Don’t Do Everything Yourself Part 2 – Why I Hired Gutter Gurus Victoria

You may remember a previous post where I stressed the importance of not doing all the house renovations by yourself, and the reason was because I almost let my house slide down the side of a hill! Even if you’re a true Canadian handyman who dabbles in every construction trade, if you’re doing serious renovation work on your home and there’s no one within yelling distance to hear you and come to your aid if you get injured or screw up so bad you need a hand to hold something quickly then you’re doing it wrong!

Us old guys (you’d be surprised how old I really am, old enough to get back pain when I used a tape-measure) often forget that today the first thing a young person learns about any trade in college is SAFETY REGULATIONS!

And because many of us old guys aren’t 21st-C-savvy enough to carry a super-high-tech phone in our pocket at all times (knowing me, the damn thing would break anyways), it’s extra important that we don’t go and do something stupid when no one’s around to help us. Now I think I made that point quite clear enough, and now it’s time to get surprised because that’s not the reason I had to hire some professional auxilia the other day.

I really am older than what a lot of you might expect, and after a baseball injury with my grandson last week, I find that onetime simple tasks are now some of the hardest tasks in the world, like gutter repair for instance. If you don’t do it often, now’s the perfect time of year to get your gutters cleaned before all the bad weather comes and if you have leaks in your gutter system, now’s a good time to get those fixed, too. That’s usually what I did for myself all the years of my life, and now for the first time ever I’m finally calling someone else to do it. I didn’t even know who to call but I found a company I liked–Gutter Gurus Victoria. It was quite a depressing moment for me actually, and even my wife understands why. It’s hard for a guy who loves to never ask for help suddenly succumb to weakness.

A little off topic: I heard about an old folks home that got investigated for having a fight club for seniors. Now at first I thought this was funny but now I know why these old guys are still fighting in their senile years. Just like when you suddenly move your bedroom into a different room of the house and you find yourself walking into your old room by accident, so do old people find it hard to subconsciously forget their younger personalities. Some minds, even if their bodies are decrepit, won’t let a thing like age stop them from believing they’re hardy, tough sons-of-guns.

I suffer from this but unlike these old fighters I have come to accept this change in my life and no longer lift heavy things. My wife’s 13 years younger than me, so I let her lift the groceries. Well, so I guess there’s some good qualities to it, haha. But back to my point, DON’T DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF!

If the rule isn’t drilled in your brain deep enough, here’s a list to drill it just  a bit deeper:

  1. You’re lifting a book shelf up the stairs and no one is there to help you when you come tumbling down and break your neck.
  2. You’re working on the roof alone and no one is there to run over and help when you fall off and break your legs.
  3. You’re moving boxes down into the basement and no one is there to call an ambulance when you slip, fall down the stairs and hurt your back.
  4. You’re hanging drywall and no one is there to hold up the other end so you install the whole thing wrong.
  5. You’re installing a wall-hanging TV and no one is there to hold up the other end so it falls and the screen shatters.
  6. You’re painting and drop falls on the new fancy rug and your wife isn’t there to smack you across the face!

I might be able to think of some more but I’m sure that will suite my purpose. If for some reason you think you’re still godly enough to work alone, at least carry a phone in a protective hard case with you at all times. Don’t leave it in the truck, don’t leave it in your bag by the front door. Carry it in your damn tool belt if you have to, because some day you might need it in an emergency, when you don’t have means of moving and the closest person who could help is a kilometer away.

With all that said, don’t worry too much because bad things like this rarely happen. Have a productive day the Bob Allen way!

Don’t Make Summer Chores into Bummer Bores!

It’s 2018, and summer is practically here. All year you’ve been contemplating all the chores around the house you would do as soon as the weather turned around. Am I right? Now if you already have a lot of those chores done, then this blog post isn’t for you. This is here for the people who saved up so many laborious to-do tasks on their planner that they frown and want to rip out their hair whenever they look at it. In other words, their summer chores have become massive bummer bores.

Let me tell you I’m exactly the kind of guy you want to listen to when it comes to this stuff, because I just looked at my to-do planner of things to get done now that summer’s here and, well, PIECES OF MY HAIR ARE ON THE FLOOR! I’m not joking, ladies and girls! I pooped up big this time, but all is good. I’m trying to stay positive, remembering my training, my many years of experience and have come up with a solid plan to knock these “bummer bores” off the list.

Now this won’t be some tough guy who gets everything done perfectly giving you the best advice in the world; this is us working together, because we’re both in the same pickle. Throughout the year I’m usually a labor intensive guy, and I don’t sit around lazily that often. Now, staring at my wall of chores, sitting around lazily with a beer petting my dog is all I want to do. The wife would hang me in my sleep if I didn’t get this list done though, so let us begin.

How do you turn your bummer bores into summer chores? The tactic I’m going to be using is a mixture between delegation and getting my butt motivated by seeing the end result. Delegation is a wonderful thing, and I already wrote a post emphasizing how it can actually save your house from sliding down a hill!

