Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Lessons Learned While Building a Deck/Patio

I started building a cedar deck/patio this week. Phil quite sensibly asked whether I really thought I had a comparative advantage in deck-building, which was a very polite way of asking if perhaps my time might be more profitably spent on some other activity, such as working on a project he and I are doing together.

So call it a hobby, then.

Anyway, I learned a few things from my latest home-renovation project.

  1. Contrary to some earlier fantasies, I do not want to do construction/carpentry when I retire from academics. I'm getting too old and out-of -shape (and hence tired and sore) to do this sort of thing full-time.
  2. Wear a hat in the sun, even if the temperature is only 10 degrees [Canadian]. Especially if you're bald.
  3. I would not have dreamed of doing this job without power tools.
  4. Don't leave an open can of pop/soda near the saw. If you do, the next swig adds considerably to your daily fibre intake.
  5. Get at least a 10" mitre saw if you think you might be cutting 2x6's on an angle. Mine's only 8 inches [btw, the cognoscenti call it a "chop saw"].
  6. There are very many ways to hurt yourself with a mitre saw. It probably requires a PhD in economics to figure some of them out.

No. I will not post pictures.

Update: I guess I don't measure things very well. I have a 10" chop saw; get a bigger one if you can, because the 10-incher doesn't do angles in 2x6's at all well.

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