When I was a kid in the 1960's in Burbank there used to be a factory that manufactured screws - at least I think they did because the sign affixed on the building was "American Screw Company," or something like that. I was vaguely scandalized by another bit of advertising that was also on the side of the building: an image of a crying baby with the question, "Have a screw problem?" Whenever we drove by it I'd say to myself, "I can't believe they got away with that!" the term "screw," of course, being slang for sexual intercourse.
When Mom died I inherited eight small and one large glass Sanka jars containing her screw collection and other hardware, a mish-mosh assortment of sheet metal screws, hex-head screws, machine screws, casters and other metal and brass flotsam and jetsam. While I had three little plastic cabinets with pull-out drawers of screws and other hardware of my own, I kept Mom's out of sentiment. Every now and then I'd actually use something from it. As a part of my overall Garage Improvement Project, I want to reduce the number of small hardware and screw bins I have and actually make it easier to find what I want, so, in an activity that topped even my past obsessive limits for organization, I sorted what screws go where in the single cabinet and eight Sanka jars.
Now that I'm 55 and know myself pretty well, I know that this kind of sorting/organizational effort is one of my very favorite activities. Making order out of disorder... that sort of thing. I'm in pig heaven when I can do that. I recall the joy I used to feel as a kid, going through the 1,200 or so comic books I kept in a big trunk, making sure that they were all in ordered stacks and in numerical order within type, with a card affixed to the trunk lid showing what comics were in one stack. Getting to, say, my oldest Batman comic was easy. My Lps are also now arranged in this fashion.
Having had decades of experience mending things and dealing with hardware, I now know that I use sheet metal screws far more often than any other type. Wood screws I use least of all - mainly because I suck at cabinetry and don't often attempt it. Hex headed and round headed machine screws come second. So... I collected all the sheet metal screws that I didn't know I had and put them into two Sanka jars of their own, with the other Sanka jars used for the various other types of screws, nuts, washers and cotter pins.
When you buy one of those little plastic cabinets of screws you always get about twenty times more cotter pins and wood screws than you will ever need, so I threw a bunch out. I now have a manageable and useful number of screws, all visibly sorted in Sanka jars. And guess what? I thought I needed another bag or two of sheet metal screws, that I was running out. Far from it! The single plastic 25 bin cabinet I kept I reserved for the various other types of hardware I don't feel comfortable throwing out. I cleaned it up a bit... in fact, I think I shall paint it a little, make nice looking machine-made labels for the bins and make it more presentable in my garage.
I also framed and hung up a cool 110th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment flyer somebody printed up on cardstock for recruiting events (I used to be in a reenacting unit which replicated that regiment); I've had it ever since 1985. Now I have the garage wall space for it!
Last night I watched Dark Night of the Scarecrow, a 1981 CBS made for TV movie that I saw when it was originally broadcast. I recall thinking that it was exceptionally good for TV - last night's viewing reaffirmed that opinion. (Netflix member reviewers call it the best made for TV horror film ever, and I agree with this assessment.) It isn't dated at all and, in fact, doesn't have a directorial or writing misstep in it. The plot: a retarded man, mistakenly blamed for the injury of a small child, is murdered by four bumpkins in a cornfield in a small California community; his spirit comes back from the dead to seek justice. It is enjoyably creepy, capably acted, and has a great incidental score. Charles Durning, as a contemptible postman, is especially good. This is an Octobery sort of production... I understand videotaped copies have become Halloween viewing traditions for people. This film has become something of a classic.
Yesterday I learned that the cracked hinge on my VW armrest and the blown front speaker is probably covered by VW's 4 year, 50,000 whichever-comes-first warranty. (The four years comes up next month, and I have 41,000 miles on it.) So I have to get the car into a dealership to get that fixed.
Last night Cari and I went to the pool to do one of the things we do during the summer: cook on the grill. It was very pleasant. The summer heat will get poured down on us in the D.C. suburbs later this week, I hear, so we'll be back at the pool in the evenings.... ahhhh....
- ► 2012 (240)
- ▼ June (22)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)