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 point (and the head and shank) on shuttering
When you try to describe or express any action, object, idea, whatever, you need a vocabulary. The more accurate, the more exact your description. You also take for granted that your addressee will be able to decode what you have expressed.

As a construction worker, whatever the language used at the working environment, I am required to name a number of objects and actions.

When you perform a task you also gain skills to name tools, objects, processes. You are supposed and required to make a perfect job. However you are supposed but not always required to name everything properly. Let?s see some examples.

It is not only because sometimes it is cold and rainy, there are many hours left to leave, that irony could be used. I might not get it, perhaps it is only for the need of a smile from time to time. A 20/100 nail is an electrode. Deixis, hyperbole and an out-of-place metaphor allow intelligibleness. It would always be informal speech as well. The kind you would never use when addressing to technical staff.

Synecdoche and metonymy are common figures that deviate from an accurate definition. You just compare and use the name of a tool or object when you are faced with another one that resembles it or functions in a similar way. Please, allow me to bring some examples that are better understood within a diachronic context for the metonymy: a bird?s claw became a part of a hammer; a ploughed versus that defined the area where the buildings were to be constructed became a line of the text where the founders of the city were prayed in Latin. Let?s come back to synchrony for the synecdoche: If you cannot name a particular element or object you just name the generic. So a round wire nail, an oval wire nail, a lost head nail, a brad or a tack are just nails.

All this is to say that many times it is difficult to find the exact terms. So you express yourself the best way you can just for the sake of being understood. Thus when I began to refer to the action of shuttering or formwork, I used casting as the more specific term I had at that time. I cannot blame it on cold and rainy weather, nor apply for a particular figure to explain a deictically restrictive use.

But I can point it out.
Subject: philology - Published 27-01-2010 18:04
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I have moved to Facebook !!! I was invited to join a couple of years ago. I used it some days and quit. Now it is a month login almost daily when I come back from work !!! :-)

So, perhaps I am not going to update this blog any longer. Let's see, it has been a nice experience: quite good to improve my English! By the way, I apologize for my solecisms and jargon. I enjoyed writing the articles and I hope so did some of you reading them. That was the most important thing to me.

The CMS provider has no blog statistics so I could check only data referring to entries typing the domain name. The browsers I have used keep the link to enter the CMS straight away, thus bookmars or browsers that keep the original link to the CMS are not logged. For the domain name particular segment I noticed there are entries on DAILY basis! Although I have met people on and off-line from several parts of the world, the frequency and diversity of geography of entries, even if low, looks like a little bit bigger than my circle of relatives, friends, known colleagues.

This blog is public, so it is for anyone to read it. However its first goal was to keep in touch with those people I don't see often or I haven't seen and could not contact for years. Perhaps Facebook is more useful for that purpose, hence this blog looses its main original goal.

However, and due to the fact that there are people taking a look at the articles -a short message is welcome ! - if I feel in the mood it is possible that I come back and write a note or so from time to time.

As usual:

PHILOLOGY: if I were to go any further with Iria Flavia, I should publish an academic paper rather than disperse notes in a blog. Some key aspects: Gallaecia's epigraphs and Celtic Goedelic language show similar phenomena that could explain iria in terms of Latin rivus, no need to search for complex pre-Celtic lexemes. Secondary issues such as gender are easily explained from Galeg. May be Iria has been something more than subject of research or some sort of a Muse to me since this blog was created: I feel it is quite easy to understand now.

CONSTRUCTION: I moved to a new company. It is my second month: this is platforms, big buildings. New kinds of props, new formwork system: many new things to me. I am introduced very slowly, from time to time, not as my main task: I am the last one here, and must perform the most basic tasks first. But I must acknowledge I am quite fortunate for being allowed to work in such a place. I can not say where I am going to be in about 4 months.

I have been quite inactive. I just took part in some selection tasks: packaging according to size and aspect, remove damaged tubers.

For all those who have arrived to this blog and I do not know who you are, thank you for your attention. For all my good friends and colleagues, (most of you, I guess) see you ! Have a nice time you all !

