When You Got Nothing

So, I didn’t mean to leave this without a post but this morning we left before I could come up with something to write.

I’m trying very hard to be good to myself, but I keep running out of spoons.  I don’t think I’m still sick, though extensive surgery and a year of moving and rebuilding a Victorian probably didn’t help my overall condition.  I think it’s more that I’m not twenty anymore, and when I was twenty I was pretty awesome, in the sense that I was the energizer bunny.

Our fourth move as a married couple, from Columbia SC to Colorado, we packed an entire 1800 sq foot, three bedroom household in three days without sleeping.  Yeah, mistakes were made.  For instance I somehow moved without my own, handmade maternity wardrobe (done on patterns from Dan’s grandmother, so it was all twenties look), we left a piece of the high chair and I almost threw away a $6k check, but by gum when the movers arrived the house was ready to load in the truck and — because it was my 30th birthday — we went out to dinner and were semi-coherent.

I don’t expect to be able to do that anymore, but when I start flagging after two hours, I get very upset with myself and with my stupid body.

So what do you do when you’ve got nothing: no strength, no drive, no ability to go on?  You go on anyway.  This is something my writing career has taught me.  You take little breaks — I look at blog comments, or just sit down with my eyes closed for five minues, and then I go on.  Because I have to.  And an amazing amount gets accomplished.

We’ve spent the last three days mostly at the other house, collecting “stragglers” — i.e. the little things that weren’t boxed or were left behind, notwithstanding which I’ve completely unpacked our bedroom and bathroom, and done a million loads of laundry.  I’m four boxes away from unpacking the kitchen which is good because eating out as a default is NOT for me.

My goal is to have everything essential (kitchen, office, bedroom) done by Monday so I can settle in and work.  We’re not unpacking the non-essentials, like fancy dishes or such, as we’re very much hoping this is a 3 month only stay.  We’re grateful for the house, but I’m dying to be in a permanent place and truly able to settle in.

I’ve already told Dan, though, that IF it all goes according to plan and we move in June, I am going to go to a hotel for the duration.  (We have points, anyway.)  The packers can come in and pack us and move us, and I’ll be there to direct unpacking at that end.  This slow mo death march is not for me anymore, and I have books to write and publish.

All of which are very loud right now, of course.

In other news, I really think derpfish is dying :(.  I’ve tried everything that worked before, but he’s just not springing back.  Ah well.  I neglected him too much, but when you’re moving and trying to write…  I’ll stick to cats from now on.  They tell me when I’m neglecting them.  (On one notable occasion by peeing on my lap.)

And relating to the whole war on competence theme, the house we’re renting was builg in the fifties, and it is far smaller than where we were living, but infinitely better designed with so many conveniences and little tricks to make life easier that it makes me a little angry.  Why angry?  We’ve been seeing all these brand spanking new houses, and none of them is nearly as convenient, neat or well designed.  (If it weren’t in the Springs, I might really be tempted to buy.)

It’s like the knowledge of the ancients.  Once upon a time we believed in designing our houses to make things easy and convenient.  Once upon a time we believed in improving things both great and small.  We were going to the future, and it was going to be great.

Now these things are like knowledge of the ancients, that we must bring back.  “Humanity is not doomed”  “You don’t need to punish yourself” “the future is better than the past.”

Hark, I’ve unearthed the knowledge of a lost civilization: our own.  And I will share it with a grey-goo present, even when I have nothing to pull from and I’ve run all out of spoons.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you keep going long after you want to give up.

And sometimes that’s what you have to do.

125 thoughts on “When You Got Nothing

  1. I’m amazed at how well you keep going. It’s like watching Wonder Women in action. I recently spent a week in the hospital getting well and then a lot of time recovering after an indeterminate period of being sick. That said I still get flattened by random events and things.

    I’m not surprised in the slightest that with all you have going on in your world that you still trip over recovery from time to time. Sarah the goal is to have the good days out weigh the bad ones and slowly to become the vast majority of your days. Keep recovering and may life treat you better.

