Why I hate Norm Abrams

Page 1 of 5  

Well, I don't personally hate him. Don't even know the guy.
But that's the title of the latest piece by one of my favorite columnists in the /Berkeley Daily Planet/, Matt Cantor, local owner of a home-inspection business who writes a weekly column on home repair and maintenance.
Here's a sample:
I do genuinely hate these specific shows: "Hometime," "This Old House" and "The New Yankee Workshop." I hate them for one simple reason: they make most people feel like idiots. Even if a show only demonstrates how to build a basic chest of drawers, it does a lousy job of preparing the average Joe or Joan for the task. In the end, the show provides nothing more than boutique shopping and showing off. I suppose that would be a lot of fun if you only want to learn that youas a homeowner or stock broker or bank clerkknow nothing about houses or furniture or nails and that youll never stand a chance of doing more than hanging a picture on the wall.
On shows like these, the jobs are made to look so darned easy. All the materials are waiting for assembly and nothing is spoiled, the wrong type or missing. The air gun never misfires and the compressor never needs to be drained (yes, you have to drain compressors daily because they fill up with water and will rust out if you dont do so). Thats another thing I hate: in actuality, there are many small details that fill a contractors day (or your day when you play contractor) but theyre neatly edited out, just as they are in a cooking show. Just pop the raw one in the oven and Voila, the new freshly baked one comes right out of the other oven.
(See article at http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2009-08-20/article/33531 )
--
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So many of my thought he printed.
They do need a reality show along those lines! The one where the victim, aka DIY'r, turns the wrench to losen the whatever and every pipe connected to it twists like a transmission tower that Godzilla blew his big bad Habanero breath on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
clipped

So........you were watching when my very strong hubby twisted a piece of copper pipe to shreds inside a concrete-block wall whilst trying to change a hose faucet?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yea, his #1 helper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They already have it... Renovation Realities on HGTV. I thought I'd see or heard about every wrong way there was to do things until I saw this show! The failings of man are clearly unlimited! LOL
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Grossbohlin wrote:

Yeah, I agree. My question is, how did anyone know these people were going to be so completely inept, to the point that they thought to set up a camera to film it all? It is, like so many other so-called "reality" shows, entirely staged stupidity.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I hope the DIY's come out on the Internet. I have already seen some pretty useful ones.
What I really want to see is something you have to bring home and assemble that comes with a link where you can watch the assembly of the exact product on the Internet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you think that a Chinese instructional video is going to help much? LOL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes and one that honestly says "If piece A does not fit easily into the slot of bracket B, use a piece of sandpaper and/or a small rasp/ file and rub down the rough edges of A so it will fit. DO NOT enlarge slot. I needing to tap A into place use something soft before 'Gently' tapping A into place with hammer or similar tool. Use enclosed Allen wrench to tighten patent fasteners nuts.
Definitions: a) Sandpaper (Heavy paper coated with glued abrasive such as sand). b) Hammer (Nailing tool with metal 'head' and wooden of fibreglass handle). c)Rasp/file. Household abrasive tool (See larger version of nail file etc.). d) Allen wrench (Hexagonal 'six sided' small tool to fit indentation in head of patent fasteners).
But number of times have been asked to assist people assemble some items, who don't even have a hammer or screwdriver in the house! So one ends up using a dinner knife to take out a screw or going home to get one's own tools!
One time, some 50+ years ago, though I was 'thrown for loop' when a senior gentleman kept asking me for a 'Turn screw' (Old Irish I think, i.e. Screwdriver.) Come to think of it that makes more sense than the word 'screwdriver'. Cos you turn a screw whether you are putting it in or taking it out!
Agree Norm Abrams time 30 minutes. Mine two weeks plus, plus, in between fixing the house, doing chores, visiting family, servicing motor vehicle etc. etc. Must go round and check trees for damage and if any water came through basement windows during last night's storm (Tropical storm/hurricane 'Bill') which quickly passed over here last night. Power, TV and phone survived but only thing had to reset this morning was the microwave!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"stan" wrote
But number of times have been asked to assist people assemble some items, who don't even have a hammer or screwdriver in the house! So one ends up using a dinner knife to take out a screw or going home to get one's own tools! ================= Yep, I was part of a business startup once. A bunch of guys in newly rented offices. And I brought some tools in a crate in case they were needed. I suddenly became the local tool store and general fix it wizard. My qualifications?? I actually owned some tools and brought them to work! It was a constant battle to get the tools back. Everyone wanted to use the tools, but nobody wanted to give them back.
When I first left home and was working a a minimum wage job a a dishwasher, I saved my pennies and bought tools from the local hardware store. Later, when building rustic furniture with few tools, I would do jobs just to buy tools. I knew tools were important. It is amazing the number of folks who don't know this. I have helped a number of folks buy some basic tools for the house/apartment. They did not know what to buy or where to buy it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee Michaels wrote:

