Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things we need to know

For those of you interested in the minute details of my daily life, here's some info: I'm switching back from carrying my stuff that I take to work in a backpack to a briefcase.  Why?

Well, I don't have to haul a computer back and forth anymore, because there's actually one in my office here.  So, I carry my planner, a few books, a notebook, and two pieces of computer gear: an external hard drive and a thumb drive.  All of this will fit neatly into a briefcase I bought during a failed attempt at a sales career.  (Did I say failed?  Gone down in flames is more accurate.) Plus, a briefcase looks a little more mature than a backpack.  I'm still a student, and will be for several more years, but I'm also older and not living a student lifestyle.

Except I haven't used my briefcase since we moved to Almyra, back in August.  First of all, I didn't know where it was, but then I found it.  It was under the bed, with various other flat things that I don't use much.

Once found, though, I discovered something.  I had forgotten the combination.  It's a changeable lock, so I have changed the combination a few times.

What did I do?  Naturally, I posted a quick comment to twitter and Facebook asking if anyone had a solution other than a hacksaw to get past a 3-number dial combination lock.  Both resulted in 1 response: a high-school friend on Facebook recommended C-4 Plastic Explosive.  So did a Baptist preacher in Montana who is on twitter as @Shinar_squirrel.  While intrigued by the idea of blowing something up, I have neither C-4 nor the funds to buy a new briefcase.  If I had those funds, I wouldn't have stressed about opening this one, I would have bought a new one!

So, I Google the solution, and watch a YouTube video showing how to speedily figure out the combination.  I tried it, and it didn't work.  Then, there I sat, on the couch, wondering how to get into the briefcase and considering giving up.

In walks my lovely wife, Ann.  She looks at me, the briefcase, and says "Did you try ???. ???, and ???" (no, I'm not giving you the numbers, I don't care if you're in another state and will likely never see my briefcase.)

There is no drama left in this post, is there?  Because you know what happened, right?  The first 3 number group she said didn't do anything, but the second and third? Yep, left and right lock. Open.

So, what have I learned from this?

1.  I learned my briefcase combination. (What? Need a point? Never dismiss the obvious learning in a situation. You may be seeing all kinds of ideas, but you should never miss the obvious.)

2.  I learned that hiding things from Ann behind the locks of my briefcase would be pointless if not for her honesty.

3. Most important: I learned to start at home.  How much time and effort could I have saved had I asked her first?  A good bit.  There's a right place to start seeking information, a right place to turn for answers.  For many of those things, start at home.  You may find you don't need to go anywhere else.

Start at home.  You'll find things you need to know.

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