  2. *virtual hugs and purrs* Ya just keep on keeping on, and then you discover that you’ve covered a lot more miles than you think.

    I didn’t feel like writing today. Rump in chair, write at least a few words . . . 3K plus words later, my head is pounding, but the story is jelling.

    1. Writers who choose a daily quota are wise if they set it hgher than the amount it takes for them to get warm to their work.

  3. Make a note of the things you Really like about the house you are in now and stick some of them into the new house, if possible. Any little convenient tricks that would come in handy in the future.

    1. Exactly – the neatest designed house I ever lived in was a teeny rental in Ogden, Utah, which was built in 1936 – and had closets and storage spaces everywhere. No kidding – there was space for everything! There was an architect and writer a couple of years ago who said that the most perfect,
      livable and ordinary American houses were those built between about 1915 and 1940 – because those built between those years made accommodation from the start for running water and electricity …but weren’t corrupted by the Modernist and Bauhaus passion for bare open spaces and the look of the design, rather than the convenience of living in it,

  4. Regarding the late post, I’d much rather see a “hi I’m alive and can’t come up with a thing to say,” rather than silence. Not that any of us worry about you or anything like that, but just saying.
    When first in the market for a new house we spent several years going to the annual Parade of Homes in Huntsville. Saw tons of new elegant houses with all the latest style twists. And inevitably walked away muttering “how could anyone actually live there?” The one we finally bought we found just as they had poured the slab. Being built on spec so as qualified buyers we had a lot of input on the details. Had them delete a non load bearing wall for a more open front, and nixed the elaborate dining room chandelier, savings of which paid for a whole house fan. Very energy efficient in the spring and fall, but not practical if anyone in the house has serious allergies.
    It seems that decorators all want to make a statement. Unfortunately it never seems to be “hey, you could live here for years and years.”

    1. I am reminded of an article about the A-10. “A look only an engineer could live.” But everyone who flew it was, “It’s ugly, but… {the darn thing works}.” And it’s not there for looks, it’s there to get the job done.

        1. Reminds me a bit about the old pickups. Older models had plenty of room to work in. And when you needed to find something, it was frakkin’ obvious. My old ford may be ugly as sin, but I can darn near climb inside the engine bay when it’s raining and I need to replace a plug that a leaking seal fouled…

          Repairs are simple, parts are cheap, and properly maintained, it’s reliable as a good pair of boots. There’s something to be said for craftsmanship that takes account of the human element…

          1. My daily driver a ’64 Chevelle is sooo easy to work on. I have to pull the entire engine to replace a leaking head gasket on my ’97 F-150.

            Why are pickup trucks so friggin tall today. I’m 6′ 2″ and need a step ladder to reach over the side. Of course most pickups are just family sedans with a small open trunk nowadays,

            1. It isn’t that they are tall (most have less ground clearance than older models) it is that they are “aerodynamic”. Instead of having straight sides that you can actually step up to, they are curved so that you are standing two feet away from inside of the bed when you step up alongside the truck, instead of three inches. This is also why you can’t crack the window a couple of inches for some fresh air when it is raining, everything is sloped inwards, so that the windows are at such an angle that if you crack them a couple inches it is raining in your lap.

              Don’t worry your 97 isn’t bad, Ford has fixed that issue, on a friend of mines mid-oughts F-150 you no longer have to pull the motor to replace the head gasket, you can simply pull off the head and replace it in the vehicle…. you just have to pull the cab in order to remove the head.

              In an even more intelligent design, the new Ford diesels require pulling the cab in order to change the glow plugs. But don’t worry, they have designed the cabs on their new trucks with quick connects on all the wiring to facilitate ease of removing the cab.

              1. Ugh. Yes. Ford’s lovely Triton design. Got two heads on my workbench for the expy to go get planed. Then get to try and put it all back together

        2. Once there was a man with a text problem. So he got himself a regular expression. Now he had two problems…

  5. Oh and a recommendation of a really really good book to read when you are not feeling well. Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. In which 12 year old Molly sets out to claim Castle Hangnail and become it’s Mistress. It is amusing the trouble a 12 year old Wicked Witch can get into attempting a simple task like this.

