Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Non-mechanics that worked on their own cars (back when you could work on your own car) were known as ‘shade tree mechanics.’ 
Today, people that do their own maintenance are called DYI’s

I prefer to call it: fix it yourself because you can’t afford to hire someone to do the job – and if someone else does it, it probably won’t be to my satisfaction.

So I do my own carpentry work, electrical wiring, appliance installation, general maintenance and I HATE PLUMBING.  

I think out my projects, then I will tell my wife I can do the job in an hour and she just shakes her head and walks away.   Six hours later, frustrated, my stomach full of hydrochloric acid and emotionally stressed, I complete the project. 

Today it was installing accordion window shades, you know the heavy cloth/paper shades that fold up like an accordion.  

An easy DYI project – one hour at the most. 

The hardware went up no problem, but getting the shades to snap into the bracket was a herculean task.  The spring on the brackets was stiffer than the shocks on my motorcycle.  I fought with the shades and the brackets for at least an hour, before finally modifying the brackets in order to seat the shade.   It doesn’t help that my hands were shaking shortly after mounting the first shade – something that seems to have popped up over the last couple of years.    Ain’t aging great?

I have done a lot of carpentry work, wiring etc. over the years at every place we have lived, and usually my end product is acceptable; though my flaws are always visible to me.  

 Usually, if I am putting something together from a kit, I end up with extra parts – the same with tearing something down to rebuild.   I measure twice and cut once - then end up modifying the piece when it doesn’t fit.      I am also plagued by gremlins.  Half of my time is spent looking for the tool I just laid down.   I am sure there is some invisible entity that works against me.  

But I can’t help myself; I believe that if you want something done right you do it yourself, or supervise it closely.   A few years ago I hired a carpenter I know to put a metal roof on our house.   He told me he world work for twenty dollars an hour – thirty if I helped. 

I can’t count the times I have hired someone to do work, usually plumbers, and then ended up redoing it to my satisfaction.

So what’s my next project?    Hell I don’t know.

I just bought a 1998 motor home on a whim, and I am hoping it does not turn into a part time job and a money pit.    But that is a story for another day.

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. Oh, how I hear you. I could do almost anything except cars. I even mudded drywall once (NEVER AGAIN). Nothing ever takes an hour. Everything takes days. At least now I can afford to hire it done. Everything is so different here anyhow, I could not do much on my own.

  2. I have to get blinds and replace the ones I have, thanks to Dexter the little fucker..I do most of all my small stuff around the apts so I don't have to have the maintenance dude come over as he's a drunk and looks like a leaning pine tree all the time. I do small jobs on the truck too..used to do all the work on my cars..but getting under the truck to fix things now is too fecking hard..


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