You WILL Be Assimilated!
Yeah, I'm a Trekkie. When I was but a wee tot, Kirk and crew were it! And like all Trekkies, when Star Trek, TNG came out, I was hooked again. But, as we were soon to discover, Romulans were just a bunch of pansy, pinko sissies, and Klingons were actually rather friendly folks. The Borg however, now they were some bad dudes. The Borg were the culmination of many races of galactic civilization that had been "assimilated." They would come up and announce "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Then, little syringes would plunge out of their clinched fist knuckles into their victims' necks, inject nanites that would start combining with your particular brand of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and you'd start growing bionic parts to make you "more efficient." Then, you would become part of the Borg collective. Seven of Nine was hot, but other than that, I distinctly remember telling my wife that "Honey, I don't want to be assimilated." She looked at me like I had two heads, but that's another story.
Anyway, generally speaking, I liked the old time community hardware store. It was a place where one could go to talk to Ralph, or Fred, or George, and get the info one needed. These folks were not only valued community assets, they were trusted friends. On the other hand, I generally loathe, and hold in high contempt, the "big box, everything under one roof" stores. Although it’s very convenient to find everything under one roof, I think Lowe’s, Home Depot, and especially Wal-Mart have done far more to harm old time Americana and local economies than they’ve ever done to help. Still, I shop at these places... Ralph, Fred, and George are out of business, and working for them now. They were assimilated.
Now, woodworking is, for the most part, a blue collar sport. It may not be made up exclusively of blue collar guys and gals, but there aren’t a lot of Ivy league Biffs and Buffys making saw dust either. Yeah, we doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even software programmers recognize the value of what we do, but it’s not our white collar mentality that gets us out in the shop. Go out in the shop and look around; the suit and tie have been traded for flannel shirt and a pair of jeans.
And while you’re out there, take a look at the tools. We LOVE our brands. Professional or amateur, it really doesn’t matter. We only buy the best we can making the compromise between immediate need for a tool, expected future utility of that tool, and available funds. Most of us "serious woodworkers" wouldn’t be caught dead with a Black & Doinker, Crapsman, or Ry-yuppy power tool available at the big box, everything under one roof, "Borg" stores that we generally loathe and hold in high contempt. We may use Delta, Dewalt, or Porter Cable. We may have Powermatic or Jet in the shop. We could plunk down the hard-earned cash for Milwaukee. But we won’t buy that consumer-grade junk that anyone can buy at Wal-Mart.
We're fiercely loyal too. I’m a Dewalt man. PERIOD!!! Well, ok, I’ve also got some Porter Cable, Jet, and other stuff too. Funny thing though... if you’ve bought a particular brand of tool and thunked yourself better’n the rest of us, the joke’s on you. I've discovered that the tool companies have been assimilated too.
WMH Tool Group owns (among others):
Jet Power Tools
Techtronic Industries owns (among others):
AEG Electric Tools
Black & Decker owns (among others):
Oh yeah, and Black & Decker brand
I suppose I have to fess up to owning some Ridgid from the Home Despot. "OH MY GOSH!!! Honey, it's happened. I'm part of the Borg." I guess that means I've been assimilated and am now just another cog in the collective too. So, if you see me walk by with a bunch of tools and junk coming out of my head, please have the social graces to ignore it. You know, maybe instead of looking at me like I had two heads, Debbie was just noticing the bionic power tool implants. If you want to be part of the Borg and assimilated too, just do all of your tool shopping at Home Depot or Lowe's. Otherwise, find your version of Ralph, Fred, and George, and do your shopping with them... and stick with hand tools out in the shop.
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