Nota bene:
Fr Anna: You are too good to be true! So strange! It is some sort of context at the beginning and end of that CD I was given by the ones who bear your clan name: Anthony J., I feel as if you were always there. My good teacher. I REMEMBER. See you someday, somewhere.
Subject: about - Published 12-10-2009 21:14
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Most of the potatoes are being harvested this month. Two different harvester machines are being used, the new one requiring a new, more powerful tractor in sloped lands.

Potatoes are medium-sized, good average of not-damaged, full-developed tubers. Harvester machines leave the potatoes spread on the ground. First selection is thus made on the plot, by hand.

Tubers are carried on a tractor, brought to a storage place where they will be selected again, and disposed in a right environment (light and temperature the most important factors).
Subject: potatoes - Published 24-08-2009 20:14
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In the countryside most of the sewer pipelines carried runoff with flows of pluvial or drainage origin. Domestic wastewater treatment was solved with individual containers per household. Hence in many places a new pipeline and facilities are needed for a more efficient, collective sewage treatment.

I have been setting up a sanitary sewer system in an village close to a nature reserve zone. Later I moved to an area where new industry buildings are to be built, for the setting up of the sanitary sewer pipelines. I have been working mainly with the manholes, and concrete & mortar related steps rather than the positioning of pipes, a task I dealt with some years ago, with such a good topography team as I haven't seen again.
Subject: construction - Published 24-08-2009 20:07
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Small Green 100%-Never-Pungent Best-if-Salted Peppers
I have been invited to read a speech for the XIth Green Sweet (100% Never Pungent) Pepper Festival. Being my first time in such an honorific task I read a text. I felt a little bit nervous so probably the written version is easier to understand. For those of you who can read Portuguese I enclose the link. For those who do not, well, you don't miss much, as usual I talked about... oops, you guess right... construction, philology and potatoes!!! Well, and a little bit on piquant and peppers too.
On Piquant, Peppers, and Poetry (Pt)
Subject: about - Published 24-08-2009 20:04
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Iria Flavia (hypothesis)
Ptolemy mentions Iria as Iria Flaovia. The hypothesis I am working with is Flavia being a tautonym for Iria. Both names, at this stage, appear to mean "river": either a particular kind or "part of a river". It is just an hypothesis. Iria is too obscure: there are no occurrences enough to explain it in comparative terms: The more similar one would be Iria in Portugal, which is referred to as a river in 1142: " inter Leirenam et Heirenam rivulos".

The second term, Flavia, has been explained as an eponym of a Roman Emperor(Titus Flavius Vespasianus). As far as I could research this is quite a recent explanation and there are no classic texts to support such an hypothesis. Please do note that I haven't -I wish I could- reviewed the ancient sources. All I can say is that I am failing to confirm a Latin origin for Iria Flavia in historical sources. Or, I repeat, I could not track or found any evidence to support this Latin explanation.

So I am left with linguistic evidence only. Other occurrences do show a pre-Roman substract. Comparisons at both syntagmatic and paradigmatic levels are more easily explained from Celtic.

I would appreciate any HISTORICAL evidence of ANY toponym with the term Flavia/o being given by a Roman emperor WHEREVER in the Romania. Perhaps there is such a source and it is very well known, but I admit that I can not find it at present. I strongly, sincerely would appreciate it.

I keep my attention to flavia as a Celtic name.
Subject: philology - Published 27-07-2009 18:48
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Less irregularities and a thinner -and quicker- layer of silt have made made job easier. Thus I have avoided any special mortar. As far as the second layer is concerned I have moved to 1:3 which looks appropriate for the surface I am dealing with.
Subject: construction - Published 29-06-2009 21:35
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Varieties and season
According to family tradition first potatoes were cultivated in these plots in the second half of the XIXth century. The ones shown here in the middle of the picture (plants with more flowers) correspond to our local variety. Although heavily hybridized, it still gives a low yield. However, it has been kept reproducing vegetatively by the tubers year in, year out.

Nowadays most of the plots are cultivated with Kennebec (left and right sides at the picture). All of them have sprouted and developed properly except for some flat areas where too much rain, soil too wet, did not let some seed tubers to sprout.

The weather has been quite good for the plants. This is an excellent soil for tubers to grow.

