Saturday 14 February 2015

Stick To Using Magic

When you are sitting in that reclining chair at Canadian Blood Services watching a thin red line of your blood drain into a plastic bag, there really isn’t much to do. You aren’t allowed to nap; I found that out the hard way. It seems that if you aren’t moving and your eyes are closed while donating blood, it is assumed that you have passed out. There really isn’t anyone to talk to if the staff is busy and the other donators (?) have their own concerns. You are basically left to your own devices and since there is a window nearby, that is where I focused my attention.

I could see two cranes, one in the distance and the other topping a building that wasn’t there the last time I gave blood. It is just the skeleton of a building with the top two floors wrapped in plastic so that they can heat the space. I remember when I was starting to seriously think about which direction my life was going to take, I briefly toyed with the idea of working in construction. I knew I couldn’t count on getting through life with my good looks or talent; they hadn’t done a lot for me up until this point. I liked the idea of being able to see that your time working had actually accomplished something. Most occupations tend to involve doing the same thing day after day with no end and no way of visually seeing that you have done a good job. My mom and dad pushed paper for a living and I had no intention of doing the same. Sure, I ended up carrying paper and dropping it in little boxes for my entire adult life, but I had no way of knowing that when I was in my early twenties. What stopped me from working in construction was that back then work in construction would basically shut down for the winter. The technology to heat buildings hadn’t been invented yet. Oh, also it was and is hard work which never really agreed with me.

I have always wondered about cranes, how they move up as the building moves up, how they actually work and how the hell do they get down from the top of a very tall building. Over the past few years, I have done some research and talked to guys working on these buildings. I was lucky enough to be visiting Maegan in Toronto when her street was shut down while they removed a crane from a newly constructed building. Very interesting procedure!

One of the ways the cranes move up is that they are built with jacks which lift the crane while another section is moved into place. I have actually watched a video of this and still it seems like magic to me. I am sure that it involves trigonometry, physics and thousands of years of accumulated construction knowledge. I am not ruling magic out either.

We bought Hurricane a toy crane one Christmas. It is made of metal just like a real crane, has levers and cranks that allow the hook to move along the boom, raise and lower, and swing the whole assembly 360 °. Well, that is what the box said it could do, but when Poppa tried to work it the string got tangled and I had to get Hurricane to fix it for me. I think dropping bits of paper in boxes was a good career decision for me.

I understand there are a couple of ways to get a crane down off of the top of a building. Sometime, smaller cranes are disassembled on the roof and brought down in the elevator. Larger cranes are more complex. They also need to be disassembled, but only after they have lifted up a smaller crane which will lower the pieces of the larger crane. I can only assume that crane is then either taken apart or brought down in the elevator or it brings up and even smaller crane which will lower it down.

Personally, I’d like to see them toss the pieces off the roof and pick up the twisted, battered wreckage after it hit the ground. I was assured that never happens, something about cranes being worth millions of dollars. I did hear a rumour once that the crane actually stayed on top of the building, the superstructure becoming the frame of an elevator and the boom part reduced to lifting window washers and roofing materials. That seems a pretty sad fate for a once proud construction crane.

I am going to stick to using magic to get the cranes off of the roofs…rooves(?)…ceiling…canopy…summit…

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