Walking home from work last week, I spotted a sign in a shop for window. “Bricks for sale. 20c”.
Now, Beau has long been planning a brick construction in our back yard, possibly inspired by his childhood fascination with quick trick block stacks. And here we had an old colonial store situated a wheelbarrow’s walk from our house, with a stack of 100 year old pale clay bricks needing a new home.
Not only were they at a fraction of the going trademe price (of around $1 per brick), but they were also the locally produced variety, proudly stamped by a W H Hunt of Auckland.
We scoped out the building, and were immediately overwhelmed by the quantity of bricks. It would take months to wheelbarrow them to their new home.
A truck was required.
We wandered down to Parnell, picked up our 1T rental truck, and then drove on toward the land of bricks.
I very quickly learned several things:
- There is no easy way to move bricks, they have to be carried piece by piece. If you’re manly you might be able to manage four at once, but it’s still a lot of trips to the truck.
- A brick does not weigh 500g, it weighs 3kg.
- Once bricks are on the truck, they then have to be transported off the truck at the other end.
- We really should have bribed friends to help us.
Four hours later, and completely exhausted, arms turned to rubber, we unloaded the last brick. As we stood back in a state of semi-delirium, admiring the solid 1000-brick wall we had just built, I felt compelled to quantify my precise exertion output.
The energy E gained by each brick on its journey is m * g * h, where m is the mass of the brick, g the gravitational constant 9.8m/s2, and h the height moved. So lifting a 3kg brick 1m off the ground requires 3*(9.8) * 1 = 29j. Multiply this by 1000 for each brick, and by two to take into account unloading at the other end, gives 29Kj, or 7 calories.
That’s less than two barley sugars.
But at least we now have a mighty long trick brick stack running along the side of our house.