27 July 2009

In which the Mad Scientist is my Hero

There are many things I love about my husband, but one in particular for which I am very grateful is his many abilities in the area of home improvement and general maintenance-type stuff. For this, I am indebted to my father-in-law (Thank-you!!).

Anytime there is something to fix, one makes a choice between saving time, or saving money. (Sometimes one decides to save both, knowing that trying to do it without help will save neither). Our expendable income being somewhat limited at this point means that, usually, we have to go with the saving money route.

We did actually get a quote from the mechanic for fixing the several issues our car is currently having. Since each issue was going to run between two and three hundred dollars to fix, a $200 trip to Auto Zone and a Saturday afternoon seemed like a real bargain.

Here's my hero, changing the brake discs:That one in particular was rusted quite fast. After giving it a series of successively more convincing taps with a regular hammer, the Mad Scientist went on-line for advice. The general recommendation was, get a four-pound hammer. (Apparently this is known, in car-repair circles, as the "BFH," for reasons which soon became obvious). Several thwacks later, the disc slid off with no further trouble. Another satisfied customer recommends the BFH.

Monkey #1, of course, was watching the whole process with fascination. Once the disc came off, he offered to help get the rest of the rust off it, and proceeded to pound away:

Then he turned it on its side to pound the rust off the edges. And Monkey #2, of course, followed suit. The four-pound hammer was a bit much for her, however. She prefers a less ostentatious hammer:

And then Monkey #3 came out and gave it a go as well. That disc was thoroughly abused, but after all the trouble it gave the Mad Scientist I think it got what it deserved. And now I don't have to wonder whether my brakes will work each time I hit the peddle, and we did save a bit of money. Want a tip? If you're going to do work on the car yourself, get a quote from the mechanic first. Then you can feel really good about how much you saved, and it all seems worthwhile when you think of what it could have cost.

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