You know when you're working on something and a small part falls? You train your eyes on the approximate location where it's going to fall, listen for it hitting the ground, and then, hopefully, your eye notices movement making it easy to find? Well, sometimes it doesn't happen quite like that.
I'm adjusting a first generation XTR canti brake today and notice the nut for the Shimano straddle cable system is hitting the canti stop on the fork arch. The nut is too thick and incorrect for this type of straddle. No problem. I'll replace it with something more appropriate.
Because I didn't release the cable anchor on the brake arm, I removed the whole straddle - that type that was unique to Shimano and later copied by the other brake manufacturers. As I'm reassembling it and start to thread the nut on, it falls. I hear it. Don't see it though and after a few minutes of searching decide I'll just get another nut. Get everything in place, start threading the nut, and, yep, it falls too. Only this time I don't hear it land and certainly can't find it after searching for a few minutes.
Okay, this is stupid. It has to be somewhere. Back up. What do I know? I know it's not on the bolt. I know it fell. I know I didn't hear it land. Where is it? Ahh, there it is. Nestled perfectly on a ledge of the fork brace mocking me. Sometimes, it should be easier to find things like this.
And that first one that fell, it was about 2 feet away disguised as the floor.
(What's playing: Elvis Costello Senior Service)