Archive for December 2008
Long story short: they are (or were in the early 90’s) a good company; they treated us well when we made a mistake.
Longer: In the early 90’s, I worked for my dad; my office job was bidding work. One of the jobs I bid was Pilot Oil’s new location in Terre Haute; one unusual point in the bid document was that the brand and color of the exterior finish was explicitly specified. As it wasn’t a brand we usually dealt with, it wasn’t in any of our product notes; Dad called the manufacturer to get the MSDS and product info sheets. They either couldn’t or didn’t fax them over; instead, they gave us the bare minimum data: the coverage rate.
For finishes (paints), the rate is specified in square feet per gallon for each surface type (pdf). For a CMU finish like this, the specs usually include smooth-faced CMU, rough-faced (split) CMU, and the like. The number we got was so many [‘]/g; I remember it seemed really high, but I also remember Dad asking the guy on the phone if that was the rough-faced CMU coverage; the number we worked from was, of course, the smooth-faced CMU number.
The guys on site had no idea about the coverage rates, but they knew the first coat was wrapped up and there was not enough finish to get the second coat done.
There are a couple options here. One is to paint up to a line, say a finish change, and forget the rest. Pilot Oil buildings used to have a band of smooth CMU about eight feet up; paint to this line, and if the customer notices the color difference, you just say it’s a trick of light. Another would be to cut the finish (over-thin it). The risks are leaving too thin a finish; also, the tints and binders will come out of solution at different times, and the paint will streak. Another option is to buy more paint and finish the job correctly.
We chose the third course. While we didn’t need much paint, it was expensive, an odd lot, and we had to have it rushed instead of taking the slow boat; all custom touches that meant the cost of the finish was greater than the profit on the job. These things happen.
Dad wrote a letter to Pilot explaining what happened, and what the cost delta was. I don’t remember the content of the letter much beyond that. The next two events happened in close proximity; the dust of time makes it impossible for me to tell you which happened first.
One, we got a check from Pilot for the overage on paint; two, the roof on Pilot leaked.
That they paid us when they didn’t have to is why I shop there; Pilot Oil was under no contractual obligation to us, yet they treated us well.
To finish the roof leak, story, though:
The leak caused somewhat of a production; the roof shouldn’t leak on a new building. The owner calls the general contractor; the general calls any sub that got anywhere near the roof. Everyone calls lawyers.
When finish schedules are written, they’re written in mils; as in, this surface will be covered with this finish for this many mils. In practice, you look at the product guide; this tells you the number of mils per coat, you find out how many coats you need, and it’s two coats of finish. This sounds risky, because you don’t really know if a finish is so many mils over the entire surface; however, in practice, it works well enough. Nobody checks mils.
Until the roof leaks.
Meeting day, everyone shows up; we all go up to the roof. It is every sub’s ass on the line; someone is paying for this roof, and it isn’t the general. We all carry performance bonds (insurance) on each project; this means the bond agents are there. Having to pay $50,000 for water damage and a new roof would dwarf the profit on an $8000 paint job; if the failure is our fault, we will never get bonded at an affordable rate again. Our ability to be bonded, and therefore bid commercial jobs, is on the line.
The lawyers for the owner brought in an inspector that said “the leak is on the south side. There aren’t any mechanicals in the area (the HVAC guys all sigh relief and leave). There are lights, flashing, roofing, and finish.” That leaves, basically, the electrical contractor, the roofing contractor, and us.
The schedules come out. The roof is to be so thick and of this type material. Up on the roof everyone goes; the inspector cuts out a small section of roofing material from the backside of the CMU. The calipers come out. It passes. It is to be bonded with a failure load of so many pounds. He attaches a spring scale and a clamp and pulls. It does not fail at the design load. This is repeated along the bonding area. The roof passes.
The fixtures (lights) are pulled apart and checked; they’re dry inside, which means water is not passing through them. The seals against the CMU are dry, so they aren’t leaking. Electrical is off the hook.
