"Woah. Now *that's* a machine."
Ronan loves heavy machinery so when some impressive road paving equipment was parked in our neighborhood last weekend Ronan insisted that we thoroughly investigate.
Something out of Austin Powers... Ronan and his roller
It was no surprise that Ronan went straight for the giant drums on the rollers. Given his newfound bicycle piloting ability but sub-optimal braking skills he rode directly *into* a giant drum on the rollers (he was fine... he did it intentionally). Once stopped he parked his bike in one of the roller's drums.
As good a place as any to park your bicycle
What was surprising is how much time he spent on/around/under the asphalt paver. He seems to know the top level functionality pretty well - hot asphalt gets poured into the hopper up front, a conveyor moves the asphalt to the back, an auger distributes the asphalt to roughly the right width, and the screed levels and compacts the asphalt onto the roadway.
Ronan happily saying, "Cheese!" on his new favorite machine - an asphalt paver
Pavers are large, messy machines so my job was to follow Ronan closely and instruct incessantly, "Don't touch that. No, don't touch that either. Careful! Do you see all of the oil? Don't touch any of that. Ronan, not in the grease. Watch your elbow. Don't stand there, it's dangerous. Careful. Don't touch that. No, not there. Away from the edge! Just don't touch anything that isn't painted bright purple. If it's purple, you can touch it, otherwise, don't touch."
Ronan sez, "Come on up Nieve... this thing has two steering wheels!"
Nieve like the machines fine but was more interested in the fact that Ronan was climbing up on top of something tall. She was certainly a little jealous and threw a fit when we wouldn't let her climb on the asphalt splattered paver. And the machines themselves did pretty good work - we now have a much improved street surface!