Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Fixer

So let's get this out of they way first thing: I enjoy nothing more than fixing something that is broken. The satisfaction that comes from being able to return something to usefulness is unparalleled in my universe. Stopped drains or clogged toilets are especially gratifying. Water swirling down a drain when it had previously threatened to spill out onto the linoleum brings relief along with satisfaction. Mending my son's toys made me feel like a better dad, as well as a thrifty consumer, since replacing a Lionel train engine can be expensive.
Replacing anything can be expensive.
The accounting in my head sometimes adds it up wrong. Assuming that by repairing something on our car does not, I have found, mean that I have saved the purchase price of a new car. Or a used car. I may have avoided paying someone with better tools than I have for their labor and expertise. I can often find parts on Al Gore's Internet for less than I might have paid if I was purchasing them from a "reputable dealer." I don't have to pay in other ways, such as the uncertainty of just exactly what might or might not have been done to the inside of the machine that I have opted to cast into the lap of some stranger.
When my electric lawnmower stopped working, I asked Google for some hints. What I found amid dozens of links describing a similar experience others had, was a video showing exactly how to replace a bridge rectifier. I had no idea what a bridge rectifier was until I spent some quality time removing and replacing this little square doohickey. Can I explain to you now exactly how and why the bridge rectifier brought my electric lawnmower back from the dead? No. But I can say that the piece was correctly named, having rectified the situation in which I found myself.
And then there is the ever present terror of being without wi-fi for any length of time. For any reason. Ever. I have spent a good deal of quality time on my hands and knees, peering at lights that out to be steady that are blinking instead. Then I turn it off. I wait. When I turn it back on, I hope that the lights are steady and bright. I am not waiting or paying for a service call. I did it myself, thank you very much. And now I can get back to the business of writing this blog.

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