Been there done that, lost the screwdriver.
I worked at a computer manufacturer under contract. I finally put a stop to tool theft by buying each of the engineers a small tool kit with all the essentials for servicing 'our' model of computer.
That was the smartest 500 bucks I ever spent because It stopped the chronic interruptions and freed up the time I spent looking for tools that had gone walkabout.
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

After a visit to an auto repair shop I found a screwdriver inside the engine compartment. It was on a small ledge/lip in front of the radiator. There was no way to get it out. I drove around with it and it never fell out in the years I had that truck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

BTDT, bought the 10 screwdrivers, whatched 8 go missing next day.
Theft of workplace tools is a plague, second only to being ripped-off by tool vendors. I had a viable plan to stop tool theft in the work place, but since the US no long has any workplaces.... :|
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Winston wrote:

I've probably shared this story on here before- one summer, as a kid, I was stuck with the duty of being the key-keeper for the tool crib on a apartment complex construction site. 'Borrowed' tools never seemed to come back. After about the 3rd time replacing missing shovels, chains, 12-lb sledges, and such, the next time I made a run to the supply house, I also got a couple cans of dayglo pink spray paint, like they mark pipe locations with. I put big splashes of pink on all the tools, and the MIA rate went WAY down. It also made it a lot easier to spot orphan tools left laying around the site by the casual labor temp crews, most of who vanished after their first payday.
I may be a lazy slob of questionable ethics, but I always return borrowed tools, and if I lose it or break it, I replace it. Too bad my office mates aren't like that. I only take cheap tools in there, to keep in the briefcase under the cubicle 'desk'.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I put a circle of red and a circle of green on the handle of my tools. People on the job got used to seeing those colors, and I would get tools back from the honest people.
People from other trades even knew who they belonged to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Metspitzer wrote:

Red and Green, huh? Did they cover them with duct tape? :^/
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had a similar system. If I loaned a tool out and didn't get it back, I'd turn over heaven and earth to hunt 'em down and reclaim it. If I caught someone absconding with a tool w/o my permission, I read 'em the riot act at full volume in front of the whole production floor. People soon learned my rollaway was not worth it. ;)
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! Expect a visit from the Possum Van.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

Different context, but one day many moons ago, folk in my office were horrified when I deliberately use a coin to destroy the paint on a stapler I had recieved that day. I kept it in use in the office until it broke about 19 years later!
Remember Tippex? I used that to similar good effect.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I used to send crews to trade shows to man a booth. They had various forms and cards to be filled out by visitors. Pens disappeared almost as soon as they were put out. I think it was mostly a case of absent mindedness. My solution was to have them use stick pens, like the cheap bics, and put them out without the caps. People were less absent minded about putting a pen in their pocket or purse if it had no cap. It worked very well. I've recommended this to chashiers at the grocery store who have a similar problem losing pens when people sign credit card slips. They seem to like it, too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.