Maxwell Smart Beware!

   The title reference might be kind of obscure for those of you under 50, but Maxwell Smart (also know as secret agent 86) was the star of the old 60’s TV show “Get Smart”. His arch-nemesis were, of course, the enemy agents of KAOS (an international organization for evil). This weeks blog is about chaos, but of a different source.

Rube Goldberg 001

   On one of our camping trips to Pennsylvania, my wife and I were stuck in camp on a rainy afternoon. I suggested a trip to the Case/Zippo museum in nearby Bradford. After getting one of those “Have you lost your mind?” looks from her, we ended up going to the museum. It was actually pretty good. They have a factory there where they make Case knives and Zippo lighters (both available at Hill Hardware), and there is a small, free museum and gift shop where you can see how the knives and lighters are made, and the history of these two famous all-American brands.

Rube Goldberg 003

   After the tour, which earned my wife highest praise, “More interesting than I thought it would be.”, we checked out their Rube Goldberg machine that they had running in the middle of the room. You know it is a “does nothing machine that has balls running in tracks that ring bells, looping the loop and such, before being hoisted back to the top, to do it all again. She loved it.

Rube Goldberg 004

   So come Valentines day this year, a great big box shows up at the house with my name on it. It was my very own Rube Goldberg machine kit. It is sold under the name of “Chaos Tower”(hence the Get Smart tie in) and it is now set up in the store window for all to admire. It took quite an effort to assemble, and needs to be constantly tweaked to keep the balls running, but it sure is fun. With the balls running around on the track, ringing bells, looping the loop and flying off the track in all directions, it is a visual treat. Be sure to come see it while it is on display, at the old hardware store.