more about tools

long ago, in a blog concerning tools, i wrote "if you're having to work too hard, you're doing it wrong." since i'm currently doing a little work on the house right now, i figured i'd write a little more about tools and doin' stuff...and stuff.

most of the time on here i'm just writing a bunch of crap. i don't know how "true" it is or anything, i just write it. well, the same goes for that "you're doing it wrong" statement. i had my doubts when i wrote it--some things are just difficult, you know? some things require one to grunt and be uncomfortable. like working under the sink. that's a pain. holding things above your head is too. but the deal is, i think that i've come to the conclusion--under the sink and above your head notwithstanding--i wholeheartedly agree with what i wrote.

one of the reasons i like writing and thinking about tools and thier use concerns the passage of information that goes along with them. a person just can't read a book and learn how to do a thing, or use a tool well. the information has to be passed first person. there's so many subtleties in physical labor. how true is this about non-physical labor? (that's a real question)
like, i learned rudimentary html skills by reading a book. do good code people need to see the other person do it? is the verbal passing of certain tricks important to them? (and who's to say that coding html isn't a "physical" thing, anyway, right?)

anyway, i love that--most of the time--two people have to be present, in the moment, in order to learn a good physical craft practice. there's also been a life lesson in there for me in particular because i'm not a particularly good student. i'm like "yeah, just gimme the damn screwdriver..."

if you're working too hard, you didn't take the time to watch the other person do it right.

so anyway, i've just made a sandwich. well, not a real sandwich, more of just a 'wich. open-face, as some like to call it. it's made from the leftover pot roast and vegtables from last night's dinner. first off, i'd like to say that left overs are proof-positive of this aphorism i've come up with. i mean, i just reached in the fridge and made a delicious 'wich in 60 seconds.

always make more food than you need for one meal.

here's the reason i bring this sandwich up, though:

the proper tool for spreading mayonnaise is A SPOON. how in the world can you get all the mayo you need with just a knife? and the leftover mayo on the spoon is just the right amount for licking. not enough on a knife. plus, spoons clean off easier in your mouth--use a knife and it doesn't come as clean as the spoon. then ya gotta wash the knife and all that stuff. with a spoon, you put it in your mouth--the spoon being ergonomically pleasing to the mouth--and clean it off. it usually comes clean in one pass. that way you can stick it back in the drawer--after you wipe it off with your shirt--and no one's the wiser. right?

alright. so what do we have so far?

--if you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
--always cook more food than you need for one meal.
--the proper tool for spreading mayonnaise is a spoon.

and now, mon friers, i must go to a meeting with people that show me how to be happy one day at a time.

have a good day.


Trey said...

Best post ever. I'm never using spoons in your house again, though.

About the coding stuff: I think it's different for different people. I find that I learn much faster if I see someone showing me how to do it. Actually, it's probably the best when I've been struggling with something by myself and then see someone else's take on it. Then it sinks in better.

Alison said...

Yes. This is why it's good for people to try lots of different kinds of things in a lifetime. Like dance. I was never a great dancer, but by struggling with dance, I had and have a much greater appreciation for people who do it well.

Oh, wait--that's not really what we're talking about.

Anonymous said...


Speaking of things of tangable value-- what would you exchange for your wife? We would like to purchase or trade for her. We will even allow you to select from our most exclusive list of women, including one that even wears a tool belt. We understand that everything has a price, though we remain unsure of exact value.

O. Wilde

Anonymous said...

Yea Walter

As a bit of trivia from my "vast" experiences;
-The number one source of finding information is to ask someone who really knows, the second is to read it in a book.
-People retain 80% of what they see, 50% of what they read and 30% of what they hear.

These findings come from several sources. Learning is mostly visual and tactile.

The comments about your spoons have given me a noticable eye twitch. Although, I am sure that Alison's favorite implement to obtain and spread mayonaise if either her finger or a soup ladle. This shows her proper "learnin'" as a child. Hmmm...

The Dad

Cate Bush said...

Spoons in my upbringing are also the proper utensil to spread jellies and jams.


Anonymous said...

Beg to differ!! This works unless you like mayo only as a condiment rather than as a stand-alone item--as a complement to food rather than as a food in and of itself. Then, a knife is perfect--you can wipe it clean on the other slice of bread (well, not with an open-face) and don't have to deal with the excess. The thought of liking a spoonful of mayo makes me seriously nauseated. (Plus, I thought it was just Alison who put used utensils back in the drawer. Now I have to rethink my image of you as the clean one, Walter.)

However, as an implement for spreading peanut butter on the other hand....you need a really BIG spoon to get the job done.

Alison said...

In my own defense, I would like to say that I have never put a used utensil back in the drawer. What I think you're referring to, Deandra, is my practice of carrying a spoon around in my purse for eating yogurt. I don't do this anymore, but I did all through grad school. The spoon rarely got washed, but I never got sick. I'm convinced I've built up loads of good immunities from my filthy lifestyle.