Tuesday, April 05, 2005

one metric ton of steel

Yesterday I went up to see our machinist, KC, at the Jai Bagalamuki Engineering Workshop. I was checking out the progress on the v4 model of the pedal generator. It also happened that there were twelve tension rods for the Tar Pul bridge on the workshop floor. They were rushing the tension rods because our galvanizer's place is shutting down soon. They're going to have one last big run of heating up the zinc pool.

I bring up the tension rod thing only because never before has my work created so much steel. It was about two weeks ago that I pointed out to my boss that our current tension rod is too small, if we want the concrete anchors pulling-out to be the failure mode of the Tar Pul. He put in an order for new tension rods with KC post haste.

There on the floor were twelve tension rods, each probably 100 kilos and ten feet long. They will be portered to bridge locations by a team of eight men, who will take shifts of four to carry the rod. And I am the reason those guys will have a heavier load than before. I am the reason there's a ton of steel on KC's floor. Pretty wild.

After the visit to KC's, Simon (the British architect) and I were walking down the street and everything ground to a halt. The street went quiet, except for police yelling at people to get onto the sidewalks. About five minutes later, the king blew by doing about 50 MPH in an E Class benzo. He was driving, albiet with trucks full of soldiers ahead and behind. Back in the day, they say you had to stand with your back to the road so that you did not see the king. Now though, you get to watch.

Tonight we had some drinks with four Dutch people. They dropped by our place in January before they went off to build a school, and now they're done. One of the guys is over two meters tall. The photos of him with the Nepali kids are pretty funny - he's twice as tall as a lot of them. This left me wondering about myself - I mean, 6'4" is tall in Nepal. It's really tall. But it's not quite tall enough to be a point of interest. It's tall enough to make tuk-tuk rides uncomfortable, and tall enough that I can't buy any clothes. Our bosses' cook is about 4'11", and he's the head of his household of 12 people.

I read some American news today. It's going to be a little odd in nine weeks going back to a place where people do stuff like believe George Bush Jr. is competent to run a country, recreationally get even fatter watching to make sure Mexicans don't get a taste of our sweet sweet freedom, and buy crap like this.


At 1:49 AM, mike lin said...

the minute men...*sigh* seriously, aren't there better things to do with your time than to play militia in the backyard?

...9 weeks... can't wait to see you back in the bay area!

At 11:57 PM, BR said...

That's all the more steel you're using? Will, I thought you had it in you for _heavy lifting_... ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home