Two: I tried the through-the-fender method of accessing the spark plugs. Sure enough, there they were. Three of the ones on that side, anyway. I couldn't reach the fourth one, even with a U-joint in the wrench extension. Hell, I couldn't even see it. I'd have to try taking the engine cover off again to access the rear spark plugs. Sigh. So first I removed the easiest to reach plug to check it's condition. "Eh, you're probably good for another 50,000 miles or so," said Forrest, the mechanic. So I replaced the plug and moved on.
You can access three of the spark plugs on the other side of that flexible rubbery thing
Three: On to the shock absorbers. One of the old front shocks was more than a little stubborn coming off, but Forrest showed me a trick with vise-grips and explosives and it got the job done. The rear shocks were easier, but access to upper bolts was snug. And, of course, dirt kept falling on my face. But the shocks were the correct ones and they fit like they should. Yay! Victory!
Ooooo, pretty yellow!
Having done all this myself (mostly) I no longer begrudge the cost of a competent, honest mechanic. And if I were a competent, honest mechanic myself, I would get cranky with customers who complained about my charges. I might even tell them to go do it themselves.