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I know, seemingly trite, it's only a lawnmower fix.  But to me youtube is much more than that.  It's the conversation, a human voice, the ability for us to reach out and to help and be helped by each other.  And to save us from all the cons out there that would have charged me $100 or more.  It was a simple fix.

My lawnmower cord jammed in the middle of my yard.  Mine is an older lawnmower and I have been wondering just when it might gasp its last breath.  I had already decided I would invest in a new one because the local "lawnmower repair guy" is now a famous rip off artist.  I keep waiting for his sign come down.  

A search on youtube immediately provided me with what I needed to know.  My blade was locked because of some caked on, seemingly petrified grass.  I scraped it off, hand turned the blade, and finished my lawn.

But back to the bigger point. Communicating with each other.  Hearing each others voices in YouTube clips.  Helping each other.  Sharing the wisdom of our elders.  Sharing what we have learned about life, about people, and about the world.

I don't know about you, but I feel increasingly isolated.  I am one of the aged "won't hire me" generation so I don't work.  My younger friends are all working 2 or three jobs to just stay poor as none of the jobs provides full-time work or a decent wage.

I live in one of the newly built housing areas where our electric automatic garage doors literally swallow us up when we get home.

Parents are afraid for their children, so it is rare to see groups of kids in the neighborhood playing.  The garages swallow the kids, too.

When I moved into this home, the neighbor across the street dropped in to see me and let me now about the other neighbors.  I will never forget the accolade she shared:

The neighbors are great, they stay to themselves and take good care of their yards.
I got the message.

I know I am not alone.

How many here feel isolated?  

Here's the problem, this isolation might be my own fault.

I gulp to share this but I think I have a raging case of social anxiety/phobia.  There, I said it outloud.

Unlike some, I can step over my fear and get things done, but honestly, people today scare the heck out of me.  

For example, just the other day, as I raised my hand, smiling ear to ear, to an oncoming driver in a parking lot to protect my grandchildren as we crossed, the woman became enraged and screamed some extreme profanity at me that would make a sailor blush.  A three year old angel was holding my hand.  How did that affect her?  That young women's rage, more than her ignorant words, definitely hiked my blood pressure.  I could feel it.  I wondered if she was crazy enough to run us down!

I think assaults like this accumulate over time.  Will good people withdraw while bullies are emboldened?

As an quintessential average American, I know I am not alone.

Apparently social anxiety is on the rise, especially among women.  Gee, I wonder why....snark.

There's a report that 30% of women worldwide are sexually assaulted.  This is not new news at all.  One in three have been sexually assaulted for decades.

Nearly 1,000 Bangaldeshi women all fell ill at the same time this past weekend.  Health officials concluded it was because of mass psychogenic illness, not the dirty water they have to drink while working.  

Could mass psychogenic illness be like a Hundredth Monkey Effect, as they all succumbed simultaneously?

Do many Americans suffer from mass psychogenic illness?

So thank goodness for youtube and social media.  At least we can help and hear each other on YouTube without feeling frightened by the encounter.  

Being able to share and show we care is a saving grace in my book.

And thanks to the lady who made the "how to fix my lawnmower" video, wherever you are.

Thankfully I watched the whole video before embarking to fix my lawnmower, btw.

Without social media, can democracy survive an isolated, fearful, socially anxious, surveilled citizenry?  Or will we increasing huddle in our own homes, venturing out for work, food, and gas only?

Will fear replace democracy like this clip from V for Vendetta demonstrates?

And, yeah, YouTube can also be used for negative purposes BECAUSE we are a free-speech Republic.


Do you have a YouTube account so you can record your voice?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ya, youtube has saved me several (11+ / 0-)

    hundred dollars repairing various items (computers, autos, power tools, etc.) around the house. The last one was a $6.00 part from ebay and twenty minutes of my time, laptop repair that a local computer shop wanted a C-note to fix.

    Fuck me! He made it. Will Scarlet

    by dagolfnut on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:07:46 AM PDT

  •  I'm gonna check youtube now for that spring and (6+ / 0-)

    lever gadget that is supposed to maintain constant rpm.

    I've already tried every available library book and web page. Maybe a video will do the trick.

    Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

    by FrY10cK on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:13:15 AM PDT

    •  It's called a "governor". (5+ / 0-)

      Just one of those worthless tidbits of information that I'm able to remember instead of important stuff.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  except I'm not sure that's what Briggs & Strattton (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, Aunt Pat

        calls this device on their 450 series lawnmower engines. "Idle spring" or some such comes to mind. I think its purpose is to maintain constant rpm as load on the motor changes. It no longer performs that function.

        But yes I've seen centrifugal governors on old time engines.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

        by FrY10cK on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:20:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Could be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrY10cK, Aunt Pat

          In my understanding, the "idle spring" and screw control the RPMs at idle by limiting how far the throttle can close.

