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Justifying Do-It-Yourself Satisfaction

After finishing a do-it-yourself (DIY) project yesterday, I felt a perverse desire to actually count up the number of tools it took to finish this project. It would be nice to put a number on it, but I have never actually done that.

No matter how trivial the project, it seems to require half the tools I own.  I had just spent half a day building a holder for my Kobo eBook reader, in order to read in bed without tiring the arms. They sell tablet holders on Amazon for $20. So I pay myself $5 per hour, apparently. Just look at my mighty creation.

It looks like something done by a grade schooler: a furring strip, a few bolts and screws, an eye-hook, hinge, and of course, a bungee cord. But it was all repurposed stuff! Not a single 40 mile round trip to town was needed.

It is fun to laugh at the DIY syndrome. There are blogs and vlogs on the internet that have virtually made a moral sickness out of it. I least I won't imply that you are saving yourself a vast fortune, which is what they imply.

So then, why do it? And why feel so profoundly satisfied after successfully completing a DIY project? Remember I am looking at it from the perspective of a modern male cubicle rat.

Just a couple generations ago men could get the satisfaction of looking at a healthy crop in their fields, or a recently cleared forest, or perhaps a new store they opened in town. If the tractor was broken, it was absolutely necessary to fix it, and when you succeeded, there was nothing ambiguous about it. Can a modern cubicle rat get that satisfaction from writing a new report or conjuring up a new spreadsheet of half-phony numbers? 

Then consider the question from the perspective of women. They take a few minutes of skin-rubbing and a teaspoonful of slime from their husband to produce a new human 'soul.' How is that for the ultimate Do-It-Almost Yourself project?!

So it makes sense that modern man has a need to do something his-self. He gets the satisfaction he can never get from following the proceduralism and paper-work of a large organization. And he will save a fortune!!!


Most times I do-it-myself is because there is nothing out there that will do what I need. Like yourself we would be considered Inventors.
Be Safe with your next project and Enjoy!

It's about time.
Ed said…
Rube Goldberg would have been so proud of you. In all the time that I have been reading in bed I have never found that my arms become tired, my eyes perhaps but never my arms.

You still need to reach up and touch the screen to turn the page do you not? Perhaps that could be the next project?
Ed, I find it hard to imagine that people "have never found that my arms become tired" when reading in bed. It would be as easy to imagine that when they read at the desk, they stand, instead of sit.

There are other drawbacks to reading in bed: bad angles for the neck and eyes. A screen levitating a foot directly above your eyes when you are reading on your back, solves those problems.
Rick and Kathy, indeed, taking on a D-I-Y project makes good sense when there just isn't anything out there that is available. Many times you need to get hands-on involved at the junction or seam of two commercially-available products.
Anonymous said…
You'll be staining those furring strips to match your walls, right?

Anonymous said…
you'll put your eye out!
Chris, I am quite pleased that I did NOT stain or paint the plywood walls on the inside of the trailer. I have always liked the smell and feel of naked wood. Besides, unnecessary expenses are against my "brutalitarian" philosophy.