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Marina Times – The fix is in — or out

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Marina Occasions – The repair is in — or out

The ants invaded my kitchen in L.A. a couple of days in the past. I used to be simply standing there and peeling a grapefruit once I regarded down on the counter subsequent to the sink to behold a sight that impressed a jolt of panic. Ants had been marching out of a small crack within the grout between a pair tiles subsequent to the tap. Inside a minute, they turned a full-fledged swarm, trying to find meals, water, or who-knows-what, however staying within the normal neighborhood of the counter. Fortunately, I used to be ready with a couple of liquid-bait ant traps from an infestation the earlier yr, and I shortly set them up. Inside a day, the miniscule demons disappeared, having taken the bait, returned to their nest, and poisoned their brethren. I had banished the pests and regained management of the counter.

My overcome the ants apart, I’m the antithesis of Mr. Repair-it. Sure, I’m useful with a random truth, a bon mot, a flip of the phrase, a quip. And I do know a couple of issues concerning the care and upkeep of the human physique. Certain, I can reboot a pc when its display screen freezes. I can substitute a fuse when it blows, after first rigorously switching off the circuit breaker. I may even examine the oil in my automobile or, underneath duress, change a flat tire if I’ve a spare and the correct instruments. However I’d moderately have specialists on the case.

When a tire blows, I desire to name AAA, and if I want to switch a battery, I depend on a mechanic or a good friend with some mechanical expertise. Once I’m illin’, I see a medical skilled. When the electrical energy within the place goes off or the pilot gentle within the heater goes out, I want PG&E to return and handle enterprise. When my pc repeatedly crashes or the WiFi malfunctions, I sensibly attain out to tech assist. And when the bathroom backs up or the pipes leak, you’ll be able to guess a can of Drano and a gold-plated monkey wrench that I’m going to hunt the acumen of a good plumber.


The thought of being a do-it-yourself handyman, aided by product manuals, scores of how-to movies on YouTube, and different on-line analysis, looks as if a very good and cost-conscious strategy to go till you strive it. In my expertise, it ceaselessly turns into an invite to screw up one thing necessary and really exacerbate no matter downside is bedeviling you. That’s why I’m typically inclined to go away repairs and upkeep, main and minor, to the professionals. After all, that may convey up a wholly totally different set of points — major amongst them for me, the problem of scheduling.

We’ve all grappled with the ridiculous window of time demanded by PG&E or the cable firm for service on a given day — a stretch of hours that may invariably tie you up for method too lengthy and sometimes screw with any enterprise you might need to do away from residence. It’s a type of clock tyranny. In terms of emergency help, a AAA tow-truck is much extra dependable than a fuel firm rep coming by to relight your heater or the cable man restoring your connection.


There are different types {of professional} session that is likely to be required round the home — and I imply round the home. Provided that there’s a significantly sized yard at my L.A. place, with bushes and blooming crops that I’ve neither the time nor the inexperienced thumb to correctly preserve, I’m reliant on landscapers. Like a lot of the neighbors, I’ve gardeners come by a pair instances a month to take away ugly underbrush, trim rampant overgrowth, and get rid of weeds gone wild. The garden care is welcome and mandatory, and the crew is nice at it. If solely I might persuade them to chorus from exhibiting up at ungodly hours of the morning when any night-owl price his eye-mask and ear plugs is attempting to sleep in. I assume a bi-monthly, dream-killing sonic plague of mowers and leaf blowers at 9 a.m. is part of the price of a well-manicured property.

When one thing essential must be finished and I can’t do the job correctly, I’ll be on the mercy of whoever I rent. Typically I’ve been fortunate in that regard, getting good work at acceptable costs. And infrequently, as with the ant infestation, I’m able to handle enterprise. Look out, bugs! I’m your grasp! Except you occur to be roaches, wasps, or lethal tsetse flies. Now that I give it some thought, I higher preserve the exterminator’s quantity useful.

Michael Snyder is a print and broadcast journalist who covers popular culture on “Michael Snyder’s Tradition Blast,” by way of, Roku, Spotify, and YouTube, and “The Mark Thompson Present” on KGO radio. You possibly can observe Michael on Twitter: @cultureblaster


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