Nothing is more fun for an aging tinkerer than to have something break down in his house.
I started out in life as a normal child, but somewhere along the line I veered off course. My first tinkering project was an old electric alarm clock. It was made in America but the second hand stopped moving. Both the hour and minute hands worked but the second hand just hung at 6:00. I was probably about six or seven. That may have been when the OCD began to take hold. Somehow, that second hand hanging there had a lure that I could not resist. I would like to report that I found and fixed the problem but I am sad to report that by the time I got inside the face of the alarm clock, there were several broken pieces of the housing. Back in the old days they hid some of the screws holding the clock together.
Next on the list was an old radio. I had no reason to repair it since it worked perfectly well. I think the radio was made in America but that was before we needed a tag to tell us the country of origin. I just wanted to see what made it work. That began a lifelong interest in Electronics. It also started my compulsion for research. Since you cannot see electricity moving I had to resort to Popular Electronics Magazine to find out about Resistors, Capacitors, Potentiometers and the still amazing Vacuum tube.
Over the next few years I graduated to more complex mechanical and electronic gadgets. My compulsion was not limited to tearing things apart. I also built things from scratch. I built several crystal radios and was amazed when I could pick up WSB radio on them. It was almost like hearing a voice from deep outer space when it was actually just a 50,000 watt signal from the tower which was about five miles from my house.
My old man was a master at building things but I think I beat him out on the taking things apart front He once told all the neighbor's to "Watch out for that boy, he could break an anvil".
Naturally, I progressed to cars as I approached the golden age of sixteen. A good lesson I learned about working on cars was that when you get through it had better work or you would be back on two-wheel transportation.
You would think that with all that tinkering, I would have become an engineer. Well it turns out that I was born without the "Math" gene. A severe lack of funds also hampered my educational career. After an aborted attempt at Dekalb Technical College where I was able to prove that I did not have the "Math" gene, I switched to the broad category of Business Administration at the local college. That is where I found out I had the "beer" gene in abundance. It only took three years for me flunk out. It must have been Karma that the year was 1967. I do not think that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good men, but he was looking for a bunch of boys as highlighted by Country Joe and the Fish in the film Woodstock . Click here to hear his performance- It has some rough language.
"Well come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again,
he got himself in a terrible jam,
way down yonder in Vietnam,
put down your books and pick up a gun,
we're gunna have a whole lotta fun."
I will not bore you with any all of my escapades with machinery and gadgets but I eventually gravitated toward a career with an engineering company and spent about forty years selling high tech industrial equipment. I learned what little bit of engineering knowledge I needed with night school. Luckily most engineers are about a dry as a popcorn fart so they need a little bit of showmanship to attract an audience. Some would characterize showmansip as BS but I digress.
So, let us cut to the chase. This morning I managed to spill some creamer and sugar while making my coffee on the counter. That is no problem since I have a Black & Decker Bagless 20V MAX Lithium Ion Hand Vacuum, Model BDH2000L (I can almost guarantee that name was not made up by an engineer) on my counter. A quick pick up should not have been a problem, but there was also a dish rag on the counter.
I think I hit nirvana when the dish rag was sucked into the small inlet and caused the vacuum fan to lock up. Well, what do you know another chance to tinker?
I found out two things about that vacuum.
It was made in China
They no longer use snap rings or set screws to secure the vacuum fan. They use molded plastic which will melt when pitted against the dish rag.
I just got a text message from Amazon Prime that my new "B&D" will arrive on Monday.