Have you ever seen an animal stretch? Of course you have. Dogs do it all the time; some of them do it every time they get up. Cats are even more athletic stretchers, which probably goes a long way to explain their prodigious jumping ability. (Our late cat, Khalid bin Mahfouz — named after a terror financier who escaped justice by expiring of natural causes — would periodically turn up on the kitchen rafters, some nine feet above the floor. Sure, he was jumping from the counter to the cabinets, but these were still amazing leaps).
Stretching is good for the human organism, too. Not just physically; physical stretches seem to clear the mind as well.
And figurative stretches are important, too. Recently Your Humble Blogger and the Blogbrother completed the rearmost tailcone bulkhead of the RV-12. It was intimidating to us, as it had a number of rivets that had very long protruding shanks (AN 470 AD4-6s, if you’re a rivet geek, through only about .080″ or so of sheet). It is depressingly easy to turn a long shank, and some of the parts of this bulkhead assembly had required some machining that we wouldn’t care to do over if we wound up having to drill out rivets and produced oversized holes. The tail skid bracket needed to be cut off just so, and from another direction it needed a hole drilled and tapped. Nothing hard, just time-consuming in the setup to do it on a drill press. (A tap is done manually, turning the chuck by hand, with the press just serving to locate the tap and keep it straight). It had been a long time since we’d tapped a hole and we had that virgin delight of test-threading the bolt and having it fit perfectly, a delight that wanes when you do a lot of these, but that comes back in full cry when it’s your first in years.
The hardest stretch is finding the time for everything, and the only thing that works for us is maintaining a list and ruthless prioritization. As a result, there are always things on the list that don’t get done on time or don’t get done at all.
Some of the delayed items include this blog post, which is four hours plus late (albeit backdated); yesterday’s Saturday Matinee, which was posted this morning, about 13 hours late; and yesterdays TW3, which has not been posted at all, yet. (And might not be, as we’re already looking forward to this week).
A variety of mundane delights call us today — the lawnmower, the hedge-trimmers, the wash-and-prime cycle for the next batch of airplane parts, a dunk in the Blogbrother’s pool. A bike ride. PT has suffered a lot, and we can’t have that; we happen to be among the people who will croak if they don’t exercise, so we should be a bit inflexible about it, and this summer, haven’t been.
But can we do all those things?
Maybe. If we stretch.