Sunday, June 01, 2014


I never saw myself as a particularly handy person. After all, unlike my brothers, I never changed my car's oil myself, or knew a lot about electrical systems. Heck, until I left Malaysia, I probably could fry an egg without screwing up. However, being in the USA where labor costs are so high (at least for a kiamsiap person like me. Fixing the bicycle brakes cost more than our cheapo bike itself!), and being a homeowner (if you are in this group, you know that it's a never ending project) tend to change things.
And so, I was thinking the other day about the DIY projects I have undertaken myself over the years:
  • Putting in a storm door (for you Malaysians- it's that glass door immediately outside of your main door)
  • Changing the wall switch for the lights
  • Mounting two LCD TVs on the wall. Thankfully the 47-inch one hasn't yet collapsed. I'm still not sure I mounted it right
  • Putting up 3 ceiling fans. And I'm most proud of the fact that I did this solo with no help as Kris was out of town that week. Now, try climbing a 9-foot ladder while trying to balance a 20-lb fan, and then trying to mount that sucker on the supports! And that was the first time I directly messed around with the electrical systems. I was half fearing I was going to fry myself
  • Painting
  • Painting
  • Staining the damn deck
  • Putting privacy laminates on the windows. This one ended in disaster. For a year, our windows had horrible air bubbles; our neighbors kept asking if a bird had flown into it and cracked it
  • Installing bidets into our three full bathrooms. One of my best pleasures at home, in a world when these ang mohs don't wash their butts- being able to clean myself!
  • Installing a blower into our fireplace
  • Putting in a pet-containment system aka invisible fence. Lasted 2 years until the lawn guy cut the wires by accident
  • Putting in a new toilet. Our old wasn't flushing, and the ceramic on the porcelain bowl was coming off (I guess our pee was too toxic?). And so we both one from Costco, a 90-lbs sucker that almost broke our backs carrying it upstairs. We ended up making 3 trips because the first two were broken. After a lot of Cantonese and Hokkien swear words and 3 hours later, we had a new, working, water-conserving dual-flush toilet. And yes, I refitted the bidet onto it.

Maybe I should think about quitting my dayjob someday if things don't work out. Not that I'm all that much handier, but I think I'd be proud of myself. And in large part thanks to Youtube, and Amazon. You'd be surprised of the videos you find online.