Thursday, February 26, 2009

Scott Adams hasn't lost his edge

The Dilbert comic strip for today is good, but the one for yesterday (Feb 25) is priceless.

Speaking of edges, the poor fellow who is the subject of the link below either got drunk and forgot where he buried his toolbox or else was snuck up on and chomped by a sabre tooth tiger while he was bent over admiring his tool collection.

I'm remembering the way Grandpop carefully used his knife to scrape the dirt off his shovel after working in the garden in Trooper, and the time Cappy saw the jumble in my toolbox and strongly disapproved of my cavalier way of just tossing the tools in there. Tools used to be expensive; now they're so cheap we can barely imagine what life was like before they were common. I'm listening to Ken Follett's new book about the middle ages and have been reminded that the peasants then used wooden shovels. Even a shovel very carefully carved of oak or ash must have been a might inefficient tool next to a metal shovel.

It's a good exercise to go out every so often and cut down a twelve inch or so in diameter tree with an ax that you haven't very carefully sharpened. Then remember that any ax you may now have is almost surely heavier and made of better steel than the sort of ax a homesteader would have used a couple of hundred years ago to clear his land with - and those guys weren't felling puny little 12 inch trees. Don't even try to fell a two or three foot in diameter tree, even a softwood, with an ax unless you have a paramedic standing by with a defibrillator. There are still a few groups of slash and burn stone age people, even today, who don't have metal tools. They don't even try to fell large trees; they girdle them to kill them and then farm around them until they fall naturally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Talk about taking care of one's tools...

Here's how I know when my husband has worked on the car...I'm driving along doing 55 when I hear a clunk. I then look in the rear view mirror to see a wrench bouncing on the highway. :)