30 October 2005

The good, the bad, and the ugly

exhibit 1…concrete that is. Ryan already made the comment how everything here is made of concrete, and hence Bulgaria is the “fireproof country.” However, the quality of said construction varies greatly. Exhibit 1 is the ubiquitous concrete access covers found throughout Sofia. Every single example I have seen is somewhere along the continuum from brand new to totally disintegrated (and therefore leaving a big, dangerous hole in the middle of a sidewalk.) Obviously one company got the contract to make all these lids and just chinched on the cement. In a lot of places parts of streets and sidewalks are in similar states of decay; exhibit 2 is an example of the precast sections of tram track beds. In some streets rebar is actually sticking out of the remaining concrete such that when a car drives over it, the loose end exhibit 2 rings like (chow time) triangle. Structural concrete also covers the whole rang of good, bad, and ugly. Exhibit 3 is an example of some good, modern construction; however, exhibit 4 is a building on my street that has been in this state for at least the last 3 months that I’ve been here. Obviously what it missing here is a vibrator to eliminate the voids that in some place leave rebar expose! I have seen the result of this type of construction; in a few years chunks of concrete start to crumble and fall off, rebar rusts, and slowly everything begins to fall apart. The good news is that new infrastructure (paid with EU funds) is top quality. (I’m sorry, I know this is boring to everybody except my dad and brothers.) exhibit 3

I know I’ve not been posting much (at least its more than Ryan—he has only 2 posts for the entire month of October), but I have been spreading the love (writing & pictures) around to different audiences: MBAEC Yahoo group, MySpace, and even WeatherUnderground. Check out my photo series of Sofia Autumn Colors.

I just had to share the following; probably the single funniest comic strip I've ever read:
Satch: Hey, Bucky! Why did the chicken cross the road?
Bucky: That's an interesting question. I've done some thinking on the subject and I've come up with a theory./ You see, a chicken's perception of the definition of "space" is very different from yours or mine./ Whereas we understand the linear definition of the boundaries of the pavement and can make exhibit 4judgments on the future direction of the moving objects--vehicles, if you will--/the chicken may only see an unconnected patchwork of shapes and movements./ It is my contention therefore, that the chicken doesn't even know he's crossing what we would call a "road."
Satch: My juice cap says "To get to the other side."
Bucky: Well, sure, sometimes the other side is just cooler.

-Get Fuzzy 30 Oct. 2005 © Darby Conely
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