A while back I wrote a blog about a spare electrical circuit breaker I bought because of my buddy Murphy, and one of the responses went something like... "If Murphy is still living there, you won't be able to find that spare breaker when you need it...". Well I thought I had it made because when I needed that spare breaker, I knew right where it was, it was still there, and it worked... MURPHY IS GONE!!!!
It never ceases to amaze me how screwed up I can get doing the simplest of tasks. I've commented several times about my seemingly constant companion Murphy, and how the "What can go wrong, will go wrong" poltergeist lives somewhere on our farm(stead). Well I just wanted to let you know that he is still here and has not left the building yet as I'd hoped.
If truth be known, this story has its beginning in the late 1950's and that Heathkit educational toy and my enjoyment of amateur radio I wrote about a while back... http://www.mccookgazette.com/blogs/hoag/entry/40622
Jump forward from the 50's to yesterday and you will find me buying a sliding under-desk computer keyboard tray. These handy relatively inexpensive gizmo's mount to the underside of your desk and hold your computer keyboard. It really is nice to keep the keyboard off the top of the desk. The reason I wanted this widget is to hold the keyboard of the old computer I got to use with my amateur radio station.
There are several "modes" of operation in amateur radio. There is AM and FM which are basically the same as what you know from broadcast radio... licensed amateurs are the broadcasters so to speak. There is CW which stands for continuous wave, but is really the signal that Morse code is transmitted with over the air, and then there are the digital modes and that's where the computer comes in.
Now-a-days, basic computers can interface with an amateur radio stations equipment as a type of modem if you will, and permit communications including TV, teletype, and even Internet interfaces that include email access. Frequencies have been identified for amateur radio digital use, and hams from around the world can be contacted with regularity with quite simple equipment.
Sorry... I digress. So to install this simple sliding tray under my desk requires simple assembly. There are twelve screws total, eight that hold the sliding rails and the tray itself together, and the four screw that hold the assembled tray to the bottom of the desk.
Sounds pretty simple... I'm a smart guy... HELLO MURPHY!
To make a long story short, the tray unit assembly went great, the attachment to the bottom of the desk not so much so. Murphy and gravity are good friends it turns out. Drilling holes for the four screws to hold the tray in place went smoothly enough with only minor drill size issues, but installing those four screws has turned into a classic full feature Murphy movie. I've now spent a couple hours on the project, completed the installation only to discover that I did not allow for the slope designed into the gizmo toward the rear that tips the keyboard, and the keyboard doesn't fit under the desk. The good news is that I can fix this problem... the bad news is I have to start over.
I should have remembered that when there are multiple ways to put something together, Murphy will surely help me to choose the most difficult ways to do it wrong. Beyond the computer tray issue, I still have to come up with a power cord for the computer I obtained, a way to connect it to the Internet, and get the freeware software loaded. I've got just about all the stuff I need to do it but now I know Murphy is here, waiting, plotting, watching...
Later today after the goose egg on my head goes down, I'll summon my courage and see if I can get past Murphy once again.
Moral: Never thumb your nose at Murphy, it's not a good idea.
Have a great weekend everyone!