As a handyman, I just can’t help it. I notice when things are broken, or not working as well as they once did, and try to fix them. And, I’m sensing that Memorial Day has become one of those things.
We’ve got a holiday weekend on which we’re supposed to honor, reflect on, and be grateful for the many who made the ultimate sacrifice, so that the lives of our families would be better. So, most of us do – what? Watch fast cars run around a famous race track, eat barbecued meat, take a day off from work, and drink adult beverages? Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but – for real?
Maybe Memorial Day has become a victim of America’s own success. It’s been so long since the average American family has been personally touched by a war with mass casualties that, for many, there isn’t even a local cemetery to visit that’s the final resting place of someone we personally knew who died in battle – a suitable venue for us to honor, reflect on, and be grateful for their sacrifice.
So, on this Memorial Day weekend, please allow this grateful handyman to offer this step-by-step Memorial Day repair manual.
Step #1: FULLY understand how grateful we should be to them
Every country has, and will always have, their war dead. But ours are special – really. They didn’t just fight for land, or to protect people of their own blood. Coming from the only country ever founded based on an idea, they fought for enlightened principles, the shorthand version of which is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Even to this day, NO nation takes liberty as seriously as we do. And, no nation in history has liberated as many as our armed forces have – it’s in the hundreds of millions.
Step #2: Honor their sacrifice by having a fulfilling weekend
If they died for our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, the least we can do is enjoy them. By pursuit of happiness, our founders probably did not have roller coasters, bar hopping, reality TV shows, Snapchat, or other “fun” things in mind. They probably meant the more serious things that give us a longer-term glow, like family, vocation, community, and faith. So enjoying your family and friends over the Memorial Day weekend in a roundabout way DOES honor the fallen.
Step #3: Recognize and be proud of your own contributions
Here’s an exercise that you can do that, if it works for us handymen, it ought to work for you, too. Think about how your family’s vocations contribute to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For you health care and legal professionals, it’s pretty easy – you’ve got life and liberty covered. Most of the rest of us are in the the pursuit of happiness business. Here’s just some of the ways Fix St Louis helps make happiness possible:
Memorial Day weekend. There, I fixed it. Now go forth and pursue happiness.
Fix St Louis
Well, well, well. It seems like the Royal family has its OWN problems with leaks – and that Fix St Louis has developed its own anonymous sources. We are proud to share with you these shocking, never-before-published pics of the Royal Family doing their own HANDYMAN work – fixing-up their house preparing for the upcoming wedding of Harry and Meghan. We know they are authentic because Buckingham Palace refuses to return our phone calls, or to even acknowledge that we exist.
We also have obtained possession of the much older video footage below, captured at the wedding ceremony of Wills and Kate, that shows the Royal Family behaving like mere commoners.
Not that there’s any shame in doing handyman work which, come to think of it, is the only thing that we do. But, let’s face it, unlike the Royal Family, you are VERY busy, and have more important things to do with your time than attending ceremonies commemorating this thing and that, that happened many, many years ago, while looking fabulous.
So, here’s 4 good reasons not to feel guilty about not following the Royals’ example, and joining the “Don’t It Yourself” movement instead.
It will get done sooner. Getting things fixed in your home is our FIRST priority, even when it’s not for the honey-doer in your home. This is not going to drag on for weeks or months.
It will improve your marriage. It eliminates the tension between the reluctantly nagging spouse and the well-intentioned procrastinating spouse. And it frees-up time and energy to fight about more important things, like who your kids are hanging out with, whether that 5-iron was really the best use of the family budget, and how much longer the in-laws should be allowed to stay.
It will be done once and it will be done right. A do-it-yourself job by definition is a job done by – no offense intended – an amateur, who is usually learning to do something new in the process. That means it’s likely to take much longer, mistakes may be made along the way, the result may not be perfect, and it may have to be re-done in the future.
No one will be hurt in the process. We know how to handle things like high places, electricity, and moving heavy objects safely. This may matter to you, if you happen to love your spouse.
You know, I really kinda feel sorry for Harry and Meghan, who will probably be forced to move into some very old house that will require a lot of maintenance. You should count your blessings, and keep our number.
While sitting in a Lion’s Choice the other day, daydreaming about leaky faucets, the background music suddenly caught my attention. I couldn’t quite make out the lyrics, but they went something like “if you like it, you better put a wax ring on it”. For a moment, I thought the singer — someone you probably never heard of named “Beyonce” — was speaking only to me, and her words brought back a flush of memories of all the times Fix St Louis had spared our customers further ceiling and furniture damage by changing the wax ring on an upstairs toilet.
So I went online looking for the video, where I watched her dance with 2 OTHER young ladies singing about their eligibility, and ALL of them had tremendous talent. And by “talent” I mean that if this dancing thing doesn’t work out for them, we sure could use their ability to contort their bodies to climb under kitchen sink cabinets to fix drains, slither through crawl spaces, and scamper through attics while stepping only on joists to avoid plunging through the ceiling immediately below. Apparently, the baby in the video below also finds their dexterity remarkable and worth emulating.
Now, not being familiar with Beyonce’s full body of work, I don’t know if her songs cover the full range of causes of ceiling water leaks. So just in case, here are the most likely causes for these leaks that we see at Fix St Louis.
These are generally not the types of repairs homeowners can take on themselves. And if you ever had someone in your home try to do caulking, there’s a good chance there’s now a thick, ugly glob of white goop where a narrow white line used to be. So, next time you see a water stain on your ceiling, take Beyonce’s advice — “Say our name, say our name.” When it comes to repairing leaks and restoring drywall, Fix St Louis has all the moves you need.
