Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cherokee Road Pipe Cutter

I found this PVC pipe cutter in the parking lot of the CVS drug store on Cherokee Road in Alexander City, Alabama. The year was 1997. The drug store closed the next year. The pipe cutter has a few nicks in the blade, but still works great. I've used it to build several projects including three pieces of a dog obstacle course. I enjoyed living in Alabama, but not specifically in Alexander City. I owned my first house in Alexander City. My life changed with an 800 mile move to Texas in August of 1998. Seeing this tool reminds me of where I've been and how far I've come.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Orange Handle Plumb Hammer

I found this Plumb hammer under the overpass at the intersection of Highway 6 and 59 around April 2003. It was early Sunday morning and my better half and I were returning from early Mass at St. Theresa's Catholic Church. I spotted the hammer lying next to the construction pylons in the left center lane. I u-turned (almost impossible now at that intersection due to the traffic cameras) and picked up the hammer. My better half admonished me for u-turning, but once she saw the hammer she understood why I went back to get it. This a great hammer. I use it and my other Plumb hammer on all of my woodworking projects.

Montrose/West Dallas Screwdriver Revisited

I was greatly amused by Jeff's screwdriver sighting. So amused in fact that since the screwdriver was on my way home I stopped and retreived it late Friday afternoon. My better half also found the entire situation quite amusing. She spotted the screwdriver in my truck and knowing I don't usually pick up screwdrivers she asked about it and I told her the story of the sighting. To complete the story I presented the screwdriver to Jeff this morning as his first official "found" tool. I took the picture with my camera so please excuse the fuzzy image. The screwdriver was a phillips head with magnetic tip. It appears to be an Auto Zone brand screwdriver. The magnetic tip works well. Even beat up as it was the screwdriver is still functional.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Montrose/West Dallas Stubby Screwdriver Sighting

Today when returning to work from an enjoyable lunch with coworkers at The Black Labrador, Jeff spotted a stubby screwdriver. We were sitting in Robin's car waiting at the traffic signal in the north bound turn lane at the intersection of Montrose and West Dallas. The ergonomically handled screwdriver was approximately 2 feet from the stopping line of the turn lane.

Jeff was amazed at having spotted a tool. He is constantly amused by what is possibly the only truly unique talent I possess. He made sure he pointed it out to me to ensure I would have to create a blog entry. If he had spotted it in a more timely manner he would have grabbed it so I would be forced to take a picture to add to this blog. Traffic prevented him from being able to retrieve the screwdriver.

On another note. Lunch today was to say goodbye to a coworker that is being laid off from his job. I'm quite positive we will see him around from time to time. To keep track of him on an interim basis I have listed a link to his Tech blog Arogan. I encourage you to take a look.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Armstrong 28-412 Adjustable Wrench

I found this Armstrong 28-412 Adjustable wrench sometime in August of 2005. The wrench was on the side of McHard Road 1 mile east of Turtle Creek Drive. I saw a glint of metal as I was driving home. I glanced over and saw the tool. I turned around and then u-turned to pull up beside the tool. I got out of the truck and picked up the tool then continued home. This is a really heavy industrial style 12 inch adjustable wrench. Another loss for someone and a gain for me.

W did Something Good

I found this multitool while taking down a George W. Bush sign in March of 2000 on McHard Road in Houston. The sign was off the road about 100 feet in a field. The person putting up the sign obviously lost this really nice tool while putting up the sign during the election in 1999. There is very little rust on this tool considering the length of time it was in the field (six months or longer). Just for the record, I recycled the sign and the metal fence posts the sign was mounted upon. Thanks W! This is the only good thing you ever did for me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Glenn Lakes Lane Screwdriver Sighting

This morning I spotted a screwdriver on my way to the doctor's office with my better half. The screwdriver had an orange handle and was beside the curb on the outbound side of the road about 200 feet from the traffic signal at Highway 6. When I went out later this evening the screwdriver was gone. I rarely pick up screwdrivers anymore so I wasn't disappointed. It also goes to show that I am not the only person around with this pecular habit

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweetwater Screwdriver Sighting

Earlier today I spotted a screwdriver at the intersection of HWY 59 and Sweetwater BLVD in Sugarland. The screw driver had a black handle and appeared to be a stanley type screwdriver. The screwdriver was lying in the middle of the street on the north side of the intersection. Hopefully someone will pick up this tool.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Condition is Genetic.

When I mention finding a tool to someone I usually receive an odd look and a carefully structured comment. Some people find it amazing, others annoying. Most people don't bother stopping to pick up anything on the side of the road or in the middle of the road for that matter. I am under the impression that people often don't see anything on their way to and from work or anywhere else.

My condition is different. I am genetically programmed to see opportunity anywhere and everywhere. My grandparents were in their twenties and thirties during the Great Depression. My parents were born during WWII. Everyone learned to do more with less. If you found something that could not be returned or was not claimed you considered it your good fortune. And unless there were extenuating circumstances you didn't pass up any opportunities.

