OT I probably can't do that

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OT I probably can't do that
Today I bought some 4" 10-foot treated posts, and then took them to a sawmill to be split down the middle.
The owner took one look at them and said, I'm not sure they're big enough to be held [in the machine].
This despite the fact that on the phone he'd told me twice that he could do it. The first time 8 or 10 weeks ago when I gave him all the details and the second time yesterday, when he didn't ask so I figured he remembered me or it didn't matter what I had, that he could still do it.
And the words brought back vague memories that iirc, people say this a lot. It's often the opening words from someone I want to hire to do something, and maybe from friends too. Memories are still too vague to give examples.
Has anyone noticed this? Do you have any ideas why people would start off this way. I'm still trying to remember if I do this.
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On 9/29/15 10:37 PM, micky wrote:

Curious why you didn't buy treated 2x4s ?
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On 9/29/2015 11:26 PM, Retired wrote:

Probably because he wanted half rails for appearance. These were round poles split in half.
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In alt.home.repair, on Tue, 29 Sep 2015 20:11:24 -0700, "Bob F"

He did ask me yesterday if it was new or old wood, that is, if it might have nails, etc.

I only got treated posts because that's what they sell. (Mostly they're used for posts! By farmers. A big flat-bed trailer truck arrived when I was leaving with about 10 bundles of posts, 30 posts to a bundle. The guy helping me said the store sells that much in about a month.)
The goal was to get half-round rails, to replace those in my fence which have worn out. Mostly the ones that don't get much sunlight. I don't think the original rails were treated and they all lasted at least 20 years, many of them 35 years and counting.
They used to sell rails like this at Lowes, but styles have changed. (If I'd known they were going to stop, I would have stocked up.)
BTW, he didn't give any words of reluctance after that. He measured both ends and adjusted his mill, which used a circular blade about 4 feet in diameter. The whole thing was impressive. A bar came down to hold the wood in place. The bed moved according to buttons he pushed. Somehow his employee came over from another building and he took the split parts and piled them near my car. Charged $30 to do 7 poles, the most I could fit in my car.
It looked pretty funny my Solara convertible with 10 foot poles sticking up and back from the back seat.
7 poles make 14 rails. All together, I use about 56 rails. I've replaced about 14 already, and about 14 get loads of sun, so maybe I will need 14 more a few years from now.
I found 5 or 10 portable lumber mills around here, that owners would trail to wherever a big tree had been cut down, but I lost the list over the winter and couldn't make the list again. The one guy I did find again never callled me back. FWIW, they use a big bandsaw. Today was more like the sawmill with the Olive Oyl tied to the log and Popeye has to save her.
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In alt.home.repair, on Tue, 29 Sep 2015 23:47:16 -0400, micky

The ones for sale as rails already had half of their thickness cut out for the last 4 inches at each end, trimmed to curve around the post they are nailed to.

I didn't expect them to come to me for this. I was going to go to his home or wherever he kept his mill, on a day he wasn't doing someone else's trees.

The portable saw mills are designed to cut and move down the same amount after each cut.
I guess this guy's mill today does the same thing, Those trucks full of enormous logs you see on the road sometimes, well, he had a bunch of those logs lying around, and a few wide boards cut from them. I think most of the boards he had cut were cut to order or were already sold and gone.

Sometimes a mouse is tied to the log, and my namesake has to rescue her.
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wrote:

Your seat backs don't fold down?
I got these in my Prelude
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/Packing%20honda.jpg
I take a 10' stick of 2" PVC with me when I am car shopping. If it won't fit with the trunk closed, I keep looking
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 30 Sep 2015 01:54:26 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

No, the convertible lower boot would be in the way for half of the area if it did. Plus there is no need.

Thjat's pretty good.

Makes sense.
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On 9/29/2015 7:37 PM, micky wrote:
["I can do" becomes "not sure I can do"]

I think it boils down to folks not *seriously* considering what is ACTUALLY being asked.
As a consultant, clients/potential clients FREQUENTLY (i.e., ALWAYS!) ask impromptu questions as to whether something can be done, how much it will cost, how long it will take, etc. And, they always condition their request with "I'm not going to hold you to anything... just give me a general idea..."
But, of course, when the time comes to actually (formally) *estimate* the job, they are STUNNED at the discrepancy between your initial "general idea/estimate" and your *formal* estimate: "You told me it would take X months, so I estimated $Y from that!" "But you didn't indicate what EXACTLY you were after! And, you wanted an on-the-spot answer -- you didn't want me to THINK about it -- possibly fearing I would uncover many subtle issues that would complicate the effort, etc." Over time, I learned to give answers that were as USELESS as these REQUESTS! "What do you mean: 'anywhere from 1 week to 5 years'?" "Well, refine your requirements and I'll refine my estimate!"
Some years back, I had to have some medical tests done. While they weren't "exotic", they were, nonetheless, not "standard fare". So, I called to make sure the facility *could* (and DID!) perform the tests. And, asked for information regarding what I had to do in order to prepare for them, if I had to make an appointment ahead of time, if they had to ensure they had the required test materials, etc.
Fearing that the answers I got were just too "pat", I called, again, some time later to see if I got the same story *twice*.
When I arrived for the test, it was as if I was asking to have my DNA tested for Klingon ancestry. Or, to have them test for the color socks I wore on my first day of kindergarten!
After an hour watching folks run around trying to figure out *if* they could do the test, then trying to figure out who I had spoken with on my two phone calls (no one would 'fess up), they finally sent me home empty handed.
Should I have asked for a reply IN WRITING -- *notarized* -- before considering it reliable?
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In alt.home.repair, on Tue, 29 Sep 2015 23:07:03 -0700, Don Y

That might be it. Or part of it.

