Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Holy cow, I'm exhausted right now. It's very springy here in minnesota. I'm currently sunburned a little bit, really starting to feel the rigorous schedule that comes with Franconia. 

The intern residents here all must participate in a daily 4-5 hours of "Park Work," Mon-Fri.  Monday was cleaning day and by 9am we were all assigned cleaning tasks around the house.  Later in the morning we loaded a dumpster with a bunch of hardened sand (a by-product of pouring metal) and a few hundred pounds of plastic sheeting that had previously been someone's sculpture.  

After a good lunch we made our trip to Tractor Supply and Menard's and got all of our hardware and the jig blade. With the new jig blade Alisa could make the decorative cuts into the diagonal support beams for the gas tank.  They turned out absolutely lovely.  Once the cuts were made and the holes drilled, it was a long afternoon of remounting the diagonal supports and hoisting the tank back in place.  Almost all of our counter sinks for the bearing bracket needed some cleaning up to accept the washers.  
Alisa was particularly tired that night and cut out around supper time. The day was cool and the night was cooler and I didn't feel like going in so I stayed out and got all those counter sinks cleaned up.  It was dark by now and I had the entire work yard all to my self listening to Munly and the Harlots as loud as the little boom box would go.  It was nice to be out there all alone for whatever reason. With the countersinks cleaned up, I tightened the bolts and gave the tank a spin.  

It moved beautifully, smoothly.  I spent some time to get some video of the tank spinning but the footage came out way too dark, so here it is instead in the daylight of the next day:

It's still not geared up (that will take a while yet, but this gives you an idea of it's spinning motion. 

Having gotten the tank mounted and the bearings et al working just as they should we cut off from the work site a little early (though it was still 11pm!) and had a few drinks to celebrate.  

The next morning at 9 again we were shoveling dirt into the Cushman, a golf cart equivalent to a dump truck. We c
arted the dirt to the other side of the park and leveled out the ground under a piece of work.  This took all morning and was tiring.  I think we loaded / unloaded and smoothed out some 6 or 7 loads of dirt.  

The day could not have been better to be working outside.  It was an absolutely gorgeous morning.  Felt so good to just wear a T-shirt and be comfortable.  Spring is hitting the North for sure.  After lunch Alisa and I went on a bike ride on some paved and unpaved trails just across the St. Croix river in Wisconsin.  It was the perfect temperature out.  Just amazing.  We broke a sweat, but were never too hot.  Spring in the midwest is certainly a fragile and short time.  It was nice to really take it all in on two wheels and shift into high gear and just fly across the pavement.  

Our afternoon of work involved mostly some more tedious work.  More countersinking, mostly.  Around 4 I was feeling the shoveling and the bike ride and had to take some time off and sit on a park bench on the river and eat a DQ ice cream cone.  

After dinner there was more tedious odds and ends for me to hammer out while Alisa started prepping her metal elements so she could fabricate brackets the next morning.  

This is wednesday now.  This morning was more shoveling, wheelbarrows and rakes. I had to go to Walmart to replace our boom box that died the other night.  We only lasted a few hours with only the radio and completely warbly played out cassette copy of REM's "Out of Time." I was afraid I was going to be arrested.  I had Alisa's credit card at Walmart and I signed her name and the clerk at wally world insisted on checking the signature.  Luckily I had studied her signature and I'd say I did a damn good job at replicating it.  

Alisa is currently fabricating metal brackets to fit the "spine" of her contraption.  I had to take most of the afternoon off to catch up on this here blog, really feeling the late nights, early mornings, manual labor and 12 hours of art making assistance.  Hopefully tonight I'll make it to bed at a decent time.  I could use the sleep for sure.  

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  If you go here you will find a flickr set with more pics of the park and our work :    

until next time...

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