A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I am my Father’s son. In more ways than I like to admit sometimes. I have a temper, have been known to blister the air with words not said in church and can be “difficult” to deal with on occasion.
Love you, Floyd. Even though you are gone all these years sometimes it’s like you are still standing beside me. Yelling at me to get the crescent wrench, Gawd dammit! What the f is a crescent wrench anyway?
But the area in which we are most alike is in our total inability to recognize that we are incapable of fixing anything around the house.
Two cases in point. The false ceiling in the studio was sagging badly the other day. There is five feet of insulation on top of it and many many empty boxes so it needed to be fixed before the ceiling met the floor.
I hate false ceilings. I have never been able to remove one of those blocks without breaking it. This case was not an exception. That I only broke a corner off one and a few gouges out of another was a miracle. In a hail of insulation and pieces of false ceiling I fixed the problem. And got something, insulation most likely, in my eye which is still bothering me a day later.
I went back in the house to tell the long suffering wife about my success and the broken parts. She said “When do you ever fix anything without breaking something else?” My Father’s son.
The other example? Along with the anti-home handyman gene I also posses the “Macgyver” gene. For those unfamiliar with Macgyer he was a TV character who could fix anything with anything, make a bomb out of chewing gum, bailing wire and spit. In my case the “Macgyver” gene is of course horribly mutated and only allows me to think I can fix something while actually making it worse. Usually.
The walk behind mower has an electric start. You plug it in, charge up the battery and then when you turn the key it runs.
Unless you forget to charge it up all winter.
Of course it also has old pull on the handle start. The handle broke sometime ago. Who needs it when you just turn the key? Riiiight.
My “Macgyver” mission was to fix the hand starter since funds for a new battery are non-existent.
My brainstorm? Fashion a new handle out of a piece of PVC pipe I found in the garage. Hmmm. What to cut it with? I have handsaws back in the house. But there must be something here, somewhere.
I rummaged thru an old tool kit that was prepared by my Dad years ago. He was meticulous about such things, stocking it with the most amazing array of tools and medical supplies you can imagine. And some you can’t. M.A.S.H. units are less equipped than one of my Dad’s tool kits. This one I had stashed intact in the trunk of my MG. As I hunted thru it I found this pocket knife.
I have no idea how old “Floyd” was when he put his mark on this. I find it very typical that the “D” didn’t make it, either thru lack of planning or…well who knows.
I wish could say the story ends with me hacking through the PVC pipe with the “Floy” knife. But I had to go back in the house for a hacksaw.
My “Macgyver” lawn mower starter shown here. It works! For now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You don't live in a house maintained for twenty years by "Floy". I am still coming across homemade knives (with three inches of duct tape on the handles) and bamboo blinds held up with fishing line. His workbench in the basement alone is an example of creative engineering.