There I was cleaning the garage…

By Jim Sorensen

…when I came upon a road case that I use to tote around stuff like my TEF machine and its associated detritus.

As I have mentioned, I’m by way of trying to retire so I thought that cleaning out the garage would be a good idea.  In my case “the garage” is in the same context that the old-time phone guys used the term…it’s the workshop, the warehouse, and the place where stuff lives that your wife won’t let in the house, not necessarily a place to park cars or trucks.

Anyway I made the mistake of looking in the road case and found not only the “lost” battery for my electrical screwdriver but also my Digigram PCMIA sound card and it’s attendant wiring harness…an umbilical, if you will.

Looking at the both of them reminded me of a bone I needed to pick with someone who decided that the flimsy little connector on the end of the umbilical was somehow suitable for not only professional applications but, worse yet, professional FIELD applications.

Now, I’m the guy who drops things like laptop computers off the top of 12 foot stepladders while measuring parameters on RF jobs…like big AM phasors…and who, even though I am only on my fourth electric drill am on my eleventh portable circular saw.  You don’t want to know the details and I don’t want to tell you.  Suffice it to say that there were roofs and sliding involved.   And scars.  And a lot of yelling  by Mother Sorensen.  And sirens.

When I bought that little card, which I had to have to measure something or supply tone or audio or something else and it needed to fit a PCMIA slot in my audio measuring laptop of the time, I recall thinking that if one wasn’t really careful, one could do the sound card a serious injury by injudicious use of either force installing the umbilical or foolishness in tripping over the cables or jerking them for some other reason.  The end result would of course be to do a serious injury to ones budget and whatever profit might accidentally come from the job.

So far I have broken my “talker” loudspeaker and a microphone stand…don’t ask how, I honestly don’t know how…but that little PCMIA card and it’s flimsy umbilical have survived.

Sometimes the most vulnerable mysteriously survive.  Now if I could only get some Vista drivers that actually work for the thing.

Given my record with tools, it’s a good thing I wasn’t a blacksmith.

Keep it out of the red!