    1. Castle Hangnail was cute. I downloaded it from the library and read it last night. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Alright, there’s an idea for another post in this one: What ARE those conveniences and features of good design that have gone missing in this allegedly more advanced age?

    One seemingly minor thing this 1949 house has is that there is an indicator light on a wall – that is on when the attic lights are on. “Hey did, I leave the lights on… ah, no.” or “Crap, I left the lights on, but… at least I know NOW, and not in a few nights from now.”

    1. Things like, do not build a closet around the hot water heater, so that when, not if, it goes out you have to remove a wall in order to remove and replace it?

      1. I fixed a leak on some water heater pipes in a closet like area for someone where the access door was on the OUTSIDE of the house. And it was stuffed in. Would be a nightmare to replace. Probably not a terribly bad thing in the South. But here in snow country Murphy’s Law says the heater will fail during a snowstorm in February.

        1. Our hot water heater, in the wall behind the closet, at least had an access door. But we couldn’t find another one that would fit in the space without cutting the capacity by at least a third, so now the water heater is IN Hubby’s closet.

          At least we’ll know right away when there is a leak.

        2. Guy I worked with moved into a brand new house he’d had built. About 6 months later, a water leak appeared in one of the rooms. Opened up the drywall and fount a hole, about the size of a pencil point, in one of the copper waterlines. Took the section out and replaced it. Two days later, another leak, different section of the copper, same thing. After 3-4 more of these, he’s getting angry and the rest of us are “helpfully” suggesting he call Orkin to come treat for “copper termites.” 😎 He and his insurance company and the builder are going round and round over who’s going to pay.

          He took one of the sections of pipe to a lab and had the metal analyzed. Turned out the pipe had been made from a bad batch of copper riddled with impurities that were reacting badly to the local water, so the pipe supplier ended up having to replace all the pipe in the house, and a couple of others in the subdivision.

          1. Same story with Chinese galvanized iron. Class action, whole development repiped.

            The pipes had just enough microns of zinc to look galvanized, nobody could figure how they got it that thin.

      2. *chuckle* Been there, done that…

        Actually, I saw a house once with the hot water heater installed in the *attic.* No kidding. Thirty feet above the ground. The story of how I found that out (it was a rental), and what I said whilst finding it out all of a sudden, is not for polite company.

        1. Fairly common here in North Texas. Building codes require a pan and drain line to handle any leaks/overflows.

      3. We were living in a mobile home on a permanent foundation, with the water heater in its own SMALL closet, with a piece of drywall screwed in place instead of a door (Now, this is not your typical cramped trailer. It’s a double-wide, 32×80). When it went out, we had to lift the water heater over the flex pipe coming up through the floor in order to remove it from the closet. Then, the new one was just enough bigger that I had to remove the drywall from the sides of the door frame to get it into the space.

      4. I must say, one very good ultra-modern thing I’ve come to love is the tankless water heater. About the size of one of Robert Jordan’s hardbacks (maybe two), can be installed on the wall…and you never, ever run out of hot water. And if you’re smart, you install it in an easily accessible location. (It was installed in the wall above the toilet in my last place.) That’s one of only three things I miss about my previous residence as compared to my new one. (The other two are a super-deep kitchen sink, and the pot filler on the stove.)

    2. How about light switches being placed where a person would logically & ergonomically reach for the light upon entering a room / leaving a room, or where they can reach in an ergonomic flow before walking into the garage?

      And a consistent left/right scheme on which one’s the light and which one’s the fan/ garbage disposal?

      And a consistent which way do you twist to get hot water across both of the bathroom shower/tub setups?

      1. You mean you don’t like the light switch is behind the door, feature? And I absolutely despise the, fan/light combo on a single switch that seems to be popular in current construction. I don’t want to listen to the fan unless I’m taking a shower and need the steam sucked out, but I still need a light to see to trim my mustache.

