My favorite part of "Family Handyman" magazine is "Great Goofs" where
people share their best screwups.. it is very funny, and educational.
Stuff like was working on drain under the sink, had them taken off,
was under there, but forgot that dishwasher was one, it drained and
ran all over me... or painted myself into a corner while painting the
floor... you know, the stupid stuff you only do once.. and slap your
forhead with your hand when you realize you did it.
Let's hear yours.
My most unique one was; installed long string of lights around gutter
and eves of my house. They started blinking... which was odd, as they
were the bigger c-9 bulbs, and had no blinker installed. Finally I
figured out, after a lot of head scratching, that I had put a timer
device right up on the gutter next to the first light bulb. The
device has an electric eye, and turns on when it gets dark, then off
when it gets light. I turns out I had placed the timer right next to
the first bulb and it was bright enough for the electric eye to think
it was daylight and shut the lights off. Once the lights are off, it
was dark enough for the string to go back on. on-off-on-off-on-off...
It was hillarious once I figured it out..
Best goof was that my parents had an unheated finished basement with a small
radiator type space heater. My mother goes to iron and reports to my father
the iron doesn't work. He takes it apart. After it is completely
disassembled she reports that the heater doesn't work. Before disassembling
that, at least, he remembered to check the fuse.
One thing about it amazes me: the number of people who are willing to admit to
the most amazing feats of stupidity, _in_public_, with (presumably) their real
names attached, for only a hundred bucks. If I had ever done something as
stupid as some of the things these idiots have done, it would take a *lot*
more money than that to get me to admit it publicly.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote:
-> >My favorite part of "Family Handyman" magazine is "Great Goofs" where-> >people share their best screwups.. it is very funny, and educational. -> -> One thing about it amazes me: the number of people who are willing to admit -> to -> the most amazing feats of stupidity, _in_public_, with (presumably) their -> real -> names attached, for only a hundred bucks. If I had ever done something as -> stupid as some of the things these idiots have done, it would take a *lot*-> more money than that to get me to admit it publicly.
I'm guessing you're still quite young. When you get older you'll
realize that some things just don't matter and it's better to just
laugh about them.
I'm 46, old enough to realize that perfectly well. I'm just having a hard time
understanding why anyone isn't satisfied with laughing at himself, and wants
to be laughed at by a million other people too -- for only a hundred bucks.
Not my worst screwup or my most expensive, but fairly novel:
A branch on an oak tree in our back yard had grown over our roof and was
starting to rough up the composition shingles.
I propped my 16-foot ladder against the branch (with about 6 inches to
spare) climbed up with a limb saw and sawed off the branch next to the
ladder. When the branch fell, the loss of weight on the end of the
remaining portion of the limb caused it to spring upwards. I managed to
grab it just before it slipped out from under the ladder.
Interesting problem . . . . if I let go of the limb, it would pop up above
the ladder and I would be in for a fairly nasty fall onto a brick patio.
Eventually I managed to get my belt off with one hand and strap the limb to
the top rung of the ladder.
On 9 Nov 2004 08:11:46 -0800, email@example.com (rotation slim)
I my old house I tried to put in an outlet where there was only a
light switch. When I was done, my wife decided to vaccuum. When she
tried to turn the vaccuum on or off, it turned the light on and off.
we still laugh about that one, and believe it or not I've actually
become quite good at electrical work.
Replacing bathroom faucet, shutoffs closed. Shutoff nut to the faucet
risers was a little tight. Just before I applied too much torque to the
nut (I did not put a second wrench on the shutoff to cancel the torque's
on the shutoff, my bad), in the back of my mind I was thinking maybe I
should shut off the water main.
Twisted the whole shutoff off the pipe ( the copper was corroded) and as
you can imagine water started coming out very fast. I was doing work for
a customer and they were not home. I put my hand on to pipe and with
much difficulty keep most of the water from coming out and ruining the
adjacent wood floor. The Gods must have been amused at my plight and
struggles. For a painful 3 and a half hours I cursed myself for being so
The home owner finally came home, and ended my worst day as a handyman.
