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Thread: So... Once Upon a Time...

  1. #271
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    +

    We talk alot about hobbies in this forum,, knives/radios'/photography/ you name it

    For me, flashlights I place in tools & gear category, so it gives me room for a true hobby, Off Road RC cars = advancements in brushless motors & particularly LiPo batteries have transformed the rc industry.
    Yes it's a bit dorky, but it allows me to make & modify stuff w/ no rules. All you need to do is monitor temperatures in how wild you want stuff to go.

    So last Sunday I went over to a friends house where he has a track, we run 6~8 times a year. From our conversation, I thought we were going to work on the track, so I didn't being any RC stuff.
    After getting there I see he went a bit nutso using a tractor driven pulverizer in his yard,,, kinda over did it.

    He came out and we walked around surveying on what we needed to do to remake his track ( btw it's rather good w/ huge berms/ jumps ect.)
    Giving my input we started getting an idea where it was going...

    Just then I hear "dude, check this out", (I thought he found some rc part that flew off) and he reaches down in the fresh 'pulverized' dirt & picks up an incredible arrowhead.
    Now I have one myself, but this was a very good one,,, the craftsmanship on it was truly amazing.
    Obviously it was very old and dirty, but the symmetry was very good, but the most interesting part was its edges had a medium fine serration that must have taken some high level of skill to make.
    ..still sharp on its edges.

    I told him about the type of rock that was needed and how long it takes that types of rock (including an outcrop) to form.
    Just a truly fantastic find!!!

    Indians have played a big part in the history of the region, going waaaay back, Wisconsin particularly has many cities of Indian names.
    Was this arrowhead from hunting?,, was it from a battle?,,, we will never know.

    It just was the damnedest chance he looked down at just the right spot, and something caught his eye.

    I told him he should give it to his newborn daughter later in her life....... really/truly neat!
    Last edited by orbital; 04-23-2020 at 11:51 AM. Reason: bit of a reword

  2. #272

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Nice story O.

    I used to walk around looking until my eyes got blurry. One thing I discovered is if you looking during or just after a rain event they stand out like Christmas ornaments on a tree. When dry a slight dirt haze camoflauges them similar to surrounding dirt.

    I had the chance to learn from historians that the more craftsmanship they had, the older they likely were. It seems once the really early period was over, call it the cave man days there was a craftsmanship that took place for a while. Then like any society once they figured out how to do it faster and faster the fine details went away. Look at houses to see what I mean. Old houses were works of art. Newer match stick homes all look the same.

    It also seems that tribes had their own style. Christmas tree, wolf, owl style as they were known. Lay it down on a table point facing up and you'll see what I mean. The more notches carved into the piece is an indicator of age. Newer ones have less notches.

    Some were used as a drill bit in order to drill holes through leather. Some were used in a lacrosse style where a strip of leather was gathered like a lasso with the "point" as the arrowhead was called was spun around in a twirling notion like a lasso, then one half of the leather released to send the point towards the animal at a high rate of speed. That was way more effective than the hollywood famous bow and arrow. Some were fashioned onto darts as a bird killer, some on sprears for plunging into water to harpoon a fish.

    In my area they were mostly farmers. Meat was a rare treat.

    I used to walk around quiet areas day dreaming of a tribe elder showing a young stud how to smack two rocks together in order to fashion a tool for hunting. Then the day came when the youngster was off somewhere smaking rocks together in a whittling fashion and making his own tool, then returning to the camp and showing his bloody tool to the elder.

    It's fitting that during this pandemic the population of the US is all stressed about a virus. Way back when viruses killed way more indigenous people than guns. Whole tribes wiped out by what they called "running face". Cholera, flu, the head cold. It was written by the few who wrote down stories, the ones taught to read and write that it was not unusual for a hunter to return to camp and find 30,000 dead people who died of running face in a short period.

    Keep searching Orbital. Who knows that you'll find.
    John 3:16

  3. #273
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Orbital,

    Our home in the desert is built on a sand dune, and it is very easy to find arrowheads here. It is very interesting. A lady we know found the pieces to a really big pot a few years back, and was only missing one or two pieces out of the dozens it took to restore it.

    We have not looked for any in a while but there are lots of artifacts right here on our property.