        Of course Sarah lives in snow country, so possibly she is referring to features like the door on the eave side of the house swinging out (or not swinging, as the case may be after a storm). Putting the door (or at least one door) on the gable end of house would seem like common sense, but I have seen more doors opening under the eaves than otherwise, and more than one of them that opens out.

        1. And that assumes your house hasn’t been owned by a Tim Allen wannabe.

          The owner installed ceiling fan / light over my breakfast nook was hooked up to exactly one light switch…. all the way across the kitchen next to the laundry room door. There were two closer ones (including right next to the breakfast nook) he could have used…… but Nooooo!

          1. A couple time I or my family have moved into places where someone thought they were a plumber/electrician/carpenter and left much evidence that that was not the case. I do not claim to be any of those (though I do prefer to do my own wiring whenever possible – even some ‘professional’ stuff has scared me) but I can tell when ‘That ain’t right.’

            1. I grew up in a house my dad built when my mom and him got married, (19&20 years old) or started at least, I was old enough to help by the time he finished it. He is much better these days, but at that time he knew just enough to be dangerous. You had to turn the light on in my bedroom, in order to have power to the plugins on one wall in the kitchen.

      2. Actually, the way you twist to get hot water is consistent when installed properly. It’s poor installation if new, or mixing up replacement parts if old. In older faucets, the hot and cold side have reverse threads on the stem. You can fit either one on either side- but it changes the way you turn. I’m just mentioning this because I’ve dealt with that issue a whole bunch of times.

        On the electrical l/r or top/bottom, don’t know if there is a standard. But nothing says you can’t rewire it the way YOU like it. It’s really not that hard. If there’s enough wire slack, just move the switches. Remember rule one and two when dealing with electricity. Rule 1 is turn the power off before working on something. Rule 2 verify there’s no power there.

        1. I once installed a new valve in a shower/bath because of the tendency to get shower spray when filling the tub fast. He said his neighbor had the same problem. I broke away the tile and discovered the valve had been installed rotated 180 degrees. He didn’t belive me until he saw that all the labels were upside down.

        2. My grandfather did all the wiring/plumbing in the house I’m currently living in, and bless him, he was severely dyslexic. (Also, at the time he did said wiring/plumbing, was still drinking and so may have been drunk.)

          As a result, almost all the hot/cold water is backwards, and 90% of the plugs are upside down. :p (The foundation is also on a noticeable slope–and in that case, we *know* he was drunk when he and my late uncle poured it/set the house–which was moved from elsewhere–on it. Do NOT drop small, roll-y things in that house…)

          1. My father was a jack-of-all trades (and pretty nearly a master at carpentry and plumbing), and there is only one thing I can remember him doing that continues to be a source of irritation. And I can’t really say it was a bad decision, based on what he knew at the time.

            When he built the kitchen on his house (it had previously been a porch, and the old kitchen was converted to a bedroom), he ran the wiring for most of the kitchen (the lights over the sink are attached to some other line) off the line that fed into my brother’s bedroom. And at some point, he also added an overhead light in the basement, AND the lights in the bathroom to the same circuit.

            As I said, based on what he knew at the time, this was probably perfectly reasonable. I’m certain that back in the late 60s/early70s, he never expected to have a 1200 watt microwave on that circuit, drawing probably 13-14 amps by itself (on a 15-amp breaker). But it’s still annoying when I’m fixing supper and I forget that someone is in the shower, which overloads the breaker. We had to run an extension cord through the closet between my old bedroom and the master bedroom to run older son’s computer on, too.

      3. Or bathroom sink faucets that actually stick out far enough you can wash your hands under them.

        1. or kitchen sinks that have enough water pressure to help wash dishes, instead of ‘rinse your veggies’ being the max setting

    3. I was planning to ask the same thing. I’ve a more-than-passing interest in architectural design, but I’m still flailing about for sources of information. I’ve noticed just from the sheer number of places I’ve lived that there’s a lot more to a house’s (or apartment’s) livability than the square footage and list of features. Understanding what those things are requires more contemplation and analysis than I’ve had time for, or someone to tell me.

