Sunday, September 16th, 2012

image of trunk full of goodwill donationsThe basement’s a mess. What’s new about that, right? Just this: I started doing something about it today. I started gathering up all the stuff that’s been laying around for years that nobody’s laid a finger on in all that time and dragged the mess out to the garbage can. It’s one of those flip-top trash cans the city gave us so the robot trucks could pick up our garbage. Huge. 55 gallons at least. Filled it to within a foot of the top.

How did we manage to hang on to a big plastic bucket full of 2.5-inch floppy disks until this moment? Didn’t those things stop being useful years ago? None of the computers we have now even have slots for them. If there was something on them that we might want, we don’t have the hardware to check for it now. Out they went. So did the two keyboards and the trackball mouse. The joystick. The two router hubs. I’m hanging on to the very impressive-looking video card until Tim can take a look at it, but I have the sneaking suspicion he’ll tell me it’s so old (at least two years, maybe three) that it couldn’t possibly be of any use to anybody now. It’ll probably be in the bin by tomorrow morning.

It didn’t all go in the trash, though. If any of it looked like something somebody might be able to use, I stuffed it into the trunk of the car and, when it was full, drove it all down to Goodwill and gave them the whole kit and kaboodle. There must be somebody out there who wants an electric guitar, or will buy one for his kid on the off-chance it might strike a creative spark. That’s how we ended up with it, after all. And the desk lamp will surely find a good home.

I had thought briefly about advertising the lot on e-bay or Craigslist, but I killed off that thought almost as soon as it entered my head. Killed it with extreme prejudice. Strangled it, really. Snapped its scrawny little neck while I was doing it, too. Posting all that crap, then boxing it up and taking it all down to the post office in the event that somebody actually bought it was something I really didn’t want to go through, even if it did net me a couple of bucks. I wanted to get it out of our basement now!

And so I did. Not much of it, but It’s a start.

goodwill | 1:03 pm CDT
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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

It was really pleasant waking up this morning, knowing that I didn’t have to get out of bed right away to jump in the shower and start getting ready for work, then getting out of bed anyway and doing whatever the hell I wanted. I made this ordinary weekend into a hyperextended super-weekend by taking off from work today and tomorrow, using the prorated vacation time I earned but couldn’t touch until I finished my probationary period at the office. Bliss!

And I’m putting it to good use so far, by which I mean I’ve spent the past hour reading web comics and looking at silly pictures on the internet while I drink coffee and listen to cocktail-lounge music on Pandora. I’m shooting for total awesomeness this weekend, and nothing’s going to stop me. Don’t even try.

off | 7:10 am CDT
Category: coffee, daily drivel, entertainment, food & drink, music, play, vacation, work | Tags:
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Monday, March 21st, 2011

I very nearly woke My Darling B from her beauty sleep this morning when I looked up from browsing over the morning headlines, saw that it was twenty past six and was shocked to realize I had yet to hear her up and around. She usually emerges from the bedroom shortly after six and hits the shower first thing. Not wanting her to have to get ready for work in a panic I popped out of my seat headed up the stairs, and got as far as the living room when I remembered that she had the day off from work today and would be the polar opposite of grateful if I woke her up while it was still dark outside.

She takes this day off every year to start seeds for her garden, so she’ll spend the day getting her hands dirty in the basement arranging tiny pots of dirt under grow lamps. Have a great day, B!

Seed | 6:38 am CDT
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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Why is sleeping in late so damned tiring? I don’t know when to get out of bed, and when I finally force myself I can’t make my ass move any faster than a … a really tired, slow thing that can’t stop yawning. Sorry, I’m still half-asleep as I write this drivel.

I can get out of bed a lot quicker when I do it robotically at five o’clock in the morning, then time when the alarm clock usually starts to bleat. On a work day I can move with a purpose; on a day off, I have so much time all to myself that I hardly know whether to shit or get off the pot.

I’d set my alarm for maybe six or seven, just to take the problem of deciding when to get up out of the equation, but then My Darling B would make fun of me. She doesn’t have any problems at all with sleeping in. Never has, that I can remember.

The cats love her for it. They curl up on either side of her to keep warm and do what cats do best and most often, sleep the day away. Of course, that’s after the oldest one wakes up between five and six and wanders from room to room, howling at the dead people for about an hour. You’d think that by now he’d be used to having the spectral denizens of the afterlife wandering through the walls of our house, but no.

Wakey Wakey | 8:12 am CDT
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Monday, July 5th, 2010

image of table fan

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Polar Cub, a table fan with sharp-edged metal blades and no safety cage to speak of. Turn it on and the blades whirl so fast you could lose a finger to this thing faster than you can say “Emergency Room.” Now that I’ve restored it to working order I imagine there’s a guy in whatever federal safety office watches out for these things kneading his forehead as he struggles to regain his breath and muttering, “I feel something terrible has happened.”

I picked this up at a thrift shop some months ago and yesterday finally got around to replacing the electrical cord, which was so old it had gotten brittle enough to crack and fall apart in more than a few places, making it even more dangerous than the original designed called for. Replacing the cord was a quick fix but I’m not a quick worker, so here it is, July, and I’m just getting around to it.

It works great except for the oscillating mechanism. The gears were so badly gunked up the motor couldn’t get them going again. I could turn them slowly by hand, though, and it seemed to help free them up, so I got the bright idea to chuck the shaft in my power drill and give it a good, long high-speed turn. Moments later the gears were stripped beyond all repair. Brilliant.

The motor’s got just one speed, corresponding to F-5 on the Fujita tornado scale where winds from a force five tornado cause the maximum damage conceivable. Still, on a really hot July day in Wisconsin that’s about what you need to move enough air past you in order to keep cool. Come August, we could put a truckload of these things to good use.

Today’s another day off from work for both My Darling B and I, but the great big green and yellow blob that’s hovering over our part of Wisconsin on the NOAA Doppler radar screen means we probably won’t be doing any yard work today.

B’s taking full advantage of this development and sleeping in late this morning, after spending Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday in her garden, pulling weeds, setting down soaker hoses and generally tidying up. And I’m, y’know, doinking around on the internet. Because it’s there.

Polar Cub | 9:20 am CDT
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