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Raoul’s 2 Cents


Five years ago we bought a shiny stainless steel Whirlpool gas range. It looked robust and sparkled under the store lights. The design was solid and we thought it would last forever. Unfortunately, we were dazzled by the shell. Yesterday I had to put my handyman cap on because, after cooking our dinner, the knob of the gas range wouldn’t turn to the OFF position. I had to shut down the main gas valve, dig into my dusty toolbox and proceed to repair the appliance.

Ever since I was a child, like many curious kids, I would open up radios, TV sets, car engines, brakes, Christmas lights, computers (lots of these) … sometimes they needed fixing and other times I just wanted to see how they worked. When the internet was just starting, I was curios to see how that worked and this led me to programming as well. I’m confident that I can fix any basic logical mechanical or electrical gizmo. My parents “forced me” to fix stuff because they recognized I had that aptitude. I thought then that it was unfair that they singled me out to repair while my other siblings continued to play with their toys. In hindsight I appreciate what they did. I learned a skill. Because of them, I believe I will survive if I were ever stuck in a deserted island.

Removing the low-quality parts (the screws, springs, patented parts) of that stainless cooking monster, I realized how easily the manufacturer could have spent a few more dollars to make their product last longer. I figured that their real business model was making a ton of money through maintenance. For instance, when I got to the innards of the defective switch and considered buying a new switch online, that simple patented part cost around $60. Shock!! Even a regular screw cost $5 in their “official” website. That same screw purchased at a hardware store would have only cost 10 cents at the most. And don’t forget the real killer — $300 for labor! My advice to you (if you ever decide to repair your appliance): don’t buy from the crooked manufacturer and its subsidiaries. Youtube is full of “How to fix things” videos and in EBAY there are people selling the same parts for less than half the cost. Just make sure you research the exact part number for your particular model.

gas range partsI was so mad. I wasn’t going to spend a small fortune and wait 3 days for shipping for any part. I got creative and tinkered with that stove for a few hours and I got it done. Thanks to my early training. Praise God!

It’s obvious — there are SALESMEN and there are CRAFTSMEN. There are manufacturers who invest/focus on the sparkle in order to sell. And there are craftsmen who go after quality rather than profit. One succeeds temporarily while the other starts a legacy. People used to laugh at Japanese products in the 50s but Japanese products have matured in quality and have been outselling American products since the 70s. We’ve all been unappreciated but let’s be patient and take pride in what we do. Let’s be craftsmen!

TGIF people!

“You can tell the passion of the HEART by the craftsmanship of the HAND.”
— Raoul Pascual

Joke of the Week

Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. for sending this joke.

Joke of the Week: Lemon Squeeze

Video of the Week

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Where’s My Donkey?
Sent by Naomi of North Hollywood,CA

When was the last time you forgot where you left your donkey? I thought so. Here’s a good tip.


Don’s Puns

From Don’s collection of puns

Don's Puns: Fractions

Heavy Thought of the Week

Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Heavy Thought of the Week: Two Things to Remember

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Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. who shared this.

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  1. Tom

    May 29, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Great Intro. Congratulations on your talent exhibited with fixing the stove. Robin Williams was such a great talent and could poke various people and cultures without Guile. Thanks again for the smiles you spread with this every Friday.


  2. Heather

    May 29, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    You should have called me because I know exactly what to do. Is it a Samsung? They use the cheapest parts ever. When the knob breaks (because it’s plastic instead of metal) it costs $44.00 for a new knob! I simply remove the knob and put it back on and it works.


    • Raoul

      May 29, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Oh, I didn’t mean the knob only — the front knob. I meant the innards
      of that baby. (See the photo).

      Interesting that you are aware of these things. You’re a regular
      mechanic too. Your husband taught you well.

      I think when they sell their “industrial strength” ovens, it’s the same
      oven but not using their genuine plastic.


      • Heather

        May 29, 2019 at 4:24 pm

        My dad taught me everything about fixing stuff, etc. My husband was a genius at what he did, but Mr. Magoo at home!


  3. Chuck

    May 29, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Raoul,

    Thank you again for this. Did you make it to prayer meeting this week? I was still recovering from that virus from the prior week and I had planned on attending, but I had to go on Wednesday, next day for eye surgery for a cataract and I didn’t want to chance it. It went very well, due to many prayers sent up for me. I will call you later. We plan on going next Tuesday.

    My father was a chrome plater for O’Keeffe and Merritt in his younger days. The pride and joy of my mother’s kitchen was her O’Keefe and Merritt stove. White baked enamel and shiny glistening chrome – and weighted like a tank. Built to last till the second coming! I called on a customer on Atlantic Blvd. just south of Whittier Blvd. in East L.A. and there is a small 2nd Hand Store next to his office that sells refurbished stoves and ovens; and there sat a ‘new’ stove that could have come out of my mother’s kitchen! They sell every gleaming model that you could imagine – and in all colors and sizes – also other brands. Fun to see. That’s when things were made to last. My school friend still drives a Model A Ford….


    (:>}) Brother Chuck


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