21 March 2017
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The WuWu Tapered Reamer Story

If, by any chance, you listened to my interview* on the Gear Club pod cast, you will have heard the story of my youthful acquisition of a tapered reamer and the wielding thereof. If not, here's the story.

Back when I was alive, a child of the '60s and even '50s, parents were allegedly not as careful to preserve the lives of their future caregivers. For example, although I suspect bicycle helmets existed at the time, neither I nor my parents were aware of them. The five-second rule didn't need to be invoked, and it was safe to talk to grown-up strangers, not just for me, but for the grown-ups as well. I never suffered bicyclic dain bramage (so far as I remember, of course), I retain my full complement of limbs, and seem to have grown up without some of the ailments and allergies suffered by what I'm told are the over-protected youth of today. But there were limits, both to my parents' tolerance and, fortunately, to their imagination. For example, although explosives were right out, chemicals themselves were just fine. (Neither parent was much of a science person.) I survived chemical episodes, too, rarely with more damage than a few singes. One parental limit that was enforced was this: I was not allowed power tools. For whatever reason, they dreaded electric drills (although not, to my great good fortune, soldering implements). I was never able to either afford an electric drill, or to convince them that one was needed for whatever project I was working on.

I Had to Improvise

Back in the days of vacuum tubes, one built projects on box-like aluminum chasses, which required holes for screws, tube sockets, controls, etc. Holes were hard to come by; I had no drill and gnawing was right out. But: I had a hammer! And an awl! And graph paper, for marking the chassis on whatever grid I desired to lay out the hole locations. And, courtesy of a hardware store (remember them?) just a few blocks away, a

Tapered Reamer

Behold this sacred tool of destruction, creation, and salvation!

If you're at least as advanced as homo habilis, it should be obvious as to how it functions; I'll spare you a description.

I should point out that the pictured tapered reamer is not the specimen of my youth, which was altogether more pointy and definitely not even partially red. Nor did it become so after use. It was benign enough for parental acceptance and I don't recall any damage it did, at least to me.

Eventually, I was permitted an electric drill, and the precision if not the efficacy of my electronic chassis creation was so enhanced that the tapered reamer was consigned to the back of the tool drawer.

The End.

Or is it?


As I've mentioned a number of times in this blog, I'm not very good at suspense. I've decided to try to improve, and I think I got away with it here. I know you've been thinking while reading this "What does he mean by the title "The WuWu Tapered Reamer Story." Unbearable suspense, right? Well, I cheated a little. It's more "The Tapered Reamer WuWu Story," but that would have been something of a giveaway.

Sedona AZ is a WuWu town. We have vortices. We have new age emporia. We have crystal shops! We even have a WUWUGUY and WUWUGAL whom I've never met. When something weird happens, the locals nod knowingly and ascribe it to some aspect of Mystical Sedona.

Except for me. Although I've temporally earned the "local" appellation, I hold no truck with mysticism. Debate me no vortices; I'll roll my eyes and ask you to define "energy." While I cherish the town for its natural beauty and happily endure and often enjoy the tourist crowds, my theories about newage can be summed up with a rhyming word beginning with "s."

And Yet...

The tapered reamer in the photo above would make a less stubborn person than I reconsider. Consider that the subject of this relatively uncommon tool hadn't crossed my alleged mind for many decades and was only insinuated there when I offhandedly mentioned it during my pod cast interview. One of the hosts, who would remain nameless if I didn't mention that it was Tony's brother John Agnello, picked up on the term and ran with it, as is his wont, into the gutter. Even so, I would have forgotten about it promptly if it hadn't been for a bit of Sedona weirdness. Look again at the photo, now paying attention to the background. That isn't some random piece of marble or wallpaper or an artistic pattern on a backdrop. It's pavement!

Yes, that tapered reamer somehow, perhaps under the Sedona influence, got teleported from a New Jersey gutter to one in Arizona, where a helpful citizen kicked it onto a driveway that just happened to be on the path from my house to the gym. An instant WuWu blogitem!

I suppose you might say, "Sure, Richard, I bet you run into all sorts of tools on many driveways every time you go for a stroll." Let me assure you that is not the case. I don't remember ever coming across so much as a flat-blade screwdriver that wasn't reposing in a tool box or belt in thousands of miles of galumphage. There are really only three possibilities:

  • It was teleported from gutter to gutter.
  • Somebody planted it there for me to find after listening to the pod cast interview and following me to the gym on a previous day.
  • Someone dropped it.

As these mystical, and hopefully, suspenseful, stories often end, <Spooky Music> I'll leave it for you to decide. </Spooky Music>

* This not a short interview. In case you have as much patience as I don't, but a lot more curiosity, you will find it at about 21 minutes into the pod cast.

"Tend My Garden"
James Gang




Anyone remember McKendree Spring? Free Flow was their production company. Great band of the 1970s, fondly remembered.

They made new recordings in 2007 and 2010. I should try to get copies.

Richard Factor

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