Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Not a typical day.

Which is good. Aside from my incredibly painful shoulder (I *swear* I will never it mention again in public), today was an interesting day, a nice break from our regular routine. It's good to disrupt your normal flow and take stock of where you are, I think. Friday, I was really run down and discouraged, I felt like I spent the entire afternoon pointing and clicking without anything much to show for it in the end. It's easy to lose track of what you've done when you're always working on the same building--every day the drawings just get more and more specific, moving from floor plans to floor enlargements and elevations, to wall sections and structural details, etc. Just closer looks at the same old thing.

Anyway, today was a mini-deadline day. Our big deadline is July 2, but today we needed to have a set of design development drawings ready. So, after I drove to Louis' house to retrieve a file from his home computer (why didn't he bring it to work? He brought every other file in that directory, but not that one), I started plotting our drawings. We have 18 sheets of drawings so far, on ARCH D-size paper (36" x 24"). It was good to see the whole set plotted out, it gave me a better idea of all the work I've done in the past month, and made it seem more real. But it took well over an hour for all the sheets to print. The printer holds on to each one an extra 30 seconds so the ink can dry. In theory, at least. The drawings are printed on vellum, and the ink never dries, I swear. I can smear ink on a piece of vellum five hours after it's plotted.

As the drawings were coming out of the plotter, I ran a blueline of each one. It's kind of hard to describe how to make a blueprint. You take your original print, and put a piece of photographic paper behind it. Then you feed it face up into a copying machine, while trying not to suck in the ammonia fumes it is putting out. The original and the photograph come back out, then you curl the photograph back on itself into the machine so it can be developed w/the ammonia. The original falls to the floor in front of the machine, the developed blueprint in back of the machine. It's quite a dance trying to catch the originals as the fall out of the plotter, then again as they fall out of the blueprint copier while simultaneously catching the blueprint, and stacking all the copies together in the right order, facing the right way...eighteen sheets took me almost two hours to plot and run blueprints.

Ran the set of bluelines down the street to Louis at his meeting, then took the originals over to Roseberry's to have four more sets of bluelines run (no way I have the stamina to run 5 sets of 18 sheets). And then my day got really odd. Louis told me to go back to his house and dig through his furnace room until I found a box of his old model trains. There is something really weird about sorting through your boss' childhood toys, let me tell you. I finally found them (in the biggest, heaviest box, of course) and took them back to the office. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the floor, trying to design a track for the museum. The plan is to have an elevated track running above the reception area/entry way, but we haven't been sure what gauge to use, or how much space it would need. I think I have a pretty good idea now, after three hours of moving track around, taking measurements and sketching out routes.

Took a break to pick up the blueprints at Roseberry's, ran another set to Louis at his meeting, then left work an hour early to go to my physical therapy appointment. That was tedious beyond belief, but now my day is over, and I can sit in my chair and watch Perry Mason until I fall asleep.

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