WWW.CSI chapter 098.history

This month’s WWW History Column (The Way We Were) will continue from where I left off last month with one very minor adjustment (keep in mind what the first day of this month represents – April Fool’s Day).  Last month’s History Articles included miscellaneous newsletter items from April, 1999 through November, 1999.  This month we’ll continue with December, 1999 through March, 2000 and will also include a small tidbit that I had totally forgotten about which was published nationally in August, 2000, in The CSI Leader publication.


December, 1999: The highlight of the month was the big Christmas Dinner at Gibson’s Restaurant on December 9.  As usual for these gala events, more verses to our Chapter Song were added (this year’s honorees were Ed Avink, Gary Beimers, Ken Coulston, Mark Lackowski, Dave Wiarda, and Larry Sernick).  “Larry Sernick sells roofing shingles, for Certainteed Grand Manor brand.  But on the job your colors won’t match; because all he sees is “SPARTAN GREEN.”  Note – Larry is the Chief Statistician for MSU football for the past 30 or more years and still continues in that capacity.  Listen carefully after each radio broadcast of the games to hear his name be announced in the credits.


January, 2000: This was a joint meeting at Jerry’s Country Kitchen with ASPE, American Society of Professional Estimators and pointed out what actually happens at the very last minute when major bids are due.  We used data from a past “real project” and set up several teams to duplicate the turmoil as the bidders tried frantically  to consolidate bids from several contractors into an overall bid package.  The real project was a 1983 addition/remodeling project for the Springhill Conference Center in Wayzata, MN.  Our teams were given exactly one hour with constant phone calls changing numbers, revising document changes, and whatever else goes wrong at the 11th hour.  I think the moderator even had the opportunity to award the bid for a legitimate tabulation.


February, 2000:   “Construction Expo 00” happened on February 3, 2000 at English Hills Golf Club Banquet Rooms.  There was space for 51 or 52 Booths and the exhibition hours that year were from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  This was the first year for the Exhibitor Lunch/Seminar and the committee was waiting for input from the attendees on how well it went.  If successful, the luncheon may be offered in the future to the visitors as well.  Specific information and data for the event was not published, consequently I cannot relate how successful the EXPO was.  Looking back in hind-sight, and based on what type of food we now offer, I would say that it was very successful.


March, 2000:  This was a great tour of the Georgia Pacific Gypsum Plant out on Butterworth Road with dinner following at Jerry’s Country Kitchen in Grandville.  The weather outside was blustery and damp while deep underground it stays consistent at around 50 degrees F.  We specifically toured the gypsum board manufacturing facility and watched the entire process from bringing up the raw gypsum rock to the drying, cutting and stacking of the finished boards.  Gypsum mineral or calcium sulfate is very ancient and can even be found in some Egyptian burial tombs where it is painted and highly decorated.  In 1894, Augustine Sackett invented the drywall process and was granted a patent for this new building material.  The U. S. Gypsum Company is formed in 1902 and in 1909 USG purchases the Sackett Plaster Board Company.  USG patents the name Sheetrock in 1917 and subsequently develops the cloth mesh joint tape in 1925 and the Ready-Mixed joint compound in 1953.  The current process to make wall-board started after WW-II during the house building boom for returning veterans.  Using wall-board was much faster than plastering directly to wood or metal lath.


April, 2017:  New NASA imagery has revealed that Saturn’s rings are much more complex than just trillions of small particles which reflect the sun’s rays back towards Earth.  The Cassini spacecraft that is orbiting the planet has recently sent back pictures showing pictures with a resolution on a scale of 550 meters (about the size of the tallest buildings on Earth) and they show spectacular features within the rings.  There are giant double armed “propeller” shapes that indicate that miniature moons are hidden within the ring system.  The mainstay of the rings is varying sizes of ice, dust, and rocks ranging in size from tiny specs to house-size chunks.  The “propellers” are gaps in the material stretching thousands of miles across which scientists believe are created by moonlets.  These moonlets can be as large as 1 km in diameter and they clear the space immediately around them.  The moonlets are not large enough to sweep clear the material and form other moons like Saturn’s other small moons (Pan and Daphnis).  Other small grainy structures lie within the individual rings which scientists call “straw”, indicating where material has temporarily clumped together for reasons that astronomers are still trying to understand.  The Casini spacecraft has been studying Saturn’s rings from orbit for nearly 13 years, and is now about half way through its next to the last mission phase of 20 orbits that drive past the outer edge of the main ring system.  These ring-grazing orbits will* continue until late April and then Casini will begin its grand finale.  Casini will repeatedly plunge through the gaps between the rings and Saturn to search for indications of what is causing these gaps.  The first plunge is scheduled for April 26, 2017.


August, 2000 – The CSI Leader – The Name Game:  Have you ever looked at the names of all the chapter newsletters listed in the “CSI Directory”?  Fifty-seven chapters use a variation of the term “spec” in their newsletter titles.  Four are entitled Specifics; three Spectrum; two Spectator; one CONSPEC; one Conspectus; one Prospectus; and one ProSPECtus.  Singular “spec” titles include: PerSPECtive, Retrospec, SPECial Edition, and Portspective.  Plurals include: Spex Pert, Idaspex, New Mex Spex, and Mainely Specs.  As for names using CSI initials, there are CSI Spec Speak, Spec-CSI-Fier, CSI Comment, CSI Link, and DeCSIpher.  Newsletters with names based on state mottos or city names include: Diamond State Format, Green Mountain Specifier, A Spec of Granite, Triangle Spec Search, Wich-Spec, Greenspec, Tulspec, Sun Spec, Couleespec, Princeton Prospector, Mobile Bay Breeze, The Rhode Writer, and Mad-Spec.  We even have titles based on terminology found in the CSI Manual of Practice: Addendum, The Punchlist, Format, Scope, Division 17, Change Order, Checklist, Collaborative, Prior Approval, Update, Xchange, Supplement, Prerogative, Excellence, Modifier, Spec Tab, The Word, The Facts, The Index, The Intent, The Column, Summary, Crystal Clear, and Or Approved Equal.  One newsletter, Rapid River Ramblings even has a similarly titled chapter song, The Rapid River Ramble – with an individual verse for [nearly] each of its members – 108 and still growing!  The following names tell us what the newsletter does: The Communicator, The Documentor, The Predicator, Specifically Speaking, Cactus Comments, Specigram, Border Recorder, Specletter, and Speculator.  And of course, we wouldn’t want to forget the high tech names like Techspec, The Parameter, Spec Tectonics – and one that sums it all up when it comes to CSI and the creativity of its members – Spectechular!   See you all next month.


* This communication contains statements that are believed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward looking statements.  Without limitation, any statements proceeded, followed by, or that include the words “targets,” “plans,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “will,” “likely,” “may,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “projects,” “should,” “would,” “positioned,” “strategy,” “future” or words, phrases or terms of similar substance “or the negative thereof,” are forward looking statements.  These forward looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond my control, which would cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. All forward looking statements speak only as of the date of this report.  I assume no obligation, and disclaim any obligation, to update the information contained in this report.

About the author: Chapter Historian