Tag: construction

Montana Journal V: The Property

 

In the first three installments, I was preparing for the big move from San Diego to Montana. Part IV found my husband and I and two young daughters at one of our country’s most breathtaking national parks. Now in Part V, we go to the twenty acres of forested property on which we’d hoped to have a move-in-ready house by the time the girls and I came to Montana. Little did I know that our construction journey would have more bumps than a dirt road in springtime. (Read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here, and Part IV here.)

September 10, 2006

Member Post

 

September 17, 2006 . . . Waiting for the contractors to finish our house. (Read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here, Part IV here, and Part V here.) When I heard that we would be staying in an apartment, I packed a giant garbage bag bulging with sleeping bags along with boxes of old pots […]

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While winding down before Christmas celebrations begin in earnest, I have been playing a park simulator. Jurassic World: Evolution is among this month’s “free” games on Xbox Live. It’s basically like designing and operating a zoo, only the exhibits are more likely to break free and eat the guests.  After learning the ropes at the […]

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Autumn Colors: The Color of Law, an in-depth review

 

When people are free to associate as they please, we can’t be surprised if they sometimes self-segregate. People self-sort along many affinities, including ethnic affinities. This is what lawyers call de facto segregation, and it’s none of the law’s business. De jure segregation — segregation imposed by law, including segregation promoted by public policy — is, on the other hand, very much the law’s business.

In 1866, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act (the 1866 CRA) asserting the equal rights of blacks before the law, including property rights, and real-estate rights in particular. The 1866 CRA warned

I Break Shovels (or, Taking Shortcuts)

 

I’ve broken a few shovels in my day.

Have you ever dug a hole on the beach? I used to dig a lot of them — for work, not for fun. If you’ve ever wondered how professional volleyball courts pop up on a beach one day and are gone tomorrow, it has a lot to do with digging holes. Every piece of equipment has to be secured with anchors into sand. The anchors have to be deep enough to withstand the tension from support posts, and in those days it meant digging up to 30 four-foot deep holes, 16 inches in diameter.

It wasn’t hard work, but it was tiring. Around hole number ten I would start to get lazy — no doubt thinking about lunch — and I’d start cutting corners. There aren’t that many corners to cut when digging a hole on the beach, but the deeper you get the wetter the sand is, and the heaver the scoop. The temptation is to stop moving around the hole and to pry from the side you’re standing on. And sometimes — a few times, in fact — that meant all the energy that 19-year-old (finish-this-darn-hole-fast-so-I-can-go-eat ) Vince could muster fell on the fulcrum of the wooden handle, and snap!

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I just posted this over at RushBabe49.com. The City Council of Seattle is about to approve a ‘head tax” for large businesses in Seattle, over which they have had some opposition. But the Big Gun sounded off this afternoon, and I applaud them. Our KOMO News has been doing a great job with their reporting. […]

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Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

This is a project our company has been working on for the last couple years in Knoxville, TN. It is the new seat of the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, which serves all of eastern Tennessee, and was dedicated this weekend. Here is a recording of the Mass and Rite of Dedication for those that would like to breeze through all four hours and 44 minutes of it. More than 100 priests, 21 bishops and archbishops, and five cardinals participated in the dedication ceremony.

The new cathedral increases the seating capacity of the old facility from 580 to 1,358 worshipers and square footage from a previous 7,500 to 28,000. The total project cost was $30.8 million, has 100 pews, and 100 seats in the choir loft. Ceiling height in the nave is 50 feet with the dome soaring 144 feet above the floor at the peak. There were 111 concrete piers drilled into bedrock. Construction took over 400 tons of steel and over 5,000 cubic yards of concrete. There are estimated to be 41 miles of wood blocking and trim, 20,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, 300,000 Roman style bricks, and 50,000 concrete blocks.

Member Post

 

https://archinect.com/news/article/150048560/austin-in-favor-of-boycotting-companies-involved-in-trump-s-border-wall Can the Congress add a feature to its sanctuary cities disciplinary policy that includes this type of border security interference (by contractor harassment)? It certainly seems counter to national security related efforts to find best qualified contractors at least cost. I can see where we can’t prohibit private behavior campaigns, but should a state […]

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Is Big Government Worth a Dam?

 

246-hoover-dam-bypass-4270In his monumental 1957 book Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, the historian Karl Wittfogel proposed the theory of hydraulic empire. He surmised that despotic governments and large-scale irrigation works arose in tandem because only a strong, centralizing power could compel the mass labor required to build and maintain these works. The surpluses of food and wealth resulting from successful irrigation projects conferred legitimacy upon absolute rulers; the mobilization of labor could also be directed toward monumental architecture, increasing their prestige.

Political progressives often cite the Hoover Dam as an example of government defined as “the things we do together” — projects so large that the private sector is incapable of undertaking them. The dam is a key icon of the mythology of the New Deal. In Canada, the Canadian-Pacific Railway holds a similar place in our founding myth. I believe both of these projects were public-private partnerships, but like the irrigation works of antiquity, they are now used to increase the legitimacy and prestige of a centralized, activist government — albeit not a very authoritarian one.

But there are two weaknesses inherent to big government’s efforts to gain legitimacy by completing large-scale public works. The first is our greater recognition of the unintended consequences that can accompany projects with a large scope (especially dams). The second is that our governments are becoming less effective at completing these projects.