D-I-Y gone too far

I am a D-I-Yer.

For 19 years, I remodeled our home in California.

Since we bought our house in Kansas City, I have remodeled our master suite, installed a side door and built a workshop in the garage, built two bookcases in our family room and three raised bed planters in our yard. I think you get the picture…

Last winter my wife was driving me somewhere. When the front windshield began to fog up, I watched as she pulled out a pair of needle nosed pliars to adjust the airflow.

“What are you doing?”

“Adjusting the air.”

“I know that…why are you using a pair of pliars?”

“Well, the knob broke so I just went into your toolbox and found the smallest pair of pliars that I could find.”

I was taken aback. First, I was proud of her. Since when did she get that kind of initiative? Maybe some of my do-it-yourself attitude has rubbed off on her…

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I don’t know…I just thought of this.”

When we got home, she gave me the broken knob. The inside of the knob was made of such thin, fragile plastic that it looked like it was designed to break. The engineer who designed it should be fired. But, then again, it is a GM product so maybe it is par for the course.

I’m just sayin’…

Well, as I said in the beginning of this post, I am a do-it-yourself kinda guy.

So, while on a trip to the junkyard, er…I mean the automotive recycling facility looking for some parts for our Nissan Maxima, I looked for the offending knob. I looked at over a dozen cars and every one was missing the same knob. It seems that I am not the only one who has encountered this problem.

On to Plan B.

I managed to crazy glue it together. But, I had to do something to strengthen it.

Since I work in a machine shop, I found some very thin metal chips and slid one between the inner and outer plastic rings. I figured that would provide some strength when I pushed the know back on the metal post.

Well, it worked…all summer long.

Since I can’t bend my leg right now, I can’t get into my 5-speed Toyota Paseo. So, I have had to drive my wife’s car to work.

Well, last night, the weather suddenly turned cold. A few minutes into my drive to work, the windshield started to fog up. I turned the knob to direct the airflow toward the windshield. the knob turned all right. But the post that controls the direction of the air just stayed put. The knob was once again broken!

When I pulled into the company parking lot, I pulled the knob off of the post and took it to one of our better machinists.

“Mike, do you have any ideas what I can do to fix this?”

He laughed and said, “You probably should just buy a new one.”

What I am about to write will probably make you shake your head in disbelief. It made me shake mine.


How obvious could it be? Isn’t that what anybody else, no, make that everyone else would do?

I went to the local Chevrolet dealer on my lunch break…


All of the time and effort I put in to fixing that thing and all it cost to buy a new one was ten dollars and thirty eight cents?


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