Sunday, November 23, 2014

Boxes, alas.


Once upon a time there was this place called The Cave, and it is awesome!  It's a public wine storage facility. Wine in. Wine out.  Repeat. 

Often, when people take wine out, they are pulling random bottles from several locations, and now they have three or four or more bottles they are trying to manage and maneuver and carry without breaking any.  DIFFICULT! 

So I keep a collection of empty wine boxes on hand for just this sort of thing.  When I ran low, I'd do a wine box run over to Trader Joe's and this was an all-around jaunty task.  After close I could walk over there and say, Do you have any wine boxes?, and they'd say How many and I'd respond All of them, and they'd put them outside for me.  I'd carry armloads across the parking lot to The Cave, six or seven trips worth, and everybody was happy: I was able to provide a service and my customers had at hand an endless supply of Charles Shaw boxes to class up their otherwise lousy plonk, ease and generosity courtesy of Trader Joe's. 

Then they moved, grrrrrr.  

The boxes dried up. 

Holidays loomed.

I needed a Plan B. 

First I needed to figure out how to accomplish the multi-box transport minus a multi-box carrying vehicle.  Then I woke up early. 

With an old school luggage carrier, the sort if thing you one day appreciate never having thrown away, I walked over to Ralph's.  No luck.  Next, Cost Plus.  2 boxes!  And it was easy.  Third, Whole Foods.  NO LUCK.  People get very protected about their boxes around the holidays.  I wheeled my two boxes home.

I had maybe just enough time to make one more try.  I put the piece of wood that I use to haul things like broken Cave computers to the repair shop onto the back of my bike and quickly screwed onto it four screws with washers so the bungees could wrap around them easily.  I was OFF, me and my Brilliant Box Carrying Machine, to the newly re-opened Mission Wine and beer and alcohol and chewing gum. They were crowded, good for them.  I was like, no way am I getting any boxes from these guys.  I figured I could get four on the bike, so only asked for four, bashfully, and they gave me four, easily! 

The Brilliant Box Carrying Machine does NOT have a kickstand.  Flaw #1 quickly became many other flaws in my design, like the bungees were too short, or maybe I couldn't balance everything and get the right torque at the same time.  If you are a fan of clown cars and Keystone Cops, you'd have enjoyed this. In the end we managed to get home alive by gently walking the Not-So-Brilliant Box Carrying Machine.  The victory was the boxes stayed on there, barely. 

During the walk I reworked the blueprints and I think I've got it.  Worse case, it may take a village and everyone is going to have to pitch in to the contribution of the boxes.

Just look at all those beautiful boxes!