Thoughts Too Short for a Blog Post #2

April 24, 2010


The worst part of educating your children at home is that someone is always in the bathroom, all day long. :pinch:

I get a lot of spam comments (a LOT). The spam used to be filled with crude, obscene crap and links; but for the past few months, I’ve been seeing a lot of “I’m glad I found this blog. I’ve added you to my Google reader,” and etc. Of course, the “names” are things like “bestvstands” or “webcamsales.” :-p Would it ruin some great cosmic Akismet rule to rename them all and approve the comments??? I sure hate to waste them all, and they’re saying such nice things about me…

I’m renovating my home, as many of you readers know. So I spend a lot of time right now reading books and watching How To videos, because we’re tackling everything ourselves, including the electrical and plumbing. I’ve found some really old VHS How To videos at my local library. They are really good– very thorough, and treat you like this is stuff that you CAN do. But I’ve noticed that a lot of the newer videos and books say “See a professional” for everything. Why is that? In my studies on home building, I’ve come to realize that a lot of the systems in the home are really basic: for example, electrical wiring is basically electricity in, electricity out. As it goes through circuits and fixtures, connections are made… but it’s really basic, and before long, you begin to see a pattern. The same with rough framing or plumbing. It’s actually basic physics, but not in the complex, computational sense– it’s common sense physics. You just need to think things through before you do it. Why should I “see a professional” when all I need to do is apply myself to learn how to do it? I know that some people just don’t have the time to work on such projects, that’s understandable. But there seems to be this fear and this societal expectation to “see a professional” for everything. It’s not just with home building, either– it’s with medicine, education, nutrition, government. We seem to no longer be a self-sufficient society. Everything is left to the “experts.” I’m cut from different cloth and that kind of thinking goes against my grain. I go to “experts” to obtain information (such as, codes regulations) but I believe most of this renovation stuff is well within the abilities of the average home owner. People have been building their own houses, educating their own kids for centuries; why is it now that we suddenly need “experts”?

And finally, I just had to snap this photo of Livvy. We’re clearing things out for demolition soon.


"Hey, where'd everyhting go?"

I was actually set to start it this week, but I am stricken with another blasted illness. Unbelievable. We seem to get sick almost every other month now. What the?! Is Upstate New York suddenly plagued with viruses and bugs?! We’re plugging along, anyway. As soon as I’m able to breathe through my nose again, that plaster is a-comin’ down.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts Too Short for a Blog Post #2”

  1. Karen Says:

    I hope you feel better soon. Kudos on doing the work yourself. I am trying to convince my husband that we can do the work ourselves to change our plug-ins from two prong plugs two three prong. I have to use an adapter to plug in my laptop. Those adapters seem to have legs and walk off all the time. grrh

  2. Janiss Says:

    Re the spam comments: if you are going to change the name and approve them, also make sure to remove the links AND (and this is key), block their IP address so they can’t come back, at least with that same IP address. Of course, most of the time, they change or forge IP addresses, but you don’t want Akismet giving them a pass in the future based on their IP address because you’ve approved them before.

    As for the rest of your post, people have gotten a) busy, b) lazy, and c) the school system sucks, so that’s why everyone is getting referred to professionals. Not only do people not want to learn how to do things, they probably don’t even KNOW how to learn anymore. I am a) busy and b) a bit lazy, so I usually hire professionals for home type stuff, but at least I can still learn things when I want to because I went to school prior to the mid-1980s. People who have grown up since then seem to fall into two categories: exceptional beings I am in awe of (few) and dumbjerks who can’t put two correctly-spelled words together, and who need professionals to do everything for them (many).

  3. Pat Says:

    Maybe the reason the newer how to videos, etc. advise to see a professional is to protect themselves from any legal repercussions. However, Rebecca, I do think you are “cut from a differnet cloth” and are a woman with unusual abilities.

    Hope you will be feeling better soon.

  4. Jen Says:

    I’ve considered letting the spam comments in too because they do say such nice things. They are under the impression that I am some sort of expert in the field of whatever my post happens to be about.

    As for the do it yourself stuff. I will do my own plumbing and I have done some electrical work but any gas I leave to professionals. I’d rather have someone do it who is confident in their work so that I don’t have to stay up nights worrying that I did it the wrong way.