This Old House

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  #1  
Old 05-30-15, 06:02 AM
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This Old House

I have a couple of questions concerning the hosts/crew on both This Old House and Ask This Old House.

On both shows it seems to me that the hosts simply MUST rub their hands on anything and everything in the house, be it the floor, the counter tops, the cabinetry or furnishings. Why? I never have a need to get down and rub the floor at any house I visit nor do I do this anywhere else?

On ATOH they have a segment where one of the hosts brings out some silly looking thing and the others try to guess what it is. They try to be funny but fail miserably. In the end the thing is usually a really stupid idea that is more trouble than it is worth for some minor job. Does anyone else see this segment as just plain stupid and a waste of time?

And at the end of each program Kevin O'Conner says, "Until next time I'm Kevin O'Conner for ..." Who is he going to be when "next time" comes about? Why doesn't he just say, "I"m Kevin O'Conner for..."
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:10 AM
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I find both shows totally outdated and goofy from today's needs. They were entertaining at one time, but I would not tune in for giggles. I only feel for transitions as in tiles, flooring, countertops. I don't know why they do it.

The only time I did it was in our Madison County Chamber of Commerce building when they asked me to do some work. It was in the attic. The building was constructed in 1793. George Washington was president. Everything was tenoned and pegged. I simply had to touch it. Goofy, yeah.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:14 AM
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I rarely watch it, but kind of like the guessing game, although they take it a bit far with their crazy guesses sometimes. My grandpa used to kind of do something similar with me when I was young... give me a part or a tool of some type and see if I knew what it did, what it was for. Kind of makes you use a part of your brain that is a little more interactive than just watching the show I guess.

As far as touching things is concerned, the producers must make them do that for the benefit of the women that are watching to help their imagination. I swear, when my wife is shopping she has to touch absolutely everything. Must be the different way we are wired.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:21 AM
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This Old House is still better than the other similar shows even though it can be goofy. The director doesn't use what's called "quick cuts". That's when the camera angles constantly change every 6 or 7 seconds or even less than that. It drive me crazy. Those American Idol type shows are notorious for that. I won't watch those either.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:23 AM
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give me a part or a tool of some type and see if I knew what it did, what it was for.
Sort of like the mechanics at the airlines when you take in a FOD bag of stuff you found on the tarmac.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:49 AM
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Sort of like the mechanics at the airlines when you take in a FOD bag of stuff you found on the tarmac.
For those "outside the loop" FOD is airport talk for Foreign Object Debris or Foreign Object Damage.

I have no problem with someone presenting an old tool or a specialized tool and asking what it was/is used for and how it was used. I object to the absolutely silly things that make their way into this segment of the show. Things that very very few "professionals" would ever think of using.

What are some of the "similar shows" that drive you crazy? I don't have cable so I don't get HGTV or DIY network or even Holmes on Homes so that limits what I see. I do have available Today's Homeowner with Lou Manfredini
but I don't watch it as it seems to me to be nothing more than a vehicle for different manufacturers to show off their respective products. House Smarts with Danny Lipford is more along the lines of what TOH used to be and while I often find their projects to be irrelevant to my life they do a fairly decent job of presenting the viewer the basics. I find that House Calls with Ron Hazelton is pretty simplistic and far too often in my opinion he calls a contractor for a job that is fairly simple. The last is Hometime which seems to be going the TOH route. Hometime used to be jobs a homeowner could tackle with a fair degree of success but the last couple of years it has morphed into building high-end new homes or complete professional remodels.

When I was able to watch HGTV I was regularly appalled at the so-called DIY programming. I worked with a man whose wife watched HGTV and she was constantly coming up with projects for Terry. When he tried to explain it wasn't that easy or that it was quite expensive she would refer him to the show stating it was really easy and not at all expensive. The same thing happened to me when my sister wanted to put a polished concrete floor in her downstairs half-bath. I told her it was quite expensive, especially so for such a small area and she refused to believe me until she called a few flooring companies for estimates. Once she found the true cost and the downsides she quickly forgot all about ever even considering it.

But this is supposed to be a thread about just TOH and ATOH.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 06:59 AM
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It's your thread, but you introduced evidence, so we can cross examine it

People don't realize the demo which takes all of 30 seconds on TV in fast motion, really takes about 2 days. For entertainment purposes, they seem to skip over mundane things like shower pan liners or building the pan itself and go straight to laying tile. Stapling 3/4" hardwood moves along at supersonic speed, but they don't show the scribing, odd cuts and other time consuming things.

Most are entertainment, pure and simple. I think Mike Holmes is about the only one who stops to show the viewers the problems and how to overcome them, shaking his head at what he has found.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 08:08 AM
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I agree that almost anything shown on HGTV or DIY Network is pure entertainment, with the exception of Holmes and even he minimizes the mundane tasks.

