If anyone knows me, they will know I am not organized. I’m a complete mess. I am kinda a hoarder, too. I keep everything with full intentions of filing it. Someday. I have old computers that I kept for parts and to ‘some day’ build one for my ham shack. And speaking of ham shack, all of my ham stuff is unused, on a shelf, waiting for ‘some day’ to come along and me set up a space for my ham stuff.

Sometimes, my disorganization bites me in the butt. Like the reason for this post. I cannot find my contract I signed with RCE way back in 2006. I can’t find any of my RCE stuff prior to mid 2010. Where the hell did I put all of it? All of my royalty statements and receipts are missing.

Our dryer goes unfixed because I cannot find the receipt to prove we have a warranty. A dead car is in our driveway because I can’t find the title so we can donate it to some charity.

I am a digital hoarder as well. My WIP file (that’s Works In Progress) is huge. I save every version, even if I it is basically identical to another I also have.

I am really, really into writing right now. But I can’t because I really gotta clean house. I have a shredder. And I have three boxes of “Stuff to be Shredded”. I bet when I finally get around to it, I’ll have three boxes of shreds. Mulch, yes, but I then have to remember to use it. We don’t have closets and have very little shelving. So a ‘place for everything and everything in its place’ doesn’t work since not much as a place to be placed in. On. Whatever.

It is like last night. I went to the kitchen to get a drink. On my way, I saw the laundry basket in the Cat Room (room between rest of house and the kitchen) that needed to go back to the bedroom. So I did. Along the way, I realized it had gotten dark and I ought to turn on the hall light. Then I remembered I needed to turn on the kitchen light, too. Which reminded me of my drink. So back to the kitchen I went. As soon as I got there, I realized I was hungry so I made a sandwich and left the room. Partway through the Cat Room on my way to the Rose Room (office), I remembered the light so I went back to turn it on. Then I realized I didn’t have a plate for my sandwich so I turned around and went back to the Cat Room to get it. I am almost back to the office when I remembered my drink so I went back to the kitchen. I got the drink but stumbled over stuff in the Cat Room because, you guessed it, I’d still not turned on the light.

Meanwhile, Mike had been following me. At some point, he just sat down in the Cat Room to watch me go back and forth. Sometimes I wish I knew what was in their heads but at that moment, I was glad I did not.

Tales from the Office

To start off this tale, I must make a confession. Perhaps a re-confession because surely I’ve mentioned this before. I’m a tough butch. Except when it comes to moths. Spiders, I’ll scream like a girl but moths? I break out in a sweat and run. I’ll pull sticks out of wounds, dig in a dog’s mouth for something they shouldn’t have, and I pull off the large ticks that Lorna just won’t touch. But moths? I am so out of there.

We moved my office into a room we call the Rose Room. We call it that because, when we bought the place, that room had this fugly wallpaper with these huge roses. Lorna says they are cabbage roses. Whatever. It was peeling, ugly, and pink.

The Rose Room is in the back corner of the house. We’d never really used it for much. When we first moved here, it was a guest room. We said it was my room (in case anyone asked; but remember, this was 1992. AIDS and homophobia was a huge deal then; and our first home insurance company dropped us for no reason after a house “inspection” six months after we moved in. We later found out that they had a policy to not insure any homosexuals.). After a few years we said fuck ’em and it became a storage room. Someone else needed the bed so off that went. We used to foster critters and when we had cats, that’s where they stayed. It had no outlets and no light switch. The huge windows were held in place by spider webs and cracked caulk. We took the wallpaper down on two walls but finally gave up. We counted about six layers of wallpaper including this silvery metallic stuff we have found all throughout the house. It must have been lovely (she says sarcastically). One one wall we found the Saturday Evening Post from 1903. On another wall, we found old newspapers from the Asheville Citizen Times. We peeled off a huge chunk that turned out to be the entire front page. It declared “President Harding is Dead“. We have samples from the newspaper and magazine in storage. Some day we’ll frame them and up them up in here.

Like I said, we hadn’t used it much in a very long time. Now I’ve had my office in here for just about 2yrs. We are in the process of moving it again but that’s another story. Over that time span, I learned a lot about this old house. It creaks, groans, clanks, and thumps. So much so that I started saying we have someone living in our attic. It’s a fairly large space so it would be possible (except they’d cook in the summer).

