Do you ever get to the end of your mental rope? As in, you run out of smarts.

You dangle there, knowing there’s nothing left to hold onto except the frayed edges of your brain. If you move any further, you’ll fall. So before that happens it’s time to climb out of the abyss of dumb and go back to camp for some warm beer and pemmican. Or you could just take a coffee break.

It’s not only the geeky stuff that gets to me: the constant learning of software, hardware, this and that, more passwords, more uploads that require comprehension of their particular brand of jargon in order to follow directions. At least I know if I take it a step at a time, I’ll get there even if it takes me two days to learn what others master in half an hour.

But today I tried to put together a simple, plastic pump for our water storage barrel, and I could not figure it out. I recognize all the parts. I understand the instructions. Yet the parts don’t go in the places where the instructions say to put them. If we have a disaster any time soon I hope the neighbors will share, because damned if I know how we’re going to get any water out of that barrel. It’s 55 gallons so I don’t think we’ll be able to turn it upside down and pour it into a paper cup.

Some days, I dangle no matter what. Those days are best used for cleaning house, or grocery shopping with a clearly written list.

#Altadena Search and Rescue#Devil's Gate Dam#rappelling


  1. chris - August 5, 2016 @ 11:06

    Oh, do I KNOW those days… Am dealing w/Time Warner… btw if u are connected w/them and get frustrated, I have their escalation dept. number. Maybe the instructions aren’t right? I suggest using your own logic in putting it together most times that works better than the written.

    • Petrea - August 5, 2016 @ 11:35

      No Time Warner, thank goodness, but feel free to publish their escalation number for those who might need it.

      It’s possible the instructions are close to right, but just missing something. They don’t mention tools, but I think I need to get out the tool box!

  2. William Kendall - August 5, 2016 @ 12:28

    I think I’ve been at the end of a rope I’ll call my patience on more than one occasion.

    • Petrea - August 5, 2016 @ 13:19

      That too, William. When I get there, it’s best for me to walk away.

  3. chris - August 5, 2016 @ 14:03

    Would your project need an allenwrench? (forgive me if I spelled it wrong) like what is included w/Ikea products? btw here’s the escalation number 212-364-8300.. the gal told me this dept. was a step down from the executive officer… she took my complaint seriously.

    • Petrea - August 5, 2016 @ 16:11

      Well, we have two boxes of tools and several Allen wrenches. If that doesn’t do it, I’m going to put John on it tomorrow.

  4. Desiree - August 6, 2016 @ 09:45

    Don’t worry! You already have water storage in two places: your water heater and your toilet tank.
    Both clean.

    • Petrea - August 6, 2016 @ 20:15

      I hadn’t thought about those. And thanks for adding that last part because I never would have known!

  5. Bellis - August 6, 2016 @ 12:34

    I find that if I put my assembly problem to Google, I get the answer. And quite often, someone’s even made a video of how to do it. But by the time you read this, I expect you or John have worked it out. So here’s to a huge rainshower to fill up your barrel!

    • Petrea - August 6, 2016 @ 20:17

      I looked up the manual and couldn’t find it online, but I didn’t think to try googling the product with “assembly problem” or something like that. That should work. And I’ll take that rain shower.

  6. Lowell - August 7, 2016 @ 05:04

    I’ve often wondered if the people who write the instructions on these things have ever seen what it is they’re instructing about. You’re right: Pegs and nails and screws don’t fit where it says they go. Sometimes, if I work at it long enough, after much trial and error, I can get it, but other times I chuck it into the garage and pretend I’ll finish it later. 🙂

    • Petrea - August 7, 2016 @ 14:34

      Remember the days of software instruction manuals? I’m having to deal with software today and still haven’t gotten to the pump. So yeah, finish later…

  7. Shelley - August 8, 2016 @ 01:15

    I reach the end of my mental rope often ~ but never as eloquently as you. All the best with nutting it out, Petrea! And your neighbours have always sounded nice. And there’s the toilet tank … good to know !

    • Petrea - August 8, 2016 @ 11:11

      I believe we’re all set for disaster now. I just hope it doesn’t come.

  8. Irina - August 10, 2016 @ 03:35

    Anyway this struggle protects you from Alzheimer’s and other scary future brain possibilities.
    I love to read the instructions. It took my boiling brain a year to read Cannon manual and to understand what they mean at all about my lovely camera.

    • Petrea - August 10, 2016 @ 09:05

      I hope you’re right about the protection! I keep at it.
      I don’t have a Canon anymore but it’s a complicated and wonderful camera. It can do so much. I hope to see more of your pictures!

  9. Lowell - August 12, 2016 @ 04:34

    Thanks for your comment today! Hope that you are well and that you have a super weekend with your family (including Wilma, of course)!

    • Petrea - August 12, 2016 @ 15:57

      You’re welcome, Lowell, and I’m always glad for your comments, too!

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