Monday, December 17, 2007

O, Tannenbaum

A couple of weeks ago my cousin Andrea called with a story about Christmas tree shopping. She and her husband live in L.A. and had gone out to buy a tree that afternoon.

Andrea: "So we're out there looking around at the trees and there were, like, 50 crappy trees and only, like 5 of the good ones. You know the ones... the GOOD ones. The ones that look like Christmas trees are supposed to look. So I asked the guy why he had hardly any good trees and he said, 'Aw man... you have to get those in Portland.' So I called to tell you that I'm totally jealous because you've probably got LOTS of good trees up there in Washington!"

I'm guessing that by "good trees" she's referring to Noble firs, because I grew up in L.A. and we only ever had one type of tree (that wasn't fake) and that was a Douglas.

Yes Andrea, we have LOTS of "good trees" up here. In fact, we have a couple of them in our yard. One of them fell down in the last wind storm, so being the resourceful and "green" guy he is, Chris went out in the yard and cut the first 8 feet off the top of the tree and put it in the tree stand for me.

Interesting. Apparently cutting the top 8 feet off a large, fully grown tree does not produce the same result as cutting down an entire younger, smaller tall tree. Who knew?

I don't care that it looks funny. I dig it. It was free and in our own backyard, so there was no driving around with a tree lashed to the roof. And I'm sure Andrea is totally jealous.

Maybe it will look better once we get some lights and decorations on it.

Yes, that is MUCH better. Pass the egg nog, Charlie Brown.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Um... What?

Monday morning I had just gotten out of a meeting when Chris called. "Hey, I'm home and I have, like, 15,000 pounds of steel that I need to move and Ross isn't home. Can you come help me?"

Um... what? Is this a joke?

Clearly, not a joke.

Yeah, that's a 4000 pound steel beam. The other 11,000 pounds were lashed to this crappy trailer...

... which was hitched to this piece of crap truck. Note the lack of a rear window.

Three hours later, after much navigating and praying that nothing would come loose and crash in or on anything.

All done. I was pretty impressed with Chris' forklift skills, but I was kinda pissed when I remebered that his good buddy Karl drives a damned forklift for a living. Why didn't Chris call him over to do this instead of leaving me there running through all the catastophic scenarios? I had this running loop of my mom saying, "This is not OSHA certified! Where are your steel toed boots and construction hat!"

For those of you wondering what we're up to here... this is a bridge crane that Chris bought off a buddy of his, on behalf of our neighbor Ross, who had said he was interested in it. Good neighbors are hard to find, so we buy the good ones off with cookies and metal.