    Best,

    RL
    Last edited by RedLED; 04-27-2020 at 12:50 AM.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  4. #274

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Photo bug bit again:

    When I was a lad my father was an ace photographer. He had one of those fancy cameras with lenses you swap out for others. He worked as a machinist in a factory that made alluminum stuff like sprinkler pipe, bleachers and alluminum foil. He found a source for Pentax gear for about half the price a typical American paid and preferred Japanese glass over German. Now the camera he used was totally manual so when it was time for family photos that was a drag while he dialed in the perfect settings. "Cheeeeeeeee-eeeeeee-eeeeee please take the picture already eeeeeeeeeeze" was the norm. We learned not to blink because that meant another photo required. But his photos were studio quality regardless of location. He took great photos. I did not know until after he had passed how many masterpieces he had taken as he was a quiet person who kept things to himself. He was big into black and white photos and had some that were outstanding macros, nature settings and celestrial in subject. All we ever got to see during his slide shows were family and vacation stuff. He never showed off his photo journalism, civil war reenactment pictures or anything to do with his hobby as a photographer. I discovered a treasure trove of slides after he passed away.

    Now as a young adult I was the family photographer of my kids etc, but my gear was that automatic point and shoot stuff so that was easy. I never knew about blurry backgrounds or depth of field or close ups. Then one day I found myself divorced, furloughed from work and bored out of my mind. I went outside my 800sf apartment one day and started taking photos of stuff. That led to more photos later on as I discovered a new way to pass the time. At first I developed my own some but decided it was worth the little cost to have them developed at a store. It was about $2 a roll. At one point I was shotting 2 or 3 rolls a day. Buy a 3 pack of Fuji 200 speed and drop them off the next day. Heck, I even had a few worth upsizing to 8x10.

    At one point I showed my dad a few and after looking at them he went back to his den, then brings back a Canon AE-1 and a small book on photography by Kodak. It was a how to book that was like my dad. Very few words but very profound statements. The book was about 8" tall and 3" wide with about 25 pages. The pure basics. Now the battery was bad in the AE-1 and at that time were $13 apiece in a camera store. The famous CR123. The AE-1 was 100% manual but did have a built in light meter. Being used to everything automatic my first few rolls of film shot through that were complete duds. But as I understood what that little book was saying more and more I began to gain a decent understanding of obtaining decent photos. I stuck with 200 speed film as 400 or more were just too sensitive for my skills at the time and 100 pictures were often blurry. I soon discovered a mono pod was my friend.

    Now enter the age of online photo sharing and soon film was becoming obsolete to me. I was a member of a nationwide skateboard team called Old Man Army where people over 30 shared their local riding spots. My first digital camera was a pair of binoculars with a 0.9mp camera. Folks in Pheonix, Portland, LA, and Boise were like "dude you need a better camera". I still preferred film and just stopped posting crappy photos at my favorite sites. My dad gave me his old Pentax gear and I was set. "Screw digital"'I thought. But then one day at work a coworker handed me a Hewlett Packard camera and says "know how to use this?" I said I could turn it on. He stated since I knew more than he did it was mine to keep as he had found it on the side of the road. I went to a local electronics store and bought a charger for the battery and discovered "holy crap, this is 7 MP!!" It took really nice photos.

    A couple weeks of snapping photo after photo with this new digital marvel that you could instantly see results of instead of waiting for developing I was hooked. I took photos of everything. Afterall you can just delete them. And instead of being strapped to 24 photos a roll, I could take 100 before the memory card got full (if the battery lasted that long). I had spare batteries and spare memory cards. I think a 256 mb was huge at the time and getting 50 photos per charge was awesome. One day I was talking to this gal about the beautiful sunset earlier that evening. She showed me some photos she had taken of it. I showed her some I had taken. Off in the distance of my photos was a person. Turns out it was her taking photos of the same sunset as me. I married her about 18 months later. It was Mrs Fixer.

    Her and I both evolved our photography skills as she learned what the buttons do and I learned how to frame a subject. Her photos were beautiful. She was just pushing buttons she said. I was dialing in settings. Between the two of us we took thousands upon thousands of neat photos. Some were even good enough for a ribbon or two. But life got in the way and we began using celphones for cameras. By then we both had nice SLR cameras and lots of nice lenses. She did pictures for people like team photos or weddings. I did the editing. We even did a couple of short films just for laughs. I was more into celphone cam flaws and enjoyed getting familiar with how my celcam would screw up a scene and learned how to make use of the flaws. My big cameras got used less and less. At high school football games and other sporting events many thought we were pros because we carried nice gear. I always carried mine bolted to a monopod, which really got the local soccer-mom Ansel Adams wanna be with their low end SLR cameras all whipped into a frenzy. We just took photos and if parents wanted a copy we just charged for the ink and paper. Other parents were charging like they were working for Sports Illustrated and our photos were actually better for $5 apiece.

