So it’s not procrastination then?

I read an article today that might have changed my life.  Seriously.  I’m not even joking.

Are you a procrastinator or an incubator? [] (please ignore the “” bit…)

The gist of the piece is that there is a difference between procrastinators and incubators.  While they outwardly appear the same in how they do work and handle deadlines, there are distinct differences. Specifically, the quality of work. Let me tell you a little story.

Back in college, I was taking GB-450, Business Law & Ethics, which was a requirement for graduation in the college of business. People always dreaded this class because the professor was tough. Anyway, we were given an assignment to write a 8 or 10 page paper about something or another. I chose to employ the same method of writing papers as I had for years which consisted of the following. I would get home from work between 9pm and 11pm the night before the paper was due. I would then turn on some Mozart and start writing. Often, writing all night. The papers would just dump straight out of my head and onto the page. No outline. No first draft. Just write the thing. I knew that while it appeared to be procrastination, I just trusted that the content would be there. In the week or 2 leading up to due date, as I was working or playing or whatever, bits and pieces of the papers would pop into my head. Phrases… Ideas. I’d just squirrel them away for later.

Anyway, I finished that particular paper and turned it in the next day in class.

About a week later, the professor had completed reading and grading the papers. That was the good news. The bad news was he spent almost an entire class day absolutely railing on the overall quality of these papers. He was quite angry with them. He just kept talking about this was a senior level class and the work was entirely unacceptable… so on and so forth. As he’s going on and on I’m just dreading more and more getting my grade. I knew I didn’t spend much time on it so how good could it be?

He hands them back and I only got a 98 on it. The people around me were getting 63’s or 47’s. I think one guy behind me actually got a 19 if I remember correctly.

I never realized that the possibility existed that it wasn’t “procrastination” at all. I have always known that I really need a deadline to get motivated. I also know, that I’m certainly not above working my ass off to meet deadlines. In fact, I honestly can’t remember EVER missing a deadline. I’m sure it’s happened but I know it hasn’t been recently.

It turns out that after all this time, I’m just an “incubator”. That is actually a load off my mind.

Seeing this article almost reminds me of the first time I read this book and discovered why I was tired all the time. This one wasn’t as profound, however. But that story is for another blog post.

That little quiz they have at the bottom of that article, I believe I would rate myself as 4’s across the board. What does that tell ya?

Incubator, out!

Happy ‘Murph’Day, Buddy!

Today, February 4th is an important day. For it was 1 year ago today that our own Murphy was issued into this world.

Hey, give us a break. We don’t have kids yet, this is what we spend our time on.

Early on, it was touch and go. He wouldn’t sleep at night, consequently, we didn’t sleep at night. Slowly but surely, he got things figured out. So did we. He’s gone all the way from looking like a gerbil to being 57 lbs of goofball. All things being equal, he’s a pretty good boy.

In honor of this momentous day, let’s look back at where we’ve been with this set of photos.

Just 3 Weeks Old
3 Weeks Old

2 Months Old
2 Months Old

6 Months Old
6 Months Old

9 Months Old – Obedience Graduation
Graduation Day

10 Months Old – Christmas
Christmas Time

And a few pictures taken from his birthday today…
With the New Toy

Happy Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

If you just can’t get enough Murphy (lord knows we can’t) you can see a couple other sets of him in the following places:

Happy Birthday Murph!

Just Get a Professional

Everyone out there, do me a favor. Next time I mention that I’m thinking of doing some sort of home improvement project myself, just repeat those words to me. “Just get a professional.” It would certainly save me a bunch of time, frustration and body soreness in the long run.

Why do I mention this? Well, this past weekend Jess and I decided it was finally time to get a water softener. Our water in Meridian is super hard (with dissolved minerals, you sickos). We’ve wanted to get a water softener since we moved in almost 2 years ago. Our shower walls are slowly turning orange. The funny thing is, we put aside most of the cash we got for the wedding in an envelope with the specific purpose of buying a water softener. It just took us this long to actually pull the trigger.

Well, the time had come and Jess was able to convince me that we could totally install it ourselves. And by “we”, she meant her dad and I. So, Saturday morning we headed to Lowe’s full of resolve that it was to be that day. We had grand plans to crank this mother out and be enjoying our soft water that evening.

Hang on there, Sparky. As is always my problem with things like this, I don’t know what I don’t know. I did know that having looked at the plumbing for the softener (that our house was built with) meant that piping was going to have to be cut. See the above image. I guarantee this fact added at least a solid year to my procrastination. There was no handy-dandy screw off ends here. Also, this isn’t PVC pipe either. It is something called PEX which I’d never heard of. Of course, this requires a special tool we gotta rent.

Having purchased all the crap we’d need and planned our attack we started in. This PEX clamper-tool-dealy-thingy (which resembles bolt cutters) was a bitch and a half. Let me tell ya, compressing that bastard took everything I had. This was compounded by the fact that final rings needed to be compressed behind the water softener. I’m basically dry humping the water heater trying to get enough leverage and strength to do it. It very nearly didn’t happen. Not to mention that I could hardly get out of bed the next day with my back, shoulders and arms all jacked up. When we were “finished” I didn’t have enough strength in my arms to even close the tool. But I digress.

Long story short, we get all of the new piping cut and connected. It comes time to test for water fastness. I am happy to report that NONE of the PEX ring seams had a single problem. That was the good news. The bad news was that the threaded pieces leading into the softener itself were dripping. Very slowly, but dripping. Shit. Well, we disassemble and unscrew them… re-teflon-tape them and reassemble. Same thing. We tried tightening. We tried more teflon. We tightened some more. No dice. It was at this point where we were out of ideas.

Fortunately, we still had usable water (thanks to my massive PEXing) so we didn’t have to spend the weekend like backpackers in the wilderness or anything. However, the bucket under the tubing told a different story. Honestly, I’m just glad that at this point I didn’t have water cascading around the garage looking like Old Faithful.

This is what always seems to happen to me. Every project I do I can get 80% of the way done. Then comes some curve ball and I’m basically dead in the water (no pun intended). Something on my end is always different from the instructions. When that happens, I don’t have the knowledge necessary to adapt the plan and continue. Usually at that point I get frustrated that I shot an entire Saturday on the project and am just going to have to call someone in anyway. F-bombs and flying tools usually commence.

This morning, the good people from A-1 Plumbing came out. The guy was really nice. He even complimented me on my PEX seals. He told me about a guy who tried this a few weeks ago and every single one of his PEX joints was leaking. At least I got that going for me. Anyway, a couple hours and 300 bucks later we are up and running. Not to mention that there were a couple pieces that he did and I didn’t even know about which could have cause us MUCHO problems in the future.

I guess I’m just not enough of a “manly” man to know this stuff. It is time to admit to myself that I really don’t know what I’m doing. I suppose I wouldn’t expect a plumber to build me a website either. There is a reason these people exist. Just bite the bullet, pay the money and have it done right.

Thus endeth the lesson…