This blog is photo-less.
I haven’t done many blogs without photos before.
I was taking some photos today with my trusty Kodak digital camera, and trying to save a few steps, carried it by my pinky, while carrying some woodworking.
But, let’s backup a little.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (ME).
I remember suffering through some Electrical Engineering (EE) courses at the State College, and absolutely hating them. I had to take them to do something “interesting” after I graduated with my ME degree. So, I took them, but never did respect them.
I didn’t do particularly well in those EE clases. In one class we spent an entire semester drawing circuits and calculating things, without ever seeing one single electrical, or electronic item in person. I suppose, that’s why I hated the class so much. I need to see things in person.
From that experience, I never did really give any respect to EE’s. Not that they aren’t smart, or create great things. I just didn’t like the class. I decided that EE was not for me. I need to touch things. Always have. Some things don’t change.
Ok, so I’m carrying the camera by the carrying strap with my pinky, with the camera still on, and ever so gently bumped the protruding telephoto aparatus thingy on the “woodworking.” The woodworking won.
I sat down to pull off the photos, and the camera wouldn’t work. Listening closely while cycling it on and off a few times, I discovered that something was wrong in the protruding lense looking thing. It must have been that gentle little “bump” on the woodworking.
Ok, so I got mad.
Then a few minutes later I tripped over a shoe laying below the step into the house, and twisted my only “good” ankle.
I got madder. Wrapped up the ankle in a bandage with an ice pack, and decided to eat.
So, I ate lunch, watched something silly on tv, and then, the thought hit me, “Hey, I’m an ME, I can fix anything.”
Fixing that camera would be a good project, just sitting on a stool, staying off my sore ankle.
So, after lunch I went out to the shop and started removing screws on the little camera.
There was a bunch of them screws, of various sizes, thread pitches, and lengths. Then, some pins and springs fell out. That wasn’t good. I didn’t see where they were before they fell out.
I got it all torn apart, parts laying all over the little tray I was disassembling over.
I found the little motor and the little gearing system that drives some type of gearing in the little protruding lense thing.
Ok, no problem, must have just “jumped” a gear when it took the “bump” with the woodworking.
I did that little “jump a gear thing” one time trying to restore an old Corvette in my ”pre-married-I’ll-spend-my-time-and-money-on-what-I-want-years-thank-you.” Some things change.
At the time when I worked on the junker-Corvette (a single and lonely man), I pulled out the Distributor and it’s attached shaft, but didn’t think to mark where it was sitting when I pulled up the gear. Well, to be honest, I didn’t know when I pulled it up that it had a gear on the bottom. I know that now.
I did get the distributor back in place a few weeks later, but must of gotten it just one cog out of alignment, but I didn’t know it at the time. Several weeks later, my friend Mike Patterson told me that something must be wrong, after he helped me try to “time” the restored engine. He saw that we couldn’t adjust anymore, and asked about the “distributor gear”. “Oh, yea, that thing.” So, I fixed it by raising it and slipping it one tooth the other direction. I guessed which direction to turn it and put it back in place. The engine ran like a champ then. That sorta builds your pride a little with a thing like that. After all, I’m an ME for crying out loud.
So, I’m sitting there on the stool with my sore ankle throbbing, thinking I can fix this little gear driving thing in the protruding lense thing in this simple little camera.
By this time, I’ve lost control over which of the 8-10 different sized tiny screws went where.
I kept tearing it apart to get the tooth to slip one cog. Oops, that little lense looking thing with the rubber gasket has to go somewhere back in there.
Rats, I bet that little gold colored strip of plastic with little gold looking circuit connectors inside of it shouldn’t have gotten torn.
Ok, now that I have it apart, I finally get those little cogs apart. I never did get them back in the place it should be, as I couldn’t remove the steel pin that has set the little gear in place when it was assembled. Only way to get it past that tooth…...is to force it a little with the screwdriver.
Well, that didn’t work.
Better put it back together, maybe it will work by a Miracle.
ZAAAAAMMMM! “Ouch! What in the world was that sharp pain in my finger?”
I must have touched something that allowed the Flash Battery to short out on my finger tip. Man, that hurts.
Ok, going back together, assured that this camera is now a piece of junk.
Back together. Oops, 8 screws left over, two springs, two pins, two plastic parts, and one metal thingy. Where did they go?
I turned it back on , and it does fire up, but the protruding lense thingy just stays in one position, making little “I’m stuck” noises.
Ok, it’s finished, now to the trash can. No, wait, I’ll let my kids see what cameras look like on the inside. I used to tear everything apart when I was kid. Some of them went back together. Some things don’t change.
As I was destroying this little electronic gadget today, I was completely overwhelmed by the “Miracle” that occurred when all I did was point that camera at something (when it worked) and pushed the button.
What an amazing achievement that little digital camera is, both in it’s past ability to take photos, and the mechanical motor and gears, and the electronics that can take an image, and convert it into a file that I can either print, put on the internet, or give to someone on a disk.
Wow, what a Miracle a small digital camera is. The real Miracle is that some hard-working EE’s designed this thing. Course, they needed an ME to put it together. An ME better than me.
I have a whole new respect for EE’s now.
Too bad my fat ME fingers messed with the camera, and that the “woodworking” got in the way with that little “bump.”
Too bad I already spent my “economic stimulus check” as I now need a new camera.
I’ll be photo-less for awhile I feel.
I hope you have a better day than I’ve had.
Thanks for reading, sorry no pictures in today’s blog.
p.s. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
(This story and text is protected by copyright 2008, by the author M.A. DeCou, all rights reserved, not to be used without permission)
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com