9/16/2014-Yeah, yeah, I know
Forgive me somebody or other, it's been two months since my last whatever. Well you know what, I needed a break okay. I deserve that, I deserve a break every now and then. You don't know the kind of pressure I'm under. It's enough to make a man sleepy.
So let's get you up to speed, or at least make enough of a show of it that I don't get too much hate mail. My computo broke down during my prolonged absence, twice. Actually that had a lot to do with my prolonged absence, as I was computo free for the better part of a month there. My hard drive decided to give up the ghost, and on it's way out it took a great deal of information with it. Pretty much every photo I've taken in my adult life, various backed up files, oh, and the Quickbooks, that one was particularly fun to put back together. I managed though, thanks to a fairly recent backup file that I'd saved, and my more or less meticulous paper records I was able to piece everything back together.
Last weekend I built a contraption for the back of the Big White Truck. What kind of contraption you ask, dear reader? Why a dangerous contraption, which I think we can all agree is the only kind worth having. You see I have a project going on at the House in the Country, that requires a great many ecology blocks. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, and ecology block is a big hunk of concrete, about 2' by 2' by 6', and they weigh around 3200 lbs. They're made at the cement plant with the leftover concrete that the mix trucks come back with. A truck almost always comes back in with a little bit of concrete still in the hopper, so rather than pour it down the storm drains they dump it into molds and pop out these handy blocks. They're kind of like legos, if legos weighed more than your car.
Anyhow despite my impressive physical strength I can't quite pick up a 3200 lb block and get it out of the truck. I also haven't had time to steal an excavator, so I don't have a machine out there capable of unloading them either. All I have is me and the truck itself, so I had to build an A-frame for the back end of the truck. The method is as follows, I can haul three(3) blocks at a time, but to keep the weight in the right place on the truck they need to be pretty far forward in the bed. When it comes time to unload them I have a pallet jack that I can lift them up in the air with, which at least gets them on wheels. They're way to heavy for me to roll around in the truck, but I can rig up a chainfall to the A-frame and that's more than enough pull to roll them along toward the back door on the pallet jack.
When they get to the threshold of the door the pull from the chainfall is pretty close to vertical, so they lift off the bed in a more or less controlled fashion, and swing out to where they clear the tailgate by just an inch or so. Then All I have to do is chainfall them down to the ground and disconnect. It's actually working out way better than I thought it might. I can't think of how to explain it, but I put a failsafe in the A-frame so I'll know if it gets overloaded, and so far it hasn't had to do any work, so I know I haven't gotten close to the point of overloading things yet. I have three more trips to make is all, and then I'll be to the point where I probably have enough blocks out there. Pretty fancy if I do say so myself.
So tomorrow we actually have a fairly busy day lined up boat-wise. We've got some sort of boat to move first thing in the morning, and then another research-y sort of boat to drydock, and then as if that wasn't excitement enough we have to move an entire drydock later on. Not the same drydock as the second job, a different one. Although I couldn't blame you for guessing otherwise. Let me think a sec,.. There are,.. eight drydocks inside the locks by my count. That's not counting railways and syncrolifts and things like that. Eight floating drydocks, assuming I didn't miss any. Actually that's quite a few now that I think of it.
Ok, well I have to get up early so I'm going to get to bed. Here's a brand new photo, since that's all I have now, of Heather towing a little houseboat the other day. See you later, Brian