Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jack of all Trades (with the help of Google)

Household maintenance can be disheartening, especially when things break. And things do break. What you name the feelings that springs from feeling inadequate may vary, but the thought is the same, "This challenge in greater than my assets... and people are watching!"

Self-doubt is a part of life, my life, but I talk to myself: "Hey, failure is a possible outcome, but so is success, or partial success. Finding out what doesn't work just might lead me to what does!"
Joshua Tree (Big Rocks!)

One of my favorite assets is Google and YouTube. My problems aren't unique, and others have solved them. Some of them make videos!

Yesterday I fixed an ice-maker and a washing machine, both times I was aided by Do-it-yourself videos or threads I found after playing around on Google, searching for clues.

The ice-maker clue came when I found out where ice-makers usually freeze up... at the place where the water enters the ice-maker. A well-placed hairdryer for five minutes melted the clog, and presto! (Ice began to flow!)

The washing machine "broke" back in May. I "fixed" it then by by-passing the lid switch; something I learned via a YouTube video. I tried to buy a replacement part in May, but the parts store (Sears) was closed. (Their web site is woefully inadequate. And they agree.)

A Cave Dweller's View of the World

My "fix" broke yesterday, half-way through a the rinse cycle. I searched my browsing history via Google Chrome, and found my way back to some information I had found in May. After a return trip to Sears Parts Store (open only from 10 to 5 Mon. through Sat.), I followed this step-by-step YouTube video and Voila! (Even now I can hear the washing machine purring through a load.)

I feel empowered. Those nasty voices of self-doubt have been silenced! It's amazing what you can do if you start asking the right questions. It's also amazing how much money you can save by learning how to do-it-yourself.

Problem solving skills are learned by solving problems. It turns out... that life is full of problems, so there are endless opportunities to sharpen your skills. Especially when things break.

Bird in Flight (Looking for lunch?)

Next on my fix-it agenda is replacing some light bulbs: in the microwave and in the stove-vent hood. I've found a video to help with the microwave one, and I'm sure that between on-line manuals, etc. I'll conquer the stove-vent hood light.

With a bit of help from Google, I can be a Jack-of-all-trades (and a-master-of-none)! Wish me luck!


  1. I loved this post. I always feel so helpless and inadequate when stuff breaks. I am going to remember to check Youtube in the future - never would have thought of that! Thanks, Don.

  2. @Deedee: Glad to have helped, especially as you and yours are undertaking major and minor projects with your "new" house. Google and YouTube are resources. A good addition to hard copy manuals and real life experts (the ones who are near at hand). Power to the people! ;-) (Like us.)

  3. Excellent perspective. A big failure was our first (default) plan for this summer's Vacation Bible School (I found it was out of the question the week I got back from my vacation) and yet we had the best VBS in years.

  4. @Dennis: Sounds like there was a Variable in your equation that made all things possible: God, who calls things that are not as though they were, and who raises the dead. He is often the Factor that makes us more than able for the task at hand: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Yeah VBS success!

  5. Good luck. I've never thought of using Google or YouTube to fix things other than computer problems. You've opened up a whole new world of potential D-I-Y for me. But is that a good thing, I wonder?

  6. @Scriptor: It is a good thing. You'll have fun, save money, and feel empowered. (I used a set of YouTube videos to learn how to fix my clothes dryer -- blow out venting -- and to how to clean a down sleeping bag -- in a tub with Woolite. Who knew? (My dryer is now drying efficiently and my sleeping bag is clean.) ;-)