Monday, January 02, 2006

Moving The Linea Is A Two-Man Operation

It's the quietest time of the year for Jay's Shave Ice and this is the time of year when I tear down the shop, clean thoroughly, upgrade/repair equipment and do any necessary remodeling. Everything is all over the place and it looks like installation week again, but I wanted to share some learned wisdom from today's journey.

If at all possible, have someone help you move the Linea.

Our front counter is such that I can push up a S/S worktable or utility cart underneath and slide the Linea off the front counter, down about six inches and onto the cart without too much difficulty. I've done it once before during a photo shoot back in September (upon recollection, I did have a staffer on hand to help me).

So I wheeled the S/S utlity cart under the front counter edge and manuevered the Linea off the counter sideways. Landed one end of the frame on the cart and started to push/pull the Linea/Cart to get the whole thing on it. Picked up the rear end of the Linea and edged off one foot...

That's when things started to go downhill tremendously fast.

The Linea's frame is resting on the cart and as I lifted the other end to pull it off the counter by angling one rear leg up, the whole thing shifted the the Linea started to slide on its' frame. Started to slide right off the three foot high cart.

I imagine there are few things more horrifying that watching your $10,000 gleaming piece of labor and love hurtling towards the floor. It's the lifeblood of the business and that which generates a significant portion of your revenue. And there it is, sliding towards oblivion and destruction.

Holy Shit. I thought I should cry.

Instead, I let out a painful yelp and grabbed on to whatever I could of the Linea, managing to hold it precariously on the edge of the cart by it's feet. There it was, our pride and joy, hanging by it's feet off the side of the cart and me trying to manhandle the thing back onto the cart.

The damn cart has wheels and they weren't helping. I prayed as my left foot snaked around to click the wheel locks in a vain attempt to right the Linea on the cart. No avail. And I'm starting to lose grip on the thing.


No too far away (about ten feet) I spotted two milk crates stacked up by the condiment station. If I can drag everything over, I might be able to gently land the Linea on the crates and avoid tragedy. The two crates looked to be just the right height to fit under the hanging Linea. If I could only hold on for ten feet longer.

Somehow, I clicked the wheel lock off and started to push the whole orchestra towards the crates. Slowly. Gently. Carefully. But quickly because my muscles are straining from the weight.

I should note that the cart I'm using is actually a S/S 12" deep shelving unit on wheels from Eagle Group manufacturing. It's about three feet tall and narrow. And I'm pushing along the narrow towards the crate. Which means that at one point, I pushed slightly too much and the whole thing started to tilt, threatening to send the Linea crashing to the ground.

Summoning great strength from Jor-El, I managed to keep the cart from tipping over and made it to the crates. Rolled the Linea over slightly and used my knee as leverage to keep the thing from crashing. And eased the back panel of the Linea onto the crates. Whew. The initial threat has passed.

So there I was, standing with my knee mashed into the Linea to keep it steady and now I had to drop the thing two more feet to the floor. That was the smart and prudent thing to do. But I thought for a moment how to move the Linea back onto the cart because it would be easier to do the repair work.

Gave up on that and used my knee to ease the Linea to the ground. Just a little thump as it landed on the hardwood floors.

The Linea was safe.

The Gods were happy.

If only I can find someone to help me lift it up again....