"Yes we can!"
- Bob the Builder
Earlier this spring, I was sitting at my desk working when I got a phone call from a random stranger in Mesa, AZ. They called the only number for the Church they could find for Guam. They were planning on coming to Guam to install some security barriers on Anderson Base in the Fall. They needed some local contact they could trust as well as some local manpower. I became both.
Rather than try to explain what they do, I'll just refer you to their sadly basic website for that.
At first most of what I did was just good ole manual labor. Digging holes, moving dirt, then filling those holes back up with "special" dirt. And then that same dirt that I dug out goes back in the same hole. I didn't realize that when school teachers gave us busy work that they were actually preparing us for the real world. I still don't see where trigonometry fit in...
I used to have a desk job...
I also learned the repetitive and tedious task of trying rebar. Fun fun. We had to tie hundreds of intersections together. We created a frame to bury the type of barrier that we put in.
It took many truck loads of concrete to bury all of our hard work.
Livn' on the Edge
Paul, one of the guys from Mesa, loved the tool called a Concrete Vibrator that jiggles the concrete into every small crevice and corner as he giggles about the name.
This is called a, what?
After the dust settled and the concrete hardened, we put on the to plates that weigh about 2 ton each.
Then came the part that I was brought in for initially. This company has people that do the wiring on these things for controls and whatnot. However, they did not have that person on the island. So, I became that person. I know my way around basic electronics, so I figured it couldn't be that hard.
All but Paul shown above with the vibrator left the island for another gig leaving me to do this.
Um, Can I?!
Of course, this challenge wouldn't be complete if they had left me with schematics or blue prints. Nope, no instructions. Just luck.
Fortunately, there was a third party safety supervisor on site that had his own copy of the manual and he lent me his. That made the spaghetti wiring seem a bit less daunting.
I had some late nights and some days I had to take off from my 9-5er, but somehow the job got finished. Some relief crew came after we finished one side and started the other, so I was not stuck in the same situation for the second round, now that I knew what I was doing.
After all said and done, I broadened my horizon of experience, I earned some extra cash, and gained some muscle and sunlight. Good times. I may not seem like a knuckle dragger or grease monkey, but every once in a while I surprise myself.
Yes, I Can!
World, meet Jared the Builder!