Saturday, November 15, 2008

But Marge!

OK, it wasn't my lifelong dream, and no, it wasn't to eat world's biggest hoagie. But I have long wanted to drive a Bobcat. Alas, given the nature of our lot (a steep slope down from the road before it levels out), I was unlikely to have an excuse reason to rent one.

But today I finally got to drive one, and no rental fee required. I volunteered today at my local Habitat for Humanity. Normally I go out on Fridays, but today we had a Lutheran build day for Thrivent Builds. Well that, and I was busy yesterday finishing up the electrical work in the basement here.

Americorps trying out the playground equipment

The houses in the Edes A development are basically done. Now we're working on the common area between the houses, which will have benches, grills, picnic tables, a couple of oak trees, and a playground area. There was a playground equipment guy assembling the the structure, and half the volunteers were working on the play area, and some cool sandbag + stucco benches.

The rest of us were working on Edes B, filling in trenches where the sewer pipes had been placed for a couple of houses, in preparation for the foundations being poured. Filling in the trenches involved moving a lot of sand and dirt, so we got to use the Bobcat to load the wheelbarrows.

me driving the Bobcat

Another regular volunteer and I took turns using it, and I have to was a blast. They can turn on a dime (though not very smoothly), lift a whole lot of whatever, and have driving controls straight out of Battlezone. Of course, they're noisy, smelly (mmm...diesel), and if one is not careful, one can dump dirt on one's head. Not that I would ever do such a thing while I was learning how to use it.

But they're definitely the right tool for a lot of jobs that involve moving a lot of dirt around. It was a lot trickier to maneuver near the play structure with a bunch of people around to dig out a little more for the play area. But still hecka fun.

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