Friday, August 05, 2005

Thoughts from a week ago

Entry for July 31, 2005

This is for the girlfriends -- especially those girlfriends who grew up in the '50s and '60 when men dominated households, businesses and just about the whole world.

I've always felt there was a great male conspiracy to keep women from knowing about things associated with gasoline -- sort of like a secret society. Fathers passed this "knowledge" only to their male children. "Son," the father would say in a solem voice, "today you are about to enter into the secret gasoline society of men."

Prior to self-serve gas pumps, with the exception of a few women, only men were brave and strong enough to wrestle a gallon or so from the brightly painted beasts at "filling" stations. Then came self-serve gas pumps. Men still siddled up to the pumps with confidence. At first, women timidly approaced the pump and perhaps would giggle a bit as they removed the nozzle and inserted it into the openings of their gas tanks. After filling their tanks with the sacred fluid, they drove away thinking, "That's it? That's all there is to pumping gas!? Good grief, four loads of laundry is more complicated than that!"

Now I am about to destroy another myth about small gas engines; in particular, lawn mower engines. If you have a manual with drawings, fixing one that won't start is no harder than laying out a pattern on cloth, cutting it out and constructing a garment.

The "bargain" lawn mower I bought a few years ago developed a leak in the gas tank. After consulting the manual, I ordered the new part, then on a nice afternoon, replaced the gas tank all by myself. Took a few screwdrivers and a bit of time, but I did it without male assistance. I had to go back and redo the connection to the pull handle starter, but I figured out what the problem was and how to fix it.

The other day, despite the lovely new gas tank, the engine stopped. I consulted the manual again. Ah, ha! Air filter. Those things have to be changed every now and then. Could also be the spark plug. They don't last forever.

A quick trip to the store to get the air filter and spark plug and I'm ready to go. One screw -- just one screw -- to remove the panel holding the air filter in place. Took all of five minutes to take out the yucky old one and pop in the pristine new. Took a little longer to break the old spark plug loose, but maybe a whole minute to put the new one in. My total cost was about $6 for both the filter and the plug.

Then came the moment of truth. Varooooom. That baby cranked up an ran like it did when it was brand new. Since I was in the driveway, I tried to not look too smug in case any of the male neighbors were peeping from behind their blinds.

The moral to this story, girlfriends, is that, yes, you can do a lot of things you didn't think you could do. As for the secret gasoline society of men, grab your ceremonial robes and run, boys, we women are taking over the world! (Another subject.)

Entry for July 29, 2005

Teeny tiny type really ticks me off. While talking to a friend the other day, the subject came up about the teeny tiny type that whippersnapper web designers use on their cutesy web pages. I'm convinced they use teeny tiny type as a way of keeping us "mature" folks from seeing what they write; the information is a secret between them and other whippersnappers.

Just what is a whippersnapper anyway? Does it have anything to do with turtles? If a snapping turtle turns it's head quckly to see a fly on a leaf, does that make the turtle a "whippersnapper?"

As for the teeny tiny type, if you have to get close enough to lick the computer screen to see the type, the type is too teeny tiny. I say we send protest emails to the designers of web pages who insist on the teeny tiny type, but instead of normal print or teeny tiny type, send an actual message but use that type face that is all symbols. That'll get 'em. Serves them right.

Damn whippersnappers!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't run into the pepper grinder problem and since we frequent Cracker Barrell and Denny's, I doubt that I will. However, thanks for the info just in case we do really well at a show and decide to splurge on a $6 chicken sandwich!!

    Love you,