365 Challenge: Day 74 – Mechanical

Mechanical: (a) not having or showing thought or spontaneity; automatic or (b) working or produced by machines or machinery

Two definitions; two polarizing meanings and impacts. Should I get deep and introspective, or just cover the perimeter of both… What’s a guy to do on a very rainy morning? Think about pasta… seriously, look at that photo below. Did you know that’s how they shaped and created spiral noodles? I’d never thought about it before, and when I found this GIF, I stared at it for over a minute, fascinated by the ingenuity and simplicity all wrapped in one little machine. I suppose it’s baked afterwards, or maybe it hardens on its own. Very curious now… OK, back to the topic at hand… mechanical… I fit one definition perfectly, but I’m quite far from the other one. I’m sure you know by now which is which.

My father is a very handy jack-of-all-trades. He can build motors, repair most anything and understands exactly how any piece of machinery works. I, unfortunately, did not inherit any of those abilities. On the rare occasion, I understand enough to get by, but there are many things out there that still confuse me. I laugh about it, but part of me is disappointed in myself for not being able to grasp what seems like a simple concept. A few examples:

  • Toilet Bowls
    • Occasionally the lever or internal parts will stop working. Plastic breaks every few years. It’s often a simple and direct replacement. I sorta get how it works and if I really applied myself, I could probably fix it. But I’ve had a few times where I just stared, willing it to fix itself. It’s not about doing the work; I’m happy to fix and repair things. But trying to figure out which piece to hold up while you push the other down… or how to get the water level just right for the flush. Ugh… for a smart math guy, I’m pretty dumb when it comes to something like fixing a toilet tank.
  • Cars
    • I was once taught how to change a tire. I’ve never had to do it myself because I’ve never had a flat tire when I was a driver (haven’t had a car in the city in 5+ years). I had a nail in the tire once, but it was not causing any real immediate damage. I had an inspection coming up, so I dropped the car off for both to be handled. I probably could have attempted it myself. But it’s not a strength in my wheelhouse, so I avoided it. One would think I’d look at it as an opportunity to learn something new, but I don’t. It’s not laziness, as I am fine spending 4 hours cleaning every nook and cranny of the kitchen and bathrooms. I’m good with building bookshelves and planters. But I couldn’t tell a carburetor from a muffler if my life depended on it. Pretty sad.
  • Door Knobs
    • I once tried to replace a door knob and lock on my own. I thought it would be a simple task. But my brain struggles to grasp the whole concept of which direction something turns, how the gears wind or work, what loosens or tightens. In the end, I installed it, but it was still a bit loose, and I was glad it was an inside door as I’m sure anyone could have easily broken in to the place if it were the outside door. From that point on, I won’t touch door knobs or locks.

So… my point being… I can calculate numbers and advanced mathematical equations in my head. I can write a character description or scene setting you’ll fall in love with. I can grow flowers, cook and clean. I can lift heavy weights and do intense exercise routines. But I have little to no mechanical skills whatsoever. While not life-threatening, I’d not want to be stuck in a life or death situation on my own, where I needed these skills.

The only saving grace I feel in this situation comes from what other people think of me, or what they’ve told me on past occasions. A large group of friends and I once played something called “The Voting Game” during one of our monthly game nights. We found it at Barnes and Noble, and it’s basically a bunch of cards with sayings or quotes, and then you vote which person in the group is most like that card. It’s semi-anonymous, but you could play it either way. A card came up basically saying the person who you would most trust to help you get off a remote island and survive any complication thrown at you while stuck somewhere. My friends all voted for me, so that helps offset the lack of mechanical skills. At least people know I’m persistent and always find a solution to a problem.

On the flip side, I am often mechanical in my approach to things, thus meeting the first definition. I am very consistent. I follow routines. I have a linear and organized approach to planning. I often have automatic responses to questions or situations without even thinking about or interpreting what I’ve heard. So at least I fit one of the definitions. Any mechanical folks out there, either definition?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


  1. When I was a teenager, my Dad taught me how to change a flat, change the oil, and file the plugs. Because my husband never let me do it (and doesn’t do it himself, but has it done), I lost the “art.” I am pretty good at mechanical things IF I have the instruction booklet. I can read well. Ha Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I just stared, willing it to fix itself”, on the floor, laughing!!
    My dad is just like your father. He got two sons, one is almost as handy as him, and the other is like a hairbrush in a tool shed.
    Great post! Love the rabbit GIF😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now you’ve got me laughing too! LOL Thank you very much. It was quite a scene. Trying to hold back the brewing frustration, wanting to thrash it… telling myself to just be calm, and it will fix itself. Never happened.

      Was a cute gif. Totally how I’d do it. 🙂

      Thanks for the share!

      Liked by 1 person

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