If for no other reason but to prove that I did not inherit the entire "BS" in my family, I submit an extract from an email from my brother who is also afflicted with tendencies to tell stories. Used with permission.
I often use the expression "I've got to get my load against the stone and get something done." Many people have asked me where I got that expression.
Well the first time I heard the expression was when I had a black guy named Don who worked for me with Phillips 66 (long since passed away due to kidney disease). During one of his annual employee evaluations, which P 66 called W.P.P.R.. which stood for Work Performance and Performance Review, I was telling him "Don, you've got to pick up the pace and get more done." Well his response was, "Mistuh Jim, I have had my load against the stone ever since I went to work for you." Well I wanted to know what that expression meant so I did some research.
Turns out in the old days the village blacksmith called "The Smithy" sharpened farmer's tools, in addition to shoeing horses and mules. He used an old hand or foot or both operated whetstone to sharpen the tools like the following.
Well the Smithy would sit on the saddle and if the whetstone was hand operated he needed his hands to sharpen the tools, so he would get the village idiot to hand operate the whetstone getting it turning so he could sharpen the tools. If it was a one-man job he would operate the whetstone with his feet so his hands were free to sharpen the tools.
When he got so far behind on sharpening farmer's tools, because he had been so busy shoeing horses and mules, he would say "I've got to get my load against the stone and get something done," meaning he needed to sharpen a bunch of farmer's tools on the stone. From whence the expression came "I've got to get my load against the stone and get something done." I just didn't think some of my E-mail friends could get through the day without knowing this, just for info, Jim PS if you already knew this or I had sent it to you before, old people tend to repeat themselves; I say old people tend to repeat themselves.....