OT - Basic Skills in Today's World

It has always concerned me when the young amoung us are not taugh basic skills such as how to change a tire, how to use a saw, how to...well
you get the idea...there are basic skills that one needs to deal with the world we live in. Well this article shows what that lack of training, due to whatever reason, means as they get older.
When I drive through a neighborhood, it is a rare garage that has anything like a workshop within it anymore....a reflection of the lack of interest or knowledge of the homeowner to work with their hands?
Do your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the generation who is succeeding us, have the basic skills that are needed in the world today?
TMT
Repair jobs challenge young homeowners By MARTHA IRVINE, AP National Writer Thu Aug 3
The staff at his neighborhood hardware store can spot John Carter from a distance.
He's the slightly befuddled guy who often comes in declaring, "I have no idea what I'm doing. Can you at least get me through tonight?"
The 26-year-old Chicagoan, who's been slowly rehabbing the condo he bought last year, is part of a generation of young homeowners who admit they often have no clue how to handle home projects.
For them, shop class was optional. It also was more common for their parents to hire contractors, leaving fewer opportunities for them to learn basic repair skills.
With low interest rates allowing more young adults to buy property in recent years, many inexperienced homeowners are desperate for advice when the furnace goes out, the roof leaks or when a home project that seemed like a no-brainer goes terribly wrong.
"They know they've got to buy real estate; they know it's a good investment. But that doesn't help you when you swing a hammer and hit a pipe in the wall," says Lou Manfredini, a Chicago hardware store owner who gives do-it-yourself advice on local radio and nationally online and on TV. "Unfortunately, homes don't come with an instruction manual."
Contractors say it's not unusual for them to get frantic calls from young do-it-yourselfers who get in over their heads.
Sometimes, the mistakes are silly.
Michel Hanet, who owns a door replacement business called IDRC in Scottsdale, Ariz., has arrived at homes to find doors hung upside down. He's also discovered more than one sliding pocket door that won't open because someone nailed a picture on the wall and into the door.
"The younger generation are more likely the ones that are getting into trouble," Hanet says. "The baby boomers have the money to do it, so they just call and say 'I don't like my doors; just come and replace them.'"
Kirsten Pellicer, the 30-year-old vice president of Ace hardware stores in Longmont and Boulder, Colo., sees many young customers looking to tackle projects on their own, often to save money.
"We rarely get requests for 'Do you know a good handyman?' from the younger set," she says.
For Carter, the young Chicagoan, it's all about being brave enough to try - and sometimes fail.
With the help of a buddy who has rehabbing experience, he's put in hardwood floors, knocked out a wall and completely remodeled his condo kitchen.
In the process, he's also managed to nearly flood the kitchen after forgetting to completely seal off a refrigerator water line; had a sliding closet door he was installing shatter a light bulb over his head and crash on top of him; and been fined by his condo association for a couple of other mishaps.
"The one thing about home remodeling is that it is intimidating. But in the end, you find it's definitely worthwhile," says Carter, whose day job is at a large accounting firm where he secures computerized financial data. "You just have to accept that you're going to screw up."
Dave Payne, a 26-year-old condo owner in suburban Atlanta, knows what he means.
Payne made the mistake of trying to spackle over wallpaper in his condo bathroom, leaving uneven chunks where the wallpaper pulled away from the wall.
"There were just times when I wanted to pull my hair out and hire someone when I looked at my ruined walls," he says.
But after hours of "spackling, sanding, spackling again, sanding again, then priming," he's hoping no one will notice.
Increasingly, hardware professionals and others are addressing the need for know-how.
Some community colleges and stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot offer classes in projects from changing a faucet to tiling and putting in a dimmer switch.
"It gives them some exposure, so if they want to do it on their own, they have a starting point," says Peter Marx, a remodeling contractor who teaches home repair at North Seattle Community College.
Others find help online, including at the Ace site, where Manfredini - the Chicago hardware store owner - answers questions.
Home-centered television networks, including HGTV, are also in vogue. HGTV executives say shows such as "Design on a Dime" and "What's Your Sign? Design" - a show that builds on the unlikely combination of astrology and home decorating - have helped boost its recent ratings among young adults.
While 27-year-old Amy Choate occasionally goes online or watches TV shows to get home-improvement ideas, more often she uses a resource closer to home: her mom.
Among other things, mom showed her how to fix wall cracks in her Chicago condo.
But Choate has no intention of tackling an upcoming kitchen rehab. She'll leave that to a professional.
"I'd probably do it wrong," she says, "and end up paying twice as much."
___
On the Net:
Answers (at) Ace: http://www.acehardware.com
Home Depot clinics: http://www.homedepotclinics.com/
Lowe's clinics: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actionclinicSchedProcessor
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I always thought it was somewhat disgusting to see an open garage with no workbench or tools of any kind in it. Just space for CARS! How productive or creative can this person be? What are they going to do when they retire? What skills are they teaching their kids? When I was young, a garage full of tools and such was like a beacon in the night. Had to look, ask questions, wanted to get to know the person and try to learn. Nowadays, kids couldn't care less. I have noticed that the more expensive the neighborhood, the less garage creativity is visible. Respectfully, Ron Moore

