Interruptible

It was clever to talk about designing for interruptibility, but the truth, as ever, is more bothersome.

I'm rounding the bend of the deck with the wall now. Getting the curve right is hard enough, and the wall drainage is on the curve as well, adding slightly more difficulty. The drainage also means that when it rains, even if I cover the part of the construction I'm working on directly, some water still comes in from the side—not much, just enough to make the work grind to a halt.

The base rock is 3/4-inch limestone with a bunch of fine bits of dust and tiny rock, smashed down again and again until it's basically a solid layer. It's solid, but there's an interesting feature to deal with: it has enough pores to hold some water when it rains, but not enough to evaporate efficiently. And when the pores are full of water, the water-rock aggregate behaves like putty when pressure, like a sledgehammer flex smashing down the rock, is applied. Smash it here—, but it blurps up there. You can't compress it, you can't level it properly. You're stuck.

There are two ways to fix it. One, wait a week and let it dry out on its own terms. Two, dig out all the water-saturated rock, let the hole dry for a day or two, then fill the hole and keep going. Either way, it's annoying—you really are stuck until nature does its part.

That's where I found myself today. It rained Saturday. Sunday I discovered the mistake saturation situation and dug it out, then today went crazy filling the hole, smashing and leveling the rock, beating and leveling and aligning the blocks —just trying to get one block past the drain pipe so that when it stops raining in a few days, I can get back to a plastic-covered, not water-saturated rock to work again.

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