The Lazarus Key

how carpenters kill time and scrapwood both

Proper punctuation is back, baby!   Or at least my version of it.  It seems the recent cold snap has reanimated the left shift key.  It’s like having my left pinkie grow back after a slipup with the table saw, only way less painful, irresponsible, and expensive.  Knock on wood, which right now means stomp on backdeck.

That’s one department in which unpaid blogging is superior to paid carpentry.  When I’m working about 80% of my brainpower is focused on retaining all of my digits and blood supply and the small portion of skin that’s remained scar tissue free.  Here’s the breakdown of the remaining 20% of my dwindling brain powers:

8%- when is my next meal and how can i incorporate mayonnaise into it?

8%- devoted to whatever podcast I’m listening to while creating sawdust

2%- squirrel activity monitoring

2%- attention to woodworking details

I can do a lot with that last 2% though, in case you owe me money for recent services rendered.

this is the largest picture i could afford!

This week I got cocky and bled myself with a Fanno International pruning saw.  I’ve got this wicked hand saw from my days as a tree climber.  It may have been my first internet purchase.  It’s about 12 years old and has never been sharpened.  Imagine 14 inches of rusty blade with a gentle curve of double cut tiny daggers for teeth.  The thing is, sorry to overuse the adjective, wicked sharp.  I was out in the misty rain pruning the jungle of vines overtaking our little rental house and managed to forget that unplugged tools can also maim.  It was just a kiss to the tip of the left thumb, shockingly ugly at first as it filled my makeshift packing tape bandage with blood, but two days later looks like a papercut.  Apparently some of my Wolverine-like healing genetics are still functional.

Let’s use this maiming as a learning opportunity.  We’re going to learn about Mexican obscenities.  In Mexico, there are two philosophical categories of obscene actors.  There is the Pendejo (accent on the second syllable), roughly translated as idiot, or dumbass, and there is the Cabron (accent on the o), comparable to an asshole or motherfucker.  It’s the yin and yang paradigm of a desperately poor country.  You’re either acting badly, or foolish enough to put yourself in a position to be acted upon badly by some terrible fate.  To illustrate, we’ll use my battered hands.  My right hand is, (sorry) hands down the cabron.  It wields the hammer and saw that my pinche left hand, the pendejo, is too stupid to stay out the way of.

Other illustrations come to mind.  Yesterday, I foolishly used a set of needle nosed pliers to pull a stubborn nail out of the wall where the tenants had managed to find a stud.  Such a small nail, and yet so tenacious.  I didn’t know how much force I was applying until the nail suddenly gave and I punched my own glasses off my face.  Now, I’m not the type of guy who punches a guy with glasses, unless, obviously, that guy is me.  Leave me alone in a room long enough, and I will embody to the fullest extent of my capabilities both the cabron and the pendejo.  Put me in a room full of strangers, and I’m usually just the latter.

So.  Maybe Steve Jobs just gave up on holding my left shift key for ransom and freed it remotely from his lair.  I stared him down, and he blinked, the pendejo!

Thank God that cabron decided to use his genius for good technological design deeds and not doomsday devices or stock market manipulation.  I wish he would make the i-compound mitre saw, or the i-bandaid.

this is probably a good way to damage a camera

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11 responses to “The Lazarus Key

  1. One of the many Legends of Michael that are very popular around our house with Deaton is the story of “What happens when one tries to break an eye-level, taunt strand of fishing line with a rubber mallet”. It has action, lessons, blood, and (to me and D) humor. Total Pendejo moment.

    • action, reaction. It was not fishing line, however. That would have been even more embarrassing, if possible. So much blood… and yet I find the memory to be a not-unpleasant one. And it was a cartoonishly large wooden mallet. Probably something dad had in the garage to finish off gigged frogs.

      • Fishing line – nylon string.
        Rubber mallet – wooden mallet.
        My equipment details are skewed because I wasn’t even there, but I did see results of the mallet catapult. I, too, remember it being more of a happy event with little regret.

  2. You dream of incorporating mayo…I dream of bacon…hence I am BJ…Bacon John. I helped Billy Craft harvest three of his bigger trees using the pecan tree shaker but there was this smaller tree that we had to hand shake. Did I ever tell you how many thorns there are on the average mayhaw tree and how sharp they are. I’m glad I stopped taking the 81 mg aspirins so I stopped bleeding before I passed out from loss of blood.

    • hah! I’m glad you didn’t bleed out, Dad. Also I was thinking you were Big John this whole time. I guess the one leads to the other. But you’re right. The only thing that can improve a mayonnaise upgrade is the addition of fried fatback.

      • “Fried fatback” That reminds me of a recipe for caramelized bacon. You cook bacon in a sheet pan with dark and light brown sugar for about 25 minutes and then remove it to cool. Once it is cooled you can dip it in “dipping chocolate”…now that’s a way to improve a dish.

        If you could teach me how to post a photo to this thing, I’ll show you what it looks like.

  3. Baconman, I don’t think I’d waste that brown sugar bacon on the chocolate. I haven’t figured out how to post a photo in the comment section, yet, but send me that sexy pic and I’ll post it front and center on the blog along with any additional baking instructions. I learned the oven baking trick this year and it’s way less messy than the skillet version. I wasn’t clever enough to throw brown sugar or maple syrup on it, though.

  4. It helps with clean up to put down that flexible teflon-like sheet ya’ll gave us first on the sheet pan. You’ll see from the photo that we put triple cream bleu cheese on the cooked bacon on the first go round. Goat cheese just didn’t seem up to the task of most decadent dish.

  5. Love the photo of the coals. Very cool. Dug the post, too, Michael. Keep it up! I need entertaining!

    B.

  6. I am going to giggle for the next two days thinking of you punching yourself in the face. Haaaaaahahahaha! Love you, Spike. 🙂

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