Geek Dad Report: Not So Handyman
I’ll be honest. I’m not the best with a wrench or hammer/nail. Yes, I am the son of a contractor. My dad mainly did flooring, I can tile your house up to the ceiling if you want, but don’t ask me to take a look at that leaky faucet. I’m OK at reading a tape measure, if I’m not positive on a reading…I round up to the nearest one I actually do know. I bought a old ass house, one that was going to need some TLC. That is Tender Loving Care, not the TLC channel on TV. Though if they want to stop by and perform a renovation show, I’m not going to complain. I’m getting better though, I think. At least I have the basic knowledge, but still does it make me useful to save money and teach my kids to roll up their sleeves and fix things themselves?
I had a really cool set of tools, it had everything you could have wanted, a big part of it was bought at really cheap prices when I worked as a tool salesman for an Industrial Supply company. Not too long after we bought the house one night, some asshole broke into my tool area attached to my house that is 10 feet from my backdoor. They ran off with my big box of tools and weed whacker I had just bought and only used once. I’ve been rebuilding my tool kit as a pure “as needed” thing since, so when I needed a pipe wrench to fix my outdoor faucet that had a big crack in it, I got a pipe wrench. I consider myself pretty decent with cutting the old metal pipes in my yard and replacing it with PVC piping. At least, I haven’t had more 5 foot geysers erupting in the middle of my back yard where an old metal pipe had cracked at an elbow joint a foot into the ground.
If you are a geek dad like me, and you find it easier to look at the guts of your computer than stare at a set of wires for a light fixture. I have some suggestions for you. First off, take advantage of friends/family that is in the trade that you need repairing. A meal, cold drink and the cost of supplies is usually all you’ll end up having to pay. Second, when you have someone working on anything in your house, don’t have them do it while you are at work. Or, go sit down and watch TV or play games. If you have someone doing something on your house, it is your role to be the assistant, even if they don’t want one. Observe what they do, and pay attention, most importantly, ask questions. Yeah, the plumber may not be the nicest guy but whatever you pick up, might be useful toward whatever problem you have next.
No matter what your spouse says, you fixing something yourself through trial and error, and a lot of cursing. Is always better than coughing up $300 for some guy to come out and fix your problem for you. Yes. You will have to probably go back and forth between your house and Home Depo/Lowes. Usually, if you can hunt down an employee in the section your need, they will give you tons of great advice on how to fix your problem. In the end though, think of it as investing in yourself. You get to build up a tool box, you get your hands dirty, and build your self esteem. Even if you are a complete moron with tools and can’t tell a hammer from a wrench, still try it yourself. You should probably talk to someone first about how to do it though. What I’m getting at here Geek Dads, is that we need to show the world that the modern man isn’t some soft plushy stereotype who is obsessed with electronics and comfortable living. You can be that, but there is nothing more Geeky and Dad than taking a pipe wrench positioning yourself under the kitchen sink, and trying to stop that drip that is annoying the hell out of you. If you’re lucky, you might get away with barking to your wife that you need a screwdriver. The drink, not the tool, hell, she might actually make it for you.
So, all you other not so handy mans out there, roll up your sleeves, a roll out your best curse words. It’s time to get back to basics and go old school geek. Lets show people we can work outside of the computer case and get stuff done.