Life Hacking

With some modification, noted in [], I’d like to start with a comment from a How to be a Hacker site:

The hacker mind-set is not confined to [a] software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art. Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them ‘hackers’ too — and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in.

I’m among those who embrace the universality of hackerdom. 😉 “What would happen if I kludged together X and Y to do Z?” is the kind of question any hacker might ask, in any medium. Basically, it’s just tinkering with stuff to make whatever it is more useful, better in its primary application or applicable to something unintended by its original creator. (And, of course, ALL these things can be done well or poorly, for good or ill.)

So, I “hack” every recipe I come across. I “hack” my car (something that was called “shade tree mechanicking” in days of yore *heh*) and I extend that tinkering to darned near everything I interact with.

Case in point, a simple “hack” performed on a very, very nice knife given to me by my Lovely Daughter and her Redoubtable Husband. A very nice Ka-Bar knife, frankly even better than the WWII version I had on hand from a great uncle who used it for many years skinning deer. This is a seriously nice knife, but. . . it had two very, very small–minuscule even–things I thought could be improved by a very, very simple hack. Lovely blade; the guard was just right; the full tang hand with stacked leather plugs was perfect; but the pommel had two extremely small flaws to my eye: a small gap where the tang and pommel joined and another very small depression where a pin passed through the pommel and tang to secure them together.

Simple, less than 5 minute hack: mixed some JB Weld and filled the very small gap and depression, smoothed the JB Weld level with the surrounding surface and I’m now a happy camper. The JB Weld is even almost exactly the same color as the pommel.

Bonus knife hack:

When you need to tune up the edge on a knife but for some inexplicable reason do not have an appropriate stone, steel or ceramic sharpener available, turn that ceramic coffee mug in your hand over (WHAT?!? You say you don’t have a ceramic coffee mug at hand? Get outa here! I have no further use for you! *heh*). There on the bottom of your ceramic coffee mug you will likely see an unglazed ring of ceramic. Yep. It’s just like a ceramic sharpening rod. Make sure it’s smooth so that you won’t create a problem on your blade and then just use that ring as though it were a ceramic sharpening rod.

There you have it: an easily tuned up edge from a coffee mug. You’re welcome.

Now, go forth and apply simple creativity to whatever little things are bugging you. Hack your life.

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