It’s been a less than optimal week, as I am still one-arming it. Been going to the chiropractor and he has been having trouble keeping my collar bone attached to my shoulder bone, so to speak. Tells me I am using my primary arm too much. Being double nickel and change for age, I am kind of stuck with my primary arm being my primary arm. A little late to start thinking about ambidextrous, I tell him. He shrugs and calls me a whiner. I like that in my health care professionals.

When you separate your shoulder, the collar bone humps up like saddlebredwithers on a Saddlebred horse. I have owned them, so work with me here. Years ago, we were trying to sell one of our Saddlebreds to some horse people that had apparently never seen anything but a Quarter horse. Quarter horses don’t really have withers; they do, but they’re rather minimal.

For non horse people, it is the humped part immediately in front of the saddle horn, the Quarter horsebottom of the neck really. Usually has mane on it, that you grab when getting bucked, unless it’s an Appaloosa and they don’t have much mane or tail and now you’re gonna get bucked off. Anyway, these people had driven out to look at our Saddlebred and were dumbstruck at the “deformity” our horse had. Comments like “it looks like a giraffe.” After a bit, I told them Saddlebreds have withers, Quarter horses don’t, ’cause they have their nose dragging in the dirt and have tiny feet and a huge butt. Needless to say, I did not make a sale with these idiots. Just as well, didn’t want my horse living with tards.

So, my collar bone is a bit humped up and it’s crimping my style. Saturday, I was starting to feel a bit frisky, so I headed out to the shop. I have a couple of metalwork projects going, and needed to tighten the fittings on my new cutting torch. Grabbed a wrench and all of a sudden, my errant collar bone starts acting like he’s the big man in town. I am in the middle of futzing with this, when out of the corner of my eye, I notice a flash of red and then it’s gone. I went back to sweating and mumbling, zoom, there it was again. I finally put the wrench down, told Mr Big Man to put a sock in it, and went to see what the red deal was.

red-bellyWe have a yard light on the gable end of the shop. It lights up at dusk and gathers many bugs that eventually tire of buzzing around the big light and take a nap on the cement apron out in front of my shop. On this week’s menu are June bugs or their close, early cousins. There were dozens of them on the cement under the light, and an enterprising Red Bellied Woodpecker was using that as his morning buffet. Like a cruise missile, in and out in a flash. When I stepped out of the shop, a Red Bellied Woodpecker was perched on my horse hitching rail. He flew off with a squawk and I went back in the shop.

My cutting torch was giving me problems. It wanted to leak oxygen at an inappropriate time. I figured, brand new it was a little loose and I just needed to tighten all the fittings, so I could do a little metal cutting. Finally got everything squeaky tight and opened the oxygen, so far so good, except my arm is complaining. The next step is to open the acetylene, and the dang tank valve stuck. I am trying to do this with my left hand and getting lots of complaints from everything involved.

Finally got it and wiped the sweat off my brow. Looked around for darting red things and fired up the torch. Everything was going fine, just about had the oxygen set right when I look up and noticed the dog has scrammed because of the shooting fire and jet engine noise. I looked back at the torch and noticed an acetylene flame had popped out in the middle of the torch, about where I was holding it. What am I dealing with here, opposition defiance disorder?

torchI tried to remain manly while I was closing valves and extinguishing my burning glove, and looked up to see if the dog or wife had noticed. A little exciting, but that’s what you want in a shop. Don’t want to get bored and the dog won’t squeal to the wife on why you’re a little singed around the edges.