October 8, 2006: The State Fair of Texas
August 25-27: Prudence Ruckman's Birthday in San Antonio
Return to Index for 2006


 
September 6 & 21, 2006
Some Miscellaneous Pictures


 

My Brick Column Gets Fixed

 


Earlier this year, our townhome association had our driveways rebuilt, and it was during that project that one of the columns at the front of my house was destroyed. If you wish to take a look at the pictures and movies of that project, return to the 2006 Index and go to the "special album page" entitled "Greenway Villas Driveway Project."

To make a long story quite short, while the repaving crew was working near the front of my townhome, the idiot operating the skip loader didn't watch what he was doing. He swung the skip loader scoop around to dump a bunch of old concrete pieces into the dump truck and smashed directly into the corner brick column of my front courtyard, demolishing it as you can see at left.



The owner of the paving company did come out and was very apologetic. But when I got a bid for the repair of the column, his response was that he had bricklayers at his own company who could do the repair for much less. So I said for him to go ahead and try, but if the repair wasn't satisfactory, it would have to be redone. Well, the repair that his company performed (accomplished by a crew that included mostly the same guys that were doing the paving) was, to put it bluntly, botched, as I think you'd agree by looking at the column at right, and comparing it with the columns in the picture above. The accident had broken quite a few bricks, but instead of matching them and getting enough whole bricks for the repair, they simply used wider mortar to try to get the column to the same height! Not only that, they used Portland Cement instead of mortar and the column widened as it rose. The whole thing was just terrible.

Well, the firm finished the driveway repaving, and we paid them most of what we owed, withholding enough to cover the repair to my column and to our fence, which was also damaged. The paving people were out another time to try to darken the cement they'd used so the column looked less like red velvet cake with white icing, but even that didn't do any good. I contacted a couple of brickmasons and finally found one who guaranteed to not only repair the column so that it would be indistinguishable from the undamaged ones, but also to find and match exactly the bricks that had been broken. The estimate turned out to be higher than my first one, since they also had to take down the repaired column. But finally, the project got underway on September 6th.

I decided to record the progress of the project, and took a first picture when the column had been taken down to the base. I made a movie of the brickmason crew getting ready for the rebuilding process, and you can watch it using the player below.. I also took a picture later in the day when the main part of the column had been rebuilt and the crew was ready to top out the column.

 



A few hours later, the column was finished. You can see the end result at the left- or almost the end result. The last step was to clean the brick of excess mortar and cement, and that's what the fellow with the wire brush is about to do. I don't have a picture of the final, finished column, but I was very pleased with the work that was done and, even though the brick seemed a bit lighter still after the brushing process, just in the past month it has weathered significantly and now it is not apparent that the column was ever damaged. Even when I have pointed it out to people, they can't see the difference between the damaged and undamaged columns. So that project is done.


 

 

Fred's 50-year Checkup

 

There is really not much to say, here, but as this photo album is basically for me, I wanted to go ahead and record the fact that, on September 21st, Fred finally underwent the last major test that guys "of a certain age" should have as they head into their second half-century. If you're unsure what I'm getting at, just ask any guy you know over 55, and I am sure they can explain it to you. Anyway, I took fred into the McKinney Medical Center early in the morning, and waited there until the procedure was completed and I could give him a ride home. I've performed the same function for other friends of mine, and they have all acted stupid afterwards due to the effects of the sedatives that they give you so that you are "relaxed" when the procedure occurs. Fred was something of an exception, as it was pretty hard to tell that he'd been sedated (except that he repeated himself once or twice, and didn't recall telling me a few things on the ride home).

However, while Fred didn't act stupid afterwards, I can't say the same for how he looked.


 


October 8, 2006: The State Fair of Texas
August 25-27: Prudence Ruckman's Birthday in San Antonio
Return to Index for 2006