LOL

Yes.
I needed a partiuclarly shaped piece of foam rubber one time, and called in advance to see if he could do it. He said yes, and I went all the way downtown when places much closer also sold foam rubber. I hadnt' quibbled about the price at all, and he didn't bring it up either, but he tried to talk me into a standard shape, just so he wouldn't have to do the work, cutting, gluing.
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On 9/30/2015 12:20 AM, micky wrote:

It's in keeping with my opinion that most folks are lazy -- "Why think about what is being asked BEFORE a commitment is needed?"

So, by extension, my clients should have insisted on written estimates? Which, of course, means they'll get NO estimates -- unless they are willing to invest a comparable amount of time/money to prepare written RFQ's!
Would you have been willing to prepare a written set of requirements prior to expecting a *written* commitment from the mill operator?

But, presumably, he would have been willing to produce the custom shape -- at *some* price.
In my "medical test" example, they were unprepared to perform the test at *any* price! "Sorry, but we can't do that test, here..."
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 30 Sep 2015 01:00:43 -0700, Don Y

Maybe I should have included a smiley, but that doesn't capture, "Yes, it looks like that's what it takes."

And he didn't actually charge much. Not much more than the basic shape that foam wedges come in, iirc. And ironically, it turned out to be too big for the place I planned it for. Then I found another wedge already covered in cloth, and I didn't get around to using the first one much for 25 years. I'm glad to say that although the foam in the second one is falling apart -- it keeps getting smaller as the outside "layers" fall off, the first one is still in good shape 25 years later and 6 months of use haven't affected it. But like I say it was too big and I'm not using the full thing. I'm using a 1.5-foot length of it, and when that wears out (surely it will, since it's already so old) , I'll split the remaining 3 feet and use each one in turn.

My laughing was about everytiing but that you went home with nothing.
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On 9/30/2015 11:30 AM, micky wrote:

Understood. My point was that this is just plain ridiculous. *Nothing* would get done if that was the case. As opposed to "very little" getting done "satisfactorily" without! :<

Would the operator have even *bothered* for "such a small job"? Or, would he prematurely have said "No" just to avoid the effort required for that "proposal/estimate"? When does the "let your fingers do the walking" approach fall apart?

If I had only "invested" a couple of phone calls and the time to drive to the facility, it would have been "merely annoying". But, given that I had already been inconvenienced by having to prepare for the test I was nowhere near as "accommodating" of their idiocy.
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In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:29:14 -0700, Don Y

Yeah. I don't know what preparation you did but I once had to drink a gallon - literally a gallon -- of something to flush out my insides. It was one of the few times I missed having a wife, who I figured might pour it down my throat. But left alone, I couldn't do it. I think I drank between 2 and 3 quarts. The guy the next day didn't complain.
If the guy at the saw mill had said he couldnt' cut my poles, I would have had to drive 30 minutes back to the store I bought them at and try to get them to take them back. I guess they would have done it, but I have an image of most of their customers knowing what they want, buying what they need, and not bothering a farm store with annoying returns.
But actually the sawyer was very nice. I had a hundred, but I forgot that I spent 130 at the computer store the previous day. I'd meant to take a couple hundred in cash from my desk drawer, but forgot that too. The farm store took charge carrds but the sawyer didn't. He said, Just stop by and pay me later. I said, Can I mail you a check? He said, Just stop by and pay me later. At first I thought he just didn't want checks, but surely he gets paid by check very often. He must have just been thinking I lived nearby and saying I didnt' have to rush to pay him???
So I went to a cash machine and got money and paid him right away.
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On 10/1/2015 5:20 AM, micky wrote:

Colonoscopy usually requires that sort of prep -- make sure you're squeaky clean inside! Drinking it isn't terrible -- it's the *consequences* of drinking it that are... "unfortunate".

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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 01 Oct 2015 09:54:32 -0700, Don Y

Exactly.

The consequences I didn't mind, but trying to drink it all was very unpleasant. I didn't allow enough time either, because I had to go to sleep. Torn between drinking and sleeping.
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On 10/1/2015 10:30 PM, micky wrote:

Or, *not* sleeping (because of an "urgency" shortly after you lay your head down!)
Many tests require fasts (of varying durations). Some also require "no fluids" (of any kind!)
I.e., you aren't comfortable when you set out to undertake these tests. You *sure* don't want to be arguing with someone while you'd previously CONFIRMED all would go without a hitch!
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On 10/02/2015 12:34 AM, Don Y wrote:
[snip]

I remember that "no fluids" restriction before I had gall bladder surgery. The surgery went OK but the night before I had a cough (and so a very dry mouth).
[snip]
--
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On 10/2/2015 10:01 AM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

Yeah, living without food (for a day) is easy. But, nothing (not even WATER) gets to be really bad after 4 or 5 hours! Go to bed. Plan on sleeping a LONG TIME. Wake up and head *straight* to the procedure!
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On 10/2/2015 12:01 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

Had the same surgery some years ago ... it was done in the morning and I went home that night. Did you have a hospital stay or was it the out patient version?
--
Maggie

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On 10/03/2015 10:13 PM, Muggles wrote:
[snip]

The out patient version. They did it with very small incisions that I may not be able to find unless I knew where to look.
I was home when not allowed water.
Unexpectedly, the nurse called me the day after the operation to ask if I was OK.
--
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