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Confessions of a Middle Aged Handy Man

I use the term “handy man” loosely here.

Ask anyone that knows me well and they will tell you I am far from it! I hate to admit it but I’m the guy that will take my car to the mechanic and spend 5 minutes trying to emulate the sound that the car is making.

Disapproving Mechanic: “What’s the problem with your car here, sir?”

Me: “Well, when I start it up it starts to try to start up…kind of rrrrnnnn rrrrnnnn rrrrnnnn…but then it sounds like its winding down…kind of eeeeennnnnnn…and then it just kind of gives up…click click click tink tink tink.”

Disapproving Mechanic: (Looks at me trying to determine if I’m serious) “Hmmm, sound like the alternator.”

Me: “It was a good a movie but I don’t see what Arnold Schwarzenegger has to do with my car…”

Ask me to throw a slider, teach a catcher to make a throw to second, exegete the book of Micah, speak Biblical Hebrew, perform a muscle up 20 times in a workout, or lift 400 pounds off the ground and I’ve got you covered. But ask me to replace a spark plug and you’re taking your own life in your hands. I’ve just never been very good at knowing how things function and how to correct the problems associated with them.

Lately however, mainly out of pity for my poor wife, I have started trying to do a better job of learning how things work and being able to fix them. I have to admit that there is a considerable amount of learning through failing when it comes to fixing things! Adventure number 1 was our dishwasher that was gushing water from underneath it. Literally gushing. Water everywhere. I worked form the inside out…which I slowly learned was mistake number 1. If the water is gushing from underneath, it’s not a clog (helpful hint for any of you that got caught laughing at me after you were looking for a real handyman blog). After taking the inside of the machine apart (and spending longer putting it back together) I pulled the machine from it’s spot under our counter. The drain house had gotten pressed against the motor and had melted. So there was a huge hole in this stupid, aggravating plastic hose. Not only that, but did you realize how dirty it gets under your dishwasher. A few gallons of water mixed with dead bugs and dust is pretty disgusting.

The trip to Home Depot was interesting. Carrying around a plastic hose, still dripping water, walking around aimlessly around the home appliance section, which is on the wrong side of the store, looking for someone with an orange apron on that works there. With the number of times you have to say “No, I’m just looking” when you are there just killing time you’d figure there are enough people employed to fill a small city. But is ANYONE around when you actually need something specific…of course not. I was starting to wonder if the store was even open.

That took a whole morning and into the afternoon. I’ve been on a roll since then. A toilet that would never stop running now firmly stays in one place. A broken ice maker was replaced after about an hour of trying to figure out how to get it dismounted. The new ice maker came basically ready to plug in, but my arm doesn’t have 2 elbow joints to bend the way the manufactures expect you to be able to bend.

Most recently I took our computer apart and fixed it. Honestly, I don’t know how I fixed it. I took a bunch of things apart and unplugged a bunch of pieces. When I put it all back together it came on and worked fine. I think it was probably more due to fear that I would do it again as opposed to the fact that I actually did anything beneficial. Apparently that screw that was leftover after everything got put back together was the big issue…

Did you know that an unplugged computer can still shock you several times?

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