Early Morning Cement Pour, Evening Fun at 20×2 Chicago

Since Bob had originally hoped to do the concrete pour yesterday, we ended up deciding on doing the pour really early today. So I ended up driving down to Frankfort around 6:30, got everything prepped, and began to work around 7:30.

After about 9 bags in, Julie came outside with some breakfast. I’ve learned that for these types of “monolithic” pours… once you start, you really don’t want to stop until it’s all done.

So we chowed down on this while the mixer was still running, and went right back at it. Though it’s not quite part of South Beach, I was happy to have the sausage links – they tasted delicious.

About halfway. Around this time, we realized we might be short a few bags… and Julie ended up taking the truck for a run to Home Depot, where they loaded her up with 6 additional bags.

Originally, we got 17 bags. On a separate run, I got 8 more. Ultimately, we ended up using 27 bags total. Though there was an estimate guide on the shelf at Home Depot, it seems the calculation tables on the sides of each bag were more accurate.

All in all, I think it maybe took us 2.5, maybe 3 hours? We got into a good rhythm. We landed on 1 gallon of water per bag. We started with me dumping 2 gallons of water in the mixer, then we’d cut a slit into three cement bags. Bob and I carried one bag over together, flipped it over above the mixer, and then emptied it inside.

Bob would mix this for a while, then we’d grab a second bag and repeat the process. After a bit more mixing, I’d add in another gallon of water, followed by the third bag.

Given the weight of things, Bob would mix things upright at first, before gradually turning the mixer to an angle (to prevent putting an immediate strain on the motor by starting at an angle).

I didn’t take a ton of photos (my hands were sopping wet and things got a little dirty), but we ended up finishing somewhere around 11:15. I distinctly remember sitting on the back of Bob’s truck, drinking coffee, with everything done. And I mean – fully poured, every tool hosed off and cleaned, done.

Around 1PM, I peeled off and headed back to Chicago. I cleaned up, had some lunch, and ended up taking a power nap with Liz. Before we knew it, we were out the door and heading to 20×2 Chicago, where I was one of the speakers.

A beautiful day out, looking towards the venue. I rarely take naps, but one of the main benefits is that it kind of gives you a double day. While I wasn’t 100% rested, it did feel like everything that happened earlier in the morning was much further in the past.

A look at the crowd. I forget who I spoke with about this, but someone mentioned being surprised at the crowd – beautiful weather outside, Saturday, 7PM – and still there were lots of folks in the audience.

Andrew, host of 20×2 Chicago.

As always, there was a wide range of performances.

Cinnamon Cooper and Melissa DuPrey both gave talks that were incredibly personal and incredibly moving.

Jen Sabella gave a hilarious talk on “quitting,” Lily Be told a phenomenal story about driving with her brother, and I’m still thinking about what Henri Harps spoke about – music and mindfulness.

I can’t wait for the videos to become available, so I can share direct links to all of these talks with you. For now, here’s the video from the evening’s final presenter, James Allenspach – who got several of his Chicago friends to read Tweets he found, answering the question “Why Did You Stop?”

Next event is in October!

Pouring Cement in the Back Basement
Pouring Concrete for the Furnace Platform

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