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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000039.txt from 2004/12

From: "Lelia Loban" <>
Subj: [kl] Practical Value of musiC (OT)
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 18:20:20 -0500

So here was the scene: Kevin finished digging his trench, 103 feet long and
18 inches deep, for the PVC conduit (unthreaded, with sleeve inserts,
bonded with a PVC cement to link the sections) to connect electrical wiring
from the house to the new studio shed in the back yard. We're doing the
rough work with guidance from an electrician and the very helpful city
building inspector. The electrician will check our work and make the final
connections. We strung the heavy, all-weather cable most of the way
through the conduit. The last section of conduit had to go through the
wall of the shed.

First, we tried dry-fitting the joint, to make sure our measurements were
good. (We hadn't threaded the cable inside that last section yet.
All-weather cable is thick and stiff enough that we had already pushed the
whole thing, section by section, instead of fishing it; therefore we knew
we could push the last couple of feet through into the studio from the box
on the house wall, 103 feet away.) We could come close enough to fitting
the last section to verify that we'd made no measuring mistake -- but the
joint was so tight that we couldn't marry the last section of pipe into its
sleeve just by pushing on them from opposite sides of the wall. Twisting
the sections together wasn't going to work. We had no lateral room to
maneuver because the conduit and wire made two 90-degree angle turns (to
get up onto the wall from the bottom of the trench, and then go through the
wall). Also, because the PVC cement compound sets up very fast, we knew
we'd have to get that connection right the first time, or face a lot of
work to undo the mistake and replace the pipes we'd have to break to
separate them.

Kevin's solution: He stood inside the shed with one sledge-hammer and I
stood outside with the other sledge-hammer. We had to hit with the hammers
simultaneously (not full-force, which could break the pipes, but fairly
hard). If we didn't both strike at the same time, we'd just push the
conduit section back and forth, out one side of the hole, then back in
through the other. Of course, we couldn't see each other to coordinate our
hammer blows. He put the cement compound on the sleeve and then yelled,
"Count it in four. One bar for nothing: One, two, three, four...."
Keeping his rhythm, the two of us hammered toward each other in unison from
our opposite sides of the wall, until Kevin could see that the connection
was complete and yelled, "Cut!"

Never let anybody tell you that music has no practical use.

Lelia Loban

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