Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hammer Time

I have this strange, almost overwhelming desire to hit something with a hammer.

And, no, oddly enough, I don’t mean in a violent, ‘ninja smashing’ way. I just really, really want to use a hammer and maybe, nail something together. I even got out my framing hammer. It’s sitting next to the mouse. If you hear a scream from roughly north-west, it’s because I’ve mistaken one for the other and destroyed my desk.

This, of course, is my dad’s fault.

My dad liked to work with his hands and build things. He built houses. For fun. In fact, the first three houses I lived in he built. All of us boys helped and we all kind of have a house that we consider ‘ours,’ in that we did a lot of the work on it. Mine was the ‘big house,’ ‘cause it was rather large. Though the fact that my room locked from the outside might also have had something to do with it.

Now, there was nothing wrong with my father’s predilection for construction. It was a healthy, productive hobby that he enjoyed immensely. The problem lay in the fact that we boys had to work on stuff with him.

Weekends started early and often violently, as my father enjoyed various cruel and unusual ways to get us out of bed, up to and including hot sauce in an open mouth and ice water in a squirt gun. By 9 we were out on the site, bleary-eyed and handling circular saws and nailing stuff, often at what most people would call ‘dubious heights.’

Oddly enough, we never had any bad accidents. I did have a hammer dropped on my head on three different occasions, which may explain some things. Oh, there was blood and stuff every so often, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with swearing and duct tape.

Anyway, by the time I was sixteen, I could carpent as hard as any professional carpenter. I could carpent the hell out of a piece of wood. And, as you might have guessed, I hated it. It was often boring, tedious work that required just enough focus to keep from taking your leg off with a saw.

But yet, all these years later, I still get the rare urge to hammer something. I still have my gear: a couple hammers, my tool belt, a variety of measuring devices, and a roll of duct tape in case of injury. I can almost look back fondly on those early mornings. The crisp, cold air. The smell of sawn wood. The satisfying crack of a sixteen-penny nail sinking in with just one strong, precise hammer strike. The sudden, startled sensation of waking up with your ears ringing ‘cause your dad just dropped a framing hammer onto your head.

And then I remember why I got into the computer business: even if someone drops a mouse on your head, it’s probably not going to hurt.



Insectoid said...

XD (I dare not LOL because it's 2AM)

Oh yes; our industry is much safer. Except, of course, for the danger of dropping the computer (or an old CRT monitor—I almost did that once) on one's foot, or of frying every component by not being grounded on a dry day (thankfully, that one's never happened).

And then, of course, there are the less injury-related occasions of much swearing and headaches—like installing Windows Updates or new drivers, and then having Windows not load! (I've had to put up with that one for the last month or so. May have to reload. Grrr.)

Rahel Sewell said...

So you weren't kidding about that framing hammer?? I thought that you were when you mentioned it in a previous post. O_O

Jason Janicki said...

I think our industry's worst comes from our healthy diet of Cheetos and Mountain Dew every day :)

Nope, not kidding about the framing hammer :) That's the problem when you write about fighting ninjas and mimes all the time, people assume that you're making everything up :)

And I'm pretty sure I suffered no ill effects from the framing hammers, though writing about fighting ninjas and mimes all the time might count :)

dennis eagle parts said...

The key feature of a framing hammer is that it is heavy, and it has a long handle. This provides a lot of driving power so that someone can drive in a nail with just a few strokes.