Now back to the moths. Last summer, one got into the house and came to where the only light was: the office. It was a huge thing. It came charging into the room, hit the wall near me, and thudded to the floor. I hit reverse on my chair and was trying to get out without squishing it (don’t want moth guts on my wheels!). Mike comes over and is investigating it while I’m sweating because I just KNOW that son of a moth was going to jump on me. Then it does it’s buzzing thing and Mike goes charging out of the room. The damn thing starts ricocheting around the room, smashing into walls, the ceiling fan, and the window. At that point, I make it out and go get Lorna. It is, like, 2am and bless her heart, she was sleeping. I had slammed the door shut when I left so I knew the damn thing was in there. But we couldn’t find it. We looked everywhere. Lorna was thinking I was imagining things except Mike won’t come back into the room. He stood in the hall and peeked around the corner. That’s my big brave boy.

She finally goes back to bed and I go back into the office. I am wired by then and am thinking if I sit in here all innocent-like, it’d come out of hiding and I’d smash it. I had shoes now. I finally go to bed but shut the door hoping to keep the beast in there. After I get up, I go in and it starts buzzing again. I grab Lorna and we find it. It was HUGE. It was one of those moths with the harder and much larger body. Not as big as a Luna moth but still damn big.

With me so far?

Also last summer was when I started smelling something strange. Something I had smelled before but not in a long time. Marijuana. Either something else had that smell (no, it wasn’t my moth killing shoes) or we had a neighbor smokin’ the wacky weed. Although how the smell traveled all the way to the house, I dunno.

This is where I put all the clues together.

I decided that there was a pot smoking moth living in my attic. Seriously. It fit the profile! Noise, smell, and the size of that moth. Add it together yourself.

We’ve never had another moth like that one come in (thank jeebus). I think it’s because the things are too stoned.

The Steps To Nowhere

Okay, well, they go to the attic but for such grand steps, they really go nowhere.

Step through the front doorway (watch out for the dogs who hopefully are snarling and trying to eat you for daring to come into the house) and immediately in front of you is a staircase (and snarling dogs). If all the crap was gone from them (flat, unused surfaces are fair game), you’d see dark, probably handmade, wooden steps. Up they go into a recessed rectangular hole in the ceiling. At the top is…well, it’s a door but it looks like part of the wall. It doesn’t have a real handle, just a bit of something to grab and pull on. After you pull the door toward you (and go down to steps so you have room), you see the inside of the door is covered with pink fluffy insulation. Why? I dunno. It was that way when we bought the place umpteen years ago. Two more steps up and, if it is summer, you are now in the Attic Furnace. Enjoy! If it is winter, you are now in the Attic Freezer. Enjoy! And watch your head. Low ceiling.

But back to the steps. Now you have to climb down. Shut the door behind you. I’d hate for you to go back up there to find the cat. Shut the door hard then come on down. Kinda steep, ain’t they? Enjoy your trip to Nowhere? By now the dogs have probably forgot you were here and now remember. Try to not bleed on the floor. It’s a bitch to get blood out of that old, splintery pine.

Seriously, the steps are a waste of space other than they are a bookshelf. And dog supply storage. And shoe storage. We want to remove them and add several more feet to the living room. Except for one thing: under the steps is our only closet. We store our coats there. And two dog crates, some boxes of books, a tent, and, I hope, a roof antenna for 2 meters (ham radio speak for 144.0-148.0 MHz). From in there, you can see the blade marks from where they cut the wood. The steps also cover one of those WTFs we have with this old house. It is covering what looks to be where they cut the wall to make a door into the bedroom. No clue why since the existing door is original (it has the big threshold) and they’d have had to remove the steps to cut it but why? Then why put the steps back? If it were just to access the storage under the steps, why cut a full door size hole? The cuts are on the bedroom side of the wall, too. We scratch our heads a lot over that one.

Back to the attic. I think someone is living up there. We often come home and smell the attic like someone had the door open. And we smell odd things like food we haven’t cooked and several times we smell cigarette smoke. The other night, it was pot. Yes, the Attic Entity likes to kick back and smoke some of that wacky weed.

After reading this, you probably think I smoke it, too.

The End of an Era

There are some things in life you can count on. From people to events to sayings. You know, like “when donkeys fly!” means it’ll never happen. But then someone goes and develops a hybrid between a donkey and a condor and there goes old reliable.

