I've been working lately as a third, partly to get a little time away from the sled (and it's fun to set flags, something I had forgotten), and partly just because I'm in between jobs and I still have to make a mortgage payment. During this time, I've had a chance to observe other Dolly Grips at work, something I haven't had a chance to really do in quite a while.
I know a lot of you are of the "don't connect the track until it's level" school and that's cool. Everybody's got their system. After our earlier discussion, I thought I was in the minority because I actually connect it (preboxing is the key) and then level, usually by eye on long runs. A lot of guys still connect it first. I think it's about half and half. It's interesting to see the different ways guys have of laying track. A good friend of mine, who is presently pushing on Terminator 4 has recently gone to the dark side and switched to colored pads rather than wedges. I don't even want to know what he does first as I have disowned him and no longer speak to him (of course, I'm kidding). I'm just afraid he'll bring it up in one of our frequent phone conversations and it will get....awkward.
By the way. If you've been behind the dolly for 10+ years, and you go back to set gripping, it hurts. I'm not 25 anymore. Although I still try to throw a sandbag on my shoulder and grab a Mombo (stupid). My left arm will never be the same.
I remember, when I was a very young and virile grip, being proud of the fact that I could pick up a stack of 10 c-stands and carry it. If I saw someone doing that today I would berate them extensively. This reminds me of a story.......
When I was in high school I worked as a laboror for a brick and block mason. I weighed all of 140lbs soaking wet and got a daily ass kicking. Years later, I was a successful Dolly Grip and during some down time decided it might be fun to go back out on a Saturday and stack some brick. So, I called my old boss (whom I hadn't spoken to in 10 years) and asked him if I could come out and play. Bad move. I soon remembered why I had abandoned a career in the masonry arts. That's a little what I feel like now when I show up with my girly tool belt (yes, as discussed earlier, it's my wife's belt) as a dayplayer and all the regulars are asking, "Who's this guy?" Anyway, I have had the pleasure of watching some really old school Dolly Grips and I'm always up to learn a new trick or two.
PS- I tried carrying ten c-stands and one of the guys, who couldn't have been more than 25, berated me. (There's nothing quite like being yelled at by a 25 year-old who was still trying to get a date to his 6th grade Valentines dance when you were carrying c-stands).