Saturday – Peoplenomics done. Good week in the market. Time to make something.
My eye has come to rest on the Hangerworld Premium Cedar Wood Shoe Shine Care Box Kit with Foot Rest while cruising shoe polish boxes on Amazon.
Fine unit. But, at $29.95, I wondered “What could I make in under an hour from scrap materials on hand? My times gotta be worth $30 an hour, even on weekends….”
Off to the well-appointed (but occasionally messy) shop.
As long-time readers know, there is very little to actually “making” anything.
That’s because in our process-oriented view of the World, there are only a few simple operations involved. Namely?
This part was spread out over a day, or so. Started when I wrote up how good Lincoln shoe polish was and how people today have mostly become absolute slobs.
But then the plan evolved. This is what treadmill and weight machine time is good for.
It’s my observation that you can learn a tremendous amount about someone’s likelihood of success in life by going to the gym with ’em. If they get on the machines and start talking “gossip and filler” (which includes anything having to do with social media) the person is a loser who will never amount to much.
On the other hand, if the person gets on the machine and has a definite purpose to their workout, that is the mark of a person who will be successful, no matter what obstacles are ahead.
On a business trip, some years back (I was in my early 60’s) the COO suggested we begin the day’s work at the hotel workout center.
I arrived a few minutes after him…he was already into his half-hour of 3.5 mile per hour walking. Point: He was watching an assortment of news channels – flipping through the ones he was interested in for the headlines and then the financial channels for anything he felt was near worthy of his time.
As I got on the machine, I had my yellow pad at the ready. Over the next 20 minutes of walking we mapped out our approach to a client sales meeting. By the time we were done with the buffet, I had started to modify the PowerPoint and supporting linked spreadsheets to drive the meeting, just so….
That’s a prime example of how many people waste their lives.
RATHER than get on a machine with some goal in mind, they wander off into useless.
Nowadays, out of corporate life, I have given up the yellow pad and use the Alexa app ion the Echo Dots (2nd Generation) – Black, that have sprung up around the home, office, shop, and gym. I use the note-tasking, list-making, and reminder functions.
Not to dig in too deeply here, except to pass on a point.
If you get on a machine with the idea “What do I want to do today to really move my life forward?” it will dramatically improve the quality of your work-out. Those muscles will work all by themselves (magic!) but the brain doesn’t have enough to do.
And when you run out of planning? I’ve got Brian Tracy’s CD series on “The Luck Factor” tee’d up in case there’s nothing worth spending “PPC’s” (personal processor clicks) on for that session. (Afternoon workouts after 8-10 hours in the office tend to be more input-oriented.)
To wrap up, plans of Ure are often hatched as in-gym “out of body experiences.”
In the end, the “plan” would kill many birds: Save money, get my shoe polish box essentially free, enjoy using the shop tools, and oh, yeah…write an article.” A “four-fer.”
Stack up what I wanted in the box and measure it. This is how big the box oughta be…
You know, this being a home handy-bastard-stuff isn’t so hard, after all.
The truly retentive would have spreadsheets indicating volume of the box in cubic inches at this point, but me? Hell no, this is a one-hour project.
Go to the home scrap lumber assortment:
“Victim Boards” (cellulose offerings to the saws) are then walked thru the various machines processes.
- Cut to length on chop saw.
- Turn on air compressor for nailer in a minute.
- Sand everything to taste on the belt/disk sander
- Assemble with glue and nailer
- Turn off compressor.
Done with the hard part.
Put wood filler in seams and nail holes to seal well.
Set aside to dry. 30 minutes gone by.
I’ll get back to it Sunday.
- A bit of touch-up on the belt sander (for the filler).
- A few spots with the palm orbital sander.
- Cover dusty bench with paint paper.
- Wipe down with turpentine rag as a tack cloth.
- Apply whatever’s old and aging as a finish. Cabot’s Spar Varnish, gloss, gives a nice warm look to it.
Behold the one-hour shoeshine box!
After a day and overnight of drying, I will invade Elaine’s collection of stick-on furniture pads stickies for its feet and it will be complete.
For my 75th birthday, I made a note in Outlook to hit it with the palm sander and lay two or three more coats of spare varnish on it. Want it to cure good and six years ought to about do it. Now let’s see if Outlook still works…
For the 80th birthday, I will add a name plate. That’s in case by that age my memory is that bad.
Project’s done. Local materials, fun doing it, and (effectively) made $37 per hour – which is what I’d need to make pre-tax to net what the Amazon product would cost.
And both would get here in two-days.
Now, if only everything else in Life ran this smoothly, it would be a much happier world.
The Box is a Metaphor
About here, some of our readers will be saying “Gee, George, was a simple (verging on dumb) project – why even bother?”
Because, you dolt, it’s a metaphor. Everything we set off to accomplish in life runs by the same set of rules.
Plan, measure, cut, assemble. finish….the box only ended up with 15 parts. (4 feet, 4 top inserts, bottom, 4 sides, top, and handle.) For a computer or ham radio, just add more parts to the count. This is really about the process – that’s what people don’t fully appreciate.
One of these days, a more complicated project…but today’s point?
I have a particular economic modeling problem I’m thinking on that would be much easier to deal with in an antiquated product called Javelin. If you have a copy of Javelin Plus 3.5, and are willing to part with it, please let me know how and how much. I found Javelin Plus 1.0…and Plus 3.1
The product was only around a short while in the 1987-1988 period. If your memory of the Halt & Catch Fire days is dim…
Unlike models in a spreadsheet, Javelin models are built on objects called variables, not on data in cells of a report. For example, a time series, or any variable, is an object in itself, not a collection of cells which happen to appear in a row or column. Variables have many attributes, including complete awareness of their connections to all other variables, data references, and text and image notes. Calculations are performed on these objects, as opposed to a range of cells, so adding two time series automatically aligns them in calendar time, or in a user-defined time frame.
A version of the product was sold through about 1994… You could also draw a curve and Javelin would “make-up” the data for you. That’s what I want it for. I draw the curve, Javelin would back-fill with data, and then I can extract the functions necessary without breaking a sweat. Only got so many processor clicks left in the old brain, right? (No, but go with me on this…)
This is an oddity on the side…Immediately upon realizing this was really the “right tool” for my problem, it brought back memories of the John Titor story. He’s the supposed time traveler who posted for a while on the net after coming back to this timeline to get a specific IBM computer (or part of one).
Like Boeing Calc – which pre-dated the multisheet linking in Excel, there was some software from “back in the day” that is still better at general problem-solving that the head-down, stuck in stupid social mode we’ve descended to as a culture.
The Titor post only had so much credibility with me…until I figured I could use Javelin most effectively and then? Well, maybe that John Titor/IBM parts story ain’t so “out there” after all…
Write when you get rich,