Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Anthropological Garage…

As I’ve been telling you, I’ve been deconstructing and reorganizing my garage.

An interesting thing started happening in the process. With each little area that I’d begin ‘unpacking’… I’d find myself remembering.

Remembering projects, intended but never started, started, but never completed, or finished but the ‘remnants’ were squirreled away for one reason or another and long since forgotten. A sort of "Anthropological Dig" if you will.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a ‘pack-rat’.

I’m not exactly sure why I am, I just know I am. I do have a couple of theories though.

It could be, that growing up “poor” as I did, I never truly believe I’ll have the money to replace these things if I throw them away. I could also be, for the same reason, that because “I bought it, damn it, I’m not throwing anything away”, and down deep I believe that sometime, somehow, I’ll find a use for it.

It could also be, that I’m simply a ‘pack-rat’… that I simply can’t make that crucial “Do I need this?” decision, so I just tuck it away somewhere and decide, to decide, at a later time.

Regardless of the reason, my “pack-rattiness” has finally reached, and exceeded, even my (rather hig) tolerance level. I’m seriously unpacking the garage, reorganizing and throwing out whatever I have no immediate use for. I’ve even gone so far as to call the ‘dumpster’ guy to get a dumpster dropped off this week so I can just ‘store things’ in the dumpster and have him haul it all away.

I’ve also resolved myself to finishing each of the little projects that I discovered the ‘parts’ for. Like the conduit, fittings and lights I bought to install some outdoor wiring and lighting. I started that project, but, in true ‘Tim Taylor” fashion I managed to severely sprain a wrist while drilling an access hole in an exterior wall. That project got sidelined while I healed up, and by the time I had, some other project else had popped to the front of my ‘monkey brain’.

A monkey brain, for those of you who don’t know, is one where it ‘latches’ on to whatever is the most interesting item at the moment… and as soon as something more interesting pops into view, the current item is dropped, and the new one picked up.

Anyway, I’m sitting here, typing, and burning daylight….When I should really be out there working on my “mess”.

I’ve been promising you all a photo update, and you’ve been extremely patient with me, so… without further ramblings from me… here are some pics.

Here's the beginning of the bed sanding project. I tried a half a dozen different tools and various abrasive materials. None of them worked particularly well.

Then, I used a two inch backer, with three inch quick change sanding discs on my right angle die grinder, and while it was still slow going, I started getting the results I wanted/needed.

You may recall, that I had one corner of the bed that was completely gone. Worse yet it involved a portion of the bed that is visible every time you open the tailgate. It also involved having a very small portion 'rolled over' the lower valence panel. It took quite a bit of time to form and fit this particluar piece. In the end I think it fit up well.

These next couple of shots are top views of the finished panel. If you look closely, you'll see the welds are not ground off 'flush'. There's a reason for that. When you grind away on a weld, the steel in the actual weld, is harder than the surrounding steel. With sheet metal, if you attempt to grind it flush, you risk 'thinning' the surrounding metal. So, I knock off the high spots, and let it be.

Once this is all in primer, I'll come back, skim a thin coat of filler over the seams and feather it out. Once that's done, the patch will be invisible to the eye.

It seems blogger has a limit on the number of pics in a post... so all of the pictures are posted here, Click the 'recent photos' button on the left and then select the 'Garage Project'.

As always, thanks for reading, listening and your wonderful commenting that serves to keep my spirits up as I grunt my way through this!


seeingdouble said...

It certainly looks like you have your hands full here!! BTW, do you know Suze Orman? One of her secrets to financial freedom is not being a packrat. Having the confidence in your ability to provide yourself with the things you need later, you can get rid of the extra clutter you have now. Keep, Donate, Trash, make the piles and run with it!!

Bill said...

SeeingDouble - I made excellent progress on Sunday, I'll have pics of that, along with tonights progress, posted late today.

I do know of Suze Orman. I've tried to break myself of the 'pack-rat' habit several times in the past, with limited success.

I've got a good sized trash pile this time, and have already lined up the guy to haul it all away.

Thanks for stopping by.

Nina said...

(smile) I live with a 'pack-rat' and for all the reasons you listed, I believe fits my husband as well.
Someday I hope he decides to get a dumpster as well. I could handle it. :)

Bill said...

Nanina - I'm convinced my life will be better if I can purge myself of this stuff. I've uncovered a number of little projects that have gone back on the "to-do" list, but when I'm done, anything that doesn't fit in a drawer or cabinet, is either being returned, or hitting the trash.

Wait until you see the 'after' pics... maybe he'll get inspired too!!

