Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Assignment: #297: DIY

This week's Weekend Assignment sis inspired by my husband's current project:

Weekend Assignment: #297: There are times when we hire professionals to build or fix things for us, and other times when we attempt the job ourselves. Some people pride themselves on their DIY skills or electronics geekery, while others leave it to the experts as much as possible. How about you? Is your first instinct to call for help, or do it yourself?

Extra Credit: Have you ever regretted taking on a task best left to the professionals?

At this moment, John's Mac is lying open on the desk in his office, having become basically unusable about a month ago. A week ago the replacement hard drive he bought on eBay arrived in the mail, and last night I held the monitor in place while he extracted the old, broken drive. Tonight we checked three stores for the rubber cement the Internet says he needs to attach something to something else. Slowly but surely, he's moving toward the scary moment when his decision to try to fix the Mac himself is a brilliant success or a dismal failure.

Now if it were me, I'd have had a tech looking at the thing a month ago. Opening up a computer is not my idea of a good time. Neither is replacing the flapper on a toilet, patching cement in the back yard, or replacing a washer on a sink. Fortunately, John is well up to the latter three tasks - well, sort of. When he does admit that expert help is needed - a plumber for a pipe in the back yard, for example, or aqnd electrician when a circuit breaker dies - I'm the one who has to make the call. I'm not sure what that proves, if anything.

But there are times when I stubbornly take on a project at the very limit of my abilities. For Halloween 2007 I made a Tiki mask out of cardboard. It came out okay, but I pulled an all-nighter to do it. Another time I attempted to spray paint the inside of my Saturn, replacing the rather ugly brown dash with pink. It really, really, didn't work, and John was furious. The biggest issue was that it caused a terrible reflective glare on the windshield. We went to the Tanque Verde Swap Meet and bought an upholstered cover for the dash, and it ameliorated the problem. Sort of.

How about you? Do you spend the weekend rebuilding your computer or installing new cabinets, or would you rather leave it to the experts? While you're thinking about that, let's have a look at last week's responses.

For Weekend Assignment: #296: Scandalized, I asked how much you follow or avoid news of celebrity and other scandals. Click on the names below to read the full responses:

Duane said...
You can usually catch me on my soapbox, railing about how the media is wasting so much time on such nonsense while there are much more important stories going on. For example, in the past few days, while the media has devoted major resources in tracking down every single one of Tiger's mistresses, the escalation of the Afghanistan War, the health care battle in the Senate, the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen, and other major stories haven't received the attention they deserve.

Carly said...

I suppose my particular interest in such stories would fall into the "In between" category. I don't think I obsess, but there are some types of scandals that capture my attention more then others do. I tend to follow the political scandals much closer then... say... the latest he said/she said with John and Kate Gosselin. Although I have to admit, there is something about the Gosselin's that intrigues me on some level.

Florinda said...

In this time of 24-hour news cycles and information overload, it's awfully hard to avoid hearing about the scandal du jour (and it seems like every jour there's a new scandal), but after the first few reports, I usually try to. I'm interested in the first few reports, but once the stories move beyond "just the facts" and start digging for overly-intimate details and speculating at random, I tend to start feeling like I really don't need to know much more about it after all.

Julie said...
I click and read some stories but honestly, unless a celebrity does something beyond the pale I'm not terribly interested. If I follow, it's mainly out of interest to see how the various outlets cover a particular story. Boring, I know.

Thanks, folks! I'm writing this on the night of Tucson's first hard freeze of the year, with snow on the mountains predicted for early next week. Your entries are giving me all sorts of ideas on how to warm up!

Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate in the Weekend Assignment:

1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, December 19th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."

I hope to hear from you soon!



fdtate said...

Here's my assignment...

barrettmanor said...

I posted on Sunday! Don't faint.