Stay in Portland

Stay in Portland

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On Wednesday I got out late to a residential construction site doing the usual clean up. On Thursday I didn't get out, but instead updated my web pages and settled in. On Friday I was sent out to run a blower at Interstate Distribution Corporation in Wilsonville, OR. Bay Construction Services was coating their asphalt. Here you can see the first section we did as it leads to their diesel pumps. The blower I used was labeled a 'QuietBlower Pro' and it was really quite powerful and surprisingly quiet. It was gasoline powered and on wheels. I wore ear muffs provided by Robert (the lead guy of the two) in any case. It was a little tricky keeping the stuff you were blowing where it was supposed to go, but that made it fun for me. Interstate Distribution Corporation Truck Terminal.
Here is Robert spraying water on the asphalt before they coat it. It was a beautiful sunny day (high about 75 degrees) and the asphalt would get too hot in the sun, so they would spray it to cool it down so the coating wouldn't dry too fast. I missed the spray, but got the rainbow. Sigh! To the left is the end of the trailer with a yard cubic (or so) water tank and two gasoline engines to give a powerful and fine spray (puddles aren't good, moist is). Also you can see the blower I used on the left of the picture. Robert of Bay Construction Services.
Here is Steve running the machine to put down asphalt coating. I made a nice five second video (120K, 40 second download) of him running it. There is a large tank at the center (about 2.5 feet in all directions) that would pump out the coating and then a brush and rubberized squeegee to spread it. I also helped move the truck and trailer with the water, spray the water, and put up rope and ribbons (so people wouldn't walk on the coating for 12 hours). They were pleased with my work and gave me an extra $50. Completely unnecessary, but very nice! Steve of Bay Construction Services.
Over the weekend I was hanging out around the Tigard, OR library and heard a train go by (quite common in the Beaverton and Tigard areas where I usually am). However, this train didn't sound like the usual diesel. I was surprised to see that it was a real steam engine pulling regular freight train cars. I was able to get a picture of it. Sadly, I have no idea what a steam engine was doing on tracks normally frequented by the usual diesel freight trains. Steam engine.
On Monday, Sep 30, I went by the Tigard Labor Ready office, but they didn't have any work for me. That makes two days when I didn't get out and only two days when I did. Jeff, the early morning guy, seems to almost completely ignore the sign in sheet and just choose guys for jobs at random (or at least that is the way it seems to someone unaware of whatever criteria he uses). In any case, it certainly doesn't inspire confidence of getting sent out. However, I was OK with that. I spent the day hanging out and, amongst other things, at the library researching other local alternatives like Instant Labor. Well, on Tuesday morning I went by Instant Labor and they had plenty of work, a nice dispatcher (Ron), and a policy of following the order of the sign in sheet when it makes sense. Yay! Construction Clean Up.
I got sent out to do construction clean up on the house shown above. It was on a narrow street with older but VERY nice houses. Here is a picture of the neighbor across the street. At first the house I was working on looked like a renovation because of the stucco exterior and being so close to the road. Once I got inside, though, it looked like new construction as everything is new (and the exterior is faux stucco). However, it is really a renovation as they kept the workshop in the basement (about 20 square feet in one corner of the old basement) and the chimney. All the rest is new. Later, I even got to carry out all the old paint and miscellaneous stuff in the ancient workshop. Odd. Neighboring House.
The house was built on a lot that was about 100 feet long. However, the lot also went down at 45 degrees from the sidewalk so the platt probably only shows 70 feet back and they get the 70 feet down for free. Cleaning up construction debris on that steep a hill was a challenge. It looked much steeper, but that is cause you noticed the 60 degree section (impassible) and ignored the 30 degree sections (easy climb). Climbing was also made interesting as they have started getting some rain in Portland and all the clay was quite sticky and slippery. In the summer when it is dry it is ussually just a fine powder. They had a gorgeous view of Portland which is probably why anyone would take the expense of building on such a steep lot. The next three pictures are views from their deck. Backyard?
On Wednesday, the Instant Labor office in Beaverton didn't have much work, but they got a referral from another office. I helped rip off a roof in at Peppertree Apartments in Vancouver, WA. They pulled up the roof and we carried the old stuff along the roof and dropped it into a dumpster. It would have been hot, but the temperature was only about 70 degrees which made it OK even in the sun. They wanted four guys, but only got three who were willing to make the trip. The guy from Warner Construction was wondering why they have a hard time getting people, but they only had 6.5 hours of work for us (and would have been more like 5 if there were four of us) and he paid us the straight 6.5 (not including lunch of course). I ask, why would anyone choose hard work for a short day and short pay when easier work and a full day are available. Too bad the company he works for seems to be real tight on the expenses. Hard to keep good people that way. Neighboring house.
On Thursday Instant Labor in Beaverton, OR had another slow day, but another office needed three workers with driver's licenses across town at the airport. I spent most of the day driving cars from Alamo Car Rentals to a car auction place and then riding back in a van. We made six round trips today moving 32 cars over (and four back that had been rejected because of mechanical problems). It was only eight miles each way so there was a lot of waiting. As it was a cold rainy day, this was a nice way to spend the day (digging a trench in the sticky slimy clay they have around here is a good contrast). Downtown Portland, OR.
Friday was another slow day and the Beaverton Instant Labor, but I got out as the guy at the renovation above asked for me in particular. I carried some newly delivered lumber and there was a team of guys to finish the decks. As the lot is so steep, the decks just jut out from the house with no supports from the ground. Lots of 2 by 10s for support of course. I also emptied out the old work shop and took most of these pictures. Downtown Portland, OR.
On Saturday evening, October 5, I met Connie at Chez Jose East, the best Mexican restaurant in Portland and we had dinner. It was GOOD! I do love Mexican food. Connie is an old friend from Mensa in New York who moved to Oregon about ten years ago as she didn't like the New York winters (and doesn't like the heat of places like Florida, either). The original Chez Jose would have been much closer (not in East Portland), but it burned down. So sad! But there is the East reincarnation, so that is good. Chez Jose East.
Then we drove to a Mensa First Saturday party at a member's house. They had a good turn out with I would guess about twenty people. Here is a picture of Connie and another person (name unknown for now). Connie has a gorgeous smile and I kept trying to capture it, but haven't succeeded as yet. You can be sure I will keep trying. Connie and ....
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This page was last updated on August 29, 2004