Posted by: David | June 1, 2007

The Big Pump

 Before the update on the garage there is news in the Beautiful Things front. We have lots of houseplants. My wife has gotten very good with orchids. And there is a cactus in our daughter’s old bedroom that sits in an east-facing window with a bunch of African violets for companions. So this cactus decided to bloom a week or so back.

Cactus flower a week ago.

Cactus flower today.

Just thought you’d like to see that.

So trucks started rolling in before 8 this Friday morning, June 1, 2007. Many trucks came today. The first two came with 3 guys who got all the concrete forms to a finished state, with the rebar in place, ready to have the concrete flow in. And the town’s building inspector came in on pretty short notice, to verify that all was ready for the foundation pour. Around 11:30 the cement pump truck arrived. It looked like a carnival ride.

The hose hangs like an elephant’s trunk at the end of the giant boom. They are waiting for the concrete truck to arrive.

This giant pump, with a radio-remote control unit that one of the guys wears (two joysticks and a bunch of other controls on a shoulder-strapped box) places flowing concrete right to where ever you’d want it. How handy!

Where’s the concrete? They were only 5 minutes late. Five past noon. They backed the first concrete truck up to the pumper and dumped the concrete into the pump hopper.

The crete-blowing elephant’s trunk dangles at the left. The guy controlling it is off-frame to the right. The crew waits for the concrete to begin pumping.

But the concrete would not pump. The big pump shuddered and hissed, but no crete would come out the far end. They sprayed water into the hopper, extended the boom down as far and flat as they could get it, but still the concrete would not pump through. I had to leave for an appointment, and did not see the 2 hours of messing with the pump.  As I left they had begun to disassemble the pipes and elbows where jams are expected. When I returned around 3, they had gotten pretty much to the end of Plan B. Which had been to maneuver the concrete trucks as close to the forms as possible and get the crete into the forms. The old fashioned way.

The forms are filled. Concrete truck #2 is being swabbed down.

It was hot and humid and all the guys were pretty sweaty. There were more guys there than when I’d left around 1:00. Probably needed to call in extra troops to help with slogging buckets of crete around. But they got it done, in spite of not having the pumper. Not much choice when 2 truckloads of concrete are waiting to be emptied. Felt bad for them and brought out some cold cans of Pepsi. Maybe tomorrow the forms will come off. I probably won’t be around, cause I’m going for a bike ride!

Scratched in my Mom’s birthday with a toothpick. She’d be 74 if she was still around. Happy Birthday Mom!



  1. Woohoo… this week’s my maternal grandma’s birthday too!

    And today’s my last exam!

    And I need tea!

    You know what’s at the bottom of a pit when you fill it with concrete?

    The Mask. ™

    true story.

    (Yes, yes, I watch too many cartoons. Just thank the Gods above that I didn’t photoshop Dr Viper onto that nice li’l cactus flower. Swat Kats was so awesome.)

  2. SsssaahMOKin!!

    If you are right then I should be able to find The Mask ™. Before they backfill the hole, right?

    If I do then watch out! I will flip one bit in your PhotoShop settings to make it put Dr. Who music into all your mp3 files!!


    Congrats on your exams ending (?)

    Could you really photoshop a jpeg on my blog?

  3. The correct procedure to find The Mask™ from a concrete fill is to stand in it, extricate it, and not move your feet till it’s dry. Then wait for a 10 foot reanimated corpse to break the concrete, rough you up, attempt to use The Mask™ and fail. Then you can take it from a dumpster.

    In case this doesn’t work, you probably did something wrong.

    Try again.

  4. These instructions are too confusing for me. I think I will skip ahead to dumpster step. From the dumpster I will take The Mask™.

    Only one question remains … which Dumpster™?

    To learn this, I will ask my friend, the Talking Mime™.

    She knows of these things.

  5. I *totally* love that I’m Trade-Marked now…how cool must I be? VERY!!

  6. The Talking Mime™ Cello-tape®
    The Talking Mime™ football shoes©
    The Talking Mime™ Talking Mime Dolls™
    The Talking Mime™ Management Toolbox©

    This has potential

  7. Oh yeah.

    And I will be negotiating for 17% of all royalties. Nimish will handle our Eurasian Branch. He also is entitled to 17% for originally generating the trademarks. Naturally he will have to share with Jim Carrey, of The Mask™ fame.

    Except for the Cello-tape. It’s branding is currently being held up by litigation in Istanbul, which does not recognize the “®” mark.

  8. Nice page Dave! I’d watch out for that Bonnie. She’s too cool for her own good. oops..Hi Bonnie! 🙂

  9. Hi Lisa, and thanks! It’s kinda fun. Yah- I’m watchin’ out for that Bonnie! She’s, like, all that now with her cute little blue jelly bean car!

  10. A jelly bean car must be a very little car, brightly coloured.

    That is an impressive pump, and then it did not work. I am surprised that they could not get it to work.

    My friend Bonnie’s car is just that cantueso, small and bright blue. Good on fuel too.

    The pump failure 😦 was blamed on the cement being of too thick a consistency. Apparently mixing concrete is quite an art. This concrete, I was told, was capable of withstanding a nuclear blast.

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