Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I hung a shelf!

Man, my desk is a mess. Don't look there, look at the shelf!

It's not so much that I hung the shelf, it's that the shelf is now finally solidly hung after a good sixteen months of being partially hung. You see, I consider myself pretty handy compared to the thousands of men out there who wouldn't know a Robertson from a Phillips, I just don't get a lot of chances to display that handiness. And, if something does go wrong, I like to put everything down, step back and take a break so I don't make things worse. Ok, so sixteen months is maybe a little too long of a break...

As most men do though, I take pride in a couple of things when it comes to being handy:

1. I know how to use the tools that I own.

The last thing I need to hear when I go over to a buddy's house is, "Come see what I got for my birthday. It's in the garage." Upon entering the garage he makes the "TA-DA" gesture and exclaims, "See, a brand new Complex Mitter Saw!"

*SMACK* - That is the sound of my own hand hitting my own forehead.

"That's Compound Mitre Saw. Do you even know what that does?"

"No, but I been waiting till you got here to try it out!"

"What, on me? You don't even have... How were you gonna... Aw, just take it back before you hurt yourself!"

2. When I don't have the tool I need, I can make it out of the tools that I have.

Now, I may sound like a bit of a hypocrite after #1 but I can assure you, the disciplines are separate. In fact, #2 comes from the extreme application of #1. I don't have a compound mitre saw, but I can make a mitre cut if I need to with the tools that I do own. If I didn't have a level handy - I always do, but if I didn't - all I would need is a piece of string, something heavy, and a ruler. You can apply #2 in a more situational fashion as well. By this I am referring to the, "My hammer is in the other room but I have this heavy wrench in my hand" variety of improvisation.

If my Dad read this he would probably phone me right now to ask who raised me like this. So for him, I include this caveat, with a personal example. #2 can also come back to haunt you depending on how far you take it.

See my shelf? Sixteen months ago I hung this shelf on the wall between my bedroom and my roommate's bedroom. The apartment building I live in is more than 30 years old. It still has fuses instead of breakers, boiler heat that is centrally controlled and always 5-10 degrees too hot in the winter, and 2 inch thick internal walls that are constructed with a strange combination of metal, concrete, and plaster. This wall construction posed several problems. The first is the fact that most wall anchors are designed for you to drill a hole that goes at least 2 inches into the wall. I can't do that or my roommate would need a Rita Hayworth poster. It also meant that despite being able to "modify" the drywall anchors that I had to about an inch and a half, I should have gone back to the store to get concrete and plaster wall anchors.

I didn't.

It became clear shortly after installing the bracket that the weight of the shelf alone was going to pull the modified anchors right out of the perfectly drilled pilot holes. (Yes they were perfect, I had to say I did something right.) I could have fixed this by going up to the Tire and getting the proper equipment right away. But, as I said I do, I stepped back and took a break, you know just to ensure I didn't make things worse...

Anyway, the shelf is up...I think that was my point this time.
I'll be back later, some of the other blogs have got me a little nostalgic...

All for now,


Blogger Jwe said...

We're all proud of you Kef... you finished a project!

Your desk is a disgrace! And I can see that your desktop is still a mess-o-icons. For Shame!

8/25/2005 7:13 AM  
Blogger WestsideKef said...

I could organize them into folders...then it would be a mess of folders! Is that better?

8/25/2005 2:02 PM  

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