Friday, 5 June 2009

The First Stone

Today, I laid the first stone in a large project.
It was (is) a big one, but its only the first, of maybe a few thousand that are needed for this project.
Now by "stones", I'm talking large, flat pieces of bluestone. Random shapes, not geometric ones.
Its what I do, put together really large, heavy puzzles for a living.
A lot had to be done before I could lay that first piece of stone. Lots of prep work. Lots of figuring, struggling, calculating, ordering, choosing, selling, figuring out if there was (and there were) any buried disasters waiting to be found with a machine.
Some of the prep work was done by me, and some was done by others.
Some was recent, some was done over a year ago. Not all the prep work done was even known by all the parties doing the work involved. I believe thay call that compartmentilzation. Or something. Or maybe "just doing what you get paid for and not caring about any other aspects".
Lots of hands in this pot, at any rate.
I'm just the last guy on the scene, to do my part. Granted, I'll be there the longest, doing what could be argued the most difficult work, "in the trenches" as it were, but theres little doubt who will get the most satisfaction when all's said and done.
This is my baby. Its what I do, and what I enjoy the heck out of doing. Making something out of nothing, or out of a mess, at the least. Theres a lot of satisfaction in that, y'know.
As with most large, time consuing projects, this one will have up days, and down days. Hot humid days, days where my fingers get squished under a few hundred pound stone, or when a blow from a chisel aimed hammer goes astray.
It happens regularly, and I have the fingers to prove it.
There will be wet miserable days, too, when every tool and stone, and me, gets covered in unavoidable sticky mud. Those are difficult to work in, but I've learned that they make the 65 degree and clear sunny days, all the more enjoyable.
Its the journey, after all, not the destination, right?

I laid the first stone today, and its been a long time coming.

A good friend had the courage and wisdom to tell me that "you're a jerk and need to do something about it", and I took that friends advice. Of course this friend had the sense and tact to state it in a nice way that would have escaped me, but the message hit me right in the name of the father. BANG. "I'm a jerk and need to do something about it."
Thank God for friends.
Its a book, AND a movie, actually.
I started the journey in the book today, and like most drama queen writer wanna bees, found a correlation between my work day, and my "home"work. (we introspective types do stuff like that all the time. Drives people like accountants nuts.)

The book, is called "the Love dare".
Oh all the tough guys just rolled their eyes and said something snide, maybe like I thought when my friend recommended it.
"tough", huh, thats funny. Tough is as tough does.

So my friend said theres this book that helps people out in the marriages, and I said "you mean it tells wives how to act?"
Not exactly. This is a 40 day project book, and as luck would have it, The work project I'm on now is about 40 days long. I read todays installment at lunchtime (I work by myself, by design), and plan on reading each day's lesson every day for the next 40, on the job. How many of YOU can go to work for some peace and quiet?? Lucky me, huh?

So today the project begins, and the first stone is laid.
This is a picture of the first stone, and for references sake, that level lying on top of it is six and a half feet long.

Even though I've been doing this for some years now, and people tell me I've gotten quite good at it lately, its still daunting to look at how much work has to be done.
And I know I can do better yet.

Work. Hard work. Work that HAS to be done right, or the whole project is bust.
My name is on it, and there is a lot at stake with that. The future, for instance. Future references, future potential additions on this site, as well as on sites of people who MAY see my work here.

I have kids, too. and a wife. (A good-un, I'm told).
Whole lotta potential references there, too, and things even more valuable than references.
If Those arent worth 40days of hard work, I'm doing a whole lot for nothin' when I leave my house every day.

Heyna or no?

Day one's instructions were easy, "Just dont say anything stupid" (my paraphrase to personalize it). Well, maybe "easy" isnt the right word. Simple, would be a better description.
Yeah, easy isnt the right term because as luck would have it, it took all of about 8 seconds after entering my house when something Very stupid (but witty) came to mind.
"nope". Like the book said, if you cant say something good, then just shut your yap. (my paraphrase again)

Y'know, I think it worked. Dont believe me?
Next time you take your wifes car, and after it breaks the mechanic tells you it needs a new transmission, and your wife says "it was fine when EYE drove it..."
See how quickly, is extinguished.

Somehow, I thnk they designed it that way. You know, show results for not a lot of work, which builds confidence and all that.
I got a sneaky feeling that that optimism wont last till day 29.

Heres hopin'.

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