The man deeply involved in Home Improvement frequently finds himself working all day on a certain job but never actually starting it. Wives don't see how that's possible, and they get annoyed. They fail to appreciate the effort involved in not getting something done. They just don't understand While-You're-at-It projects.
Take the following typical situation. You've promised to saw up the tree that broke your wife's clothesline when it fell over on her flower bed. You've set Saturday aside for the job. Here's what happens:
Right after breakfast, bright and early, you go out to get the big limb saw. On the way to the garage you trip over the loose porch step. You wiggle it back in place.
When you try to get into the garage to look for the saw, you have trouble lifting the overhead door. It sticks badly. The tracks and pulley need oil. Unless the door gets immediate attention it will stick even worse, and your wife might hurt her back. You look around for the oilcan, and remember that it's in the cellar.
You go back to the house, go down to the cellar, fetch the oilcan, come back out, and trip over the other loose porch step. You put down the oilcan and examine the steps closely. The boards are rotten. They've got to be replaced. There's no time like the present, before your wife falls and hurts herself.
Building new steps requires wood, but you don't waste time looking around for scrap pieces. Every handyman knows that the quickest way to get wood for a project is to take apart something he has built. You decide to dismantle garage shelves that really aren't being used for anything except to store empty paint cans and three-way light bulbs two-thirds burnt out. You go up to the attic, bring down empty cardboard cartons, clear the shelves, and then take the cartons of bulbs and cans back up to the attic. You get a crowbar and hammer from the cellar, and take' apart the garage shelves. You move the boards out by the porch. After finding the ruler, small hand saw, -square, a pencil, and the right size nails in the cellar you start on the porch step project.
When you finish, it's time for lunch. Your wife asks how the tree-sawing is going, end you say you're getting there.
After lunch you go out to get the big limb saw, trip over the oilcan on the porch, and remember that you must oil the overhead garage door. You oil the tracks but you can't reach the pulleys without a ladder. You get the stepladder from the cellar, but it won't open until you oil the hinges. After oiling the hinges and repairing a loose step, you set up the ladder, climb it and oil the door pulleys. When you finish, you fold up the ladder and take it back to the cellar because if you don't put things away in their right places you have trouble finding them again.
You go back out to the garage and roll the door up and down a few dozen times-to get it working smoothly. Then you start looking for the limb saw. You find it behind your collection of bald tires. The saw is so rusty that you decide to oil it. But you can't find the oilcan, even in the cellar. You finally spot it on an overhead garage beam where you left it after oiling the pulleys. You can't reach it, so you go in the house to get a kitchen chair to stand on .It's easier than getting the stepladder out of the cellar again. While you're reaching up and getting the oilcan the chair wobbles. Close examination reveals the trouble-two legs and three rungs are loose. You go down to the cellar and find the wood glue. But you can't get the cap off. You must use the workbench vise and pliers to get it unstuck. The vise almost falls off the workbench , on your foot again. For several years you've been meaning to bolt it down, before it falls on one of the kids.
You have to find three 5/I6-inch bolts at least three inches long, and the right nuts and washers and lock washers. This means pawing through lots of coffee cans. Then you find the drill and proper bit, bore three holes in the workbench, and bolt down the vise. You take the wood glue out to the garage and glue the chair rungs and legs. You fashion glue clamps out of turnbuckles from the cellar and short lengths of rope from the attic.
Excess glue squeezed from the joints must be wiped up, so you go in the house to get some rags from the bottom of the kitchen closet. While you're crouched inside the closet with a flashlight your wife asks how the tree sawing is coming along. You tell her you are getting to it just as fast as you can.
You clean off the chair in the garage with the rags, and bring the chair inside where it's warm. after a cup of coffee, you go outside to oil the big limb saw.
It's getting dark.
There's not much point starting on the tree, since you'll have to quit right away. So you carefully oil the saw and put it back behind the bald tires. Then you gather up all the tools and take them back down to the cellar. You also take the oilcan, and while you're down there you oil some tools that show signs of rust. You also fill the oil caps on, the furnace circulator motor.
You return to the kitchen, exhausted, and tell your wife that the tree-sawing project will have to wait until the following Saturday. Tomorrow is set aside for raking leaves.
As it turns out, you don't get any leaves raked that Sunday. Here's what happens:
Right after breakfast, bright and early, you go out to get the big leaf rake . . .