Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ranting While Rome Burns

The minute you saw the clip on the news the other day you knew...just knew they'd be going apeshit. I'm talking about the Pope and they, naturally, are the religion of peace.
This one got real ugly, real fast. I think this was the trigger. They've been packing a grudge against the Catholics since the Crusades-remember it like it was yesterday, they do, simply because that's where time pretty much stopped for them and they've been stuck there since! So the long awaited "official" jihad against Catholics and by association, Christianity in general, has probably begun.

But in the meantime, I had a float to help build.

The big parade is next Saturday. Our church's youth group always does a float. And I always get weaseled into helping build the darn thing. And once again when I was asked and I agreed to help, I asked: Do I need to bring tools? And once again I got the same answer, "Oh, No. We'll have everything we'll need."
(You know the definition of insanity, right?)
And once again, I didn't bring any tools.

Oy Vey! Right out of the gate I knew I was in trouble when I had to make the first cut on a 2x4. Our fearless leader produced a cordless circular saw, informing me that the battery had a fresh charge. Have you ever seen one of these things? It was like a hand can opener on steroids. WTH? I was skeptical. The blade wasn't any bigger than a coffee can lid. OK...whatever.
A fourth of the way in, the thing sputtered and quit. The awesome density of the pine was just too much. Further investigation showed the blade was dull as a butter knife.
OK, plan B- an antique looking miter chop saw, produced from the shed. If I can get the base swung around, it'll work. The base was rusted solid, it was permanently stuck at 45 degrees. Next!
A ridiculous wait while another power saw of some sort was located on the property.
The sun is getting higher and hotter in the sky and there is no shade anyway where this hay trailer/future float is sitting.
Ah! Joy! Another relic. Not quite as ancient as the miter saw, this circular saw has a deadman switch on it. I look the blade over, since it appears to be just a disc of rust with some flecks of steel showing through. The teeth are just about gone. Let's plug it in and give it a shot.
Even throwing my weight against it, the poor thing couldn't cut into the wood.

In total exasperation I cried out, "A Handsaw! Do we have a handsaw here?!"
I muttered to myself while a handsaw was hunted up and tried to figure out what all else needed to be done...if we could ever get the lumber cut!
One of our teens trotted up with a fairly new looking handsaw. I got busy.
After several hearty strokes I could see I wasn't making any real progress. Yep, this one was dulled to the point of no return. I never knew you could do that to a handsaw-I got one in my shop that's 50 years old that I still use regularly.

When I heard a chainsaw fire up, I just stepped away.
One of the other adults had brought a small chainsaw. Why? Beats me. But that's how we ended up cutting the 2x4s.

By early afternoon, it was finally starting to look like something. But I was so glad to get out of there. I had never seen tools in such a deplorable state! These all belonged to our fearless youth leader's dad. I was shocked. Bill had put the fear of God into me about taking care of your tools eons ago. This total disregard was unbelieveable to me. All the cuts would have taken me less than 10 minutes with a functioning power saw. As it was we wasted over 2 hours or more trying to do the job with inadequate tools and waiting around for even more inadequate tools to be found. It made an already "don't really want to be here" day even worse. I just about broke out in a cussing fit, which really would have been a bummer, seeing how it was a church group and all.

Next time...I swear...I really mean it this time...if they tell me "Oh, don't bother with bringing any tools"-I'm gonna. For real. This has taught me a valuable lesson.


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

That's also a pet peeve of mine - tools that have been mistreated - or left out in the rain with singing monkeys - or almost as bad: mislaid. Use 'em, clean 'em, grease 'em and put them back where they belong so I can find them and use them when I need them.

9/18/2006 3:17 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Amen, Patrick, Amen!

9/18/2006 9:45 PM  

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