Friday, January 27, 2012

Do It Yourselfer Blues

      I am a chronic do it your selfer. I'm somewhat independent. I don't have any skills or talent in mechanics, carpentry, plumbing or electrical but I dabble in all of them when it comes to my house or vehicles. I've written before about my lack of natural ability when it comes to being a handyman.

     So here's the situation. It's about minus 5 here in the daytime. I don't have a garage and my ancient cars are parked outside. From time to time those old beaters will not run. So  I can solve  most of the problems . It just takes hard work and a little know how.

     Last week I accidentally left a car door improperly closed so that the interior light stayed on. So two days later when I discovered the door improperly closed... I had a dead battery. So downstairs and dig out my trusty battery charger. Find cords. Set up the charger. So for a lot of this it's bare hands kind of work. 6 1/2 hours later the battery is charged and the car starts. Problem solved.

    This week I needed the other car to haul some junk and I find it has a dead battery. This is a more serious problem. I set up my trusty battery  charger and soon find out my battery's toast!

    Now the next part is to find a replacement battery. This is where my live in professional shopper takes over. So 6 hours of phoning later she has found the best battery deal and off we go. She's also wangled a free battery test just to be sure the battery is completely finished. Next I have to get the battery out of the vehicle. There is one bolt that holds the battery in place. It's in a very confined space and it's extremely rusty. So making only a 1/8 turn at a time, many bad words, cut knuckles and cold hands I finally remove the battery 45 minutes later. 

     Off we go to purchase a battery. We race home to install the battery before dark. Ten minutes later the battery is installed and the old beater is running. 

    Now I know any farmer reading this will say, "What's he complaining about? I'm outside in the cold every day." For me, as I said in my last post, I didn't have to wear gloves until I was sixty. At 72 it's a different story. My hands don't get cold but the skin cracks to the point of cuts that bleed.

     So when I think this over it's the hard difficult work I do. I don't run with my money and ask the first guy I see to fix the problem. I'll save my money for the highly technical problems that I can't handle.

     I'm disappointed that in all the cold I was not going to take any pictures of this procedure. So I apologize. I hope you'll understand!