Field Expedient Repair – Or Not…

A perfectionist meets baling gum and chewing wire…

Can Not Get Good Help

I have a somewhat odd sense of humor. I have been known to say “I ought to fire the guy who does my thinking for me” or some similar comment when I discover a mistake.  Sometimes this doesn’t work out quite as planned.

Some years ago, I dropped a pencil while preparing to hang a monitor, and saw Bob watching to see where it landed. Planning to pick it up later, I said “Never mind.  I’ll let my lackey get it.”  Unfortunately, I was a little slow getting that out, and he was already handing the pencil back when it registered…

Today, a few of us were having a discussion when Alan returned from a service call. Alan dropped a tag, and as I bent to pick it up, I heard Bob say something.  As I hand the tag back to Alan, I finish processing Bob’s comment and the penny drops.  Bob said “It’s okay Alan, your lackey will get that for you…”

Well played, Bob, well played.

Looking for a Ding-Dong…

My truck didn’t have a gentle chime to remind one to remove the keys. No, when you opened the door, a buzzer went off like a fire alarm. I finally unplugged the beast and dropped it in the glove box, intending to find some way to muffle it later. I remembered it when I came out to a dead battery after work one day. Yup, headlight and key buzzers, both in the same box. Ah, but who really needs a headlight warning anyway? I guess that would be me.

Lesson learned about the value of little reminders, I proceeded to try to make the buzzer a little less obnoxious.  I finally stopped the sucker from being annoying – by making it completely silent.

Linda – wanna ride to Radio Shack to get a ding-dong?
A what?
A ding-dong. You know, a little chime thingy.
Don’t go in there and ask for a ding-dong – they’ll think you’re weird.
They know I’m weird – I brought my own record once to check out a turntable.
What’s so weird about that?
It was by Tom Lehrer.
Ugh – point made. It doesn’t matter – you will not go in there and ask for a ding-dong!
Sigh. Okay.

Can I help you?
Yes, I’m looking for one of the two-tone door chimes.
Sure. You looking for wireless, or?
No, no, the component part – it’s for a project.
Oh, you want a ding-dong!
Exactly!

DSCN0430buz_open

Buzzer with chime – open

The chime on top replaces the now-defunct key/headlight buzzer on the left. The seatbelt buzzer is on the right in the background; the bimetal strip and heater in the foreground serve as a timer to kill the seatbelt buzzer after a few seconds. Threading the orange wire in through the fine wires required a bit of care, hence the hot-melt in the corner to secure it.

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Buzzer reassembled

I left the wires long and the back cover off with thoughts of coming back later with more sophisticated logic than (keys and door open) = buzz, but the new chime wasn’t annoying enough to bother with.  I probably did this about 15 years ago.  When I pulled the chime out for it’s photo op, I noticed that the back had been off all this time.  Did I throw the back out?  I walked over to the bench, rummaged around for a bit, found it, sawed a slot in the case for the wires, and snapped the cover back on.  Maybe it’s time to clean up the bench.

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Installed back in the fuse block.

And here it is, back in the truck, hot-melt muffling the chime down to a tolerable level.

Project complete…

Plumbing Condos

We began staying at a condo instead of a motel on our annual beach vacation – it costs only a little more and the condos, each being someone’s vacation home, are very nice. Walking through the parking deck to the elevator, I looked up and marvelled at the work of art installed on the ceiling:

DrainTheCondos

I still can’t figure out if they kept changing the goals, piped themselves into a corner, or executed the design flawlessly.  It doesn’t look like the pipes could move enough to assemble some of those joints.

How would you do it?

On Reading – or not

For whatever reason, my eyes just vacuum up words, even when I’m not intending to read. Sometimes things get a bit mangled in the process. Just now, on the way to get a soda from the basement fridge, I walked past a partial box of football screws. (Don’t quite recall where I used them.)  Reaching for my razor one day, I noticed a new tube of Antigravity Toothpaste, just laying there on the counter.  Obviously defective, but I made sure to keep a firm grip on my toothbrush, just in case.

antigravity2

The latest case is when I hopped on over to Ed’s blog at softsolder.com to see if his daily post was up. I glimpse the link to Decorative Slug and hit the refresh button.  The next words that come into focus are “Not quite enough voltage for a two-cell battery…”

But, but – can you even make a battery from a slug?

What, me blog?

Why blog? Because writing good comments takes too long. By the time I have the comment the way I want it, the post is old. (Note the bit about the perfectionist above.) It doesn’t help that some folks post three times a day.

You know how you can be discussing something and the responses don’t make any sense, and then you realize you aren’t on the same subject? No? Happens here a lot. I keep telling Linda that she should blog this, and she says I should get a blog.

Who, Me?  Well, I know what’s good for me, so here goes. (Sometimes that’s called knowing what side your butter is breaded on.)

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