Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Railroaded Writer

Deb says I need to post more frequently. She's right, but spare time comes at a premium & stress levels are off the chart. My day job (as you will see below) tends to keep me buried, & mentally exhausted. Being away from home doesn't do much to help the creative flow either. Writing is sporadic at best. Mickey Muse stayed home in St. Augustine for this latest excursion, far away from the South Florida sauna. We're living in a condo in Ft Lauderdale - working in Miami. Here are some pictures of what's got me bogged down - a ridiculously paced $30M railroad construction project that has to be finished in about six months, before liquidated damages (fancy words for fine) of $7000 per day kick in. No pressure. A walk in the park.

As a 16 year-old I remember telling my teacher that geometry was a useless subject. It was the first of many assumptions that turned out to be wrong. Above is a sampling of track geometry. (Click on it & do the math for me.) Track work ain't my favorite. Can you guess what happens to a train if the track layout is wrong? Again, no pressure.

A typical boring day.....

Working in the middle of an active train yard - forming foundation walls - very close to live tracks.
I get to deal with the best of 2 hardcore worlds Railroaders mixed with Construction Workers, all trying to out badass each other.

Pumping concrete beneath the water inside coffer dams

Sometimes we use divers, like this poor shlub. (Should be me, hiding from the Amtrak Reps.)

These guys get to go into the pit (there are 4) after we've pumped 500,000 gallons of ground water - per day. The equipment is being lowered with a crane. It's not a hovercraft with a bucket.

And while all of the concrete & pit work progresses - we're 'flying' steel.

So writing & blogging have taken a back seat for a while. Cut me some slack! I've been railroaded!