In Which Chris Decides He Doesn't Have Enough Stuff.

I am the proud owner of a shear. This is a handy device for metalworking which works on the same principle as scissors, only instead of blades, there is one large hunk of metal on the bottom, and another large hunk of metal, vaguely sharpened, on top, which then slides down and squeezes/cuts things like metal bars. You gain leverage through a long thick metal handle, and hopefully bolting the thing to the heaviest table you can get your hands on. This is useful because metal stock usually comes in lengths around ten or twenty feet, which is almost guaranteed to be much, much longer than what you want; and the other options for cutting the same sizes of metal are more expensive.

Now, I'm really new at this, and one of the many things I cannot do is accurately gauge the weight of a steel object. When the guy told me it weighed two hundred pounds, I thought he was confused or rambling, or talking about the table it was mounted to.

Some of us, in the course of using our cars, will eventually discover, quite suddenly, that the floor of your trunk is essentially a piece of one-quarter-inch wood-reinforced cardboard. Which, if you're lucky, will just suddenly flex, rather than break.

Fortunately we were only about five blocks from my house, so rather than remodel my trunk with 2x4s to keep the weight on the chassis, we hefted it onto his pickup truck and then into my garage, where it sits quite happily on its side by the wall, not getting in the way and in no danger of falling on someone's foot. Apparently if I continue with this blacksmithing nonsense, I will need a truck.

This guy was pretty much a jerk to me, as a beginner, which I've found a lot with these do-it-yourself tinkerer types; so I was talking about that to a cow-orker (sic) when I got back to the office. I think she's right that my boss and I can get that way with her and another cow-orker, about programming/software types of things; but it rang a little hollow to me at the time, because I perceive myself as being, if not always completely patient, willing to explain things to people, and to check in to see whether I've lost them in the explanation. As I think about it now, the difference is that my boss and I are impatient with the cow-orkers because (a) they're supposed to have basic programming skills, and (b) we explain the same stuff to them over and over, in the same month, and it doesn't stick. On the other hand, there's no reason, personal or professional, why I should know the terminology for talking about metal stock.

Right before the genuine letting-go, the real encompassing loving-acceptance of the world, there's a time of gleeful, carefree resignation: let it all burn down, the flames make me giggle. In this moment comes action, what you think is the last-ditch one-more-time draw-a-line-in-the-sand use-some-hyphenated-phrases moment, when you are truly prepared to accept whatever the outcome of that last action...and in that action, you have let go, and your perception of the world rights itself, like you're a human rubber ducky in the cosmic bathtub. You realize you have come back to this place of acceptance again, for the first time.