Friday, April 29, 2011

Laziness can be a great motivator

There are a number of things that men feel obliged to fulfil in order to feel as though they are being a Real Man: protecting and providing for their family; being funny and/or respected; to be able to barbecue; being able to operate technology without instructions... and being able to fix things. This last requirement, in particular, can be a cause of some concern, especially among the younger generation. For, gone are the days when men seemed to be born with an intrinsic knowledge of mechanics, house maintenance and general handiness. Instead, not all, but many modern professional men seem more inclined to 'call in the expert', than to get their hands dirty. Unfortunately, I myself, fall into this bracket. Some may see this as laziness, others as a simple consequence of the need to specialise, and so therefore to be accomplished in their field, but hopeless in others.

However, there are a number of factors that can sway even the most 'specialised' of men to dust off his toolkit, role up his sleeves and get stuck in. In my recent case, these were money and washing-up.

It all started when the dishwasher decided that enough was enough and that it had been faithfully washing our dishes for quite long enough and that it was time for a break. This minor rebellion manifested itself in the fact that the dishes no longer came out sparkling and dry, but wet and smeary. The thought of the cost of calling out a repair man plus the cost of parts was too much to bare, and so it was I found myself scouring the internet for answers. After a little investigation it became apparent that the problem was due to the water not being heated, which could be caused by either a faulty heating element or a fault with the PCB (printed circuit board). What also became apparent was that my particular model of dishwasher was prone to suffering from a dry-joint on the PCB where the relay was soldered on. This all sounded a bit too complicated for my liking.
The wiring loom attached to the PCB,
contained within it's plastic case
Now, my dear wife had been baking and the kitchen was a mess and it became apparent that it was my job to clear up. However, I reasoned that if I could fix the dishwasher, my task would be achieved much quicker. And so it was, that out of sheer laziness and a fear of the washing up mountain, I recalled the instructions and set about the rather daunting task of taking apart my dishwasher. This involved a lot of head-scratching, sweating and procrastinating, but upon investigation, the suspected fault was found, the dry-joint re-soldered and the dishwasher reassembled.

Having fixed the dishwasher, it called for a trial run, and so I loaded everything I could lay my hands on into the dishwasher and set it going – hence I have time to sit and right this blog. But did it work? I've just this moment run downstairs and opened the door mid-cycle and... was engulfed by a cloud of steam. So it appears the dishwasher has been recalled from it's brief holiday and is now merrily heating up the water again. And I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction – I feel like a Real Man. Who said being lazy was all bad?

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