Raggedly Rich

Canadian Finances, Musings, and Art

DIY Round Up – Dash Cams, Motorcycles & Pizza Do’h

Funny story – two summer’s ago my Dad tried to ‘fix’ the weeds in the grass by spraying it with weedkiller… using the reference picture above, you’ve got one guess to figure out exactly how that went. Turns out, ‘weedkiller’ was actually ‘killex’, which is much less discriminatory with what it kills. It only took two weeks for our grass to shrivel into yellow straw, but thankfully it didn’t kill the tree in the front yard.

The lesson in this? There are things you can do yourself, and things that you… can’t. Here’s a couple things that didn’t explode or die after we used the tried and true google and youtube methods!

While I definitely don’t suggest tackling things yourself that you’re not comfortable doing (I, say, would never attempt to do my own makeup, because that would be a disaster if I could actually manage to get makeup tool to face – I’m a blinker and an unconscious ‘moving away from you slowly because I’m terrified’ type of person), there’s nothing wrong with taking a whack at something you might think will be within your abilities.

I’ve got three DIY projects that were accomplished to varying success (the pizza was delicious the last time, I swear).

Battery Replacement

My Mum started complaining of her dash cam not recording and acting funny (my bro got us all value dash cam’s for Christmas a few years back – I know, I know, we’re the coolest family around) – and I was thusly called in for my technical expertise to ‘fix it’ from being ‘not working properly’. My dash cam had been acting up as well, so I finally sat down with both of them and googled my way to solutions.

I turns out, when you click the power button just once, it ‘protects’ the current footage. Do that enough times without knowing about it – no more room for the cam to erase and re-record. Was able to fix mine with that.

My Mum’s, however, kept flashing ‘low battery’ and going into some sort of electronic meltdown every 10-15 minutes, and the last time over it was stuck in a loop. Google revealed that it was probably a battery problem, and we cracked the baby open to see what was up. The battery looked okay (or maybe wrinkly?) and we hunted down a replacement.

( unfortunately, shipping lithium ion batteries is a mess, since there’s that whole exploding in the air thing – so instead of getting it for $5 USD, we had to get one for $18 CAD; it was supposed to be 350mah, but it’s only 230 or something – my Dad has reassured me that won’t be a marked difference. And still cheaper than a new camera! )

The Magical World of the Garage turned up a small soldering pen and some solder wire, and after stripping the connections (the battery was actually a replacement for a handset phone), I attached the battery to the unit. It seems to be working so far, fingers crossed that it keeps on trucking for a little while.

Tucking Motorcycle In For The Winter

I’m leaving in a week, and that me

ans that with the bad bout of weather coming, there won’t be any more time to enjoy my frivolous buy. Winter time means a full gas tank, draining the old oil, replacing the oil filter and gasket, putting in new oil, and running it one last time to make sure everything still works. I bought the oil filter when I first bought it, a year and a half ago, and spent about $20 at Walmart getting the oil. I still have half a bottle left for next year too!

I was pretty happy that I was able to do this oil change pretty much all by myself. I’m hoping to get more self-sufficient when it comes to vehicles (when your Dad’s a mechanic, all that knowledge is just a phone call away). Next up is going to be my car’s oil change! And I have a vague grasp on changing brake pads, too.

We took out the battery while we were at it, to make it easier to charge it every two weeks (so it doesn’t lose its charge completely and get weaker), and my Dad shoved a rag into the air intake valve (“Usually I don’t even do this on mine, but why not?”) and wrapped a plastic bag around the exhaust to keep any moisture from getting into it (??? apparently a thing to do??). The Givi case on the back got stored in the basement, and I covered her up with a raggedly, perfectly serviceable brown cloth (because a raggedly rich bike deserves a raggedly rich cover).

Needless to say, I’ll be missin

g my girl for the next couple of months.

The Dawn of a New Pizza Age

After receiving a pretty step-by-step process on how to make a pizza from Sarah De Diego from Journey’s of the Zoo from one of my Frugal Save Friday posts, I’ve been experimenting with home-made pizzas.

first attempt… that’s ground beef on them!

The first attempt fell sort of flat, and looked like ‘ghostly pizza’ according to a certain Lily over at The Frugal Gene (it lacked salt, and the taste was hurtin’ for it – D’OH), I made a second with a little more salty generosity. I also added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning to give it more… pizza-like taste, and I’m pleased to say, it was successful! And I made roughly half of the mess that I’d made the first time through – though my Mum was still laughing at me from behind her hand and marvelling as to why she finally understood how come I didn’t ‘cook more often’.

My third attempt went really really well – I add too much pepperoni, so I put a layer of cheese between the sauce and the pepperoni, and then another layer of cheese on top to make sure it doesn’t slide off in a volcanic mess.

Also good to note that when you’re pizza dishes are larger than the oven, all the pizza toppings will cascade slowly down to the lowest end. After three lopsided topping pizza’s, my Dad finally suggested: why don’t you just put them on two different rack, length wise instead of on one rack, width wise? And I’m planning on doing exactly that for the rest of my pizza-making days.

Sidebar: if you use the time the pizza’s in the oven to clean, you’ve got 87% less dishes post-dinner! That 10 minutes can really make magic happen 😉

What do you do-it-yourself?!


  1. I suck at pizza making. I tried twice with some store brought dough and it took me 1.5 hours to… shape the dough round before just giving up. How in the world does Pizza Hut make it so round and easy?

    • Ms. Raggedly Rich

      September 29, 2017 at 12:39 am

      Ooo! Don’t trust store-bought dough! Here’s the recipe from Sarah:

      “1 cup warm water
      2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 package)
      2 tsp of sugar
      1 tsp salt
      3 Tablespoons oil
      2.5 cups of flour (optional: substitute 1 cup for whole wheat)

      – Put water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar in bowl, let sit uncovered for 5 minutes
      – Mix in remaining ingredients
      – Cover and let sit for 1 hour (or more)
      – Punch down, Roll out (on floured surface) rolling centre out.
      – Place on lightly oiled pan. Put on Toppings.
      – Bake in preheated oven at 475 (with toppings) for 10 minutes.”

      Except I don’t leave it to sit 😛 And use 1 teaspoon of sugar, and salt, and Italian seasoning. And just oil the dough once it’s done mixing, instead of adding the oil to all the ingredients. And start with 2 cups of flour and then add in as needed (aka, when I’m rolling it out and it’s sticking everywhere… maybe if I add more flour to bat that’ll solve that problem!).

      … it’s a lot easier than it sounds!

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