Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Rule of Threes.

I am a cheap, stubborn, irrational male.
I know this about me.
And if this does not surface every time I act or open my mouth, it ABSOLUTELY surfaces when it is time to tackle a home improvement project. Take "The Floor", for instance. I hated the idea of paying someone to do what I could do myself. So I sold this idea to my then pregnant wife, took a week of vacation, and started work on what was intended to be 900 square feet of glorious porcelain floor to replace our hideous green tile.

Now, 7 days sounds like a gimme for this project, and ample time to complete, despite never having taken on a project like this big, having no help, and lacking the know-how, patience, and experience to make such a thing go smoothly.

I spent 7 days hand-chiseling up the old floor.

You see, in addition to being cheap, stubborn, and irrational, I am a bit of a moron. I'll spare you the play by play of "The Floor", it is enough to know that it took...8 months. And in the end, with the birth of our son looming, I ended up paying someone to come in and finish it in 2 days. Now sure, I ended up saving about $2000 in the process, but what did it ultimately cost me and my wife? 8 months of arguments, frustration, and exposed concrete foundation....during a pregnancy.

That brings me to today's lesson learned...The Rule of Threes.

  1. Every project will cost you 3 times as much as you think it will, if you do it yourself. You may still save money, but it wont be as cheap as you initially thought.
  2. It will take a minimum of 3 times longer than you set aside.
  3. Your husband/wife will have, at minimum, 3 things to say that are eventually taken as nagging, hurtful, critical, or generally disapproving.
  4. The project will require no less than 3 trips to Home Depot. If you do choose to do these projects yourself, buy the ENTIRE STORE on your first trip, and return what you don't need. Don't kid yourself, they are gonna hate you after a while, but you will be happier.
In the end, the ultimate lesson to be taken from this what your spouse wants. If she wants to pay someone to do the work, save a little longer, and pay that professional with a smile. Your wife is gonna LOVE you when the job is done quickly and well by someone who works hard and then leaves her new beautiful home. She's gonna love you easily 3 times as much.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

So, I'm 40.

During a recent bout with morbid curiosity, I spent some time with a Life Expectancy Calculator, trading facts about my physical and mental past for...a number. A number which absolutely plays into the category of, “If you don’t want to know, seriously, don’t ask.”

So lets have a look at my scoresheet of suspect decision making to-date:

I smoked for roughly 17 years until the pretty girl I was courting said she would never marry a smoker.

I’ve had a weight swing of roughly 40 lbs in the past 20 years, and the swing rarely comes down…that damn gravity…

I spend the better part of my career in traffic, and when you couple that choice with a fairly significant and nagging case of ADD, my odds of a fiery demise are pretty well astronomical as compared to the norm.

And, I love you Mom, but you’re British. Your DNA isn’t gonna do me any favors, nor is Dad’s. Unless…do you want to share any deep dark secret about abducting me from a Russian couple on a yogurt farm outside Vladivostok?



As in, holy shyte ........... 72.

Let’s set aside the really emotional stuff for now, like the chance of missing a father-daughter dance, a grand-birth, or leaving my wife so early that she feels she HAS to replace me, and deal with the purely selfish. Time is no longer endless, like it was when I was a kid... you couldn’t move the clock no matter how hard you tried… couldn’t make Santa come but once a year, couldn't stretch summer to feel like it lasted more than a couple of days. Now, especially with kids, time moves exponentially, horrifyingly so.

72 means I’m well past halftime, and I only just realized. And clearly I haven’t been paying attention, and therefore haven’t been planning. Haven't been learning my lessons, haven’t been applying them to avoid the ones to come. If there were ever a time to start to do it “right”, it’s now.

So, at the tender age of 40, I'll call this lesson number one. Get with it, already.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Awards and Buttons

Hello friends. This is the part where I sound like a total stick in the mud. A fuddy duddy. A complete jackhole. When I started blogging, I did a couple of MeMes, or tags, or whatever you want to call them. And that was fine, but then I found I didn't really like spending my writing time that way. So now, I simply don't do them. Like most folks, I like to get awards, but I decided too that I don't like feeling like I have to jump through hoops to get one. So let me just put it like this...If you would like to give me an award or a button, I would love to post it here for you, with a linkback to your blog. Absolutely free awards for special things MAY get placement on my homepage. It is really sweet of you to think of me, and I thank you. However, I probably won't tell you ten things about me, or pass that award on to 10 of my "closest friends." That's just how I roll, and if you read my blog you'll find out WAY TMI anyway... But again, if you have a button you would like to see here, lemme know! Ill be happy to put it up! You could even make it easier on me and email me the posting code!


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blogger How-To/Tips

From time to time I will be posting tips to help make your blogging easier, prettier, or less infuriating for everyone who reads you...If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Good Luck!

Anything else you would like to see here? Lemme know!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Challenge Me...Gently...

Here's the part where you get to ask ME a question, and if it is the least bit thought provoking, I'll answer it in a post.

Or, maybe the question is which case I will actually be QUALIFIED to answer it...

To ask your question, simply post it in the comments below. If it's a short answer, I'll answer it there...if it takes more, I'll post it. Either way, I have a feeling I'm in trouble...

And keep it relatively clean, people..this is a family least use the proper medical terms. ;-)

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Daddy's Jams

Steve Martin - Banjo 1
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Josh Grobin - Believe
Polar Express - When Christmas Comes to Town
Cambridge Singers - Angel's Carol (Rutter)
Cambridge Singers - Christmas Lullaby (Rutter)
Carpenters - Merry Christmas Darling
Carpenters - Christ Is Born (Alleluia)
St Paul Cathedral Choir - For the Beauty of the Earth (Rutter)
Westminster Abbey Choir - The Lord Bless You and Keep You (Rutter)
Lucy Rhodes and James Eager - The Lord Bless You and Keep You (Rutter)
Lucy Rhodes - Count Your Blessings
St Augustine's Choir, Adelaide - A Gaelic Blessing (Rutter)
Andrea Bocelli - Chiara

To suggest other great Daddy Jams, please email me.

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Enjoy some of my favorite Blogs

A Buns Life
A Madison Mom
A Mama's Blog
Alive in Wonderland
Apron Strings and Angst
Captain Pork Chops
Craft Magazine
Days Go By
Eat Play Love
Gluten Free Girl
Harmony in Motion
I'm Hungry For Something
It's a Dry Rain
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit
Playgroups Are No Place For Children
Suzanne Broughton
The Bloggess
Say It Dont Spray It

If you would like to trade links with me, please email me.

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posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson