Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No, Really, It's That Easy!

Before I get into the current episode of "Mom Knew Best", I must apologize for not updating for a month. As it turns out, doing nothing over Winter Break kind of makes it hard to write about frustrating experiences. You know, the whole not having frustrating experiences thing.

Life at College X is fabulous. I really love it here, but sometimes the size of my dorm room kind of gets me down. Especially when the back panel of your bookcase falls out when you're trying to move it to make room for the 3'x2'x5' snake cage that needs to go in the corner. And said bookcase has to be laid flat on it's front to slide the panel back in. And it's full of books that you really have no place else to put-the reason you got said bookcase. And you only have four eensy teensy nails to hold the flimsy back plate in. And did I mention the panel is just a hair too narrow, so it falls out of one side of the grooves on each side every five seconds? Yeah... dorms are great.

Seri and I emptied the bookcase, flipped it over onto it's front, and tried to slide the panel in. We encountered our first problem right at this moment.

The panel is too small, so it jumps out of the grooves faster than water on a hot pan. We try to slide it in smoothly, careful not to favor one side too much, so the panel sits evenly in both grooves. Here we encountered our second problem.

At the top of the bookcase (the end of where you need to slide the panel- it slides in from the base) there is also a long groove, to hold the top of the panel in place. The panel is actually three pieces of chip board held together with tape, so it wobbles, and the middle panel likes to sag. How to make it flat so it will slide into the last groove?

Seri got tired of me swearing at the bookcase after about twenty minutes, and left to otherwise occupy herself far, far away from me.

Now, I pride myself in taking after my father in his problem-solving skills. Find what's not working, or which point in the series is being interrupted. This works great for computers, not so much for ornery bookcases. After another ten minutes of thinking my father would be laughing at me, I realized something rather obvious.

I was fighting gravity. And gravity had been playing this game far longer than I. So how do I beat gravity? I don't! I let gravity work for me! I flipped the bookcase so it was completely upside-down, and dropped the panel in from the top. one minute later, I was done, and had nailed (and duct-taped!) the panel into place.

Hah! Take that, gravity! Excuse me while I do a victory jig.

In this case, it was a lot about realizing that there is never just one way to do something. And often, the simplest solution is best.

I tried the same way of sliding the back panel in probably fifty or sixty times, expecting a different result. I guess that makes me insane!

Alright, now I have to go make my coffee brewer work...