I solve problems! But first I make them!
Yeah. My house has monthly work parties so we can take care of larger house needs. The pole had rotted away on our sign and we needed it because it was another way to advertise that we have rooms available (Soon another one will be open, but that’s for the next post.)
Anyway, long story short, the old screws had rusted away in our wet Oregon weather. I said, “I’ll fix the sign, It’ll only take ten or fifteen minutes.”
One of the annoying things about community is that tools disappear constantly. I don’t think people steal them, but when you live in a house with nine other people, things tend to get moved around a lot and when people move out it’s not always clear what belonged to who.
So challenge one was finding a phillips-head screwdriver … anywhere. I could find !@#$%^& flat-heads everywhere, but apparently phillips-head dissolve in our harsh hippie atmosphere. I finally asked Dana if he had one. He said, “I’ll lend it to you, but you have to make sure it doesn’t disappear.”
No problem. I said the second I was done I’d put it on his desk in his room. He looked worried, but I smiled, much like a responsible adult would, and he was convinced.
So, we had a narrow (2 inch) hole that went down about 18 inches. All I had to do was attach the sign to the pole with three brass screws. Piece of cake.
My first problem was that I didn’t have a drill. (See above: Tools and cooperative living.) Getting the screws into the wood was a huge pain. Making it worse, the stupid screw-bit kept slipping out of the handle.
Scroll up and look at that picture again. See that blue ring? Yeah, that’s a lock that keeps the screw-bit from falling out. I figured this out hours later.
Anyway, after lot’s of painful and boring mistakes, I was almost done. I had three screws started in the pole and just had to crank on them to finish, then pound the sign in.
Now, you’d think it would be hard to drop a small screw-bit down a 2 inch wide hole, but I am extremely talented at things such as this.
I stared down that stupid little hole for far too long … and, yes, stuck my three inch fingers into it like they’d magically grow another 15 inches.
Dana was going to kill me.
Then I thought about how a host of a science program would solve this tricky problem.
So I wandered around the house asking if anyone had any magnets. The general consensus was that we used to have some somewhere, but they’d disappeared at some point. I assume they were shaped like philips-head screwdrivers.
As I walked through the house I kept passing our many refrigerators. (Yes, community house, more than one refrigerator.) Hmmm … refrigerator magnets.
I knew one wouldn’t work, but how about many?
I also found a hooked metal stick.
This was great and all, but I soon realized my invention was roughly the same size as the hole. Crap.
Once I lost the magnets off the stick, but I hooked them again and rescued them. I could only imagine the house being like, “Dana’s screwdriver is missing it’s phillips head … and where did all the refrigerator magnets go!?”
With some wiggling and advanced geometry I got the thing down to the bottom.
I’m not going to admit how many times I tried this, but eventually …
And, having only spent two hours screwing in three screws, I looked upon my fine work.
I think the stick’s too short. It looks a little low, dontcha think?
Anyway, off to do more good in the world …