Sunday, June 30, 2013

Working outside in the Summer.

Working outside in the Florida Summer can be fun. This I know because reliable sources have assured me that it has been done. I guess it has a lot to do with what you are working on and with who. It could also be a measure of the lack of entertainment choices you have going for you. But there are are some givens that are going to interfere with the fun and these are not Florida exclusives but rather Florida specialties. It will be buggy and muggy. Depending on the task and location it may be toothy and muddy. Slimy, scaly, rotten and smelly are also common adjectives used to describe an outdoors task in the "sunshine" state.
Do not let this discourage you it is part of the sacrifice you pay for living in paradise and if your state offers conditions that are comparable to the ones listed here I suppose it could be considered paradise as well but I am here to tell you a beach is a big bonus for the clean-off after the mess has been conquered if you have one you know exactly what I mean.
There are a couple of necessary steps to successful completion of a task outdoors in a hot climate. If your idea is calling a guy and paying him to do it then I am talking to that guy not you. But if you are the guy/gal then step 1 is to hydrate. I mean with water or other body friendly electrolyte carrying drink designed for that purpose not knocking back cold-uns in the sun till you give up and swear you'll fix it next week end. Step 2 unless you are blessed is the bug juice to keep the worst of the biters at bay and until I pick up a sponsorship I'm not going to recommend a specific one. This only helps with the everyday pests and not with particularly nasty beasties you may run into during the course of whatever task you have set in front of you so if you are afraid or allergic there may be other situation specific precautions to take. Step 3 is dress for excess. In other words it's gonna be hot but you need to be smart about your clothing. When I framed houses as a younger man the uniform of the day was shorts, sneakers, a t-shirt and a ball cap. And the t-shirt came off early to handle sweat rag duties. I mention this because it is true that the wisdom of age is wasted on youth and quite frequently on other people of a similar age.
Dressing well is key to comfort and longevity (can you say melanoma?) I find that sunscreen properly applied makes me hotter so a lightweight long sleeved shirt works best. A long sleeve shirt will actually contribute to cooling you down by absorbing sweat and giving an evaporative cooling effect and it will keep the need for the sunscreen down as will the lightweight long pants you put on for the same reasons. Pitch the ball cap in favor of a full brim to keep the sun off of your neck and don't even consider flip flops. You are now ready to brave the chore ahead good luck.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Liar Liar.

I never met a tool I didn't like. Lie. There has been more than one time that I chucked a 'tool' because it didn't do its job as well as something else I came up with.

Always pay for quality. Lie. If you are only going to do a job once then buy the cheapest tool that will get the job done. You can pay $1200 for a tile saw but if you don't set tile for a living then the $99 one will see you through any project in the house.

Tools make the man. Lie. Skills make the man. A skilled crafstman with a basic set of tools will do a better job than an amatuer with a complete set of top of the line wizardry.

Bigger is better. Lie. Too many people oversize the tool for the job at hand. For instance if you can't loosen that fitting with the appropriate size pipe wrench then you have an issue a bigger one will only make worse.

I can't do this. Lie. You may need help but if you want to get it done you can do it. You may need help with certain skills or you may need help with the heavy lifting but if you know what you want and understand your capabilities you will know what help to get.

That roof leak can wait. Lie. If it has already caused damage you can see then there is more you can't see.

If I finish this then she'll quit bugging me. Lie. When you finish this it will be time to start on that. Get used to it. If you didn't want projects in front of you then you never should have flashed your skills. Once she knows you can she will see to it that you do.