Okay. I admit it. I have a tool obsession. Bike tools, mechanics tools, hand tools, power tools, or measuring tools, I love them all.

Whenever I need to go out and buy a tool to fix something, my wife calls it “going to church”. I think she got that from the Sweet Potato Queens, or something like that, but it doesn’t matter. Buying a new tool is almost a religious experience. Or pornographic. I haven’t decided which yet.

This past weekend, while I was out riding with my clubmates from the Cutthroat Racing team, the sink in our laundry room exploded. Not literally, of course, but it did start spewing water. So, as I was debating whether or not I should actually attempt to climb Capitol Hill to check out a couple of members’ new house, my cell phone is ringing in my back pocket.

I get home and strip out the old faucet, then head off to “church” … the denomination this week was Home Depot, but sometimes I worship at the alter of Lowe’s, occasionally at the local Ace Hardware chapel … but my favorite is the Craftsman Tool Cathedral at Sears. Or at least it was until today.

Today, I got a book in the mail. A big book. A very big book called “The Big Book” from MSC Industrial Supply Co. I think this book has every tool known to man inside. They don’t carry Snap-On and they don’t carry Craftsman, but they’ve got just about everything else.

So I’m sitting here, leafing though this 4700 page catalogue and drooling. Do I want electronic dial calipers from Starrett or Brown & Sharpe? Or do I want a Vectrax CNC Mill?

Like I said, an almost religious experience. Or pornographic. But I still haven’t decided which yet, and the floor is getting wet from all the drool. Maybe I should get rubber floor mats to protect the carpet; MSC Industrial Supply carries them as well.

Then I start to think about tools in another sense. Tools as metaphor. The following quotes are good illustrations:

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”
  — Confucius

“Words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience.”
  — Julien S. Huxley