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Today was a day of extremes on the technology front in my corner of the world. My day was spent working on the conceptual design of a state-of-the-art machine that will push the boundaries of science. A part of the day was spent in a Skype meeting that went 3 hours and 15 minutes and included people from three national laboratories. Tomorrow morning the meeting will continue. After work my next job was to repair a pot lid. This type of work was traditionally accomplished by a tinker.

tinker [tiŋ′kər] n.
1. a usually itinerant person who mends pots, pans, etc.

In the past a tinker would travel from one village to the next repairing whatever was broken. In his wagon was all his tools and possessions. A very simple life.

This particular cooking pot and lid has an interesting story. Fifty-nine years ago my mom received the pot as a birthday gift from my dad the first year they were married. Needless to say, this did not go over too well with mom. But from my dad’s perspective it made perfect sense considering they had very little in both possessions or money. Some time ago this pot went from being resented to a favorite in the kitchen. How many meals have been prepared in this pot is unknown but the original Bakelite knob finally broke and was beyond repair.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I found a replacement and two days later it arrived at the Red Dog Estate. Now my mom’s cherished cooking pot and lid can continue to serve up meals. It is interesting how simple items can create happiness.