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November 08, 2008

An Erection (genghis)

(well, thatís what they call it gutter-brains)

Just something to cheer you up as you peel yourselves off the floor and away from the disgusting mess you left there in the spot you passed out in last night. Open the windows and get out the cans of Lysol. It wonít help much, but at least itís a start.

On Friday I attended a ďtopping-outĒ ceremony for a building for which I was project manager (architect), though thatís not the point. Thatís where they raise the last and highest piece of steel framing on the building. Everyone involved in the project, from the owner/developer down to the lowliest construction clean-up guy gets to sign their name on the last beam to go into place. By tradition, the Ironworkers attach a fir tree and an American flag to the beam (though that is one sad looking fir tree). I have no idea what the fir tree symbolizes because Iím too lazy to look it up. If you know, school us in the comments.

Then they hoist and place the beam. (note: on this project, the beam in question isnít actually the top-most beam or the last one to be put into place, so go figure). Itís also a good opportunity to have an utterly hideous catered bbq lunch. How the fuck can one single caterer destroy so many potentially succulent meats in a single blow? If they can wipe out chicken, ribs and pulled pork, what might they do to bacon, that most indestructible of meats?

But besides the flag and stuff, these ironworkers have to be some of the ballsiest people Iíve ever seen. With just a tether and nothing else they roam around on 6 inch wide beams like they were walking down a sidewalk, but at 17 stories above the ground. Regardless of what you think about construction unions (Or any union for that matter. Well, except for govt. employee unionsÖafter all, they slave away all day in the vast bureaucratic paper mines), those guys are pretty amazing to watch in action.

All of the above is just an excuse to post a nice picture of said beam being hoisted. It's also probably fair to say that at least 95% of the people in this photo own a firearm of some sort, so that gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

A couple more pics below the fold.

Overall view of the project. What's with the smiley face? Very trippy...looks like it's on acid

Ironworkers on top of the beam, just after setting it. Then they embraced in a long passionate kiss

If you need to reach me, Iíll be at the bottom of Puget Sound with a set of concrete shoes, just for writing that.

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posted by xgenghisx at 06:19 AM

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