Sometimes I look at the world and wonder how those of you that don’t have an Engineering logic cope with it. To us the world is a series of challenges none of which cannot be solved. That is not to say that we do not suffer frustration and annoyance but that any problem can be solved is, to us, a simple matter of fact.
As some of you will recall my oven failed recently and, despite best efforts, I was unable to source a replacement element. I was reassured when my landlord reported that their agent had a struggle to find a replacement as well. Apparently they resorted to opening every box and comparing dimensions before settling on an alternative that would fit. My mate collected the part and I installed it yesterday evening.
There is nothing complicated in the installation, 7 screws and a few wires and all done. Following the install the oven was dead, nothing at all. Some head scratching reminded me that the fan had worked previously but now there was nothing, no fan, no heat and no light. I checked for a supply and then suddenly realised I must have set the timer arrangement in the recent dismantle. Now the timer on this oven hasn’t worked since I moved in and it’s an old rotary number arrangement. The buttons are long lost and the symbols, not that I know what they mean, are cracked and illegible.
So now I was faced with the catering equivalent of the DaVinci code. I took some pliers and rotated the stalks but nothing much happened so I reverted to type. I removed the oven and dismantled it until I had the timer out then I put a meter between the contacts and twisted some more, still to no avail. Time for another approach, I dismantled the shell of the timer unit to identify the cam that operated the power contacts. From here it was just a case of working backwards through the timer to generate the appropriate inputs. With a satisfying bleep from the meter I reassembled and refitted the cooker and tested it.
That’s the reassuring thing about Engineering, we know that there is always a way* and if you haven’t found it then you’re just looking at it wrong.
* it goes without saying that the female of the species is excluded from this statement
Don’t ever let it be said that my view of the world is normal, I see the same as you but from my own unique perspective. I have just ticked off another of the things that I had to do post accident, well I say ticked it was more of a sloppy dash. The task in question was tattooing, see I told you that my perspective was unique. I have tattooed myself for a few years, I don’t do it for commercial gain nor do I intend to make it a career. In fact the thing that started me tattooing was the Engineer in me and that thought that precedes so many journeys “how hard can it be”. Before I receive hate mail from tattooists all over the globe I should point out that I am talking about old style tattoos, flash work and simple designs. I do not for one minute suggest that tattooing is easy or that it doesn’t take years of training to gain the skill to accurately transfer artwork to the skin.
The thing is that the vast majority of my tattoos are flash artwork, no doubt inspired by what I saw as a child. So the general principle of a reciprocating needle that carry’s ink in suspension into the skin seemed pretty straightforward and we developed from there. Some of you will know that legs are where you ‘practice’, it is the skin that is most readily available to work on yourself. I have done my practice pieces and developed my ability on my legs, I am quite happy with my work but then like I said I like simple stuff. Even working on your legs is not easy, I have large letters down the back of my lower leg and that was an experience. One acknowledged thing about tattoos is that they are permanent, you can’t delete and start again. For me the permanence of tattoos is part of their appeal and I will never cover a tattoo, much to the frustration of partners over the years, it is my history live with it.
I have a couple of requests for tattoos and have steadfastly refused until I have inked myself again. There are a number of reasons for this but the key ones are pain and ability, after all I hate starting things that I can’t finish. It has taken me some time to get the kit out but today was the day and I did some learning. There are two big issues with tattooing yourself, the first is overcoming the human nature that stops you hurting yourself and the second is that you are effectively one-handed. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the easy pieces left, so my test piece with restricted mobility was far from ideal. I have a space on my inner thigh that was selected for today’s exercise, a theatre mask. I started with a couple of old touch ups to ensure that the machine wasn’t going to hurt the wrists too badly. If anybody had seen me tattooing my thigh they would have seen a cross between a man having a heart attack and a man playing solo twister! These are difficult angles to start with but when you add restricted mobility it really is a challenge. Well tattoo complete and cleaned up I am quite pleased with the results in terms of the tattoo. The wrists really didn’t like the angles and the machine seems to have the same effect as a jack hammer but I think that, like everything else, that is just a learning curve.
I am right-handed and my right wrist now feels cold and aches, I guess I never expected it to operate without complaint though. I will see what it feels like in the morning but I do hope that this is not going to be long learning curve for Ms Nature because I don’t have a lot of blank skin left!
I have an honourable mention today for the gorgeous Aleisha and super proud foster parents Pete and Barb, you touched an old man’s heart. I might even have to forgive Helen for spilling secrets, hey I said ‘might’.