Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Which about the nature, design and intended purpose of a machine is more valuable – analysis and conclusions based on observation or explanation from the inventor, designer and creator?  Both are valuable, for each enhances the other. The impact of each without the other, however, is far from equal. 


The second without the first is most trustworthy but feels incomplete, for how could anyone fully admire and enjoy the result of the concept and work purely through hearsay or narrative?  The first without the second is much worse, giving rise to endless variety of partial evidences and wandering interpretation leading to meaningless and even hazardous decisions about the machine’s aspect and that of its origin. 


So there is an inherent hierarchy present:  the information from the designer is essential for comprehending, or at least apprehending the purpose of the machine; and observation and analysis, which, though subservient, enrich the understanding and experience of what is conveyed by the designer such that the original intent of the design, which initially unbeknownst to the observer always included their enjoyment, is progressively made complete.


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What good are old cans of paint? I’ve got several on a shelf in my basement – browns, blues, greens, reds, yellows, white, etc. They take up quite a bit of space that could be utilized more effectively, my lovely wife might inform you. There are some places around the house where I could use these old colors. But that’s the trouble; they’re all old, dusty and honestly, not that important.

Okay, I confess: There are times I’ve thrown in the save-money towel and just made the trip to the hardware store to get new paint. Let’s face it, buying new stuff is much more exciting than trying to reuse old.

As you probably know, when you order paint in the store, for colors other than pure white, they mix different amounts of various pigments into the acrylic-water (latex) or oil binder to achieve whatever tone and finish you’ve requested and, voila, a can of fresh color awaits your brush or roller (provided the dry dollop on the lid makes you happy). For most projects, at least in our home, we end up purchasing a little more paint than we need for a project, resulting in the collection in my basement. So the trip to the hardware store just ends up adding to it. Some of my old cans are even three-quarters full, which tends to periodically nudge me into thinking up ways to use them for a purpose more fruitful than as a stand for another paint can. After all, that’s twenty bucks sitting there!

So when I encounter a spot where some Baked Scone or Red Jalapeno would look nice, and the presence of this unused inventory is on my mind, I zip downstairs to dig out the old gallon (which typically sits in back of all the others no matter which color I want – how does that happen?). I get the gear together, pop the lid off and… there’s a can of semi-clear liquid peering back at me. Not good for much on its face except getting something wet (or oily for you non-latex folks). While a little discouraged, I don’t throw it out, because there’s still hope!

I grab a stir stick out of a small pile (yes, I swiped a few extras my last trip) and plunk it into the can. It’s rough going – the pigment has not only settled on the bottom, it has sort of glommed to itself in the absence of the binder, content to rest in a pretty firm layer. Honestly, I’m tempted at this point to give up – the allure of new, easy cans are calling me – but I “stick” with it (sorry).

Sometimes the pigment layer is so hard, I’ll jam the stick in and settle for slowly twisting it awhile until either the stick snaps or enough of the pigment breaks up to make actual stirring fruitful. Finally, I’m rewarded with results, though now there are large chunks of color floating around. Progress, but it can be a little discouraging, because I’m still not seeing much pigment mix with the binder. Still, in faith, I keep at it. Gradually, after switching arms a couple of times, it all begins to blend together again and the usable paint is restored!

When I meet with this success, I’m thrilled I didn’t throw the old out in favor of a new can. I was close to giving up, but the truth is, the old can still had value, I just didn’t see it anymore. Instead of spending more money and adding another partially-used can of paint to dry out like the rest of my impressive but neglected collection, I freed up some potential goodness I’d forgotten was even there. It feels fantastic to make something fruitful again which had waited months or years for a little extra faith, patience and effort to revive its purpose.

Romans 12: 3, 10 – 12

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