Thursday, March 23, 2017


Toolbeltin'-up at the new construction job.

It's a few bucks more an hour, learnin' a trade with fewer coworkers, less bullshit, and more job security. Just to keep ya--wait for it--thoroughly in-formed.

Currently working with no days off.
Love it.

Cracked a Corona and kickin' back to some Stones.

True to form, I've got a new chapter of THE GOLDEN CITY written and ready to go.

And equally true, I've been too busy to input the new chapter on the blog. Tomorrow, though. On account I get an off day.

So far after five days working the new job, I've learned about how to make sure the forms are level with a tool that amounts to a magic scepter: you place it upright on the form at any given point, pointed toward the height set on a digital tripod and it will zero out and give the proper sound to within one-sixteenth on an inch. The hard part is lifting the form re-setting  the screw on the stake, or taking out the stake and putting in a new one, and probably finding the sweet spot tapping the form a couple times as the guy with the stick says, "Okay, half-inch...quarter...sixteenth."

Evidently it's practically a big deal just to find somebody who will show up reliably to work. Some guys haven't worked enough to be reliable, and most of the rest are too burnt out. Supposedly there's a percentage of guys living off of girlfriends with kids getting an SSI check. Factor into that any number of the various drug dependencies to be found. Meth, heroin, and prescription drug addiction are so prevalent in some stage or other, it pretty much seems the norm.

I learned a lot about putting in grout. Kind of a pain, actually. The tiles we were working with look incredibly like actual old gray weathered wood. But ya gotta get right on down in there and work away the channels with a little scraper free of crud to receive a glop of grout smeared in. And then you scrape, and you smear, and scrape, and smear, until eventually you have to clean away everything smeared all around the floor. Which takes a long time because ya gotta go back and forth with a bucket of water blackened quickly with each wring-out of the sponge...

I now know how to install a toilet.

Did a bit of painting.

Installed a couple sets of hanging blinds.

I get a honkin'-on tool belt all tricked-out and ready for action. Sometimes I'll drive, I am told, a company rig to Miller's, in fact, and drive down the breezeway in fine style as, not simply a paying customer, but rather an essential representative of a very highly-respected construction company. Under no circumstances will I allow my former coworkers to laze about and lollygag. I'll be watching them, watching them like a hawk to make perfectly certain they simply do their damn jobs right.

Not this one, but next weekend, looks like we'll be an hour out of town in Pendleton for a couple nights on a job. (I believe it was September of 2011 I saw the 100th-annual Pendleton Round-Up with the kiddo and the now-ex. We especially liked the bull-riding.) Ordinarily, we'll have weekends off. There aren't many of us working for this outfit--only three other guys I worked with today--and one of them was by himself, mostly.

Working the NEW, new job.

The other job went sour. I don't like working under the table forever. I wanna pay into Social Security and be able to report taxes. The chintzy little midget I was helping doesn't want to have to pay employee tax, though, so he just lied from the start and claimed paying under the table was temporary without ever intending to do the right thing. Everyone I mentioned his name to, they all said the same thing: "That little weasel?" Yep, that one. He wears a size 8 shoe and he owes me $12.50.

Meanwhile, I got a way better job with a real construction company. Tell ya more about it later. Gotta get to work.

Above: view from the mountains near Idaho.
Below: Great Horned owl in the new shop we're building.

Yes, the spirit of Elvis was upon me as I cut stringers and put in headers and yadda yadda after the morning's concrete pour. Just as you would expect. Then, when my work was done, in order to quell any crowds which might have otherwise developed, I announced that I had left the building.


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