Monday, January 30, 2012

Learn Something New Every Day

When we were thinking about New Years Resolutions at the beginning of the New Year, one of the things I wrote down was to make a point to learn something new every day.  As the first days of the New Year slipped into weeks, I realized that it would be a benefit to me if I kept a journal of what I learned every day... I had already forgot some of the things I know I had learned.  So I started a page in my MacBook Air just to keep a record.  Then this weekend as I was updating it I realized there were some pretty cool links and things that others may benefit from.  So here goes.  The first ten days on record of Things I Am Learning... some of them the hard way!

January 16, 12  New product... Blue Skin.  When we stopped in at the CRD Building Inspection Office in Victoria today, James Robertson taught us about a new product that we must put around the base of the rough opening of the window.  It is a very soft and flexible peel and stick that goes onto the building paper after one sprays it with a primer that ensures good bonding.

When we did our first window January 27 we learned that once you peel of the backing, if any part of it touches itself, you will never get it apart... and you can put that piece in the trash. Lesson learned the hard way.

This is the first window installed.  Four-inch wide white cedar trim boards are yet to surround the window... and No. 1 cedar shingles will be the siding.  Hopefully I can do this in a way that will pass building code and everyone will be happy.

January 19, 12  When painting with lacquer you cannot pour fresh lacquer into yesterdays paint tray, unless it has been washed clean with lacquer thinner.  Fresh lacquer will soften yesterdays lacquer film on the tray and globs of lacquer will come up on your brush and roller… and it will not flow out level like the new lacquer does.  Lesson learned the hard way.

January 20, 12  Today I learned that I need to clean up my workspace.  Lesson One of my new Trading Program includes not only having the right computer with two monitors, high speed internet and a printer… but also a good workspace, a comfortable chair and a tidy desk.  So, I have made a commitment today to get my office totally cleaned up and free of any clutter.  Wish me good luck.  I will have to be ruthless and just throw out most of the stuff I have been telling myself is important.  Much of the stuff I put into files never gets looked at again anyway… so it might as well have been thrown out in the first place.

January 21, 12  What is the difference between a PROBLEM and a PREDICAMENT?  A problem is something that has a solution… it is fixable.  A predicament on the other hand is a dilemma and is not fixable.  Chris Martenson Presentation

January 22, 12  Albert Bartlett, an academic, explains Exponential Growth.  The Law of 70: At 7% growth it takes 10 years to double.  At 10% interest it takes 7 years for money to double.  Starting with just “1” in a generic graphic, if one doubles every year in ten years it is over 1000… the power of doubling.
Explanation of Exponential Growth

January 23, 12  If the word FOCUS was an acronym it would stand for Follow One Course Until Successful. 

January 24, 12 All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

Quite by luck when we boarded the ferry to Victoria this morning Chris Watson, the CRD Building Inspector was also boarding the ferry to go home to Pender, where he lives.  He was the first inspector I showed my model to when he came over last April for an initial assessment of what I needed to do to get started on this project.

 So I went over to Chris and asked him if he could spare a few minutes to look at some window details that I had in my truck.  I had planned to take a small window and several sample wood trims to see James Robertson at the Victoria office this afternoon.  After showing Chris what I thought James was looking for since my visit with him last week, I pulled out my design of how I really wanted to do it. There was a couple of ways to trim the exterior of the window frame with the same pieces.  He looked at my idea and thought it could pass… but asked me to install one window with my preferred method and he would stop up take a look next Tuesday when he comes back to Mayne Island.  He gave me his thoughts on how to improve it with things to watch out for… so I am hopeful that my original dream can be modified in a way to pass inspection.  What I wanted to do was commonly done for years… but after the “Leaky Condo” problems here in BC, the Building Code went thru some serious changes and he just didn’t want me do all 36 windows wrong.

January 25, 12  Cabinetry 101:  The width of the drawers must  be less than the opening after the doors are installed.  Can you imagine how shocked we were after installing the cabinet doors that we could not pull out the drawers!  I forgot that the drawer glide tracks also come out past the face of the cabinet.  So, I had no choice but to take the doors off, and then take the drawers apart and make them smaller.  I then reinstalled the tracks with a half-inch spacer.  Not fun… but there was no other way to fix it.  That mistake cost me the better part of a day to fix… not counting the power outage that interrupted the process.  Mistakes are the cost of tuition for the do-it-yourselfer.  The repair came out perfect… only my ego was damaged.

January 26, 12  I viewed a most impressive photo story on the Kintyre Trail in Scotland. The photos were just magnificent… and the country-side was quite spectacular.  When I showed Shirley she immediately wanted to travel there and do the 87-mile hiking trail.  It is a 7-8 day walk… not at all rugged, so us old fogies should be able to handle it. 
It is fun to learn about neat places… and especially neat hiking or walking events with outstanding photo opportunities.

January 27, 12  Shirley called me to see a YouTube video on her computer… Michael Smith doing Psalm 139 by memory.  Totally awesome!  What an inspiration.  One can do a lot worse than memorize large portions of scripture.  Check this out at: 

January 28, 12  Shirley keeps offering me to swap offices with her.  My coach suggests giving considerations to Feng Shui… and not to sit with your back to the door… your money will go right out the door.  I’ve seen Shirley sitting in my office trying to figure out to rearrange the furniture but it is really difficult to do with the shape of the room… a wall of windows and two doors.

January 29, 12  “A Smile as Big as the Moon” is a Hallmark movie about a special education teacher, (John Corbett) his class and their journey through to the space camp.  Just released for TV on January 29, 2012 this movie is an inspiration in how to bring out the best in children.  In spite of being tired not only stayed awake for the whole thing, there were places I couldn’t hold back the tears.  No trailer yet…


  1. Great post, Pa. Couldn't help chuckle a couple of times with your lessons learned the hard way... it's nice to know where I get some of my tendencies from! Nice links, and glad you enjoyed the movie last night--I saw trailers for that but then promptly forgot about it. Sounded sweet.

  2. On the bright side, when you learn lessons the hard way, there is little chance that you will make the same mistake again... unless, that is, you enjoyed making the mistake so much you just want keep doing it over and over again!

  3. Hi Sherwin

    Thanks for the shout out on your blog. The concept of compounding is a huge concept and I don't think a lot of people really understand the power for both good and bad.

    I feel famous now that I'm on your blog.


  4. Thanks Laurent, for sharing the two links. I really liked the academic approach of Albert Bartlett on compounding and power of doubling. Wish I would have hear of this 50 years ago!