The Sheer Joy Of Repair

I am always dismayed when I see something I own that is breaking down. Whether it is clothing, the car, tools and furniture, or the house itself, there is sense of loss to it all.

And yet – then there is a sometimes a spark of happiness to be found:

a. If the thing that is breaking or broken was something that was never used and was just being kept for the sake of appearances, the loss is a great chance to be free.

b. If life continues as comfortably and calmly as before it tells you that whatever it was was superfluous.

c. If you can get the thing repaired economically, you show frugal common sense.

d. If you can repair it yourself, you are Daniel Boone standing on a mountain top – king of all you survey.

Today it was the covering of my iPad – a magnetic case that protects the thing and shuts it off automatically upon closing. My pad keeps a charge far longer this way. It had split the pressed-leather covering away from the framework. Time to go get a new one from Apple…for $ 79.00…

Or time to get out the Weldbond PVA glue, two bits of foamcore board and some clothes pegs as clamps. Glue, clamp, set in the sun to dry. And an hour later pocket a virtual $ 79.00 toward my holiday trip.

On other days it has been shoes, tables, tents and awnings, worn shop tools, and a myriad of broken, fixable items that have been put back into service. Every day after a repair is a day in which the goods pay you – not the other way around.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it is, do.

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Putting WordPressure On The Guilty

None of us is a social justice warror because none of us actually do anything to acheive it. No wonder – we have no idea what the phrase means. I’ve looked for a definition that doesn’t press someone’s ambit claim for money or emotional hand wringing, or money, or …well…money.

It ain’t there. A lot of the socially bellicose are either driving or being driven by the desire for someone else’s money. They don’t have it, they want it, and they are going to find any means they can to get it – save work.

It’s difficult for them, no doubt, as the people who have the money want to hold onto it. Oh, they’ll spend it, but they want value for money – mobs surging and schoolchildren chanting is hardly value under any reckoning. Mobs digging ditches or schoolchildren actually learning might do it, but this is not what the social justicians generally offer. But there is hope – WordPress is available to press their point.

What they need to do is find someone who they wish to disturb. The victim need not be bad, mad, sad, or anything else – all they have to do is be still long enough to fix some sort of guilt to them. Then a flood of outrage on WordPress and the other social media platforms to cause them to either give up and send money or to explode in rage so that they can be sued. Lawsuits are expensive – especially the ones tailored by bespoke lawyers – and the average victim can be frightened into giving up before the prospect of court arises.

Remember – whatever anyone says, demand Ju$tice – preferably in small, unmarked bills.

” I’m Not Happy…”

Once upon a time my father put a set of plans for his new house in to the local shire for approval. It was a good design and quite legal – though it was an unusual configuration for the time. The clerk behind the desk shook his head and said he wasn’t happy about the ideas he saw on paper.

My father wasn’t offended. He asked the clerk to show him the local building statute that referred to the clerk’s happiness…There was a the sound of growling and rubber stamping and the house is standing and serving me 44 years later. I cannot say what the state of mind of the clerk is – perhaps he cheered up in retirement.

Similarly, I have noted that many people behind counters are not happy. Some, because they are there, and some because I am there. I have learned to do my best to alleviate their gloom by smiling and making whatever request I have small and easy to accomplish. This works well in delis and banks – a simple request for a pie and sauce in the one or a small note demanding cash for the other is all that’s needed. And keep your finger pointed in your coat pocket when you ask.

If you are not happy at home, the onus is generally on you to remedy this. The way you do that can be manyfold – study, work, singing, hobbies, thinking – they’ll all serve to lift your gloom. If your unhappiness is due to another, simply remove them from the home and have the locks changed. If all else fails paint them a bright colour and decorate their edges with chrome trim.

Share A Lie…

Share propaganda. Share racist diatribes. Share bigotry. Share innuendo. Share abuse and bullying. Share political pressure.

Or don’t. Your choice.

The daily round of social media brings a waste-paper basket full of this sort of thing. People with a political, social, or religious opinion will batten upon something – a meme, a rant, a scurrilously defamatory article – and ” share ” it to others in their social circle. Some do it every day – some when a national event occurs. There is one common theme with all the posts; the poster wants to get way with their abuse – diatribe, bigotry, whine, or whatever – scot-free. They are merely ” sharing ” someone else’s concoction. If they are proved right you should have agreed with them and if they are proved wrong it was someone else’s fault.

