Doing Hard Things is back
• Indy Daryl started the trend and you guys have loved it ever since. Do Hard Things started out as Indy Daryl's mother's message to her children about buckling down in life to accomplish things that seemed out of reach.
It doesn't mean you have to finish an ultra-marathon across the Mohave Desert in July. It is to be defined in your own brain. To some, a Do Hard Things accomplishment might seem trivial. Or it might be some crazy accomplishment like going to Yellowstone and being gored by a bison only to live to tell about it.
Matt in Nashville has been a loyal TNML member who has been working on a project with his father-in-law.
I know I mentioned a while back - not sure if it was in an email you published or not - that I've been working my tail off with my father-in-law and some others on a major project for the last 6+ months. My in-laws have been very blessed to grow their business and have busted their @$$e$ off for years to get to a point where they could buy some property and then do some fun things to it. And when I say "do" I mean "do" - not hire someone to do it for them.
My father-in-law is the definition of a man's man. He learned under his own dad and then spent years learning under others spending time working HVAC, plumbing, and taking in a ton of electrical knowledge from his peers and most importantly from his older brother who is now my Godfather. A little over a year ago, they hired a company to install an in-ground pool - which thanks to Biden's supply chains was delayed for what felt like a decade. Once the pool was in, it was time to build out the "pool house" which is what we call it, but really it's just a huge outdoor bar/kitchen with an outdoor bathroom and lots of storage.
We started from scratch on Dec 11 2021 (first pic) and have been going strong on the weekends (and occasional week nights) ever since. Erecting the structure, doing the roof, building out walls, insulating, plumbing, electrical work, drywall, metal bar framing, pouring concrete countertops, installing refrigerators, the sink, the grill, the burners, the ice maker, and now working on the finishing touches of stone, tile, and cedar. This has been both a learning experience and a bonding one. Many hours of blood, sweat, and tears (of joy) have gone into this. The goal was to get across the finish line by the 4th of July, but we will fall just short.
Such is the price of DIY and a very high standard. I hope the community appreciates our progress and wills us to the end very soon. This is a lesson in learning new skills, adapting old ones, persevering through obstacles, and DOING HARD THINGS with those you love and respect. My little boys have been watching through the windows the whole time, and I can't wait to one day share a project like this with them. I'll update as we wrap up, but here's to all the guys and gals out there working on projects big and small, doing it right, and doing it with their friends and family.
Happy Independence Day to all. Our project isn't done yet, but I'll be jumping in the pool, grilling some meats on that grill, and enjoying a cold one with the most important people in my life this weekend. This is what it's all about.
As someone who went through a 4-5 year basement project with my father-in-law and a drywall contractor friend of mine, I completely understand taking time to make it exactly perfect. There's definitely no shame in finishing just short of your 4th of July goal when you can still jump in the pool and crush margs or screwdrivers as the kids light off bottle rockets.
It looks like grandma and grandpa have glorious spread. Enjoy it.
Lawn art -- Happy 80th!
• Pat M. in Vancouver, WA writes:
Hi Joe, My older brother “Dr. Mark” in Anchorage celebrated his wife Jan’s 80th birthday by putting a big Eight Oh in his lawn for all to see. The party today had over one hundred attending!
Do I need an official ruling from the commissioner if this is proper use of a mower? And maybe you can make an exception for milestones like this.
I’ll also share a couple of videos that he took doing it.
Keep up the cause.
This is absolutely an acceptable use of the mower. In fact, I encourage lawn art and we've received some fun stuff from the TNML community. More lawn art, please!
Sidenote: We could use more TNML from Anchorage. Look at that turf! And you get an endless summer of daylight for the patio.
Random thoughts from Jess in AL
• Jess, who has been on me all year to get organized and hire an intern, writes:
It seems like I always write to you about random things, but isn’t that what most of us Screencaps readers do? (Also on the random note, is there a better name for “screencaps readers”? Like how Eric Church fans are the “church choir”? We all need a name… I feel like ideas for this will pour in like your job title.)
Let me address Jess' random thoughts:
• I'm all for Screencaps readers giving themselves a title. Submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
• I feel like I've posted Muschamp's house in the past, but I don't remember the yard being so amazing. It feels like he spent some of his South Carolina buyout money to upgrade the yard.
• July 22-24; more on that next week
• I'm quickly learning that you guys don't like Mike T. in Idaho's suggestion to buy a patio pizza oven when you have smokers to do the job. I also had no idea so many people loved their pizzas infused with smoke. This is why we throw so many ideas against the wall. One will stick and you guys will run with it.
Beau in Toledo checks in with an emotional reunion
• You might remember how Beau's father recently moved and I think as he was leaving there was one final #FJB message for all the neighbors. Well, Beau checks in this week from North Carolina:
First, it's my 3rd week in a row taking a loss for League Night. You know how the weather has been in the NWO, but I will admit to a League foul and will accept whatever penalty is assessed as I've been cutting on a 10 day rotation for a few weeks now. It was part of a plan, as this Holiday Weekend has other priorities.
