Worst kludge Re: origins of "kludge"

Tom Peters tpeters at mixcom.com
Thu Mar 31 10:39:50 CST 2005


Maybe this doesn't count as a kludge...
Once I was riding my cycle down to a guy's house to help him get HIS cycle 
started. In the alley was some busted pavement and gravel, and going less 
than a mile an hour, with my big tool case strapped behind me, I dumped the 
bike... ...and broke my foot.
I couldn't walk, put weight on it, or anything. My buddy was storing the 
bike at a friend's house, who wasn't home. He'd walked. No car.
Scratched my head, figured it was my right foot, so as long as I made darn 
sure I shifted all to way down to first (with my left foot) before I 
stopped, I could ride home. I needed my left foot on the ground, so 
left-foot (rear wheel) braking was pretty much out of the question, but 
once slowed down, I could hold the bike with the front brakes using might 
right hand. Once my foot was on the ground, how was I going to shift unless 
I was already moving and could balance? By stopping in first and holding 
the clutch in at stoplights.
I rode over to Columbia hospital's ER, put the machine on its side stand, 
and hopped on one foot to the intake desk, hopped up onto the desk and sat 
on it looking down at the admitting clerk. She was not amused. Got X-rays 
and taped it up, told to get it casted tomorrow, made it almost all the way 
home without forgetting to stop in first gear... arrrg. Had to lay down on 
the tank, transferring my left hand to the clutch, reach my right all the 
way down to the gear shift, foot shrieking in pain, and drop it into gear.
Couldn't even drive a car with the cast-- but I could ride the KZ! and I 
did. All summer.

At 09:24 PM 3/30/2005 -0600, you wrote:
>Well, mine was similar in that it involved a car.  A 1962 Mercedes
>Benz that I was driving across the Sonoran Desert in northern Mexico.
>Suddenly the engine quit and all I could see for miles was sand and
>some very near starved Brahman cattle.  The fuel pump diaphragm had
>sprung a major leak and no longer pumped gas.
>
>In the trunk I had some luggage.  In the luggage were my wife's shower
>cap, some fingernail polish and some dental floss.  I cut out a new
>diaphragm from the shower cap, glued it to the old diaphragm with
>fingernail polish and tied it to the center shaft with several wraps
>of dental floss.  Then with more fingernail polish I sealed the gasket
>between the halves and put it all together.
>
>45 minutes later I was on my way to Mazatlan.  When I got there I
>started scouring the parts store for a new fuel pump but couldn't find
>one.  Two weeks later when I got back to the states I had forgotten
>about the repair.  I drove the car for another TWO (2) years and never
>thought about that repair again.  I sold the car and to this day I
>would love to have been there when the first mechanic took that pump
>apart and saw that pretty flowered diaphragm.
>
>On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 20:32:47 -0500, Joe R. <rigdonj at cfl.rr.com> wrote:
> > At 04:06 PM 3/30/05 -0600, you wrote:
> >  Since this is now only
> > >remotely on-topic; what would you consider to be your most "artless
> > >hack?"  I mean, what klu(d)ge are you most proud of, and yet at the
> > >same time a bit abashed (-fun- to say) to cop to?
> >
> >   I think my worst kludge was on the VW dune buggy that I built while in
> > high school. I was running it in a cross country race one day and the
> > trottle cable broke. In those days I always carried a roll of stainless
> > steel safety wire (the modern equivelent of baling wire) so I broke out the
> > safety wire and ran it out the back of the car and tied it to the trottle
> > on the carburator. I held the roll in one hand and pulled on it to operate
> > the trottle and drove with the other hand. I forget how I managed the shift
> > lever!
> >
> >    Joe
> >
> >
>
>
>--
>Jim Isbell
>"If you are not living on the edge, well then,
>you are just taking up too much space."
>W5JAI
>UltraVan #257
>CAL - 27   #221


Question _your own_ authority.
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