I worked on two California jobs last month and learned a lot! First, we refurbished a creek to make it more fish friendly. And yes, it became candlelight, dinner for two, and soft music for fishies. If I were a fish, I would lay eggs there.
In order to build the fish attraction, it took ten years of planning. And permits from Fish and Wildlife, the city of Palo Alto, the city of Menlo Park, the Army Corp of Engineers, the Sons of Trees and Creeks Federation, and the Friends of the Environment. Okay, I made the last two up. But the permits were over an inch thick and you MUST KEEP THEM ONSITE AT ALL TIMES, SOMEONE WILL COME BY TO MAKE SURE EVERY PERMIT IS THERE AND IN PLACE AND IF YOU DON'T, THERE WILL BE TROUBLE! We complied.
To build the project, we needed two qualified men; Mike and me. In order to make sure Mike and I built it correctly, we needed a biologist, a fish and wildlife person, a consultant, an inspector, and an Urban Forester. No, I didn't make that one up.
The project went well, in spite of a plethora of people with their own ideas of what fish like. Joe loved it, and Brian thought it was good. And any fish would see it and go crazy.
The second project, soil nailing in Highway 1 (no, I'm not going to explain soil nailing, but it is really cool), was a bit different, as we worked for CalTrans.
Between the general contractor and us, we featured around eight worker bees. CalTrans kept an eye on us with a biologist, looking for Red Legged Frogs, even though I KNEW there weren't any, because I got trained on the previous project, and I KNEW they liked water, like ponds and placid streams. We had no water except the Pacific ocean seven miles away. But she stayed there anyway.
An Archaeologist watched carefully for any Civil War artifacts, and found nothing. Since we worked in fill dirt that had been moved there with an archaeologist watching when it went in the first time, I wasn't too surprised she found nothing.
CalTrans provided a small army of inspectors and compliance people too, including a consultant, an engineer, two inspectors and a senior inspector, who I SWEAR hadn't smiled since Cassius Clay beat Liston.
We got the job done, in spite of a few bags of cement- brace yourself- having HOLES in them and leaking cement! We threw them in the concrete waste bin, and cleaned that cement right up, whew!
Lisa however, said we did a GREAT job, and she hadn't smiled since Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs.
I couldn't help but wonder why California, with all their tax revenue, is broke. Curious.
It wasn't ALL work. A little biking, kayaking, cart racing and bowling kept it fun too.