Eyes for the Job Blog - Episode 3: Murphy’s Law

Hosts Chris Judge and Alex Haider prepare to saw a piece of wood.

By Alex Haider

Chris and I just did two projects for some people in the community at the workshop and holy cow, a black cat must have crossed our paths because we had more than a few moments of bad luck. And, to make it even weirder, we were building a Murphy bed and a table that folds up like a Murphy bed. I’ve heard people talk about Murphy’s Law before, I know what’s all about now! 

It all started when we couldn’t find the Murphy’s Oil Soap. We looked everywhere, and, for some weird reason, it was in a picnic cooler on a shelf. Even when we finally did find it, it was useless, because guess what? Empty! We don’t know who emptied and stashed the empty bottle, but we’re going to have to remind the workshoppers to let us know when something runs out. It really is there for everyone to use, but it’s like putting the end of the orange juice back in the fridge - just don’t do it! 

Where was I? Oh, yes, at the workshop. While we were trying to get the Murphy’s Oil Soap situation under control, Lori showed up at the workshop. She had ordered a kit online to make a Murphy’s bed for her son as a surprise. Well the surprise was on Lori because it was nowhere near as easy as she’d hoped. Like Chris said, it seems like Murphy’s Law visited a Murphy bed. 

With Chris leading the way, we managed to wrangle the bed kit into submission and Lori’s son was very pleased. One thing about working in the workshop that I’m really enjoying (besides, of course, working with Chris!) is being able to help people. I’m really beginning to see how we can make people’s lives better with home improvement projects. 

Then, I got a call from a friend of mine who knows a couple living in a teeny-tiny apartment (not unlike myself!). They had an antique table and were open to anything. Chris and I threw around some ideas. And, of course, Chris reminisced! In the end, we came up with a great solution to their problem: A Murphy table and combined spice rack. It sounds like an odd combination, but it’s fabulous and a great use of space. It fit into their apartment well and looks great too. 

Murphy’s Law may have been at work, but it didn’t matter in the end. It is so cool to work with Chris on these projects. 

Eyes for the Job airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Check your local listings for the AMI-tv channel in your area or use AMI’s online channel guide. Episodes will be available online after the initial broadcast.

The complete first season of Eyes for the Job is available to stream online at AMI.ca or on the AMI app.

Eyes for the Job Blog - Episode 2: Getting Untangled

By Alex Haider

This is our second blog post for Eyes for the Job, and while I’ll likely do most of the writing (talking!), Chris has informed me that I better not forget him in the blog. Like I said, Chris is a great guy and a real friend to me (Don’t tell him I said that, it’ll go to his head!). He’s pretty funny (in a dad joke kind of way) and, if I’m honest, he’s very supportive. 

Just this week, we decided to build a desk for the workshop. We had a tangle of wires from our various gadgets, and a workspace would help keep us organized. Chris suggested a metal and wood desk and remembered that David “Gump” Harrison, one of our friends, is a welder. To be honest, I was a little scared. I looked up welding online and ended up on a welding site with a dictionary of slang (let’s just say bird poop, dogleg and alligator cut all came up), so that wasn’t super helpful. 

But when Gump showed up with his sweet ride stuffed full of gear, I knew we were in safe hands. Chris had tried welding once before and Gump was impressed. He couldn’t believe how Chris can weld by sound alone. I tried to weld by sound too, but the results were not quite the same quality. I did get a round of applause from Chris for my welding, but like I said, he’s very supportive. In the end, the desk has plenty of room for both of us and looks fabulous. 

In the middle of building the desk, Chris got a call from David, another workshop member and friend. David is into the environment and the local food movement. He is part of a group called Transition Bay St Margarets, which is all about creating projects for resilience, such as local gardening, co-op greenhouses, other food production and distribution, skills training, transportation and energy options and local currencies.
  
Our interest was piqued. Chris and I both grew up around gardeners; my mom grew herbs and flowers and Chris’ family grew a lot of different stuff. David was building a geodesic dome greenhouse. So, of course, it was a great excuse for our first road trip. David lives in a beautiful area and rounded up a few of his neighbours to help with the build. 

The dome was mostly assembled when we arrived, so we just had to add plastic and a door, which turned out to be not quite as easy as it sounds. Aside from the dome, we built raised beds. It all came together so well and I can’t wait to see how things grow! I love the idea of controlling not just the food I eat, but what’s in the food I eat. 

David’s dome is going to be a great resource for him and the other people involved in Transition Bay St Margarets. It was really great to see that community pulling together to make a positive impact. It makes me think the workshop could use its own garden. Then we’d have access to fresh food all the time. Hmm…

Eyes for the Job airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Check your local listings for the AMI-tv channel in your area or use AMI’s online channel guide. Episodes will be available online after the initial broadcast.

The complete first season of Eyes for the Job is available to stream online at AMI.ca or on the AMI app.

Eyes for the Job Blog – Episode 1: Here we go!

By Alex Haider

Wow, just wow. That’s all I can say after the past few weeks. So much has happened! Where should I start? Well, as many of you know, I love social media! (Yes, maybe a little too much!) Well, I finally found the perfect opportunity to help out AND use my mad social media skills. There’s a new workshop not far from my house called the Main Street Community Workshop and turns out my friend, Chris Judge, is going to be helping out there. 

Chris is a great guy, but the really cool thing is he’s a blind builder. He’s really an inspiration to me because he never lets anything get in his way. Now he’s going to teach me about building and I’m going to help him with social media for the workshop. I’m so pumped! 

I’ve already started and it’s so great. The first thing we did was work on getting the workshop set up. It has to be not just efficient, but safe and accessible for anyone who might want to use it. I’m told the professionals call that workflow. 

The workshop has lots of space, but to be honest, it was kind of messy and not the best for Chris to navigate amongst all that lumber. So, to get the lumber organized, we set up a combined storage rack and mitre saw “thingy.” And yes, I did just use the word “mitre” and yes, I know what it is AND how to use one. I also used a chop saw, a drill and a power sander. All while rocking some fine safety glasses. 

Next, we set up a dust collector. I’m not one who’s bothered by a little bit of dust, but it turns out it can have some seriously negative effects on your health. So dust collection in a workshop is a must have. (Especially when it turns on and off with a remote starter just like a car! Too cool.) 

The funniest moment of the dust collection installation? The look on Andrew the installer’s face when he heard that Chris put a barbeque together by himself! Chris kills me! 

Once we got the whole thing set up we were so ready to show off the workshop. There was so much buzz from my social media feed we had to make a wait list of people wanting to see the shop. 

I’m so proud to have played a part in building something that so many people can access. There were moms and kids, single people and just so many people who are into it. It was super cool to see that the mitre saw is accessible for people who use wheelchairs!

People loved the tools and the chill zone, but I can already see that there are things we can add that will make it better for all of us to use. I can’t wait to fire up those tools again! 

Eyes for the Job airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Check your local listings for the AMI-tv channel in your area or use AMI’s online channel guide. Episodes will be available online at AMI.ca after the initial broadcast.

The complete first season of Eyes for the Job is available to stream online at AMI.ca or on the AMI app.

Keywords: Eyes for the Job, Chris Judge, Alex Haider, DIY, woodworking, community, workshop, home improvement, renovations