The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #3594855
Posted By: gnu
22-Jan-14 - 11:36 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
I seldom share any of my stuff but I was under the influence yesterday and blurted out a draft to some buddies. As it is kind of a generic story and not something that I would consider personal or telling anyone about stuff I think they might not know of, I think it's okay to share herein. Plus, Rap said sommat about hex heads that I consider extremely offensive (I am sure he will apologize and send me peace offerings. I prefer cash.) Sooo...

Garage Door Opener

There I sat in the weehicle in the driveaway, pressing the remote and thinking I needed a new battery. I went in the house and pressed the remote by the door. Hmmmm. Breaker or opener? I went into the garage and press the wall mounted control. The motor hummed but the door didn't move and the chain stayed still. Drat! I'll have to take the cowling off and look at the gears but not today because it's Championship Sunday and my team is one of the final four.

It's 2:30PM, Monday as I type. At noon, I put on workpants over sweat pants, a sweatshirt over t-shirt, toque, scarf, parka, lined rubber boots, and gloves. I got a ladder and investigated what tools would be required to remove the cowling. I needed a flashlight. I went back into the house and got a MagLite. One of the ones that takes three D size batteries. I shone the flash on the screws. Slotted hex. I must point out that I was in Mum's garage and my tools are in my garage. I used the remote in my truck to open my garage as my truck will not fit in my garage because the automakers insist on my truck having HUGE wheels… the greedy bastards.

I returned to the opener armed with a standard screwdriver rather than go into my basement to get a ratchet socket wrench. My gloves were slowing down the process of removing the screws so I took em off. Half way through removing the second screw, I noted the uselessness of slotted screws and muttered a few harsh words to myself. Got the screws out of the sides but the cowling remained in place. Aha! A screw on each end but these were in a plastic cover and were at the end of two inch long plastic "tubes". Got one out but it was a chore! I stopped a couple of times and said audibly, "How bloody long is this screw?" Of course, my fingers were now so cold that it wouldn't have mattered if I had kept my gloves on.

One more screw. Gosh and golly gee this was taking a long time to simply remove six screws but I am 56 years old and I've come to accept minor annoyances. Screw number six. I had a strange feeling when I heard an odd squeaking sound upon turning the screw. I was at "What the hell?" level. I screwed around with that screw until my forearms were starting to tire which isn't terribly long because I am a pencil pusher or, at least, I was until I got this here computer.

Right. This ain't workin so I'll get my socket wrench set from the basement. Well, actually, just one socket matched to the hex size. I opened the case but I wasn't paying attention due to my increasing foul mood. It was upside down. The wrenches and sockets and such are held in place in the top side by a divider. Those on the bottom side were thus free to spill onto the floor (or in the snow if one is working outdoors). Armed with yer Canadian Tire Lifetime Warranty Mastercraft ratchet wrench, extension and socket, I marched back into Mum's garage and said to the opener "I'll fix your little red wagon you SOB."

Squeak… ratchet… squeak… ratchet… squeak… ratchet. I forewent the ratchet and spun it vigorously…. squeeeeeeeeak! Okay. Now I am pissed off. I pulled out the extension to try to measure any progress and that's exactly what I did. I pulled out the extension. The socket was jammed on the screw, or so I thought. Now, this is a brand spanking new set that I got myself for a Kissmeass present about three years ago. Crappy Tire goes all out with the fifty percent sale on tools every December so I treated myself to a complete set. I was happy about giving myself the set as it meant no more fumbling through three partial sets like I used to do. I also vowed to never-ever lend it out and to always put everything back in the snazzy case. Like I said, it's new so I have had to use pliers to disengage a socket from a driver. I shoved it back in and wiggled it around as surely this would do the trick. That's is when I realized the socket was jammed in the plastic tube.

Okay. A skinny screw driver might be able to get by the socket. Yeah, I know but I had to try something eh? Got one outta my garage and tried it. Squeak. Fuck me.

I needed to know so I grabbed my flashlight and shined it down the tube. Darkness. MagLites don't like cold weather. Which begs the question, why are they allowed to be sold in Canada? Why hasn't Parliament banned the sale of them or at least made the manufacturer put warning labels on them like "This flashlight is fantastic but it ain't worth shit outside for at least three months a year and that's only if you live next to the border."

I got another flashlight and confirmed my fear. No progress. So, six screws and five are out. Time to apply my finely honed engineering skills, knowledge and experience to get my socket back. I retrieved my heavy duty leather work gloves from the house and very carefully RIPPED THE FUCKING COWLING OFF THE OPENER in one very violent and swift motion. I mean, I mangled the SOB! Good thing it's winter and Mum's windows are closed because the air was rather blue.

And there it was. A small nylon spreading screw backer. I found the squeak. Back to my garage for a pair of straight snips. I cut the fucker bad. The screw flopped around. I swiftly retrieved a hammer from my gara… where in fuck is my hammer? Seriously… WTF is my hammer? Nevermind, there's one under the sink in the kitchen. I braced the end of the opener with my left hand and smacked that sucker HARD over and over until a worm gear at the bottom of the opener fell dangling. Oooooh, that's not good, Gary. I know, channel locks! I went to my truck. Nope. Huh? I always keep my channel locks in the door pocket of my truck. Some people carry a piece of pipe or a baseball bat (or even a gun if they live in the States) for self-defence. I likes me channel locks. You can get undivided attention from the largest of ill-willed people with channel locks.

I found the channel locks BEHIND the dining room door after searching the garage, near the back door in the kitchen and the dining room table. Yeah, I am a bachelor so the dining room table is where I keep a lot of items handy that I might need in another month or so. Ya never know, eh?

I giver some with the channel locks, buddy. I pushed that screw outta sight. That'll do er! Nope. I stared at the socket… so close but yet sooo far away. I decided it was time for another application of "The Cowling Methodology". I inserted the extension and reefed on it madly until I broke the plastic tube and got my socket back.

I inspected the main gear. Yup. It was toast. Looked like the butt of a tree when a beaver is half way through chompin it down. But… I knew that before I decided to make sure that's what the problem was. Fact is, I never intended to replace it myself anyway because my arthritis gets really upset with me any time I try to do anything, especially in the winter.

Let's recap. I knew the garage door opener was not working and it was most likely a worn out main gear. Not including 13% HST, main gear replacement costs $135, installed during cold as a whore's heart weather by a young man who has his own tools and probably doesn't have arthritis. Replacement of a new opener with a four year warranty costs $330, installed. Replacement of the socket costs, I'd conservatively estimate, $2, tax in. One and a half hours of good exercise in the fresh cold air while my swearing and blood pressure rise asymptotically? You do the %$^&!* math!