January 18, 2005

John woke me up around 6:00 this morning and I hopped in the shower to get ready. We headed out the door around 6:45 to drive up to Annapolis to pick up the truck that I rented from Budget. We got the truck, a ten foot box, and I was on the road to Washington by 7:30. Boy is this going to be a long day.

I drove through rush hour traffic in a truck and finally got into the hospital center. Luckily Sonny did most of the loading and got the equipment that was there for me to pick up onto the truck really quickly. There wree about four or five servers there that I needed to get because John needed the office cleared out. So I picked up my old Pentium desktops that were there as well. I had three of them down there. So there was quite a bit of stuff that I was picking up. Then it was off to Owen Mills where the real load is waiting for me.

I found Owen Mills and the place that I was going to without any problem. I hate driving a truck through heavy DC and Baltimore traffic, though. So I got to the place and went in to talk to them to find out how we were going to go about loading the AS/400. Ha ha. I guess this wasn’t a trip that was planned out all that well. I was under the impression that I was picking up two AS/400 modules (that is, one 3/4 rack sized unit and one half rack sized unit each weighing 500-1000 lbs.) But hey, what do I know about the computer that I bought? Turns out that it was actually NINE modules of that size!! We managed to get two of them loaded onto the truck but it was all that four of us could do and we only managed to move the smallest two modules and had to means to load anything any bigger than that. We also then decided that the truck wasn’t large enough to get the rest of the machine into. Oops. So we had a dilema. I spent the rest of the afternoon, five hours, sitting in their offices reading and making phone calls trying to figure out what we could do to move the rest of the machine. At the end of the day we finally gave up and I hired a moving company to pick it up and deliver it to us. I just couldn’t come up with anything else to do.

Now begins the real adventure, driving the truck back to New York loaded with computers that are sliding around. I didn’t make it more than a few blocks before the AS/400 modules broke through the cable that was holding them down and they starting flying around in the back of the truck banging into everything. That was a real problem. I made it for a few miles without any way to pull over to deal with anything. Eventually I found a large driveway that I could pull into tnad get into the back of the truck to assess the situation. It wasn’t good. Everything was sliding around and I had to do something. So I laid the two AS/400 modules down. This was not easy at all to do all by myself. They were easily 500 lbs each and they have a lot of their weight up high so they don’t want to lie down without just falling. The one was part way over against the side of the truck, it was easier to lie down. The other unit was totally upright and I had a terrible time getting any leverage on it. I had to jump on it and use my weight to pull it over, it was not safe at all. My worst fear was getting pinned under it since I was outside in 15 degree weather. I could be trapped for a while. I could get it off if it fell on me or my leg, but if my hand got caught I would be in an awkward position and might not be able to lift it. I did end up dropping it on three fingers but just on the tips and was able to pull those out. Boy did that hurt. Felt just like the loanshark and stopped by with his little hammer and went for those three fingers. Once I laid them down I was able to cram them into a decent position and tie a huge metal cable through the casters of the one unit pinning everything else into place. I got back into the truck and got back underway. What a pain!

I made it back to New York without any more incidences. Pheww. Once the computers stopped rolling around and falling all over the place, the drive was much easier. I really wish that there was a CD player in the truck though. Just listening to the radio is pretty boring and there are only one or two stations in a lot of the area that I had to drive through.

It was close to midnight when I finally pulled into dad’s. I talked with him for a few minutes and borrowed his car to get home. We are dealing with unloading the truck tomorrow.

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