Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I Undertake as Few Home Projects as Possible

This is a story of how project spiral out of control.

Last winter wasn't terribly harsh, as these things go, but we had one very heavy snowfall - a power-line-falling, branches-snapping snowfall. I lost a number of branches on a pine tree. Though I thought I had cleared the dead branches in early spring, I saw some dead ones some weeks ago through the kitchen window.

One recent day, after arriving back home from work, I remembered that the following day was recycling pickup, and I remembered the dead branches. Although the temperature was 87 degrees, I figured this was the work of a moment. Five minutes, max.

  • walk back to grab the dead branch, only to realize it's higher off the ground than I thought
  • jump to grab dead branch, then wrestle it to the ground, only to find that it's bigger than I thought
  • drag branch to the front and find a leaf bag
  • grab loppers to make pieces small enough to fit into the leaf bag
  • having noticed a large weed behind the pine tree, take loppers out back once more
  • start lopping the weed, which has grown to the size of the fabled Beanstalk
  • realize that there are several more just like it, plus a few weed-lets in an earlier state of growth
  • drag the pieces into the open where they can be chopped to fit into the leaf bag
  • drag the leaf bag and recycling bin to the curb
  • go inside and try to stop sweating profusely

Total time: 20 minutes. A factor of four from my original estimate.

A happy July 4 to everyone!

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