    4. Over twenty years ago The Spouse and I spent a couple of years searching for ‘the’ house. That was when we still were foolish enough to think we might find it without building it ourselves. And building it ourselves was out of the question. We knew, from watching others that building, in and of itself, would render any house no longer ‘the’ house long before it had finished us.

      I am inclined to argue that the worst house designs were that of the late 1970s, at least in our area of the country.

      One we saw had a hall just wide enough that you could walk down it with a laundry basket carefully held before you. The laundry room was on one side at the end of that hall. In order to get to the door you would have to put down the laundry basket, and step over it. Right across from the laundry room was a bathroom. The very end of the hall was the door to the garage. All three doors opened into the same space. The rest of the house was no better, if not worse. (Although it did not include the worst kitchen evah. That was either the one that looked for all the world like yellow mustard had been used as paint or the one which was not a for cooking at all, having no sink other than a bar sink and neither a stove nor an oven.)

      The property was spectacular and worth every penny of the asking price. There were a number of acres with the house near the top of a hill overlooking the bow of a stream. For one brief moment we did consider buying the house, building a new one and then pulling the monstrosity down. As I mentioned at the beginning, we knew ourselves well enough to know that it would not have worked for us.

  7. Taking a pause to read the comments on this blog is not a “little break”, that can easily kill hours.

  8. They tell me when I’m neglecting them. (On one notable occasion by peeing on my lap.

    I sell shiny things at Renaissance fairs. The first time I did an extended show, our senior cat was *peeved* at my dereliction of duty. He waited until the end of the run, when I was folding just-washed costume and booth draperies into the suitcase I stashed them in between shows, jumped into the suitcase, and peed in it. Maintaining eye contact all the while.

    Never let it be said that cat couldn’t communicate.

      1. Sadly, no; he weighed upwards of 25 pounds. He did get a Stephen King doorstopper chucked at him, though.

  9. The last two weeks my spoons have gotten smaller– so yea, I understand. I went to one of my appointments and had a low-grade fever. 99F– since I am usually 97.8… this is a high fever to me. So might be why I am not feeling good. Doctor didn’t notice. *sigh

    1. I read that one of the original researches into peoples health and thermometers took a half dozen temps then published the average 98.6F. He was appalled that his ad hoc mini sample became western medicine gospel.

      1. Eh. *waggles hand* Medical personel in the Oyster Clan (about 50% of us at this point) explained to me that it’s used only as a rule of thumb, not a hard-and-fast rule. Docs paying any attention know people vary.

        1. The bible for medical professionals has to be ‘treat the patient, not the machine.’ Blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate all vary wildly and it’s ‘where are they off the baseline’ that you treat.

    2. I tend about 98 myself.
      *looks around*
      what, no remarks about me being cold-blooded?

      1. Wait, people actually take their temperature when they aren’t sick? I’ve no idea what my normal temperature is, because I’ve only ever taken it when I was feeling sick.

        1. Dragons Aren’t Reptiles And Aren’t Cold-Blooded. [Very Big Dragon Grin]

            1. Beloved Spouse was wont to declare me as good as two and a half dogs on a cold night … then we got my blood sugar within normal ranges and I became a net heat absorber.

              1. Been like this all my life (only recently starting to have higher than normal sugar levels, likely due to being overweight). Was working in a factory once, about 25 years ago, tending machines, when the woman who I was helping backed up against my back. She stopped what she was doing, turned around, and laid her hand on my back in several different places, then said, “DAYUM!”

                Wife just refers to me as her “warm bear”.

  10. Once upon a time we believed in designing our houses to make things easy and convenient.

    Once upon a time houses were designed for living in, for raising families.

    Now houses are designed to be theatres, arenas where we act out our lives. That’s why they are sold for such qualities as “Dramatic entry foyer” rather than efficient kitchen … and why “efficient kitchen” now means the caterers can stage their plating rather than you can easily prepare sedar/Easter Dinner for twelve.

