July 23, 2012

"This guy is the Bob Ross of brick laying."

"They do not show us his face, because he is all of us on the inside."

"It's oddly mesmerizing to watch a pro at work. (In this case, masonry blocks.)"

28 comments:

Pogo said...

He didn't build that, so he needs to work faster for the government that did it for him.

Got mouths to feed: ACA, FICA, Medicare.

Plus he's prolly violating sumpin, so let's ask the folks at OSHA, IRS, EEOC, ADA and Title IX for a ruling.

Rusty said...

Every movement has a purpose. Not one movement wasted. A master of his craft.A joy to watch.

Astro said...

Came for the 'happy little clouds';
didn't see any;
but not leaving disappointed.

Roger J. said...

What Rusty said--the mason is a real pro and the clip was a real pleasure to watch. Thanks for posting this one

Curious George said...

One summer I labored for bricklayers. Yep, fascinating to watch. They make it look so easy.

On the other hand, they go through mud fast, and I often had to mix it by hand with a hoe in a trough. Nothing fascinating about tht or carrying it up scaffolding in five gallon buckets.

Patrick said...

Actually, I don't believe that he is "all of us." There are a great many people who do not work this diligently, carefully and just hard. This guy does. His left arm must be damned strong.

Simon Kenton said...

I'd love to bring that economy and precision to all life, but I'd settle for prose.

Simon Kenton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

You know, the weird thing is, watching someone perform a task in rhythm can indeed be oddly hypnotizing. A few decades ago when I was in my first off-campus resident as a college student, we ended up with a roommate that at first seemed a little creepy because he loved to watch us either cook or do the dishes. It wasn't a weird fetishy thing, he just enjoyed watching light manual labor. He said it was calming.

Back then I didn't get it, and the rest of us stopped worrying when it turned out he wasn't creepy at all. But I remembered that, and I do think that at times it's just weirdly mesmerizing watching something like that. Especially if it's even partly rhythmic, like the brick layer in the video is. Or like Bob Ross was while painting. Watching fly fishing for a few minutes can also be that way. It's weird, but it's true.

Bill said...

Hypnotic indeed. I think part of the appeal and fascination is that it's both very hard and very simple. It's tempting to think about doing one simple thing and doing it very well.

As I watched, though, I thought they picked just the right row of bricks to film. I bet the layers below that one were not so soothing, at least not on his back.

AprilApple said...

It's a lost art. While the younger gerneation aspire to be stupid angry rap stars, we could use more people who do this sort of thing. It's actually useful!

EMD said...

I love watching DIY-type reality shows. Unlike a lot of programming, it's really positive and life-affirming.

My son sometimes watches with me, and he gets to see people doing hard work, making things the right way (most of the time) and finishing a project.

It's refreshing to see a can-do approach and problem-solving come to life on TV.

Especially stuff like Holmes on Homes,

Chip Ahoy said...

Needs more reinfor.

Added to cement.

Jim Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Now that's sexy.

This is another way that Youtube has changed the world. If you have a job to do, you can watch you tube videos and see exactly how to do it. I do it all the time. Even when I know how to do something, I still check it out and often find there is a better way than what I know.

A few months go I put a new roof on my house with the help of some friends. Some of us had experience, and some never did it. We sat down with some beers and watched videos for a while and then everyone was on the same page, as well as getting some good ideas.

You can also watch close up instructional videos of major and minor surgeries. For those I would use hard liquor.

Joe Schmoe said...

Curious George, being a mason tender is one of the jobs I've never wanted, right there with roofing (baking on a dark asphalt roof on a summer afternoon) or asphalt road crew (same reason).

ndspinelli said...

Stone masonry, brick, etc. was the blue collar jobs for Italians back in the early 1900's that brought them out of poverty. You can go to neighborhoods in the northeast and tell where Italians lived and worked a century ago, particularly by the stone masonry house.

I have no ability to work w/ my hands but I am hypnotized by craftsmen. I could watch a Norm Abrams Yankee Workshop marathon and be quite happy.

