Seventy Five or a Hole in One

When I was a kid I had this kit that I bought from Radio Shack. It was a 75 in 1 do it yourself electronic kit. It had a large circuit board, and it had a booklet that showed you how to hook up seventy five different simple electronic circuits from strobe lights, to radio receivers, to lie detectors. It was pretty cool, and most kids had them. They were really popular. The cool thing about them was the way they were designed. You would think that having seventy-five different electronic circuits would have a lot of complex components, but it was actually fairly simple. There was quite a bit of overlap between the circuits, so the whole kit could easily fit inside a small box, much smaller than you’d imagine.

I remember a friend of mine bought a specific golf club once. He had played golf for several years, and for the longest time only had this set of clubs that he’d bought a long time ago, back when he was in high school. For the longest time he never used any other club except for these. Then one day he was invited to play in a tournament at a course that he normally couldn’t afford. His boss knew somebody and he got picked at the last minute. He showed up, with his old inexpensive set of clubs. He was ok at first, but somewhere along the line he got into trouble

On the back nine, he found himself in a particular unique hazard. It was a partial pond, but also a partial heavy grass. He looked into his bag, but he didn’t have a particular club for that shot. After a few moments delay, he finally settled on an eight iron. Not the best club for this, but it worked. For some reason, even though the shot was a good shot, and everybody complimented him on his resourcefulness, he felt a little ashamed of having to pull out an old eight iron into that situation. He’d noticed that all the others around him had all kinds of specific clubs for each particular hazard.

Of course as soon as the tournament was over, he went out and shopped and shopped until he found a club that was designed for that particular hazard in mind. He promptly put it in his bag, where it stayed.

I had this professor in college, a professor of philosophy. Dr. Mclurg at San Diego State, probably one of the most influential professors I’ve ever had. He had a particularly engaging way of arguing. He’d grab your attention, pull it in, and you couldn’t help but to see things from several different perspectives at once. Whenever the class finished, I always felt as if my mind had been irreversibly expanded, and I could never go back to my previous way of thinking. One of the striking things about him was that he almost always wore the same shirt. It was a normal, regular button down shirt, but he seemed to always wear the same one. It was if he had decided that the particular thing you are using, despite whether it’s an article of clothing, or an electronic component, as long as it works, it doesn’t really matter what other people think about that. It’s not like the shirt that you wear is going to affect your philosophical arguing points.

Probably the coolest thing I ever did with my seventy five in one electronic kit was to take the strobe light, which was only set up for the amps and current for a small 1.5 volt bulb, and run the light in my bedroom through the circuit. It created a really cool powerful strobe light. And it actually lasted a few minutes before the whole circuit board caught on fire due to overheating. Probably the best thing about that was, by the time I’d saved up my allowance to buy a replacement kit, the newest version was a 150 in 1 kit. Me and my friends really had a blast with that one, and I managed to not burn down my house in the process.

Last time I saw my friend, I asked him if he’d ever used that club, and of course he said he didn’t. He kept it as a reminder to always make sure he was using things for the right reason, and not because he thought he was supposed to according to what other people supposedly thought.