Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Keeping it simple

One of the things that sometimes drives me nuts is that there are an awful lot of people that do not understand the concept of simple.

It happens in just about all fields of endeavor.

My pickup, which is as simple as I could get it was a horror show to locate but I found it and I like it because it is simple. It has fewer parts to have to mess with and therefore is a whole lot less likely to die out on me. I am quite certain, for example that I will never have to replace a window opening motor because it doesn't have any.

I once hauled a younger guy to his boat and it was funny when he asked me which button to push to lower the window. The look on his face was precious when I said, "See that little crank? Turn it."

A couple of years back I sent a guy out to pick up a simple can opener, the kind you turn with your hand and costs a couple of bucks. He returned with a countertop electric model and explained that it was the simplest model he could find. I never even opened the box. I simply stuffed it in the trash unopened and had someone else pick up the hand operated kind. We still have it and it works like a charm. It does what it is supposed to do. It opens cans.

It fits nicely in a drawer, takes up no counter space, draws no energy. We don't eat a lot of canned stuff so it's not like we use it 137 times a day.

I have recently looked into emergency radio communications and have learned a lot about how a lot of people think. Some is good, some not so good.

There are a lot of hams that are techies and that is actually a good thing because a lot of good comes from that. These guys are the ones that make the hobby what it is today and these are the go-to guys for figuring a lot of problems out.

Some of them get so wrapped up in the technology that they have a very hard time comprehending simplicity. When you point to, for example, a simple field rig for field use that allows the use of voice and code they ask "But how are you going to send images through it?" They miss the whole point of simplicity.

The field rig is not designed to use a whole lot of data mode. It is designed to provide simple field communications. If you want to use data, you simply use the sophisticated rig you have in your warm, heated home. A field rig is about basics.

It isn't just about cars and radios. It seems to pop up just about everywhere.

It is funny the way a lot of people thing about tools and equipment.

Recently I rented a small jackhammer with a ground rod putter-inner head. I rented the thing to install a trio of ground rods, a pair for radios and one to make damned good and sure the household AC was properly grounded after I examined the ground there and decided it was insufficient.

I rented the jackhammer for that purpose and that purpose only and to simplify things I only took the jackhammer itself and the specific head to do the job rather than have to keep track of several expensive and easily lost parts.

As I was driving the rod into the ground someone came by and asked me a couple of questions about the tool and then asked me where the rest of the heads were. I told him I didn't bring them with me as I had only rented the tool for one specific use.

"Yeah, but now you can't use it to bust up concrete." he protested.

Who said anything about busting up concrete? I had and now have no concrete that needs busting up. The only reason I rented the machine was to install ground rods.

I suppose part of the mentality is that when you have a jackhammer you can bust up concrete which you certainly can. If you have no concrete to bust up there are a lot of people that will complicate things even more by finding some and making up a dumb excuse to open a can of worms.

"Hey! This is neat! I can tear up the driveway!"

Even though the driveway is in pretty good shape if you give some people a jackhammer they will decide it is time to replace it.

The same thing happened several years ago when I rented scaffolding. I was installing vinyl siding and as most of us know it comes with the color molded into the plastic. No painting is involved. While I was busy installing the siding someone asked me how come I didn't have the little hooks they give you to hook a paint can on.

"They're free," he explained.

"I'll give anyone that wants one a free poke in the eye with a sharp stick," I replied. "But you don't see a line in front of the house, now, do you? The hooks are just one more thing to get lost and I am not doing any painting."

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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