But on PBS they should not be focusing on pure entertainment but on educating the viewer. While TOH, ATOH and Hometime were all originally produced for PBS they show reruns on a syndicated basis on for-profit (to name regular TV broadcasting) television the original programs are already short enough to allow for a few commercials without much editing.

My point being, that in years gone by these PBS programs DID make it clear that demolition took time and often mentioned alternate methods, tools or materials to give the viewer a chance to actually learn something. Today, however, all three shows are geared to expensive tools, expensive materials, use of contractors and no mention of alternatives or things a homeowner might be able to do. Heck, in most cases they have the homeowner move out completely and don't even ask that they sweep up at the end of the day. DIY shows have mostly devolved to where the homeowner's only task is to write the check and THAT part they never show.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 08:15 AM
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On ATOH they have a segment where one of the hosts brings out some silly looking thing and the others try to guess what it is. They try to be funny but fail miserably. In the end the thing is usually a really stupid idea that is more trouble than it is worth for some minor job. Does anyone else see this segment as just plain stupid and a waste of time?
I find this segment to be embarrassing. I fast forward through it. Usually I'll play it at the end to find out what the object does, but I agree. It's a terrible segment.

The rubbing is for TV. They use it as a way to draw your eye toward what they are talking about.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 10:42 AM
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I do have available Today's Homeowner with Lou Manfredini
but I don't watch it as it seems to me to be nothing more than a vehicle for different manufacturers to show off their respective products
That is exactly what it is, an infomercial. I personally know one company that was featured on the show and they had to pay a lot of money to be on the show. He uses that show as part of his selling package.

And at the end of each program Kevin O'Conner says, "Until next time I'm Kevin O'Conner for ..."
I think you are missing a comma, it should read "And at the end of each program Kevin O'Conner says, "Until next time, I'm Kevin O'Conner for ..." " Similar to when newscasters sign off.

The other thing that bugs me is recently on a recent show they had Scott the electrician (no relation) add some can lights to a kitchen. He was able to fish from one can in the joist cavity to the other in the same space. No issue there. Then he fished perpendicular to the joists to the other two cans. Now I don't know about your areas, but it always seams that any job he does, he has strapping that he can fish through. In my area there are no houses that have this strapping. They also never seam to show how much wall repair he needs to do.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 01:16 PM
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I think you are missing a comma, it should read "And at the end of each program Kevin O'Conner says, "Until next time, I'm Kevin O'Conner for ..." " Similar to when newscasters sign off.
Whether or not I missed a comma, and I'll admit I may have, the comma and the hesitation it represents are irrelevant, he (and all those others that use the same stupid phrase) is/are still saying that "next time" he will be someone different.


The other thing that bugs me is recently on a recent show they had Scott the electrician (no relation) add some can lights to a kitchen. He was able to fish from one can in the joist cavity to the other in the same space. No issue there. Then he fished perpendicular to the joists to the other two cans. Now I don't know about your areas, but it always seams that any job he does, he has strapping that he can fish through. In my area there are no houses that have this strapping. They also never seam to show how much wall repair he needs to do.
I saw that just last week, or maybe two weeks ago and had the same reaction. Maybe putting strapping on a floor joists prior to drywall is common where that took place but I have never seen that kind of construction. It is a disservice to the average viewer to make it seem (not seam) so easy.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 01:28 PM
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I agree. They would be better off spending a half hour and show the REAL way to install recessed fixtures. I've never seen strapping in any of my installations. I either notch the joists and patch or use a flex bit.

The flex bit makes the job easy but it is risky as you are drilling thru the unknown.

I'm a big fan of Holmes. He may go overboard on his repairs but the actual show is extremely helpful. The do fluff over some of the parts.... they have to. They are showing a two to six week job in one hour.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 01:57 PM
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There was a show called This New House. It was terrible. I watched it once. I don't know if it still exists. I hope not. BTW This Old House is on tonight on the east coast at 7PM, EDT.
Until next time, this is Pulpo O'Conner, for DIY.

PS a comma goes between O'Conner & for.

Correction. TOH is not on tonight.
 

Last edited by Pulpo; 05-30-15 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 05-30-15, 02:12 PM
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I don't watch any of those shows. I do like Ron Hazelton's house calls. Informative. Sometimes he misses some background info but usually he's pretty good.

And Furd, you need to chill.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 02:22 PM
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And Furd, you need to chill.
Actually, I don't. I can rant all I want concerning the misuse of language.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 03:23 PM
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That's why I proof read all my posts. I KNOW Furd is online with Marksr and me early in the morning. I get caught sometimes. But it's cool.
 
