Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Living One-Handed

SX270 Bookend.jpg

Left arm is definitely getting better. I’ve actually devised a technique for two-handed typing that doesn’t hurt too badly: I cross my right leg over my left, and then prop my left wrist on my right knee. With my wrist supported I can actually type reasonably well on the left side, but of course I’m nowhere near my accustomed 100+ wpm speed.

It’s been an interesting experiment in not using my left hand. For the first couple of days life was tough. Getting dressed was an experience. Cutting a steak proved impossible the day I pulled the muscle, though I managed the next day with only some minor screaming when I moved my wrist the wrong way.

Much of what I’ve been doing has been sorting magazines on the lower level prior to re-shelving them. My Atlantics were in a disorderly heap before, as were Electronics Illustrated, Commonweal, and Wired. I ended up sitting tailor-style on our newly cushy floor and creating year-piles all around me. Then I shell-sorted each year-pile into month order, and finally hoisted each sorted year one-handed and placed the mags on the shelf. I’ve wanted to do that for years, but it always seemed a bad use of my time…until a bad supinator suddenly made it a good use of my time.

I discovered earlier today that a dead SX270 makes a dandy bookend; see above. Very good way to keep sorted year-stacks of mags vertical while I sort the rest of the pile on the floor. I have another one upstairs that isn’t dead, but may be of more value to me as a bookend than as a computer. Then again, I use my Sixer and my Twoer as bookends, even though they’re in tip-top condition. If I can ever find anybody who wants to QRP QSO on AM, I’ve got more than enough old power transformers to hold up my QSTs.

Have some hope that tomorrow will see a return to something like normal life, with occasional yelps. I’ll let you know.


  1. Rich Dailey says:

    At the very tip-top of one of my bookshelves I keep my old, Old, OLD books. And the bookend up there is an operating (well, it was 4-5 years ago) Globe Electronics “Globe-ceiver”.

    QSTs: Mine are all boxed up now. Seems I referred to them less and less. But I do miss the smell of the pre-60’s issues—a unique mix of moth balls, hot transformer parrafin, and Old Spice.

  2. I still cruise them for articles on tube theory and construction. Have every issue from Jan 1946 on, plus some spotty issues back to the late 1920s.

    My shop is now old enough (we’ve been in the house eight years as of Wednesday) to start taking on the wonderful smells of vintage electronics, especially near the milk jugs full of terminal strips and tube sockets.

    1. Tom R. says:

      You can probably enhance the vintage electronics smell if you take a scrap or two of old Bakelite and sand or drill it a bit. That aroma always makes me think of the shacks and shops I was in back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. That, and ozone from high voltage is truly a wonderful perfume.

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