Tuesday, November 15, 2011


While it is best to just throw junk mail away, once in a while I open a flyer, just to see if there might accidently be something interesting inside. Usually not. But, recently I did run across something that was in fact interesting, in a negative, perhaps even pejorative way. (I always wanted to find a place to use pejorative - in case you haven’t run across it before - it means “having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force”. Wow, a legitimate use for this word!)

Most of us know what DIY stands for - Do It Yourself. This is a mantra that I am particularly attuned to, and one that leads to a massive dose of satisfaction in my life. Then there is DDIY: Apparently it is a new term, perhaps only being used by one outfit that wants to convince you to sit back and let them do everything. I did a quick Google search and came up with a lot of DIY references, but none for DDIY.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, DDIY stands for Don’t Do It Yourself.

What does DIY mean to me - perhaps the simplest way to explain it is to talk about my Jag E-Type. Many times people who see my car proceed to tell me about the XKE they had. I really don't know how many times I have been told that their E-Type spent all its time in the shop.

Funny that, my little primrose yellow ‘69 has given me 130,000 miles of fantastic driving. Yes, I do all my own work. And, yes, the car is reliable.

Would I ever have been able to afford a Jag XKE if I didn’t do my own work? Easy answer to that one - heck no. Or would I have ever been able to build a clock business that prepared me for retirement if I paid others to do everything for me?

I found the concept of promoting DDIY to be very obnoxious, as I suppose the above might suggest. In terms of my Jag, do I really believe that it would have gotten me home from every trip if I had used the specialists to keep it maintained? Can’t say I have ever, not even once, had someone comment on how reliable their XKE was. Hmmm - a message here?

Thought comes to mind - the old expression “Them’s Fighting Words”. That is how I feel about DDIY. There will be those who like the idea of having someone figure everything out, do all the challenging tasks, and get all the satisfaction of a job well done. I suspect those folk might not get why I am a bit lathered about DDIY.

Flip side, it took me a while to get to the point I could say I was a good Jag mechanic - I have done a fair bit of work on my XKE, I have made mods that make it a better car for me, but have kept the heart and soul of the car - its torquey 4.2 liter straight six. Given my financial situation when I first bought it, it never would have been with me all these years if each time I ran into a challenge I had headed for a specialist to sort it out. The money just wasn’t there, so I did it myself. I suppose that is why I do so many things myself - I couldn't afford to have someone else do it for me. In fact, I believe that is one of the secrets to my satisfaction and happiness - not being able to have everything done for me.

On my end, I plan to keep right on doing all the things I love to do, and taking on new challenges, and being a very very satisfied old dude driving a primrose yellow XKE.

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