unbound page

It’s nice to have useful skills!

Posted in Day-to-Day, Waxing Philosophical by unboundpage on September 19, 2010

So about five lifetimes ago when I was in middle school and still planned on being an engineer, I took a robotics class as part of Duke’s Talent Identification Program, otherwise known as Nerd Camp.  I had my first taste of programming and playing with serious power tools, and I learned to solder.  I still have the soldering iron and even purchased some non-lead solder thinking I’d use it for jewelry-making, but just haven’t had the wherewithal to try any of that seriously.

So when the boy’s car remotes both pooped out on him because the soldering holding the batteries in place gave out, I happily loaned him the soldering iron and all the appropriate fixin’s so he could repair the silly things.

This was at least a month ago.

Today, I finally gave up and fixed the damned things myself.  I have to say, it felt immensely rewarding and somewhat empowering to actually put the crafting compulsion to practical use.  It was really great to run outside, push a button and see the car halfway across the parking lot flash its lights at me to say, “Hooray!  You made it all better!”

The experience was particularly entertaining, because while I was playing with the electronics, he was the one slaving over a hot stove, concocting baked salmon that was absolutely to die for, with rice pilaf and green beans, and an outstanding Argentinian Malbec.  (As nice as I’m sure it will be to have functioning remotes again, I think I got the better deal from that particular exchange.)

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