It has to do with the cleaning and refurbishing of fans, the mechanical kind: three that stand and oscillate, plus seven ceiling fans.
Yes, cleaning fans is a weird topic for a blog, but the process has provided me with a few observations.
ONE. The people who designed these things did not have cleaning in mind. The standing fans in particular have to be taken apart to be cleaned properly, and figuring out how to do that is devilishly difficult. Fan No. 1 takes a pry, a snap and three sets of screws to remove. Each set is different, so keeping it all straight is important. Fan No. 2 resists prying. One must turn the thing upside down and completely remove the base to get anywhere. Fan No. 3 is the simplest, except that the first screw is rusted into the body. I needed to cut it with a hacksaw blade, thankful that it is essentially an unnecessary screw. (And why design something with an unnecessary screw?)
TWO. Ceiling fans were a great invention. What would the tropics and semitropics be without them? In addition to providing atmosphere, a la Casablanca, they are eminently practical. Sure, the bodies eventually rust in salt air, but the things continue to run and since they're up there, you have to look to notice the rust. And despite the need for a ladder or stepstool, they're much easier to clean. I know there are designers in the U.S. who hate-hate-hate ceiling fans. To them I say: Pbthfft!
THREE. You know, standing fans are relatively cheap. I could save myself the swearing and broken fingernails, the scrubbing and rinsing, the sanding and repainting with Rustoleum by simply taking these to the dump and replacing them. What does it say about me that I insist on cleaning them up and keeping them going? That I'm cheap? That I'm a good citizen for not adding to the waste stream without good reason? That I'm mired in the Depression mentality of my mother's generation? I wonder.