    At my work word got out that I was a photographer. The company started using my work photos for promos. They even paid me for them. But with the money came demands. Demands my artistic approach did not care for. So as time passed I got away from taking photos at work unless it was purely for my pleasure. Birds, dragonflies, and various nature stuff. My photojournalism skills had become pretty good but I was losing interest photography all together. The passion just wasn't there and it showed in my work as photo after photo were just more of the same old crap. I turned to fixing up cars, then flashlights and used my celphone to take photos.

    Much of my pro-type gear is stashed away these days. But the other day I purchased a fancy point n shoot number with lots of controls possible. I plan on using it mainly for work but with its small size figure when the mood strikes it will also be used for artistry at times since there are occasions I wish I had my big gear up and running. I keep an SLR rig in my work truck but usually by the time I set it up the scene has passed. I'm hoping the nice point n shoot will allow some spur of the moment treasures to be captured on a sensor with much better quality than an iPhone cam, which aren't bad for tablet screen sized photos. With a much larger sensor the individual "photosites" should have much greater detail. The celphone is pretty dawg gone convenient. The SLR provides fantastic detail. I'm hoping my new high end point and shoot is somewhere in between. The goal is to take photos my dad would have liked. Thanks to that little book he gave me I have the ability to do that.

    An example was one day on an assignment I kept hearing the distinct sounds of a belted Kingfisher bird nearby. Being notoriously shy they are hard to photograph up close. It was a time during its migration so I knew it was only in town for a short time. I had been trying to get a decent photo of one for 20 years. All I kept getting was the butt of one while it flew away. After a couple of days I knew the birds habit and found a blind. I waited for it to announce its presence like they do with a distinctive machine gun sounding chirp. Armed with my SLR and long lens I popped a couple of pretty good photos of it from about 50 yards away. I hope to get one even closer with my point n shoot someday since it takes only a couple of seconds from bag to photo where my SLR takes over a minute unless the long lens is already attached. About 3 minutes from bag to photo if not.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 07-05-2020 at 10:28 AM.
    John 3:16

  5. #275
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    bykfixer,
    Thank you, that was a nice walk along memory lane.

    My dad took thousands of family photos, and of events that we participated in, not too many of birds or wildlife.

    His was a 50's era Argus, rangefinder 35MM camera, usually loaded with B&W film.

    He had a separate hand held light meter, but I don't think he used that often.
    Each roll of film, came with a little bit of instruction, with a pictorial of which f stop settings to use with different lighting conditions; such as bright sun, cloudy, overcast, dense shade. Of course the f settings would vary depending upon the film speed. IIRC he had the pictorial scotch taped to the back of the camera of the film he most frequently used, for reference.

    To change the roll of film, one had to first rewind the exposed film, back into its container, before opening the back of the camera, or the film would be ruined.
    I remember him changing rolls of film, under a blanket, jacket, or something to keep the film, out of direct sunlight, if not in darkness, at least in dense shade.






    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  6. #276

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Awesome old camera!!

    My pop would always cover his camera before removing the film too. He also insisted on black film containers too. My Rebel G had that awesome auto wind feature. Yeah baby I was some kinda cool with that. My dad said "wastes battery, you don't need that". But dad it's cool.

    Of course later I realized pop was right……I wonder how many more photos I could have taken on a battery not run down with auto wind feature.
    John 3:16

  7. #277
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    +

    Just a couple days ago, was on a motorbike ride a county over.
    Very beautiful area of lakes & rolling hills forests.

    While going though this tiny town, I passed an old fashioned general store.
    Now I'v passed it before, but just the other day noticed something I hadn't before..

    an old rusting sign on the outside that said Kodak film sold here

    It made me think of times past & my Dad

  8. #278
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    Just a couple days ago, was on a motorbike ride a county over.
    Very beautiful area of lakes & rolling hills forests.

    While going though this tiny town, I passed an old fashioned general store.
    Now I'v passed it before, but just the other day noticed something I hadn't before..

    an old rusting sign on the outside that said Kodak film sold here

    It made me think of times past & my Dad
    Beautiful!
    I'm all smiles.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  9. #279
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    For a while, 110 format cameras were in style, and for a number of years, I kept one in my glove box of my car.

    I think this is the model.



    It was a neat little number with an electric eye, that could adjust the shutter speed, down to about 10 seconds, or up to 1/300 of a second.

