Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 28 July 2008

Knowing what not to fear

Some people have an instinct for technology. Richard, one of my earliest friends, born a week before me and only a mile away, dead these last ten years from horrible motor neurone disease, had that instinct.

The proof could take a terrifying form. When my brother ran the bearings on the engine of his Morris Minor Richard supervised the removal of the engine, its dismantlement, the replacement of the crankshaft and the bearings, the reassembly and the reinstallation. My only contribution – other than the loan of my bathroom floor to accommodate this work – was not to drop the engine when it was put back into the car and my brother and Richard were unable to contribute any further lifting effort during the last foot or so of the transfer.

Here’s where the magic happened. With everything connected and a sump full of new oil, the engine was started. Brmmm…brmm. Fine, apart from the oil light glowing bright red on the dash. Alarmed, I reached in to switch off the ignition but Richard shook his head. Dipping under the raised bonnet he shook the engine on its mountings - vigorously. And the oil light went out.

How could he know that?

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