Thursday 9 October 2014

Special Glue

A few weeks ago, Louise was having trouble with here Garmin sport watch. This thing records heart rate, calculates distance travelled, calories spent, tells the duration and tells the time. For all that I know it might just keep up a conversation on current affairs while she is paddling. It would do all of that, but for some reason it wouldn’t upload to the computer or is that the Garmin internet site. I don’t know. Louise spent hours talking to the Garmin tech support without any real long lasting help. We went to the GPS store where it was purchased, and they gave the number of a place in Quebec that does the repairs. They were very helpful and all Louise has to do is to send it to them and they will either repair the watch or replace it. Done and done!

Unfortunately, that will leave Louise without the watch for a period of time. This is where I come to the rescue. I went online and I should be able to fix the old watch that was no longer keeping its charge. All that I have to do is pry it apart, cut the old battery out, solder an iPod mini battery in its place, glue everything back together and hope that all will work. I did the pry apart, part, and attempted to use a camera battery which wasn’t a total success. Okay, it was a total failure, but now I know. I ordered an ipod mini battery from Ebay and had to wait 10 to 30 days for delivery.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…..

It arrived yesterday and I went down to my little workroom, plugged in the soldering iron, and arranged the wire cutters, electrical tape and a bucket load of good thoughts on the workbench. I cut the old battery out, soldered the new one in, held it together with an elastic band while I plugged it in and it started to charge! Effin yeah!!!

It turned out that I was out of my special “sticking a Garmin watch back together” glue, so this morning I went out to get some. Two hours into the search, I picked up some glue that would do the trick, but it wouldn’t be any good to glue my shoes together, protect the fraying end of my charge cords, glue together a stack of paper for my hand made notepads or any of the other uses I haven’t thought of for it yet. I need to replenish my supply and I have the feeling that the internet is the place I will find it.

This is not an isolated incident. Materials that I need to fix/repair are becoming harder and harder to find. During the search this morning, I was thinking that tinkerers are a thing of the past. My father’s generation were a generation that really believed in recycling and reusing. Nothing was thrown out unless it was so worn or damaged that it couldn’t be repaired. They passed that along to some of my generation, and I am one. I am not always successful in my repairs, but I try.

The trouble is that many things are built to be disposable. It is almost impossible to even get inside to see if it can be fixed. Part of the difficulty is that repairmen make a large hourly rate and often it is simply less expensive to buy a new item than to have the old one serviced. You can add that North Americans tend not to work in occupations where they build things, making working with their hands something foreign to them.

We will have to wait for a depression or a severe recession before we start tinkering again. It is only a matter of time until an economy based on invisible money collapses, and when it does, I will be ready with a case of my “special” glue.

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