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September 19, 2018: Tool Using Man

This is what I call Pete, often to his face. He is always in search of the perfect tool for the job, be it the right fork, wrench, or berry picking set up. Yep, you got it right, the right berry picking set up. His criteria for use, in this order, is that it must be functional, inexpensive, and time saving. The tool does not have to be, and usually isn’t, his invention. Stealing an idea is allowed, just so whatever it is he’s using works.

The current berry picking container fits the above criteria. A couple of weeks ago he said “look,” and so I looked. He had put the dog leash around a bucket handle and put the leash over his head, so that the container hung in front of his chest. “That’s nice,” I said, and then went about my

Fireweed on Arcose Ridge
Fireweed on Arcose Ridge

business. I later went raspberry picking, with my container in hand. I guess that I just didn’t want to admit to him that he’d again come up with a very nice means of berry picking.

I continued to be in denial yesterday, as I went up on the hill and picked high bush cranberries. I had my two-gallon sized Horseshoer’s Secret bucket in hand. I soon realized that having this bucket in one hand and picking berries in the other was the essence of inefficiency. However, I did not return to the cabin and rig a set up like Pete’s because I was 1 Lazy and 2 bothered by the fact that he and not I had figured this out.

Today it was a different story. I asked him nicely, before he went to work, to set me up for picking. I was upstairs at the time. When I finally went downstairs, the bucket, with the attached dog leash, was sitting on the kitchen table. I put it around my neck, then made one change. I made it shorter by wrapping the snap end of the leash around the handle.

From the get go, this system worked wonderfully. I soon found myself picking the way some play the piano, with both hands doing their respective job. And talk about fast – ping, ping, ping, the sound of the berries hitting the bottom of the pail soon became more muted.

Add to this, I stumbled upon a really good picking area and this also increased the volume while decreasing the amount of time spent picking.

As I worked, I thought some about tool using man. I again wondered, as I have often wondered, how did it come to be that he became fixated on using the right tool at the right time? I think that he was influenced by his grandfather on his father’s side who also was very handy. And this trait was reinforced by other handy individuals who mentored him.

It’s now 10:50 p.m. Pete just got home and we had a brief conversation about the berries, the bucket, and the processing schedule. Pete’s going to be making juice in the next few days. Of course, he stood deliberating for a bit – he is thinking that he’s going to need a slotted spoon with big slots when he makes the mash. Once a tool using man, always a tool using man.

Next: 262. 9/20/18: Time’s Fun when You’re Having Flies

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