I'm a tool, or maybe a machine - a machine at fixing appliances. Many will attest to how I'm not very handy around the house. The one thing I've had moderate success with for some reason is appliances. Earlier in the week, our dishwasher started making some weird grinding noises. After a quick look at it, I was pretty sure that the motor was shot and it would be more expensive to fix than to buy a new one. Instead of going out and buying a new dishwasher, I went to the good book: The Reader's Digest Book of Home Repair.
My brother-in-law Ed got this for me for Christmas 5 years ago or so, and it's amazing. Using the book, I was able to diagnose the problem in the pump, take the whole pump mechanism apart and find the problem. The pump had a pen cap, 14 cents and 2 marbles rolling around in it - none of which belonged there. I put it all back together, and it works beautifully.