Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Tipping Point

I don't know if you readers remember, but Tara has made it a goal to clear out the area by the shop before the first snowfall. Now, it snowed yesterday but didn't stick past overnight, so we'll assume the clock is still running.

As part of that plan, lately she's been attacking the bit right against the north boundary of the property, up against a tumbled-down old stone wall. There were some bits of cars there; I think I counted them as half cars in the total number in the yard, I'm not sure now.

At any rate, this is what Tara managed to come-a-long up onto the trailer a few days ago:

(Pictures by Tara.)

I honestly can't identify that. I think it's a chunk of Citro├źn DS, but it might be a piece of a Saab Sonett. Well, whatever it was, it was a damned heavy rusty hunk of rusty rust.

Tara had thrown some other peeled-off jagged bits into the Bus; with that and some generators off we went to the scrapyard. Lovely, isn't it?

Though the Bus wasn't too pleased about the heavy load, still we made it there without incident. Now that doesn't seem worth mentioning, does it? Oh, but it is. And right about now you'd be correct to be getting a faint sense of foreboding.

But anyway first we went to the precious metals warehouse-thing where they took the generators off our hands; it was a different guy there this time, though, one I didn't recognize. He gave us our receipt and then we drove around back.

Where we emptied the bus just fine; but then there was the matter of getting the huge hunk of former European car off the trailer.

Tara of course couldn't budge it on her own; she'd used the come-a-long to get it there in the first place (and then left it there because it was holding the thing on the trailer) but that obviously wouldn't work the other way. So we asked the guy in the Claw.

But alas! The Claw actually was not up to the task; it tried to grab on but couldn't get a good grip (or the guy operating it wasn't that good at it; he gave up pretty easily, I thought). So he tried the magnet instead.

Maybe he was new there, maybe it was just too odd a shape, I don't know. But he had a hard time picking it up with the magnet too; eventually he sort of half picked it up and then slid it off the end.

Yes, well. The trailer was still attached to the trailer hitch. Or it had been.

Granted, the hitch was sort of a homemade jury-rigged thing; I was always worried about how it attached to the Bus proper (I have no idea what there is left of the Bus under there) but apparently I should have been worrying about the construction of the trailer hitch itself.

Because with that much weight on the back end of it, the weld came apart.

As for the trailer itself the guy managed to mangle the fenders on it and pull the plywood up. I mean fair enough, it wasn't the sturdiest trailer on the planet, but still. The guy looked like he felt kind of bad, but not bad enough to actually do anything about it.

When we got to the front and told the guy there, he couldn't help us either. Tara was sure there must have been somebody there with a welder; but no. They just kind of shrugged. No, I'm not personally pleased with that. They broke it, they should fix it.

But at the time there wasn't much to do about it. The main concern was how would we get the trailer home, so the whole thing could get fixed?

Well, the bar serving as bumper that was actually part of the hitch was still there; and Tara managed to chain the thing up without a ball. And so we went home, somewhat less than legally, with frequent stops to check that the thing wasn't coming off. We made it, just fine, though we were plenty nervous. Tara got this picture later:

Yeeaaaaah, don't know about that. I mean it got home with us, but that was probably pure luck.

Tara has some ideas about fixing it, and making it much stronger this time; she also said, and I suppose she is right, that it broke sort of at a good time. I'm not sure it was the best time myself--that would probably have been at home, with nothing on it--but at least it wasn't on the way there. Because that could have been very bad indeed.

But anyway that area over by the north wall is slowly getting cleaned up. I looked around at all the photos I'd taken that were supposed to serve as 'befores', but none quite matched up. I had to make do with this:

It's pretty close. And here's the after, or the middle, since there are still things over there that need to go:

The posts will have to come out; and you can see that we still haven't figured out how to get rid of that stack of concrete blocks. Nobody seems to want the damned things.

So then. We managed to get rid of some assorted 'precious' metals (including everyone's favorite, irony aluminum) and another 1300 pounds of #1 iron. And so that tips us over past the 40,000 mark to 40,100 pounds, or 20.05 tons removed on our forty-seventh trip to the place. Twenty tons. All of it removed one piece at a time.

Thanks, Dad.


Thalia said...

Why I see a bitty Mrs. Slocombe following us! How wonderful!

Craig said...

Gardeners would be interested in those concrete blocks for bordering a raised-bed garden. Have you tried posting them for on Craigslist?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Tara has an endless talent for jerry-rigging crap together and coaxing it along. I'm truly impressed, madame.

Teresa said...

If this is something you're allowed to do where you live, how about putting some blocks out by the end of your driveway with a Free! sign on them (and a note that you have more)?

Dawn Dragon said...

I am picturing you wrestling enough metal off the property to hold up a skyscraper, you know.

My hat is off to you!

Anonymous said...

Once again I am amazed at the amount of stuff you have hauled away from the property.

It's been a while since I asked, but how does your mom feel about the property being cleaned up?

What about neighbors? Here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, we have pretty strict guidelines of what can be stored on property and what can't.

All I can say is that you two gals are heroes in my eyes!!!

a reader from the northwest suburbs of Chicago

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you both made it backhome safely. Thanks for the update on your progress. What a joyful thing to be able to see bare earth in that area rather than piles of rusty debris. Keep up the excellent work!!!

Anonymous said...

I get a real sense of satisfaction every time you haul away a big messy load of metal! I know it's a hassle and expensive and hard work, but what you're doing is AWESOME! And you're inspiring other people!

Anonymous said...

Can you make a raised flower bed yourself? You've said there was too much metal in the ground to make digging much fun. You could build your own rectangle where a car was, fill it with dirt, and dump some pretty shrubs and bulbs in there.