Monday, March 21, 2011

The Egyptians Were Crazy.....and Apparently So Am I (Moving the Coop)

Today in the News:  I wish the wind would stop blowing.  I heard that it literaly drove settlers on the plains insane.  I'm getting close to the edge.

Bernard Ten Bears' Link of the Day:

The Egyptians Were Crazy.....and Apparently So Am I (Moving the Coop)

Son-of-a-diseased camel!  There.  That's it. That's how I'm going to start this article. 

I bought a chicken coop awhile ago.  I know that buying a coop lacks in the whole pioneer spirit thing.  I don't have enough time or skill to properly build one.  Beyond that, I hate traditional carpentry.  Math and angles are not my strengths.

I bought this coop brand new off some dude on Craigslist.  He was a cool guy.  Missing a few teeth, beard down to his belly button and drove a sweet old Rover.  I have a long driveway, so I had him drop it off at the mouth, rather than backing his trailer around the steep, curved yard.

That day, I called my brother-in-law, Pablo, the Norwegian Californian-via South Dakota, and asked him to help me move the coop.  He brought his hand cart and we thought we had it licked. It looks light, but it is top-heavy and cumbersome.  Beyond that, it weighs a metric ton, even though it looks tiny.

In the course of things, I managed to drop the coop on my head and gave myself a concussion.  That was fun.  Big lump on my forehead, couldn't stay awake.  Great.  When I mentioned it to a coworker two days later, she laughed and said that "dropping a chicken coop on your head sounds so hick".  As Popeye said, "I 'yam what I 'yam and that's all that I 'yam."  After I was concussed, we moved it a few more feet, at which time I broke part of the frame with the hand cart.  Great day.

Needless to say, the coop sat in the middle of the yard for a few weeks.  I thought about moving it on my truck, but my truck is too small.  I just sold my trailer, so that wouldn't work.  I thought about fixing castor wheels to the bottom, but A.) that would cost money and B.) my yard is really loose gravel and the wheels would probably sink.

Some of my best ideas come to me just as I'm falling asleep.  Not sure what that is all about ( I chalk it up to God), but as I was going to sleep on Friday night, I had vision of the Egyptians moving large stones on logs, then the chicken coop.  Simple enough, or so the dream went.

So I started out finding a few aspens with straight trunks, or at least straight sections of trunk.  I took out the Silky saw and the Snow & Nealley and went to work.

After I moved the straight sections of logs near the coop, I chopped off as many knots and branches as needed to make the logs roll smoothly.

After I got three reasonable sections of log, I tucked them under the coop.

Then I pushed the coop.  I managed to go about four feet each time before having to move a log to the front.  If I had more logs, this would have been faster, but finding straight wood around here is troublesome.

When a log rolled out the back, I simply moved it to the front.

In this picture, I'm standing where the coop was when I began moving it.  This took less than ten minutes with me working up a real good sweat.

In this picture, I got it to the back deck.  Up the stairs was the next challenge.  But the end was in sight.  Treat the next few pictures as a panorama.

The goal was to get the coop to this spot by myself.  This far, as Charlie says, I was winning.

Utilizing the logs on the stairs was easier than I thought.  I got it to the top and moved the coop through what used to be the summer garden gate.

After that, it was money.  I used the logs as skids and slid it into place.

Not bad for a guy and three logs.  The best part?  I got to employ my Snow & Nealley AND my Silky saw in the process.  Hello?  WINNING!  Sometimes the simplest equipment provides the best answer.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.

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