    One day, a friend and I drove out of town to an "Oktoberfest". As a part of the publicity they had the "Atlanta Falcon Cheerleaders" I jumped out of the car, and gave my camera to my friend. "Here... take my picture!"

    In my early 20's surrounded by the most beautiful women in the world. Man.. life is good!

    Damn... can't find that picture.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  10. #280

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    I had forgotten all about 110.
    Nice story.
    John 3:16

  11. #281

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    An un-normal day at the office:

    It was about to turn into Fall of 2004 when a hurricane named Gaston was down graded to a tropical storm. The guy on the news says "and Gaston will pass through our area quickly and be in New England in by nightfall. Well, you know the deal. The weatherman gets it wrong an awful lot. Yet nobody knew ole Gaston would chug up the east coast and then stall over Richmond Va for an hour many will never forget. Up to 18" of rain fell in about an hour. I was watching it from my upstairs bedroom and living on a flat street I saw water piling up in the highest point of my street. With a 6" curb on both sides, they were under water. I'd never seen anything like it.

    Next day things were a huge mess. Working as a consultant for the highway department I was on a paving assignment that ended about a month later. I was to be furloughed after that until Spring. Instead myself and 4 others were dispatched to watch over a number of reconstruction projects. The day after Gaston my buddy Ron and I were dispatched to one where so much water ran down an exit ramp it literally floated a foot thick layer of pavement of a right lane and dumped it onto the left lane of a highway for about a half mile. The two of us worked a 24 hour shift watching pavers repair that one. But one assignment was to watch a triple barrel culvert get replaced. Three side by side 84" pipes (that's 8 feet tall) had been dislodged and moved about 75 feet.

    It was one of those roads in the middle of nowhere with perhaps 50 cars a day. But being closed meant folks living in the area had about a 50 mile detour. So the culverts needed to be put back asap. Looking at the pipes was sureal. It was like a giant had just tossed his toys and walked about leaving a pile of rubble. And in a cavern left there was a pinky sized phone wire showing. The contractor called the utility line locating services to have it identified with markings before they began rebuilding the culverts. Nobody thought much about it.

    A week goes by and locating services all said "it aint ours". The line was laying across the area where work needed to take place. The boss wanted to know why no work had begun. It was a FEMA job so it was time and materials meaning we were paying the contractor was getting paid to wait for the line to be identified. Two weeks, nothing. The third week the contractor who had a big crew of less than legal workers was getting anxious to start working. My boss hollered at my project inspector on a celular phone "cut the dam thing and start working". So the contractor cut the line with wire cutters.

    About 15 minutes later we saw white Econoline vans flying toward our direction from two directions. "Huh?" we thought. Like ten of them!! They slam on brakes all like you see on tv and suddenly a bunch of fellows wearing aviator shades and dark blue coaches jackets with yellow letters……and they all had rifles. "Who's in charge here?!?" shouts one of them as the cotractors workers were scattering into the woods, jumping into the water or standing with their hands in the air. The contractor foreman said "I am, is there a problem?" The guy says "yeah who ever cut the phone line is in big trouble". They talked for a bit and things settled down without any trouble.

    Turns out just up the road was a US Navy satellite farm and cutting the phone line had disrupted communication all over planet earth. lol. Holy cow!! Some secret wire along an old country road getting shut down the communication of the entire United States Navy or something. Now for an hour everybody on our side stood around paralyzed while government agents slowly got back in the vans and headed away. Later that day we laughed and laughed about all those dudes jumping into the water, running into the woods etc. Eventually the triple culvert was reinstalled and I was off to other fast paced projects since Gaston had done quite a number to an area along the Chickhomany river near Richmond Va.

    A coworker named Ron and I became friends at that period of our lives. Unfortunately colon cancer took Ron away a few years later.
    RIP Ron.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-19-2020 at 07:17 PM.
    John 3:16

  12. #282

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Catching up old posts. bykfixer, you have me in tears, and then you drop a bomb on me. WW. I'm devastated. Everyone else must have gotten through it months ago. I feel foolish and sad. I think I just sighed 25 times in a row, getting dizzy. He made me laugh. But bykfixer, you should publish.

  13. #283
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Great story Mr Fixer!

    So when the "Men in Black" showed up with their little mind eraser light, you were left unimpressed?
    It's obvious that it didn't erase your mind.
    I'm glad for that.

    Being the flashaholic you are... "hmmm, I've got one better than that!" "Here... check out this little HDS, I have in my pocket!"

    Chillinm,
    Nice complement you wrote there.

