8.12.2004

The Right Tool for the Job!
There are a few simple rules in life that are vital to be learned and lived by; the right tool for the job is definitely one of those basic rules. Before the Red Tag was glued to my front window I was out back working on the first section of my deck. In an effort to make things as sturdy as possible I decided to use some expansion bolts in through the joist into the concrete base of garage. There I was with a drill in my hand and several drills by my side....various speeds and varying power.....a variety of drill bits many new and sharp. Minutes with the drill and nothing but a scratch to the surface.....20 minutes and on the verge of some serious carpel tunnel syndrome and I stopped and reached for my cell phone. I had heard that there was a tool for this type of task, a hammer drill. One call to my friend Lev and I had a short term loan of this particular tool, contractor grade. Lev is a good friend, it was wrong to ask to borrow this tool, no one likes to lend tools, especially the tools of the trade, but Lev is too good of a person to not say yes...he mind said no while his heart said yes. A quick pedal from Mt Pleasant to Petworth and the hammer drill was in hand....only to return to Mt Pleasant to do the job and then back to Petworth. I took a short pass through Brown's Carribean Bakery for some Jamacian Beef patties and Coco Bread. YUMMY! Lev was psyched! The tools were back in the short time frame as promised, the tool was not damaged, and he had a fresh Jamacian Beef Patty with Coco Bread.

In this morning's rant I bitched about some spacers in the hub of my geared Karate Monkey's rear wheel. I also questioned the best way to fix the hub. Well, I must have stressed that I did not have a 17mm cone wrench. Sure I have a 13mm,14mm,15mm, and 16mm cone wrench as well as a 17mm box wrench and 17mm box wrench....but no 17mm cone wrench. A quick trip to my local bike shop, City Bikes, and I was able to get two 17mm cone wrenches in hand. They had them in stock and now I have them in my tool box. Once home and once in the basement I was able to get some grease on my hands and get things fixed. It was an enriching experience. It is an enriching experience. Working on a bike always has a special gratification once it is done.....tomorrow I will ride the Geared Monkey to work and test my repairs to the hub as well as my wheel true. The Clydesdale can be tough on gear....the repairs need to be done right!


an aside.....
It is good to have the right tool for the job. When I worked at the Big Wheel Bikes Capitol Hill location some many years ago I was always amused by the local kids and their misconcepetion of tools and their usage. BMX bikes would roll in with severly stripped bolts. Bolts so rounded it was impossible to tighten them...it was impossible to remove them. Some of these kids cruised around with the culpret that stripped these bolts into submission; lock plyers. It is quite a sight....the lock plyers locked tightly onto the seat post as if it has any business being used on a bike. How many times did I replace these bolts on these bikes? Each time trying to explain how wrenches work and how there are bolts and wrenches that are certain sizes. Who knows who learned what ihn those exchanges? I have often been curious of those local kids and who and what they have grown to become in the time that has nearly grown to be a decade. I fear that the anger and the violence of the city may have sculpted this wide eyed children into hard and jaded crimials. The survival skills as children were clear.....and drugs and violence are after school jobs of the average go getter teenagers. Internships in the hood are different.

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