Not just goofy home videos any more, maturing Youtube offers a wealth of DIY video resources for do-it-yourselfers.

What is YouTube?

There was a time not too long ago when if asked what is Youtube?  You might have responded that it’s the world’s biggest collection of home videos ranging from skateboarding dogs, to dancing bridal parties, to rambling kids spacing out on novacaine.  You may have mentioned music videos and especially the plethora of cover songs and live performances, and of course, there are videos of every kind of sport and activity with footage from helmet cams, bike camsdashboard cams, and even space shuttle cams.

What you may not have responded with is a detailed do it yourself auto repair screw-by-screw tutorial for pulling the intake manifold from your Ford Escape so you could change the back three sparkplugs which, for reasons that mere mortals cannot possibly comprehend, are buried  underneath an awful lot of other stuff that has to be removed first.  You may not have mentioned the step-by-step do it yourself appliance repair video showing detailed disassembly of your Maytag Dryer to replace a broken belt tensioner pulley.

nothing beats solid detailed instructions!

Left to my own devices, who knows how many screws I would unnecessarily removed for my dryer repair if I didn't have a video that showed only two that actually needed to be removed!

What you may have missed if you haven’t been paying attention, is that Youtube has become the go-to authority for almost all things DIY, often offering multiple do-it-yourself videos, some from fellow do-it-yourselfers who want to share what they’ve learned, and some from professionals who offer free do it yourself video tutorials in exchange for the opportunity to pitch their shop as the place to go if you bite off more than you can chew or need to buy parts to finish your DIY project.

Either way, it’s not a bad thing, and as a do-it-yourselfer who has done both the plugs on the 03 Escape and the belt tensioner pulley on the Maytag dryer, I can tell you firsthand that having a good do-it-yourself video tutorial on hand not only saves time, money, and mistakes, it could even save you from having bloody knuckles by suggesting a better technique for removing a sticky bolt than what you may have attempted otherwise!


WARNING! Posting vacation plans to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media could make your home a prime target for burglars this summer!

Okay moms and dads, pop quiz! What’s the worst thing that could happen to your home while you’re away on family vacation?  Fire? Flood? Burglary?  More importantly, what is the most likely of these to actually be realized by returning vacationers?

Each year, there are more than 2 million burglaries in the US, over 65 percent of which are residential break-ins, with the majority occurring during the peak vacation months of July and August, according to a July 2007 Insurance Information Institute article.

With summer fast approaching and family vacations on the horizon, it’s only natural for kids and adults alike to  announce or discuss vacation plans with family and friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The kids are so cute on the Cape Cod dunes, who can resist posting this smartphone photo to facebook during vacation?

Unfortunately, what folks aren’t considering is the availability of that information to the broader social reach, including tech-savvy criminals who can use those posts, tweets, status updates, and discussions to identify your empty and unprotected home during the time when you are away on vacation. Those exuberant tweets of upcoming vacation dates, timeframes, and destinations could increase your chances of being burglarized while away.

Think twice before cyber-bragging! That breathless post to your facebook friends, that vacation has FINALLY arrived “Look out Disney, here we come!” might as well be a giant sign on your front lawn saying “Come on in, take what you want, there’s nobody home this week!”

fishing for striped bass at duck harbor in wellfleet cape cod

A steady stream of vacation photos sent to facebook, twitter, or youtube, might as well announce that your house is empty and prime for burglary!

So do yourself a favor and skip the vacation announcements on Facebook and Twitter.  Reign in your kids who will not only discuss vacation plans openly before the vacation, but will also offer real-time status updates through their mobile phones during the vacation that further confirm the vulnerability of your home as a safe target for burglars.






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