Here at my house, whenever we lose something, we say “It’s somewhere safe with the radio.” This is because years ago, I think in ’04, I had a handheld ham radio (Icom T2H). I used it in the truck and brought it back into the house to reprogram. That’s the last I saw of it. I knew I had put it somewhere safe (as in out of dog reach) but that’s it.

Well, if you haven’t figured it out, we found the radio today.

Yesterday we had an adventure. We went to Ikea. On a Saturday. On a holiday weekend. It was…crowded. That’s the politest I can come up with. We went because Friday was payday for both of us and we desperately needed a new pad. Way back in ’91, we bought a bed from Ikea (getting it into the elevator and up to the top floor of the apartment building is another story of its own. we still laugh. and wince.). We lovelovelove this bed. The Swedish style of bed is to have a frame, a platform, a base mattress, and a pad on top that. Some beds now don’t have the base mattress but I’m not that young to find it interesting. The base is original and in decent shape, although today we noticed it was losing some seams. The pad is also original although Lorna says we took it back at one point due to somethinganother but even if we did, it would only have been a year difference. So you can imagine it has lost a lot of its fluff. And its glamor has long since disappeared. We washed it once. Spread it out between several saw horses, soaked it with a hose, sprayed it with a furniture cleaner, then rinsed the crap out of it. It took several days to dry.

But I digress.

We went to Ikea to get another pad. We looked online and found they had muchly improved on the concept. Memory foam! While we were there, we got new pillows and new body pillows. If you have ever gotten anything from Ikea, you know they like to shrink anything into as small a unit as possible. So a desk will come in 52 boxes. Seriously. Our mattress is rolled and tightly placed inside a tough plastic bag. We do not look forward to popping the seal. We got home very late and decided to deal with it today.

We are in the process of taking everything off, tightening all the allen bolts (there’s a ton of ’em), and cleaning the bed. Okay, Lorna’s in there doing the cleaning part while I “rest up”.

I digressed again.

Under the bed was this rolling plastic box Lorna uses for storage. Inside is a stack of newspapers we are collecting for the kids. Day they were born, big events, etc. I vacuumed off the top of the box (how the hell does does get there?!?) and, for giggles, opened it. Inside, just laying there, was the radio. Lorna has no clue how it got there. So she says. I’ve never seen the box other than the day we got it. Inside is the newspapers on one end and the radio, a small paper Ace Hardware bag, and some scraps of paper.

So now we wonder, as we marvel at the places and amounts of dust and dog hair that can accumulate under beds, where then are all the other things we have lost that were supposedly with the radio?

News from The Onion

Ohmygawd, check this out:

U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths

WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.


Despite fears about the flag’s safety—especially when improperly used or manipulated in ways not originally intended—sales continued unabated over the years, potentially putting billions of unsuspecting people in danger.

“At first, we wanted one of our flags in every home in America,” Burman said. “Unfortunately, the practical applications of this product are far outnumbered by the risks it presents. Millions have died needlessly, and when you ask people why, they point to the flag.”


Studies conducted by the Annin & Company research and development department revealed that faulty U.S. flags have caused more than just injuries and deaths. During the mid-1950s, the flags were found to have the bizarre side effect of causing fear, paranoia, and hysterical behavior among millions of Americans. This was dismissed as an isolated event until September 2001, when similar symptoms reemerged on a massive scale.

As hazardous as the flags may be on their own, Annin & Company officials claimed the products become even more dangerous when used in conjunction with other common household items.

“When combined with alcohol, excessive patriotism, grief, or well-intentioned but ultimately misguided ideals, U.S. flags transform into ticking time bombs, just waiting to go off,” Burman said.


By the way, it’s a joke. Mostly. Kinda.

Dining Experience

Was going over my RSS feeds and read the headline for a Wired News article. “Atari Founder’s Bistro Swaps Touchscreens for Waiters (Sort Of)“. Can’t resist that title, right?

It’s a funny article.

Every table in the joint has a built-in monitor, and all ordering is done via touchscreen, making waiters obsolete. Oddly, a waiterlike person appears at my table. “Welcome to uWink,” he says brightly. “Can I explain how things work here?” I look at the screen. It beckons me to swipe my credit card or driver’s license. Seems pretty straightforward. “So what you want to do is swipe your credit card or driver’s license,” he says. Do I have to tip this guy ? Or maybe I’m supposed to tip the computer. What if I don’t? Maybe it’s coded with a cheapskate-detecting algorithm that will mess up my order next time. The rules to this game are more slippery than I bargained for.