Mr. Fixit

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 162023

Yesterday morning started with a visit from a man named Wayne and his lady friend Anita, who came to pick up the old sheet metal from the barn roof and any other metal I had laying around to take to a recycler. They had a utility trailer, but were able to bend the long sheets of metal enough to get them all onto the back of it. Then they loaded up all of the barbed wire and a bunch of T-posts that had gotten too bent to reuse when I pulled them out of the ground. They were happy to have all of the metal and I was grateful to get rid of it and get the area cleaned up, so it was a win-win situation for everybody involved. I told Wayne I would give him a call if I had anything else like that that needed hauled away.

When I was a teenager in Toledo, Ohio, there was a small shop called Mr. Fixit, run by a little gnome of a man called Walter, who wore thick glasses, walked with a limp, and whose hands were gnarled and twisted by arthritis. But just as the name of his business proclaimed, Walter could fix anything. This was in an era when products weren’t built with planned obsolescence. If your vacuum cleaner or mixer or television broke, you didn’t throw it in the trash and run out to Best Buy to replace it. Instead, you took it to somebody like Walter and he tinkered around with whatever it was and got it running again.

My buddies and I liked hanging out with Walter because he knew every dirty joke in the world and gave us important advice like “don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big one.” He also told us that if a broken down old man like him could get up and go to work every day, so could we, and that nobody in the world owed us anything, so if we wanted something we had to work hard to get it. That advice echoed the words my father told me all the time.

I think I remember most of the jokes Walter told us back in the day, and though I’m not mechanically inclined, back then I had an interest in electronics and he and my shop teacher at Libbey High School, Jim Summers, taught me quite a bit. Enough that I used to earn some spending money picking up old TVs and radios and getting them working again and selling them. That knowledge has served me well over the years, including being able to completely wire our MCI bus conversion when we built it.

Even now it comes in handy occasionally. We had an outdoor electrical outlet that wasn’t working, mounted on the back of the garage on the old deck, and after Wayne and Anita left with the scrap metal, I decided to play Mr. Fixit. After turning off the breaker in the garage, the first step was to remove the waterproof cover and then unscrew the receptacle from the box.

Then I disconnected the wiring from it and replaced it with a new GFI receptacle.

After that it was a simple case of attaching the receptacle to the box and putting the cover back on. Easy peasy.

With that done I took on another project that was out of my very narrow area of expertise. In a blog titled Jamming In The Woods a few days ago, I reported that the Earthquake 33968 K32 wood chipper/shredder I ordered from Amazon back in July had gotten jammed when I was trying to clear up some of the broken limbs laying around the property. After doing some Google research and watching a couple of YouTube videos, I decided to see if I could do anything with it.

After removing the three screws that held an access plate on the back of the chipper, I was able to find several thick pieces of wood that had gotten through the blades without being broken down, and jammed everything up. Using a small pry bar and a bit of elbow grease I was able to work them loose with some difficulty and free things up. Then, when I turned on the switch and pulled the starter cord the chipper fired right up and worked fine again. If I wasn’t so lazy, I might be tempted to put up my own Mr. Fixit sign and see if I can make a buck now and then. Yeah, you’re right. That’s probably not a good idea. 😊

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Murder USA. These stories of murders and of a few cases of attempted murder over 60 years include vivid descriptions of ghastly crimes not intended for the faint of heart or children. Many of these murders went unsolved for long periods, and some still have not been solved or had justice obtained for the victims. One case of a killer allowed out of a mental health facility after he killed two people on the East Coast allowed him to rape and murder 3,000 miles away on the West Coast. Another serial killer wiped out an entire family in one night of terror and is believed to have killed dozens more. A task force that included 75 FBI agents and a dozen county and state police from two states found the killer who set the gold standard for serial killers. Then there are the stories of a rare case of an Amish murder-suicide and that of a Navy ensign who killed his estranged wife’s lover with a crossbow.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. Tell me more about this gravy hot tub.

Thought For The Day – It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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