Thursday, March 31, 2011

If the people we see on TV can do it, so can we

Do you ever watch HGTV or DIY network and think, "If those idiots can install a toilet, then we certainly can!"

We think that all the time. We're two highly educated people.  One of us has run the engine room of a nuclear submarine.  One of us has dissected the socio-political landscape in the Middle East.  One of us does the taxes all by himself.  One of us figured out her Android without ever consulting the user manual.

For reals, we should be pros at reading the toilet installation instructions and assembling it like we were seasoned plumbers. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
Sometimes I think our brains are the problem. We're going about projects like science experiments. Sometimes it's good, we walk through the steps and gain valuable insights, but sometimes we get really hung up on details that don't matter in the end (like if the flange is supposed to be sitting inside or outside of the tube?).
(Or in this case: 
"How should we pry off the old flange that the builder installed using Liquid Nails?")

As weekend warriors, waging the battle in various aisles of Home Depots and Lowe's across the Triangle, the thing that we're sorely lacking and can't seem to build quickly enough is plain old experience.

Have you fallen prey to overachieving TV DIY shows or blogs?  Are you looking for more experience before tackling certain home improvement projects?

Editor's Note: Mr. Palindrome was appalled by my spelling of flange in this post.  I spelled it "phallange" which I interpreted from his pronunciation.   We're all fixed now - spelling and plumbing-wise!


  1. ha ha, i'm usually a pessimist so i think first "well it can't be as easy as it looks, so maybe i should research this a little more" so i usually end up with a "oh, that wasn't so bad" result which makes me pretty happy.

  2. We're totally going to have this problem once we have a house of our own to update. We love to do everything ourselves!