Space Opera With a Twist

The Things We Learn

This summer, I’ve learned more interesting stuff looking out my home office window than I would have if I were still working in the bowels of the demented bureaucracy. Today was a case in point. With the new water mains installed and connected, the contractors hired by the city have now begun the arduous process of returning our street and hopefully our front yards to their previous state. As of yesterday, all of us on the affected section of the street have had to park around the corner as the workers installed guidelines and dug trenches on both sides to lay new cement curbs, in preparation for repaving our lovely little avenue.

For some reason, I expected the arduous installation of plywood forms into which cement would be poured. Not so fast, old guy. Technology has marched on. They now have a machine that swallows cement straight from the truck and spits out a continuous concrete curb. In the space of one afternoon, they were able to do the opposite side of the street, meaning tomorrow they’ll do ours, and hopefully by the end of Friday, we’ll be able to park in our driveways again. And next week? Paving! After more than three months of dust, mud, gravel and gunk… real black pavement. It makes me hope our front yard will once more be reasonably ready for winter. I took a picture of this concrete curb laying machine. Fascinating.

Watching roadway rehabilitation hasn’t kept me from working.  I’m more than 15,000 words into the fifth Dunmoore adventure, Without Mercy.


  1. Jim Ellsworth

    If you like the curb extruding machine you will go crazy with the Asphalt road repair machine. It is about the size of a RR Train engine. It goes down one side of an asphalt road, digs up the existing material, dumps it into a hopper, melts and adds more asphalt, dumps it back on the road, rolls it flat and drives on, leaving a new asphalt road behind ready to use. Amazing.

    • Eric Thomson

      I’d love to see one of those in action. But since we lost our old asphalt topping when they tore up the street to replace the water mains, it won’t be around here.

Leave a Reply