Afonso Xavier Canosa Rodriguez

On philology, potatoes and construction.
Well, this is just my first approach to blog-writing. I want it to be the way to keep in touch with colleagues and friends.

info at canosarodriguez dotnet

A tunnel
I have a new job. At present I am working in a tunnel for rail traffic. I am building the in situ concrete slab of the railway track.
Subject: construction - Published 17-01-2011 23:09
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I am following a course on construction site safety to upgrade competencies gained on-the-job (and because it is almost mandatory if I want to go on in the sector too).

Subject: construction - Published 27-12-2010 21:28
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Job done

My contract job finishes this week. As the structure is almost ready and it has been built well in time, the work overload (the reason for me to be hired) has decreased.

I have been trained into the most important safety techniques in a construction site and have had the opportunity to use some new machines.

Now I'll take some days for myself and next... well, it is too soon yet and it does not depend completely on me to say what comes next.
Subject: construction - Published 29-11-2010 20:18
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Support structure for kiwi vines (coda)
support structure for kiwis
As the kiwifruits have grown and the first stormy winds and showers have arrived, the support structure shows sturdiness.
Subject: construction - Published 18-10-2010 13:21
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A new crop has been harvested this month. As it has been a very good year for potatoes a first more-careful-than-usual selection was made in the plot leaving the small number of damaged tubercles or those with green surfaces.

Now potatoes are stored and will be trimmed and selected again, this time according to size.
Subject: potatoes - Published 27-09-2010 13:30
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Construction safety
I have joined a new company. I work in the building of an airport terminal.

So there I am, attached to a harness, dealing with guardrails and safety nets.
Subject: construction - Published 06-09-2010 12:31
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Evolving concepts
Sparganium erectum
"Of Baranduin Brandywine seemed a natural corruption in modern times. Actually the older hobbit-name was Branda-nn 'border-water',(...) but by a jest that had become habitual, referring again to its colour, at this time the river was usually called Bralda-hm 'heady ale'." J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings. Appendix F, Note on Brandywine.

Evolving concepts

When we have to name new objects we borrow concepts from already-known items. Metaphor is the figure of speech applied. It is easier to explain with new technologies. The Internet for instance. The Web itself is a concept brought from nature as it visually reminds ourselves of an abstract image of a network. We surf the web because the amount of information is so huge that it is like sailing in a vast ocean. Also, when surfing you are only on the surface. A synecdoche, pars pro toto, emphasizes the huge amount of information available related to what we actually access: we think of the ocean not only as a flat sea but as a whole mass with its plunging depths.

A similar approach can be applied to explain some types of plants. The way we give names in reality comes from previous concepts: so for the Sparganium erectum we have both Portuguese espadana and Welsh cleddyflys with a lexeme meaning 'sword'. Another point is why do we highlight and how do we select different proprieties of a given object. Portuguese (so does the scientific name) focuses on the leaf, Welsh adds its fruit to the metaphoric shape-description. More prosaic English bur-reed buries its poetic roots and lets the bursting burr grow up until it distinguishes the wind-shaken spear plant! I very much like the German name stiger Igelkolben where I understand a homage is given to a voracious hedgehog!

This thorny mammal is another example of term-transfering by comparison as it has been metaphorically named after flora too: Portuguese ourio cacho (Erinaceus europaeus) means literally 'a piece of burr'!

Id better stop before I switch from smile to laughter thinking of Old Celtic for man (Homo sapiens) and a sapientior woman, both metamorphosed into an operosus donkey (Equus asinus) and a ludens magpie (Pica pica)! Semantics here would bring us to a new kingdom and... Romance!
Subject: philology - Published 31-08-2010 13:09
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Tiles and bricks
I have been traveling around Europe working with tiles and bricks for the last five months. Many thanks to all the kind people I have met these days at restaurants and hotels and at workplace. I have been at Kortrijk (Belgium), Varna (Bulgaria), Le Havre (France) and Madrid (Spain). My tasks ranged from the most basic (cleaning, carrying materials, preparing mortar) to the more elaborated of cutting tiles or building in-door brick walls.

I have not reached an agreement on the frequency of travels back home so I face myself with the difficult task of finding a job again.
Subject: construction - Published 06-07-2010 00:07
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Potato harvesting machines

I spent most of the day repairing and improving the small potato harvesting machine. It has proved to be more efficient than the potato harvesting combine for these small, irregular, sloped, stony pieces of land.

In the morning I lubricated and repaired the bearings. In the afternoon dad and I began to place a new four-pinions shaft that has been designed to improve the machine performance. A local company manufactured it following the harvester particular requirements. At home we adjust the frame to fit the new component: metal cutting, screwing and welding.
Subject: potatoes - Published 05-07-2010 23:55
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The turtle dove

The sun shines over the potato cultivar that dad, mum and I planted the 10th of March. The plants have grown, leaves and branch stems have fully developed.

A prospection reveals that tubers have begun to grow above the ground too. This is the first crop of the year. The last potatoes of the season were planted two weeks ago.

I have been abroad for a month. Before I left I visited the old willow. So many years together and I realize now that it is a different hybrid from its neighbours: even if a little bit later than the rest, catkins have sprout too.

I came back on Saturday and I found the first foxgloves shining and dancing as if bells. I heard the turtle dove.

Here it announces the season for crops other than potatoes has arrived.
Subject: potatoes - Published 31-05-2010 00:05
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Ploughing again

The willows have shown their catkins. Almost all them. An old one dwelling by the river I visited yesterday has shown none yet. We met many years ago when I was a young boy. I shall come back to the same place to see what is going on.

Meanwhile the first piece of a plot was ploughed today.

Instead of maneuvering the same way I did last year, this time more area is left unploughed towards the perimeter so turns are quicker and easier to be made.

I keep the line!
Subject: potatoes - Published 08-03-2010 20:49
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Support structure for kiwi vines (and IV)
Fixing for concrete beams
Fixing and finishing!

1. Steel strips 6 x 1 cm, 50 cm length are cut. Two holes bored on each side and finally U-bent to fit beam and pole on both sides.

2. Each beam is then fixed to the pole using screws.

3. Plant stems are left over the frame.

4. Contact surface is protected with textile (dust sheets here).
Subject: construction - Published 08-03-2010 20:15
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