Mine was a simple question, or so I thought.
After a hearty breakfast from the local fast food restaurant I decided to tackle spring maintenance on the lawnmower. Yes, you should change the oil on any lawnmower you hope to keep a number of years. Some mowers, like Honda, call for special Honda brand name oil. I prefer Castrol and use it in all my gasoline powered machinery. Upon checking the supply cabinet in the shop I found I had a full quart of Castrol SAE 30. Score!
But would that be enough oil to replace all I will drain out? Hmm. Or should I make a quick run to Wally World just to make sure I can finish the job without an annoying mid-project supply run? When all else fails, read the manual. I did, and I learned the oil capacity of my Husqvarna mower is 15 ounces. Now all I needed to do was convert ounces to quarts.
Shawn is real smart and can define nebulous recipe amounts such as a pinch, a dash, or a skosh. Retrieving standard measures and conversions from her memory banks will not even challenge her super computer brain. “Honey, how many ounces are in a quart?”
Shawn pulled a Pyrex measuring cup from the cabinet and began a series of calculations that boggled my mind. I think this is what I heard. “Let’s see this holds 2 cups, and that’s 16 ounces. There are 128 ounces in a gallon, and the specific gravity of water is effectively 1 at room temperature, but it is Saturday and the relative humidity is only 36%. So we have to factor in 4 quarts in a gallon and divide by the square root of the hypotenuse times the cosine …”
My brain cramped as I attempted to follow her reasoning. I scratched my head and reconsidered my question. Perhaps I was unclear and should reveal more information? “Shawn, the lawnmower requires 15 ounces of oil and I have a full, unopened quart. I am trying to determine if that will be enough to complete the oil change without making a trip to Wally World.”
Her blue eyes sparkled as she turned her radiant smile my way. “Oh, ok. While you’re out can you pick up some bread, and see if they have any fresh broccoli? Never mind, I’ll just go with you, and after we stop at Caribou for coffee we can pop into Marshall’s so I can exchange that top. Do we need to swing by the library and return that stack of books?”
According to my smartphone there are 32 ounces in a quart.
This experience reminds me of any oft-used parental response to questions, “Look it up!”
Next time, I should google first.