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Update – Monday morning. Smoke is clearing. Dave is smiling. I can’t believe I got nearly every frigging thing on my list done. Thanks to those that helped, especially J and S. I feel caught up and a tremendous weight has been lifted from my formerly overwhelmed shoulders. Maintaining a house is no joke and I’m learning a lot. The most important lessons so far, which I’d like to share, are 1) Make lists (further explanation below in the original post) and 2) Be doing something everyday to make that list shorter – thereby avoiding the aforementioned (and inevitable) “overwhelmshion”. Tasks which could not be completed have notes in red below, and I just made the final list update if you’d like to check my score.

Over my nearly 6 years as a blogger I have seen and taken part in some of the many ways in which your website can cross over and effect your real life. I was nearly lynched in the North End. You may remember the semi-successful Pork Ass Challenge. Recently I’ve been writing a lot about productivity and workflow. Less about Blade Runner.

Although I myself haven’t had a cigarette since New Year’s Eve 1999 there are many blogs devoted to nothing but the author attempting to quit smoking. These, usually futile, attempts are the perfect example of this post’s purpose – calling your shot in public. If you fail to quit the lung rockets, the drinking, the over-eating, the necrophelia – everyone is going to know because you publicized your intentions. Not wanting to appear like a weak windbag in front of your friends can enable you to move mountains. A simple blog post declaring your noble intentions then becomes enormous motivation for completing your mission. And I’m going to need all the motivation I can muster this weekend.

This is all, word-for-word, from a text file I’ve had open on my desktop and have been adding to since I got back from Gooch’s wedding on Tuesday. If you’re a GTD fan you’ll notice some of that methodology (next steps, context lists, etc.) ingrained. If you don’t know what GTD is, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks at work or in your personal life, you absolutely have to buy and read the book I’ve listed to the left. It’s saved my life, and if I were a richer man I’d buy it for you – but I shouldn’t have to because it’s under $10. That, my friends, is a testimonial of which you should take heed.


June 20th & 21st Task List

Call Wentworth
Call Spencer re: laptop & dartboard
Call Steve Brig & Schedule alternate trailer deliveryCall Bob re: trailer rental and his truck
Call Erynn re: dates for visit
Call Brooks-Cryderman re: radiant heating – will do today. Not in office on weekends.
Call Mike Bell re: satelitte installation
Call Best Buy re: laptop and hard drive repair

Finish staining dock – Got the supplies I need but wanted to wait for sunny weather to paint.
Get stain & brushFinish dock trim
– Paint trim and install – See above.
Call Don re: tractor and whipper-snipper repair
– Repair tractor – Got the belt and took the tractor apart with the help of my neighbor and noticed a crack in one of the very dull blades which has puppy behading-potential. Going to get two new blades then re-assemble tonight with new belt in place.Repair whipper-snipper
Get belt for tractor
– Take whipper-snipper to small engine repair shop – Ended up investing in a SICK new one with an 18″ snipping diameter, brush cutting and edging features. This property needs a serious whipper snipper.
Fix lake pumpGet new foot valve. Bring old one for sizing– Add new valve, prime, get taps working – Lost the primer cap while working on it Saturday and the new foot valve shot off the end of the hose like the Nautalis. Realized I needed thread tape and got some Sunday when I went to Home Hardware to replace the cap. Almost over the finish line.
Pickup dog pooPickup loose trash
Store all tools and hardware
Clean up mess by basement door
– Burn wood – Was too wet to burn over the weekend, but everything scheduled for incineration has been moved to the fire pit. All I have to do is light a match.
Add glass and refuse to outgoing trash for Monday
Move deck umbrellaMove ladder to garage

Clean office
Store boxesHang picturesOrganize Mom’s deskFile all loose documentsMove current files back onto clean desk area
Fill bank shelves and then mark for actionMove fax machine
Move hard driveGive laptop to Spencer
Scan trust documents for Janet
Clean out work and personal email inboxes

Clean Winchester
– Sweep
– Mop
– Change bedding
Install strike plate – I forgot this can’t be done until a proper door frame is built. Shouldn’t have been on the list.
Put tread on stairs – Couldn’t find any. Will likely just cut bathtub tread to fit.

