Friday, March 11, 2011

A Fulfilling if Tiring Day

It's only 5:15 PM as I start this post. My daily work log includes lots of items. I began the day with my Bella Vista water transmission main project, trying to do the work needed to tie down some remaining easements needed. I shifted to my Bentonville flood study, the bane of my existence. I'm on Revision 5, which will be the 5th submittal to FEMA. I then shifted to a citizen complaint in Centerton concerning drainage problems that have been hanging on for four years, and a floodplain issue from the last three months.

Through all this, I shifted back and forth to filing papers for the Bella Vista project. I thought another man was going to manage the project under my direction, so I was letting him file as he saw fit. That didn't happen, however; he was assigned to other projects, and the papers mounted. Earlier this week I re-did the project filing system to my liking, and began to dribble a few papers into the notebooks. Today, any time I finished a pressing project task, I shifted to the filing. I must have stuffed a 150 pages in those notebooks. I've got double that yet to go, but I feel much, much better about it.

The usual parade of people needing senior engineer advice came by or called. A backflow prev enter problem, a paving overlay problem, and some floodplain issues in Rogers took up some time. Then there's the project from almost nine years ago that wasn't constructed per the approved drainage report: one storm sewer run was reduced in size. For lack of another body carrying a brain of adequate intelligence, I wound up doing the calculations and mini-report over three days this week. That came back with another request today.

And over all this was the Bentonville floodplain engineering. I'm going back and forth between the model and the map, seeing where they don't agree, tweaking the model when that makes sense and marking up the map for changes when that makes sense. It's getting close. Thirteen more cross-sections to go for the 500-year floodplain, then a recheck of the 100-year floodplain and the floodway to make sure they didn't get out of whack due to the last changes. Then there will be a short engineering report, maybe four work hours to complete. That's a Monday task.

I'm so sick of floodplains. If I never saw another one I wouldn't mind. Yet I've got three more to do in the next year. In fact, I'm coming in to the office tomorrow and Sunday to try to get something done on the Rogers flood study that has been backed up due to the Bentonville flood study that was backed up due to the Centerton flood study. Then there's another Rogers one to do and then another Bentonville one to do. I'm so sick of them, I feel like going out in the rain, standing in the worst portion of Tributary 2 to Little Osage Creek, and just ride the flood wave downstream.

But instead, I think I'll review two more cross-sections then call it a day. With Lynda still in Oklahoma City, tending to grandbabies, I'll head to Barnes & Noble, browse the remainders table, look at shelves where someday I might have a book, grab a couple of mags, drink a vente house blend, and just relax for two hours. Then home to write the last (or maybe next to last) chapter in Documenting America. Oh, yeah, before the work day began I found a document I needed, a full version of one of John C. Calhoun's speeches. Of course, that led me to another speech of his, which I may use instead of the one I intended. Ah the tentacles of research.

Signing off. I'll have this post in two hours, when I will be firmly b-i-c in the B&N cafe.

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