A Simple Rooneyfication Tip

As you might know, gentle reader, I have a whole category on this blog dedicated to DeRooneyfication, wherein I try to clear out of my garage some small project or repair that has been out there a surprisingly long time. The latest example is the basketball hoop that needed a simple bit of decal gluing but remained unfinished in the garage for a number of years.

“Gee, Brian J.,” you might say. “I’d like to be like you and Andy Rooney and have stuff like that linger in my workshop for decades. Do you have any tips?”

Oh, boy, mister, do I!

On of my favorite ways to ensure that things pile up willy-nilly is a little technique I call The Blocker Project.

Now, a Blocker Project is a project that you want to complete, but you somehow dread the actual doing of it, and you avoid your workshop for weeks (or months! or years!) until you get brave enough to do it or, more likely, set it aside.

I inherited the lamp depicted to the right from my sainted mother, who inherited it from her mother because it was originally my grandfather’s. We’re not really table lamp people here (but, strangely, DeRooneyfication often involves lamps), so it never had a home on an end table at our home in Old Trees or here at Nogglestead. So it was put in the basement or in the garage. Eventually, it had a couple of chips in it, so I decided I would paint it. While painting it, I thought I’d tart it up a bit since it was just brown–you know, my grandmother was into painting ceramics–maybe this was one of her projects back in the day.

At any rate, that was some years ago. Back then, I believed that acrylic paints needed to dry overnight, so it was taking a long time, and I was probably disappointed with the imperfect job I was doing. So no doubt things other projects and raw materials purchased at garage sales piled up during the week or two I was actively working on it, and the time after that when I meant to finish it, but didn’t.

Eventually, it made its way to a corner of the workspace, where apparently it’s been chipped even more in the interim.

Since I worked with acrylic paints on the aforementioned basketball hoop and learned how quickly they dry, I set the lamp back center stage.

And felt a sense of, if not dread, certainly disinclination to work on it. It’s gathered a couple of chips since the first time I painted it, so I might have to repaint the brown parts. Do I still have paints to match that? Will I have to cover some of the existing painted parts that I have because I haven’t matched a paint color? Do I have a steady enough hand to paint the finer parts, or will the slight imperfections be the only things I see when I look at the completed project?

A Blocker Project like this can put you months behind in any projects you hope to complete and can leave you, like Andy and I (well, just I now, but Andy is here with us in spirit) meaning to fix that chair soon. Maybe next week. But not with that other thing you don’t want to do on the workbench right now.

(Sadly, I’ve not followed my advice in this post: I recognized and named the phenomenon, which gave me power to put the lamp back in its corner for a little while longer so I can do some other things.)

DeRooneyfication VI: The Basketball Hoop

So a couple years ago (five? six?), my mother-in-law got my children a little indoor basketball hoop for Christmas. It was handmade from wood and had a Mizzou window cling glued to the backboard. She picked it up during her annual Christmas bazaar safari which often yields crafted gifts. It came with a number of soft balls or bean bags, long since gone. But when she gave it to the children, it was with the caveat: The decal was falling off or had fallen off, so Daddy would have to fix it.

So it went out into the garage, where simple projects go to die. Or at least languish for a long time.

As I explained when I put up my first DeRooneyfication post in 2012: Continue reading “DeRooneyfication VI: The Basketball Hoop”

One Pound, One Year Later

Last summer, my youngest son found an English pound on a playground. But this pound had a hole drilled in it to be used as a necklace. So I resolved to make a little necklace for him using the pound.

Did I mention that was last year?

With the impulse to do something about it, gentle reader, I put it on my desk. As you know, I have a series of posts categorized Five Things On My Desk because I often have strange and interesting things on my desk for a long period of time.

To be clear, I have a huge corner desk here with a probably twenty square feet of surface area, and a couple of printers and whatnot for small things like coins to disappear under, not to mention the cubic feet of papers, magazines, unopened mail, and, what is that, a bag of AC adapters my mother-in-law gave me over the weekend for some reason? So, in my defence (as the British might spell), this little coin has been hiding under things and occasionally surfacing when I clean off the desk, only to resubmerge quickly.

But when I put three months’ of children’s certificates, greeting cards, and ribbons into binders (this is what passes for “scrapbooking” at Nogglestead), I found it again. So I thought, “All I need is a jump ring (a jewelry term because I have made some jewelry in my day, son) and a chain, and I can finally make that necklace.” Which I am sure I first thought a year ago.

But, as fate would have it, I found a gold jump ring on my kitchen counter behind the fruit bowl. Nogglestead, verily, is the Trenchcoat Schtick writ large. From whence came this golden jump ring behind the apples and oranges? I’m not sure. It could be one of the boys’ key chains elsewhere awaiting repair. No matter: The key chain is not on my desk, and the pound is, so I know which takes precedence.

