of the Day:
fishermen really need to be able to buy bait 24 hours a
History of Cement in Split Rock City
nothing is made from concrete in Split Rock City:
you’re working with concrete it requires first getting the
bags of cement, and they’re pretty heavy and hard to steal.
Then you need a lot of sand, which is available in the
area, but it, too is real heavy and takes a lot of work to
secure enough for a big project.
Then you need a lot of small rocks, and they’re also a
lot of trouble to acquire without a lot of work.
Then you must mix the three ingredients together and add
water, and again mix in the water thoroughly, another heavy and
by the time you get it all mixed and ready to pour, you’re
most likely tired and thirsty, but you can’t leave it just
then…assuming you have the forms prepared properly, you still
need to pour the mix into the form and smooth the top numerous
times as it sets and dries.
If you need more, you’ll need further mixing and
pouring and smoothing.
If you get thirsty and have to leave for a while, by the
time you return, the concrete will have most likely set up in
the mixing trough or wheelbarrow, and you will be left with a
useless blob of concrete that may also ruin your mixing trough
or wheelbarrow, or at least require the use of dynamite to
in all, a very distasteful project.
why all of the folks around Split Rock City have unanimously
approved the use of wood as the standard of construction.
Trees are readily available, and Hiram’s Log &
Lumber is all set up to either cut logs to length or square them
up in the case of large timbers, or further, to saw logs into
lumber for added convenience.
Nails are easily acquired from unguarded construction
sites on the other side of the mountain.
far, the favorite feature of wood is the ability to just run off
in the middle of a project whenever the mood strikes, as in the
case of an attack of severe thirst or hunger, or sudden illness
brought about by impure food or drink, or simply fatigue.
Split Rock City Railroad
Construction and Operational Information About the
Rock City will
be a small, pertend town full of pertend people, and they will
need a railroad to get around, cuz, jest natcherally, everybuddy
will want to get to somewhere else.
Jim and I are building all these important things out in
the back yard. Of course, I'm doing a lot of the
complicated work, but Jim is
no slacker, and he gets a lot of the heavier things done
so I don't get too tired or get in an accident and get
injured or break my Powerful Steam Shovel or my Acme
Wheelbarrow or Acme Wagon again.
fell apart while I was hauling a simple load of rocks to
be installed alongside the new flower beds on the east
side of the house. Correspondence with the
manufacturer was useless, cuz they claimed I had
overloaded it and that's why it broke down like shown in
I don't buy nothing from that Acme Company anymore.
The coyote that chases that roadrunner buys a lot of their
products, and that's why I bought that wagon in the first
place, but I guess I should have known, cuz that coyote
has a lot of trubble with their products also.
got the wagon to stay together after I put in some reel
strong bolts and washers to hold on the back wheels.
Now I ken reely
We had a
Split Rock City at our old house, so we brought all the
buildings with us, and they will be installed as soon as
we get the tracks put down and working like they're
supposed to work.
So be sure
to watch fer the building named after me. It's
called "Sparky's Discount Shootin' Iron
2003. Well, for the
last several days, Jim and I (Sparky) have been out in the yard
building some little retaining walls to hold up the upper track
when we get that installed after finishing the grading for the
pitchers below show the continuing construction of retaining walls
for the upper roadbed. My powerful Steam Shovel continues to
amaze people with how it makes short work of even the largest of
excavations. The first picture below shows it digging for
the roadbed that will go in front of the Maple tree that we have
there to provide us with shade, and eventually, some day, we hope,
maybe it will be a source for Maple syrup, but that's another
second pitcher shows it after completion of backfilling with dirt
behind the big stone wall that it also helped to lift the large
stones into position to make for a faster and neater job. It
is heading across the bridge supports so it ken get down to
excavate the large hole for the foundation of the long wooden
cribbing wall that is being built jest North of the just-completed
stone wall. Pitcher 3 shows it beginning on that project.
4 shows the excavation is complete and construction of the
cribbing wall is underway. I'm not in any of the upcoming
pitchers cuz it got too hot fer me out there where the tree shade
don't reach, and anyway, my powerful Steam Shovel was all done fer
5 shows the cribbing wall getting taller. Pitcher 6 shows it
nearly done and partially backfilled. Pitcher 7 shows the
wall completed and backfilled, ready fer the train tracks, almost.
last pitcher, number 8, shows an overview of the entire project
with several completed walls, ready fer the installation of some
special gravel called "Breeze," that the tracks will sit
on. Breeze is jest some special little tiny rocks that are
left over after they smash up reel big rocks that they make all
different sizes of rocks and gravel out of, so they can pave roads
and things like that.
