I just wanted to mention that being disorganized causes me to suffer greatly in whatever task I undertake. From disorganization comes sloppiness, and that's what will really hurt you in the end. My Mentor is always getting on my case about that, but doesn't have the time or energy to constantly hold my hand.
Either way, I bring this up as a warning to all you children out there reading this: take the time be organized, it will make your life so much easier in the long run.
Case in point: framing. I was running out of boards to make studs/jacks, and ended up needing only one more. Luckily, I had a stud left over that I'd removed to make ROs. It was ruined on one end (I had to knock it out with a sledge hammer), but 80% of it was perfectly fine because I was going to use it to support the header (boy do I love talking the talk). So, all I needed to do was cut off the bad end and use the good part.
Well, in my haste and because I'm such a slob, of course I screwed it up. I cut the wrong end! When I looked at what I'd done, I kicked myself in frustration, and wished I'd listened to my mom all those years about cleaning my room. After my anger had subsided, I was not faced with the problem of needing a board to make a jack. I scrounged around and luckily found one that was in good condition, but even still, how could I be so stupid? You don't have to answer that one.
Anyway, I'm learning... sort of. As hard as I try to be neat and organized, however, it just seems to take too much time and effort, but I'll get there. If I don't, my Mentor will have strong words for me, as will my wife.
Also wanted to say that I went out, at the encouragement of my brother in law (as well as my mentor), and bought a real piece of equipment, a framing hammer. In the past I've purchased the Home Depot specials when it came to tools, and the hammer I got cost me $5. For the record, it wasn't the cheapest one, they hammers that cost under $3, but I was too embarrassed to get that one. Anyway, at one time, my Mentor actually lent me two quality hammers, Estwings. In retrospect, I wonder if he was trying to inspire me.
Whatever be the case, I went to Sears in search of the perfect framing hammer, and was inundated with choices. As a side note, I'm reading this really cool book about people who rigidly (blindly?) support free market economics and how everything for them is black and white. I.e., libertarians want absolutely no government, not even the slightest bit. There is no gray area, which is ridiculous when you think about it. Instead of any authoritative oversight, even the slightest bit, they feel that the optimal solution is to forgo leadership and instead give people as many choices as possible and let them decide, and only then will the best outcome ensue. Well, anyone who shops for cereal knows that fallacy of this approach, and I was experiencing this in choosing a hammer.
There were so many hammers that I almost gave up and walked away. I'm talking about three dozen different kinds, and they all looked the same. I took a deep breath and ended up taking every one in my hand and swinging it around a few times. I have to confess, it really made a difference, and I opted for the Estwing 22oz framing hammer with the waffled head to prevent slippage. My Mentor and his buddy B gave me two thumbs up (B said he only buys Estwings) and pointed out that the hammer is 16 inches long, corresponding to the distance (on center) between studs. So not only do I have this killer hammer that feels good when I swing it, but I can use it to measure the distance between nails. How cool is that? I love this thing.
Life is good when you can appreciate the little things in life, even if your enthusiasm gets on everyone's nerves.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Lars Sundström for the pic.