Besides this, delegation can also help get that heavy to-do list done quicker, and I’ll be using another great example to prove this. When you’re choosing which chore you want to delegate, choose the BIGGEST one. Trust me, because you’ll save more time to knock off all the small ones that way. For me this year, painting the exterior of my house is the biggest chore on my list, so I reached out to a local painting company tonight before writing this and they’re happy to come and do the work that I’m definitely not happy to do myself. It’s a win-win. Hooray!

Part of repainting a house, especially a house like mine with wood siding, is scraping off the parts of the old paint that aren’t smooth so that the new coats of paint will look even. Another big bummer bore of a preparation is putting tape on all the things you don’t want paint to get on like windows, gutters, mailboxes, etc. Now I’m a shy man and don’t like to post photos of myself where internet surfers can judge them, but you can still probably imagine how a sore retired old man like me would hate getting up on a ladder to do all that finicky shenanigans. ‘Tis exactly why I’m delegating this stuff, and I implore you do the same, kids!

I reached out to my local painters Victoria BC because my arms start to ache just thinking about painting the whole exterior of my house all alone! And that’s just half of my strategy… I still got over twenty other bummer bores on the list, and, when I’m not dreading them, I’m imagining the scowl my wife’s gonna give me when they’re not completed before the weather turns sour again. I got to build a chicken cage, dig a hole for a pond, repair the fence and, oh, you get the point–I got to do a lot of stuff!

Now it’s time to see the end result in order to get my old butt motivated! Imagining the end result has been a strategy that works for me when I seek the energy to do something I don’t feel like doing even though I know it’ll be mighty good for me if I do it. And I’m not the kind of spiritual guy who reads all those law of attraction books. I just know this works. Seeing the end result in your mind makes achieving it a lot easier. But like Jesus said, faith without action is dead. So I actually have TO DO the work, hence my whole bloody “to-do” list in the first place.

Now I set my alarm clock nice and early because, as a retired man, I have the whole day of tomorrow to do whatever. And now I’m envisioning exactly what I’m going to do as I write this, and I suggest you do something similar if you also have a to-do list that’s way too big. Perhaps you’re a young man and painting your house is just one of the small things you got to do. Well, good for you if that’s the case. Me, well, I got to pull one of my old “recruit yourself” techniques and, despite all my complaining, I’m pretty damn sure tomorrow’s going to be an excellent and productive day, because I see the end results!

My fence is going to be beautiful–a nice red color to match the house–and the pond will be perfect for the neighbors’ ducks, because they like to come over and say hello sometimes. The chicken cage will be perfect, a friendly home for our new friends and the dog house, oh, the dog house, it’s going to … to … be beautiful, too!

What do your end results look like? See them nice and clear and know that your bummer bores have just magically turned into motivating projects once again!

 

 

Finding the Trade that’s Right for You! (Construction & Labor)

If you’re fresh out of high school or looking for a hobby and you’re still struggling to find the trade that fits your personality and character, then I will supply a list of questions to assist. By the time you’re done reading this blog post, my hope is that you’ll either know what you want to do or you’ll now what you DON’T want to do, which is a great start!

  1. Do you like working indoors or outdoors? This is the first question you should ask because if you’re an outdoor person then you definitely don’t want to be welding deep down in the bilges of a navy ship, and if you’re an outdoor person then you definitely don’t want to be on rooftops installing HVAC or roofing tiles. Maybe you want a balance of the two and so something like carpentry where some days you work outside and some days you work inside is perfect for you.
  2. Do you like to stay physically active, or do you feel comfortable conserving your energy for after work? If you’re someone who likes to get up and go, go, go then something physically demanding like laying concrete or chopping down trees should be more suitable than plumbing or welding where you’re more often than not sitting in one spot for long periods of time.
  3. Do you like the freedom of working alone, or do you like working with a team? This question may not pinpoint the exact trade you want, but it will give you an idea of where you may want to work. For example something like welding can be both independent or team-based. If you work in a metal shop with others, you’ll have company throughout the day. But if you’re a mobile welder you may find yourself working alone a lot, and that’s what a lot of people look forward to. Some trades require teamwork, like installing railings. Others don’t, like plumbing and electrical work.
  4. Do you want to travel with your work, or stick to your hometown? Many people come out of high school dreaming of a career where they get to travel around the world. Others simply love their city or town so much they’d never dream of leaving. If you want to stay where you are then you need to look at what kind of trades flourish in your area. For example if you live in an urban area, you can say goodbye to being a lumberjack. If you live deep in the mainland away from bodies of water, you can say goodbye to underwater welding. But something like underwater welding is perfect for someone who wishes to travel with their work. Other careers enable traveling, too, especially when you become a master at what you do and people abroad seek your services. Being a specialist race-car mechanic who can do what no others can may have you travelling to all kinds of places.

Take the time you need to make sure you answer these questions thoroughly, and you may find that something out there is just right for you! If at the end of this exercise you’re feeling unmotivated and doubtful, learn how to recruit yourself the Bob Allen way!