Thursday, October 7, 2010

One of the things I hate most of all

is a piece of equipment that works intermittently. It will drive a man stark raving mad in a very short period of time.

As I write this, I am trying to submit a grub order to the people at the place we get chow from.

The internet service here is spotty as all hell and I watch the Email server pick up reception and drop it every so often.

It only works when IT wants to work, and not when I want it to work.

Things like this are very frustrating, especially when you lose something like an entire grub list when the damned thing drops service. I have that one figured out. I put the grub list on word pad, and if I lose it, I just copy and paste it and try again. It took me a couple of tries to figure that out.

My cell phone, in its infinite wisdom just rang and told me that I had a call about an hour and a half ago and that I missed it. Awful nice of it to keep me informed.

Of course, this spottiness is a temporary condition and when we move to another area, the service will resume and we'll be back in communications with the whole wonderful world again.

It's semi tolorable because an end is in sight.

What does drive me nuts is when gremlins infest a tool or a piece of machinery. I had a skilsaw once that had a trigger-switch that was on run when it felt like it mode for a while until I figured out what was wrong with it and replaced it. Replacing the switch was a judgement call because the skilsaw was almost twenty years old when it started acting up. I almost replaced it because as old as it is, it is living on borrowed time. I wondered about throwing good money after bad, but I guess I did OK because that was several years ago and it still works well.

The radial arm saw is the one I remember most fondly.

I was in my twenties building houses when I scored a pretty good used radial arm saw. It lasted me a few years and then started acting up. I checked through it carefully a couple of times with what tools I had to work with but I coould find nothing wrong with it. Still, it kept acting up.

Anyone that knows what a radial arm saw is knows that it can take an arm of in a second if the user is preoccupied, and having to work with a tool that isn't running up to snuff is a preoccupation in itself.

One day on a job, the thing was acting up again and I finally snapped. I grabbed a beat up old axe and beat the thing until it was an unrecognizable piece of twisted metal. Because I had not bothered to unplug the damned thing, sparks flew all over hell until finally the breaker tripped. Then I threw the entire mess beside the foundation that was to be backfilled and where it rests to this day.

A minute later I was on my way to the building supply house to buy another one.

Besides having a very satisfying mad minute beating the old saw to death, to this day I truly believe that in doing so I saved my left arm from traumatic amputation.

The lesson I have taken from that day has stayed with me.

When something gets either too dangerous, too frustrating or just plain causes more work than it is worth, it's best to get rid of it.

It isn't worth it.

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