Backyard Photo Album
Here's my Steam Shovel working
Steam Shovel moving below
Digging below for wooden cribbing
Starting cribbing construction
Nearly done, backfilled
Completed and backfilled
Overview of completed wall
Kinds of Gravel:
scrunched up rocks that range in size from dust to about 1/4"
square. It packs together reel good, and looks like what the
big railroads use to hold their tracks in place.
"Crusher Fines" is
similar to Breeze, but it may contain rock sizes from dust to
1/2" or so in size. You ken sort it out with a big
piece of special screen wire, like the guy uses when he sifts
flour to get out the big chunks over at the donut store. Of
course, you'll need a bigger one that you ken make with the
correct size screen and probably a wooden frame like the one Jim
forgot to bring from the old house when we moved to this house.
"Squeegee" is like
little sand and gravel up to about 1/4" in diameter, all
mixed together. All of the pieces are sorta round like ball
bearings, and it doesn't pack together very good, so we don't use
"Road Base" is
often crushed concrete recycled from building and highway
demolition. Many larger cities have businesses that collect
broken concrete and store it in high "mountains" near
the crushing machine. Old asphalt is also collected and
recycled. Both pack very well and are priced fairly low, and
the only concern is that there may be some leaching of lime or
other embedded chemicals that could damage plants.
"Crushed Stone or
Rock" is jest different sizes of scrunched-up rocks that
they sort out fer you, and it comes in a lot of sizes, 1/4",
1/2", 3/4", and so on. Of course, if you find some
that are different sizes mixed in, they won't let you take them
back and exchange them, so you'll jest have to figger out how to
use them up somewhere else.
"Rip Rap" is jest
smashed-up big rocks. They usually sell them as 2-12",
or 4-16", or 10-24", or something different, depending
on your rock supplier. That means that most of the rocks
will fall within the range stated. Of course, you'll also
have some dust and dirt with the mixture, so plan on using that up
bigger rocks, and are normally sold at a higher price due to the
fact that most people will pay more for them cuz they're too hard
to jest steal from along the road. Some quarries will give
them away if they have too many of them, cuz they might not fit
into their rock smooshing machine, and they can't do much else
That's about it fer the story about
rocks and gravel. I jest mostly needed to fill this column
so I could fill out this page properly, or else it sits funny when
the column at the left is longer than the middle one.
about it fer this page. I'll have
some more pitchers in a couple of days and then I'll add them to
the album that will be on the next page. --Sparky
of the Day:
Iced Sun Tea
(Decaffeinated so it won't ruin our afternoon naps).
Ham & Cheese
I heard how the
"Sandwich" got its name. Jim said his dad told
him that when he was a kid in New Jersey and they used to go to
the beach, they always took along some bread and some stuff to
put in it, between 2 slices. They jest called it
made a bunch of them, and set them out on a plate in the middle
of the beach blanket, sooner or later, some unruly kids would
come racing around and kick sand all over their lunch, so they
started calling them "SANDwiches."
Tape Test Results
While we was
deciding what kinds of things we could use fer retaining walls,
I saw an old beat-up car with the back seat window made out of
duct tape, so I jest natcherally thought that maybe we could
make a retaining wall out of duct tape, cuz it's reely sticky.
Well, the results
were very disappointing, to say the least. I tried 2 kinds
of duct tape, the regular and the exter shiny, then to make a
fair test I also used some electric tape and masking tape, as
shown in the photo below:
I waited about 10 minutes and went outside to check on the
results. The photo below shows what happened. For
that reason I will tell you that you should probably avoid using
any kind of tape to build retaining walls.
|I didn't try putting
the tape in the other direction, so I can't promise you that it
wouldn't work, but I got some of that tape and dirt all over me
and in the house, so I don't like working with tape of any
kind. And also, when you try to pull off that tape
it sticks to your paws, and it will pull out some of your
fur as well.
I also found out about tome tape
called "Gaffer Tape," and it is available in all sorts
of pretty colors, but based on my extensive testing on the other
kinds of tape, I believe it would perform very similar to the
tapes actually tested, but in case you're a glutton for
disappointment, you ken jest click below for more information on
all kinds of tape: