Monday, November 06, 2006

When it pours.

When I first learned how to throw pottery on the wheel, I had a teacher who would try and enforce a kind of ceramic birth control. He would, as we handed over our precious babies, ask us if we were sure they were worthy of immortality. After all, that five pound lopsided coffee cup, once fired in the kiln, could potentially survive for centuries. Early evidence of mans ability to produce fired clay pottery dates back anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 years.

It was a kind way of telling his students that no one ever eats the first pancake. There's a learning curve. You have to go through it, not around it. Not everything you create needs to live on into eternity. Practically speaking, it was a way to encourage frugality, especially since anyone who voluntarily chooses to become a professional potter better start getting used to practicing a humble lifestyle.

As for self-censoring ones creative urges, all one has to do is stop at any roadside flea market or antique shop to see that ceramics, the world's most popular hobby, is in no danger of being forgotten by time. That big fat, green glazed, pipe smoking frog-cookie jar has life left in him still. So future generations, in remembering our individual acts and achievements, ensure that our legacy will live on, long after we have passed away.

One step closer to immortality.

This past Friday, contractors began to fill the pilings with reinforcement bars and cement. The re bar was simply lowered into the tubes in one continuous length, four pieces per tube, without any extra stucture to maintain a specified distance from the sides of the tube. The contiguous foundation pilings are more or less complete on three sides of the lot now, forming a horse shoe-shaped underground perimeter wall. Of course, I know nothing about pouring cement for foundation work, but I seem to recall reading something about pumping it into the tubes using a long hose from the bottom up to prevent any possible air pockets around the re bar. In this case they are just pouring it in slowly from the top. I don't beleive they pumped out any of the standing water before filling with cement, but maybe I missed that step. Do average citizens need to know everything there is to know about pouring foundation walls? I'm afraid to ask.

There remains a little more than 100 feet of pilings left to be installed along the rear property line. All of the previously installed pilings resulted in violations in what the DoB has described as "failures to safeguard public and property"
Strike one, Strike two, Strike three...
Today the drilling rig has returned to finish the rear property line. Drilling has started at the corner closest to the Memorial Baptist Church where previous drilling "disappeared" a large chunk of a back yards garden.

Last but not least-60 more steel casings need to be installed along rear lot line.

I am including the words to the short prayer "Hail Mary" just in case. Hail Mary's are both good to say before taking that last second, game winning free-throw shot, and after in penance for committing some sin. For example, "for swallowing up your neighbors tulip garden during foundation work", the priest may instruct the sinner to perform 25 Hail Mary's before forgiveness. If you have a rosary, whip it out now.

Hail Mary (Ave Maria)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen

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