I still have bad days but knock on wood that day still remains my best
P.S. Got job finished, no charge.
P.S.S. They hired me back several more times.
rotation slim wrote:
As a couple of the folks on alt.hvac don't want to believe, I do some
heating and AC work.
Couple weeks ago, I was Replacing a furnace. The gas valve handle was
pointed in the wrong direction, so I got a new one out of my parts box. I
decided to "change it on the fly" which means to change the valve while the
pressure was still on. There were four other pilot lights in the system, and
I didn't really feel like relighting them all.
Well, quick like a bunny I got the new gas valve on. Only problem was the
gas kept hissing out. I looked at it for a couple seconds, and trying to
figure out what I did wrong. Ended up putting my finger over the end of the
valve. It finally hit me.
Of course, the gas will come out if the valve is "on" position. I closed the
valve, and the job went better from there.
A running toilet was driving me nuts, so I went to the local Big Box
store to get a new flapper assembly. Replaced it and life was good.
30 minutes later I hear the toilet running again. So I figure it's
leaking between the tank and the bowl so I disconnect the water line,
remove the tank and go back to the Big Box store to get the rubber
seal. I get home, replace the seal, tank and hook up the water line -
only it's one of those rigid but bendable lines and I kink/split it
putting it back on. By now, I'm very, very agravated. I go back to
the Big Box store and get a new valve and flexible line. I get home
to find out that one end of the valve is the wrong size. Of course I
didn't notice it in the store, I was seeing double at the time I was
so mad. So I go back yet again and get the right valve. 4 trips to
the same store for one small job is now my personal record...
A few years ago, I was installing a gas log in my girlfriend's
fireplace. The gas pipes I needed to tap into were below the
fireplace in the utility room, which contained the boiler and the
My girlfriend and my daughter were directly above in the living room.
In order to tap into the gas line I needed to remove a section of
pipe. I fired up the reciprocating saw and got partway into the pipe
when I noticed that gas was spewing out of the pipe! This in a room
with two open flames!
Too proud to admit my extreme stupidity and get the girls out of the
house, I ran upstairs and grabbed some electrical tape and ran back
down and wrapped tape around the cut. I don't remember why I didn't
shut off the gas first, but as I recall the valve was very difficult
to operate and it may have been faster to tape the cut first.
I didn't tell my girlfriend what had happened until after she married
I offered to change the bathroom faucet in my sisters house.
There was a cutoff under the sink,
so I didn't bother turnig off the house water.
The plumbing was old,
the ( iron ) pipe must've been corroded.
It broke off INSIDE THE WALL !
Water water everywhere !!
until I ran down to the basement, and
searched frantically for the shut-off
while water was pouring down through the wall.....
What a bastard to fix !
The under-sink wall was tiled,
I had to break away a hole big enough to
get to the pipe stub..
then use a million pounds to unscrew it from the elbow....
The whole time, my sis is hovering and fretting......
I think it was then that I decided....
NEVER fix someone elses house problem !
This reminds me of what must be one of the hundreds of corrolaries of
If you were to add up the surface area of all the walls, floors and
ceilings of your house you'd get a pretty big number. If you were then
to add up all the areas that actually had an obstruction behind them,
like a pipe or bx cable, you'd get a number that is a small fraction
of the first number. High school probability would lead you to believe
that the second number divided by the first would represent your
chance of hitting something when drilling in a random location.
In my house, and likely in yours as well, this does not hold. I seem
to always hit something. Luckily, unlike the cable installer, I have
so far been able to sense the change in sound and or "feel" as I
transition from one material to another. The difference between air
and galvanized pipe is pretty striking.
I think that there is a special case of "Macro Quantum Uncertainty"
(TM) going on. Rather than elementary particles appearing and
disppearing in empty space, I have heating pipes generating
spontaneously ahead of my drill bit. In fact, this does not seem to be
the only violation of the laws of physics and mathematics in my house.
Every damned thing I drop on the floor rolls under furniture, for one.
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