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May 2009

May 19, 2009

Grief for DIYers - And...fixing a stuck emergency brake

I read a New York Times article on the weekend that will scare a lot of people away from doing their own home repairs.  And then another article citing more bad combinations of humans and tools. 

Dammit Jim, they're just trying to scare us.  Like Star Trek explorers, we do-it-yourselfers know that disaster is always a possible outcome.  If you don't believe that, you haven't really tried it.  Of course things can go desperately wrong in DIY.  That's why we like it.  We are hardwired for adventure, and we can find our excitement under a sink or behind a washing machine or inside an electrical panel.

What those articles fail to mention is that a lot of things actually go well for DIYers.  I can't think of any examples right now, but I'm sure I've had one or two successful repairs in the last decade. So don't be discouraged by naysayers in the press.  They're just looking for something fresh to scare people with.  

Fixing Lucy's emergency brake Speaking of DIY, I learned how to fix a stuck emergency brake underneath a Toyota Landcruiser. 

So here's the trick if you ever have the Emergency Brake "!" symbol light up on your dashboard.

There's a cable that runs along the rear axle to the disc brake.  (It's usually the left side that gets stuck on my car.)

A short swift tug on the cable should free it from the stuck position. 

Yanking on the stuck cable

May 03, 2009

Women building 16 homes this week in Habitat Women Build

Scaffolding rocks This is blitz week for Toronto Habitat for Humanity and 2000 women are slated to put up walls and roofs on 16 new homes.  I'm shooting lots of video and photos and meeting fantastic women who've volunteered to strap on toolbelts.  I'll post some video as soon as I have it edited.  You can follow the build's progress at the official WomenBuild web site.


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie