September 17, 2008

A man's work is never done ... correctly

In any marriage, spouses are bound to say things from time to time that discourage, sadden or outrage their partner. In my particular case, for instance, there are five words I blurt out every now and then that send my wife into a state of depression that can take days to escape. Those five words are: "Oh, I can fix that."

I've had my successes, over the years, of which I'm justifiably proud.

Every time I pass by the upstairs hall light, I look up admiringly and say to myself, "I changed that bulb."

I've crammed new washers into drippy faucets, delighted the family when there was some assembly required and even made a bookcase or two that didn't tip over, if you didn't set anything heavy on them.

On the other hand, I once gave myself a brush cut when I tried putting a new plug on a lamp. When I plugged it in, my hair stood on end and stayed that way for about a week.

My gloat level has dropped over the years, as my wife has pointed out little defects in my projects. Whereas I used to gloat over a roof I put on by myself or the hot-water pipe I installed, now I'm reduced to gloating when I dig a clump of leaves out of the downspout and restore the flow.

When I undertake a significant repair now, I'm doing what I call the preliminary work. In other words, I merely pave the way for the professional. I'll get the faucet off so he can install the new one without having to get his hands dirty.

But, while my winning percentage is only so-so and getting worse as my career winds down, I'm a Hall of Famer compared with my friend Casey Flynn. After 25 years of marriage, he's still looking for his first victory.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time