20 February 2011

No Sucking in a Flowjob

Promise…

For those who have not read my previous note about it, Flowjob is the name of a company that owns these huge machines that can flow newly-mixed concrete to the upper reaches of a building under construction.

Because we see one such machine snaking up our construction sites ever so often, it has become acceptable roundabout here to refer to the act of pumping the concrete up to the top stories as a flowjob.

Today, we were invited to attend a “topping” ceremony at the Mabini Building. I honestly didn’t know what a topping ceremony was.

We donned our hard hats, anyway, picked up shovels and had pictures taken while the winds screamed into our faces. We were on the seventh floor.

It was all pretty much ceremonial because, as I found out, the cement was gonna be flowjobbed, anyway…

Prior to the photo ops, I was able to observe at close range how a flowjob was done. The concrete was mixed at ground level, and flowed up a long series of interconnected pipes that were lifted up by a system of hydraulics.

Today the pipes rose erect – pun unintended – off the back of a truck…

Now, what I wanted to know was if the concrete was sucked – again, pun unintended – up the pipe from the ground. No, said Cid, the engineer in charge of the construction. It was pushed up instead.

“Notice,” Cid said, pointing at the last pipe, the one that bent downwards to the wooden molds, “that the machine will bob up and down before releasing the mixed concrete out the rubber tube…”

There were instant knowing laughs from those within hearing distance… It was a serious discussion, nonetheless.

“And see that thin gray rubber tube?” continued Cid, pointing at another machine. “It compacts the newly-laid concrete by forcing out the bubbles.”

And it’s called a vibrator…

[This story was first published on Facebook on 4 March 2008. The header picture is how the whole building looks like in the present. Pictures taken during the ceremonies are from the DLSL web site.]





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