Stan’s Obligatory Blog


The Great Escape

Filed under: — stan @ 8:44 pm

We have a new dog staying with us. She’s been here for about a week now, and she’s been getting into some trouble. Today, she found the cracked board at the bottom of the driveway gate, and somehow managed to break off the cracked part and get out through the hole. I was impressed by this, since I didn’t think she’d even fit through that hole, but both dogs got out and were running around the neighborhood when I got home from work. Suzie came running back when she saw me coming home, but I had to chase Sadie down and bring her back. Then I locked them in the house while I patched the hole as best I could do on such short notice. I’m reasonably sure she won’t be able to get through that any time soon.

More stairwell math

Filed under: — stan @ 8:17 pm

Today was another practice at the Aon building in downtown Los Angeles. I wanted to practice my footwork for changing which leg was the lead on the first and third major portions of the stairway. I also wanted to do some more counting, since I want to know the actual count of steps.

As always, I rode the train there. When I got there, I did one thing differently this time. Before starting up, I followed Theodore down the stairway to the ground floor. He started his run from there, but I just walked it and counted steps. It’s 82 steps from the ground up to the 4th floor where the main stairway begins.

At the mechanical floors where the stairs reverse direction, I paid attention again, and there are exactly two floors that are different from the standard 22 steps per floor. Those are on 22 and 42, and they are both 24 steps. Aside from that, it’s 22 steps per floor all the way up to 60.

If you look at the picture of the building on the Glass Steel and Stone web site, you can see two dark floors. Those are the mechanical floors at 22 and 42. I counted the windows to be sure that those are the right numbers.

When I got to 56, I looked at my watch, and it said 9:30. So I knew I wasn’t going to break any records today, but I was on track for a good time anyway. I managed to put on a little sprint from 57 to 60 before doing the traditional face-plant in the hallway. After a few minutes, I had a look at my watch, and it said 10:05. Five seconds slower than my best time so far. Not bad.

On the train home, I did some math, since I now have accurate step counts from the ground all the way to the roof door above 62. And here’s the story:

82 steps from BL to 4
22 x 56 = 1,232 steps from 4 to 60
4 extra because the mechanical floors at 22 and 42 have 24 steps
24 from 60 to 61
28 from 61 to 62
10 up to the roof door

Right off, this means that the published count of 1,377 steps for the whole climb is wrong. It’s close, but not quite right. I think the actual count will be just shy of 1,400. I wrote to Vanessa at the Lung Association, and she’s going to try and find out how long that last flight after the roof door is.

This started me wondering if the step counts on other climbs are also inaccurate. The U.S. Bank Tower climb is said to be 1,500 steps. But that building was built in 1989, and since about 1980, the building code has specified that steps are 7 inches. Doing some math:

1500 x 7 = 10500 inches
10500 / 12 = 875 feet

The U.S. Bank Tower is 1,018 feet tall. We climb to within about 8 or 10 feet of that level, since the finish line is just below the helipad on the roof. So clearly it has to be substantially more than 1500 steps.

So that’s my stair-geek story for the day. And on the way home, I saw a funny electrician’s truck. “Shock-a-Doodle Doo! Don’t let this happen to you!”

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