Just Hire a Lawn Guy

by Ray Colon on September 22, 2012 · 7 comments

“You know, he don’t have a straight angle in that whole god-damned porch, or the whole house for that matter. He is the worst damn carpenter.”

That is how Clyde, from the movie Unforgiven, described his boss – the town’s sheriff, who dutifully worked on building his house in his spare time. It didn’t matter to Little Bill that he needed several containers to catch the rain dribbling through his roof. He was going to finish that house by himself.

Little Bill was a bad man in the movie, but when it comes to the type of bull-headed determination that he displayed with a hammer in hand, I get him.

He never finished that house, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. Some do-it-yourselfers possess the talent to get things done the right way. The rest of us muddle through by doing the best that we can, which often isn’t very good at all. My pitiful looking lawn is just one example of where that kind of thinking has gotten me.

“Just hire a lawn guy,” my daughter implores.

“No, I can do it myself!”

I’ve proven that I can’t, of course, but I won’t let that stop me from trying again next year.

My latest project involved moving my subscription feed and Email subscribers from Feedburner to Feedblitz. The most recent issues with Feedburner (no updates to statistics for three days) prompted me to finally make the change. With a 32-page migration manual in hand, I migrated my small, but important, list of Email subscribers, and then I set-up notifications for my RSS subscribers, who are also important, of course, to adjust their Feed Readers. Finally, I placed the Feedblitz subscription form in the sidebar.

I didn’t like the way that it looked, so hours of searching for tutorials on how to customize the form followed. I found lots of solutions for customizing the forms of other service providers, but none that helped me.

Like many bloggers, I’ve spent a lot of time over the years trying to get my blog to look just right. You sit down intending to make a small tweak and before you know it the sun is going down and you may have even made a mess of things. I’m a CSS novice, but I’m going to keep trying.

Mine is an unimportant, first-world problem, I know, but it bothers me anyway.

I’ve chosen to do things the hard way for as long as I can remember. It can be frustrating for those around me, but sometimes I do get it right. And when that happens, they get to hear me brag about it…

… forever.
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Are you a capable do-it-yourselfer?

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Author Bio:

Ray Colon has written 167 posts on Ray's Blog.

He works with numbers for a living, but don't judge - boring accountants need love too. His blog has no niche (unless writing about things that are important to him is a niche). Some folks cringe when he gets “all political” on them, but he does it anyway when he's in that kind of mood. Sometimes, he writes something nice about someone, but you shouldn't get used to that. His first book, the one he hasn't written yet, is not available on Amazon. Subscribe to Ray's Blog via RSS  or Email.

Send Ray an Email if you have a question. He may even respond.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

BJ September 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Great post Ray.

I suppose if doing ‘a thing’ myself was always superceded by doing ‘the thing’ right, there would have been no point attempting to live my own life. I’m a do-it-yourselfer, but I’d gladly give you my gardener’s name and number, who, like you and I, is another do-it-yourselfer. :-D

Reply

Ray Colon September 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Hi BJ,

You make a point there, but it’s nice to get the thing done right once in a while.

I’m a pretty good painter now, but my first attempts resulted in trying to find enough things to place in front of the freshly painted walls.

I may take you up on your offer the next time that I’m running my mower over the widening patches of dirt.

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BJ September 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

Morning Ray,

LOL ~ It was the countless widening patches of dirt that prompted ‘me’ to call the lawn guy! :-D

That being said… I could probably write a book about my ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (mis)adventures, and I probably would if I had the time to do-it-myself. I’ve plenty of examples: From plumbing to framing doors & windows; patching roof shingles & fixing gutters to laying carpet, tile and hardwood floors; from pouring concrete to building sheds; and then there’s the cars… ?

It would probably be more fitting to call them examples of ‘How Not to Do-It-Yourself’, but for me the joy was in the doing. I believe you know what I mean.

Somewhere in my garage is a box containing the 1st Edition printings of most of the popular Do-It-Yourself’ books – which must be collectors’ items by now – for us typical do-it-yourselfers’.

Speaking of my garage … My wife says I really should hire someone to clean it out for me. But I told her I’d rather do it myself.

Always a pleasure talking to ya’,
BJ

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Val
Twitter:
September 23, 2012 at 8:04 am

Mmmm… The things I do, I always do the hard way. Mostly because I learn by trial and error and I learn as I do things. So, for instance, when I had my first computer, I needed it for something specific and taught myself how to use it as I went along. It took two weeks and then I had it off pat.

If I had more energy and my brain power were not on the down-going side, I’d do much more than I currently do. And yes, I could achieve much. But I’ve never been much of a practical-skills person for the household stuff, I leave that to other half (not because I can’t but because I prefer not to. I prefer to do the things I’m better at, and leave him to things he’s better at. He’s also a darn sight quicker than me!)

As for online stuff, while I’ve certainly thought about it (and recently was offered a site for free), I don’t use a self-hosted blog because quite literally I don’t have the concentration to keep it updated or attend to all the stuff that is involved. So I blog on Wordpress.com where there are fewer choice, the decisions of the site owners often get my goat, but where I can do what I can do. As you can see from the way I’ve styled my blog, I’m quite adept at it.

Oh, and I’m the one in our house, who ‘sees to’ the computer when it gets sorrowful! ;)
Val recently posted..LoveMy Profile

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Ray Colon September 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hi Val,

One good aspect of learning how to do things the hard way is that what we learn in deeply embedded in our minds. We are not likely to forget those skills that we tried so hard to grasp.

My first inclination is always to do it myself and I’ve succeeded at some unlikely things, like when I decided to install the new water heater. While it warmed up when first installed, the building pressure detached one of the hoses — the steam made it slither in the air like an agitated snake. I reattached it and it’s been fine ever since. Success!

Tending to a self-hosted site can be fun, but it does take time. I understand why you and others wouldn’t want to be bothered with things that take you away from actually updating your blogs. Neither is a better solution. It just boils down to preferences, I guess.

When our computers get ‘sorrowful’, they can wreak havoc. We don’t really appreciate how much we are invested in them until they stop working.

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Jean September 28, 2012 at 7:48 am

Well, on the whole not a true diy –however I did sew 80% of my wardrobe (including jackets and jeans) before cycling passion bit me. I’ve been shown 4 times how to change a bike flat, yet I haven’t done it myself.

I do make my own focaccia..well actually alot of my food dishes since I don’t buy prepackaged/frozen meals hardly at all. I think I’ve eaten a tv dinner once in my life. But forget about making my own Chinese barbecued duck!

I’m not a household fixer, but I know 1-2 women who are.

Reply

Ray Colon September 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Hi Jean,

I’d list sewing as a true DIY activity. Anything more involved than replacing a button or mending a seam is beyond my skill set. That applies to my cooking abilities as well. To be able to wear garments that you’ve created is pretty cool.

Only one TV dinner? That surprising, but it’s also good. They aren’t usually very tasty and they’re not known for their nutritional value either. I’ve eaten quite a few of them, but not lately.

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