A drill comes out; the inspector drills into the CMU. A depth gauge comes out. Mils are read. This is repeated along the roofline. The finish passes everywhere. We’re off the hook.
The end of the story was the flashing was installed incorrectly along the cap of the roofline. This, along with heavy rains and driving winds, let enough water in to seep in to wreck stuff.
If we had gone for option 1 or 2 originally, we would have been boned; even though the finish may not of been at fault, we would have been financially culpable for some percentage of the damage caused by the failure.
How often are mils checked on a finish? Only when it really matters.
Tonight was the public forum on Seattle’s proposed ban of firearms on city-owned property; like most public meetings, this one ran hot, cold, and long. Props to the mediator for keeping the meeting clipping along; should you watch the rebroadcast, you’ll notice he has a fairly light touch for the most part. That he cut off pro and con at 90 seconds (even mid-word) was appreciated.
I did not speak tonight; when I signed up and saw the length of the list, I despaired of getting the chance before my bladder gave out. However, I’d like to pass along some tips to people that are venturing into public speaking for the first time.
First, when you hit a home run, quit; even though you have 90 seconds, you don’t have to fill it all. Several speakers hit home runs, waited for the applause to die down, and finished with a pop fly. Don’t be that guy (or girl).
Secondly, be on topic; the topic tonight was “Seattle ban on firearms on Seattle-owned property”. I don’t care what you think the queers are doing to the soil, keep to the point.
Thirdly, if you have nothing to say, don’t say it. Who got the first big applause of the night? The guy who said “Everything I was going to say has been said, so I’ll not bore you”. Be that guy.
Fourthly, practice. You don’t have to memorize your speech; you should, though, read it aloud a few times. Use a clock and see if you’re in the ballpark for the time allotted.
Lastly, if you are a god damn idiot, stay at home. I should have paid attention to this; that I went clearly marks me as a god damn idiot. Several of the speakers went right out in front of God and everybody and confirmed that they were idiots. The three I’m thinking of (one pro, two con) I knew were god damn idiots as soon as I saw them step to the mic.
I took a bunch of pictures; some of them even sort of turned out. Click through and see if you recognize anyone.
Best speaker of the night:
Moved from DC; 50 Cent, 2 Pac fan:
This gentleman was against Nickels:
This lady was passionate:
I’m going to pick one of these up (hopefully before Boomershoot ‘09). Just throwing it out there.
Potentially continuing my streak of getting airtime via no skill or talent of my own, I rode the coat-tails of Adam and Man Versus Food at Beth’s Cafe today. I say potentially, as I very well may end up on the cutting room floor; if I don’t, however, here’s how to recognize me:
Big furry hat with LaRue Tactial Beverage Entry Tool (‘dillo). I showed up about 1500; looking at the schedule, they’d already been on location for 5 hours at that point. I took my usual place at the bar and snapped a picture of the talent:
This is Adam and Dave cooking the “talent” omelet. In all, four omelets were cooked – talent, stunt, and the two (!) that were eaten. More on this later. Adam mugging with the talent omelet:
This omelet was eaten by someone the owner knows that was hanging around. Here is the stunt omelet being cooked:
This is Adam doing the cold open for the next segment using the stunt omelet. This one was eaten by the manager; I can never remember his name.
You can see the glove Adam wears to protect himself from the hot tray. The production staff was prepared for everything! This is one of the few shots I took of the “competition” room; the producer asked me not to have the camera out while they were taping:
One of the Beth’s regulars (also named Adam) showed up and challenged Adam to an eat-off. I won’t give the ending away, but both Adams put down a prodigious amount of grub. There were 24 eggs up for grabs!
I was in the background of a lot of shots (hard not to be when there were only a dozen people in the background); I also got interviewed by the producer, and got to ask a question at the end. I think one of my segments with the producer may make the air, as I mentioned Alan had eaten a 12 egg omelet when he was 15. Unfortunately, I followed that up with a three-take try on answering another question; take two ended with a “fuck”. On take three, I mentioned the ar15.com thread.