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On 5 Aug 2006 07:27:58 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"

Kids being raised by single moms who didn't learn to work with their hands because it wasn't a woman's place to do these things. For awhile I owned a hardware store in Alaska. I knew absolutely nothing about hardware when we bought it, but I eventually learned what the stuff was called. Never did learn what to do with most of it. Luckily, I now have a very kind, generous gentleman friend who does a lot of the repair stuff for me. Some I could do but have this great fear of making whatever it is worse than when I started.

I doubt my son can do much in the way of working with his hands. His girlfriend is better at car stuff than he is because she worked in the motor pool in the Army. At one time she was probably better with guns than he is, but he's catching up.
Sue

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I would mention that those men who can do even the most basic of work, whether on the home or car, are richly rewarded by all the women who love being with someone who is 'handy'.
Examples: I changed an alternator in the parking lot of the Autozone in less time than the guy next to me took to replace his windshield wipers, and the woman I did this for couldn't wait to richly reward me for being so skilled. I nailed up a soffet vent that had come loose for my neighbor, and got a delicious cherry pie. I swapped out a ceiling fan for a sales rep and the woman told everyone at work what a great guy I was, "...and so handy, too"
I think its a code word...
I used these stories to convince my son to learn how to do this stuff, and recently he replaced a hood release cable for a girl in his dorm. He told me that she was very grateful, but he wouldn't share the details wih his old man...
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I have to mildly disagree with the originaly sentiment. I go to garage sales often, and I do see many garages with tools and machinery. Just recently I bought a huge kiln from such a garage (resold for 8x what I paid), or a big shop compressor (which I kept), etc. There are people out there with interesting stuff, although they are a clear minority.
Just today I saw someone selling 1-2-3 blocks, machinist vise etc. (he wanted too much for his stuff, e.g., $35 for a 1 hp motor with bad bearings)
i
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True, there are some bastions of creativity out there still. Not many in this area. Mostly I see a benchtop drill press, a plastic table saw and a few hand tools. Maybe an RAS. Nothing wrong with this picture if it's being used. Too many times around here, it's either brand new (and been that way for a while) or hasn't been used for many years. Maybe we just don't take time to use the tools we have available. Too hot, too tired, two jobs, etc. It's true, there out there. Just not that often. In other parts of the country, machinery is much more prevalent. Respectfully, Ron Moore Oklahoma

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Now that was clever. Your son was lucky to have someone to teach him.

Lucky you. My son was always willing to share with me. TMI. Sue

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Emmo wrote:

It depends a lot. Many women regard those kinds of technical skills as "nerdy" and stay away from such men. Understanding how things work, and being interested in such things, has become a wierdness/freakyness, and an alarming thing for many women. Stuff like that is only something one does for a job, and not something to be interested in during free time. Really. Having a machine shop, or even lots of electronics/RF equipment, is a social suicide with women. I'm talking about the age group 20-35 years. The "acceptable" hobbies include sports and culture, but definitely not technology/science.
Just today I noticed that my internet access didn't work. Checked stuff, and found out that ADSL modem had stopped working. I switched power off and back on, and only the power light was lit, but no life otherwise. I opened it, measured the SMPS voltages with oscilloscope, noticed that 5V had huge ripple, and replaced the electrolytic capasitor with a similar low-ESR cap I had. Started working again. Yeah, there's advange - did get internet access working still during sunday, and it cost me practically nothing. A normal person would have waited until monday, and bought a new ADSL modem, and propably paid someone to get it configured/installed.
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Well, you may be right, but I am 52, so the women I want to attract are old enough to have experience with everything around them breaking, with having to deal with rip-off servicemen, and with being patronized by jerks at the hardware or big box stores. I think there is also a huge difference in appreciation once they own their own homes, cars, and appliances. Twenty to thirty-five year olds don't yet know enough or own enough to be appreciative.
I also make a big distinction between 'being handy' and having a nerdy hobby. I once thought about getting into ham radio, and my wife (now ex-wife) asked me "Is this one of those hobbies where you go into your office and close the door? We don't need any more of those..."
I have recently been responding to the postings on Craigslist where people are looking for someone to cut some wood, weld up a chair, or sandblast a motorcycle part. I charge them a large roast beef sub, and I've been meeting a bunch of great people.

