I would like to say that this is because I'm technically gifted. It's not. It's because our life is, for the most part, low-tech. Relatively speaking. We have electricity and central heating. I have a car, a mobile phone, a refrigerator. I have a computer and the interweb. We're not exactly living off the grid here.
But we are trying to keep it simple. Old machines, reconditioned appliances, basic technology (is that an oxymoron?) that can be repaired. I think it's an appropriate choice for our lifestyle because we haven't got time to be fiddling with complex things. There's only two of us. So much time is lost when machines break down. Complicated machines have more parts to break down and are less easy to fix with, say, baler twine or a limited knowledge of electronics.
Mike acquired an old microscope from a lab at Cambridge University (I didn't ask how). It needed a domestic plug fitted so we could use it at home, for looking at microorganisms causing diseases in the pheasants. I googled a wiring diagram, cannabalised a plug from a broken lamp, and used my leatherman to strip the wires and put on the new plug:
Caution: Genius at Work
I couldn't have felt more MacGyver-y if I was fixing it with a ballpoint pen, a chewing gum wrapper and a piece of string (Actually I think he used that combo to effect a jailbreak, not fix a microscope). I plugged it in and there was a godawful BANG which blew the bulb and tripped the fuse.
That never happens to MacGyver.
A neighbor who happens to design complex electrical systems for a living was happy to take a look at it for us. Seems my re-wiring was spot-on (WooHOO!) but there was only a 6 volt bulb in it. And I plugged it into a 240 volt socket (D'OH!). Lesson learned.
On a daily basis I depend on the very low-tech. For example, the weather pinecone -