Some Assembly Required – The Mechanical Me, Verse Three: A Picture says A Thousand Words…

Well, hello again friends and neighbors! Time for another journey into the mechanical world of me. This time, we’re going to explore the use of the following implements:

  1. Hammer
  2. Nail
  3. Screw Driver (Phillips Head)
  4. Screws
  5. Picture (Diploma) Frame
  6. Wall
  7. Albino Flea

As many of you know, I learned the difference between a hammer and a ladder in our last episode (The Gazebo Project). Well, now I’m going to put that knowledge to good use by helping the long suffering Judy (my beloved wife in whom I am well pleased) frame some of her various college degrees and professional certificates, so that she can properly display them in her new office…

Many of you know that Judy started a new job in October as the founding librarian and assistant professor of information sciences at a brand new university in central California. She is very excited to be a part of that project, and the faculty, staff and and administration are excited to have her there.

One of the things that Judy has noticed around the campus is that the Administrators, Deans and Professors all have their office walls covered with their various degrees, certificates, etc., and she has decided that it would be proper to display her degrees, certificates, etc. on the walls of her office, too. 

Fortunately, most of that stuff survived the fire, so she still has it to frame (or re-frame because most of the frames were lost to smoke and/or water damage, as the case may be). We went out yesterday and, after several months of going from place to place – at least it seemed like months yesterday – we found suitable frames into which she can place her diplomas, etc.. The one caveat is that the store didn’t quite have enough to cover the number of documents she has to hang, but she said that she would work around that.

And, at long last, this brings us to the point of this post: I got to use my mechanical talents once again…

And you get to be a part of that experience…

Prepare to be amazed…

No – really!

Let us begin…

While Judy and I settled on just the right frames for the project, they were lacking one item – Attached Hangers. Yes, the frames came equipped with wood, glass, backing and all of the things required to install the documents and put them on the wall with the exception that the hangers were were all in plastic zip lock bags, attached to the back panels of the frames. 


disclaimer:  Bag shown at 17 times actual size.

Normally, this would not be too much of an issue even for me, because all of the parts were, at least, present. However some of the parts were of unusually small size and that made assembly a bit more difficult for someone whose hands are populated with a quantity of ten big toes (specifically, me). 

One of the smaller items in the bag was the required screws. I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but those screws are really, really amazingly teeny-tiny-inky-dinky small, small. In order to give you some idea exactly how minute they are, I plucked a baby albino pigmy flea from one of Murphy’s eyelids, stuck it under a microscope alongside one of the screws and photographed them side by side. (I originally wanted to use its mother, but I couldn’t get all of her into the picture without panning out so far that the screw completely disappeared from view):

small screw2b

Well, as it turned out, I needed to drill some pilot holes into the back of the frames in order to begin to think about being able to drive the screws to attach the hangers to the frames that would hold the diplomas as they hung on the wall in Judy’s office. Again, normally, this wouldn’t be a problem…

Except that I don’t own a drill bit small enough to create a hole that would allow the screw to grab onto something solid (not air) and be held in place. However I am not without imagination, and I figured out a way to overcome this handicap. I just needed a really small nail and a hammer…

Fortunately (mostly), I have each of those requirements. I fetched them. I used them. And I successfully attached all of the needed hangers. And they are perfect. 

Except for one…

I seems that I was a bit over zealous in driving the pilot holes in this one, and I inadvertently drove a bit too far:


Aparently, the holes are not supposed to go all the way through to the front of

the frame because it detracts from the intended focal point of the presentation.

Also fortunately, I am blessed with an extremely patient and forgiving wife.* And even more fortunately, those qualities lasted through today because she came up with a great idea for how we can still use the frame and give my ego a tremendous boost in the process:


I thought that was really sweet of her, and I was really feeling pretty good about the whole situation (other than the fact that she is now down three frames instead of two) – that is until I hung my “Certificate of Achievement” on my office wall…

And finally


I am wondering if Judy caught this before I hung it on the wall…

* We have been married 42 years, and when people ask how we have managed to stay together so long, Judy says “It’s easy… I have a really bad memory…”


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