Local Resources Help with Self-reliance Resolution

Regina Hope Sinsky published this great piece about us over at SF Gate as part of her New Year’s resolution of greater self-reliance.

“Do I need to call the boys over to do it for you?”

My dad asked this question as I attempted to build a soccer goal. I was 9 years old, and it did the trick. The thought of boys, or anyone for that matter, building my goal was enough to motivate me to do it myself.

Yet at the age of 29, I find myself calling upon “the boys” (and girls) to do things around my home I should be doing myself. I can’t change a tire. I can’t sew. I don’t know how to start a garden. I can’t repair my own bike. I can’t fix my sink. Why bother when I can pay someone to take care of it?

But then I hear my father’s voice – “Do I need to call the boys over to do it for you?” – and I cringe.

So my 2011 resolution is to become more self-reliant. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities for folks like me to achieve this goal. The Bay Area is teeming with people who believe being self-sufficient is as good for the individual as it is for the community. This year, your resolutions can be tangible, and someone is there to help you achieve your goals. Here’s a sampling of what I found.

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S.F. Auto Repair Center

After googling “carburetor,” I discovered my car doesn’t have one. But it does have four tires, and when one goes flat, I’ve had to find someone to fix it.

Until last week. Now I can do it myself, thanks to Gary Siegel at San Francisco Auto Repair Center. Siegel just took over operations and now offers basic car repair and maintenance classes.

“Just because a car is easy to drive doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn to communicate with it,” Siegel says. “Knowing basic car mechanics can help you fix things yourself or better convey to an expert what needs to be done.”

We open the hood of a little red Dodge Neon, and Siegel explains each of the major parts and their functions.

Then he shows me how to check fluids properly (some require a warm engine, others a cool one), how to change lightbulbs, how to check tire pressure and how to change a tire in less time than it takes a tow truck to arrive. Fifteen minutes isn’t NASCAR speed, but it’s not too shabby for a beginner.

CLICK HERE to read the full article over at SF Gate and then call us on (415) 285-8588 to find out about our upcoming Classes.

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