Macramé-be Not

In an attempt to put a bright, shiny face on this pandemic – I’ve been posting a series of DIY instructional videos illustrating how to master some artisinal crafts and household tasks that are seemingly beyond the ken for most of you.

The following “behind-the-scenes” commentaries may enhance your enjoyment of each tutorial.

How to Bake Bread
The recipe called for whole wheat flour; I mistakenly thought we had a bag in the pantry, and so had to quickly identify a substitute since the yeast had already begun to proof. Solution: 1½ pounds of kibble run through the food processor on the “Pulse” setting yields 4 dry cups – resulting in a loaf with a moist crumb and glossy coat.

How to Change the Oil in Your Car
Make sure you are watching the updated version of this video, where I remember to replace the drain plug before adding 5 quarts of 10W30.

How to Cut Your Own Hair
In hindsight, I should have asked my wife to film this so I could have operated the clippers with my dominant hand. You’ll be happy to know since posting this one that the bald spots and my left eyebrow have almost completely grown back.

How to Make Your Own Candles
I know this is a popular activity among crafters, but I found it rather pointless: all I did was light one candle, collect the drippings in an empty toilet paper roll, and then peel it away in order to create a second, stockier candle.

How to Fix a Leaky Sink
I don’t think I stressed this strongly enough: turn off the hot and cold water feeds before beginning this process. As a result, you may be interested in another of my videos: “How to Repair a Water-Damaged Ceiling.”

How to Grow Your Own Salad in a Raised Bed Garden
This one actually never came to fruition, since my wife insisted I remove the soil, manure and chicken wire piled atop our mattress.

How to Build a Bookshelf
Since I don’t consider myself an accomplished woodworker, I was really pleased with how this project turned out. The corners are square, the shelf is stable, and the deep walnut stain makes this a beautiful addition to our other home furnishings. My only regret after completion was wishing I’d thought to make it large enough to hold a second book.

How to Rewire a Table Lamp
While it took a few days, the neighborhood eventually had power restored.

How to Install a Garbage Disposal
As I explained in the video: count to make sure all the forks are back in the drawer before turning on the disposal for the first time.

How to Safely Use a Chainsaw
Under its Terms of Service, my internet provider removed this video for having content it deemed “graphic and/or disturbing.” I’m in the final stages of editing its replacement: “How to Get Reimbursed for an Out-Of-Network Emergency Room Visit.”

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