackhammering concrete is extremely expensive, so Carlos and I are constantly checking our own work.

This is a survey monument. It's a point provided for us to use to layout everything. The survey company (Horizon Survey) carries huge liability insurance.

Here's an overall of the project. This party's just getting started. In another week there won't be room to turn around in the basement.


Mr. Owl

This is one of the 5 burrowing owls that live with us. They stay outside. We don't allow them in the house. Cute little fellow, huh? Photo by Mrs. UC.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

State of Things

Oh my
Life has passed me by
The country I was brought up in
Fell apart and died
Oh no
Love's no longer there
Cold wind blew away the sun
That used to warm the air

Lowdown by Chicago

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Papers, Please!


Carpenter's Day Off

Mrs. UC and I decided to drive up to Hoover Dam and check out the new bridge being built over the Colorado River.


My first pose was too wooden, so Mrs. UC told me to put some "Captain" in it.

I snapped this photo of Mrs. UC with the small emergency backup camera.

This is Lake Mead. Notice the old high-water marks from back in the day when there used to be water in the lake. Did you know that a Las Vegas golf course uses about a million gallons a day to keep the grass green? And all those residential lawns and water features that people like tend to drain the lake.

This bridge will be open at the end of this year. Carpenter wanted to work on this bridge and even got a call inviting him, but we were building our Arizona home at the time. Alas.

A close-up shot. Look at those clean lines. What a gorgeous bridge!

Even this Chuckawalla lizard was out admiring the bridge.


The New Las Vegas City Hall


After almost a year out of work, I'm finally employed again. These footings are in the basement of the 7-story building that will soon house the Las Vegas city government. Comfortably ensconced in their new, posh digs, tireless and self-sacrificing public servants will be able to serve you better. In the background notice the Golden Nugget Hotel and the Union Plaza Hotel.

Here's Wayne, the foreman for Flippin's Trenching, digging another spreadpad footing. The forms in back of his bucket are for elevators 1-5. There are about a hundred spreadpad footings in the basement, ranging from 8'x8'x2' to 19'x19'x4'.

This is Carlos, my partner. He runs the total station. The orange calculator is a mini-computer that connects to the gun and allows us to lay out any point on the project in seconds. Carlos and I first worked together on the Caesar's Palace job that finished up a year ago.

Here I am. I'm the rod man. The thing in front of me is a prism. It reflects a laser beam back to the total station to measure distance. Then Carlos tells me to go left or right, away from or towards the gun. When Carlos tells me a point is "good", I drive a feathered nail into the ground and spray paint from point to point. Then the dig is on. Carlos and I have been keeping ahead of 4 excavator crews and 8 carpenters setting up templates for wall and column rebar. Now that footings are being poured, we also have to mark the precise location of walls and columns. All in a day's work.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Whooooo Are You?

This is a pair of burrowing owls that hang out in our yard. I assume they are a mating pair, but I'm not sure. No matter. They are welcome residents and we gladly share "our" land with them.