When I was growing up my father always used a rubber gripped, steel shafted hammer. When Dad said "I need my hammer." no one in the family had to guess which hammer. One of Dad's favorite stories is how he obtained the hammer. While on his honeymoon Dad spotted this hammer in the road. He stopped traffic and grabbed the hammer. The hammer lasted over 30 years before the handle finally separated from the head. If Dad still has the hammer I'll get a picture next time I'm home. (My family also has a bit of the pack rat gene.) Through the years Dad has stopped to pick up tools and lost pairs of leather gloves. Sometimes as kids we were present and had to run back down the road to pick up the tool.

History often repeats itself. On my honeymoon I found a hammer (more later). My wife didn't want me to stop, but the pull of nostalgia, history or genes caused me to turn around and go back for the hammer. That hammer is a reminder of my past and future.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Med Center Find

I obtained this 7 millimeter Husky ratcheting wrench in December 2008 next to the inside curb on Mainstreet just north east of the overpass in the Med Center. I drove by this wrench every day for almost 6 months. One day traffic stopped me right beside the wrench. I got out of my truck, grabbed the wrench and continued my journey to work.

By all accounts, the wrench shouldn't have been there for 6 months. Usually the city cleans the curbs so items do not stay on medians or curbs more than two or three months. In addition, people walked by this wrench every day. With all of the construction in the area, hundreds of construction workers passed by this wrench daily and yet for some unknown reason they did not see or chose not to see this great find.

Considering the regular rain and Hurricane Ike having pelted this wrench it works well. It should have been rusted and unmoving. Although not a heavy duty tool it was in great shape and the ratcheting worked in both directions. I'm impressed with this tool. I went to Home Depot to locate these tools and check on a price. It appears that Home Depot no longer carries this open end ratcheting wrench.

Since I have two sets of ratcheting wrenches I gave this wrench to my friend and coworker Jeff. He let me take this picture of it for this record.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Craftsman 16mm Wrench

I found this Craftsman 16 millimeter wrench December 30 about 50 feet north of the intersection of Lake Olympia Parkway and Highway 6 in Missouri City. There is slight surface rust on the wrench and it was probably run over by a car at least once or twice. The wrench was lying in the turn lane. I got out of the truck and quickly grabbed it since it was easily accessible. There was some traffic, but none in the turn lane. As usually I have several of these wrenches already, but one more doesn't hurt. I quick spray and wipe down with a lubricant and the rust was arrested.

Main Street Screwdriver Sighting

This morning's commute was slower than usual due to a light early morning rain. Although the rain had been gone for several hours traffic as usual was slow to react and reacted by slowing. I spotted a screwdriver on the median of South Main about two miles south west of the South Main/ 610 junction. For those of you counting this is two tools currently lying on the median within 1 mile of each other. The flashlight I spotted last week is still lying there, although I can only assume the rain didn't do it any good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday Present - 10mm Craftsman Wrench

I found this 10 millimeter Craftsman wrench on the street in front of my house on my birthday a few weeks back. This is the size wrench used to loosen the connection bolts on batteries. The wrench probably dropped out of someone's engine compartment because they forgot to put the wrench away when changing out their battery. As I was getting out of my truck I heard a metallic pinging noise as a car drove by. When I looked toward the street I saw a glint of sun on metal in the street. I went to investigate and found this wrench. I have several wrenches this size in sets I have been given over the years but now I can use this one to change batteries on my metric truck without having to get battery acid on my good wrenches.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lineman's Pliers

I found these lineman's pliers today. I found the pliers about 75 feet north east of the intersection of Kirby and South Main St. My wife was with me. I saw the pliers lying in the right lane. I turned around in the Kroger parking lot. My wife asked me at that point if I was going back for the pliers. I said yes. She said okay as long as I was careful and didn't get myself killed in the process. I pulled back out into the street and stopped to pick up the pliers. There was no traffic at all. No inconvenience to anyone. I handed the pliers to my wife, put the truck in gear and we headed home. The pliers are heavy duty lineman's pliers 8 and 5/8's inches long weighing almost 1 pound. My wife was impressed with my find. These pliers cost around $10 to $20.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why this Blog Exists

I find tools. Friends and acquaintances find this interesting and even a bit strange. My family less so (more later). Most often I find tools on the side of the road or in the middle of the street.

Most of the tools are usable. Many are in great shape. I usually don't bother stopping for broken tools. I don't even pick up all the tools that I see. With traffic in the Houston, Texas area being quite hectic I usually will not take my life in my hands to stop for a tool unless it is safe to do so.

My commute to work every day takes 45 minutes one way. This gives me lots of time during the 18 mile one way trip to check out the scenery while driving to work. Road construction, other drivers, new buildings and businesses, Rice students, Med Center workers and strangely enough tools on the side of the road.

Because this is a mundane and totally benign hobby I have decided to bore the world with my findings. Blogs will include photos and stories of tools I have found in the past, commentary on tools I see and don't pick up and other probably uninteresting, but tangentially connected blathering. Feel free to comment, monitor this blog to find tools or to report tools you have seen.

Main Street Flashlight Sighting

This morning I saw a jungle colored plastic flashlight lying on the median next to the wall on the Northeast bound (in town) lane on Main Street. The flash light was about 1 mile southwest of the 610 junction. It appeared to be a 2 C Cell size flash light. Traffic was moving so there was no opportunity to stop and retrieve the flash light. In addition, I have numerous other flashlights so there is no need to retrieve it unless the opportunity presents itself.