Don’t Forget To Vote


I am an election judge, meaning I am one of those people you see at the polls who greet you at the door, check to see that you’re in the right precinct, check to see that you’re registered (or register you), show you how to mark your ballot, hand you a ballot, and show you how to feed your marked ballot into the machine that counts your vote. It’s not a hard job, but it’s a very long day. I have to be at the polling place by six in the morning and I can’t go home until well after the polls close, when everything is dismantled and put away and the results tabulated and sent downtown. A long, long day.

I hope my candidates win, but I will be careful not to proselytize. Some years, voters are scarce and I bring a stitching project to fill the empty hours, but I don’t think that will be the case this year.

Here’s a mystery I’ve never seen a solution to: They have spent almost the entire summer digging up the street outside our apartment building, finally laid down a layer of blacktop a few weeks ago, but before the second layer went down, they are now spending time digging big square holes in the new blacktop. I’ve seen that happen over and over, even on the freeway. They cut us down to a single lane, or make us share half the other-direction highway, dig and smooth and layer gravel and pour fresh concrete – and it’s barely dry before they send out crews to dig big square holes in it. Why? It’s a mystery to me.

Here’s the answer, thanks to Brother-In-Law Tom Kuhfeld:
In order to properly pave over manholes etc, they take the casting off and pave over everything.  If they didn’t do this, the screed on the paver would catch on them.  Before the last coat of asphalt, they dig up the manhole and replace the castings to the proper finished level and patch around them.  When the last layer is done the mix is laid down a little high to account for compaction when they roll it, so they aren’t then an issue for the screed.

About Ellen

Professional Mad Scientist for several years. Retired.
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