  #17  
Old 05-31-15, 10:35 PM
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Everyone of the home improvement shows mentioned are all on big huge commercial for one product or the other. I really don't care though because I still get good ideas on how to improve my house. A really great example was a segment I saw on This Old House about those all in one gutters that I will not name here. We bought those gutters and they have never clogged and also have kept water out of the basement in our rental house. So while I do agree they are a bit dated they still have some worth to them.

I can't figure out why they want to run their hands over everything either and what really grosses me out is when Kevin O'Connor eats something after having his hands on the floor. If he was in my house he would properly wash his hand first. I like the what is it segment though on Ask This Old House and think it might be fun to have a category like that here called What Is This. Only be fair and show the whole item and only if you are completely stumped.

I also think I learn a bit about electricity and plumbing that I didn't know before on Ask This Old House and a few things about plants that I didn't know before. My favorite now though has always been on commercial television and that is Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, it had been taken off of the market for a long time in my area and finally is back on. While it was off the air here I watched it every chance I had online and I watch segments occasionally of Ron Hazelton's House Calls which I believe isn't on air anywhere anymore.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 06:42 AM
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The "What Is It" segment is rather silly and pointless--but that's mainly due to the submission rules. The item is not purchased--viewers send in the item and it is not returned. That limits submissions to mostly worthless trinkets.

IMO the producers should include a truly interesting and useful item on occasion just to keep viewer interest up.

I like ATOH because it gets the guys out of Boston and into the real world where homeowners have actual budgets to live with.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 02:27 PM
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Guy, I never knew that about the "What is It?" segment. The one for this week is a grille scrubber that is sort of like a "Roomba" robot vacuum. It looked to me like a silly invention looking for a purpose. While I don't use my grille that often I have never had any problem cleaning it, just run it on high heat for about ten minutes and it cremates anything on the grid to the point that just a light brushing with a grille brush removes it.

I agree, showcasing a new and useful product would be interesting.

And yes, getting them out of Boston does make it more interesting. I like the episodes where Tommy does some work and shows the homeowner how to do it as well. That man is a real craftsman and a true asset to the show. I'm not much for gardening but I have learned a lot from Roger although his accent (gahden) is a bit irritating. Richard, while I like the man and his humor, too often irritates me with many of the things he does.

I do wish they would talk about the pricing of some of the things they use. Sometimes I see something that really interests me but when I do a Google and find out how much it costs I find that there is no way I could justify the cost.


My favorite ... is Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, it had been taken off of the market for a long time in my area and finally is back on. I watch segments occasionally of Ron Hazelton's House Calls which I believe isn't on air anywhere anymore.
Both programs are on the air in my area. Lipford's show is still being produced and he now has his daughter as a regular on the show. I don't know if the Hazelton shows are reruns but both shows have a fairly short season and do tend to do new shows following the same theme as previous shows. What I really like about both of these shows is that they have people that are obviously NOT millionaires (or at least not with $250,000 a year incomes) so I can actually relate to most of them.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 05:11 PM
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Maybe it is just my market then Joel as they seem to take off the better shows and you are right they don't usually do millionaire type jobs although there was something about a house project that went on for several segments of Today's Home Owner once. I saw that house project online before Today's Home Owner was put back on the market a few years ago. I think they called it the Cuppersmith project but I am not sure.

Joel speaking of grilling do you use a wire brush to clean your grill? If you do I saw an article on Facebook about a woman who had to go in for abdominal surgery. Apparently fine pieces of the brush went into the meat she was grilling and she was as a result hospitalized for a while. So this is a word of caution for everyone here to be careful as I know you are but to be extra careful while on the grill.

Actually spelled Kuppersmith here is a link to it http://www.todayshomeowner.com/kuppersmithproject/
 
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Old 06-01-15, 07:17 PM
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The Kuppersmith name is familiar, I may have seen a few of the episodes but I don't think I saw them all. I use an antenna for my TV and the channel that plays Today's Homeowner often fades in and out. I have been getting a better recording the last few weeks by using a different tuner and recorder.

I remember that story about the woman having the wire brush bristles in her gut. It may even have been a local story if I remember correctly, it was reported by one of our local consumer advocate reporters. And yes, I DO look at the grid very carefully after using the brush.
 
  #22  
Old 06-02-15, 12:16 AM
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You can still see the Kuppersmith project and other shows on the Today's Homeowner website so if you miss something like I did this last Sunday you can catch up with it online. I know you are careful Joel when I saw you mentioning a grill though I thought I should mention that. It is all over Facebook and I imagine on other places on the web as well so no need to post any particular warning here except to just mention it.
 
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