The Woody Project Blog

June 25, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 7:50 pm

Tight Fit

Have you ever done something and then half way through realize there’s probably a more appropriate way to do it?

Me too.

June 5, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan @ 8:40 pm

Stanky Drawers

I clearly remember the professor in one of my first year accounting courses telling us “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” And it’s true. Everyone knows it. The problem is that sometimes we forget this simple truth and then we do something that reminds us loud and clear.

This story starts with two facts:

1) I’m just starting out and so I don’t have a lot of furniture in the house; what I do have is hand-me-downs.

2) Old houses aren’t known for their abundant closets.

I got it into my head that I needed storage and that it would be even better if I could get it for free. (Here’s where the free lunch thing should have stopped me.)

Earlier that week I had listened to an interview with someone from Freecycle. Freecycle is an internet discussion forum where people exchange things (for free) that they don’t want/need anymore.

I found the Ottawa Valley Freecycle chapter and joined. I then sent out a message asking if anyone had wooden dressers to give away.

What could possibly go wrong?

A couple of weeks later I got an email from a lady who said she had 2 antique dressers that she had been meaning to get rid of and did I want them?

Sure I do. Free, “antique” storage. All I had to do was arrange to go and pick them up. In Quebec.

What could possibly go wrong?

A week later I talked my best buddy Chad into picking me up with his van and driving to Waltham to pick up the dressers. When we got the the house, the dressers were out in the driveway with my name taped to them. The dressers looked a little rougher than I had hoped for but I figured beggars can’t be choosers and I could probably repair and/or salvage at least one of them.

We quickly loaded them in the van (please note that this was in the middle of winter and it was very cold outside) and began to make our way back to town.

The ride from dresser lady’s house to my house is about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes into the trip the van begins to warm up again after having the back door open.

“Hey Chad, do you smell something?”

“Yeah, I do, it smells kinda like cat pee.”

We made the rest of the trip with the windows down.

Until now I’ve been too embarrassed to write about this, but with time it has become one of those stories you can laugh about.

After all the planning, emails, driving, loading and unloading I had no more storage than when I started and 2 dressers that reeked of cat pee in my basement.

2 missing drawers, 2 smashed drawers, 2 broken legs, mould, mud and corn(??!?) in the remaining drawers, holes punched in the sides, initials carved into the surface and then filled with liquid paper, skateboard stickers, and CAT PEE!

Here comes the best part of the story, the next day I got an email from this lady:

“Thank you for picking up the dressers. I had to run out for a minutes so I just left them in the driveway for you. Please be very nice to them, they were my parents and were vey special to us. I would hate to have them ruined.

Talk to you later…


They went out in the spring cleanup garbage collection this evening. They lasted an hour on the curb before someone came and loaded them into their truck.

I hope they take good care of the dressers, they were very special to me.

In addition to reinforcing the No Free Lunch rule, I have learned some other valuable lessons:

1) “Antique” has different meanings to different people.
2) Cat pee doesn’t smell at -20 degrees.
3) Cat pee smells very bad at 20 degrees, and
4) Friends who are still your friends after convincing them to drive around backwoods Quebec with cat pee dressers in their vehicle are very good friends indeed.

P.S. Does anyone have old wooden dressers they would like to give away?

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