Sort trash
– Recyclables
– To be burned
To be returned
Return bottles
Mark garbage with tags for Monday a.m.
Burn the burnable

Master bedroom, sheets only
Loose clothes in Dave’s room
Winchester bedding
Hang, beat and store mats
Clean back deck
Assemble umbrella
Return kegs and tap for deposit
Move bins to garage
Store satellite equipmentChange side lightbulb
Sort Dave’s room
Fix closet door
Hang mirror
Clean out closet
Hang pictures

Hang dartboard
Cover pool table
Brush pool table
Clean pool table coverClean rest of photo glass and rehang
Reclean floor re: dog and cat urineClean out and restock fridge

Smiths Falls
Get dock stain & brushGet new wallet
Get foot valve
Get laundry detergentGet stair treadGet belt for tractorTake whipper-snipper to repair shop

Go visit Dad on Sunday. Check times in letter or phone ahead.
Clothes to GoodwillGet fucking hydratedTreat head wound (long story)
Don’t get distracted (shitfaced)

I won’t get everything done this weekend. I say that because some items, such as launching the boat, are dependant on weather or other people over whom I have no real physical or mental control. Yet. I’m going to get damn close, though, and I’ll update you on Monday, beaming proudly and feeling a whole lot better than I do right now. Dave is in the weeds. Dave needs a “life” whipper-snipper. Don’t believe me? Just see item #3 under “Yard”.


Operation: Basement – The Beginning

by Dave on December 11, 2008

in Canadiana

Our basement situation is rare in that because we have a lawn which slopes down towards the lake, said cellar has 4 windows overlooking… a lake. A lake view is not normally something you hear associated with cellars, is my point. It screamed out to be “finished”. Now that the garage loft renovation is pretty much completed, my attention has settled on my rec room. My man room. My rectacular basement man place thingy. My bomb cellar for nerds. Yes, kids – Operation: Basement has officially begun.

IMG 0319
Spencer reminds me very much of a young Jack Nicholson.
“I’m the kinda guy likes to know who’s buying his stain, Lloyd.”

Even as I type this I hear my project lead, Spencer, sanding away on the glued together slats of raw pine which will eventually be stained and used to cover the beams, posts and create molding/wainscotting. There are two tall stacks of boxes in the center of the 600 square foot room. One is full of ceiling tile and one is full of dark oak style laminate flooring. The floor has been taped off to mark where the lake rock bar will be so that we can safely install the flooring around it. And there are other elements already procured that will complete the dream lair I have fantisized about creating since I first walked into the then dingy space four years ago.

Pool Table: Our neighbor gave us a pretty serious slate pool table which sits completely disassembled in our furnace room. I found a guy on a local classified ads site (think Canadian Craigs List) that will drive out here from Brockville to put it together, replace the bumpers, level and re-felt it. We also have a Budweiser pool table light that my Dad somehow talked a Florida bartender into giving him about 5 years ago that we’ve held onto ever since.

Da Bar: The base of the bar will be made out of either brick or plywood but I plan to cover it with rocks out of the adjascent lake to kind of “bring the outdoors in” or something.

Bigscreen TV: A purchase from a neighbor who’s interior decorator told him it took up too much room, the cabinet color was stifling and most likely that he also wanted to give him a handjob. I got this 3-year-old 60+ inch rear projection monster for a song and it will have a sound-surrounded place of leather couch honor in the new room.

Arcade Game: I will be discussing the “nerd box” in a separate article, but the short version is that while looking for an old, beat up, classic stand up arcade game (complete with numerous cigarette burns no doubt) I found something much, much better. Stay tuned for exceptional fucking nerdery on this one, folks. Your jaws will drop.

Dart Board: I found a company online who makes replica vintage Guiness dartboard cabinets and ships them to Canada complete with a top-quality bristle dartboard. Done and done. I also recently found the small velcro wallet containing my Dad’s old darts and the naked lady flights I remember so well from childhood. And no, I have never wanked to a dart flight. As far as you know.

IMG 0321
As if I didn’t hate spirit orbs enough – One of them is Bob Vila.

Spencer is now brushing conditioner onto the sanded wood, to ensure it stains evenly, and the smell is so strong that I am quite positively more buzzed than a huffer under a bridge in Smiths Falls. I must retreat for the evening, but I hope you’ve enjoyed my tales of renovation and you can see the full gallery as it progresses here.