Monday, July 25, 2011

When Rocks Fly

Were you aware that a "rock" is classified as a "boulder" when said rock is simply too large for a person to move?   In other words, all boulders are rocks, but only some rocks are boulders.  (Are you getting that creepy feeling like you're taking a university logic class yet??)  I didn't know this.  I know it now.  And I know it because George the Elder and I bought a boulder.  Of course we did.

We went to a local stone quarry a couple of weekends ago to buy a bunch of smallish landscaping rocks to cover up all the dirt that still surrounds the front of the CMR.   Since the whole kitandkaboodle of landscaping is going to be Phase 27.5 of the CMR expected to occur sometime in the second millennium - we needed a little somethin somethin between now and then.  See the dirt just kicks up and gets my newly painted house all groady.  Can't have that happening for the next 7 thousand light years.  So, we head down to this cool quarry to pick out some rocks.  We bought a couple of tons of them.  Literally.  Two. tons. of. rocks.  Turns out that rocks are pretty heavy.  And while we were strolling around the stone yard, we decided to buy - - well, the boulder.  A 1.5 ton boulder to be exact.  Most people buy gum or mints as impulse buys.  Us?  A bronze boulder.

We had it all delivered.  Wasn't that nice of them?  We could have rented our own couple o'ton dump truck -  but we took (what we thought then) was the easy way out.  "Please come and put everything where it belongs."   The morning of the delivery I was so excited.  No more dirt around the CMR!!  Cool boulder in the front too.!! But, alas.  So goes the best laid plans. The boulder and the rocks could only be put on the driveway.  Dang it.

Now moving two tons of little rocks is not a particularly unsolvable problem.  This is why we have sons and husbands.  To solve these problems.  They take buckets full of little rocks garnered from the big crate of rocks and spread them around.  Lots and lots of buckets full.  About 100 trips of buckets full to be exact. Are they happy to do this?  No.  But do they do it?  Yes.  But a big bronze boulder?  That would required some heavier lifting.

We briefly considered the logistics of hiring manual laborers to do the deed.  I mean - -a whole scad of not-so-big Cambodians built a lot of temples in Siem Reap with much larger stones than these and a tremendously long distance to move them.  The same could be said for the pyramids.  I mean - - amazing right?  Big stones, moved long distances, placed strategically way up high!  Yet, without minions of workers - generations full of minions - we realized we needed to take a different tact.  SF frowns on toys with happy meals.  Disposable generations of manual laborers?  I don't think so.

So, we went all machine age on the problem and we hired a crane.  Who knew you could do this?  You simply get on Yelp.  Search for crane operators.  Rule out the ones that only do sky scrapers and -- you get three bids.  Neato.  Keeno.  We chose the cheapest one.  We also chose the one that didn't feel the need to pay the city of SF $600 for a street operating permit.  Getting my rock moved AND not paying the city?  Marvelous!

In the end moving the boulder cost roughly the same amount as the boulder itself.  Go figure.  Yet, we love our little boulder bench.  I hope we love it.  It's never going anywhere ever again.

Bronze boulder and .25 tons of the stones left on the driveway

GIANT crane arrived for hoisting.

Crazy nice crane operator "Sean" dons his hard hat and we're off to the races!
And, no.  I did not partake of his erection services.  Thank you.

First we pick up boulder from drive way.  I am the assistant.
I get to place the hoists on the rock.
I do not get a hard hat.  I am disappointed.

Boulder is put on the back of the crane bed for a short trip around to
the front of the CMR!

"X" marks the spot for the Boulder.
Excellent markage by my very own tennis shoe.
We are professionals!

With large crane now repositioned - we heft that bad johnny up.
I am standing ready to give the hand signals - oh
except I am taking pictures too!

Boulder coming towards me!  It seems much bigger in person when a
1.5 boulder is moving towards your head.  I put the phone
away at this point and start waving my arms.

After much hand signalling the boulder is finally mostly where we want it.
Actually, it's definitely where we want it since it cannot
ever be moved from here :).  Ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only you and George would be out wandering and buy a boulder that needs a crane. House looks amazing and you have created an icredible family. Love the blog and the pictures. I do miss the "old" Freddie. Margaret.