Man Cave Monday: Resolution Resolution

The thing about New Years’ resolutions is that they don’t often survive the new year. Everyone makes them, and most people don’t follow-through with them, so it’s easy to forget your January courage, abandon your plan, and just blend in with the crowd.

I made a New Years’ resolution last month here at Longbox Graveyard. I am far from done with the job, but I haven’t given up, so I suppose is it still a resolution, though no longer a part of the New Year. Call it a “resolution resolution.”

the oath of oathes!

my oath renewed!

You may recall my previous Man Cave Monday entry, where I pledged to organize and remodel my garage to better accommodate my hobbies.

A little over a month later, there has been some progress, though it takes a trained eye to spot it.

I noted before that “The first step will be clearing out the existing space, installing closing cabinets, applying some fresh paint, and doing something about the floor.” That was putting the cart way before the horse. The first step had to be getting a handle on all the stuff that was crammed into every corner of the garage.

I thought on this for awhile and decided the job was just too big to take on all at once. Instead, I decided to chip away at it, one weekend at a time. I determined my first step should be to pack as if I were moving. After everything is packed away in boxes, we can move the contents of the garage into a temporary storage space and begin on the remodel in earnest.

This stack of boxes proves that I have made some small progress toward that goal.

pack as if to move!

So far I’ve cleaned out my hobby desk and boxed up most of the contents of my dysfunctional wire shelves.

(obligatory “before” shot so I can feel better about myself)

ugly game shelves

(and my nicer “after” photo, to prove I’ve made some progress)

empty wire shelves!

Most of my boxed games have gotten packed away. Here is the “before.”

back side of game divider shelves

And here the “after.”

empty shelves fill me with joy

I’ve also managed to pack up the old bookcase that contained volume after volume of old role playing games. I don’t have a “before” shot for this one, but trust me, it was a mess.


That wooden bookshelf and everything on it is eventually bound for eBay or the charity pile. I’ve secured a commitment from my oldest son to rip all those CDs to iTunes before we bid them goodbye.

Also in that shot above you can see most of the eponymous Longbox Graveyard, which will continue to be the center of this project, but it has (almost) gotten to the point where I can live with it. The garage organization, more and more, is pushing into the frontiers of other hobbies, most notably my gaming and miniatures hobby. I keep a hand in those hobbies but not nearly like I used to, and I hope to cull and sell off a bunch of that stuff as I get deeper into this garage remodel.

One thing that struck me in going through my gaming stuff is that it reflected endless hours of preparation, but significantly fewer hours of actual execution. I have box after box of carefully-painted miniatures but only a fraction of them have ever hit the tabletop. There are lots of role playing games and adventures I’ve created that received only limited outings (if at all). There’s even a massive collection of hand-crafted dungeon stone that I couldn’t be bothered to deploy during my last Dungeons & Dragons campaign, mostly because I lacked the organization and will to transport and set it up.

While I did get some joy out of crafting all these preparations, it gives me pause when I wonder why I spend so much more time planning than doing.

But that’s a pathology to unpack another day. In the meantime, the packing continues!

Man Cave!


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on February 11, 2013, in Man Cave Monday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Impressive man-cave! It also looks like you’re in a sunny locale. 🙂 Projects like this can be fun for a lttle while, but eventually it changes from a labor of love to a chore.


    • You’re too kind — it’s just a messy garage right now. But I hope to make it into something greater and these posts keep me focused on that goal.

      And you are right, I am in Southern California and so get plenty of sun. We don’t have basements in California but it is common for people to use their garages as bonus rooms — even with generally poor garage insulation we can get away with it for most of the year, owing to the weather. In this case, “my” section of the garage is off to the side, with a separate door, qualifying it I suppose as a three-car garage, though it would be snug to fit three cars in here. The goal is to wall off this section separately from the rest of the garage and turn it into my own little Fortress of Solitude.


      • SoCal? Color me jealous! I find it interesting the way certain areas of the country, such as the southeast and the west, don’t have basements. I’d have no idea where to put all my junk without one!
        Fortrss of Solitude, I like that. If I ever get a man-cave, I think I’ll call it my sanctum sanctorum.


        • We put all our junk … in our garages. Which is why so many Californians park in their driveways. I have a garage full of junk, too, but I’m trying to get that junk organized and stowed away so I can also fit a car and my hobby in the garage at the same time.

          First World Geek Problems.


  2. One of my proudest achievements is that we actually have 2 cars parked in our 2-car garage. And the basement isn’t all that cluttered, either.


  3. Exercise bike? Is that some kind of crazy West Coast thing?


    • Actually I have an elliptical … but it is harder to spell, so I just say, “Exercise Bike.”

      and yes it is definitely a crazy west coast thing that we have lovely weather but ride stationary contraptions indoors. I won’t try to defend it. It does take the sting out of television time though — I have a hundred miles in on the thing this past year, all while watching TV, so that’s something.


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