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The Household Handyman’s Guide

picture of handyman

With temperatures dropping, people start doing more things inside than outside. That results in more indoor projects, including home repairs. Everyone knows that we guys thrive on "honey-do lists" and the like. Today I'm posting a list of ten helpful hints for the household handymen out there. For some jobs, wouldn't you love to have as many arms and hands as the cartoon figure on the right?! 🙂

The Household Handyman's Guide

1. If you can't find a screwdriver, use a knife. If you break off the tip, it's an improved screwdriver.

2. Try to work alone. An audience is rarely of any help.

3. Above all, if what you've done is stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid.

4. Work in the kitchen whenever you can. Many fine tools are there; its warm and dry; and you are close to the refrigerator.

5. If it's electronic, get a new one ... or consult a twelve-year old.

6. Keep things simple: Get a new battery; replace the bulb or fuse; see if the tank is empty; try turning the switch "on"; or just paint over it.

7. Always take credit for good results. If you dropped the alarm clock while taking it apart and it suddenly starts working, you have healed it.

8. Regardless of what people say, kicking, pounding, and throwing sometimes does help.

9. If something looks level, it is level.

10. If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.


Sometimes household handymen need help from the "professionals," especially for plumbing issues. The following picture seems appropriately inappropriate for today's post.

picture of political promises truck

I don't recall mentioning that I am in a play on campus this semester — Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It's a slightly shortened version of the story with a lot of original music by a young man who is in choir with me at our church. This will be the first time this version has ever been presented, and the music is wonderful. I'm having a great time, although it certainly helps fill up my schedule. Other than the short foreign language plays we did during my college years, I have not been in a stage play since I was in The Diary of Anne Frank in ninth grade.

If you want to peek in our some of our preparations, someone has set up a Facebook page about it ... and you don't have to log in to Facebook to view it. I'm slightly visible in one of the pictures. (On the left side of one image, you can see my legs and shoes as I sit on a tall stool.) You can find details on that site about ticket sales, which begin November 8. There will be 11 performances of the play from December 1 – 11. If you can come see the play, I'm sure it will be enjoyable. I think tickets are going to sell out really quickly too. 🙂

I look forward to your comments on home repairs, handymen, and A Christmas Carol.


"Government aid is getting a blood transfusion in your right arm, taking your blood from your left arm, spilling half of the blood in the process." - Marcel Ledbetter

=^..^= =^..^=

A handy telephone tip: Keep a small chalkboard near the phone. That way, when you get unwanted calls, you can hold the receiver up to it and run your fingernails across it until they hang up. (Although, many unwanted calls should end on their own by the time precincts close on Tuesday.)

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6 Comments on “The Household Handyman’s Guide”

  1. #1 Bruce
    on Nov 1st, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Following is a piece of advice I received about being a successful handman. You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use the WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use the duct tape.

    Rob adds: Great advice, Bruce! Thanks!

  2. #2 Michael
    on Nov 1st, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I love #9. I operate by that principle often. Looks the same as if I used a level and is way less stressful and is also quicker.

    Rob adds: It seems as if things I finally get level end up shifting anyway to where they aren’t level. Maybe I need to use some of Bruce’s duct tape….

  3. #3 Lara
    on Nov 1st, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I love #2 when I’m doing the work. When someone else is, they’d better be ready for me to ask questions and pick up pointers.

    I’m way too much of a tool snob to go for #1. My Leatherman is almost always in my purse.

    Rob adds: You go, girl! 🙂 I’ve got a Buck tool … same thing, only different … but I don’t always have it with me when I need it.

  4. #4 Beth
    on Nov 1st, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    My leatherman micra is always near! I do agree that at times pounding helps. 🙂 Thanks.

    Rob adds: That’s great, Beth! And remember…. Don’t force it. Get a larger hammer. 😀

  5. #5 Anna Faye
    on Nov 2nd, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I see Herr Adams is Scrooge in the play! You and Dr. Adams in the same play?? I didn’t know Christmas Carol was a comedy! 😉

    Rob adds: There are comedic elements, but the play is faithful to the novel. Don’t look for any tater tots, though. 😀

  6. #6 Ray
    on Nov 3rd, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    When I don’t feel like going downstairs to my shop, #4 is the next best thing – the counter is for intricate jobs – fixing small appliances, the table is for larger ones – vacuum cleaners, etc…

    Rob adds: I wish I had a downstairs or a real workshop. So kitchen it is!