I consider myself an expert handyman. If there is something broken, stuck, loose or making a sound it’s not supposed to be making, I possess an innate ability to quickly identify the problem – and within minutes make that problem significantly worse than it was before I began fiddling with it. There are three things every homeowner should instinctively know:
- #1: The location of your main circuit breaker box: In most homes, this is conveniently located in the garage behind a clearly displayed grey metal panel. In our house, it’s conveniently located behind three boxes of stuffed animals, four crates of ancient photo albums, and nine cans of 14-year old dried house paint. Our circuit breaker was last seen in spring, 2003.
- #2: The location of your main water shut-off valve: This could save you thousands of dollars if ever your pipes burst. This valve is typically found somewhere inside the house on the first floor, either in your laundry room or front hall closet. In our case, it’s conveniently located nine feet up our fireplace. Apparently I must have pissed off some plumber as our house was being built.
- #3: Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosy. That little lesson sure could have come in handy had I known about it before my gas grill’s propane tank gas leak and subsequent explosion during the surprise party we threw in the kitchen of our former friend, Agnes Turlington in 1995.
Continue reading “How to turn on a light in less than 23 steps” »
It starts out innocently enough. Your little four-year old princess Tara insists she’s scared and can’t get to sleep. Can she sleep with mommy and daddy? Pleeeeease? Against your better judgment, you relent and let her snuggle in bed with you – just this once.
Fast forward. Tara, now eight years old whines about having to eat her peas. Against your better judgment, you let her off the hook but still let her have dessert – after all, it’s cookies ‘n cream ice cream, her favorite. Before you know it, you wake up one day and your little angel is now a teenager and you suddenly discover that she’s running the show, making all sorts of drop everything demands that we parents cave into because it’s just less work not to engage in another battle. How did this all happen? Personally, I blame it on Obamacare.
I am the father of two high-spirited teenage girls. As many of you know, I am a highly sought-out expert on parenting. My third parenting book, Timeouts, Tasers and Other Tools of Modern Parenting, addresses the challenge many parents face when it seems their teenagers suddenly are in the driver’s seat (in some cases literally). Bribery and blackmail are both tactics that I strongly recommend for most confrontations with your teenage offspring. And for you moms (as well as you dads who are in touch with your feminine side), don’t underestimate the power of a good display of sobbing. Totally disarms most whiny teenagers. But it takes practice. Start by sniffling and work your way up to the tears.
Take this quiz to determine whether you’re still the king or queen of your castle or whether the peasants have stormed the castle and taken you hostage:
Continue reading “Who’s the King (or Queen) of Your Castle?” »
It’s that time of year again – a time when we traditionally look back over the previous year and think about all the things we should be thankful for. It’s a time to remind ourselves to see that our glass is not half empty but really half full. Here are just a few things I am thankful for this time of year.
I am deeply thankful….
That I am not my neighbor Rich Donaldson. Man, what a streak of bad luck he’s been having lately. First he sells all of his stock when the market tanked at rock bottom at 6500. Then he invests his remaining life savings in a company that manufactures telephone booths, saying he was convinced cell phones were just a fad. Uh, no, Rich, not a fad. On the bright side, Rich will make you a great deal on a telephone booth. No reasonable offer will be refused. Comes complete with a Yellow Pages directory (if you’re old enough to remember what those were.)
That through a rigorous program of regular strenuous aerobic exercise and weight training, combined with a reduced calorie diet consisting mostly of kelp, almonds and curdled skim milk, over the past three months I’ve only put on two pounds.
Continue reading “What I am thankful for at Thanksgiving (other than pie)” »
This week, I dug deep into the Dr. Tim advice column mailbag and came up with the following very informative letter:
Dear Dr. Tim:
My 16-year old daughter now has a boyfriend. Should I kill myself?
Signed, Terrified in Tacoma.
Thank you for your very detailed and well-constructed letter, Terrified. Can I call you “Terri?” Continue reading “Dr. Tim, Help me! My daughter has a boyfriend” »