Before last night, I’d never heard of the show; I saw a blog post somewhere that they were filming at Red Mill Saturday, with Beth’s set for Sunday at 15:00. I was there for about three hours; when I left, they still had a couple hours on the schedule.
One of the crew members said something pretty strange; if you ask me in person, I’ll tell you what she said. I’m not saying it in writing; she might hunt me down.
Regardless, it was neat to see what all goes into a location shoot. I wonder if Adam had a six dollar shake for the road? No, no I don’t.
I sent off ~150 negatives to ScanCafe Monday; I bought the 35mm negative + pro library option. This should result in 3000 dpi TIFF files + “processed” jpgs for $0.48 per frame; with shipping, the total order was around $80.
At 3000 dpi, 35mm images (36mm*24mm) should end up around 11.5 megapixels.
Sadly, they don’t scan black & white negatives. At least 20 of the negatives I sent are of this type; fortunately, you don’t pay for what they don’t scan. I should have read the fine print more clearly.
I’ll report back when I get results. If I’m happy, I’ll send the rest of my color negatives off. It will be nice to get all of these pictures in a usable form.
Executive summary: Skip the opening acts, see the main act.
So, I made it to the show last night. I was sick, and thought about just skipping it; I took some cold medicine and slept until about 19:00 (show start time); the drive + parking meant I got inside about 20:00. I missed Sword and most of Lamb of God; this is music to park your car by, anyway. I caught maybe four songs from Lamb of God; I wasn’t impressed. The lead singer took his time to take a gig at "the fucked up middle east". Whatever.
I was, however, impressed to see that this show would be in the round: Overall, the Metallica performance was pretty good. The transitions from tape to live music were rough and mis-timed; I suspect, being the first show back from a break, they just need more practice. Robert had one of his basses go away from him (I don’t know if it was the transmitter or the bass; suddenly, there was tubby bass sounds which got cut off.) Robert ran over and swapped basses quickly.
The stage was simple, with six mic positions around the stage. I couldn’t read the LCD monitors from the 200 level; it didn’t look like they were moving quickly enough to be lyrics, but they weren’t moving slowly enough to be a set list. No idea; perhaps they just flash SEE AT UL over and over. Overall, the amount of pyro and fx was subdued. A little smoke and lasers; lots of moving coffins. Some through-the-stage pyros; during One, they had some nifty wall-of-fire mutli-hued pyros in the amp stacks on stage. One of these pyros set an amp on fire; how many roadies does it take to put out a flaming amp? Two.
You could tell when the pyros were going to pop, because James would either leave the stage or stand WAAAAY out on the wings, away from the torches. Can’t imagine why.
At the end of the show, they dropped a bunch of black beach balls with Metallica logos from the ceiling; I didn’t manage to catch one. My favorite moment of the show was James talking to an eight year old just off the stage. Last night I thought he said the kid had cool hair; listening to the MP3s today, I see he said he had cool parents. Let this be a lesson to you: wear ear plugs.
One venue note: Parking at Key Arena sucks. I parked in the garage; it took over an hour to get out. An hour with everyone in the garage honking horns off and on. Idiots. Next time, I’ll take a cab.
One of the 200,000 guys on Arfcom got a neat phone call today; his grandfather was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The reality is, of course, the number of people I’m connected to via “posts on a mailing list/bulletin board I read” makes it a certainty that this is only one in a long line of relatives of TGIK elected to Halls of Fame, but still, it’s neat.
I love the tubes as much as the next guy, but this takes the cake:
"Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler’s criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day," he said.
One word: Mugabe. Two more: North Korea. Another one: China. The tubes haven’t done much; I don’t think Mugabe wakes up cursing podcasts or bloggers. Electrons don’t stop bullets, and tyrants know that.