So we’re off to the hardware store for a chain. Instead of a nice piece of steel links or gold links to hold it, I think a bit of light chain would be better. So I measure out 18″ of #3 in gold and pick out a connector, when suddenly I’m in a Marx Brothers (or, in my case, Marx Children) bit as Harpo pulls a chain, and it starts to completely unreel from its holder. He stops it, starts to reel it in, and brushes another reel. This reel, and one that is not close to it, start to spill their chains onto the floor as well. I hand the bag with the chain and the connector to my oldest child to hold and slowly reel in the chains. When I’m done, I find the oldest child was too cool to hold the bag, so he’s dropped it on the floor and wandered off, presumably to find sharp things to fidget spin into a hospital visit.

I pick up the bag, gather the children, and we depart. Later, I unload the bag on my workbench, and the connector is gone. I mention this to the older child, who apparently saw that it had fallen out of the bag when he dropped it, but did not mention this to me or, you know, put it back in the bag.

So we went back to the hardware store the next day to replace it. Which is something noteworthy in itself: I put the $.13 connector on the counter by itself, laid down a quarter, and got change. That will probably never happen again.

After the second trip to the hardware store, I got the chain looped in and linked, and now the laddie has his necklace.

Which remains sitting on his bookshelf, because he’s not as excited about having a necklace with a British pound on it as he was, oh, say, a year ago.

But it’s off of my desk. And it’s a project completed years later, which means this post goes in the DeRooneyfication category.

Not Quite A Full Deck

As you can guess, gentle reader, I am not one who easily gives up old photographs, even when I don’t know who is in the photograph. As I have inherited my mother’s old photographs, which includes photographs she inherited from her mother and from her sister, I have boxes of them and also have discolored old photo albums full of them. Not only do I have loose ones with or without captions or information on the back (which does not necessarily help me, seventy years and two lost generations later), but I also have them collected and grouped in magnetic magic pages where there are a large number of photographs, some trimmed, have the same people in them, but I don’t know exactly who those people are.

But a lot of people have those. A lot of people of my generation or older, I mean. Many in my generation have gone to an all-digital format, where the collections of random images are far larger and far easier to ignore.

Worse than that, though, is this collection of the same image that I have and absolutely cannot get rid of. And, unfortunately, I do not have enough of them to make a deck of cards. Continue reading “Not Quite A Full Deck”

DeRooneyfication (III)

Right after I got married, I decided I was going to take up the art of furniture refinishing since the house where my bride and I rented had a garage where I could do such things. So I acquired a couple pieces to work on, and I managed to refinish a desk that had been in the family for a while that my mother had painted a shade of housing-project-leftover-paint beige. Since that was my only accomplishment in the field, maybe I should say my hobby was acquiring wooden things to refinish.

After a little under a year in our rental, we moved to Casinoport, which had no garage. But that didn’t stop me from acquiring the occasional piece or holding onto the ones I already had. So I acquired this bookshelf Continue reading “DeRooneyfication (III)”

DeRooneyfication (II)

Sometime early in my marriage, my grandmother gave me a lamp, a nice glass lamp with brass-colored steel trimmings. In our first house in Casinoport, we put this lamp in a place of honor: the floor of the closet in our spare bedroom, the one where we had our weight bench and, later, a number of arcade games.

In our defense, we did not–and still do not–have end tables where one traditionally puts table lamps, and our horizontal surfaces were at a premium. So we stored it, awaiting further accumulation of furniture that would eventually blossom as our marriage passed the cotton, linen, leather, and wood anniversaries.

However, we had a cat who sometimes liked to urinate in dark places. Continue reading “DeRooneyfication (II)”

DeRooneyfication (I)

This year, I have begun the process of DeRooneyfication.

Sometime when I was reading some of his columns some number of years ago, I related to one of Andy Rooney’s situations. He mentioned going into his basement workshop and finding a number of projects that had been off to the side for a number of years, including a chair that needed fixing and whatnot. Even though I was probably just the long side of thirty at the time, it resonated with me, since I’d been collecting projects and materials for projects since before I got married. Now that I’m just the short side of forty–and soon on its long side–I decided to start finishing some of those projects.

Most of them aren’t long-term, time-consuming projects, either. Most only require that I set aside a couple of minutes on consecutive nights to take the time to complete the steps the project requires. They require that I put all the pieces and material together in one place and get the things done. That’s all.

Why have I decided to do it suddenly in 2012? Perhaps it is that birthday ending with a 0 coming up. Perhaps it is the new multivitamin that I’ve started to take because I bought it some years ago and might as well use (almost a deRooneyfication project of its own). Maybe it’s a function of having cleaned and sorted my garage and finding the projects and the tools and materials to complete them. Regardless, I’ve started completing projects of some procrastination. These are their stories.

Continue reading “DeRooneyfication (I)”