    Yeah... a few years after I am gone, I'll be mostly forgotten, but Woods Walker, with his tips and humor, and internet postings will be with us forever.

    A great guy, I miss him too.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  14. #284

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    RIP WW.

    Thanks for the compliment Chillin'.

    Poppy, we were all too scared to be impressed or not. We did however discuss the feeling "sure am glad they're on our side" aspect though.

    Another Gaston project involving potential military was a small bridge that high waters had scoured out the soil under the pier in the middle had to be replaced. In bridge terms a pier is a sort of post that supports a bridge. There may be one pier or a few depending on its length. Each end of the bridge is called an abutment. This bridge had one pier in the middle and the river it crossed had washed out the soil it sat on. Now the bridge had been built in the "make work" period of the Great Depression. If I recall correct 1936 or 7. It was about 100 feet long so when driving 55 mph on that country road you cross it in a second or two. Again this was a project in the middle of nowhere that perhaps 50 cars a day cross over. Also again with it closed that meant residents had to drive about 25 miles around to get to their destination.

    The project was to replace the old one with what is called a truss bridge. In basic terms it is an erector set bridge on a life sized scale. The parts of the bridge were brought in on trucks and assembled with a million billion screws. The riding surface called the deck was to be asphalt. It's a nostalgia thing I try not to understand because that just slows down the work. I was sent to help a guy named Fred. His real name, but other names will be non real since later in life they needed their identities to remain anonymous. Fred was a guy sent from another district of the highway department as punishment for losing his cool one day. On a large bridge project with a really lousy contractor in a politically charged district (ie folks up for re-election soon) ole Fred made the 6 o'clock news. See the contractor's boss had been threatening ole Fred with bodily harm and one day Fred had enough, burst into the contractors office and basically tossed furniture and said "bring it on big fella". The problem was the contractor boss was being interviewed at that moment by a local news reporter asking "why the hell is it taking you so long to build this bridge?" when Fred burst in the place. Doh!

    Now on this project Fred was working for a guy I'll call Tim (not his real name) and the contractor boss (not the same one Fred dealt with before) I'll call Charles (not his real name). The contractor foreman I'll call Dave (not his real name either). Now Fred got along with Dave ok, but Tim and Charles hated each other for some reason I do not know. But everytime they got within 10 feet of each other a shouting match resulted. In my book Charles usually won the battle of the minds, because he was a politically connected cocaine addict who was actually a lot smarter than Tim. But Tim worked for the government so he could make phone calls and get other departments dispatched to come out to the project and reject work being done by the contractor or find safety violations, regardless how minor. That made Fred and Dave have a lot of bad days.

    As much as Fred and Dave tried to get along they were each told to "get that guy" meaning each other by their bosses. Often times they refused to comply and the days their bosses were both on the job at the same time Fred and Dave were getting their butts chewed for getting along. Me, I was just a helper who stood by and shook my head a lot while I did my work. I tested materials and completed work like dirt compactions or concrete. Contractor workers would say to me "man this don't make no sense them guys contantly bickering all the time." I agreed.

    On the days Tim had sent his goon squad to the site to reject work Charles would say "that's ok I'll be having lunch with Paul (not his real name) Tuesday". Paul was the head honcho of the highway department who was one of the governors minions. Now Paul being appointed by the governor could chat with the governor easily and Tim knew that but he hated Charles so much that did not stop him. So about twice a month Charles would say "that's cool Tim, I'll be discussing this with Paul this Tuesday".

    One day Charles said "that's ok Tim I'm having lunch with Paul today"………Fred said "so I guess you haven't read todays newspaper, huh?" Charles said "no why?" Fred goes to his truck and brings back the morning paper. On the front page was a photo of Paul being led out of his office building in hand cuffs after being charged with corruption. Charles walked away mumbling what sounded like obsenities and sped off in his SUV.

    In the meantime both ends of the proposed bridge had been built. The abutments that the big erector set structure would sit on had been finished. A big old vertical concrete slab had been built on each side of the river about 125 feet apart. The bridge pieces had arrived and were being assembled. My job at that point was to check every bolt with a torque wrench. A 3 feet long torque wrench. I had noticed at this point that every day at precisely 3:15 in the afternoon a pair of bald eagles flew overhead. Being a photographer, at 3:00 each day I'd set up a camera on a tripod to photograph them flying over. I still used film back then because digital gear was less than great and very expensive.

