Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hum a happy tune, move like a hillbilly

The final conditions were waived at last. We're free to shop!

A last pre-shopping challenge.

Our son has offered his now semi-homeless parents a room at the inn. There's a queen-size bed, but... wait for it... no mattress.

We have two fully furnished spare bedrooms with queen beds, as some of you moto-buddies can attest to. We need to hot-foot it to the Big Smoke at 0-dark-thirty tomorrow morning. I did the only logical thing there was to do.

I bought four two-by-fours, hauled out my go-bag of lines, ropes, rope ratchets, carabiners, and S-hooks, got out my motorcycle tie-down bag, hooked my framing nail gun up to the compressor, and went to work.

A couple of hours of fevered solo framing work and Egyptian-style mega hoisting and hauling, with copious resort to levers and gravity, and voila: ready to hit the 401 with our mattress tied on top of the car just like Jed Clampett and crew!

Will it do 120 kmh without incident?



UPDATE: Friday 10h00. We're in Kingston, the half-way point. Averaging 100 kmh on cruise. Rob is right, the mattress hasn't budged. It does lift at the front, but the two-by-four frame is doing its job keeping things stable. More funny details to come later. Kids: don't do this at home!

FURTHER UPDATE: Friday, 14h00. We made it! So did the mattress! Seen three properties so far. Amusing anecdotes to follow.

UPDATED FURTHER UPDATE: Sunday (really Monday; 00h05). Saw a bunch of prospects. One knocked our socks off. Made an offer. Seems it was accepted. Paperwork being finalized. Exhausted. Hitting the sack.

27 comments:

  1. "semi-homeless parents"

    So another adventure begins...

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    1. Yes indeed. I was beginning to feel that Montreal had us snared in tentacles like a giant octopus.

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  2. OMG you make me laugh! You are definitely a special kind of person and the world would not rotate right without you....

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  3. I once drove from Pittsburgh, PA to Charlotte, NC (448 miles or 721 KM) with a mattress strapped to the roof of my car in a similar way. I'm sure you were fine. :)

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    1. Turns out you were right. It took me a while to feel confident. At 80 kmh the mattress would begin to lift, but the wooden frame effectively limited the lift. In the end I was confident enough to do 101-103kmh, AND turn my side mirrors away from obsessively checking the mattress every 15 seconds.

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  4. Replies
    1. He-he-he-he.... So true! When an 18 wheeler passed it was fine, then the cavitation right behind the trailer was clean air, then once the gap widened to three car lengths the turbulence made things interesting. I eventually got used to that too.

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  5. Looks like a real "Professional Bob Vila" job - just hope you covered it all with plastic incase of rain! Drive safely.

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    1. Nailed it (pardon the pun)! It was the first time I actually used my framing nailer. It felt like a weapon of war, and bucked like one too.

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  6. Looks like a well done job, David. Usually these kind of loads scare the heck out of me. Ever had to dodge a kitchen cabinet or a La-Z-Boy? Luckily I was in a car that time...

    Hope you arrive safely at your refuge.

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    1. Sonja, I used mooring lines with a breaking point rated at 4,700 lbs. I was reasonably confident the load would hold.

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  7. Very professional approach to keeping the load on the roof and off the road! Many years ago, my friend was driving his VW Bug on the 401 at night when the dim headlights showed this big thing on the road dead ahead. It was a mattress and we did drive over it. It turned out to be a non-event, and we were past it when we figured out what it was. Took a while to get back our normal heart rate.

    Please do let me know when you a bit more settled down this way. Looking forward to having you both out here for drinks and a meal. And, if you need some help, just call.

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    1. Ed, coming from you, that's high praise.

      We won't be settled until early April, but we will take you up on that offer.

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  8. No matter who did it, or how it was tied down, it's still a load I'd avoid/shy away from if near me on the highway..... :)

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    1. You know Dom, I would have avoided me too, and would have shaken my head in disbelief in passing. That said, some bright lights couldn't resist tailgating. Maybe they figured that it the lines broke, the mattress would get enough air time to hit the guy behind the tailgater.

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  9. Normal people would rent a u haul. But why be normal

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    1. Michael, normal is so overated, no? I've never been a big fan of normal.

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  10. David, that is SO classy....and very effectively practical.

    Just curious, why did you ever end up with a framing nail gun? We built a house and a garage with one, so if you ever decide that one isn't enough, this unit could be in Montreal in no time. I'm hoping to never use it again!

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    1. Doug I detect, and heartily approve, the sarcasm in your comment. In my defense, there is a fascinating ironic contrast in schlepping a mattress on the roof of a Beemer. It's almost performance art ;)

      As for the framing hammer, it came as part of a combination gift from my dad about ten years ago: a Campbell Hausfeld compressor, plus a finishing nailer and the framing nailer. I had to exercise caution. You wouldn't want to get a body part in the path of a nail from that gun. Man it really does pack a punch.

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    2. Oh, and as for practical, I really had no choice, since Susan's X3 doesn't have a hitch. Like Yoda said, there was no 'try', only 'do' or 'do not'.

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  11. David if you had only asked - I have two queen size inflatable mattresses you could have borrowed on your coffee stop in Kingston - had I only known. Would have saved you so much time, energy and 401 humiliation. (And they pack nicely in the back of an SUV)

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    1. Karen that is so sweet! What a kind offer.

      Oh well, now we have a comfy bed here as we search for a new home.

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  12. That is too funny! Comfort always wins out!

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    1. So true Dar!

      We made an offer.

      W-a-i-t-i-n-g n-o-w...

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  13. Glad you didn't put Granny up there along with the mattress. Good thinking on building the 2x4 frame to avoid lifting.

    Congrats on putting in an offer, we are looking forward to details.

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    1. Thanks Brandy!

      Well... we are very, very pleased.

      We found a three story townhouse with a close to perfect floor plan, two indoor parking spaces, amenities including an indoor pool and spa, exercise room, and more... and in arguably the second most challenging market in Canada, we made a very serious offer, and stuck the landing. Our offer was accepted, our deposit is in, and we close in early April.

      We couldn't be more pleased.

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