Brain waves must doom my machines

June 20, 2012|By TIM ROWLAND |
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

I like to think that my vast surplus of brain energy simply overwhelms lesser machines. That’s why every electronic or mechanical device I touch breaks.

This is the only explanation that fits. My prodigious brain waves crowd out computer code, operating signals and electronic impulses emanating from a Dr. Suess array of widgets, blidgets, capacitors, dabnapators, transistors and wanflistors,

What chance does, say, the remote handset of a telephone have of receiving messages from its base station when the room is jammed by my thunderous thoughts? None, apparently.

And this makes me happy, for it is a tremendous time and money saver. For example, I don’t even bother buying one of those fancy new sound bars — which I would really like to have — and trying to patch it into the TV.

That’s because I know it won’t work, and even if it does work, the words you hear (as happened when I foolishly went for surround sound) won’t come close to synching with what’s coming out of the lips of the person on the screen. This makes everyone on the TV seem like disembodied ghouls; I didn’t mind it so much, but it always made children cry.

Instead, I don’t waste my money, and I don’t waste my time. I mean, “Dropbox” might be the best computer file-sharing site on the planet, but I’ll never know, because I realize that while it might work for everyone else it will not work for me, so why bother trying?

I have five small-engine devices at the moment, and they all kind of go on and off the blink, guided by an unseen hand like the keys of a player piano, loosely based on the seasons.

Of the five, right now the chainsaw is functional, but nothing else is. But what do I need a chainsaw for in the middle of summer? This winter, however, I guarantee you I won’t be able to get it to turn over with a bucket loader. By contrast, the mower and tiller wouldn’t dream of working in summer and spring, but they will run all day in February.

A nice man just came to take the riding lawn mower away (it was doing far more smoking than cutting), and he used a winch to pull it up on his trailer. Which would be no big deal at all except that it’s MY lawnmower, which meant all of a sudden the axle locked, and it wouldn’t roll, and the lever that’s supposed to disengage the axle came off in the guy’s hand.

Poor fellow had to half carry the machine onto the trailer. Little did he know he never should have taken my call.

Nor should the electrician, who wired our new place for auxiliary generator power. You should see the job he did; it’s amazing, with dual panels, auto kick-in and targeted circuits.

But it does me no good whatsoever, because when I pulled the brand new generator out of the box — the one that’s supposed to be able to light up a cruise ship — it wouldn’t start.

Not that it could be expected to, what with my gigantic brain pulling away any spark like linden leaves in an Oklahoma gale.

And this gift of mine is transferable to other people’s equipment. My cousin’s mower hadn’t skipped a beat until I used it (mine, as noted, being in the shop) for a couple of hours. It didn’t last out the week before joining mine in the garage.

I realize that other people would kill for this kind of power, but sorry, it’s not for sale. Because it’s the only thing I have of mine that works.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at

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