Golf-ball-size hail does a remarkable amount of damage, and so the roof on my home was recently replaced by a crew of mostly Spanish-speaking guys. Watching them work, I was struck by how little roofing has changed since the days when I was a roofer during the summers in college. They may use synthetic underlayment instead of asphalt felt but otherwise the materials and tools and methods are no different now than in 1980.

This got me thinking about how different a concrete job site was then. If you were to compare a residential basement pour today with 35 years ago, have the changes been that profound? I suppose it depends on the contractor. For some, the change may be subtle; for others, new equipment and methods would be obvious. On big commercial concrete jobs, things are certainly different—commercial concrete contractors can’t survive today without embracing change.

This was also on my mind when I was watching the Broncos first preseason game. The game of football has changed a lot—I don’t think even the great Packers teams of the 1960s could even beat the best college teams today. Still, the basics remain the same. So I guess the moral is to start with a strong core of knowledge and have the courage to try new things. Adapt or die!