Efficiency expert

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It must be a delayed reaction to the beginning of a new year or some stir craziness.

I’ve had a burst of energy and creativity, spending my weekends in the garage—welding stuff and cleaning every flat surface. The creativity is almost compulsive—I don’t think I’m exaggerating in saying I’ve spent a thousand dollars over the last six months buying education, tools, materials and books.

What do I have to show for it? Not much: a couple of vases, an abstract sculpture, a painting sans frame. You wouldn’t believe the time I’ve spent sanding, by hand, these little metal pieces I’ve made—7-10 hours probably. Then I make my family admire them.

And if the welding thing is compulsive, the cleaning thing is just plain nuts. During the big snow storm, I cleaned off the bench in my garage. You’d have to see my bench to believe it. It was the first thing I built when we bought this house. It’s tall—like 40 inches—because I’m tall. It’s 12 feet long and made with 4-by-4s and 2-by-6s, and I can tell you with some certainty that a rock band could perform on it. It took at least eight hours of solid cleaning to get to the point where I could see the entire surface.

The bench was the first symptom of this uncontrollable desire for streamlining. Then on Friday, I cleaned off my office shelves, moving my reference books to a shelf behind me, packing away some notebook binders that I haven’t opened in years. I gave away books, purged file folders, and you can even see the wood grain on my desk. Pretty amazing.

Sunday, I spent a big part of the day cleaning my home office, putting stuff with stuff in preparation for tax time. It’s kind of disconcerting, really; when I got up this morning, I thought I could lay my hands on literally anything I wanted.

And then, of course, came the search for Friday’s notebook. Just goes to show you. By the way, if I talked to you on the 21st, and I said I’d be getting back to you, you might want to call me again.