Why I hate Norm Abrams

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Talk of PC tools reminds me of what I often saw working on the PC's of friends and relatives AFTER they had tried to repair, replace or upgrade something on their own. I've seen keyed connectors of every sort jammed in backwards in ways I thought impossible. I've seen PCI-E boards installed in machines too old to have proper slots for them (for non-techies think of European wall plug jammed into US outlet). It made me realize that people have very different conceptual views of how easy or hard some things are. DIY PC upgrades were presented as easy, and many were - until you hit the first even mildly unusual situation. Norm makes it look so easy - and can always do another take if it's not!
Another example would be all these "flip your house" programs that I think powered a great deal of the last housing boom by making it look *so* easy to flip a house. I know a lot of people who bought structurally unsound homes or ones that had defects so serious they might never sell again in the frenzy. For a little while, there was always someone just as stupid, willing to buy, without "due diligence," a termite or mold infested home as the prices kept soaring. The media hardly ever said "can it last forever"?" They were too busy selling the boom with ads, articles and TV shows alongside real estate agents, mortgage brokers, local government taxmen and anyone else who could make a nickel selling a house to a turnip. Who knew that protecting even dumb consumers from themselves would, in the long run, have protected the entire economy?
I think one of the problems is that Norm and lots of others make craftsmanship look easy by bringing an ocean of knowledge to a problem that most people can't appreciate. It's like that old engineering joke about the PE that sends a detailed bill for his job:
Bolt -$1 Knowing where to put the bolt - $5,000
The fun on real jobs comes from aggressive flippers gutting load bearing members or something just as serious. (I confess, I recall TOH getting snagged on one very long beam acting as a lever that affected the roof suspension.) It's knowing what to do when something very unusual happens. It's knowing where to look for signs of repeated basement flooding BEFORE closing! (-: It's making sure your 200A panel isn't actually being fed by old 60A feeders. It's like the old first year intern's joke about procedures involving insertion of some sort of test equipment: "Call the surgeons, it's stuck and I can't get it out!!!"
The plus side is that eventually, a real dumb DIY that has bitten off more than they can chew will, at some point, hire a pro. It's after the experience gained by the material ruined, people can actually appreciate that they are paying for more than they can see. They can stand by in awe and say "Gee, he knows how to drill into the bedroom wall without shorting out the lights. I'd say one giveaway consistent with amateur home repair is the obvious lack of squareness. Tyros eyeball but pros either use a level or have one "built into their brains" that's just as good.
Which is probably the subject for another thread: What are the hallmarks of a good contractor, in any field?
-- Bobby G.
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That's almost been done (remember "Home Improvement?")
The problem with PBS is that it gets a lot of "donations" from the folks who make stuff they install. If they make it look too bad or hard the effective sponsors will not be happy.
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Or twists the wrench and every bad word the victim ever learned plus some made up on the spot comes out of his mouth as he tries to stop the bleeding and quell the pain ...
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There's a new one on DIY called "Renovation Realities". There's also "Dream House" that's kinda like that.
Puckdropper
--
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
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Norm is sexy.
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Shit! That means even I have a shot at being sexy to someone!!
....
Heeeeeey, you're not a guy or one of those "sh'im"s are ya?
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wrote:

Maybe to Harold.
"If it ain't broke, don't lend it." Red Green
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Red Green was funny for about two and a half episodes.
nb
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SWMBO didn't think it funny that long. Just shows that some have no sense of humor.
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notbob wrote:

Over your head, eh?
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you\'re unhappy, you\'re still happier
than you\'d be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
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Yep. Deep stuff. Hee Haw was equally profound.
nb
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notbob wrote:

Yeah well, the percentage of time I sit down at the TV looking for something "deep" or "profound" is pretty close to never. I'm almost always trying to accomplish *something*, and time spent in front of the TV is time that's a-wasting. When I finally decide I have absolutely nothing better to do and all I desire is sit down, relax, and waste some serious time, mindless entertainment is what I seek and Red Green fits the bill quite nicely. There's nothing deep about it, and that's the way I like it. I quite enjoy Hee-Haw too, thank you very much.
--
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
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Gee. I'm sorry . Don't cry.
nb
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Steve Turner wrote:

How many rolls of duct tape do you have within arms reach?
Mysterious Traveler
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I hafta admit, I was impressed with the duct tape/inner tube arm chair. ;)
nb
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krw wrote:

What was his other quote? 'If you can't be handsome, at least be handy', or words to that effect?
-- aem sends...
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I women don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy.
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Leon wrote:

Thanks. that's it. Cute saying, but I never did find it to apply much in real life....
-- aem sends, alone as always...
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Well, don't take this personally but for many of us the shows are equal to or shallower to our learning curve. Basically we get ideas or learn how to do a specific detail. We don't need to see the mistakes, we have that part covered. I feel that if the shows start with identifying the difference between a board and a screw that 99.9% of the viewers would get bored very soon. Take the "Router Workshop" for instance, same old routine over and over and over and over..... Then I get fixated on the "knot" on the old man's head and all I remember from that point is RRRRRRRRrrrrrrrr, bla bla bla, rrrrrrrr, bla bla bla...... I believe for our society to gain knowledge and advance intellectually that we should always challenge ourselves. I don't like the idea of dumbing down a class or instructional video to the lowest common dominator of it's students intelligence level. If the show seems a bit too advanced, take a look at the other 95% of what is showing on the DIY channel or watch a reality show.
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"David Nebenzahl" wrote:
<snip>

<snip>
Trying to lump the NYW with the rest of these DIY operations is like trying to compare a VW bug with a race car.
Personally I wouldn't consider building more than maybe 20% of Norm's projects; however, every one of his projects illustrates at least one new method to solve a problem that is unique.
The specialized fixtures, and some very interesting problem solutions using a lathe, are just a couple of things that come to mind.
Yes, that damn brad nailer drives me nuts, yes he is dangerous with a paint brush in his hand, but the shows are well written, the camera work is quite good and the plans I have purchased were complete and quite useful.
OTOH, most of the rest of these DIY shows are little more than shills for the remodeling industry or totally inept wood butchers.
Lew
Te
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