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!