I always chuckle when I hear a mention of NASA’s shuttles or the ISS and somebody feels the need to pipe in that, “we made that robotic arm!” I can almost imagine a news anchor saying that the Canadarm went up on a mission…and brought along the shuttle too…
Once I was eaves-dropping on a nearby conversation while riding the ferry to Vancouver and heard someone say that the first feet on the moon were actually Canadian, because the feet on the Apollo lander were made in Montreal!
I don’t know if that’s true, and I don’t care. I wanted to tell them that there’s nothing wrong with being proud of the smallest contribution to a big project but there was no need to be snide about it or inflate its significance; trust me, they sounded snide. Like I said, I wanted to tell them….but I’m too pretentious to admit that I was listening in on their conversation.
It reminded me of a dishwasher who told me that without him, the restaurant couldn’t run. I corrected him: The restaurant couldn’t run without clean dishes but without him, they’d hire another dishwasher.
While flipping through channels on the television the other day, I paused to watch a horror film for a few minutes. I thought about what could be learned from horror films, and all I could muster was this:
If the lights are out in the basement, brother, you better not go down there.
I was reading in an online forum about a fellow’s mishap with the battery on his tractor; oversight and a little hydrogen gas conspired to complicate his day. Below is a portion of the comment I left on that forum that I consider one whale of a cautionary tale.
There’s an old legend, back in the village where I grew up, about a fisherman who made a nice little explosion down at the wharf while charging his boat’s dead battery bank. He wanted to take a look at the terminals while it was charging but it was dark, so he used his cigarette lighter. He wasn’t seriously hurt, but the incident earned him the nicname Die Hard; after the battery brand.
Different people are motivated by different things. For many people, including myself, the threat of humiliation works very well. In addition to the normal health and safety concerns, the fear of pulling a, “Die Hard,” makes me careful when charging or using improvised methods with batteries.
Behind every cautionary tale is some guy responsible for the situation that spawned it… Maybe sometime I’ll write about why there was a period in my life when I was called Lug Nut. For now, let’s just say that I was a kid, and that it has made me much more thorough in my work.