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On Sun, 06 Aug 2006 14:51:10 GMT, Kristian Ukkonen

It is indeed social suicide with SOME women in that age range. It largely depends on if they are rural or rural raised, versus urban types. And if they had a handy father or brothers also adds to the mix.
Frankly..I find the Urban type of women to be shallow, superficial and in large part...high maintainence air heads.
Ive had more phone numbers handed to me by women Ive helped out on some fix it issue, or after having had a group conversation in a bar etc etc where the the subject of being "handy" comes up.
Some by young ladies looking for "a guy just like Dad", others from practical women..usually country types, to those who are clueless and just bought a condo..<G>
On the other hand...a Pendelton button down shirt, pocket protector and tape mended eye glasses is the kiss of death no matter who you are. In the cities..being a country boy..boots, jeans, big buckle and cowboy hat can be the kiss of death in some areas. Primarily those who favor italian suits, Lexus automobiles and a brief case. Though its surprising the numbers of ladies who find the country boy fascinating, though dont want their friends to know <VBG>..oddly enough..in many cases, its black ladies who take the lead in this.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Well my son can use the Yellow Pages and write checks. He know what a hammer is, but does not have the desire to find out which end does what functions.
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wrote in message

True story:
Was visiting my aunt Prudence (that's her true name, too) and she had us all doing errands at the mall while she bought groceries. I got to go to the hardware store for something-or-other. I noticed a lady asking the clerk something and as I passed by I overheard him say "Those are what we call hammers, ma'am."
The best part was the _absolutely_ neutral tone of voice he used; give that guy a raise.
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Blame the home builder. The last 4 homes that I have lived in have had garages only big enough for cars. When I was a kid I recall most every "Man of the house" was able to change a tire, make minor repairs and build items from wood. This neighborhood was built just after WWII and every garage in the neighborhood had at least 1 additional room attached for a work shop, storage, and in my case the garage had 2 extra storage rooms and a maid's quarters. All this detached from the main 1,200 sq. ft. 2 bedroom 1 bath house. I do not recall any of these extra garage rooms not having some kind of work area or work shop.
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don't blame the home builder...blame the home buyer.Builders build what sells.If workshops were a priority for most people most homes would have them.
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That's not entirely true. The builder can build the house cheaper with a plain two car garage. How many people actually only store only their cars in their garages?
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And he can sell it cheaper...The market is driven by the buyer.If more people are willing to pay for a shop more builders will build houses with a shop.If most people do not want to pay extra for a shop they are not built.Builders try to build what sells.
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Most people who want a shop want to build it themselves.
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digitalmaster wrote:

We've got a two car garage with two doors, but we never "park" the cars in them.
I or my son will pull a car into one of them to work on it, but as far as regular parking goes, there's so much stuff stacked up against the walls (plus a couple of lally columns down the centerline) that squeezing through a barely openable car door inside the garage is such a PIA that we just park outside.
But we still use a garage door as our usual entry/exit to the house, 'cause it's much closer to where we park than the front door is, and it has "keyless entry" via a push of the garage door opener button inside the car. <G>
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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digitalmaster wrote:

When I bought this house eight years ago, I couldn't even find a realtor who even knew what a workshop was. One listing claimed to have a workshop, so I got directions and went to see it. The "Workshop" was two feet of 1" * 12" particle board over the dryer in the laundry room. I went back to the realtor's office and read him the riot act in front of everyone there, including other people looking for homes. I asked him if he had been married so long that he had forgot what it was like to have the space to do what he wanted, when he wanted. Finally, he asked, "Just what the hell are you looking for?" I smiled and told him that I wanted a house suitable for a single many with hobbies. A 150 square foot house, and a 3000 square foot shop. he told me that i would NEVER find it in Florida, because no one wanted a workshop. He was wrong. I found a home with a 30' * 40" garage, a 18' * 28' storage building, a 12' * 12' "Workshop", a 12' * 12' laundry building, a 12' * 24" one bedroom cottage, and a three bedroom home with a large family room and a small library.
All for under 40K, and it should be paid off in a few more years. ;-)
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