Hackfest

Cars, Germany, status, Uncategorized

The last time I paid for a haircut was when I was in high school. I went to a plaza salon in Waterbury, CT. I lived in Waterbury at that time. After that disappointing cut I bought a hair cutting kit.

Over the past 12 or so years I have been administering haircuts to myself. I’m pretty sure that this is what ended my ponytail phase. I had one. It was weird.

That first set of electric cutting shears lasted me for about 3 years. I got another set after that and they lasted me through a couple of months ago. Since I’ve been here in Germany I have been cutting my own hair with scissors. The first time was a little bit scary. I asked Becca to help and she got way to close to my ear. It forced me to do some improvising but in the end I was able to salvage the haircut. Today I went in for my 4th haircut here in Germany. Did I mention that I do this myself? It was going very well for about 10 minutes. I’ve developed a system using a hand held mirror and standing over the bathroom sink. I simply grab some hair between my thumb and forefinger and chop. I try to keep my hair around 1 inch long throughout. Check out what I did today.

If you look closely there’s a little hackypoo going on in the back. I knew when it happened too. I could feel my scalp coming up in that area when I was chopping away. Here’s a view from the front. No big errors to be found.

“So why would anyone cut their own hair in this manner?” one might ask. Honestly it’s because I’m super poor. I simply can’t afford the 5 euros that it would cost to go to the barber shop. Aside from that I would have to explain to someone, in German, how I want my hair to look. Describing things can be a really difficult task here. My answer is to hack. What other choice do I have? I suppose I could just let it grow long.

Here is a closeup on the hack for those who love that sort of thing.

I’m finding that the lack of resources is requiring me to do quite a bit of hacking. For example I needed a guitar cabinet. I ended up just making one myself. I saved about 150 euros doing so. It sounds great and looks pretty good too. Checkit.

I decided to try my hand at dovetail joints. It was pretty frustrating. I didn’t have the right tools to make really great pins and tails. In the end I’m happy that I went in this direction. The dovetails give the cabinet some extra stability. It’s made out of crappy pine so it needs all of the stability it can get. I finished it with some lacker last week. Before I decided to just take a hack at it I was convinced that it would sound horrible and fall apart the first time I played an e minor chord. Because I had no other choice due to lack of funds, I hacked. 

I’ve lived a DYI lifestyle for quite some time now. I just haven’t been able to pay for things that I need or want. I’ve been sewing old shirts that are falling apart, tailoring shirts that have been given to me that are too big, fixing my own cars with the help of friends…pretty much learning how to do everything that I would otherwise need a professional to do for me. Right now we are carless. It’s amazing. I put so much energy into our cars back in the states. The accumulated grief that cars have caused me over the years could write a pretty good album. Actually I might just do that.

Luckily I logged tons of brotherhood hours with some awesome people who helped me fix things in my endless quest for mobility. Thanks Jay M, Jay C, Dave M, Dave E, Sal D, and most of all Rob T for being my mechanical heroes over the years.

I guess the moral of the story is to hack. If you have a problem and can’t pay to get it fixed just fix it yourself. It might not be that bad.

4 thoughts on “Hackfest

  1. Tim and I give each other haircuts since we moved out here 🙂 It is sometimes scary, but man does it save money!

  2. I’ve given Rick a trim or two. He was surprisingly calm about it. I, however, won’t let him near my head. Strange… Awesome guitar cabinet!

  3. I have given myself many many haircuts. And unfortunately, they usually don’t turn out so well. My money saving device when it comes to haircuts is only getting one once or twice a year! 🙂 But I know that doesn’t really work for short hair. Hope you guys are doing well! We miss you here!

  4. The Indians have a word for this, it’s something like “juga” (joo’-gah) meaning making do with what you’ve got. Always seems to work!

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