Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I can pick your car up.

So, meaning to finish up the 8,000 screws on all that new drywall David and I hung the other day, I am changing into my work duds this morning. I note that there is a Harbor Freight catalog in my inbox and almost throw it out. Then I remember that they are having their annual super duper blowout sale and wonder if this is indeed the flyer.

It is. Well phooey. I really wanted to get the drywall tidied up so we can finish it and move on to insulation. On the other hand, when Harbor Freight has a big sale, the deals are often amazing. I have my various hand tools stashed in about six places in a more-or-less organized fashion. I really do need a big tool box, and now that I have a shop more or less functional, I would even have a place to put it. I have fantasized about how all my tools will just become more and more organized as the shop comes to life. AND NOW IT'S ACTUALLY STARTING TO HAPPEN.

This is so exciting.

I try to quell my excitement for a moment, because I know that just because they have a big flyer is no guarantee that they have a big toolbox on sale. So I casually flip through, and there it is on the last page. Holy Chinese capitalism batman! The $300 toolbox that I have admired in the past is now $149. I have examined their demo toolbox several times. It has full extension drawers and seemed sturdy enough. It's not a snap-on, but it's not $1,500 either.

My excitement meter goes up several notches at once, but I quell it once again. Just because they have a cute little picture in the flyer does not mean they have actual product at my local store. I have been down that path before. So, I call my local store and am assured that they have not one, but two of said toolboxes in stock.

Well, my excitement meter briefly zooms up into the red zone. But wait. These super duper sales often have droves of people lined up before the doors open to snap up all the really good deals in the first 20 minutes. So, I ask the young gentleman on the phone if they would hold one for me, since it will take me the better part of an hour to get there. I am completely prepared for him to say that it is strictly first come, first served. There would be a certain equity and fairness about that.

But he surprises me by saying that they will put my name on one, and it will be waiting for me. I know most of the staff by name, and they certainly recognize me, if not actually on a first name basis. Perhaps that says something about my tool addiction that I should address someday, but we will lightly pass over that for now.

Words cannot express my enthusiasm at this point.

So I jump in the truck and drive to town, run in the store, make my other selections, proudly move to the (somewhat congested) checkout line, and am promptly informed that they don't have a toolbox to sell me.


How can this be? I called ahead. I asked. I was told. He was going to put my name on it. I drove here in my less fuel efficient vehicle to do this.

I am very proud to say that I did not become abusive, or loud, or obscene. However, my astonishment was so evident that the store manager could not help but notice and he did his level best to make things right with me. I got a rain check that is good "forever", PLUS a 20% discount over the already almost obsecenly low sale price. I don't see how they can make them for $150. I don't see how they can ship them from China for $150. Now, I am afraid that they will actually be losing money on the transaction.

On the whole, Harbor Freight is still probably ahead though.

The other really good news is that I needed a big hoist and I got a really big hoist at the same blowout sale. I have a one ton hoist, but anticipate that I will need to unload some equipment in the not so distant future, and it will weigh more than that.

The new five ton hoist is almost installed and functional.

So, that's why I didn't get any work done on the drywall today. Better luck tomorrow. Life really does not travel in a straight line, and sometimes I wonder why we humans make plans at all.

Finest regards,


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