The build continues smoothly…

We are water-testing our lines right now, while your humble author hides from the searing, ozone-less sunshine and contemplates her own jet-lagged mortality. But those members of our crew with stronger constitution are making solid progress, and we are right on schedule. Here are some pix:

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A few of our vertebral poofers needed repair, so part of Tuesday morning went to brushing out ptfe tape and swapping out sheared-off streets.

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Using this rad butane-powered soldering iron, Denise repairs a poofer apparatus whose cable got destroyed in transit. photo by Ted

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Xa and Slinky run the LPG hose along the spine.

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Lex and Xa couple pipe.

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Xa and Margaret join the schedule 80 pipe that brings the fuel from our depot out to the Snake.

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Sam stares down the jaw, and ponders the nature of man versus beast. photo by Ted

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Bolting the head into place is an all-hands job.

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Per the Australian safety authorities, Sam installs a special drop bear alarm system module into the Serpent’s upper jaw.

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Hooray for the ball valve farm! Here is where we sort out all the hoses that come into Snakey’s spine. photo by our local Melbourne-based FLG Steph

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Ted and Margaret wiggle the egg shooter apparatus into place. photo by Steph

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One of the last things we do is attach the inside-halves of the vertebrae. You can see them placed all along the ground — they don’t get bolted on until all the propane and electronics have passed leak- and click-testing. photo by Steph

And here are some random things:

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… sure.

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This sticker, on the back of the VR — er sorry, telehandler. ell oh ell. y’all quirky here.

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These are soy sauce packets. Far better than those rectangular pouches that are difficult to open and drizzle everywhere, these little plastic fishes are far easier to dispense, and WAY cuter!

The build begins…

We were on site before the sun came up, jet lag be damned. We made a lot of good progress today, and the weather was cooperative, hooray for that! And we bolted together the vertebrae sections from #1 all the way up to #18, which is a tie for our best record in a single day. Here’s the summary, in photos:

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Dropping the container on site as the sun comes up…

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Mills breaking into our container — during transit, they put a tamper seal on it. It didn’t take us too long to defeat this obstacle.

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Mills and Margaret, cheesing in front of our build site at the Melbourne Museum.

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Removing the egg from the container, while Sam staggers away from a near-collision with a drop bear. THEY’RE OUT HERE.

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This is a VR handing off the head rack to a fork lift, all while doing a complicated dance amidst the trees by the build site.

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We love flow charts.

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Splitting the head rack to access the ladder parts.

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Love notes from our past selves.

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Surveying from the egg to the fuel depot.

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We start at the egg and spiral the tail outwards. Here is where the vertebrae rises up off the ground.

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“Persuading” the vertebrae outwards with the VR.

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Deliv

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Meanwhile, Marisa discovered our initials already adorn a wall here on Flinders Lane in the Central Business District…

On the ground in Melbourne!

Greetings from Melbourne, where nearly all of our crew have arrived and cruised through customs and are currently in various states of jet lag. Several of us got here a couple days ago, and met with White Night event coordinators about logistics stuff like verifying equipment access, finalizing our build schedule, etc. Tomorrow morning at 7am sharp, we begin the process of unloading the container, arranging things in strategic piles, and assembling this snake.

Due to the container shipping schedule, we kept some of the electronics modules at home with us so we could rework and retest it all. That meant we had to carry it along with us in our checked baggage. Fortunately no one’s bags were lost in transit (whew) and everything arrived with no trouble.

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This is a still life of various dodgy-looking items we had to bring in our checked baggage.

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Carolyn penned a lovely note to the customs folks, and even included a tool for opening the box!

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Most of our crew, plus some local friends — shoutout to Lex and Corey, our homies from Burning Man DPW. Here we are enjoying the late evening sun after a delicious barbeque. Rock solid way to close out our first day before the build begins.

Now, to focus on not falling asleep until 9pm at the earliest, so we can get on Melbourne time, UTC+10:00!

World Domination continues…

We are ecstatic to announce that FLG is bringing everyone’s favorite flaming snake to Melbourne, Australia for White Night. It’s an all-night illumination-focused art and entertainment event, and we are so excited to bring our fire down to be part of it this round! Check out our listing on their program.

Snakey is already getting some local media hype, and there will surely be more to come as the even draws near. Meanwhile, we have some work to do — even though we just brought this sculpture to Calgary in September, we always discover things that could be improved, reconditioned, or sometimes totally overhauled. So we’ll be busy working on kneading out some kinds until we have to pack ‘er all up and lock the shipping container doors shut. And on that note, it’s time to go cut some metal brackets for the electronics boxes… stay tuned for more hype and updates!

FLG world domination, y’all!