PhilM
Location: Salinas, CA
Age: 40
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"Only two things are infinite--the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

"I'm not as think as you confused I am." Someone, somewhere, at some time

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Sunday, August 27, 2006
Lessons

As I think I've mentioned here, I've been doing a lot of home improvements lately. Basically, painting the front room, dining room & hallway; replacing 4 windows; replacing the patio sliding glass door; and replacing a total of 6 other doors (2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 closet, 2 entry). Some frustrations along the way, but also kinda nice as things get completed . . . that sense of accomplishment and all. Anywho, I've learned a few lessons along the way, so figured I'd share my incredible wisdom with y'all. Here are the top 10 things I've learned about home repairs over the last few weeks:

  1. While it's always a good idea to paint barefoot, you should always wear steel toed boots when moving doors.
  2. If at any time while painting a room or doors or any other object you suddenly find yourself thinking "Hey, this paint smells kinda good," make sure you are not standing on concrete or other equally hard flooring. Because you're most likely about to pass out.
  3. Always--always--measure every object ordered from the store, from every possible direction and angle. Because the one measurement on the one object you don't verify will be wrong, and you won't discover it until it's too late, which means you'll be forced to choose between jury rigging something to make it fit or living without a bathroom door for 3 weeks.
  4. When painting a wall, start at the bottom and work your way up. Because when you paint the bottom, you'll have to bend over. Which means that at least once, your head will hit the wall. And if you're going to hit your head against a wall, it's better (for both the wall and your hair) if it doesn't have wet paint on it.
  5. Ship your dog off to a friend's/relative's house while painting. Otherwise, prepare to be frequently interrupted by the need to prevent him from drinking out of the paint can, leaning against freshly painted walls, or tripping you as you try to paint the ceiling.
  6. If, during previous home improvement projects, you've discovered that the previous owner had a tendency to short-cut/half-arse repairs & jobs, do not assume that any of his patches for cracks/holes were done with any more skill. Tear them out and repair them yourself. And do it before you paint the room, instead of waiting until his patches (and your fresh paint) come tearing off the wall as you remove the masking tape.
  7. Get a weinie roller. It will be your best friend. Even if you're a guy. It makes painting corners, doors, small surface areas, etc. so much easier. Plus, you can then walk around the house saying "Weinie, weinie, weinie" without irritating Bonanza Jellybean.
  8. If the object you are replacing (for example, a door or window) goes in much easier than expected, stop! Measure, check the level, eyeball and inspect everything. Because it's a sure bet something is seriously farked up.
  9. Solicitors (phone & door-to-door) magically know when you're in the middle of a project, and will call incessantly during this time. The national Do Not Call List apparently has a specific exemption clause, allowing them to call you during these times. Also, it's a good bet that at least 2 people who you haven't spoken to in almost 20 years will chose that exact time to call you out of the blue.
  10. Paint that gets on your hands and can not be removed with water, soap, Boraxo or even mineral spirits will instantly flake off the moment you touch your computer keyboard. And then once again refuse to detatch itself for any reason.
  11. On doors ordered from Home Depot, "pre-primed" does not mean "we've primered the door for you so it's ready to paint!" Instead, it means "we've put some substance on the door which looks like primer, but which actually increases the amount of paint the doors will soak in, forcing you to use no less than 3 coats." So, primer it yourself.
  12. Prolonged exposure to paint fumes, caulk, glue and sore toes will inhibit your ability to count to 10.

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