One of Those Days

Not meant to be detachable. That’s my spare board with the port still attached.

There’s an old saying that goes, “A bad day fishing beats a good day working.” I’m not much for fishing, but substitute in “shop” and you’d have a statement that I’d agree with. Most days. Sunday was not one of those days.

Of course, for me, the bar is a little high. I really like my job working for Kevel, where I work with good friends and excellent engineers under humane conditions. (Check out our Employee Bill of Rights. I can attest they are not just words.) Still, I look forward to getting time on the weekends to work in the shop.

Which is why this past Sunday was a little frustrating. I had hoped to finally finish the electronic lead screw I’ve been working on for many weeks. And I made progress. But at the end of the day, even though I overcame the set of problems I started out with, I was faced with yet another set of puzzling issues. On top of that, one of the times I was programming the microcontroller, I forgot to unplug the USB cable before moving my laptop, and managed to rip the USB port clean off the board. D’oh.

But of course this is all part of the process. When I figure out why the motor isn’t turning the way it’s supposed to, I will have learned something, and I’ll have learned it the hard way, so it’ll probably stick even in my sieve-like memory. I even have a spare board, and I’ve already a longer USB cable to prevent that particular mishap from occurring again. Plus, I’m going to try to solder the connector back on the broken board. Since I have done almost no surface-mount soldering, that should be educational, too. (If you have any advice on how to do this properly, please leave a comment below.)

The sign on my shop door.

I have a sign on my shop door that says “Slow”. It’s meant to be an admonition to enjoy the process. I have a tendency to focus on output at times, and since this is a hobby, I’m never able to put enough time into it to keep up with all the things I’d like to do and to learn. So it’s good to have that reminder that “slow” is okay. An hour in the shop or in front of the computer is an hour I should enjoy, whether it produces a finished object or not. But some days that’s definitely harder than others.

Rescue mission required

Sunday did have one amusing highlight. As I was recording for an upcoming video on the YouTube channel, I caught sight of a toad, caught in the window well outside my shop. Noticing him meant I was able to go out and rescue him. It was a little moment of levity that I’ll probably leave in the video when I edit it.

How about you? Have you had challenging days in your creative endeavors? How have you dealt with it? Leave me a comment and let me know. Cheers!

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