Curious George said...

"Joe Schmoe said...
Curious George, being a mason tender is one of the jobs I've never wanted, right there with roofing (baking on a dark asphalt roof on a summer afternoon) or asphalt road crew (same reason)."

I was 19 when I labored with mason, but just did a three tab/ tear-off of my shop roof with a good (but I assume insane) friend and I'm 55. Twelve square. It was only 80 but not a cloud in the sky...HOT. We quit from 1-4 everyday because of the heat...and the shingles get too soft. Back at it to dark. Never again.

As far as mason, they tend jerk around young laborers, always proclaiming the mud was first "too wet" and then "too dry". And they liked to flick any lumps of dries mortar, which are inevitable, down at you from above.

Methadras said...

Well, according to Urkel, he didn't build that. Someone else did.

Rusty said...

EMD said...
I love watching DIY-type reality shows. Unlike a lot of programming, it's really positive and life-affirming.

My son sometimes watches with me, and he gets to see people doing hard work, making things the right way (most of the time) and finishing a project.


Just don't do any of the things you see on any of those shows involving motorcycles, hot rods, or guns. Some of their shop practices are downright dangerous.

EMD said...

Just don't do any of the things you see on any of those shows involving motorcycles, hot rods, or guns. Some of their shop practices are downright dangerous.

I'm mainly talking about the home-oriented ones.

Biff said...

The video reminded me a little bit of my dad, who, much like the fellows ndspinelli described in his earlier comment, was an Italian mason who made his living doing his part to build America's northeastern suburbs.

When I was a teenager and at the peak of my rebellious "Dad doesn't know anything" phase, my father took me on a couple of the side jobs he did for extra cash on the weekends. I was astonished at how quickly and artfully he could build a set of brick steps or a patio. I was amazed at his sophisticated knowledge of geometry, even though he never finished high school. I was in awe when he told me what he was paid for work he so obviously loved. Those afternoons were the end of my rebelliousness towards my dad, and the beginning of my respect for him as a man. Decades later, I still point out houses and other things that he built and that have weathered the years better than I have done.

He encouraged me to go to college (the first in the extended family), and I've been fairly successful in my scientific/technological field. It bothers me, however, that I've never loved my work quite as much as my dad loved his.

Strangely enough, there are two things that I do better than anyone else I've met and that give me zen-like pleasure: slicing lox/smoked salmon in a deli (even though I don't particularly care much for the product myself), and preparing histologic tissue sections for microscopy using a cryostat/microtome. I haven't done either in years, but when I used to do those things, people would gather around to watch. Go figure.

Unfortunately, neither of those things commands as much pay as a good mason.

Rusty said...

EMD said...
Just don't do any of the things you see on any of those shows involving motorcycles, hot rods, or guns. Some of their shop practices are downright dangerous.

I'm mainly talking about the home-oriented ones.


I don't watch many of them. That guy on The Wood Wrights Shop seems to go through a lot of bandaids though.

Mark said...

Thanks for a lovely moment, Ann. I worked for a bricklayer like Curious George did. A mean one who was always in a bad mood. The mason in this video seems like a zen master...quietly confident of his intent and just doing it with quiet excellence, like Biff's dad. I enjoyed Biff's comment. Your dad really made a great contribution in you, Biff.
I was sorry to learn the music was associated with a violent video game.

Joe Schmoe said...

On a related note, hand-laid concrete block will be with us for a long time, but large concrete wall panels, stamped to look like concrete block, are being used more and more. I saw a Home Depot go up awhile ago, and the wall sections came in on trucks. They were about 25' high and 10' wide. With crane, they erected the shell in about two days.

Larger and larger parts of buildings are assembled off-site and then trucked to the site. Modular sections are the future of building.

Biff said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Mark @12:46. I appreciate it.

ndspinelli said...

Biff, Great comment, thanks!

Biff said...

Thanks, ndspinelli. Same to you.