    1. Our home manages to be the worst of both worlds: old enough it needs a new younameit, remodeled recently enough to be obnoxious in all the little subtle ways, and worst of all, the remodeling was done for three but now inhabited by ten. (That open floor plan? That’s great when you have one child. It’s insanity causing when you have six.)
      In the house’s favor, it was overengineered, and has four toilets.
      I suggest, given the difficulty of finding a right house, that you consider new construction. They can do it in three months if not means you’ll take your business elsewhere and if you are decisive. Or so they claim.

      1. Another quick-and-dirty option is a modular. I hate the damn things, BUT — you can pick up a fairly new repossessed doublewide for under $25k, and it’s not hard to find an acre on the outskirts that’s already set up for it and priced to sell.

        1. *shakes head* Our Beloved Hostess is a city girl. I think she’d go nuts in an acre on the fringe, not to mention a trailer would never handle the mass of books required.

            1. One, that’s in Denver which might be a problem and two… a park of them? While it might not be actually universal, there is a general reputation for sad reason.

            1. I’ll stick with a solid house with a deep foundation. Takes a much stronger to get blown away.

          1. When we explained to our first real estate agent our need for book shelves (and even more book shelves) she really did not get what the issue was. Then we explained the weight involved in books. Most modern houses are not built to carry that kind of weight.

          2. Come on. You build a good concrete pad and prefab building and you have your own library.

        2. Not sure of the last point. We know someone who changed from a single-wide to a nice double, but did the management of the changeover herself. Lots of issues, and it took several (6, I think) to get it swapped. It would have taked 2-3 if she had the money to have it all done by a contractor.

          I’ve learned to tolerate manufactured houses, 2 x 3 lumber in the non-loadbearing walls and all.

      2. I knew someone was going to mention toilets…

        Tucking the toilet right up against the wall or in a tiny little cubicle might serve to get it out of sight, but it makes it a hassle for cleaning, for repair, and for actually using it if you have a cast on your leg or have had recent back surgery.

        For that matter, putting the only light in the bathroom right over the mirror seems to be popular. So when you’re trying to use the mirror, you wind up staring straight into the light. “SIGN ZE PAPAHS!”

        At least our bathroom is large enough to have its own bookshelf…

        1. I’m thinking that the best arrangement for bathroom lights is two vertical rows, one on each side of the mirror, like they do for the makeup room in theatres. Guaranteed even distribution of light on your face as you prep it for the day.

      3. But that open floor plan means they can play keep-away inside on days it is raining. 😉

  11. Housing goes in fads. They are made to market not live in. Around here we have childless couples buying six bedroom houses that cover a lot almost to the edge because they still believe it is an INVESTMENT…
    I admit there isn’t anywhere else much better to park the money – but most of these folks are betting their entire financial future on this one item.

    1. Especially since Barry and the Fed (worst band name ever) have been trying like hell to reinflate the housing and/or stock bubbles.

    2. Yep – lots of houses are designed for realtors rather than the residents in these parts. Multiple livings areas where most families only need one. Giant jacuzzi tubs in the master bath that get used rarely. Formal dining rooms used at most twice a year. Sigh.

      1. I admit a comfy-looking tub has its appeal and part of me feels a house is not quite complete without a dining room even though I’m not sure I *would* use it.

        But those two-story foyers! I’d have preferred the top half to be another room.

        1. I’ll confess that the current draft of the plans for the home I’ve designed for us includes a two-story entryway. In my defense though, it’s a castle. I went with the high foyer because I couldn’t stand to waste the space necessary to include a grand staircase. 😀

          1. If you put floor-to-ceiling bookcases in your foyer the space isn’t actually wasted.

            Any room which does NOT have floor-to-ceiling bookcases is pretty much wasting space.

          2. Large, two story foyers allow having a sequoia-esque Christmas tree.

            Having one at least once is one of my sillier live goals, with enough lights that it’s visible from the ISS.

        2. we’ve always used our dining rooms for writers’ meetings. It gives you a place to put the snackies. Everyone sits close together and there’s a table for manuscripts and notepads.

