Here at the International Handyman Headquarters we like to keep track of our
local critter population. Especially when deer appear unbidden and unannounced
at all hours of the night and day.

To see an early example consider this insouciant family group of three Cervidae quietly
browsing early one morning not more than a hundred yards from heavy road construction


Recently, in the last few weeks, there have been other appearances in downtown urban
Raleigh, such as this daylight romp down the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood.

Or two nocturnal visits to sample the clover found in a carefully groomed North Hills
neighborhood lawn.


The Dog Days of August howl with pain when a beautiful clear fir vintage solid wood door
arrives in the shop seriously crippled by an encounter of the unpleasant kind!

A real good old timey Legacy Entry Door should not suffer such indignity!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! O how hast this most grievous wound come to pass?

Fortunately Habitat for Humanity provides a perfect replacement salvage panel to transplant
into the damaged heritage door with complete recovery anticipated and followed by many more
decades of useful service in the dwelling of origin for this most hearty and faithful relic
of times past.

The world made whole again. Whew!

For other door repair adventures




TJ Kattermann-One man repairs and home improvements in Raleigh’s Glenwood South and the metropolitan area.

(919) 834-4833

The world is filled with technical specification requirements, commercial,
legal and government code restrictions,even engineering design demands-
all of which fall under the general rubric of “Best Practices”.

Most people in most work environments accept the value of these generally
accepted practice templates, usually based on a previous generations experience
of bitter failure from past attempts to achieve a certain desirable outcome.

Architects tell more than a few dramatically epic war stories.

For many, Boston’s John Hancock Building may come immediately to mind. CLICK LINK



But then appears today’s Exhibit A from my little world of residential
repairs and improvement- an example so far off the beaten path as to make
any carpenter question the value of code compliant design or any other generally
accepted “Best Practice”.

Forget about the absence of X braces or the retrofitted angle brackets (and bolts?)
and just meditate briefly on the location of a two story load bearing post positioned
in the middle of a 12 foot open span rim joist! Held in place by nails? Impossible to
determine from the street.

Truly this is a marvel of by guess and by golly backwoods engineering.

The ultimate Best Practices Paradox!

Given the age of materials this structure has been in service at least ten
if not twenty or even thirty years! In all that time people have used these
stairs and no harm has come to anyone.

By what magic does this deck remain upright? Surely BEST PRACTICE protocols
would predict a quick and early demise long ago!

Mortal minds will be hard put to determine whether this edifice is an example of
divine intervention or satanic interference.

But there she stands proud and unquestioned for all to see.


A blast from the past!

Yes! Before the World Wide Web, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts,
Twitter, and EVEN FACEBOOK(!!!!), civilization was blessed with something

Newspapers were the all-knowing, all-seeing omniscient precursor to

People found these newspaper things sold on every street corner, free to
read in every barbershop, restaurant, library,and shoeshine stand.They eagerly
consumed the content therein for all the IMPORTANT EVENTS OF THE DAY.

And sometimes the newspaper Gods would smile on ordinary Pedestrian
Americans and publish their (unpaid) homegrown contributions to
Civilization within the sacred, hallowed pages of the daily press.

So back on December 22, 1991, yours truly found his humble suggestions for
a Safe and Happy Holiday reproduced in the Friday edition of Raleigh’s News &
Observer, thousands of copies of which were distributed all over the State of
North Carolina and other select portions of the United States!

A heady experience for a small town Fixit Guy!

So for a taste of vintage humor enjoy this selection from the voluminous archives
of yesteryear’s Fixit Files!

Note the reference to a spontaneous battery fire! Before laptops and cellphones!


Warning! Shocking real life story about kitchen faucet replacement ( or why there is no
such thing as a simple job!) Not some showroom shiny parts kabuki theatre, but an
ACTUAL SINK with ACTUAL rusty flanges and rusty nuts and rusty bolts and an ACTUAL
oscillating multitool to cut them off! Probably the only such example on the ENTIRE
INTERNET! Never watch a prancing pony of pecuniary production parsimony demonstrate
a Fixit Job! For the real thing call a real FIXIT GUY!

Read More

Sigh. No sweet potatoes from the 4×4 raised bed this year. Apparently
last year’s crop was beginners luck.

About this time in 2015 the bed had gone completely free range..

Free Range Sweet Potatoes




This year a couple of sweet potatoes in the bottom of the bin
(24 pounds of sweet potatoes can be surprisingly hard to consume or even
give away in 9 months!) were SO gung ho and eager to grow into adult plants
they sprouted two inch roots with no water or encouragement so I had no choice
but to cut them up and put them into the raised bed of their birth so they could
produce progeny.

For several weeks all was well. Then one morning this sight greeted my wondering eyes.



I think this heist was pulled by the deer who currently grace our neighborhood because
that level of consumption is alot of work for the resident rabbit. At least for one night.


Sooo, once I determined the plants would recover I retaliated against the
wildlife with this:



And then this morning all the plants were gone! INSIDE THE PROTECTION CANOPY!

There were holes in the ground. Voles or moles no doubt. As soon as my
grief will allow I will post autopsy photos. Sob!

How to measure a tree in the Rain Forest:


Emergency Blog Post! Award winning meteorologist Greg Fishel needs assistance
to measure Fountain Mountain! Here are my suggestions. Send him yours.

WRAL Grounds Maintenance will not lend him their transit and the third grade
class at Wiley Elementary School was not available to build an inclinometer
for him to use. (Darn snow days!)

The WRAL Boy Scout Troop was nowhere to be found either!

WikiHow explanation of field height measurement CLICK LINK

From my 1935 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook:


Youtube Videos:

Repost December 22, 2014. (Now over 23 million views)

This video was first posted on December 18th 2013and after about 8 hours
acquired over 2 million views. Three days later it topped 12
million views. That folks, is the true definition of viral video.
So, if you are one of the crowd who has yet to find the authentic,
authorized link from the original source please find it here as
my Christmas Greeting to you.




Spotted on Horne St. –Crochet Tire Cover for Jeep Spare Tire.

You know, you are manly man with a rough, tough jeep and a mounted spare tire to
be prepared for anything just in case and a member of the female persuasion comes
along and knits a crochet cover to prettify the thing. Or vice versa. Whatever.
Don’t mess with Texas!

And if you want to see little knit ear caps for horses CLICK HERE