          I'm pretty sure they still use a centrifugal governor on these things but I haven't worked on one in a long time.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 12:16:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a 48cc Briggs & Stratton 450 Series motor (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            and I can't figure out how to fix those little springs and levers since I bent them (turning it over to change to blade -- yes I remembered to disconnect the spark plug).

            So now it bogs down whenever I encounter heavier weeds where it use to run at a constant rpm.

            I hate feeling dumb but that's how you learn.

            Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

            by FrY10cK on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 01:50:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thx for sharing. My wife & I both have anxiety. (7+ / 0-)

    Thank goodness we finally admitted our anxieties to our doctors. It's not severe, though enough to impact our day-to-day life.

    As a homeowner (and vehicle owner) I live on YouTube to find fixes to various issues with my property.  I've saved myself thousands of dollars by "doing it myself" with the help of anonymous-to-me YouTubers.

    "If they're shooting at you, you know you must be doing something right"

    by ayjaymay on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

  •  I'm working on fixing a young womans (10+ / 0-)

    home on wheels , she was crying from the stress , the cops were saying her "home" was going to be towed away .
    Its towed to a new spot and after lunch I will go and see about getting it to run again .

    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. David Morrison

    by indycam on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:18:42 AM PDT

  •  By nature I am a Pessimist. (8+ / 0-)

    By policy I am an Optimist.
    By nature I am an Introvert.
    By policy I am an Extrovert.

    The policies work for me but the latter was only possible after I learned to thrive whilst living outdoors.

    If your neighbors aren't friendly enough consider a church. Most are welcoming and fewer than you think are demanding. As a minister said, "You don't make any friends in the pews." Stay late and wash the coffee cups.

  •  Reminds Me I Need to Pull My Blade Off & Grind It. (5+ / 0-)

    Tried at beginning of the season but couldn't get the locking nut to budge. Is it a normal direction thread (left makes loose) or is it backward?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:34:54 AM PDT

  •  We use YouTube (5+ / 0-)

    as a resource, too. DH uses it more frequently than I do.

    We also both have anxiety; mine is more social, his is more general.

  •  You are not crazy, we live in a crazy world (5+ / 0-)

    If you went to a psychiatrist, more than likely they would give you some sort of pill to "treat" you.

    But you are not ill.  More and more, we live in a crazy world, filled with people doing crazy things.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:36:06 AM PDT

  •  Social trauma running amok.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, War on Error, Aunt Pat

    I agree with you.
    Our society is ill. Way too much stress.

     Besides that, I also appreciate the myriad lessons that Youtube has to offer.

  •  Once Society Worked to Help Us Socialize (5+ / 0-)

    I live in a hundred year old neighborhood of a rustbelt inner suburb. The houses are built close together and near to the sidewalk. Every house has a front porch and everybody spends time on them where it's easy to socialize with neighbors and passers-by.

    Image Hosted by

    After ww2 society made a decision to put an end to this so all the developments from then on encourage insular living. Houses set back, no porches or else porches or decks in the back yards, attached garages so you're never seen outdoors coming and going.

    Our house dates from then despite being on this old block; so the prior owner built a deck out front and we roofed it to make it a proper porch.

    Parents, visitors, kids and pets all love their porches. We have a doggie door in our outer door so whenever we're home, the inner door is open and Toto can dive in and out at will.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:49:09 AM PDT

    •  yes--oddly, this change happened in the 1930s, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, Aunt Pat

      despite our sense that the Depression was a time of renewed communalism.  I've lived most of my adult life in 1920s bungalows (in old inner suburbs of various cities), which still have wonderful big front porches.  I'm now living in a bungalow built in 1939--very lovely but with a tiny front porch and an elaborate back deck.  No more big front porches anywhere, after WWII.

      However, this is still an old inner suburb, where it's common to see people walking their dogs, babies in strollers, etc; and there's a library and an old downtown in walking distance.  It's pretty clear that the social fabric is more fully frayed (or non-existent) in the newer suburbs and exurbs.

  •  We never have had democracy yet. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Aunt Pat

