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What's that for?

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  • What's that for?

    On Christmas eve my extended family and I always get together. That includes my brothers and sisters and their Kids.
    I often bring something I've been working on, which is usually an engine or something small. Having all had the same
    influence of my dad growing up, my brothers and sisters get it, but extended members, maybe not so much.
    I often get asked, "what is that?". Followed by, "what are you going to do with it?" or "what's it for?"
    I'll get the same thing at at work sometimes too, from other engineers.
    I realize that they are not in anyway being belligerent.
    So I've been thinking about a caned response that is not confrontational in anyway, light hearted,but gets to the point.

    When asked those questions, I think I'll reply " It's just like the Mona Lisa, it gave Leonardo hours of joy creating it, and countless people joy viewing it over the years."


  • #2
    To answer silly questions.
    Helder Ferreira
    Setubal, Portugal


    • #3

      You need to realize that there is a large group of people that think the Mona Lisa had a case of "The Gas". The smile comes from "He who smealt it dealt it"

      I get the same question for some of the things I have built. I usually tell them some long winded answer that lasts until their eyes glaze over. They now know better than to ask this type of question another time. Or the short version "Because".


      • #4
        You are asking the wrong one. I have been trying to think of a wise ass comeback ever since l read the question.

        Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


        • #5
          It's a conversation piece.
          It's a thing to get you away from that #%*+ iPhone/iPad for 5 minutes and have a face to face conversation with a real human being.


          • #6
            I made it to entertain idiots.

            Would you like to play with it?
            Regards, Marv

            Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

            Location: LA, CA, USA


            • #7
              It confounds the inquisitive!


              • #8
                Engineer or otherwise, in my experience most whom ask such a question are unlikely to understand a sincere answer.

                In the case of a youth, I will make an effort to explain the stimulation and satisfaction I derive from the creative process in hopes they too may be so inspired. But in the case of an adult, I feel the question reveals the person is already a lost cause, that attempts to explain or illuminate will be disappointing at best and infuriating at worst - better to deflect his or her (usually short) attention and move on ...



                • #9
                  I'm just trying to have a concise answer for people that I don't have any particular beef with. Most of the time I do feel they are asking out of sincerity.
                  Most people do create or do things just for their own enjoyment. Reading, writing, cooking, making wine or beer. Painting, drawing. Whatever.
                  I'm trying to relate it to something they might be more familiar with, so insert
                  I have had the same type of question from people that I know are trying to be a smart ass.
                  I usually dismiss the question and them, as they are not worth the effort, and they don't have a creative bone in their body anyway. (they are takers,not contributors in life)
                  When a little kid asks, I too will give a depth of answer that I think they will understand, and will go further if they are interested.


                  • #10
                    "It's a sex machine"
                    Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                    Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                    Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                    Monarch 10EE 1942


                    • #11
                      I like to build things. It is my hobby. Its job in life is to please me. It does its job well.
                      How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


                      • #12
                        I usually use one of two responses -

                        For the challenge


                        Because I wanted to


                        • #13
                          "Nothing I do can be explained in twenty-five words or less."

                          Hmmm... the above explanation is only 12 words.
                          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


                          • #14
                            There are 2 types of people in this world.....there are producers, and there are parasites.

                            Tell them that is what you produced this week, then ask them what they produced.


                            • #15
                              I find it easy to field that question. I just tell people that after half a century of designing machinery for other people to build, I'm enjoying making some machinery myself!!---Brian
                              Brian Rupnow