search for the good stuff

I lied about doing something fun with the next nice weekend… I was working around the house. I put a dent in the task of restoring the steel basement doors out back. It started out easy, but as I started to chip away at the years of corrosion I remembered a lesson I learned from my work restoring old cars in high school that is as true today as it ever was…

Any rust you see on the surface will be 3 times as bad after you start grinding away at it.

Long story short, I cut away about 10 2″ squares that need sheet metal patches fabricated and welded into place. Years ago I brought a cheap vice at Home Depot that has served me for dozens of little projects. I’ve beaten the living daylights out of it, and I loathe to replace it, but the sheer volume of fabrication I need to do to finish this will have me tearing my hair out if i don’t have a decent tool to hold all the little pieces of metal I have to cut and bend. This week I dropped for a decent vice.


As I rolled around to the merchandise pickup at Sears to claim my prize, the clerk was more than happy to off this monstrosity on me, so that he wasn’t carrying it any more. I lugged it out to the car when I noticed the side of the box had the weight on it for packing purposes. –38.5lbs–. I drove home. My wife asks me as I carry my prize in the house, “how was your shopping trip” “oh, not bad. Here, check out what I got” and I started to lower it into her lap as she sat on the couch as a joke. She protested before I relinquished half it’s weight.

After taking it back I explained my eccentric prank. See, as I was driving home I realized that before I started working so hard at eating right and getting active I was lugging this thing — and a sack of wrenches — around with me everywhere I went. Every day. Everywhere. At my heaviest ever years ago it was two of them. I really needed that this week, because the scales haven’t been kind for the past month. In the grand scheme of 128 weeks worth of trying to do the right thing and succeeding to some degree, 3 weeks is nothing, but when you watch everyone around you grabbing a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, chowing down on cheesesteaks at lunch, or ordering a second pitcher of beer without remorse when you go out on the weekend, you just want to live a normal life where you aren’t eating plain oatmeal every morning, going home and hunching over your desk, writing everything you eat down in a little book like Bob Cratchit.

So my gift for the week was a little perspective. I’m thankful that I’m healthy, and I don’t have to lug a 4.5″ jaw cast iron vice around with me everywhere I go. I celebrated with a few extra lunch rides. One more vice to go…

2 thoughts on “search for the good stuff

  1. The weird things we use compare our weight loss to. 🙂

    My first item I compared my weight loss to was a 40 lb bag of dog food. Now, I’ve lost 90 lbs, the weight of my overweight lab-mix.

  2. Yeah, I’ve used a couple different metrics. A gallon of milk, then it was 4 gallons, etc… I need the occasional reminders that there IS a reason why I deprive myself of the fatty foods everyone else is eating on a regular basis. I really don’t mind the exercise at all now that I’ve found a fun way to do it every day without running on a treadmill or elliptical at the gym but dang if I don’t have those weeks when I just want to order in from Dominoes every evening…

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