Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Afternoon

Yesterday, I had a list of things I wanted to get done. There were 6 things on that list. By the end of the day I had only managed to cross off 3 of those things. It was the third thing on the list that took hours to complete. The scale! We removed the instructions from the box and read them through, then proceeded to unpack the contents of the box. It all seemed so much more simple than I imagined. In just a few minutes time we had the scale set up, looking fine on our dining room table. We admired it for a moment before setting to the surely simple task of zeroing it in.

We followed the instructions,then stood back expecting something exciting to happen. It just sat there and stared back at us, as if it were awaiting some special command. Hmmm. I lightly touched the pointer. It didn't move. Okay. I touched it again, with a bit more force behind my touch. Still nothing. Daniel proceeded to do the same thing, which, surprisingly, (because he is a man after all) produced the same results. Nothing! Hmmm. We looked through the instructions again, thinking perhaps we had missed something. No such luck there. I double checked for bits of styrofoam that may be holding things up. There was none to be found. We took a closer look and determined that there was something, securely screwed in to the top of the pointer, and hanging down that was bent, and holding it in place against one wall, which resulted in the pointer itself hugging the other wall quite snuggly. It was at that point that we decided the best thing to do would be to call the company we purchased it from. Fortunately they had provided a toll free number for that purpose.

Evidently it was my turn to make a product malfunction phone call, so I dialed the number and spoke to a very nice young man named, Matthew, who listened to my woeful story, sympathized with me, and then kindly transferred my call to another very nice young man named Brian. Unfortunately, the connection with Brian was a bit dim. I could barely make out what he was saying. I managed to follow along, and answer his questions, but then we reached the "This is what I want you to do" portion of the conversation, at which point I politely interrupted, explained that I could barely hear him, and was going to pass the phone to my husband who has better hearing than I. I'm sure the kids would find that highly entertaining considering all the times they've had to repeat themselves because Dad either totally misunderstood what they were saying, or didn't hear them at all, but when it comes to phones, somehow he just hears things better than I do.

It turns out it was a good thing I had passed the phone over to Daniel as the intructions turned out to be a bit more mechanically involved than I probably would have understood, not to mention, although I'm actually quite handy with tools, there's really no point in asking what tool it is I'm using. If it's not pliers, or a screw driver, chances are we've become acquainted, but have never been properly introduced. Anyway, after maybe a 20 minute phone conversation, Daniel set to rounding up the required tools, turned our new scale on it's head (which I found a wee bit alarming), and set to work. Maybe 30 minutes later I was thrilled to see the pointer bobbing up and down freely in it's place. I then gave Matthew a call, and requested that he give Brian the message that all was well, and thank you very much. Matthew seemed tickled that we took the time to call back.

At this point I have to say, we are very pleased with this particular company, Home Science Tools. They have a great product selection,with Homeschool friendly quantities.Ordering is easy, and they're quick to fill and ship the orders. We're also impressed with their customer service. They are all about Science and are incredibly homeschool friendly. Their prices are moderate, and they have great sale prices. I believe the scale we purchased, at just under $70 (plus shipping) is on sale through the month of June. This scale is accurate to within .1 gram. You can't get much better than that! If you're searching for Science related items for your Homeschool, this place is worth a visit. They also have a few newsletters to choose from if you're interested. We've already recieved one and found it to be excellent for the age group it focused on. Fun and informative.

Now, you would think this would be the happy ending to my little tale, and I really wish that were the case
but..... No. We still had work to do. Although the pointer was happily bobbing away, no matter what we tried to balance things out, we could not get the scale to stop bobbing at the zero mark. Daniel even got his level out so we could be sure the surface was level. It wasn't, so we made adjustments for that (several pieces of light cardboard, cut down, neatly stacked and stuck under the low end of the scale, yeah, we're real hi-tec folks!). I adjusted the little knob. Then we tried moving the scale around in different directions (perhaps it has a pole preference?), we repeated the above with numerous variations, and still it would not perform as we desired.

Finally, I started looking closer at the various parts. I gently nudged and jiggled. I learned that the "plate" and it's stand moved back and forth, resulting in different readings. At one point I actually managed a zero reading. I was so excited! My elation didn't last long though, as the slightest movement changed the reading and I couldn't seem to get it back again. I then began checking around the pivot point, finding that it wasn't too very difficult to move, and, once again, I managed a very short lived zeroing in. Daniel was out of the room at the time, so I left it there, just so he could see it really had happened. He was impressed, until we tried moving something, and lost the zero point once again.

This was getting a bit more involved, and time consuming than I had counted on! However, my little experiments did give Daniel an idea. Once again I cringed as he plopped the scale over on it's head and set to looking around, poking and nudging. Finally, he turned the scale back over. Somehow Pa, and his magical hands had managed to get everything securely seated in place. It only took me a couple minutes to get it zeroed in. I then weighed a couple things, just to make sure I could find zero again.

Now for the news I just know you all have been wondering about ever since you laid eyes on your very first craft stick. A single wooden craft stick weighs just over 1 gram.

And that is the happy ending to my weighty little tale!


toomanyhats said...

Wow, that scale was a time consumer.

Guess what? I finally mailed the box of clothes today! It's been ready for a few weeks....just haven't gotten to the post office!

Kim's Mom said...

Hi Carol!
Yeah, it definately took up a good part of the day, but it was actually kinda fun. Honestly, as helpful as the folks were, we probably could've gotten it taken care of in a fraction of the time if we'd just called them up again, but we were being our stubborn DIY selves. LOL

TIA for the clothing! The kids will be thrilled!