Firehawk said...


I think the trick to overcoming the packrat in us is to hit the "pile" when you're in an "everything must go" mood. Then, you might just pare down some of the excess stuff.

I'm really bad with the Monkey Brain thing in terms of writing. I have so many projects started that it just makes me tired to think of all of them. One of my big goals for this year was to finish most of what I'd started, and I was doing pretty well until I went through a week when I unwisely started two short stories and a two novels. That kind of week can literally destroy your progress for a year. I did finish the short stories, but the number of "in the works" novels I have is just not right or healthy. That doesn't even factor in all the ones I have done and need to find ways to market.

Anyway, looks interesting with your truck bed project, and I hope you're able to "store" plenty of things in the dumpster. Good luck on polishing off all those little projects you have pending.

Chloe said...

There's something very calming about ridding your world of clutter. I need to do some of that soon!

And like Firehawk, I too have monkey brain when it comes to writing. *sigh*

Bill said...

Firehawk - You're just exactly right.. I've got a big pile in front of the garage waiting on the trash guy, adn that was exactly my frame of mind.

I've actually been thinking about/working on a "Monkey Brain" post, maybe I'll finish it this week.. but then again....

Chloe - Intersting that you should say that... it has been calming, and that was very unexpected. I actually was expecting some angst in tossing all that stuff, just the opposite happened, the more I tossed, the more I wanted to toss.

So much so that my wife actually wanted to 'check' to make sure I hadn't tossed anything she 'wanted'. I simply said if we need a piece of lumber we'll just go get one, it's all going. (I didn't throw out anything of real value like her antique chairs etc..)

Thanks y'all for stopping by!

jenbeauty said...

Whoa...loads of work! You will be proud of me Bill. We are having hard wood floors installed so hubby and I will be paiting all of our baseboards and woodwork.

OMG...I will freak out about it I know. I need to do some research first aaaackkkk! lol

Bill said...

Jen - I am proud of you guys.. you'll love how good doing this will feel when you're done!

I assume you'll be pulling all the baseboards before they install the new floors? If so, you might want to paint them all while they're off. (Also make a rough sketch of the rooms, and number and mark each piece as to where it goes)

Then, when it's time to reinstall them, all you'll have to do is putty the nail holes and touch them up slightly.

I look forward to hearing how it goes!!

No_Newz said...

Always have your hands busy! That's a good thing. I'm in that group of trower-awayers and give-awayers. Parents were packrattish so I try to look at things while asking, "Will I ever use this again? Will I need this in the next two years? Is this cheap enough to replace?" And then toss as much as I can. :)
Lois Lane

Bill said...

Lois - That's exactly the questions I've been askign myself for nearly four days now.

It's amazing to me how *much* crap I had tucked away out there. It's taken at least thre times longer than it should have, simply because I've had to unpack, and repack, organize and reorganize...

However, tonight it really started looking like something, byt tomorrow evening I think I'll have it close to where I want it.

The only way I'll know for sure if I'm happy with all the new locations is to start working out there again!

Thanks for your support and encouragement.

RealLady said...

It looks wonderful! and you are doing an amazing job of letting go of the "maybe-I'll-need-that" items. Just continue to keep asking me about my clutter before you throw away too much! lol - yes, I know we can buy another! but this is all about you taking care of the stuff you stashed away, not mine! I want my clutter! :}{;

jenbeauty said...

Thanks Bill! I will be e-mailing that little bit to my hubby. Any other advice is more than welcome!

Bill said...

RL - Have no fear.. all of your clutter is safe!! I can't wait until we build that garden shed to get it all a home of it's own though!!

Jen - As long as you asked... when you're prying the baseboard away from the walls, use a piece of 3/8" plywood between the prybar and the wall to avoid damaging the sheetrock, and when removing the nails, pull them through the board rather than 'tapping' them back out. You'll have less putty work to do that way.

I'm always happy to share what I've learned (mostly because I did it wrong the first time)... so feel free to ask.

Trevor Record said...

Bill, in regards to you question over on my blog.... we aren't streaming at all. We wouldn't know where to start. We're just posting MP3s. It's easier for us neandrathals, and we can call it "podcasting".

Bill said...

Trevor - So are these MP3's playing in some sort of 'order'?, maybe driven by either the server, or the local (of the page viewer) time? If so, then you would essentially have a 'low buck' radio station... anyone 'tuning in' at the same time would hear the same mix...

Regardless, I still think the concept is good, and you may well be on the leading edge of a fundemental shift in the way music is delivered.

Godd, as always, to see you.