The “Economics of Beer”

Readers frequently ask “How do you get so much done?” and, since this is a site about economics, it’s time to confess.  But first, a short background story.

Being the son of a firefighter, there are all kinds of skills that were passed on.  Including some dandy Life Management tools.  One of these is “When  presented with a task, ask first:  How would a Lazy Person get this done?

Advice rarely gets better than this, but since this is a holiday and all, the story of my rec room fireplace must be told.

Once upon a time, I had the awful job of laying up an elevated brick hearth.  It was a monster that I’d designed to work with a Lopi fireplace insert.  In order to provide maximum heating efficiency, I ran a dyer duct in from the outside, down through the wall before I insulated and put up the sheetrock.

The task now was to run the dyer hose into a heater vent that I figured to put in the hearth just a few inches in front of the insert’s firebox.

My late father happened to come by the house, just as I was about to start.  “Pappy, I HATE doing masonry work,” I told him.

It was then he explained the economics of beer.

Old fire house trick when you have to do a job you don’t like,” he began.  “What you do is start on one side – say the left – and put a nice, cold beer at the right side.  When you lay a course of brick, you get to drink the beer.

The genius of the approach amazed me.  And, in just a few hours, I had laid all 8 or 9 courses of brick.  Perhaps there was a bit of a “wow” to the top two courses, but the job was done and I was pleased as could be.

Which has what, exactly, to do with this Memorial Day weekend?

Well, as you can see, I’ve been working on make UrbanSurvival’s underlying code a little more up-to-date.  And, in the process, it took a non-stop 14-hours of work – and there’s still more to go.

In a few minutes, I will begin today’s session.  It will be EASY and I’m looking forward to it, because the task is using “Beer Economics.”

No, I’m not really drinking beer…one can’t code and drink beer (or, at least very well).

Instead, tomorrow morning, after I put up the article on eBay that’s been rattling around in my head, I will turn on the new plasma cutter.

I mentioned many columns ago that I’d picked up a Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut from Amazon.

Not only the cutter, but a separate welder cart, plus an armload of consumables, a circle cutter, a rolling guide…all the goodies.

The unit arrived just ahead of our recent water disaster in the master bath.  That was the first project where the plasma cutter was my “incentive” to get things done.

That got me to thinking, “What else do I really want to get done?”

There was a list:  The bathroom floor replacement was tops, but that was followed by getting the built-in vacuum for the shop put in.  From there?  Well, here comes the website project – which my buddy Gaye of has been pushing me to modernize for over a year.

Now, it’s all close to done.

Somewhere between the units arrival, I managed to replace an inverter in the solar power system, serviced batteries (changing how the battery bank was laid out), got new indoor-outdoor carpet installed on the screen porch, and with the able assistance of my brother in law, the lawn tractor is back to running well after developing an odd habit of quitting for no discernable reason.

Not that projects will disappear when the plasma rig is fired up.  It’s just that one dandy way to get a LOT  done is to lay out a really big/nice/special reward for yourself when the job(s) is/are done.

There are other ways of saying it – like the management school advice “Always tackle the worst jobs first…”  Yes, one of the admirable habits of highly successful people.  Thank you Mr. Covey.

While it’s true, it is not as easy to visualize as Beer Economics.  And the hotter and more miserable the job, the better this kind of economics works.

Moron the ‘morrow…

Oh, yeah, the charts are down at the bottom of the page now…and I will work on getting them arranged a little better after I chow down some breakfast….send any comments in as you’re moved….

16 thoughts on “The “Economics of Beer””

  1. Hi George,

    The main text is easy to read, and thank you for that. Large solid black text on white is easier for me to read quickly. Perhaps that’s true for others.

    The message box text is still in pastel gray, along with the associated fields. The “Submit Comment” box is invisible on a laptop unless you mouse over. I realize these are details compared to the other stuff you’re doing.

    Meanwhile, back to framing!

    BTW, you now have a nicer plasma cutter than I have. Enjoy it. Happy cutting! I’d avoid using it in the wood shop though.

    • Why heck, thanks for the feedback. Ol’ Zeus the cat doesn’t do fer crap on this kind of mousing…

  2. I really like the new format George. Black on white is so easy to read for your senior citizen subscribers like me. Thank you.

    • The easiest part is the larger font – it should be slightly bigger than any other site – and to me that’s a key to usability…thanks for noticing!

  3. Just like training/ teaching kids: you gotta eat your veggies before you get dessert. Really like the new format. Easy on the eyes

  4. I like the larger font too!! Much easier to read for this guy who is older than Ure!!

    Only comment – wish the comments were in oldest first order.

  5. Beer? All of the ingredients in beer provide the nutrients to keep you alive. Liquid bread is what they say.

    I like India Pale Ales and Avery’s IPA is a great choice. Of course, Stone IPA is also a good choice.

    The Mayflower stopped at Plymouth Rock because the Pilgrims ran out of beer.

    There is no beer in heaven, so that is why you have to drink it here.

    If you want to find a good place for beer, go to Fort Collins, Colorado. Visit O’Dell’s Brewery and quaff a few.

    Beer is THE motivator to get everything done.

    Beer time. lol

  6. George:
    Web site look good and even better on my Phone (Galaxy Note 8).
    Comment section working well on both too it appears.
    I like on the phone that Computational Future link and links to Post Archives are right below the daily post and comment section, so while viewing on the phone I have a wider screen and bigger print.
    Well Done.

  7. Dear Dr. Zeus,

    Jolly good and hats off to the fine fellow who clearly does more than maintain satisfactory water levels in your dish.

    Please do not be unseemingly stirred as I confess to having read the “Site Policies” page whose existence had escaped my observation over previous years. Rest assured I came away suitably entertained. May I freely share a couple of thoughts post-reading? Firstly, The Queen would likely consider “advise” a verb rather less suited to the purpose of a noun, “advice”. Secondly, since its original authorship in the same millennium as the Great Bard, one might agree that the acronym “p.o.s.” has entered the vernacular as a nod to acknowledging “fowle aires” in fine company. Sincere apologies for littering the comments box with clumpy verbiage, but sometimes it simply begs to be said.

    One hopes that the busy-ness of your weekend surroundings failed to measurably impugne upon your well-accustomed schedules. Certainly humans would wise to heed your fine example when the robots are at hand for instruction.

  8. George,

    I always do the worst jobs first. My “carrot” for working as I should be is getting to do something I really want to do – more often that not, genealogy. Or if I get something in the mail that I really want to read, work has to be done first.
    It works pretty well.

  9. First time commenting, and the only issue I have is the pictures in the page do not load? Is it me? Love your website, have been eating for close to 8 years or more.

    Thanks for all your knowledge.

    • What kind of device?” Does it run on diesel? Or latest iOS 10 or this horrible latest Windows 10 abomination?

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