07/29/13 2:00pm

Swamplot reader Robert Meaney sends some observations along with these photos from the Fifth Ward of the 136-acre former KBR industrial property, sold a little more than a year ago and most recently designated for use as a private helistop: “I know they have been excavating for some time to get the contaminated soil out of the area. Currently they are scheduled to be finished digging up the lot by [December of] this year and according [to] the KBR manager I talked to on site the land will be up to commercial and residential standards.”

Photos: Robert Meaney

07/12/10 10:41am

AND NOW A TALL BLAST OF HOT AIR FROM THE GULF See, this ginormous methane fart is gonna shoot up from deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, and then we’ll all be outta here like the dinosaurs: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years. . . . If the methane bubble—a bubble that could be as big as 20 miles wide—erupts with titanic force from the seabed into the Gulf, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will immediately sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists participating in the salvage operation will die instantly. Next, the ocean bottom will collapse, instantaneously displacing up to a trillion cubic feet of water or more and creating a towering supersonic tsunami annihilating everything along the coast and well inland. Like a thermonuclear blast, a high pressure atmospheric wave could precede the tidal wave flattening everything in its path before the water arrives. When the roaring tsunami does arrive it will scrub away all that is left.” [Helium; deprogramming available on Reddit; both via Rex Hammock]

10/14/09 11:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO JACK YOUR OWN BUNGALOW “Dude, it’s easy, just get a 20 or 30 ton bottle jack, the kind you can buy at any auto part or hardware store. . . . To raise a stack, just start a new one right next to it. I like to use the solid concrete blocks that [are] half the height of the normal ones. Pile those up to close the height of the jack, and then unscrew the thingie in the middle of the jack to bring it up to the beam. It’s a good idea to put a small piece of scrap wood between the jack and the beam, or otherwise you can make a little jack-shaped hole in your beam- probably not a big deal. Anyway, jack the beam up until you are able to put a shim in there- steel shims are nice, but hard to find, I just use wood for the smaller ones. Then you can let your jack down, and reset- the new stack your jack was on will have pushed itself down into the ground more than the house will have gone up, so you’ll need another shim or two under the jack before you start lifting again. Procede like this, adding more or larger shims, or concrete-block half pieces, until you get your floor the way you want it. . . . Important thing to keep in mind as you work is that the existing locations for the concrete blocks are already sitting on 80 years worth of soil compression. If you start a new stack somewhere else, and you don’t put some concrete down 3 or 4 feet, that new spot will sink over the next couple of years. So, just keep all the existing stacks, though you can add new stacks to cure a sag. On my house, when adding new stacks, I didn’t pour any concrete, I just dug down about a foot about put a 16″ x 16″ wide piece on the bottom, using a dollar-store level to make sure it was sitting in there flat. Ok, the redneck way to do this process is to lower the house, rather than raise it. Sure, this is easier but also moves your house that much closer to termite-ville, and closer in time to the moment when the beams are sitting directly on the dirt, which is kind of the dead-man-walking state for a wood framed house. And if you never raise your house, that day is a matter of when, not if, in this city of mud. . . .” [Patrick, commenting on Brick on the Inside]

10/14/09 2:39pm

BRICK ON THE INSIDE Before his dog Teddy runs off with it, new Norhill resident John Whiteside finds a convenient doorstop solution: “None of the doors in my house close. Well, the closets do. But the actual doors into rooms – no. . . . It is a little more crooked than most Heights houses (which are always a little crooked, unless they’re new, in which case they will be crooked soon as the shitty modern constructions settles in). I would like it if the doors latched, but I’m not going to deal with that until I am sure there are no additional foundation repairs in the offing. This is normally fine because it doesn’t really bother me if I’m peeing and suddenly the door comes in and Teddy strolls in. ‘Hey, whatcha doin’?’ However, on Saturday I had people over for a little housewarming open house, and I realized on Saturday afternoon that guests might not enjoy Teddy visits during personal moments quite as much. What to do? Why, a doorstop seemed like the ideal answer. I looked around the house for a suitable heavy object. Then I had a great idea; there’s been a pile of red bricks sitting outside next to the air conditioning unit since I moved in. Solid, compact, easy to slide over in front of the door, and kind of rustic – the perfect doorstop!” [By the Bayou]