Friday, September 01, 2006

Little Things

I was talking with my folks; seems that they overpaid on their income taxes last year. The IRS sent them a letter explaining that they were due a refund of $1.09, I might be a penny off. A couple of days later they got a check in the mail for the figure owed less a penny. I have to wonder how much money was wasted, both in man hours to adjust the final amount along with the postage to send out the notice and then the check.

My daughter called, the one living in our old house. She and my son in law were removing a privacy fence that was against the master bedroom’s bathroom. At one time we’d built a “lean to” type of roof on the inside of that privacy fence turning it into a very nice dog house. Years of rain destroyed both the lean to and the fence eventually began to rot. Jenn found the skeletal remains of a dog complete with dog collar. I have to wonder what kind of folks we had renting our house; folks that would leave a dog like that. How'd the dog die; was it injured, starved to death or just die of neglect? I’ve linked to an article (via title bar) I wrote last August after these wonderful folks trashed my house on the way out.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call to fix an ignition switch problem at one of my regular mechanic shops. The mechanic, who speaks no English at all, decided that he could install the new ignition on a 1999 Blazer; how difficult could it be, child’s play. He got it all together, slapped it into the receiver and then realized that the original key hadn’t been used to set the combination. He’d simply opened the first pack of wafers and filled all the slots, then when that ran out he opened the next and so on until all the slots were filled.

I had Oscar, the owner of the shop, obtain the empty packets and a brief explanation of how he’d gone about the task of putting the ignition switch together. I then got a blank key out of stock and tried to turn the switch, not this time. I then started to chop two cuts into the key a space at a time; with any luck at all he’d opened pack #1 first and then #2. I got the key to turn when I put the fourth 2 cut on the key. I then pulled all the wafers out and matched the combination to the original key; yea, like it should have been done the first time. I’m still trying to figure out how he got the switch to go back into the receiver; the normal way requires a working key to drop the side bar into position before it will enter. I make pretty good money figuring out how dummies think; wonder if it’s because we think alike, better leave that one alone.

Last on the list of little things would be the heat. It was in the mid 90’s today as I made a key for a 2006 Malibu. I’d figured out the mechanical cuts and was in the process of putting that same information on the more expensive “Circle Plus Z” key when my brain had a cramp and lost track of where I was; clipping a 4 cut where a 2 cut should have been. Years ago that ruined key blank would have left a mark as it bounced off the inside of my truck; but I’ve matured, slightly, and so it dropped quietly into the trash as I started on the replacement key. I suppose I could blame it on dyslexia, something which gets me in trouble from time to time; but this was a pure and simple brain cramp.

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