By Our Own Hands or None - Concrete 2: Revenge of the Crete

  Concrete 2 Revenge of the Crete Vampire Wire and other torture devices July 2019 was a good month to pour concrete. Not so much because of the weather, which was surface-of-the-sun hot, but because we finally passed the first plumbing inspection. Still, there were a few things to sort out before we got around to playing in the mud. The first and most important was to fill and compact all the trenches that wouldn't end up full of concrete. Plumbing finished? Well, close enough for government work. Part of the foundation plan called for a few interior footers to help bear the load of the second story and the interior stairs, so these needed to be dug out, beveled off, and readied for concrete. Like everything else we did, these footers were both wider, deeper, and more reinforced than the blueprints required. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, as they say. You can see the main interior footer in the middle of the flab. Also pictured: the shower framing. One of those all imp

LEAKED MEMO: Department of Intangible Assets

ATTN: All Field Personnel, Southeast Division RE: Asset Designation Numbers As per my previous email, all field personnel submitting a new Type/ Categorization Report (TCR-1023-A) should remember to include the following information: - Date of Initial Contact - Location of Initial Contact - Number of Disparate Anomalies - Estimated Severity (See the Smith-Wyatt Standardization Bell Curve in SOP 110 for a refresher) - Number of Initial Casualties (If applicable) - Any additional pertinent information as needed. This should include an educated guess for asset category, origin and designation, as well as any intelligence gathered in the field relevant to future encounters. Please refer to the attached Asset Designation Number Form to refresh yourselves with the current formatting of finalized ADN. Do not distribute this email outside of the workplace. Regards, SA Diane Morris Dept. of Intangible Assets Southeast Division  

Apocalypse How?

Apocalyptic Stories One of my favorite genres is fiction involving the end of the world. A macabre fascination about how individuals, societies, and entire nations behave in their death throes, as well as their rise from the ashes, drives me to seek out these types of novels. Here, I’ve included my favorites, but honestly it was a hard time paring them down to just ten. 1. On the Beach – Nevile Shute Top of the list for the sheer emotional reaction it forced upon me. On the Beach, set in a world where the nuclear war has already killed everyone north of the equator, follows the survivors of Australia and a handful of American naval personnel as they prepare for the inevitable. Unlike most of the other stories on this list, On the Beach doesn’t have much in the way of antagonists, action, adventure, or hope. What it does have is a very clear message about the horrors of modern wars, the legacy of power struggles, and what it means to die with dignity. I will never read this book a

By Our Own Hands or None - Just Plumb Dumb

 We Are Not Plumbers A Comedy in PVC Parts In June, 2019, the stem wall was finished and it was time to begin slab prep. Before we could pour concrete, we needed to level out and compact the dirt, dig the interior footers, and get the drainage plumbing finished. Sounds pretty simple, right? After all, dirt and footers are simple enough to get right, just a matter of hard work. Well, what makes that hard work even easier? Heavy equipment. Through the miracle of "modern" technology, you don't need to throw out your back. Once levelled, the dirt inside the stem wall needed to have a few minor adjustments made to the height, which was accomplished by wheelbarrow and shovel. I cannot stress enough how heavy comrade sunshine is on days like this, but details matter when it comes to the foundation.  After the dirt's all pretty much in the right place, it's time for Mr. Compactor to come in and do its job. If you're unfamiliar with this little guy, it's essentiall

By Our Own Hands or None - Site Prep and Footers

In Spring of 2019 , my wife and I finished making preparations to build our dream home. Dream home is almost a cliché at this point, a real estate agent's catch phrase to get someone to buy into a neighborhood with white picket fences and an HOA. In our case, we'd spent three years designing the house from the ground up, paying off what we owed on the land itself and hammering out all the fine little details. Initially, we expected the project to take us about twelve months, as we were going to do the majority of the work ourselves. With us throughout the entire experience was my father, whose expertise in building construction made the entire thing possible. Along the way we received help from friends, my brothers, and various good people who did honest, quality work.  I've decided to do a sort of post-mortem for the whole house build. It was absolutely a unique experience, full of satisfaction and frustration. Now, as I sit in the study we built with our own hands I remai