Archive for the “Heavy Equipment” Category

The episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with the house that John worked on this past October airs this Sunday, January 4, 2009.

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This past week I’ve been a single mom.  The timing worked out well, since I had a number of midshifts in a row and was able to get leave on one of them, so we only needed some help watching the kids for an hour or two on one night.

You see, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition did an episode in Pittsburgh and John was involved with that project.  I estimate, between the preparatory meetings and the actual job, he put in over 100 hours.  All of that was on a volunteer status, and I’m sure the Slaughter family, while never having met him, appreciates all the work that was done by everyone on their behalf.  We don’t know when the entire episode will air (I’ll be sure to post it when we know), but here’s a short video of the “Move that bus” segment being filmed by a local news station.  Might even be a clip of John catching a cat nap in a skid loader with a hardhat over his face in the final episode. He was showing up at home every 36-40 hours to catch a couple hours of sleep before the phone would ring and someone asking when he was coming back.  He said the entire event was like the OshKosh of the building construction industry.

Meanwhile on the home front, I’ve decided that women who stay at home 24/7 with their toddler children without losing their cool deserve sainthood.  I twisted my ankle and foot pretty badly on Monday (tripping over the myriad items the children believe belong strewn on the floor) and never quite realized how many times I get up and down and try to chase down the kids until I was in pain every time I did so. And the little imps knew that they had those few extra seconds to get into even more trouble before I could catch them!

Even worse, though, was the fact that the furnace quit.  So I called a repairman, they needed to order a part and it was close to two days without heat in the house.  I got a call from John tonight – the part finally arrived and was installed, but it seems there’s a crack in the heat exchanger and we need a new furnace.  Ugh!

Contrary to the title of this post, I really don’t regret John putting in all that volunteer time.  (Although if my fairy godmother were to show up here with a nice 120,000 BTU gas 2-stage variable speed furnace by Trane that I didn’t have to figure out how to afford, I certainly wouldn’t complain.  ;-) )  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only for him, but a number of people he knows.  And it was more than local people helping out, from the builders to the caterers that supplied the volunteers food, people came in from other parts of the country specifically to work on the project.

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Now that I’ve got some of the software upgrades completed and back to the normal craziness here (John returned from a trip Boston on Sunday morning and I just walked in the door a few hours ago from a class in Cleveland), let me get back to last…well, last last weekend. John had asked me months ago about going to the Historical Construction Equipment Association’s (HCEA) show since it was one of the last weekend days I’d have off for the remainder of the summer. I said sure, why not?

So off we went on the Saturday of the event. Now for me, it was interesting to see the old equipment moving dirt with their pulleys instead of hydraulics. A couple hours worth of interesting. For John, his face lit up like a kid in a candy store and he had to restrain himself from begging the various operators to let him run the machines. He could’ve slept out there between the old earthmovers and started all over again on Sunday. Actually, if we’d let him, he’d have probably gone home with one of them.

The kids enjoyed playing in some of the areas set up for their enjoyment and Mommy taught them to listen for the “music” of the machines to keep them entertained while Daddy was off gawking and grinning. Food was reasonably priced. And there was literally dirt in the air. I guess I was expecting more of a static display. If I had known they’d have demonstrations, I would’ve worn my ratty sneakers.

I suggested to John that he write his first blog about the day, but it obviously hasn’t happened yet. Maybe he’ll wax enthusiastic in the comments section instead. LOL! If you’re interested, pics of the day can be found here on our site.

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