Well, no. When you try to slap something unsavoury upon your friends, you are the last person to touch it, and the dung clings to you as much as it does to the disgusting object. Same thing with your social media posts. Those shitty fingers are at the ends of your own sleeves.

If you want to be honest with friends, you can still press them with political and social opinions, but you need to do it in your own words. You write, not share. If you write right, they’ll read. If you write shite, they won’t.

Take responsibility for your own material.

Durian Smoothy? Don’t Mind If I Don’t…

Apparently they cleared out a Canberra public library quick-smart today after someone smelled a gas leak. The gas turned out to be an abandoned durian fruit – but the library visitors were probably grateful to be out of the place anyway – such is the reputation of the thing.

I have also seen notices in Singapore prohibiting it in hotel rooms, elevators, and public transport – because of the vile odour it emits. This is said to be somewhere between sewer gas and faeces. Hell of an advertisement for a food, eh?

Hell of an advertisement for the people who want to eat it, as well. I understand that lots of things can be acquired tastes, but acquiring a taste or faeces seems to be a pretty remarkable culinary achievement. What’s next? Franchise hamburgers?

Perhaps it is like the chili-eating contests that pit smartarses against each other to see who can feel worse – while the locals stand around laughing behind their fans. There is a certain cultural revenge inherent in seeing people eat offal and garbage if you have tricked them into it. It’s what accounts for poutine during Dominion Day celebrations outside of Canada.

Wait a minute. I think we’re onto something here. The durian poutine. Faster than a speeding pheromone – able to penetrate submarine hulls – capable of knocking a French Canadian off a gut-wagon…

My Eyes Are Up Here

I don’t mind you staring at my chest, but that’s not what this post is about. I’m a guy and my chest is not that good to look at.

Okay. I have a set of scales in my bathroom and it is probably a good thing for my health to use them every week. I should run between 75 Kg and 67 Kg for decent health…but there are times when I have no idea what my weight is – even though I am standing on the scales.

The problem is the readout on the scales is down there and my eyes are up here, and as I have spectacles for short-sightedness, I cannot see what the numbers are. The ideal time to weigh myself is when I am dry after a shower with no clothes on ( treasure that image… ) but my glasses are never there to let me see the numbers. When I step off the scales to peer down the display cuts off…

Please, Chinese appliance makers, make a set of scales that has a wireless link from the foot pad to a big LCD readout on a separate screen that I can mount up on the wall or the bathroom mirror at eye level. I’ll pay for it and cheerfully put two sets of AA batteries in the pad and the readout to let it operate. Heck, connect it with a wire, if that’s easier.

But until I get eyeballs in my knees, the daily weight will remain a mystery.

I Hate You Just A Little

But give me time – I may be able to improve upon that.

The real topic of today’s column is not whether it is bad to hate or good to love. ( or vice versa ) but whether it is possible to exercise either emotion in a sensible and correct amount.

” I love/hate you forever, with all my might, and every fibre of my being! “…makes a pretty good political platform or set of lyrics for a nightclub singer. It invites excess – lust, stabbing, coy eye fluttering, and worse. It is the stuff of bad theatrical performance   – suited to the puerile rather than the pure. The raw emotion of it horrifies the sophisticated mind, in whatever quarter of the world it may reside. I propose a careful alternative; graduated emotion. I’ll love or hate you on a sliding scale of imperceptible increments.

Let’s take a set of people with whom I have never had contact – and who I never expect to visit – the Andaman Islanders. They are that savage little band on the East Indian island who attack and murder anyone who tries to come ashore. They are rather like the Japanese used to be before the 19th century, but probably without sushi.

Their nearest neighbours – the Indians – really want very little to do with them, and unless they strike oil in the islands, the savages will probably be able to keep on murdering unwary intruders. No-one else seems to want to deal with them.

Now, how much should I love the Andaman islanders? How much should I hate them? Can I just leave them in a limbo of indifference without incurring the wrath of the social media set? I think I can.

And if this extreme example can be so consigned – until the Andaman Islanders knock on the door and ask to come in – can I do the same to a lot of other people? I should be relieved if I thought that someone could take no harm nor good from me …nor I them. One less meme-storm to have to wade through on Facebook.

I’ll still have a soft spot in my heart for you, my readers. Just don’t expect it to spread to my head.