"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gadgets, Tools, and Fools

Right after I was discharged from the Navy due to my inadequate hearing, I got a job as a mortgage loan processor. One of the underwriters that I worked with was a woman who made fun of the idea that you needed certain tools to do certain jobs.  I kid you not. She actually claimed that you should only need pliers to fix just about anything. Never mind that she didn't do anything like that for a living.  She just complained about how her husband had all these tools in their garage because he claimed he needed them.

Prior to attempting my Naval career, having been a Lieutenant Commander in the NJROTC in H.S., I had been a store manager for Discount Auto Parts, and had worked at a Ford dealership, doing brakes, air conditioning and various other repair work, and had even been a service advisor/customer liaison for the high-tech, ignition system, emissions control service area. I can tell you that the engineers who design cars are quite fond of designing machinery that require very elaborate and specific tools for maintenance and repair. There is a running joke that you can probably hear in any repair shop anywhere.

1st Mechanic: "Now why in the &*$^# did they make it THAT way?!?!"

2nd Mechanic: "The engineer probably caught some mechanic sleeping with his wife."

I give you that little introduction merely to emphasize how much I appreciate things that are simple and also extremely useful.  Some tools are simple and just do one thing and do it perfectly.  Some tools do really complicated things and require some skill to master.  So when you come across a tool that is incredibly efficient and simple and lets you do ten times more work with a minimum of effort, it's worth celebrating.  When it does so without the need for electricity or some non-muscular power source, it's even better.

That's why I love this little gadget:

This little baby cost us less than $30 brand new through Amazon and was probably invented a hundred years ago (I'm going to research that).

In case you have never seen one of these before, it is an apple-peeler-corer-slicer. Yep. All three are accomplished while turning the crank for about 5 seconds.  If all you want to do is peel, just undo the wingnut on the end there and swing the corer/slicer out of the way.  If you just want to slice and core, lock the peeler out of position.

Yesterday, Twyla and I processed 48 apples for making apple sauce.  Her very special apple sauce, and I highly recommend that you go see what she had to say about it on her blog. Now, had we peeled, cored, and sliced all those apples using a standard peeler and knife, it would have taken us a couple of hours, at least.  But with the two of us; me running the apples through the gadget and her trimming odd spots and cross cutting the slices into the stockpot, it took us a total of about 20 minutes.

It's very cool that the apples were free, and in fact, we could make a couple more trips to the source. Forty-eight apples made about six quarts of applesauce. We would like to do about a hundred more apples to be dehydrated and vacuum packed.  (I haven't blogged about it, but we did buy a FoodSaver vacuum machine.)

We try to get machines that do not depend on electricity or other fuel, but we weigh the labor saving against how much the tool will help us prepare food for storage.  I already have ideas for how to make a manually operated vacuum pump for future use. If we run out of mason jars or vacuum bags, I'll figure out how to store dehydrated meats and vegetables in other ways.

If you have any questions, that's what the comments box down below is for.

Shalom v'yom shishi tov,  Moshe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please don't make me disable comments because you couldn't maintain decorum and civil discourse. You can disagree all you want to, just don't get nasty.