Thursday, December 29, 2011

I get by with a little help from ... the internet?

I am a very independent person.  Perhaps too independent for my own good sometimes. 

I don't like to ask people for help (even if I want or need it), and if they help me, I always want to pay them (although they don't always take it). 

I also don't like to pay for things I can do myself such as snow removal and lawn care.  I have paid for both of those things in the past, but ultimately, it felt like a waste of money.  I'm perfectly capable of shoveling snow and mowing the lawn (even if I'm not a fan of either), so I should just do it.

Ever since I bought a house last April, I've done a few other things that saved me some cash.  I needed help from the internet in every case. Here are the two most notable:

A month or so ago, as temperatures got cold, I realized my furnace wasn't working.  After some investigation, I concluded that the pilot light was out.  I had no idea where to start in relighting it. I took a picture of my furnace and explained my dilemma on Twitter. One of my Twitter followers/friends walked me through the process and within a few moments, the pilot light ignited and I had heat again.

I've had water leaking from my freezer for a few months. We turned off the water supply, but that didn't fix the problem.  I really wasn't looking forward to paying a technician to come out. So I Googled the issue and found a message board populated by others with a similar problem.  One of the posters (apparently a repairman) suggested that the defrost drainage tube was clogged with dust.  A $4 can of compressed air and a few moments behind the fridge was all it took.  It's been three days, and I haven't had any water since.  I think it's safe to call it a success.

Seriously ... what would I do without the internet?

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