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It is hard to justify a $150 surcharge if you're using a tool that costs less than that (of course, knowing how to use the tool is a skill worth far more, but most people think it is as easy as putting it in the lock and pressing a button). I'm reminded of the apocryphal tale of the mechanic who, after some um-ing and ah-ing, hits the engine just once with a small hammer and fixes it. He presents his bill for $100, and is asked to justify it, so produces:

Hitting engine with hammer - $1 Knowing where to hit - $99

Similar story with Picasso... Some guy told Picasso he’d pay him to draw a picture on a napkin. Picasso whipped out a pen and banged out a sketch, handed it to the guy, and said, “One million dollars, please.” “A million dollars?” the guy exclaimed. “That only took you thirty seconds!” “Yes,” said Picasso. “But it took me fifty years to learn how to draw that in thirty seconds.

And fifty years to build up the social acceptance that his work has much value.

Picasso was one of few artists to have their work be of value during their lifetime, wasn't he?

He was the first (only?) artist to get an exhibition in the Louvre while he was still alive.

It didn't hurt that he lived for quite a while.

Dali was also quite popular in his lifetime, and possibly even less afraid of self-promotion.

How could I forget Dali, him of the famous chequebook!

Living quite a while seems to be as big a factor in gaining fame as an artist than anything else - this is also important to win a Nobel prize!

Skill? Really? I learned in about two hours how to use plain old picks well enough to open my Kwikset front door lock in 15 minutes. From everything I read, the gun is much simpler to use.

It's a skill I've never managed to crack (perhaps in part down to my very unsteady hands). From what I've read, a lot of people buy pick guns expecting them to be a one-button solution, and are disappointed to find they can't open locks with them without training and practice.

I will agree with you. I can only pick the standard Yale locks, but the gun is "insert, pull trigger, turn, done".

More so, owning a lock pick gun is often not legal in many areas, unless you are a licensed lock smith.

Even if it was legal it wouldn't help except for those special occasions where you forgot your key, but remembered to take the lock pick gun. :)

I've been thinking of leaving a minimal set of picks in the flowerpot by the door for that very reason. I can justify using them to a policeman or passer-by, but a less authorized entrant to my abode would have more trouble.

The $150 would essentially be a "3 a.m. delivery fee".

To be fair, those scraping pick guns don't take nearly as much skill as using the actual lockpicks...

Sure, but should the pick gun fail, your locksmith (hopefully!) can do it the old-fashioned way, too. And pick guns take a lot more skill than people think, they still require a skilled operator to be effective.

I agree with the former, but for the latter, scrubbing a lock isn't all that hard (it takes two or three tries with the pick and it's open), and I can't imagine the gun being harder than that. In fact, it's marketed as the easier way to scrub locks.

For those like me that had to Google it, "scrubbing" synonymous with "raking".

That depends on the lock, and your skills. I've never managed to get the hang of it personally, but I've seen others take to it like ducks to water.

I dunno, if you want me to come and help you out at 3am it's going to cost you. If you want to pay less, wait until morning.

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