I Fix therefore I am – By Pappafish

may 13, 2014 by PappaThe-Art-of-Fixing-ThingsPart 1 of many (July 3, 2011) . . . .Hi, My name is Tim and I’m a fixaholic. I have been a fixaholic all my life, I don’t remember not wanting to fix things. It consumes me. My motivation in developing lingual skills came in an effort to explain to my father how to fix the broken latch on my crib. The solution was quite obvious if I remember correctly. Most people would be fishing, or boating, or beaching on a beautiful 4th of July weekend. Not me – I line up the projects from 5 PM Friday to 10 PM Monday night; repairs, reconditions, replacements.

imagesI’ve often wondered if I chose it, or did it choose me. Was it genetic, environmental or a random act of cosmic karma (all of which God is ultimately in control of). Was I a clean slate as a new born babe only to have the boney fingers of poverty and necessity write this epilog onto my sub-consciences before I had even written the introduction?

I chose a moderately paying career and a wife whose heart and passion are toward home and family. Wouldn’t have it any other way. And how ironic that I supervise a crew of men who “fix things”. This choice of conservative lifestyle has left us with the reality of an older home, pre-owned cars and “gently used” everything else. Is it any wonder then that my life is full of fixin’. Now did I subconsciously chose this life just so I could have things to fix. Had I chose a vocation of doctoring, lawyering, banking, I would probably have a new home, a new car, and a sunburn earned on the river or golf course rather than on a broken mower. No – I’ll have no part of that . . . what would there be to fix? Fixing brings a quality of life which I could find no other way. I feel the same rush of adrenaline from hearing the “schlanck” of golden brown bread bursting from the top of newly reconditioned toaster as Dr. Frankenstein must have from the reanimation of that lifeless corpse.

I have no choice . . . I . . . . Must . . . . . Fix!!

 

A week in review . . .

Dryer broke . . First attempt to repair lasted a mere day or two. Now I am confident that with the proper amount of duct tape and solder, a couple of electrical switches from Menards (one for heat – one for blower), and I could have had that bugger working for another year, maybe two, but that would be the folly of the single man. Being married 30+ years has given me the intuitive ability to know when to hold and when to haul. Now you might think that a fixaholic would find that hard to swallow, but my fixaholism is uniquely counterbalanced by another addiction: I-can’t-pay-retail-aholism. So my sweats and shakes from fixious interuptous were quickly squelched by the rush of surfing “Overstock.com”. Auction won, invoice paid, delivery within 7 to 10 working days. $700 dryer in the basement for $350. Handyman cocaine brother, handyman cocaine.

Driving 1998 van down the interstate. Hard to tell with all the vibration coming from the scalloped tires due to the bad tie rods but pretty sure that the tranny is slipping. Currently shopping Craig’s List, and Ebay – wait on in folks – fodder for future blogs.

 

Finally ready to go to bed at 2 AM Friday morn – hear terrible racket coming from frig. Tear apart ice-maker to isolate noise. Can’t leave is as is – something is definitely wrong. Can’t turn it off til morning – everything will spoil – 90 degrees in there. A few well placed fist bumps with the Frigidaire and an ice cube dislodges from the fan – I’m feeling fiiiiiine.

Friday evening – head over to Ty’s house (a repo house to a fixaholic is like a liquor store to a alcoholic). Working on pressure tank to eliminate air at plumbing fixtures. Great company (thanks for the help Corey) and maybe a fix – we’ll call it a draw until we get a little more data over time. As I walk through the house my pulse races like a child in Fleet Farm’s toyland the week before Christmas – so may projects, so may “fixes”. Just a little saliva seeping from the corner of my mouth. I quickly lick my lips to hide any signs before anyone can see.

Saturday morning – doing some dishes as an act of love for my beautiful wife – notice drain basket is broken – add to mental list. Remove old dryer from basement in preparation for new one coming in 7 to 10 business days. Notice need to clean out lint vent – jumped on it. I have a homemade cleaner stick all ready – foam rubber in a sweat sock taped to a layup stick (duct tape of course). Works beautifully – job complete in 15 minutes (also noticed need to fix vent cover/flap on side of house) added to mental list. Got dolly and moved dryer outside – noticed door handle on basement door about to fall off – added to mental list. Loaded mowers onto trailer – rider and push, noticed weather stipping falling off van door – added to mental list, then erased from mental list since we have to buy a new vehicle due to slippy-tranny. Checking email on computer – noticed water spitting out of window air conditioner – definitely something not right – added to mental list. Wife shows me broken coat hook ( 7 year old with hidden repelling skills) – maybe record fix/replace – like two minutes front to end. Went to Ty’s and mowed the lawn – flipped rider mower while loading – thinking burial at sea might be most appropriate, but spirit buoyed by thought of finding a deal on a new, or rather gently used one. Oil from upside down mower leaked all over neighboring church’s parking lot which I used to unload. Heading to Menard’s to buy oil dry (kitty litter). While at Menards – buy supplies for next 4 projects. Dryer vent for my house – dryer vent to fix Ty’s dryer vent issues, water line splice for Ty’s ice maker, clips for gas line temped through Ty’s basement with pieces of twine, and of course a roll of duct tape because you just never know. Saturday evening – very nice time with Parker/Kristi/Kaydra/Ble and K at China Inn. Had several glasses of “Pessi”. Can’t help but notice many things around that place that needed to be “fixed”. Spend time in between mouthfuls of Gen. Tsao’s chicken calculation time estimates on each project. Then home for some ice cream while I cap the night off with fixing Kristi’s car (which I have been putting off for many months now, so this is a good opportunity to get ‘er done).

 

Replaced right turn signal, replaced right headlight, straightened fender, replaced left headlight, troubleshot and replaced faulty light bulb that came with new headlight. Bright, dim, and directionals all working. Fixed front license plate holder, replaced rear license plate, fixed fuel tank cover – mosquitoes drove me inside or I would have gotten to the windshield washer line and the brakes. But at least now I have something to fix tomorrow . . .

To be continued . . . (because we live in a decaying world)

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