Warning: this post really is about concrete. You know the stuff, the literal building block of our civilized world. Readers expecting a treatise on some physics theory with a solid foundation should just stop reading now.
Over the weekend I learned a new skill – pouring concrete! Today, I’m feeling strong and invincible, kinda like that Helen Reddy song from the 70’s that we would all like to forget but needlessly keeps running through our brains despite our best efforts to delete it, I am woman hear me roar….. Anyway, I installed a drain by my driveway and now run-off water from said driveway will be piped down the hill, rather than flowing under my foundation. Indeed it was a job that had to be done.
Okay, it’s time to admit that this was not a solo project, I had help. A friend engineered the project, while I performed the theoretical calculations. After the prep-work (involving several trips to the hardware store), I went to the concrete place (all by myself) and ordered the ready-mix concrete, 6 sack (still not sure what that means), 3/8″ gravel, 3/4 yard. I was feeling pretty confident until the guy asked me if I wanted it stiff or soft….I hadn’t prepped for that trick question….so I waffled and answered medium. The workers were all very polite, but it was clear they were not accustomed to a woman coming in and ordering concrete. They mixed my concrete, dumped it into a truck, and shoved me into the driver’s seat. I pressed down on the accelerator pedal and nothing happened. Thinking the emergency brake was on, I pulled the brake handle, activating a loud buzzer….after awhile I figured out how to release the brake, which deactivated the buzzer, and I pressed the accelerator pedal hard as I could. The truck slowly rumbled forward. Driving a truck full of concrete is not the same as driving my little sporty Nissan 240sx. But I made it and here’s the proof:
It’s a pretty new drain, isn’t it? I must brag that my calculations were quite precise, and we had just the right amount of concrete! (What does one do with left-over concrete?) Now I can’t wait for the rainy season to start so I can watch the water flow down the drain…
Last year, I frequented lumber yards and bought lumber (for the replacement of my termite-infested deck), earning me the nickname Lumber Woman. With all this new experience, if my physics gig or this blogging gig don’t pan out, I’ve got a backup plan – construction!