    But, the civil rights and consumer rights revolution of the sixties created the potential, and the powers that be have been in push-back mode ever since.
    You see, the object of segregating and abusing one particular population was to set an example for the rest of what would happen (wholesale deprivation of rights), if they did not behave themselves. Consequently, when blacks and Puerto Ricans and Italians and Sephardic Jews could no longer be targeted, the solution was to isolate everyone and target them individually. You'd think that would be impossible, but the tradition of substituting ownership of things for human rights made it possible to persuade a lot of people that the American Dream is not respect, but a house for everyone and a car to transport them from house to work.
    Car culture. It is the handmaiden of the culture of obedience. Cars are cages on wheels. If people are reluctant to interact with other people, it's because they have fallen out of the habit of dealing with people who aren't in some kind of cage.
    Road rage is a consequence of the fact that people have been led to believe that strapped in their vehicles they are free. When that turns out not to be the case, they feel both frustrated and deceived.
    I think it was a grave tactical mistake for the authoritarians to express their willingness to let car manufacturers go down the tubes. It alerted the populace to the fact that cars had just been an instrument of social control and, if they didn't work, they'd just be gotten rid of. The irony, I think, is that in dismissing the car as a failed instrument of control, the authoritarians inadvertently freed it to returning to what most people (all around the globe) appreciate -- a utilitarian instrument that lets them go faster and further than they can on their own two feet, a tool that saves their own energy and time. Personal energy and time are, after all, the two elements that are definitely in limited supply. So, overcoming those limitations is good; and self-affirming. And that's the last thing authoritarians want. What they want, aye need, is people who are unaware.
    People perambulating on foot are scary because they are doing something people in their cages have fallen out of the habit of doing. That's why OWS raised such ire in the cops. People on foot are at liberty to go where they want. People in cages on wheels aren't. Not only are they strapped in, but, in exchange for permission to operate a potentially lethal machine, they've agreed, ahead of time, to being stopped (arrested) at any time. It's this reality which has induced the cops to try to extend it to the whole population and generated the belief that they should be obeyed at all times. Which is how come the car is the handmaiden of the culture of obedience.
    Obedience is a virtue. But, like the other virtues, when obedience is coerced, it becomes a vice. Force is the essence of evil. That is why in a democracy force is dispersed over the whole population, only to be assembled in case of need. Our standing military is evidence that we are perhaps farther from democracy than some less developed countries. We have the idea; they have the real thing -- well, some of them.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:50:12 AM PDT

    •  Very interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      How would explain the isolation for so many in walking cities like New York?

      We suburbians have all been nicely filed and mollified, well out loud that is.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:55:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "horrors" of living in the cities is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, Aunt Pat

        part of the suburban paradise myth. Although NewYorkwas emptied of residents via a concerted effort to strip them of services, the cities are now filling up again and New Yorkist back to looking at ten million.
        Another mistake made by the autocrats was putting the "burdens" of racial integration on the backs of the children. Riding school buses got them used to the comforts and reliability of public transportation. So, now there is growing support for such amenities while segregated high occupancy lanes have never caught on.
        That the opposition to municipal services and the desirable densities to make them cost-effective was never sincere can be seen from what actually was developed in and around the nation's Capital, where the politicians actually live.
        There's this theory that people living in crowded quarters leads to crime. It is this theory which is justifying the Pentagon planning for major population uprisings as the rising seas constrict the available land. People living in crowded conditions does increase the need for public health services, utility services, waste management, etc. and when these aren't provided, it sends a message to the criminal element (the illegal exploiters) that the authorities don't care and exploitation of all kinds can be perpetrated with
        Some people do suffer from agora phobia. In people who go from place to place in their cages on wheels, it is not so noticeable. Also, people with no sense of direction fear going anywhere on their own. GPS seems to be helping with that. :)

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 02:26:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My business is fixing lawn mowers. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, War on Error, Aunt Pat

    Not many people clean them before they put them away, and the grass build-up can cause the problem you had, plus others.

    Use caution when purchasing a lawn mower/tractor that says you can clean it with a hose through a fitting on top while the blade is turning; that cleaning method dulls the blades.

    Sorry your guy charges too much, I went to have a boat motor checked and a trailer rewired and they quoted me $99.00 per hour for the labor.  I kept shopping.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:54:07 AM PDT

  •  these days when I have a question about absolutely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Aunt Pat

    any kind of practical process, I'll just google "How to..."  Usually the relevant youtube videos will be among the first results (but there are also very useful text-only sites like,, etc).  

    But youtube is fantastically useful, for example, in learning how to play particular songs on any common musical instrument--last night I learned "Let it Be" and "Lady Madonna" on the keyboard...

    Next I'll learn how to change my lawnmower blade...

  •  Cleaning the Carb Bowl (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Aunt Pat

    My mower would start, run a few seconds, then sputter and die. Checking YouTube, it suggested removing the carburetor bowl and cleaning that area out. That did the trick.

    If you're wondering, the carb bowl is the little bowl somewheres around under the fuel priming squeegee bulb. Undo the bolt-thing on the bottom of it and remove the bowl and bolt-thing, being careful not to lose the washers. Clean inside the bowl. On the bolt-thing itself, there are some tiny holes that fuel flows through. Use a piece of wire to ream those out. Reassemble.

    Caveats: Drain the gasoline first, or pinch the fuel hose shut. And, depending on mower design, that bolt-thing may be tough to access. I had to loosen the engine mount screws and pull the engine up to get enough room to get a socket wrench in.

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