Strength Revealed: The End

The following completes the story I started on May 25, Strength Revealed.

One reinforced cement section delivered to site…

I don’t know the actual weight, but it required 2 cranes to cradle this section into position…

Steel cables, hook, pulleys, etc.

One crane just barely…barely…cleared the overhang of the first parking deck…

 

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Strength Revealed

The primary entrance ramp to our office garage is undergoing a major rebuild. I spoke with one of the engineers who told me the short version of what needs to be done. What amazed me most was not the materials being used [steel], but the forces impressed on each steel structure to make sure everything stays in place.

The “L” brackets look like overgrown shelf brackets. They’re attached to¬† the side of the building with bolts that run through to the other side.

The top part of each cantilever [the “L” bracket] is also bolted to a length of I-beam steel. The beams look like tracks with missing sections; nothing though is missing here on the inside of that ramp wall. In engineer-speak, “form follows function.”

The panels that are the ramps are also big and heavy. Very heavy. One of the challenges is where and how to position a crane to offload a panel. Parts of the street are suspect because of storage rooms and passages lying beneath. The weight of the crane, the truck and equipment can very well “drop” into a hole of its own making.

An anchor point for the ramp…

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Ten years ago, author Malcolm Gladwell published his book, Outliers, a NY Times Bestseller. In his book, Mr. Gladwell posited that to master a specific skill, a total of 10,000 hours is required. That’s the milestone to accomplish being the best, “to accomplish greatness” according to the author.

But once again, “greatness” and “the best” have varying metrics. Is any of this based on earnings? On the number of gold medals? The number of championships [world or otherwise]? Metrics do have a place, certainly, but winning cannot be everything.

If there is a dark side to marketing it’s this notion that aside from the hours required, you also need equipment, supplies et al of equal or higher quality. Marketing promotes aspirational consumption: if I have the best ______, then I have a better chance of becoming the best.

No….10,000 hours is an unreasonable expectation. Predictably, no one denies consistent practice is mandatory in order to reach a given standard or goal [especially your own]. However, my own “rule” is far simpler: give it your best and know it was your best. Save some time to enjoy other things in Life.

Uncomplications

Is our evolutionary advancement driven, in part, by the creation of things increasingly complex? This home sitting stoically somewhere in London, is the antithesis of a modern home. You won’t find computer-controlled lights, security systems, or appliances seamlessly linked to an app on your phone or tablet. Think simple yet purposeful. Venerated in stature, an edifice devoid of pretense.

Similarly, this pub distills [pun intended] an uncomplicated persona. How so? Nowhere did I see a roster of specialty beers, ales, lagers, mixed drinks, martinis and so on. Visually, there’s a lot to draw your attention, but nothing approaching sensory overload. Six taps of beer, the usual suspects in liquor and I’m sure a wine list practical in scale and price points.

Ditto for this uncomplicated yet tasteful-looking bar. I’m all for imaginative thinking, but that’s a far cry from thinking that the latest and greatest is something we need. Novelty can make many things interesting, but the fascination can quickly fade.

Today, we’re seeing even more complexity in an already complex, confounding arena that is automobile manufacturing. Case in point, the steering wheel of Formula 1 race cars. It’s essentially a computer with a realm of adjustments a driver can make while racing. Granted, an F1 car is an extremely specialized machine, but we’re already witnessing technology trickling down to passenger cars: paddle shifting, adjustable suspension rates, electronically controlled ride height, dual clutch transmissions, electronic steering, throttle control and more.

Growing complexity effectively commoditizes our thinking. Artificial intelligence is no longer science fiction and this growing reliance, this transference or programming of cognition to things inanimate is troubling. Interestingly, the late Dr. Stephen Hawking once said that the rise of AI is utterly frightening. Why? AI advancement and its integration to our day-to-day living will reshape civilization and redefine humanity.

Uncomplications.

Have a face-to-face conversation [not Skype, not Facetime] with someone you value and keep in high regard. Pen a letter or card [not an IM, email or Tweet]. To feel good—really good—do something that will make another person smile, even laugh. We give too much of our time to monitors, hand-held devices, playlists, news feeds and much less to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

I saw this “owl” atop one of the office buildings downtown. Steadfast in her duty, she’s a stoic deterrent from pigeons whom would decorate ledges and windows and screens and cars parallel parked on the street below.

After a long winter, anything that hints of spring is fair game. Just about anything.

Now, this is bright…this is spring…this is what many look forward to…

Stress

I suppose someone helped a vine or tree limb grow like a corkscrew. On the other hand, maybe this is a message from Mother Nature and she’s telling us of the stress we’re subjecting her to.

This image shows part of a very large oak limb horizontally spanning about 30-feet [9-meters]. Growing straight up from this limb is a host of small branches that look a lot like saplings. Usually I see such saplings on the forest floor, but this is the first time I’ve seen them emerging from a limb.

I’m not an arborist, so just maybe this is all part of a seasonal norm…