The Big Red Dumptruck, the Little Green Rake, and Backhoe Fade

Posted on February 10, 2010


OK, I’ve been spending a lot of time on serious issues lately and I know you.  You want the latest inside dope on Township events.  You want to know what the weather’s like up here while you’re lollygagging in Florida.  You want . . . heavy equipment photos.  I know you so well.  Here you go, all three items in one package:

What, Dick Saul wanted to know, was going on right down the street from me at the old Hasler estate?  I had to admit that I did not know, as I had been walking the dogs in the dark and could not really see.  On Tuesday I went right over there in the daytime and talked to Brent, the boss on the site.  By then it was all over but the tidying up.  Here is the Big Red Dumptruck putting clean fill dirt in the hole where the Hasler cottage once stood.

The Haslers had not been able to visit their cottage for quite some time.  Pipes froze, pipes leaked, molds and mildews grew.  No one knew.  By the time the problems were discovered, they were overwhelming.  The insurance company decided that the best course of action was to demolish the house. 

I was impressed with a couple of things.  First, the skill of the dumptruck driver, who pulled that monster in between the trees and the construction dumpster without so much as scratching the birchbark.  Second, the segue to the story of another red truck—the one that’s going to be parked on the property south of Sonny’s every month for the rest of the year.  More about that in tomorrow’s Elk Rapids News

Here is a the Big Blue Dumpster and the Little Green Rake, tidying up at the site in preparation for the dumptruck.  The dumpster is full of demolition debris, but not as full as it would have been at one time.  Brent was able to recycle some of the materials, including some concrete block. 

The Little Green Rake is just in there because I know how you feel about pictures of heavy equipment.  It’s a bonus.  It’s also a good segue to the notion that “thinking green” has become a central part of planning by local business people.  Construction firms actively work at recycling materials.  Retail shops work to minimize waste, and to recycle packaging.  More and more, people just think it through.  What could we do better?

Of course the one thing we can’t do anything about is the weather.  You will notice from the photos that the snow was vanishing at a great rate earlier in the week.  Just so you know, it snowed again last night.  Dale Reedy, chuckling at the thought of raiding my bank account again, was here this afternoon plowing my drive. 

Finally, here is the Big Orange Backhoe parked out on the road, ready to be loaded up and carted off to the next job.  I didn’t even get to watch this one at work, but I knew you’d love it anyway. 

Here we have a double segue.  First, this is the precise spot where I ran into a Charter cable inspector a few weeks ago.  He spent some time answering questions for me about why, when there is fiber running beneath my very road, and connections running from it to each house where people wish to watch television, I cannot have broadband Internet from that cable.   The system, he explained, was put in place on a shoestring.  The transmitters can handle only one-way communication, not the two-way communication required for Internet activity.   Second, backhoe fade is what happens to your reception when a heavy equipment operator with less skill than the driver in that first photo up there manages to cut a cable.  Poof.  Your phone line, your television, or your Internet can vanish.  When there are multiple avenues to those services, just as when there are multiple routes you can take to get you where you want to go in your truck or your car, you will eventually reach your destination.

Sneaky, aren’t I!  But you already knew that.  There are no secrets in Torch Lake Township.