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

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Low-fi can be bad for health

Here’s a techno-disaster which met its original aim but left me diminished.

In the early sixties I was poor and living in expensive London. Inevitably I was condemned to a record player rather than hi-fi separates. The tiny loudspeaker reacted to certain mid-range horn notes from a Dennis Brain LP with a frying noise which drove me mad. I decided to build a wooden enclosure as host to a proper 10 in. Goodmans speaker.

The enclosure was a metre wide which required a lot of chipboard and the insertion of many 2½-in. screws. At least I pre-drilled the screwholes but parsimony restricted me to the widest bit that came with the drill. It wasn’t wide enough and I compensated with much muscular screw-drivering.

When do you decide that a progressively painful activity has become unbearable? The palm of my hand reddened, became sore, became blistered, became burst-blistered, became raw meat. I soldiered on driven, as always with DIY projects, by a desire to see the job finished. The pain became a pink mist. Afterwards the speaker system worked well but the evidence of my self-harm endured for almost a year. No one to blame but myself.

Moral 1: Ignore my counsel regarding DIY.
Moral 2: This may be sexist but I can’t imagine any woman of my acquaintance having to make a similar confession.

MOTORBIKE QUERY On a fastish bike the hands are the most thermally vulnerable part of the body. I never solved this. Has the passage of time and improved technology provided an answer?


Zhoen said...

I know a few army women who might well push it that far, but I think generally you are right. Women would tend to stop at pain, and long before spurting blood. But then, I know a lot of sensible men who would bring out work gloves, or take it out to have it done for them.

Hey, at least it worked.

Avus said...

One has to suffer for one's art, BB.

I have poor circulation in my hands and have always suffered from cold and numb fingers when riding bikes in winter. Not any more! My Honda 300sh "superscoot" has wind shielding over the hands and electrically heated hand grips - comfort at the press of a button. As a "traditional motorcyclist" - oily finger nails and dirty wax cotton riding gear - I would once have laughed to scorn such effeminancies. With age comes wisdom and the maturity not to care a jot what others think!

Avus said...

PS. On re-reading the above, perhaps "effeminancies" should have its "a" replaced with an "e", but I think the final "nancies" helps to sum up what such a motorcyclist might feel.

Barrett Bonden said...

Zhoen: The post was intended to prove sensibility and I are frequently aliens.

Avus: Gosh, that's a whole lot of technology. I look forward to more apologia pro vita sua admissions about your downward spiral from bikes to scooters.

"Effeminancy" Oh, carve it in marble, cast it in bronze. This word must not die out.