Monday, November 15, 2010

Dot Com BOOM!

You can read and see the story here, but perhaps you saw it on the news or on FOX.  Out in Ohio, someone finally decided to get rid of a smokestack that had not been used since 1981, so they hired an outfit called Advanced Explosives Demolition to bring it down.  It was like watching one of those "Gorgo" movies from the 60's to see the behemoth pile of brick fall as it did, sending power lines earthward as schoolkids ran for safety.

Can you just imagine the post-boom meeting at the AED headquarters?  I might be wrong, but I can see how something like that would turn into a mass finger-pointing exercise...

"Hey! You were supposed to check for cracks like that!"
"Well if you had BOTHERED to look at the pictures we took..."
"I'm not here to place the blame, but, Ed, you let us all down this time."
"I swear to you, I checked for that!"

Oh well. It's all "water under the dam," as one of my favorite metaphor mixers used to say (the same guy used to say, "It's six of one and half a dollar of the other.")  I do notice that if you go to that company's website, you will not see this particular boom-boom listed on their greatest hits.

Mistakes will happen.  That's why we can put a fresh point on a pencil and start over again.  The ironic  thing here was that when those power lines came down, 4,000 people living near the site lost electricity, and one can only hope they had it back on in time to see the evening news.  Otherwise, they could not have seen why they could not see the news.  If you follow me.

There is a firm right here in Baltimore who does this sort of work and has done so for many years.  Controlled Demolition Inc. was a trend-setter in the field of knocking down big buildings with hundreds of small explosions, and to the best of my knowledge they have not had such an unfavorable outcome as this Ohio firm did. 

CDI has done lots of work around here, Baltimore being the aging sort of Rust Belt town that needs to get rid of some building that people thought would be around forever.  We are used to seeing the sights and sounds on the evening news; one time, when a series of old rowhouses in the city was coming down, one of the TV stations put a camera that they were going to get rid of in a room and let us see the last few images that the camera would ever send as it disappeared under dusty rubble.

But I have always wanted to do this.  I would like to get one of those really great indestructible armor suits and wait inside the building, and then, just as the dust begins to settle and the last bricks are landing on the street with that curiously hollow "thwock!" sound and the crowd is finished "ooh"ing but not quite through "aaah"ing...I would emerge from the rubble and shout,

"OH!  Was that TODAY???????"

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