Thursday, August 19, 2021

Run By Morons


I'm thinking that thousands of years in the future archeo-anthropologists
will determine that "the Hairless Ape species went extinct shortly after
they ran out of these round thingies to sharpen their primitive tools..."

You can tell a company is run by absolute morons, when they have two 50' aisles of garden implements, including axes, hatchets, machetes, hoes, pulaskis, mattocks, cultivators, shears, etc., not to mention about thirty different types of gas and electric chainsaws, weed whackers, lawnmowers, and all manner of high-spendy, gee-whiz devices for rendering excess shrubbery into compost at the speed of dollars.

But cannot, for love or money, be bothered to stock (nor even have a dedicated space to peg them) so many as even one $10 Lansky puck, pictured above, nor any equivalent device, with 120- and 280-grit sides, for sharpening damned near anything with an edge, probably longer than you'll be alive on the planet to use it, even if you're 2000 miles from the nearest power outlet or gas station, and which even works at night, next to a campfire! Mirabile dictu!

Three different big-box retailers, stores bigger than Noah's Ark, two with actual store help who knew what I was describing without a crayon sketch and a YouTube informational video to make it clear to them, same story. Zip. Nada. Bupkus.

"Hey Pops, maybe you could ask your manager to create an aisle labelled Common Sense or maybe even 1960? It'd give you a place to stock incandescent bulbs and normal-flush toilets, right next to the metal screw-in Jerry-can spouts. Just a thought..."

Short those companies' stocks, because both their hardware managers and their general managers obviously couldn't find their asses with both hands and the pole off a pruning saw, with 10 wetbacks document-challenged day laborers from the parking lot to help them, and a three-day head start.

Fucking clueless incompetent morons.

Found it the fourth place I looked, saving me the PITA that is anything Amazon, at Mr. Drucker's* mom-and-pop hardware store in downtown Hooterville, in about 15 seconds, right next to the axe bin, where they've probably been for 40 years. Still got last year's retail price on them too.

Lesson learned.

But then, I figured civilization - at least as far as intelligent life and  IQs above 80 - was doomed when they started printing "Remove Shirt Before Ironing" on the care tags.

Just saying. Now I've got some sharpening to do.

Probably time to get a self-powered grindstone wheel, too, now that I think of it. While I still can.

*Not their real name, or real location. Also not to be confused with Mr. Haney's Snap-On Mobile Tool Truck either.


Retired Cop said...

Thanks for the grindstone link. I've always wanted one.

CT Ginger said...

I asked an under-forty, orange vest guy where I’d find a nail set. He took me to the aisle where they stock screws and nails.

mike said...

Do you even grock retail? If the shit is sitting on the shelf with last years price on it, it isn't profitable. Fine if you are a small shop that has extra space but for a big chain conglomerate that crap is profit poison. All that space to store a product that doesn't sell while it could be holding the latest hot selling pile of crap.

5stonegames said...

That my dear fellow is what Amazon is for.

Mark said...

The really annoying part of them lacking sharpeners is that most implements aren't sold sharp. I have a hatchet that was useful as a hammer when I bought it, until I put an edge on it. I've even heard of lawn mower blades being sold dull, for the end-user to sharpen (or the store will do so for a price).

Mark D

Aesop said...


What you're describing is what schlock jocks do, not what retail is about.
You wanna be Ron Popeil, AKA P.T. Barnum On TV, be my guest.
You wanna do retail, you stock and sell merchandise that customers come to the store to buy.
Not just the planned obsolescent shit you think you can flog off on suckers by next Tuesday.
That game of Three Card Monte was cracked about 700 years ago, and it's a non-starter.
Sears and Penney's couldn't figure that out, and now they're virtually extinct.
Amazon isn't that either, or they wouldn't have their minions drop-shipping you crap from two continents away, and waiting on it to arrive while your arteries harden and your joints seize up.
Getting me a sharpening stone next Tuesday, when I'm needing a sharp blade today is like promising to get me my GrubHub delivery in a couple of days, when I'm hungry now.
Worse when you think you'll charge me money for it today, but not deliver it until it's convenient for you.
Women go shopping, because they don't know what they want, even when it's in their hands.
Men don't shop, they go buying: they go to hunt, kill, and bring it home, today, now,because that's how we're programmed since 100,000 B.C.

Retailers trying to do women's retail for men's products are thus idiots.
I want it in my hand by the time I get to the shelf, not a song-and-dance about how "we don't sell many of those" because you don't ever fucking stock those.
Funny how that works.
Like I said, run by morons.

Hightecrebel said...

Pretty sure it's on purpose. You either have to bring it in to be sharpened, buy a new (dull!) version, or say to hell with it and buy the whiz-bang gas or battery powered one that cuts it in half the time for a hundred times the price, and does it all of twice.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Saw a pedal powered grinding stone on craigs list couple of years ago in another city. Could not get there in time. Same with a cross cut saw.

John Wilder said...

The Mrs. had a set of high-dollar Japanese steel cooking knives in our virtual shopping cart. I said, "hang on."

After five minutes, I had the first of her knives paper-cutting razor-sharp.

"Still need the knives?"

"No, now sharpen this one."

Anonymous said...

For those of us in flyoverville, farm auctions are gold mines. Hand and pedal grindstones, manual drills (brace?), every type of hand tool, hand crank meat grinders, cherry pitters, apple peelers, large propane tanks, all kinds of goodies. Bought an old Rockwell drill press for $80, and an F750 18’ stake bed truck for $700 (impulse purchase).

Retired Cop said...

Well, I spoke too soon. Went to the link above to buy a manual powered grindstone. Item not in stock. I saw other items that interested me and tried to buy them. Nine items in a row (varied and some pretty common), everyone is "item not currently in stock."
If somebody finds a source for manual grindstones, I'd appreciate it.

MNW said...

I can attest to that.

The last two I bought: 1 was basically square and the other as barely good enough after I took the aburly thick coating off.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a current employee of one of the biggest of the big box stores, with a history of construction work, and who has been working wood with hand tools since I was six, I can assure you that the cack-handed construction monkeys that comprise the biggest portion of our clientele couldn't properly sharpen an edge nor would they have the inclination to do so if you handed them the finest natural waterstones and oilstones gratis. It takes patience and attention to detail, not to mention a fair bit of practice, to properly sharpen a cutting edge (I myself haven't mastered it to my satisfaction), and modern construction techniques do not encourage the development of that kind of skill, nor do the kind of people that make up the majority of builders have the temperament to learn it, I think. Powertools, nailguns, and caulk is the way of the world now...

My store does actually stock a very limited number of sharpening stones, and to the best of my recollection in nearly two years running a cash register I have seen exactly 1 come through my line. We do stock them. People just don't buy them.

I will also point out that there is no generational difference in this matter that I have seen.
-Grey Fox

Pat H. said...

Keeping tools sharp if the power grid goes down and you've not installed solar, these stones are good.

As long as you have a power source, acquire one of these.

I bought the smaller one that uses 1/2 inch belts. It worked so well, I bought the one that uses 3/4 inch belts and is mountable on a work bench via 1/4 inch bolts on the bottom. The grit of the belts runs from heavy, massive material removal, to grit so fine you'd think it was for butt wiping. With this tool you can go through every blade that needs sharpening in very little time and have a superior edge when you're done.