Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Heads of Hydra

I like the challenge of "projects" whether it involves a struggling student, the time investing moving snow so I can have another creation for the neighbors to enjoy (and compliment!), and home improvement tasks. The problem with any of the challenges is that they are never as simple as one might think at the outset.
I recently went to attach a cabinet to a wall in one of the kids' apartment that had fallen August. It was obvious that the cabinet would sit on the floor until, well, forever, so I decided that the semester break was a good time to accept the challenge while the family was gone so I could work in peace. Armed with a stud finder (since the original construction merely screwed the cabinet into the wallboard) and a piece of precut 1/4 inch plywood for a new backing, I was armed for a two-hour task before calling it a day.
Like the mythical hydra, however, that grew two heads for every one that a valiant warrior chopped off, this seemingly simple task grew into a morass of issues, not the least of which was the fact that the stud finder didn't work as advertised (though it did when I tried it at home). Punching nail holes in the wall hoping that the standard 16-inch separation between studs would be enough proved to be time consuming enough, punctuated by mild swearing, of course.  Next, it turned out that the measurements given to me for the precut backing were off by half an inch...and I had brought only a small hacksaw for an emergency (more swearing). Compounding that was the fact that the quarter-inch piece of plywood was too thick because the original backing slid into a slot in front of the supporting braces...uncontrolled swearing now.
Having completed the reconstruction of the cabinet, placing it on the wall was the next frustration. I had bolted a supporting one-by-two in order to take the weight while preparing to bolt into the studs through the holes I had precut into the cabinet support frame...except the darn thing was awfully heavy to hold against the wall while fumbling with a drill and attaching bolt (as the door swung open and caught my forehead).
Then, to my dismay, the drill left for me to use was weak in terms of both power and battery life so there was a holding pattern while the battery recharged and I stanched the blood flowing from my forehead...surprisingly, swearing didn't help at all.
Undaunted, I tackled the challenge renewed in spirit and in battery life and power...managing over the courser of seven hours to complete the erstwhile simple task of replacing the cabinet on the wall.
Like life itself, such projects are never what they seem to be initially.
But we persevere.


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