Halloween, 2001.  Working on the Fortress.

Scott and I went over there last night to see if there was anything we could help with.  So we ended up helping Jim with odds and ends.

We pulled weeds and cleaned up along the long fence that runs with the road.  To get at the weeds, I pulled the long water pipe out of the way.  It broke off and water came shooting out, drenching me.  "We've got a problem!"  I shouted.  Jim went outside to turn the water off at the main.  We couldn't find it.  So I went back over and took another look at the situation.  The long pipe had a "quick connector" thing -- two seals that are held together with a screw-together housing [so the houseing turns, not the pipes -- good when you can't turn both sides of the pipe to screw them together.]  The quick connect was connected to the long pipe and a stub-end which had only really come undone, not broken.  So I took apart the quick-connect and tried to screw the stub into the place where it had come loose.  I got it fairly tight, but the threads were torn up from whoever did this the last time.  Keep in mind that torrents of water were coming out of the pipe, and also remember that when you put two pipes together, it causes water to squirt in all directions.  So I got that together, then went on to the quick connect.  By this time, my arms were pretty tired -- they're weak from an old job injury [have you taken a typing break recently???] -- so Jim jumped in to also get soaked head to toe.  But we got it back together.  Folks, don't you DARE touch that pipe. :)  It's hanging by a pipe-thread. :)

Later, Jim realized the big fence post needed to be moved by 6" to make room for the container by the gate, parallel to the street.  "Oh, that post would take 2 seconds to cut with oxy-acetylene."  So he dragged over his rig and started cutting.  But nothing was happening.  Minutes he tried.  "Something's wrong.  I think it's solid!"  "Can't be!" we said, and Jim climed up the fence and stuck his fingers down the post -- it's hollow...  Was it full of cement?  He tries again to cut, and finally gets through -- and it springs a leak!  It's full of water!  But it's only a pin-hole -- after minutes of cutting!  The cutting was weird, too, because it was like he was making a little wall into the pipe -- the molten metal would get blown in, then harden...inward the wall was made, but it wouldn't break through!  He made a few more pinholes, and the water finally drained out and he removed the post.  Steam poured from the top.

I volunteered last night to help out today.  Jim said Chris [hi Chris! <wave>] would be there from 8-12, and that I should show up around 11 to learn to drive the forklift.  Cool!  Uh, wait, does that mean I'll be doing this alone?!

Yep.  Well, actually, Scott [not my sweety, another Scott -- hi Scott! <wave>] also showed up.  But I did, indeed, end up driving the forklift and unloading the containers!

First, though, let me tell you about the situation.  The containers Jim had already unloaded had four holes in the bottom where the forklift can go.  The ones they were unloading when I arrived had only two -- and those were too far apart for the tines of the forklift he had rented.  So he was unloading the containers by lifting up one end, putting blocks under it, then letting it back down and moving the forklift in to pick it up.  So, not only was the container in a scary position, but there was no slot to keep the container from falling off to one side or the other.  Pretty scary, even for an experienced forklift driver...

But the containers they delivered after Jim and Chirs left all had four slots, so I was saved!

Scott and I were like, "um, so, um, I guess we should go, um, and talk to the drivers, do you think?"  :)  But the two truck drivers [one spoke only Spanish] were very nice, and gave me gentle, fatherly-like direction as I unloaded the containers.

What fun!  I actually got much better by the fourth one.

It felt great helping out in the initial stages of setting up!  It was neat to see this whole thing come together, from empty lot to [soon to be] great work space!  Chris and Scott were super, and I can't wait to meet the rest of you that I don't know!

I've described this to friends that we're not just buying in to a small work space and shared work yard, but we're buying in to a community, like a fraternity.  When you share and borrow tools, you not only save money, you get twice your money back by making connections.  That's what I'm all about!