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I Used Tools, Yet Still Have 10 Fingers

July 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Today I took advantage of my enforced vacation and decided to fix one of my house's screen doors. 

Fix as in "use tools in an intelligent and productive manner". 

Well, it was a good idea.  Noble, even.

I wouldn't say the venture was a failure.  I did, in fact, fix the damage that I had set out to fix.  The screen no longer has a hole in it.  So that's pretty nice. 

It's possible that the rest of the door, the part that needed no alterations, might be a tiny bit different than it was when I started.  Not a lot.  Just a wee bit less... nice.  Not destroyed, mind you.  Just different.  You might say that I managed to move the damage around.  Sort of like one of those sliding-tile jigsaw puzzles.  It used to be a picture of a door with a torn screen; now it's a picture of a door with a pristine screen and slightly less pristine moulding around the screen.

The good news is that this was a trial run for fixing the other door.  Now I know where I'm likely to go wrong.  So that's a win, right?

There's a reason I became a theorist.  I have no practical skills whatsoever.


DMS July 2, 2011 at 8:06 am
Power tool or just tools? I've gotten quite good at not taking out an eye with a screwdriver, but I still fear the undercut saw.
Ian July 2, 2011 at 11:30 am
Just regular unpowered tools. I did use an electric drill the other day, and managed to do so without a bout of accidental self-trepanation. But it was a very close thing.
Richard July 2, 2011 at 11:44 am
I call band name.
Ian July 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Only if I can be a roadie for the band.
Scott Denning July 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Google "Joseph Mellen" and meet the leading prophet of the band ACCIDENTAL SELF-TREPANATION (Tonight at the Victory Theater!) And through him the Patron Saint of Trepanation, Dr. Bart Huges. Huges' premise was that the adoption of upright stance by humans caused a reduction of bloodflow to the brain, against gravity. He also premised that the "soft spot" in the skull of children allows greater oxygenation in the brain, and provides a flexible rebound for the pulse of blood and an expansion of the brain. Mellen took this ball and ran with it -- after several attempts, he managed to remove a disk of bone from his skull. In his book "Bore Hole" he describes the process, and the results. He claims it was an exaltative experience, with the result of a return to the imagination state of a child. Braincase too small? Stuck in a creative rut? Who needs expensive microchip implants -- just grab a Bosch Brainer 3000 and buzz away! Open that Third Eye right up -- Instant Enlightenment! You'll feel years younger! And what a great come-on line at parties: "Hey, baby -- want to stroke my brain? Maybe you can make it pulse..."
DMS July 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm
You think that's a good career move given the origin of the band name?
Ian July 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm
I'm not even sure what a roadie does, to be honest. All I know is that I once heard an interview on the radio with a guy who used to be a roadie for the Rolling Stones. He said that he decided to go to school and start a career after Keith Richards told him to get his life together, so he went off and became a large animal vet. Which is another job I'd probably be terrible at, come to think of it.
Ian July 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm
You won't be surprised to know that in college I had, for a brief period of time, a mild fascination with the adventures of one Mr. Mellen and Ms. Feilding. (Not so deep a fascination that I went to the trouble of firing up the drill. And my friends did look at me askance when I explained how, apparently, you need two people to do a decent trepanation job.) That's the measure of both true love and/or true hatred: taking a power drill to another person's skull.
DMS July 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm
I should not have boasted about my prowess with a screwdriver as that is clearly an exception to my mechanical "skills." I managed to injure myself today with a sous vide. Not by scalding a finger. No, I managed to cut myself. I think I'll avoid things with actual sharp edges for the rest of the day.
Ian July 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm
I didn't even know what a sous-vide was until I looked it up just now. That is way, WAY fancier than any cooking I've ever done. That counts as using power tools.
Victor Milan July 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm
Your title seems to beg for the postscript, " ... just not necessarily all in the same places." Also, how screwed up exactly do you have to be to have KEITH RICHARDS tell you to get your life together? Finally, you should get Joe to give you a tour of one of the machine shops up at the Lab. Then you could have an entirely new *level* of tool to dread.
Ian July 4, 2011 at 11:29 am
Also, how screwed up exactly do you have to be to have KEITH RICHARDS tell you to get your life together? I know, right? That's the thing I loved most about that interview. I mean, of all the people in the world who might come along and espouse the virtues of personal responsibility... Keith Richards?!? Then you could have an entirely new *level* of tool to dread. I was actually thinking about Joe when I wrote this post! Here I am, barely able to use a simple drill. What kind of catastrophe would ensue if I had to use a computer controlled lathe? In a specially controlled environment chamber?
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