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My continuing education continued Thursday night

The Internet inspirational quote sites claim Albert Einstein is the genius behind the quote “once you stop learning you start dying.” We’ll trust the Internet and give Big Al credit. What matters here is that my brain continues to get an education. Thursday night class was in session, as my retired father-in-law, who has one of the most interesting career resumes you’ll ever see, gave me a lesson on how to add freon to a vehicle air conditioning system.

My father-in-law started his work career in the Coast Guard, surviving winters in Bayfield, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior, put in his time, got out, and became a diesel mechanic. That job helped start a family, but he wanted a bigger challenge, so he enrolled at the University of Toledo engineering school and got a degree in his free time. That led to a job that ultimately made him the lead HVAC engineer at a nuclear power plant where he remained until retirement.

Needless to say, I trust him with a freon charge. The pressure gauges came out. Multiple thermometers. An air temperature to PSI chart was on a clipboard. And then he gets out a can of R-134A or whatever they were 30 years ago when you needed certification to buy the stuff.

I know what the half-assers out there will say…“can’t you just watch a YouTube video and connect a bottle of that stuff and fill the line in like five minutes?” Well, that’s what I would expect to hear out of the half-assers who are happy with half-ass results. You think I’m going to trust some half-asser on YouTube or my father-in-law who used to do this stuff on 18-wheelers & came home covered in grease only to pull out books and study engineering after his kids went to bed? Einstein wouldn’t be impressed if I went the half-ass route when an old pro is available to teach a course.

The freon charge went in, the PSI started to rise and hit 45. That’s when Joe (my FIL) got out his PSI chart, triple-checked it, and insisted we take it to 48 to hit the exact target. Then came more thermometer readings. One final chart analysis. Then it happened, Joe found the freeze-your-ass-right-out-of-the-van, the-kids-will-need-a-blanket pressure reading he’d been aiming for. The continuing education series was over for the night.

• If one night is any indication of what we’re in for this summer, the Thursday Night Mowing League is pure gold. I completely underestimated you guys and the power of the Screencaps community. There were DMs, tweets, IG mentions, emails (joekinsey@gmail.com). I’m screwed if my phone number ever leaks to the Screencaps community. It would be madness. I’ll have a full TNML report later this morning. Stay tuned for that recap.

• For those who didn’t see it on social media, here’s an email I received Thursday from Screencaps fan Jim C.

“Joe – I visited the Outkick website because of Clay Travis but I go back every single morning because of you and your column. Informative, lighthearted, and just real. I live in central Indiana (Carmel) and I feel like we actually are neighbors when you talk about the weather, landscaping, and garage beers. Keep up the great work. You are the best!”

• I can’t express how good it makes me feel to get messages like this from Jim considering the messages I used to get from people, especially in Cleveland, who wanted to break my legs over my Johnny Manziel reporting. Jim C. is what it’s all about. Guys, that’s why Clay brought me in. He knew I wasn’t some coastal elite aspiring to work at ESPN, The Athletic or some other blue checkmark sports paradise. This is my paradise. I’ve said it over and over again, this is my last Internet stop. This is the top. I will continue to hammer the gas at OutKick until Clay or some Fox suit (I need to know if Lachlan Murdoch is Team Screencaps) tells me it’s my time to ride off into the sunset.

• All that said, I might have to drive down to Carmel and have a beer with Jim. Just see what’s going on in Jim’s world and bring back a report. A little Charles Kuralt action. Instead of an RV, I can drive my wife’s freeze-your-ass-right-out-of-the-van loaded down with a cooler of beer. Say the word, Jim.

And with that, let’s have ourselves an incredible weekend. Get out there and continue that education in your own way.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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