Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Mechanics, carpentry, tying my shoelaces – my general approach to any of it has long been to simply get it done and over with so I can go back to thinking about more important things. Not that I’m averse to labor. Just that I prefer the task to either hold my interest or allow me ability to not abandon my brain’s continual pursuit of other mysteries. Mowing the lawn, for example, is a great form of manual exertion… On occasion, there have been those moments of insanity when lack of finances, pride, or my wife’s insistence has driven me to attack the unknown. My Chevy Bel-Air needed new brake shoes on the front back in seventy. We were fresh out of the Navy, money was tight, and, after all, how hard could it be? Having stripped one wheel down to where it was possible to view all the elements to the operation, I probed with a screwdriver to investigate where to start and – KAPLOOEY! – parts flew everywhere. Younger then, I do admit to a few seconds of fear, but quickly determined it repairable. Quickly: it took me four hours to reassemble with the replacement by continually going around to the other side for a model on how to put it back together, fifteen minutes on its clone… August, 2011, Beth goes into one of her “rearrange the house” moods and moves a fireplace electrical heater across the house into the family room (it rolls), but discovers the “flames” now no longer working when she turns it on. Burnt-out bulb? I’m unscrewing the back panel to get to it, but am rudely given a wake-up call as suddenly something inside obviously drops to the bottom. It seems there is no “panel”, no entrance at all from the rear, what now? Resting overnight to consider it all, I learn in the morning that a lower magnetic “door” opens on the other side giving access to not only what needs replaced, but also an old man’s “fix” to what he created. Lying on the floor, groping in the darkness with a small pen flashlight, the dummy wins again… But will he ever get any wiser?......

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