I have a feeling that I am going to spend a couple days sleeping. Maybe a day in the shower. At this point I have just about totally given up on the concept of bathing. The water here is extremely hard or soft - I forget which is which - but it's so [hard/soft] that you cannot rinse the soap off your skin. And I'm just gonnna get dirty again anyways right? There's hardly any interaction with anyone that doesn't live at the park, who do I have to impress with my hygiene? The clerk at Tractor Supply? (oh, by the way, I now have the ability to spot a three eighths inch carriage bolt from 400 yards away).
This picture of me up top I find utterly hilarious. It was a couple nights ago when it was cold cold cold and the wind never ending. It was crazy. Has been crazy. The other morning I was watering the trees for park work, dragging a quarter mile of garden hose from one side of the property to the other, cursing myself for wearing two pairs of pants. Hard to move, extremely warm. I was getting hot, and then the wind starting blowing from the north, or the east or the south or west, and fast! At times it seemed as though the wind were somehow blowing from every direction possible and that I might just be lifted in it and carried off somewhere. Luckily I had the hose to use as a tether...
We've gotten a lot of good work done in the past couple of days. Spirits were running really high after the front wheel assembly was completed. Something was wrong though. Our geometry was wrong apparently, or geometry just hates us. After a day of Alisa fabricating steel brackets, me drilling holes and installing them, we discovered to our horror that we had some sort of serious structural problem. The diagonal supports on the side of the wagon had pitched out 4 or 5 inches on each side. I'm not sure if we totally figured out why, but we tightened some bolts that we couldn't remember tightening in the first place and tinkered with some positioning of the additional supports. I think we got. We pretty much lost an entire day taking the thing apart, "fixing" the problem, and then putting humpty back together again.
Today I spent the better part of the day getting the front wheel assembly mounted on the spine of the wagon, which involved constantly jacking the wagon up and down and doing the finishing on the wood work so that it sits at its specific and delicate angle. Alisa got all of her chains hooked up, which is a huge task. The chains connecting the gears are for tractors, heavy duty steel that costs some $10 a foot. Also Alisa mounted her bearings for, and has a really good start on her crank shaft.
A couple nights ago the house had a little party. There were a few returning interns for various reasons and a house dance party was called for. Kate, the mom of the house, had us all come up with a gladiator persona, write it down, and then put it in a hat, and we all drew. I drew "Bolt" so I drilled some holes in my hat and inserted some hex bolts. It looks good. People at Tractor Supply look at me weird when I wear it.
Alisa drew "American" and wore a dollar sign belt buckle and had Mong paint the word "Terrorist" on her face. Sorry, I don't have pictures. I needed use of my hands for drinking beer (actually, I've sort of dropped the ball on the picture front in general. We've just been working like mad and I don't think about it until it's dark out. I'll try to get a whole slew of them tomorrow for posting soon).
Also that night, Alisa, Patrick from Maine, park grounds manager Jonas, and I had a drunken jam session on the front porch. It was spectacular. Alisa banged on small sculptural elements laying around, Jonas sang, I played guitar, and Patrick just inserted whatever random thing that was on his mind. I was able to get a couple songs recorded on the hand held tape recorder patrick loaned me. The recordings are ridiculous. It was so windy the first "take" is mostly wind. The second and third "takes" are collectively embarrassing and hilarious. After a day of rest and a day of showering, I'll try to get some mp3s up here once I am home and can digitize the cassette tape.
Okay that's all for now. I promise more pictures soon. There's a lot of great things to document. caio