Friday, May 9, 2014

All Kinds Of Good Stuff And Big Bertha

Wednesday as I walked around the complex I definitely spied on Spring.  The sun was out and everything was looking great...then came the weather forecast for the rest of the week.  Spring might be here but Winter isn't about to give up without a skirmish.   But there is beauty everywhere you look.

We are preparing to go back up to Gold Bar today.  We plan to visit some friends on Camano Island on Saturday and it will be a shorter trip.

We got a call from Tuff Shed yesterday afternoon confirming our order and going over the details with us.  They surprised me when they indicated they could be in Gold Bar next Wednesday to build it on our lot.  I am a happy camper.  It comes primed so I will need to paint it.  If the weather is good I will stay and do just that otherwise I will return home to do a project for my ex-boss.  If I stay, I'll have to come up with a way to do the project while up there with the weak wifi and no printer.  Might have to come home for a few hours or go to Monroe and find a Starbucks and a Staples store.

Yesterday we went shopping and finalizing the plans for the trip with our grandson in mid-June to early-July.  I have the route figured out and I know where we are stopping for our overnight stays on the way to Pocatello, Idaho and Glacier, Montana.  We will be spending 5 to  6 days in both places giving Zach, Mia and I a chance to not only see the surrounding areas but go on day hikes.

The rains came yesterday and it was really messy.  As night closed in the winds picked up and the rain just poured down from the heavens.  I was laying in bed reading "American Icon" at about 8:30 pm when all hell broke loose and the wind picked up and we got dumped on.  The window in the bedroom was open as was the one in the back bedroom.  The wind gusted through my window and slammed the bedroom door.  It was pretty amazing stuff.  This morning there is no wind and only a light sprinkle.

I emailed Northwood Manufacturing about my broken screen clip about a week ago.  I had not heard from them so I went down to Sumner RV to see if they could order some.  The young lady said she would order them in and I should get a call in a week or so.  I haven't heard from her and I never got a response from Northwood.  I did get 11 clips in the mail from Northwood at no charge.  This is the second time that I have asked for something expecting to pay for it and getting it for nothing.  I can't say enough about these guys and their service.  If you are looking for a 4 seasons trailer or camper look to further than Northwood.

Finally it occurs to me that with all of our mechanical expertise we still can't get it done.  We have this local project in Seattle digging a tunnel to replace an old viaduct.  The device the state is using is called, "Big Bertha".  It was built by Hitachi in Osaka Japan costing $80,000,000.
She is currently stopped dead in her tracks and it doesn't look like she will be digging again until sometime next year.  A special hole is being dug to extract the cutter head so bearings and new improved rubber seals can be installed.  All this technology and we can't dig a simple hole.

Then I remember back to the days when man dug the holes with pick axes, trucks, steam shovels, and back breaking work.  Like the ones we found on the Iron Goat Trail.

Dug out of a shear granite cliff by hand.

Or the Great Northern railroad tunnel completed in 1904 and still in use today was dug by 350 men with picks, shovels and wheelbarrows.  At the time one of the biggest tunnels in the U.S. and it has seen and survived four major earthquakes.
This was a real hostile work place with no rules or safety equipment.  Note the lack of hardhats.  Perhaps we should reconsider the cost of Big Bertha verses the cost of a few good men with strong backs and a willingness to get it done.

Hope all is well, thanks for stopping by.

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