I used to work for the Ohio Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and briefly, it is inevitable that concrete will crack. You have to go back and saw a slab to put grooves in it so when it does crack, they will be hidden in the grooves. (Similar to perforations in a roll of stamps or indentations in a candy bar.) This is especially true in climates like Ohio and Indiana where the ground freezes and thaws (and so moves slightly as the frozen water expands) which forces the concrete to move along with it.
Now that's out of the way….I can't wait till summer! My daughter and I are looking forward to our annual girls' trip to Holiday World. Look for us on the carousel, Gobbler's Getaway, and seat 1-1 of The Voyage. (The trains look really spiffy, btw.)
And here's another explanation; this one is from Daniel in Cincinnati, who's exchanged occasional emails with us since he was a mere pup in engineering school:
Paula, why do you tempt me like this? You make it too easy.
Most structures made of concrete, especially thin ones such as a slab, will inevitably crack. There's no way to avoid it over large areas of slab. This can be due to a variety of causes, such as heavy loading, but the most common cause in a slab is fluctuation in temperature. The size of the cracks can be reduced by using appropriate amounts of steel reinforcing, but the cracks will still occur.
The workers in your photo are saw-cutting joints into the slab about an inch deep at regular intervals in order to cause the slab to crack at specific locations. This allows the slab to retain a more aesthetic appearance, as well as preventing random cracks at inappropriate locations.
"What temperature will the water at Kima Bay be on May 17?"
There was a new one last night: I saw in the Internet you have free soft drinks. How does that work? Will you ship them to me here in New York or do you prefer to mail me a coupon I can take to my supermarket?
I kid you not.
Happily, we do have our first opportunity to win tickets.
Ryan, our marketing intern, is looking for your favorite family photo taken at Holiday World or Splashin' Safari.
He's calling it the Family Fun Photo Contest.
So if you'd like a chance at winning a pair of one-day tickets for this season, send us your best by next Thursday, March 6. (Thank heavens March is almost here!)
Go ahead and send your entry to me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll forward it to Ryan. Nothing more than 2-3MB please; lower resolution is fine.
And if you include a note about how much you love the HoliBlog, you'll earn my eternal gratitude, but bupkis with Ryan.
And speaking of eternal gratitude, thanks to those who have clicked on the Technorati button (you'll need to scroll down below the Archives listing to get there). A few more clicks (just to get us to double digits, I'm not proud) would be as well-received as the first robin of spring.