It goes without saying that it couldn't have been the almost two months the Isuzu has been in the shop waiting for a part (a used part at that) to come down from the States.
Anyway, we jumped up and turned on the porch light. it took a few seconds to see what had happened. We have this perforated metal sheet material, that I had cut and placed in between the porch ceiling rafters to act as screens to keep bugs and other nasties out of our porch.
|Decaying Screen on Porch|
If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that lately, I've been spending what seems to be an inordinate amount of time repairing, replacing, fixing, and/or substituting this and that thing, piece of equipment, appliance, electrical device, hardware, or whatever.
I mean in short, anything and everything from a rubber door-stop to a fairly high-tech laptop, or dare I say, a vehicle, has decided that now is the time to take a dive off the deep end. Stuff has snapped off where it shouldn't, melted, rusted, corroded, grown mold, disintegrated, cracked, split, plain busted, or quit working for no apparent or discernible reason.
Here's the thing. stuff up in the States and in Canada seems to last more or less for a reasonable length of time. In some cases, even longer. I remember wishing at times that some widget that we had been using for years would break so I would have an excuse to go to the handy neighborhood store to pick up the latest and greatest whatever it was that had caught my fancy.
On the other hand, everything down here is subject to great big gobs of humidity, intense sunlight, and I assume UV radiation. Not to mention, assaults by geckos, spiders, cucaraches, wood lice, molds, mildew and a myriad of other fungi, bugs and wiggly things that you have no idea what the hell they are.
All of this conspires to cause severe shortening of useful life of anything that you want to use. Stuff that you’ve never used that’s occupying space in a drawer or a closet, seems to be immune to these newly discovered laws of nature. That crap will last forever. It’s just anything good, that you can and want to use, well, you can be sure that, sooner or later, it’s gonna break on you, and certainly by that ‘lucky seven’ year. If it doesn't break, trust me, the handle will become sticky and extremely unsanitary looking.
If there’s two (or more) parts to something, say like a hand mixer that has two mixing thingies, well, you can be sure that one of them will rust out or otherwise fall apart.
Now, I’m just guessing here, but since we’ve lived here for about seven years and this seems to be the year that I’m trying to repair, replace, fix, or repair just about everything we own, I’m going to state it as a scientific fact that the working lifespan of all your stuff is right around the seven year mark.
This means, that if you’ve scrimped and saved to be able to acquire stuff here (it’s a given, that the stuff you brought down, if it was used already, by the time seven years rolls around, it’s already been relegated to the junk heap of life) has just reached it’s ‘use by’ date and if it hasn’t yet, soon will crap out on you.
So, the rule of thumb should be, that once you get all your stuff and start living down here, thinking you’re set for the long haul… guess again.
As soon as you acquire all that stuff, you have to begin scrimping and saving to be able to replace it all during the seventh year, and by extrapolation, every seven years thereafter. Fun, huh?
At least then, that’s when you get to get that new, latest and greatest gadget. Of course, you have no way of knowing just how long it sat on the shelf before you came into possession of it, so your chances of getting a full seven years useful life out of it, are ‘iffy’ at best.
Of course, if it hasn’t been around for the full seven years, then your cat (you do have at least one of those, don’t you?) will take matters into his own hands, and help move it toward the end of it’s workable life.
Take for example, the nice little keyboard I recently purchased. Yesterday morning, Dianna and I were sitting in the living room enjoying a nice breakfast from the taco stand at Gomez Cemento Maya, when all of a sudden - ‘CRASH!’ came from our office. What the hell was that?
I jumped up from the couch and hot-footed it into the office. What I saw at that time was that my souvenir police helmet from the North Wales Constabulary, had somehow come crashing down to the floor from the shelf high over my desk. How did that happen? Hmmm, I wonder.
It wasn’t till a couple hours later, when I sat down at my desk to check email, that I noticed a whole bunch of little shards of black plastic on the floor. What’s that, I wondered? It took me a couple of seconds to realize just what I was looking at. My keyboard had suffered a grievous, though not fatal injury.
As you can tell from this posting, the keyboard still works. But now, its innards are exposed to the humidity even more than before. Any guesses as to how long it’s going to last?
You know the saying, ‘This is why we can’t have anything nice?’ Well, now you know. No, you can’t have anything nice. If it survives to year seven, it will have faded, shrunk, wrinkled, rusted, corroded, molded, or rotted, so that by the time that magic seventh year rolls around, it will be barely recognizable as the cute, colorful, and useful widget it once was.
Since men usually don’t care a whole lot about ‘nice’ things. Here’s the kicker. Your tools fall under the same spell as everything else, with this addendum.
None of your tools were built to survive down here. You might have a really nice worm-drive circular saw that was your pride and joy up north. Hah! The wood down here just laughs at your saw. The stuff that’s called ‘wood’ here is so hard, dense, and heavy, that if your tools were actually built to be used with this wood, you’d be able to pass any power tool down for generations to come, instead of replacing it every couple years or so.
I mean, when was the last time you tried to drive a concrete nail into a piece of wood and actually bent the nail? And that’s with a clean strike of the hammer! However, with the wood as hard as it is down here, it too decays, as in suffers dry rot, termites, wood lice, big-ass long-tentacled bugs that chew their way out of wood, and on and on it goes. it occurs in all but the hardest of the hard woods (such as bullet tree wood).
Case in point, I recently had to repair some floorboards on our front porch. Here's a shot of that in repair job in progress, of course with proper supervision and inspection.
|Nelson and April Inspecting|
|Repaired and Varnished Floorboards|
Suffice to say, this tropical environment is rich and it encourages a spirit of renewal…
No, it isn’t. It’s terrible. It causes everything to fall apart. It’s all in a constant state of decay and disrepair. Nothing works right, at least for very long.
Is it Hell or is it paradise? Sometimes, and in regard to stuff, I don’t think there’s a difference. But, at least it’s warm, and there’s no snow, and the Belikin is cold. Maybe there is a blessing here to be had. I might have one right now… Where’s that bottle opener?