Friday, April 20, 2012

Useful Things From the Past

Every once in a while you come across something that's such a good idea that you replicate it.

The item below was a promotional pencil handed out by the Gifford-Brown folks when they were still in the electronic components trade.
What it is, of course, is a tube tapper, although the rubber erasers had long since dried up and gotten as hard as granite. It's good for testing tubes for unwanted noise when installed and running. I guess in a way it proves that the problems in the service trade are not all new.

So I put together my own out of a couple of pieces of hardwood dowel that accept rubber cap erasers of the kind people put on pencils-although even pencils are fast becoming obsolete items that tend to confuse the young folks.

A pencil does not come loaded with high definition content and it will not log you onto facebook or get you in touch with your BFF. It will also not let you send a picture of your tackle to your girlfriend and then have to tell her parents and yours and an army of policemen that it was all in fun.

You're welcome to make your own tube knocker and I commend it to you.

On the subject of pencils, I kinda like them.

When I was a little kid in Miss LaPolla's first grade class I'd always get stuck with the pencil that had a busted up inner lead, and frequent trips to the Boston pencil sharpener were an embarassment.

There and then, I swore a dark and bloody oath-which is a funny thing for kids to do-that when I grew up I would have as many pencils as I wanted, and as many pencil sharpeners as I wanted so that I could have as many well sharpened writing instruments as I pleased.

Well. Here it is, fifty seven years later, and although many opportunities have escaped my grasp since then, this one can be checked off my so called bucket list. I have a lifetime supply of good pencils, cap erasers for the ones that are dried up, and a fine selection of Panasonic electric pencil sharpeners for every mood.

Every now and then I'll sharpen up an older cedar pencil, and the smell is enough to take me back to that classroom.

I showed 'em.

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