Take heart, Randy. The day of the 'do it yourself' person is not dead yet.
My wife had succumbed to the "if it breaks, buy a new one syndrome". I
have, through many years of deprogramming, have had some success in getting
her away from that cult. She wanted to buy a new Kirby vacuum because ours
was not working as well. I told her "No way." I took the Electrolux into
the basement, took it apart, cleaned it (boy, did it need to be cleaned),
and now it works just like new (could use a new beater bar). I saved well
over a thousand dollars by fixing it myself.
I perform all maintenance on my motorcycles, in fact, I don't feel
comfortable letting anyone else near them. If I do it, I know that it is
done right. Hell, my dentist is so much of a 'fix it yourself' kind of guy,
that he does his own dental work!
What nobody has mentioned so far is the simple satisfaction of completing
Granted as a retiree I have lots of time. But before you tell me how busy
you are, tell me how many hours you spend in front of the tube.
Thats nice Jeffie.
Now go run along and put in an underrated disconnect in your attic, or
perhaps put in a 'transfer switch' between your dryer and your range.
If you can't afford that, you could just put an extension cord on your
dryer, and run it through the wall (make it all pretty though, with PVC
pipe and grometts, of course) - then you could plug your dryer in when
you needed to use it.
They teach ya those tricks in engineering school, Jeffie?
Ya know flav, I went through a very long period of time hating you.
That damn stupid clock around your neck, those goofy ass gold teeth of
yours, and the silly contortions you make with your hands/arms. The
baggy pants and gold chains never really did much for me either.
Basically I always thought you were the goofiest looking mofo I'd ever
But underneath all the silly stuff, your really a nice guy.
So, I apologize for hating you all these years.
But lose the fucking clock, would ya please?
Often the case. I had an $80 drill and needed one part. It cost $26 for a
new switch. Relatively new, it was worth fixing, IMO, but if anything
breaks again, it will probably be trashed.
Bought a toaster for $50. Works well, but it honestly does little more than
one that sells for $8. How much time can you spend on an $8 toaster if it
I also buy household irons, but I use them for an industrial purpose. I
buy 4 to 6 at a time. Only specification is that it must be Teflon coated so
the sole plate does not stick in our use. When I first started buying them,
I paid about $22 each, 15 years ago. That same quality iron I now pay $13.
In all the years we've been using them, (Black & Decker, FWIW) not one has
stopped working because the heating element broke. They run 5 days a week,
16 to 24 hours a day. They only break when dropped or knocked over.
I'm suprised that no one has yet noted that the technologies we have
grown to depend on have gotten far more complex and expansive that they
were a couple of generations ago.
When I graduated as an electrical engineer I considered myself pretty
much a "renaissance man" in that dicipline, as there wasn't much around
other than AM, FM and shortwave radios, TV, radar and a little bit of
what they called "industrial electronics" back then, and a competant
engineer could get comfortable with any of those in a short time. Look
at what the world of electronics has become now. A smart person can
still comprehend the purpose and function of most of it, but no one
individual can have usefull detailed knowledge of more than a small
portion of it.
Back then, (I'm talking the 50s.) the "electrics" in homes (and the
appliances in them) were pretty much just collections of fuses,
switches, light bulbs, motors, heating elements and maybe a solenoid or
two. Easy stuff to learn to understand and fix. Not so today, eh?
I could go on about how much more complex vehicles and machinery have
become, but you get my point (I hope.)
Add to that the vast change in the economic dichotomy between the
"haves" who owned stuff and the "have nots" who fixed that stuff for
them, and even a minor hired repair can seem like an economic disaster
to most people. That tilts the "fix or buy new" decision in favor of
tossing stuff out.
Another factor which comes into play is that our insatiable appetite for
aquiring more goods than we really need (by confusing want with need)
keeps many of us working longer hours or even two jobs just to pay for
all the junk our families "absolutely positively" have to have. That
doesn't leave us with as much time as our forbearers had to fix stuff,
or even learn how to fix it.
Like a few others on this thread have pointed out, there are those of us
(and I most definitely include myself here) who just enjoy fixin' stuff
for a hobby, without making any pretense of that having any serious
economic practicality. Hey, lots of guys like to walk around for half a
day swinging a club at a little white ball on the golf course, and some
guys collect stamps. To each his own.
With regard to the totally technologically challenged who really
shouldn't be messing with stuff which can kill them or someone else, I
can only remark that the expression "Fools rush in where angels dare to
tread" was around long before Edison developed a practical light bulb,
and will probably still be valid a few generations from now if we don't
blow up the planet by then.
Just my .02,
I have NOT read any of the replies to your post...BUT
I am in my "early" 60's and I do have a welder in the garage..lol
BUT I can tell you that personally I would never give up ...just not
my "style"...you can call me cheap, hard headded or even nuts I do
not care .
That said some things are just easier to replace then fix... I had my
$100 coffee pot (Krupt or something like that spring a leak..).. that
sucker was never made to be taken apart... I went out and purchased a
Cheap Mr. Coffee ...but only after killing a few hours "playing with
the expensive leaker... Did I give UP...HELL NO... that baby is
sitting on my workbench right now I'll fix it and use it in the Garage
...question is when?
=====I am in my 60's and I do have 3 grown Children but I honestly do not
understand why you would prefer your tax dollars to go for reading,
math, science ... PLUS the ARTS... to me shop class and learning how
to play a team sport are much more beneficial to an individual then
No argument from me on the Math Science etc... BUT wtf can the Arts
really do for you.
Translation: I got all Ds & Fs in accepts correction in grade school.
I don't know how to do repairs safely but I don't want that pointed out.
Let me offer some advise to any would be adviser of others on this open
forum. If you lack the knowledge or the experience or both to provide
sound advice then Shut The Fxxx Up!
I have received a lot of very good repair info on this
site, a lot of it very clever and not to "spec" (purists would
criticize.) So many people have been so helpful. Don't
know where you're coming from.
Oh, BTW. The TRUE idiots are all on alt.hvac
Go there for your benchmarks.
On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 23:44:48 -0700, "xrongor"
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