Sunday, April 27

The tri-wing screw

So with a little help from Wikipedia I figured out the screw that was giving us trouble on the iron yesterday:

"Tri-Wing, as the name suggests, is a screw with three "wings" and a small triangular hole in the center. A variation is a kind in which the three "wings" are joined in the center (with no triangular hole). A somewhat similar-looking design in which three short radial slots are not joined in the center is called a Tri-groove screw head.

"The Tri-Wing is a tamper-resistant screw due to the difficulty in finding Tri-Wing screwdrivers in hardware stores, although they can be legally bought online. As is often the theory with tamper-resistant hardware, there is no expectation that it will be impossible for a tamperer to obtain the driver. Rather, the main idea is simply that most tamperers will not bother to seek out and obtain a driver. In the case of end-users, this reduces the incidence of do-it-yourself repair or modifications (and any resulting injury or product damage). In the cases of vandalism prevention and theft prevention, since most vandalism and theft incidents are simply crimes of easy opportunity, the idea is to "raise the bar" and make the opportunity less easy."
(; my italics)

Take that, tri wing tamperproof do-it-yourselfer protection! I'll pry my iron open if I want it open! And now I want one of those drivers, just so I can tamper when I want to tamper.

A few firsts

It's been an eventful past few days:

Tuesday & Wednesday: First ever "business" trip. Xerox sent my supervisor and me to L.A., all expenses paid, to be wined and dined into either buying a large digital printer or partnering with them to help grow the business. It was awesome. Now, let's be clear: I did not deserve to be there, but I sure tried to pretend like I did.

Tuesday: First ever trip to In-N-Out. I bought only fries since it was 6:00, supposedly only an hour before dinner (I regretted not getting a burger when we didn't actually sit down to eat until almost 8:30 and I hadn't had lunch). I must say I wasn't wowed by In-N-Out.

Tuesday: First ever conversation entirely in Italian. Well, at least the couple I met in the Hilton lobby spoke (only) Italian, and I communicated well enough through some sort of Spanitaluguese. They generously bought me a hot chocolate while they got espressos (um, I had no idea that espressos were the size of shot glasses...? Like 2 ounces of beverage for $3? ...stay tuned for more evidence of my Bubble upbringing.) We conversed for TWO HOURS! Turns out they're from Milan, and I gave her my parents' phone number and she gave me her business card...maybe Mark and I will drop in to say hello while we're there next month.

Wednesday: First ever conversation about religion on an airplane. Also, first ever Book of Mormon giveaway.

Saturday: First ever successful take-it-apart-and-put-it-back-together electronic fix-it project. I needed the iron to hem some curtains, but to my dismay it didn't heat up when I plugged it in. (This probably had something to do with it falling a number of times from a rather unwise perch in our closet.) So we pried it apart---I say 'pried' because it had the weirdest screw that I couldn't get a grip on with any of our screwdrivers or had only three grooves coming out from a center point; anyone have any insight on such a screw?---so anyway, I pried it apart and found the guilty broken piece that was disrupting the circuit. To make a long story short, we reconnected the broken piece with some twist-tie wire and then refastened the iron to the plastic handle using hanging wire (turns out that prying it open busted many plastic pieces necessary for holding the iron together). Yeah, we're pretty much MacGuyvers now. We kept a full pitcher of water on hand for the test-run of the newly repaired iron lest it spontaneously burst into flame. Fortunately, it seems to work just fine. I was tickled with our success!

Saturday: First ever civil wedding. It was surprisingly a lot like the movies, except that instead of a string quartet they had a rock band ("Here Comes the Bride" never sounded so angsty). There was a gazebo, a wooded clearing, a gregarious preacher, scantily-clad bridesmaids, scantily-clad female guests, a buffet, a cake, nothing to drink but tea, a horse-drawn carriage, a champaigne toast, and an open bar (which means, I learned, that the all the alcohol is FREE!). Talk about one expensive party! This was also my first ever party where things progressively got less fun as everyone else got more drinks. First ever time watching someone I know and mostly respect go back for beer after beer after beer. First ever time being one of the few totally sober people around. Last time ever going to a wedding or party without my own car.

[Note: It was not drunken revelry, at least not when my ride and I finally left at 10:30. I wasn't ever really uncomfortable, either. I just thought, "Wow, I have yet to see that guy without a full beer in his hand" and "You guys are going clubbing after this? Who's driving?" and "Um, I really don't think what everyone is laughing at is that funny." Aside from feeling over-dressed and under-drunk I had a lovely time.]

My real-life education continues. What a week!

Friday, April 18

Today I bought 19 pretty much brand-new books and 4 used books--for a total of 25 books--for EIGHT (8) DOLLARS ($).

The used books are:
Twelfth Night
As You Like It
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
and 25,000+ Baby Names. (Speculate all you like; this is no harbinger. I'm giving it away.)

The practically new books (all Dover thrifts) are:
The Tempest
King Lear
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
Much Ado About Nothing
Great Expectations
Pride & Prejudice
Wuthering Heights
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The Raven and Other Favorite Poems
Self-Reliance and Other Essays (can I get a "woot woot" from Pinto)
A Tale of Two Cities
The Importance of Being Earnest
Leaves of Grass
The Scarlet Letter
100 Best-Loved Poems
and Frankenstein.

I'm not going to pretend that I read Shakespeare for leisure, but they were so cheap that I couldn't pass them up.

My gratitude for this bargain goes to the downtown Salvation Army store, the manager of the Salvation Army store who suggested I browse through his three boxes of recent arrivals in the "employee-only" section, the other Salvation Army employee who finally gave up trying to kick me out of said "employee-only" section, and, lastly, the other Salvation Army employee who rung me up, who quickly became overwhelmed at the prospect of calculating the posted "80% off the cover price" of each of these books and instead charged a flat rate of a few quarters or so each based on a book's size (that's how they used to do it; and don't tell Gary). I was so thrilled that I took the wrong freeway junction on the way home.

In other news, I'm in the market for another bookshelf.