The one thing about being a mechanic is you need and accumulate tools throughout your career. Every year they introduce a new method to drive the humble screw, and of course you need a whole new set of tools to deal with it. And every year they build new cars with unaccessable items ( like oil filters) that need special tools to get to them. It never ends…
But there is one great tool that I have that can’t be replaced and hasn’t been updated. You’ve seen it in PDF’s and Photoshop. You guessed it, it’s the hand tool.
The hand tool is so good it can pick up stuff you can’t even see. And the hand tool has the sensation of touch, so that you can see what you’re doing without seeing it. The hand tool is covered in a skin like substance that is waterproof and impervious to a lot of chemicals. Sometimes the hand tool’s skin like substance gets a little rough from the wear and tear, but there are gloves available to cover them, but they are never as good as the original skin like substance. If you use latex gloves, any oily bolt will defeat their grip. If you use leather gloves, any small nut or spring will defeat their grip. None of this stuff defeats the hand tool’s original skin like substance.
The hand tool can adjust to grab any size tool handle, and they have great mobility, so good in fact that you can always get the hand tool into places you can’t always get it out of. In sum, the hand tool is the best tool in the toolbox…
I was listening to a podcast this morning out of Australia on ancient Chinese history, on my way to work in southern Ohio, on my Japanese MP3 player in my Swedish car. (kinda global, isn’t it…) The speaker was talking about acient Chinese landscape painters, and how they thought it below their dignity to be paid for their work. In fact, they thought it would make them mere vulgar craftsmen, something to be despised.
Also lately I’d been reading The History of the Ancient World, and the discussion of Ancient Greece, about 500 B.C. Chester Starr was relating the fact that none of the ancient Greeks would work for anybody. Even the lowest Greek on the totem pole scratching around on his plot of dirt was too proud to work for wages. His activity was aimed at getting together a couple of bucks so that he could buy some slaves to do all the work for him.
So what’s up with that?
Seems to me, if it wasn’t for all these vulgar craftsmen who did all the work, there wouldn’t be any classical civilization, and all these guys would have starved to death before they got anything accomplished.
Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I like being a craftsman. I fix machines that have come to grief is some way or other and make them right again. And I get a check every week for doing it. And once you start fixing one kind of machine, you never stop there. You start fixing everything, cars, computers, cell phones… whatever gets in your way that’s broken. It becomes a way of life. I can’t stand not knowing how something works, and that does become problematic in this day and age, as even the engineers that think this stuff up don’t understand it.
However, here’s to the Chinese guy, I hope some vulgar guy makes him some paint!