I was on the road from 0830 to around 1800 today, traveling from Anthony Farris' neighborhood (left toledo Wednesday and spent the night in Poland, OH) to Fuquay-Varina, NC, where I'm typing this on my phone now, with GUTFELD! on in the background.
Pops moved to NC a few months back... He just moved into the new place last week after staying with my step-sis... He knew my Brother and His Family were rolling South, but my presence was kept secret.
I won't describe the waterworks then ensued, but it was a Great Day today! #Don'tBlink
But in League fashion, I must give a shout to all the DOT Crews from Pennsylvania, WestVa, Virginia, and North Carolina who were all out there today clearing the medians, shoulders, and exit loops. Also found some signs I need to get ahold of...
Have a Great ***Independence*** Day Weekend!!
Reagan's pool project
• Monty M. in Mobile writes:
I saw Reagan's message about the pool project on this morning's Screencaps. I handled a case concerning the construction of a swimming pool on ground near a bayou several years ago. One of the main things I learned during that case is that bringing in large quantities of sand could cause consolidation of the underlying soils. In other words, the weight of the new sand causes the ground beneath it to compress and settle.
On top of that, the sand Reagan wants brought in will consolidate within itself as well. So, you get settlement underground and settlement within the fill material. You can prevent the settlement in the fill by placing it in about 6" lifts and compacting each lift before each new load is added. Why am I telling you this? Well, my concern here is that all of the weight from the new sand could damage or crush the fill lines in his septic system.
He might have really strong soil and this won’t be a problem, but down in south Alabama we can have some pretty loose soil that will settle when loaded. Tell Reagan good luck, and if he has any questions, he can ask a geotechnical engineer for help or talk to a contractor who has performed excavation work in his neighborhood or near his house.
Great job on Screencaps and #TNML, keep up the great work!
Mike in Pasadena's on a beach instead of out buying exotic woods with mosquito advice
• Mike writes:
I'm still here on the bench quietly observing and enjoying it all.
First up - Farris did Yeoman's work! His "talent selections were Top-Shelf stuff" to be certain.
Now for Tim T., you may remember I went to Africa in March searching for Hardwood Lumber. You need 2 things to travel to Africa, a Yellow Fever vaccine, and a bottle of MALARIA pills. Mosquitoes are deadly in Africa.
I did 2 additional things, in the picture you'll see them. The bottle on the left - I sprayed all of my clothes (pants shirts) before I left for Africa. The other tube, I used like a lotion everyday on my exposed skin (and not too much) Lo and Behold - NOT a single Mosquito bite all week !
While sitting at an outdoor bar one evening, my host across the table from me was bitten several times (he's African so his immunity to Malaria is off the charts) . I didn't get a single bite.
My suggestion for Tim T. until he can eradicate them, spray your patio cushions thoroughly with the spray and invest in the lotion. It can only help.
In the meantime, my sister works for Clarke Mosquito in St. Charles IL., the #1 Mosquito abatement company on the planet. I'll pass along any advice she gives me for Tim.
Keep grinding Joe!
More mosquito chatter
• Bronson S. writes:
Seriously LOVE your column. I work from home as a healthcare consultant so I can look at whatever websites I want. I only toggle between my TD Ameritrade account, Outkick, and CBS Sports (as it seems to be the least woke).
I read the intro, I scroll past all the scantily clad girls in the beginning, (don't need those images burned into my mind for the day) and get to the rest of the social media posts. I'm not on the poisonous, left-wing controlled social media accounts, so I love to see the funny memes people post.
But I would like to see if I could get connected with Jon F. in NW Ohio.
I just moved to Greenville SC and the mosquitos can be vicious. I've heard about people contracting companies to spray their lawn but I'd prefer to do it myself since I could do it more and save a boatload. Anyway you could connect Jon and I so I could pick is brain about how to do it?
I will absolutely connect Bronson with Jon F., who is one of the most loyal guys around these parts. In fact, I just forwarded Bronson's email as I was typing the previous sentence. That's what this community is all about.
Pick brains. Build relationships. Make connections.
Folks, we've eliminated all the trash that you've had to deal with on the Internet. There really is this place filled with sane Americans and some foreigners from the Netherlands and Australia! There are Canadians who've joined the fray and I seem to remember some readers in Germany.
I want each and every one of you to go out there and attack the holiday weekend. I want meat smoke in the air. I want the smell of bottle rockets wafting in the air. I want humidity. I want pool days on top of pool days. I want Matt in Nashville smiling and looking at that pool pavilion.
I want Beau in Toledo enjoying time with his father and just relaxing away from all of his mowing requirements.
I want Americans to enjoy being Americans.
At the end of the day, turn off the noise and get out there and live. We owe it to ourselves.