Is it my imagination, or did millions of Americans just update their “Facebook Status” to “Demand Privacy,” after years of telling anyone who would listen how much more exciting their lives were than yours? No wonder Mark Zuckerberg had that deer-in-the-headlights look in front of Congress.
Fortunately, we at Fix St Louis are not Mark Zuckerberg, because OUR “community” of home-owning folks acts a whole lot more rationally. It’s true many of you live in homes with unfortunate “HELLO WORLD!!” features, if you know what I mean. Flaws that allow total strangers to publicly view what really should be private moments of indecent exposure, intimacy, or any other activity that should stay in Vegas. But once they realize something can be done about it, they run to Fix St Louis who will fix it, rather than Congress, who will just blather on and use it to raise campaign money.
Here are the 3 areas for increased privacy our customers request most:
Hey, you’re all grown-up now, and you made it! You’re living in a HOUSE. Not your parent’s basement, or some dorm, commune, hostel, or refugee camp. You’ve EARNED your privacy. Let Fix St Louis help you keep it.
I must confess that I have not followed the NCAA basketball tournament, and won’t be watching the Final Four this weekend. Frankly, it hurts this old handyman’s eyes to stare for hours at hardwood flooring made of unstained maple (with a tasteless high gloss finish, no less!) when these high-tuition institutions could EASILY afford an upgrade to a nice matte-stained oak.
But just because colleges no one in St Louis ever talks about never do anything to improve their properties, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Could these so-called institutions of higher learning be so busy preparing liberal arts grads for careers as Starbucks baristas that they haven’t noticed what’s been happening the last 50 years in plastics?
So, please allow Fix St Louis to serve as your higher learning institution, as we proudly present to you our answer to the Final Four – The VINYL Four. Below are the four best uses of vinyl in home repairs and remodeling, with “vinyl” loosely referring to any material made out of petroleum resin.
So, there ladies and gentlemen are the Vinyl Four. Four home improvement products that last much longer than the materials they’re replacing – and much, much longer than the lousy brackets you chose this year. Next time, if you insist on trying to predict the future, think vinyl!
Fix St Louis
We now know that Russians have been getting involved in our elections to sow confusion, division, frustration, and anger. So tell me, WHAT does a handyman have to do in this town to get Bob Mueller to investigate the OTHER AREA where Russians may have been practicing this – the light bulb aisle?
If you’ve shopped for light bulbs lately, you know EXACTLY what I mean. The answer to “how many homeowners does it take to change a light bulb?” has become “TWO, the homeowner plus an illumination engineer.” Am I crazy to suggest this has the fingerprints of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin all over it? So, let me explain what has happened to light bulbs, and how to survive the newest front in the Cold War (aka the DARK War).
You are now paying 10x as much for light bulbs that allegedly last 10x as long and use 1/5 as much energy because the federal government says so. Now, it’s hard for this simple handyman to figure out exactly why if not for Soviet infiltration they would mandate this, but possibly our government just decided they’re smarter than inventor Thomas Edison, and at least one person sent out a Tweet claiming incandescent bulbs are sexist and racist.
First Generation Bulbs (CFL) – Soon to be Gone
The first bulbs released after the new law were called “CFL”, which either stands for Compact Fluorescent Light or Commie Fluorescent Light, depending on your choice of conspiracy theory. Think of them as fluorescent tubes re-shaped to fit into bulb sockets, so the quality of their light is as lousy as you would expect, which actually might be considered quite GOOD if you were unfortunate enough to live in the former Soviet Union. They look like a Dairy Queen vanilla ice cream cone, although if you were tempted to EAT them you might die of mercury poisoning. For these reasons and others, it will soon be lights out for these bulbs. Don’t let the lampshade hit you on your way out.
Current Generation Bulbs (LED)
Thankfully, American ingenuity rescued us from the above Soviet-style bulbs by introducing LED bulbs, which either stands for Light Emitting Diode or Lenin Extinguishing Device, depending on your choice of conspiracy. As it turns out, wire’s not the only thing that glows when you run electricity through it, good old American semiconductors do, too, and for whatever reason that’s just fine with our betters in Washington. At least for now.
While these bulbs started out looking strange, being hugely expensive, and had packages labeled in ways so no one could understand how bright they were compared to 60 and 100 watt bulbs, all of these problems are being addressed, as discussed below.
What You Need to Know and What You Need to Ignore
Meanwhile, as you navigate your way through the LED bulb aisle, stay focused on the 3 things that you also would have thought about in your incandescent bulb past: brightness, dim-ability, and color.
But be aware that a walk down the light bulb aisle is still like flipping through the pages of the former Soviet Union’s propaganda newspaper, Pravda. The packages are full of lies.
There are packages marked “incandescent” that are actually halogen lights made to look like the old bulbs. (BTW, you’ll also see some REAL incandescent bulbs that somehow escaped the government’s grasp by their low wattage or special design).
And while I praised the use of phrases on packages like “100 Watt Replacement” above, if you hold-up 2 different brands labeled that way, don’t be surprised if there’s as much as a 30% difference in brightness as measured in “lumens.” (Don’t waste your time learning the lumen system — it’s unlikely to catch on here among us proud metric-system-refusing Americans.)
So nice try, comrade Vladimir. When it comes to lighting our houses, guess we Americans are brighter than you think.