Monday, August 13, 2007

Handy Daddy

I have always said given the proper tools and instructions, I can do anything.

Of course most projects start sans instructions (when all else fails, read the instructions). If you doubt that, read the early posts... our efforts were all sans instruction.

Seriously, complete strangers approach me to put things together...

Need a bouncy put together?
I’m your guy.

Want the dishes washed?
I can do that.

Need to learn how to parallel?
Got you covered.

New stereo hook up?
Yep, that’s me.

Want someone to help you maximize your moving van space?
Well, sorry, I’m busy that weekend.

Actually, if they made an instruction book for brain surgery, I’d probably try it (which is why they don’t make ‘Brain Surgery for Dummies’ books).

The other thing is the 80/20 rule*.

I generally get bored with a project after the 20. So there’s a lot of unfinished projects around casa de Barron.

If I did have a ‘Brain Surgery for Morons’ book, there’d be a four or five brains in big glass jars stack around the garage.

Honey, have you seen that brain I was working on?” I’d ask.

With an exasperated sigh, “It’s on the second shelf, behind the TV you took out of the neighbor’s trash that you were sure you could fix. Last week.

Yeah. That’s me to a tee.

So several weeks ago we were at Kitchens, Kubbies, & Korners (hey, you want a mention on HowAboutTwo, you’re gonna pay for it), and P.Pie said, “we need a decorative shelf for Squeaker’s bath stuff.”

And again, she’s spot on. All of Squeaker’s bath items sit on the kitchen counter.

So we looked at shelves.

The good looking ones were too small, the big ones were too utilitarian, and all were too expensive. So besides sounding like a Goldilocks and the Three Stores, there was nothing worth picking up.

Enter Handy Daddy.

“Honey,” my soothing I-swear-I’ll-finish-this-project voice at full tilt, “I can make a custom shelf that’s better and bigger than anything we’ve look at for a fraction of the cost.”

And as usual, P.Pie believed it.

In my defense, when I said it I believed it too. And I did build a better shelf, cheaper than anything we looked at (less than $10 in supplies!).

In only five weeks. Granted, I finished 80% of the work in one Sunday afternoon (still, it does look good).

*also known as the Pareto Principle (, it basically states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.