Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If It's Broke, Don't fix It.

By Rob Watson

Yes, you read that correctly. Perhaps you thought I meant "If it aint broke, don't fix it"...

As previously written, I began building my own hot rod at the end of my first year of college. From that experience, I developed the habit of repairing any of my possessions that developed a defect. As the years went by I was repairing more and more things more and more times. This, to the point that all I was doing was fixing things. When I fixed a thing, shortly after, some other part of that thing would break. Fix it, something else on it breaks.

One day I left one thing unrepaired. It never broke again. The next thing to break went unrepaired and it never broke again. From this I developed the theory that the worst thing you could do to a problem was, to fix it. The exception to this rule is "If the break is a catastrophic failure and the thing is useful, I have to fix it, regardless of the consequences."

This is why I look forward to minor defects developing in the things I own. They never break again. A case in point: I bought my little truck 15 years ago. Shortly thereafter, as with all new vehicles, A truck I was following threw a rock and caused a minor crack in my windshield. The crack now extends from the lower left extreme corner of that windshield to the upper right extreme corner. I change the oil, batteries, tires and buy gas for it and nothing else has ever broken of its own accord.

The right rear fender was damaged in an accident, as was the tailgate (replaced with a gift from a friend, Thanks, Steve) The paint is pealing in places and the front and rear right directional signal assemblies are damaged. The interior light is broken and the door closed sensor thinks the door is always ajar. The onboard computer complains that the exhaust gas sensor is not working properly but, with 100,000 miles, (160,00km) it runs like a top and still gets 24 miles to the gallon (11km/L) of gas.

I recently purchased a new shotgun (made in China) one chamber was distorted by the manufacturer stamping his name on the barrel over the chamber. The shells stuck in the chamber after firing. I fixed it. The next time I used the shotgun one of the hammers stopped working. I fixed that. (who Knows what will break next) The other day I lost my head and replaced a door latch assembly on my bathroom door. Today, not two weeks later, the door no longer latches because the weather caused the house to shift and distorted the door frame... As they say in Mathematics "QED" (This proves my original theory. You can look it up)