Skip to main content

A Chance to Work Productively

Around the New Year I argued that 'I am not getting older, I am getting better,' need not be an empty cliche. There really are things we naturally get better at, with age. So why not pound the crap out of these things, and put aside the things we must lose on?

Such qualities include:
1. Self-mastery and self-restraint.
2. Patience.
3. Perspicuity.
4. Setting more realistic (i.e., lower) expectations on new projects or people.
5. Understanding the consequences of our actions.
6. Thinking more independently.
7. Better juggling of trade-offs when making decisions.

This project of converting a cargo trailer into a travel trailer has offered me an impressive and perverse example of how difficult it is to achieve #1 on the list.

If you were to step back from the thousand-and-one machinations of the day, and ask yourself why you can't work faster, you wouldn't have any trouble coming up with a list. But it was fun to identify the top problem on the list. 

For me it is the laying-down-of-tools when I am temporarily done with them. I discard them in the sloppiest and most reckless manner. Then, five minutes later, I am cursing the "lost tool," losing confidence and momentum, and becoming frustrated for no good reason.

I once heard a discussion between a friend of mine, who was an experienced home-improvement-junkie, and his father. The father scolded him for not keeping a more organized workspace. My friend thought it was a waste of time. I must say that I agree with the father. It seems like a waste of time, but five minutes of re-organizing tools and materials can refresh you more than a nap in the afternoon or a hot shower at the end of a hard day of work.

So why won't I do it!?

Looking aft, out the rear ramp. The first part of the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall solar screens at the stern. I am no fan of windows. When weather is good, I say pop this little sucker wide open and and enjoy it!

Any canine who is serious about enjoying the Good Life, needs to be a popular hostess at doggie patio parties. When propped up to be horizontal, the ramp will be the official doggie patio. This screen was inexpensive so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt. Eventually I'll replace it with a hinged screen-door. But I'm finally wearing down and getting eager to get back on the road.

The effect of solar screen in the screen-door. The afternoon sun is passing through the solar screen of a partially open door. Notice how bright the small vertical rectangle is compared to the larger square of gentle sunlight to its right! Supposedly there is an eight or nine times reduction in sunlight.


edlfrey said…
Was Coffee Girl entertaining? That sure does not look like her coming out through the screen.

I didn't know what "Perspicuity" was much less know that I was getting better at it as I got older.

Now about those tools. What you need is a young son. I remember all those years when I was growing up and my father was working on anything it was me that was running back and forth getting tools and then it was me putting them away when we were done. Then catching hell because my father could never find the tool he wanted when he went to look for it himself.
Of course you knew what 'per + spicu (or specu)' + ity' meant, just by looking at the pieces. That is the beauty of Latinizations.

Coffee Girl is a little funny looking with her summer clip, but that IS her.

I don't know about a young son, but I could definitely use a "helpmate." (How's that for a popular and PC term.) The Helpmate would do all the damned driving and shopping, and I would just work, work, work...
You have won me over with the perspicuity of your writing.
If only you meant it! (grin) But seriously, you don't want me to write about whether I used more RoundHead #8 screws than FlatHead or vica versa, do you?

Sure, practical details matter. But Way of Life matters more.
Jim and Gayle said…
Not so sure that perspicuity and self-restraint are getting better with age at my house, but I do like your screens!
Bon vivant said…
In 2010 I had a friend sew velcro on some charcoal Phifer awning mesh (solar screen) to fit my windows and across the cabin behind my cockpit. The screens have been invaluable for limiting interior radiant heat (along with PolyIso foam boards against the windows inside) and urban stealth fulltiming. I'm beginning to see how your design is elegantly simple and efficient. Bravo!
How lucky you are to have a friend who can sew. I have one who is 1200 miles away, with her sewing machine. There are so many places where a camper would benefit from the skill of sewing.

But shame on you for mentioning the verboten term, stealth! (grin) This blog has nothing to do with the stealth camping sub-cult.
You mean Jim moving his hiking times to as early as 10 a.m. isn't an impressive example of self-mastery?