Monday, April 29, 2013
I guess you could say that I get paid to listen. Mostly to keep my mouth shut and listen. I hear a wide variety of stories and conflicts and fears most every day, and I always wish I had something wise to say in response, but mostly I don't and there is nothing to do but listen. I come home sometimes exhausted, full to the brim with problems that I cannot solve.
This week I tried something new to see if it would help me relax a little. I have mentioned that I am learning Morse Code, and there is no point in saying again that I often feel like I'm going backwards instead of forward, because it's beginning to sound like whining (although, let's face it, I have no shame and I do whine, repeatedly, because it is SOOOOOO HARD and I don't seem to be getting any better!) My Friend, the owner of the keyer I was using, needed it back (the brute), but he is helping me build another, with parts that belong to yet another friend, with the agreement that if I put it together, I can borrow it for awhile. Sounded like no big deal to me. I have a mentor, he has the parts and the gear and the knowledge and the experience, the whole thing is so small it fits into an altoid tin, gotta be easy peasy.
Well, a full day later with another day to go all I can say is Good Grief! All those guys you know who fix and solder and mess around with chips and wire and potentiometers and dohiggys are not, as it appears, just goofing around. This stuff is not nearly as easy as they make it sound. (The names of the parts alone is enough to give me a headache.) The bottom line is that, despite my sweat, blood and tears (okay, my whining and my tears), the keyer still doesn't work. I wrecked one blinkety blink cheap plastic part (those solder irons turn out to be very hot indeed), and the replacement part I used turned out to be a closed intermittent switch where I needed an open intermittent switch -- and the very fact that I now know what that means should tell you how far down this road I've traveled.
But tomorrow -- after another day at work of listening to problems and fears and sadness I can't fix, after exhausting myself with agency politics and problems and conflicts -- I will drive back to My Friend's house and get that puppy finished and finally have a keyer again that I can use to practice so that I can finally learn that blasted Code that is driving me crazy.
Relaxing? You betcha. And I can hardly wait.