My sixteen-year-old son, Genius, bought himself an EVO 3D phone last Friday. He has always been addicted to possessing the latest gadgetry. He has had it less than a week, so now he's itching for something new. Since his phone takes 3D pictures, he has decided that his really expensive Canon Rebel T2i camera must do the same. He spent about two hours this afternoon creating his Frankenstein.
The whole project revolved around an old camera tripod. It was broken when it tipped over and messed up the flat platform piece where the camera screws on. I'm sure I remember the incident as a time when I cautioned him not to do something because the tripod would fall over and break, and then the tripod fell over and broke. Because my life is funny that way.
Genius tracked me down in my basement lair, and said he was going over to the barn to work on the tripod piece. I asked what tools he would be using. "Oh, just the drill press and the Dremel tool," he assured me. Upon further interrogation, to ascertain whether he know how to use it, and if Hick lets him use it, Genius replied, "He lets me us it. And I've used it about seventy-five times at school in the shop. I'll be fine." The last sentence had a scornful flavor to it. I asked how long it would take, and commanded that he wear his safety glasses. "I'll be back in thirty minutes. Oh, and I'll go up and get my safety glasses." I told him I would send The Pony to check on him if he wasn't back in time, because I didn't want him to be bleeding out while we lounged around over here in the house. I'm not sure, because he was standing behind me, but I think I heard his eyes roll.
Thirty minutes went by. I sent The Pony to gather eggs and check on his brother. Genius returned to the house about five minutes later. He showed me his new camera platform with a slot drilled down the middle to slide the camera sideways for a second shot. Like another eye. And then he would merge the pictures on his computer, and VOILA! A 3D photo courtesy of homemade mechanical binocular vision.
About an hour later, Genius had completed his experiment and was looking for ways to fine-tune the set-up with some cushy rubber washer thingies (as I call them), or O-rings, as he calls them, to stabilize the camera on the tripod. I set out his supper, and went about my business of various household duties. The Pony was roaming around the house, and Hick was mowing the front field.
I re-entered the kitchen, and spied The Pony counting out Ritz crackers onto the plate that belonged to Genius. Which, if you've ever raised two boys, is a rare occurrence unless one is attempting mayhem. Genius whisked by me and went to his room. I questioned The Pony about his motive. The Pony sang like a canary. "I was just helping Genius with his crackers, because he cut his hand." Genius returned with a blood-soaked Bounty Select-A-Size flapping from his left index finger.
"Don't start. I didn't do it in the barn. I did it after I came back over here. It was a little X-Acto knife accident in my room. I'm fine. He even saw it when I did it." The partner in crime nodded. Nothing brings two brothers closer than keeping a secret from Mom.
Turns out that left-handed Genius managed to slice his left index finger because he was using his right hand to wield the X-Acto knife, due to the optimum angle of carvage necessary to construct his home-made 3D tripod. Sweet sufferin' succotash! That would be like me trying to slice an apple with my left hand maneuvering a straight razor.
It's a good thing the ACT does not measure manual dexterity. Or common sense. Because my Genius would never get into college.