Recently, while moving some pillows around, I knocked over my alarm clock and broke it. I’ve had this clock for almost as long as I can remember. My earliest memory about it is finding the detached head of a Transformers “Bumblebee” toy and taking it home and sticking it onto the face with blutac, where it remains to this day.
It’s more than just a clock: when my family bought a puppy and we were told by the breeder to put a small alarm clock near its bed to help it sleep since it would remind it of its mother’s heartbeat. I always set it 10 mins faster than the actual time, and even though I’m aware of that in my head, it still somehow helps me to remain punctual.
Then of course I had to go and be a klutz.
I could’ve seen this as a good opportunity to finally get a new clock, one with integrated iPhone dock for instance, but I’m a sentimental creature and I couldn’t bear to throw away one of the oldest things I own. That, and how terrible it is to think that we live in a society where things cost so little that we throw way stuff that could be repaired, because it’d be cheaper and more convenient to just buy a new one.
It was an odd break, because while the external casing was intact one of the internal battery connects snapped, but it turned out to be an easy fix. Step one: unscrew. Step two: apply superglue. Step three: put it all back together, wait for the glue to dry, and voila. Working clock again!
In light of the above, the theme of this post is “repair”, with a list of basics that you should keep around the house so that you can fix things instead of contributing to rampant consumerism and increasing landfill.
I can’t imagine a household that doesn’t have at least a couple of tools. At the bare minimum, you should have 2 screwdrivers (one Phillips head, one flat head) and a hammer. This is sufficient for a sizeable proportion of all handyman tasks, including build-your-own furniture à la IKEA. Speaking of which, IKEA sell a kit that includes just that, in addition to a pair of pliers and a wrench.
Because when something’s broken, the fix most times involves joining the broken pieces back together as firmly as possible.
You can get a basic unit for $20 from Dick Smiths. Fantastic for checking whether your batteries are flat, or diagnosing other electrical or electronic devices. It sounds more daunting than it really is – here’s a video on Multimeter basics.
I could probably carry on for a whole other post on just this point alone. Youtube alone is a source of almost infinite knowledge on how to disassemble, diagnose and doctor any kind of thing you can think of, plus a number of other sites like FixYa dedicated to the ars restituo. The Web is also an excellent way to source spare parts, whether direct from the manufacturer, making a request on specialist discussion forums, or just searching on eBay – there’s a world of junk collectors out there and if you can’t find the part that you’re looking for it’s more likely that you haven’t looked hard enough.
What else do you keep around the house for repairs?