Friday, September 10 2004
The never-ending trench project continued in spurts as I finished all the possible excavation I can do without further disrupting the surface. I've completely exposed the serious crack near the south end of the western wall. It runs from the top nearly to the bottom, forking about a third of the way from the footing into an additional crack, this one running forty five degrees from vertical and curving gently. The crack is only serious in the top third of the wall, where repairing it should be fairly easy. Getting to the bottom part from down in the deep end of that ditch is going to be a bitch - I'm barely able to touch the crack with the tip of a putty knife, and the process of getting back there is likely to spill anything I might have scooped up with it. But at least I'm no longer frightened of an imminent collapse of the trench's walls; they've held for days through rain and sun with only the occasional clod of clay tumbling in. Also, whenever temperatures drop into the 60s the mosquitos become much less of a problem.
Now that I've completely exposed a good 23 feet of foundation wall, I can confidently perform an audit on the differences between what had been specified in the blueprints and what was actually implemented. There's no evidence of either "Spray Or Brush-On Asphaltic Waterproofing Below Grade" or "Cross Laminated Poly Sheeting To Protect Waterproofing Below Grade." And there's no "4'' Gutter Drain 4 ft. Below Grade," though there is a "4'' Perf. Ftg. Perimeter Drain." The supposed "Granular Backfill" piled against the foundation wall is actually a damp heavy mass of clay mixed with rounded river stones. There's an amazing number of small (3 mm. in diameter) roots running through this soil, right up to the foundation wall at all depths, though the nearest tree is 30 feet away.
Hear me, I'm a really smart guy: you know the controversy swirling around those recently-unearthed documents proving Bush lied about his military service? You know how the vast rightwing conspiracy is putting all its firepower into promoting the idea that those documents are forgeries? Well, here's a research project for someone. Find other documents typed by Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian and see if they were typed by the same typewriter. Perhaps some won't be. But I'd definitely be more amenable to the forgery hypothesis if it turned out that Killian hadn't typed any other documents with that typeface. But my suspicions are otherwise: if this is a forgery, it's not the kind someone would go through the trouble of making. You'd have to be pretty stupid to try to simulate a typewritten document from the 70s using Microsoft Word's default settings. But from what I hear, the font used isn't exactly like any known computer font in circulation.
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