The little recently-born robins and wrens are already jumping through the shrubs and trees. The wood pigeon and turtle dove are still incubating in their nests. First early season potatoes have been harvested. For this mid-season crop it is all going on bellow ground now: the ends of the stolons have already enlarged, the tubers are growing yet.
Subject: potatoes - Published 29-06-2009 21:13
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There is a need for specialization.

As a mason I have chosen formwork.

It is time for me to improve. I am fully devoted to a course that is going to keep me busy until September. Subject: formwork techniques. Mainly practical, it is what I wanted, and what I needed. Apart from reviewing what I have being doing these years, I deal with different kinds of forms and structural elements under a careful and sage supervision.

In my spare time I am applying a layer of mortar to a ceiling. Not an easy task at all! Surface is made of bricks and concrete with areas of irregularities > 1 cm , so first I applied a layer of silt. It is taking me so long that once I finish the area I have already applied silt to, I shall change the method: first a layer of mortar with adhesive properties, then traditional Portland with sand 1:2.

Subject: construction - Published 01-06-2009 19:43
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U-turns and the same place
Let's be more precise. 360 means the same place, no change in direction. I was using the concept of turn = cycle, so the idea of 360 appeared to me more clear as context was end of a line and beginning of a new one. Obviously to describe the maneuver a U-turn is more accurate, meaning 1/2 a cycle, that is 180.

An accurate definition rather than doing the maths is the most difficult task !!! :-)

There could be some implicit paradox when I describe the way I did the U-turn. When I refer to length of tractor + plough in terms of diameter it is to express that available area was less (or equal at its best) than the one required for a perfect turn. I was referring, again, to area rather than motion. I should state that apart from using only one brake some back and forward was unavoidable. :-)

All this is to say that I have been plowing land enough to review these and other concepts. For instance, I was trying to relate production per acre in terms of world needs to feed the whole population of this planet. I even rounded our local acre to easily calculate areas of surfaces such as that of Mars or Titan. I was dealing with the exoplanets when I finished the whole land available for this season... :-)

I did so many turns that it is allowed, even if only once, to make a turn = 360 (yes, that means the same place) in order to more accurately check that bunch of primroses I needed to estimate the total number of flowers in the border.

Well..., please don't tell me you still need those :-) things :DDD

Subject: potatoes - Published 30-03-2009 21:04
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y=mx + c
Using only one brake to turn around 360 within a diameter less than length of tractor plus plough for each one.

I try to keep the most important thing when you plow, being able to focus on it once I have felt confident enough with level of depth and width.

At that point the mind can arrive to say it in English and try to understand German, as if homonymy within a verse. And do not feel so: the wagtails arrived quite soon, as usual.

Come on Ksab! It is only one. Left this time!

Subject: potatoes - Published 16-03-2009 12:53
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Flowers on the border
I have lost my employment, I couldn't save any money to go on holidays, sometimes Tula behaves as if I weren't there, and it rains stormily, sudden gusts thrumming through the chestnuts.

Fortunately enough I still have the Mabinogi, Gibson's latest yet to be read, the avant-gardes, and a short story dealing with some sort of a time traveling paradox to be translated.

I stay at my parents' (my age! Family is indeed, at least here, the root of society). I must give something in exchange. Thus on Monday I spent most of the day cutting lumber and slashing logs! Yesterday I was plowing a piece of land for the whole day. Dad did the preliminaries, then it was my turn, alone. This is not an easy soil to plow, so apart from keeping the plough 90 to the soil plane, level of depth constant, the mind has time, row after row, to think on, for instance, the latest news on far away in the cosmos, and yet feel if loneliness is not one of the main issues. Therefore after realizing that many flowers have sprouted on the border, I was grateful to, and thus must mention, a male robin jumping over the furrows on my side for the first couple of hours. This little red one is the bird I understand the better. Sometimes I think as if almost everything were to be done. :-)

Come on Ksab! That Massey Ferguson bottom-hose plugged to the radiator costs 9.35 euros and should last more than a couple of years! After checking the engine's temperature is all right I finish another furrow.

I go on with mundane thoughts such as looking for a new job, not an easy task at present it looks like.

Meanwhile the land is too wet to go on plowing. It is time for resting a little bit, and try to accomplish those many things one has never enough time for.
Hence, even if I do not smoke, do prefer radio to TV, yes, I have been counting flowers
Subject: about - Published 04-03-2009 13:51
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