My last guest blog for this shift… and tinkering on TV

I’ve come to the end of my guest week. I’ll be handing the keyboard to Mary Beth Trautwein starting tomorrow, as the Seniors start at Tinkering School.

I’ve had fun doing this, and I hope you have enjoyed reading it.

Today here in Houston it was somewhere in the upper 90s with humidity to match, and my garage (where all the tools are) was well over 100 degrees, which makes any tinkering sessions necessarily brief for the health and well-being of both tinkerer and project.

Which got me thinking about some alternatives for those of us not blessed with viable indoor tinkering spaces or projects that won’t fit indoors (like my cars and truck) when the weather won’t cooperate.

While I’m not suggesting one should veg in front of the TV endlessly, there are a lot of shows out there now embracing the tinkering and doing-dangerous-things mindset. Besides “Mythbusters” on Discovery Channel, which is easily the most famous, and which I’ve already mentioned, there are others on various cable channels.

The Science Channel (part of the Discovery network) has regular showings of “How It’s Made”, “Factory Made”, and “How Do They Do That?” which explore how everyday objects come into being. “Deconstructed” takes stuff apart and explores how it works (which could lead to your own deconstruction sessions).

National Geographic Channel has “Cut It In Half” which is pretty much what it sounds like, and History Channel has “Sliced” which is pretty much the same premise.

Of course, there are a bewildering variety of do-it-yourself shows — my favorites, maybe for sentimental reasons, are the ones that come out of the “This Old House” family: the original show, “Ask This Old House”, and Norm Abram’s “New Yankee Workshop”. There are others on PBS and a lot of other channels including the aptly-named “DIY” channel.

I watch these kind of shows a lot more than I watch scripted TV or so-called “reality”… I figure I should at least learn something in the process.

But then remember to translate that into doing something.

And have fun doing it!

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