Working with Mark

Thursdays and Fridays, Mark generally gets to spend a little more time working in the barn that’s next to our RV.  This Thursday I started on a project in the barn while Mark was there.  Adam is a creative sort.  He wanted to get some of those ash trays that have a long tube with a hole in the top for dropping cigarettes down, but he wasn’t given any money to buy them.  We are approaching a really dry season and he’s concerned about fire hazard, so he made a prototype of the kind of “smoker” he had in mind using a 5-gallon container and some PVC pipe.  He filled it with dirt, put a coffee can inside with some dirt in it, and it seems to be working.  He wanted to make enough of those for each of the shooting ranges so there will be a place for smokers to drop their cigarette butts.  So I spent time yesterday and today preparing four 5-gallon containers, and this afternoon, Mark and I were able to fill two of them with dirt and put a coffee can in.  Then Mark put them out on a couple of the ranges.  We hope our customers will use them.

Another thing I’m learning to do is sort brass.  “Brass” is the term used for spent bullet shells.  Actually, the shells can be made of brass, steel, nickel, aluminum, or plastic.  We use a magnet to pick out the steel shells.  Then we have to go through by hand and pick the plastic, nickel and aluminum shells out of the brass.  Brass shells come in various sizes, so we sort them over a large screen.  The smallest shells, the .22 shells, fall through the screen and we sort through them when they begin to pile up to the point where it gets harder for the smaller shells to fall through.  Every once in a while, we also come across a “live” round, meaning a bullet that’s still pretty much intact.  It’s especially important that we sort these out, because what we’re doing when we sort the brass is preparing it to be sent to be recycled, and if they get a live round in when they’re recycling the brass, it can go off and damage their machinery.  Mark and I stand across from each other and we’re so busy focusing on our work that we don’t say much, but it’s just nice to be working together like that!

Between assisting Mark and doing my own job today, I worked nearly a full day.  My back hurts, but I’m still glad to be working with Mark!

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