Sunday, June 26, 2005


If you all recall what's contained in my toolbox, then it should come as no surprise what I use for a carpenter's pencil.

But today, I finally had to upgrade. I was putting up miniblinds, the ones that say "as simple as 1-2-3".

I open the box, had my "screwdriver" ready and start reading the directions.

"Step One: Drill the holes."


I looked at my shoe, looked at my butter knife and looked at the miniblinds. I sighed, grabbed my purse and went to the store to upgrade my tools.

After careful consideration (translation, trying to figure out what the heck I was looking at) I bought myself a Black & Decker PivotPlus. It's a three-position drill and screwdriver with a tape measure in the handle AND a headlight. Well, they don't call it a headlight. It's officially called an "integrated light". I also bought a cute little case containing various sizes of drills and screwdriver heads. After getting all set up to install miniblinds as simply as 1-2-3, I encountered a problem: there was no holder for the drill bits.

After carefully reading the instructions and looking at everything in the case two and sometimes three times, I went back to the store to ask about the part that is supposed to hold the drill bit. I instructed myself NOT to use words like "thingy and doo-dad."

The guy looked and looked at the tool. He tried various bits. THEN he got out the directions, read them and exclaimed, "Ah ha! Quick release collar. Quick release, that means it comes off so you can put the bit in."

I explained that this quick release collar didn't come off; the "quick release" is that you pull it back and it quickly releases the base of the screw heads.

I didn't tell him how that totally exhausted my database of tool knowledge. Generally, if I need a different size screw head, I get out a different butter knife.

We both gave up and I ended up buying a drill bit that was already in a base. Of course, that lead to a conversation about the bit size.

Him: What size do you need?

Me: (reading from directions I brought with me): 2/32.

Him: Hmmm, we don't have that. We have a 3/32 and a 5/64.

Me: Oh, look. Here's a 1/16.

Him: Ah, that might be too small. I'd go with the 3/32.

Me: It's the same.

Him: No, that 1/16 is smaller than the 2/32.

Me: Yeah....well, I'll take my chances.

So now, hours later, I've installed 7 out of 9 miniblinds. I'll have to deal with the ones in my daughter's room later. She has two windows the same size; but the only two blinds that are left are 31" wide and 37 1/2" wide respetively. Something tells me the guy who cut the blinds may be related to the guy who told me 1/16 is smaller than 2/32.

Oh, and I still used an old eyeliner for a carpenter's pencil. I've had enough change for one day.


Marie said...

Sly, my aunt would love you. She's an architect/designer and has to deal with completely clueless store employees a lot. Most of the time, they don't even know where the items she's looking for are, much less the sizes and shapes of the products.

Eleanor said...

I'm so jealous - I've always wanted a drill -
way to go!!!

Leetie said...

Why would they call it a size 2/32 anyway?

Marvin | Paranoid Android said...

Sly was screwing, and Eleanor wants to drill? I like your blog, sly!

Marvin | Paranoid Android said...

and leetie, they call it 2/32 to make it seem bigger. I bet it was a guy who made those rules...

Slyeyes said...

Well! Is my face red! I had wondered about the 2/32 myself, and went to get the instructions. It NOW says "3/32". But that was from a different set of blinds. I SWEAR that the one I had at the store, that I showed to the guy, said "2/32".

Of course I can't find those particular instructions to prove it.


Wurm42 said...

It could be worse. If the blinds were from Ikea, you'd have to deal with metric conversion.

I've gotten Ikea instructions in metric and "standard" measurements, and the conversions sometimes leave a LOT to be desired.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Sly, you rock!

Brat said...

Just cause a "guy" works in a tool department, doesn't mean he's the brightest bulb in the pack. You're doing great.
The fact that you know there IS such a thing as a carpenter's pencil, shows your design-on-a-dime
savvy. Just keep watching HGTV!

Punky Brewster said...

Sly ... your blog makes me smile.

Alex said...

I'm a guy, and I don't know what half that stuff is. Congrats.