Drones Club

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I have invented a machine.

Who would have thought that in my advanced years I would rediscover a childhood love of machinery? Last week I would not have placed two bits on that particular fixation cropping up, yet here I am, the rather satisfied inventor of a curious bi-purposed contraption that both waters my victory garden and shreds paper documents 8.5" x 11" and smaller.

The inspiration for this device took the form of a television advertisement for a product sold under the name of "Hosey the Flow Cow," a simple cow-shaped plastic cutout with a swinging tail that holds a garden hose. The tail swings back and forth using a modest assortment of mechanical principles and the weight of the hose itself, and the overall effect causes a greater area to be watered than would occur with a stationary nozzle.

Something bit in the old sphere and ere long I was in the potting shed, fooling about over a countertop strewn with springs, gaskets, scrap aluminum and wire. It was the work of a quarter-hour to replicate the Hosey the Flow Cow action, and from there I thought to myself that I ought to milk every last bit of utility out of said device (one's thoughts do turn to conservation in old age). As the unit waved side-to-side across a fairly flat plane of about one foot, it seemed obvious that an armature with a multitude of blades affixed could be attached to the swinging hose so as to tear across a sheet of paper and reduce it to confetti.

The device functions beautifully. I have even placed a small terra cotta coaster beneath the shredding tray to catch the bits, and a single tea candle ignites them as they drift down, creating a warm updraft that takes some of the chill out of the water that falls across my vegetables. As I write this, Téodor and little Todd sit around it, transfixed as though by a campfire, smoking cigarettes and chatting. The overall effect is quite pleasant, in spite of Todd's remarkably vulgar vocabulary.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I have Pay Pal!

A few weeks back Téodor introduced me to the eBay auction website, and ever since I have had a marvellous time browsing its simply inexhaustible depths. I've found everything from the rare No. 1.125 Mendium nibs that I use on my old Barclayhaugh stylus, to mint Deutsche Grammophon vinyl of Svjatoslav Richter's ‘Klavierkonzert en A-moll.’ Where once the needle sat unappreciated in a haystack, today that haystack is a buzzing hive of commercial activity, to rival any mediterranean open-air market.

At great length Téodor was able to convince me to register for a Pay Pal account, which is a way of using one's checking account on the Internet. It is the same as writing a physical check, only the actual checkbook is not involved, so one must maintain one's ledger with an added degree of care, and phone one's bank often, to check against any fraudulent activity.

Téodor was even so sporting as to guide me through my first bid: a loupe of the magnification required to examine precious gemstones. It was a bit of a frivolous exercise, as I've only got one stone in particular which needs examining at the moment, but I suppose the allure of the computer marketplace had an overwhelming effect on me, and I "placed my bid."

At the moment a dubious character of the moniker "TedsGems41171" seems to always immediately outbid me, but perhaps soon he will tire of this constant watchfulness and I will be able to place a bid which palliates his appetite for this item.