Project: Attic Flooring

Attic Flooring Project Stat Sheet

Number of Dobies 2
Number of successful cuts 23
Number of miscalculated cuts 2
Number of coffee tables cut 1
Amount of gas farted ~ 13 cubic feet
Number of appendages cut off by circular saw 0
Number of times blood was shed 1
Number of splinters 5

With just about two and a half months left until the baby is born (less, if we have our way and the kid comes early), I really need to start chipping away at the to do list Meg has ominously posted on the refrigerator.

I’ve been the lead on a few software projects in the past, so I’m not entirely foreign to the concept of dependency management. I need to paint the baby’s room. But to do that, I need to remove all of the shit that has started to collect dust from the room. I can’t even start that until I lay some more plywood in the attic. Since our sweet new pull down stairs have been installed, the flooring was next on the list.

I decided to give JJ a break on this project. Before people think I’m past my deceptive ways of offering rum only to blindside the poor guy with a paintbrush and a hammer, I’m not. He’s coming over next weekend to paint the baby’s room. Don’t worry JJ, the rum will be in the freezer well before Saturday.

In his place, I recruited my dad for this project. He showed up with tools I didn’t even know existed. Apparently, my idea of cutting the plywood with a box cutter was a bit ill-conceived.

My mom didn’t even flinch when I asked him for help, and showed up with the intention of taking Meg to every baby store in an immediate 100 mile radius.

After a quick trip to Lowe’s for the plywood, along with a quick and painful lesson on why I shouldn’t hold an 8’x2′ sheet of plywood perpendicular to the wind, we got started. After a few quick measurements, my dad produces a device that I have only seen in the Saw series of movies.

“It’s your house, do you want to make the first cut?”
“You’re holding it backwards.”
“Uh… ya, I knew that. I was checking the… rotator splint.”
“Now it’s upside down.”
“Ya know, maybe you should make the first cut.”

Now is probably a good time to explain the scenario. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t have a sawhorse. So we grabbed the two closest objects that were roughly the same height: a coffee table and an old computer.

My father takes the first cut. That goes fine, he follows the lines, and off pops the notch we were trying to create so we can get around the beams in the attic.


We lifted the plywood to find a very clean cut four inches into the coffee table. I assume since it was in the garage that Meg didn’t want it anyway, and we go about our cutting.

I decide it’s my time to try my hand at the circular saw. I’m superstitious enough to not phrase it that way at the time, since I didn’t like the idea of mentioning “my hand” and “circular saw” in the same sentence.

“You missed the line.”
“I see that, dad.”
“You also cut about two inches deeper than you were supposed to.”
“Yup, noticed that too. Get me the spare sheet.”

About half way through the process, I realize that, while I lack any really effective tools, I do own a pair of goggles. Koob, my Junior year Chemistry teacher, would be disappointed in me for forgetting them (I’d explain that comment more, but it wouldn’t do it justice). It turned out to not matter, since somehow I still managed to get pegged in the eye with shit tons of sawdust and pieces of wood as I cut.

Amazingly, we survived without falling through the ceiling Clark Griswold-style or any trips to the emergency room. We actually had fun and we had to stop a few times because we were laughing too hard. I say “we” had to stop, but it was actually because dad was laughing and I was cursing up a storm from having hit my head on a beam. I can only suppose it’s a right of passage, and someday years from now I’ll watch my kid fumble around and hurt himself. Then I’ll call Uncle Eric to come help out and I’ll skip right to the rum.


  1. I for one will never underestimate the need for protective eyewear ever again. A few years back, I managed with great precision to poke myself in the eye with a dowel that was the exact size of my iris. The Dr. in the ER said it was a bullseye :) Anyone who’s had a scratched cornea can attest to the fact that it HURT LIKE HELL! Unlike the aforementioned labor which can last for several hours…you’re walking around feeling like you have a thousand splinters in your eye for 2-3 days. Wear the friggin goggles!!!

  2. Goggles..
    you’ll love your goggles.
    They will keep your eyes from..
    burning out.
    So wear your goggles,
    Upon your eyyyyeballs.
    If you don’t,

    yup i still remember that crap.. thanks for nothing Koob!

  3. HA. Good call Lucas. Anyone who’s been through Koob has it seared into their memory, like a chemical burn with Lye or something. One time in lab somebody actually broke something and they had to go up and sing. It was wonderfully humiliating for them.

  4. Ok, I know this won’t do it justice, but here goes.

    In high school, the Chemistry teacher was named Mr. Koob. He was a tall, stocky, intimidating man with a Santa beard. He pretty much scared the shit out of, well, everyone.

    On the first day of Chemistry, he laid out the rules. During labs, you absolutely had to bring and wear your goggles. If you forgot yours, he would supply at pair… at a cost. You had to go in front of the class room and sing the goggles song Lucas wrote out. Ya, it was probably a bit embarrassing (I never had to do it), but at the same time the class usually got into it and sang along.

    Much credit to Lucas, that’s exactly how I remember it as well, complete with capitalization and extra y’s in “eyeballs.”

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