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September 27, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

in my last post i noted that a crane was to come that afternoon (saturday). it did. we couldn’t use it. why? for one thing, a bunch of cars remained in the neighboring parking lot, prohibiting the crane from getting to a proper staging point. for another, we weren’t ready – there was too much additional prep work to be done. i worked until around midnight on saturday…

got to site at 6:30a sunday morning, first to show for the morning crew. jonathan and schreiber stayed up all night organizing tools and other materials. jonathan was the forklift master. people slowly filtered in, and we continued prep work until the crane showed up at 4p. hoisting the house?! tension began to rise.

bedroom SNAP was lifted w/o a hitch, and was easily moved across the site to a waiting drop-deck flatbed truck (trucking was kindly donated by Arrow trucking). same w/ the bathroom SNAP. these 2 SNAPs were actually first rolled along the structural rails using a system of winches. all we had to do was strap steel cables to the bottom of the house, stabilize the winches on the ends of the rails, and start cranking. the SNAPs glided beautifully along the rails, as designed.

the kitchen SNAP was a harrowing situation. i’m not going to post any details about moving the kitchen SNAP until after the competition, but let’s just say there was a brief time where we were afraid we might not be able to compete at all…

ultimately, though, UT SolarD prevailed and loaded everything onto the trucks! 1:40a rolled around, and we only had one rail left to load on the truck. those dedicated souls who stayed on site till the very end got down on our knees, kissed that last rail, signed it, lifted it, placed it, secured it, threw up our hands in celebration, and jumped in the car to get beer before the bars closed! it was an incredibly joyous occassion – 2 yrs of hard work, design, blood, sweat, aggravation, and dedication all made it successfully onto the trucks to begin the 1500 mile voyage to DC. exhilirating can’t begin to describe this first leg of the process.

all the bars closed by 2, so we couldn’t drink there. we converged on Raina’s apt and drank whatever we could find. singing our songs (to the tune of chumbawumba – ‘i take zinc down, i put it up again, you’re never gonna keep zinc down!!; shim-shimminy shim-shimminy to mary poppins; they make us laugh) toasting each other, and dancing till 4a (that’s when i left at least). raina’s neighbors were super cool, btw. remember that partying started at 2a on a sunday night – these people had tests and class the next day. just about all of her neighbors came into the party to congratulate her and us for completing the project, and even stayed to party for a bit. they thought, ‘i hear raina partying – the house must be complete!’ it was an amazing night.

tonight we are having a massive team dinner and send-off at guero’s on s. congress. our first team is leaving for DC tomorrow morning – holy shite! i don’t leave until oct.12, which gives me some time to catch up on schoolwork and actually spend time w/ cindy, who’s been amazingly understanding and accomodating through this past month, when my time commitment to UT SolarD has increased exponentially past its already high levels. i saw her for a cumulative 1 hour over the course of the past wk – not coming home from site till 4a (unless i was there all nite), and leaving early in the morning. i also get to catch up on sleep. 🙂

Categories: UT SolarD
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