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Thoughts on Concrete


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They use a lot of concrete in China....it's the primary building material. I was talking to my buddy over there, and we ended up thinking a few things about concrete.......

Concrete is most attractive when it is wet. just out of the mixer, maybe a little warm, with that sweet smell of possibility. All things are possible at that point- it can be a fulfilling, productive experience, or it can end up a mess. You have control, but not complete control. The concrete has something to say about it, too. It yearns to be placed. But you have to exercise some control- if you agree too quickly, if you ply it with too much water, you can end up with a mess, all over the job site, it is expensive and dirty and no one wants to be around at that point. You start bringing in the lawyers.

But if you treat it well, pump it just enough, not too fast, not too slow- and give it time to be properly worked- it comes beautifully, all hard and smooth and willing to serve you for years and years without complaint. As it ages, it can develop some flaws, but even these can be self-repairing. And a few age spots, or cracks, add some character. Not true for other types, except for wood.

Wood is great, but gets used a little too much. Concrete is for those of us with more sophisticated tastes.

Concrete block is like kissing your sister. Good for somebody else, maybe, but too ... standard. You know concrete block too well. Possibilities are really limited to what concrete block wants to do. No chance to mold concrete block into something more.

Asphalt is just hot and dirty and wilts in the summer heat and is too flaky for long term relationships. A quick roll in the road and its over. You can't build anything with asphalt, just a good lay. You can't do it standing up.

Clay or concrete roof tile, maybe slate, have their place........on top. But they are brittle, and can crack. And when they do, there is no repairing the relationship. It is just done. No going back. With concrete, you have a chance. When the concrete truck shows up, everybody jumps. With concrete, the smell, the sense of urgency, the wetness, the .....

I have to go now..........

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They use a lot of concrete in China....it's the primary building material. I was talking to my buddy over there, and we ended up thinking a few things about concrete.......

Concrete is most attractive when it is wet. just out of the mixer, maybe a little warm, with that sweet smell of possibility. All things are possible at that point- it can be a fulfilling, productive experience, or it can end up a mess. You have control, but not complete control. The concrete has something to say about it, too. It yearns to be placed. But you have to exercise some control- if you agree too quickly, if you ply it with too much water, you can end up with a mess, all over the job site, it is expensive and dirty and no one wants to be around at that point. You start bringing in the lawyers.

But if you treat it well, pump it just enough, not too fast, not too slow- and give it time to be properly worked- it comes beautifully, all hard and smooth and willing to serve you for years and years without complaint. As it ages, it can develop some flaws, but even these can be self-repairing. And a few age spots, or cracks, add some character. Not true for other types, except for wood.

Wood is great, but gets used a little too much. Concrete is for those of us with more sophisticated tastes.

Concrete block is like kissing your sister. Good for somebody else, maybe, but too ... standard. You know concrete block too well. Possibilities are really limited to what concrete block wants to do. No chance to mold concrete block into something more.

Asphalt is just hot and dirty and wilts in the summer heat and is too flaky for long term relationships. A quick roll in the road and its over. You can't build anything with asphalt, just a good lay. You can't do it standing up.

Clay or concrete roof tile, maybe slate, have their place........on top. But they are brittle, and can crack. And when they do, there is no repairing the relationship. It is just done. No going back. With concrete, you have a chance. When the concrete truck shows up, everybody jumps. With concrete, the smell, the sense of urgency, the wetness, the .....

I have to go now..........

I dunno,

Sounds like Kurt is, literally, turned on by concrete. You don't suppose he was, well, you know, while he was describing this to us, was he? Ewww!

Wonder if he's got photos of concrete tucked away between the pages of a magazine somewhere where nobody will find 'em.

Kurt, I thought I'd help you out and send you something for your yearning, but I can't find a single sex shop around here that has concrete dolls that are anatomically correct to send you. Will a nice pyramid-shaped pier block from the big orange box do? Jeez, I wonder what the shipping charges will be?

I guess if I read about a strange fellow who was on a construction site humping a warm wheelbarrow full of fresh concrete and then ran off before he could be collared, I'll know who it was.

Kurt, for crissake, get help, 'ol buddy.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've worked with lots of 'masons' over the years. The one thing that all 'masons' (when I say masons here, I mean brick & blocks layers with some concrete on the side) have in common is they turn into mad-men when that first concrete truck arrives on the job.

I concluded that they were ALL afraid of losing the pour before it was finished.

Now-a-days, masons lay brick, finishers pour and finish concrete.

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Bain tremendously admires Kurt's shrewd wit, and hopes it was not lost on others.

Bain also thinks that a life bereft of concrete, is a life scarcely worth living.

Bain lastly thinks that referring to himself in the third person reminds him how stupid Mike Tyson sounded when he did precisely the same thing.

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Well, I appreciated it. And I share some of the sentiments.

Along those lines, I had the good fortune to work on two productions of Athol Fugard's play, "The Road to Mecca." (The world debut at Yale Rep in 1984 and the regional production at Berkeley Rep in 1988.) I think you'd enjoy reading it. It's about the South African sculptor, Helen Martins, who created fantastic concrete figures embedded with broken glass as the result of visions.

For both productions, we recreated most of the sculptures. I've got pictures somewhere. . .

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Interesting. There's a few buildings in Tianjin and Beijing that have glass embedded in the concrete as a way to make them unique. There's one large house in Tianjin that's embedded with porcelain, with the obvious pitch being it's a *China House*.

Is it a book or a libretto?

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This is a clear cry for help. Young inspectors take note. This is how your brain operates after 25 years in the business.

Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be home inspectors....

Yeah, you're pretty far gone when you consider a mid range plasticizer and fiber mesh roughly equivalent to a third bourbon and thigh highs. Sadly , hope is something you had yesterday.

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This is a clear cry for help. Young inspectors take note. This is how your brain operates after 25 years in the business.

Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be home inspectors....

Hahaha/

Kurt shows us he is a hopeless romantic...who among us does not get wistful with that smell of lime in the air...reminds me of masa and fresh tortillas, tho I would never put concrete in MY enchiladas.

I appreciate evidence of non-tech thinking/feeling on the part of the brethren here.

What bugs me is the sound of all the associated equipment that imposes a false sense of urgency on all the local animals.

"Brer Rabbit, he lay low."

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