Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Problem With Tools

I'm a great admirer of tools. Given the proper tool and the proper skill, many amazing things can be accomplished and often are. The problem with tools is that owning a tool, having spent money on a tool, having committed storage space to a tool, confers an obligation to actually use the tool.

I'm all for that if the tool is a camera, or a sound recorder, or any of the myriad software tools I use to create pictures and music and sounds and stories. But lately, being the owner of an unfinished house, I have begun to acquire the kinds of implements that everyone thinks of when you say "tools."

You know, the kind of stuff that comes from the tool department at Lowes. Circular saws and table saws and miter saws. Power drills and compressors with nail guns. Snow blowers, for crying out loud. Here am I, a native of Southern California, the land of perpetual sunshine and I own not only a weed trimmer, but a snow blower. Along with snow shovels and ice scrapers.

And I use every single one of them. I clear snow and I hang drywall and I do carpentry and wiring, and even a little bit of plumbing.

When I look in the mirror I hardly know who I am.