    Tim told Fred to have me take photos of the project with a cheap camera he had so I did. Ends up he hated my photos because I took pictures of cool stuff in the background like the American flag on a crane boom and of course those eagles flying over. "You are wasting my film with this crap" he said one day. I took pictures of welders with sparks flying, workers wiping a sweaty brow, a crane operator with nothing to do sleeping etc. To me they were stories.

    So off to the side the erector set is being assembled on one side of the river. One morning the drunkest drunkered I had ever seen shows up and begins to tell Fred and Dave the abutments are too far apart. The contractors surveyer was this watery eyed man who shook like an earthquake at 8am and wreaked of his cheap booze breakfast announced there was an error in points on each side of the river to guage where to build each abutment. Grade bust they call it. Usually a grade bust is parts of an inch or perhaps an inch or two. This one was 27 feet!! Were the abutments 27 feet too far apart? Not far enough apart? The erector set pieces were custom fabricated a certain length and you don't just start welding on extensions or cutting stuff off. This was bad it seemed. It turned out the highway department had set grade points from one side of the river using one point instead of one from each side so everything was cool. Pulling a distance between a point on each side of the river were supposed to be X feet apart but in reality they were 27 feet off the supposed distance apart and the highway department surveyor had caught the mistake before designing the bridge plans. Phew!!

    The bridge is assembled and ready to set onto the concrete abutments and be bolted to the vertical concrete slabs that had threaded metal studs sticking out. But Tim was still playing games and said the contractor's crane was to small to lift the structure and set it over the slabs. The crane could lift 150 tons at a certain angle. Tim said they needed a 175 ton crane as the angle was too steep to use a 150 ton crane. In other words the crane on site would be setting too far away to set the structure at a safe angle. Lifting at too shallow an angle can break a crane boom sending large metal objects downward onto workers below. Dave hollered out to Tim ""J$&us Chr!$t man it's my bridge, you haven't paid for it yet, if I drop it in the f-bomb water I'll buy you another one!" Tim told Fred don't you let him set that bridge. Charles came out and once again fir went to flying.

    Dave set the bridge the next day. Now nothing broke but the tracks the crane moves back and forth on were lifting off the ground at the opposite end from the crane boom. It was kinda scarey to watch. Several workers and I stood well off to the side holding our breath. But it set onto the metal studs safely. After that bolts were fastened over the next few days, plates were welded between girders for the asphalt deck to be placed on (hence pictures of welders with sparks flying) and eventually the bridge was opened to the public again.

    Now I noticed every Friday many of the workers would gather around a welder who traded cash for their paychecks. It turns out he was a loan shark from NJ who would cash their check for a 5% fee. This was before the days of E-verify and some of the workers were actually illegal imigrants so they would pay him instead of using Western Union to wire their checks back home. The loan shark guy was a fellow who owned parking garages and other legitimate businesses in NJ and was a relocated government witness against a crime family in the 1970's. He came down south and took up the welding trade as his cover.

    That project was wild. It took about 3 months to replace a bridge that you can cross in about two snaps of your fingers. Charles was later arrested and convicted of drug trafficking and raquteering. Tim was fired for collusion and taking bribes and died of a heart attack while being led out of his office building. Dave had 3 incidents where crane boom broke and people died. He is reportedly serving time (or served) for willfull misconduct in the deaths of 2 people including his son who was a crane operator who died in one incident when the crane fell over into water and he drowned. The welder was in his late 80's at the time so he is either dead or one of the worlds oldest people. And Fred retired about a year later. Last I heard he is living a peaceful life on piece of land in the countryside not far from that project.

    Oh, and that little bridge was rated some kinda "G" rating like G-14 or something meaning it can withstand military tanks to cross in case America got invaded. It is a shortcut between military bases.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-22-2020 at 08:35 AM.
    John 3:16

  15. #285
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Kansas
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    582

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    bykfixer, wow what a story! That’s pretty crazy.

  16. #286

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    The contractors surveyer was this watery eyed man who shook like an earthquake at 8am and wreaked of his cheap booze breakfast....
    Doubling down. I, and many others, wish we could write like this. Pure lyrical poetry. Come up with an outline so you can finish, and send the first chapters to a publisher. yada yada yada... move to Key West and raise 6 toed cats.

  17. #287
    Moderator
    archimedes's Avatar
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    15,155

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    I, too, think Byk should write a book.

    Or maybe a podcast, or the like ?
    ... is the archimedes peak

  18. #288
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Great Lakes
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    2,561

    Default Re: So... Once Upon a Time...

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I, too, think Byk should write a book.

    Or maybe a podcast, or the like ?

    +

    yes, genuine talent

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