Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pioneer Ingenuity!

Gadgetry is a marvelous thing. I do love my gadgets (as I mentioned in a previous post), but they can irritate me mightily at the same time.

Here's a good "for instance"... we have a shower head that we bought new when we moved into our home. Over the years it has become clogged with various hard water deposits and who-knows-what. I've soaked it, bleached it, gotten into the little holes with a toothpick... and have finally given up. Off to Target I went and returned home with a new shower head.

My older son installed it today. It took a little doing since the instructions helpfully came in three different languages, but none of them referenced the way the hose part was supposed to attach. Jack's a bright boy -- he figured it out. Then he noticed that instead of six options for spray we now only have four. He thinks this is going to make a big difference in our lives and isn't sure he can wash his hair on the "massage" setting.

I'm thinking of the pioneers of yore who were lucky to wash their hair once a week (in COLD water). I started revving up for my "you don't know how lucky you kids have it" speech when I realized that I might not like it either. Hmmmm. If Mama is discomposed, then obviously the fault is with the product, not the spoiled inhabitants of the house.

In the meantime, Steve was at work with our hand-held can opener which apparently was having problems. He got out the screwdriver and fooled around with the blade for awhile, but ultimately figured out his own solution (see picture). Now that's pioneer ingenuity!

I'm reminded of a babysitter we had years ago, a young teen of about 14 named Justin. We came home after a night out and found a claw hammer in the sink covered in a suspicious red substance. I brought Justin into the kitchen, pointed at the sink, and said, "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Oh yeah," came the answer. "I couldn't find your can opener, so I opened the Spaghetti-O's with the claw part of the hammer."

That is such a "boy" answer that I was left speechless. I was impressed by his originality in finding a solution to his problem, particularly since the can opener was in the drawer RIGHT BEHIND HIM. The hammer was at the far end of the kitchen in the "junk" drawer, entailing a much more detailed search.

I think Steve had the right idea with the church key. The can lid isn't sheared off cleanly, but it does have a lovely starburst pattern. It's not like I keep the cans and lids forever; the recycling bin doesn't mind the condition of the products when they're tossed in. The point is, he figured out a solution to his problem, as did Jack and Justin.

And that's the pioneering spirit!


  1. You and I must have been cut off the same bolt of fabric. I'm the "go to gal" when it comes to improvisation and getting by without something. It's amazing what can be done with a metal cake tester or a crochet hook from plumbing to auto repair to actually testing a cake or crocheting. I've been like this my whole life.

  2. We need more inventive, thinking people. I love the hammer story. That's a guy for ya!