Monday, February 25, 2008

Scheduling and Laser Beams

I get a strange pleasure each Monday when I update my Microsoft Project schedule. You see, being an engineer I have gotten used to scheduling and budgeting. To do both I use MS project to plan my future tasks, show their individual costs, and their dependencies on each other. Currently I have around 200 tasks, with more added daily to help define the level of detail where someone could actually complete the tasks. For instance, under the kitchen category are the tasks, 'prime', 'paint second coat', and 'paint second coat' which are all tasks that need to be done in series, and painting the trim is dependent on finishing the second coat of wall paint. Sure I don't follow all dependencies 100% and I start a lot of stuff before finishing something else, but the software helps act as a task list helping me to make sure that things don't fall through the cracks. Updating the progress on each task rolls up into the higher level task, so it gives a total percent complete of the whole renovation. While progress is slow, there is indeed progress.

A sample, not my actual schedule

Tasks completed this weekend were installing crown molding in the kitchen and bathroom, purchasing and mounting a towel bar & toilet paper holder in the bathroom, grouting the backsplash, starting the drywall touch ups on the bulging seams in the living room ceiling, and re-running electrical for the foyer. The electrical in the foyer doesn't really work yet and requires major trouble shooting, but at least the wire is run and conduit installed per code. I installed it Friday and then proceeded to avoid it for the rest of the weekend to temporarily avoid the frustration.

I would also like to provide Dadolescent & Momnipotent with the Highlandtown Hovel Baltimore Rowhouse award for outstanding achievement. I haven't figure out what exactly shape or form this award takes, so hopefully someone can provide some ideas. While I was suffering overload on Saturday night at around 6:30, they stayed at the house touching up the crown molding until 9:30, and then cleaning up the house too. I really can't express how much this means to me, and I am so lucky to have you help out with the house.

On other news I now have a plethora of tools. I went out and picked up a ryobi 18V lithium-ion 4 piece combo kit, which includes a drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw & light for $270. I needed to buy tools, and it's lithium-ion-y good pulled me in.

After taking this home, a craigslist ad that I responded to emailed me back. He had a barely used 18V (not lithium-ion) kit including drill/driver, circular saw, rec. saw, jig saw, rotary tool, sander, light, batteries and a bag all for $140. I looked at it, and it's only been used a few times so I bought it. Now I have a conundrum whether to keep my new set, return it and keep the used set in it's entirety, or just sell of the parts of the old set that are redundant. Really, the tools look pretty much the same so I'd really just like the lithium ion batteries. And fyi, the circular saw in the used set comes with a laser. I like laser beams.


Anonymous said...

How about you take a cue from Dr. Evil and his sharks with laser beams on their heads - attach a laser beam to Cat's head. It's about time she made herself useful during the renovations since her painting career wasn't exactly stellar.

Corey said...

Since the only laser beam I have is attached to the saw, does this mean I can attach the saw to Cat's head? That would be awesome...

Jennifer said...

That is quite the organization system... I think I would spend more time figuring it out than actually doing anything, though.

I vote Lithium Ion... we just got a LI Makita hammer drill for Christmas, and it ROCKS. It stays charged for way longer than other cordless tools we've used... and seems to have more power, too.

Wayne said...


I love your house! You're my type of guy.

My projects are child's play in comparison to yours. Will you be showing pics of your backsplash and undercabinet lighting?


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