Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Learned a New Word

This morning, I awoke to find that I had a full 48 minutes before my alarms (that's right) were set to go off. I unsuccessfully attempted to go back to sleep. By 9:55 (5 minutes to alarms) I was still awake and had resigned myself to wakefulness. I did the usual morning things (shower, brush teeth, attempt to look semi-presentable) and then I took my stage show upstairs.

Dave was at the table, which to me was strange seeing as he's not usually home during the day. I said hello and went about my business. We both eventually ended up in the family room (it's the gravitational centre of the house) and Dave casually flopped (there really is no good word to describe that motion) onto the white loveseat, expecting a comfy seat and finding a 30 degree tilt. I had forgotten to mention to him that a week or so ago, while I was entertaining friends, the couch's leg simply snapped off. We had set the couch right again and Pat and Catherine went back to sitting on it, at which time everyone forgot all about it.

Dave and I both burst out laughing, photos were taken, and then he handed me the couch's leg. I went upstairs to report the couch's new condition to my mom, and was soon followed by Dave. He and mom got talking construction and carpentry, which I am useless at, and then they started throwing around a word I'd never heard before: "shim". I jumped in to ask, "What in the world is a shim?" and got a) a helpful explanation from my brother, and b) a condescending, pitying look from my mother. That happens a lot.

Shim: (n) - a small piece of wood or other material used to fill in or repair a hole, usually in a similar material. Ex// Mike used wood chips as shims to repair the hole he'd made in the back of the dartboard.

Dave often teaches me new words and expressions pertaining to repairs and carpentry. In fact, he also fixed our garage door recently. My mom "grazed" it with the van. Needless to say, he is a very helpful guy to have around. He's an expert in bug removal, too. Whenever I am being besieged by a diabolical insect/arachnid/fancy name for moth, I can count on Dave to destroy it for me. However, what I originally intended to talk about were his mad technology skills. He's taken apart and repaired tonnes of electronics over the years, and built some super cool technological stuff. I'm not really up on the lingo.

A while ago, he built himself a computer table. Doesn't sound overly technical, eh? What if I told you that the table-top was covered in motion-sensor LED lights? Because it is. And lasers. Okay, no lasers, but the LEDs are real. It's awesome and blue and so much fun. He made sound-reactive lights to attach to his wall. When he cranks the bass on his computer speakers, they flash. He's also pimped out the sound system in my dad's car. All in all, he's a pretty fantastic kid. I suppose he's not really a kid since he turned 18, but he is my little brother, so it applies here.


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