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Friday, Feb. 11, 2005
I think I mentioned that Stu and I are building display cabinets in his garage. We should in fact be long done with the building process by this time. In a typical dedicated shop space we would have long since finished up and moved on.

But nothing much happens at high speed over at Stuís.

Building anything much bigger than a shoebox in the garage of a lifelong packrat is enough to test anyoneís claustrophobic limits. Imagine the tool department of your average Sears store, add in not one but three refrigerator freezers, a lumber rack and dozens of cabinets stuffed with treasure in the space of a two car garage and you might have the beginnings of the same vision I face every morning at the house of my Corporate Partner. Itís pretty limiting, especially when the units we are building are hardly small in their own right. Limiting equals slow, and we arenít the most patient of men.

Wednesday was a lovely day here, warm and sunny. Perfect for the task at hand, which happened to be spray finishing the stain and topcoats on all of our cut up materials. Perfect because being in that garage with a full blast of catalyzed lacquer going on is tough. Mind altering even. Weíd rather be outside. Of course, weíd really rather be in a large indoor shop but you deal with things as best you can.

We got darn close to completing all the finishing work Wednesday. Close enough that we felt confident about knocking it out yesterday morning in an hour or less, and confident that the weather would be kind.

It wasnít. Ever try to find a hole in the rain clouds so you could run to the car, dash to the house, spray lacquer on mahogany in your back yard?

I gotta tell ya, it was a first for us too.

We got it done, but it wasnít the kind of classy workmanship thatís going to get us an invite from Home and Garden TV for that new reality show theyíre dreaming up.

Although Iíd just as soon be on Garage Takeover. Great show. And Iíve been talking to Stu about it in a veiled, insinuating way for weeks now.

Looks like we got the big contract we were looking at. High dollar condoís that need kitchens installed. Itís a lousy jobsite with a general contractor whoís famous for ninnying and running roughshod over subcontractors. Weíve worked with them before. Back in our salad days we often chose not to work for them, or bid their jobs so high that we guaranteed ourselves unusual profit for putting up with their ways. Iím a little apprehensive about this particular job since itís very high profile and has a brutal schedule attached already.

But if it were easy, everybodyíd be doing it, right?

Now all we have to do is fill in the schedule holes for the next few weeks and we will almost have something like a real business again. Get out of the garage and onto a bustling site. Have a routine of regular days filled with mirth and nail guns and lunch time tales about the relative merits of imported beer. Or Iíll get to moan about the cost of insurance and how Stu keeps stealing my hand tools. You know, important business stuff. Who knows, someone might even pay us some money! Can you imagine?

Or itís possible that those lacquer fumes have been getting to me more than Iím willing to admit.

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