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Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

25 May 2009

The Zen of Lego, Mechano and Fence Building

When I was a kid I inherited a mechano set when my uncle Donnie died and shortly thereafter my parents gave me my first Lego set.  Showing a doubtless early aptitude for engineering I built my own toys for many years thereafter. Little Miss Bugbear is showing some early signs although she seems to build a lot of houses and buildings so perhaps she'll be seduced by the dark side (architecture) like my wife.

Growing up on the farm I've mended fences, built miles of panel fence, stretched many rolls of page wire fence.  This weekend for the first time I started building the ubiquitous back yard fence.  Now many things on the farm are very Zen-like experiences, plowing, cultivating, baling hay. As a side note picking rocks is more like misogi, the type where they strike your back with bamboo canes not the cold water type.

So you wonder where I'm going with this, in building the back yard fence I rediscovered the mindless repetitive tasks that induce in me at least a Zen state, but I also discovered on a trip to Home Despot that building a backyard fence is just like playing with Lego for fully grown boys.  There are metal hangers for any connection between two peices of wood you might imagine, no more morticing and tenonning for this fellow, for 35¢ to $10 you can find any stamped steel hot-dipped galvanized connecting widget you can imagine, and some you probably can't.  It was just like combining Mechano and Lego together.   Mechano equalling nails, screws, widgets and Lego being pieces of wood.

Once I got into the actual building of the fence I entered into the usual Zen state as my mind shut down I and hammered screwed and cut on autopilot.  But for a few moments in Home Despot I got to relive some of the best times of my childhood...all the way from aisle 15 to the checkout counter.

Adult Mechano adds up quickly.


  1. Was this article written by guest author?

    I surmise this might be so as you claim an aptitiude for engineering...On the subject of Zen experiences, I put listening to your diatribes on junk science and environmentalism is much the same light; These diatribes induce in me a Zen-like state where my brain turns off. Or maybe I'm confusing flat-lining with Zen.

    In earnest good humour,

  2. Re Aptitude

    Dude, what do I do for a living?

    Junk Science and environmentalism are almost the same thing. BTW the Junk Science on both sides the Global Warming debate bothers me.


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