Do NOT try to do these by yourselves - oil changes, electrical work, tax preparation, pricing heirlooms, representing yourself in court, tree removal, formal or large printing jobs, and getting rid of bugs - according to this article.
Well, it's been many a year since I crawled 'neath the Valiant to remove the old oil and replace it. I can see where people who a) like doing this sort of thing and b) know what they are doing (not necessarily mutually inclusive groups) would enjoy saving money this way. And the savings can be considerable. Why blow 30 semolians at Lube-A-Rama when you can scoot out to AutoLand and get the oil and a filter for $25? Your savings: 5 dollars, unless you count your time. But if you enjoy rolling around on the JeepersCreeper, have fun. Please don't wipe your hands on the kitchen towel, though.
The only sort of electrical work I will undertake is changing light bulbs. Too many people I know have gotten the shock of their lives by assuming that that red wire is not "hot." It is so hot! And when the electrician does come over to the house to repair your repair, get him to share all the other stories he has about guys and gals who thought they knew "watt" they were doing.
I have a real accountant friend do our taxes. I like to tell people that I am heavily invested in pork belly futures, which, in all accuracy, means to say that we buy bacon every week. But with my diverse portfolio (United Ointments, Amalgamated Vinegar Inc) and our real estate holdings (rental properties on the Boardwalk and Baltic Av) it is best to seek professional help. Fact is, I just sign on the X, preferring not to know the precarious state of our finances.
My heirlooms are few and far between. I know that someone somewhere would want to purchase my jeans from 1970 with the Keep On Truckin' patch, or a fairly complete set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica (just volume "K" is missing, probably propping up a coffee table someplace). Any PC more than 6 weeks old is an antique, and we have one for the discriminating shopper. It takes those floppy disks, for crying out loud. Estimated retail price: Google it!
We all have that daydream where we are in court, defending ourselves against a lawsuit brought on by Donald Trump, who wanted to buy up our house to make room for a new gambling casino. In the fantasy, Trump, his impressive legal team, the judge and all the jurors are reduced to tears of laughter, as time after time, our verbal parries fend off the sharp thrusts of the inquisitor. In fact, the judge repeatedly bangs his gavel and hollers, "There will be order in this court!" but his heart's not really in it, as he is shaking with mirth and a jolly twinkle in his eye. In one memorable scene, Trump's attorney asks why I am so sure that a spurious deed to my ranch he is proferring is not for real. " I can spot fake things a mile away," I say, and then I look directly at The Donald and run my fingers through my hair while raising one eyebrow and pointing to his mane. Pandemonium reigns, and after the trial, in my daydream, several of the jurors ask, as they file out, if it would be all right with me for them to name their firstborn male child after me.
Tree removal? If it's like January 17th and you're dragging the red Blue Spruce out the front door, with about 17 needles and half a string of burned-out Christmas lights on it, that's the only kind of tree removal the average person ought to try. Cutting down a tree is dangerous, and should be given over to Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox. Any casual viewer of "America's Funniest Home Videos" has seen dozens of hapless men with chain saws in their hand and a 30-foot pine tree on their head. Don't be that man.
Printing jobs are best left to the Department of the Treasury. Most of us who would try to print our own make simple mistakes, such as putting Josh Hamilton instead of Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill. Blame Google Image Search all you like, but these little slip-ups mean long-term problems, or just long terms.
Getting rid of bugs can be something that you might like to undertake personally, depending on your shoe size, but when the cicadas come back in 2021, they are going to be man-eating cicadas that time! Up until now, the most prominent problem with the 17-year Locust has been their annoying hummmming sound, which for years was thought to be made by their hind legs rubbing together. Recent entomological research has found that the locusts made that noise by listening to disco music and dancing to it. When they come back and find no Donna Summer or Village People on the radio, they will be mad, and will eat you alive through the back of your neck. Unless your iPod is playing "YMCA." You decide.