      2. I’ve never used one, but I know several men who work for a living who absolutely swear by those Jacuzzi tubs. On the other hand a kitchen table will suffice quite well, I’ve no use for a formal dining room.

    3. One of the requirements for a house when I purchased was one with a decent yard as opposed to having the 1/3 split (front, house, back). I can’t use much of the front and a 2 bed/1 bath would be plenty of space (office and bedroom) but most new houses have postage stamp yards.

      1. Yeah, we shocked our realtor when we went with smaller house and more land. We can DO stuff with the land (including putting a bigger house on it later.) He also didn’t get the ‘no, we actually plan on LIVING here not moving in 5 years.’ Bless him though, understand it or not, he believed us and found us homes that matched our criteria not what he thought we should be buying. (He advised and then took his marching orders.)

  12. I recall a comment by RAH along the lines of “modern architects being the designers of upholstered caves.” IIRC, he wrote that in a letter in the 1950s, or maybe ’60s, when he was searching for “the” house.

    Hang in there – you WILL be home before the wildflowers cease to bloom. Murphy eventually gets tired of one victim and moves on.

    Keep taking all the time you really need to get the best possible thing, too.

    I’ve had the perfect house plan since I was in college, mumble years ago (which needs updating, since “getting older” is now “getting real”). All I need is the lot to go with it (oh, and becoming a “D” list author, small detail). I’ve about given up on ever completely remodeling this place – we had to take an “efficiency” kitchen; with three small children at the time, we honestly had to get out of the apartment and somewhere they could have a secure yard. Load-bearing block wall to the next room over – might as well blow the place up and start over.

  13. We know for a fact that the Soviets funded efforts toward making public architecture ugly and nonfunctional (just as they did with the visual arts, literature, music, etc.). Perhaps some of that trickled down to the level of single-family dwellings.

    1. A lot of the mid- century architects seem to have forgotten that the houses they design are supposed to house people. As a consequence, a lot of the current designers seem to have never learned it. They are perhaps more accurately called “artists whose medium is buildings” rather than ” architects.”

  14. I’m think of it as running out of gas… We just got through most of a major project (replacing all the vinyl flooring at once makes for a good job, but maximizes chaos and gives Murphy a fair shot. It’s possible to screw up a toilet installation twice in a week…) at the same time as my big toe’s main joint went south. According to the Web, it’s gout, and the worst is over, but the discomfort lingers. My doctor was on vacation; I see him Tuesday, when I suspect I’ll go on a med to reduce the uric acid crystals. Of course, the main side effect is (wait for it) more gout flares, but I’m just stubborn enough to go through this crud. BTW, port-a-potties are cheap to rent, but seriously disgusting at any level of use.

    We got lucky in this house. A “good” manufactured house (my late grandfather the carpenter would turn his nose up, but it met our needs), and the floorplan Just Works, and we’re fixing the most egregious problems. The million dollar view doesn’t hurt. I kind of missed our old place in San Jose, but Deepest Oregon has a much saner crowd.

    1. Pa used to swear by bing cherries (and at allopurinol, I think). Might be worth a try. And if not, well, how much harm can a bowl of cherries do, really?

    2. “but Deepest Oregon has a much saner crowd.”

      Yeah, but you’re still ruled by the SeaPoFrisco Axis of Stupid.

      1. Local voters have been in quiet rebellion against the R portion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion party. We won the county commissioner skirmish against the GOPe, and with a tidy bit of skullduggery, a Tea Party candidate for state senate got the inside track when the previous Republican decided to not run at the last minute. The applications closed with just the Tea Party guy running, so the GOPe is forced to go with write-ins. We’ll see.

        Not much luck at the higher offices. Our incumbent governor was the AG until she forced the freshly re-elected crook out of office. (No lieutenant govs here), and no strong opposition from what remains of the GOPe.

        If the State of Jefferson takes off (maybe on Friday), our area would be part of it… Back in ’03, Idaho wasn’t affordable. Now, we could do it, but roots have set.

  15. OK, deep philosophical question suitable to this day on the Western Christian liturgical calendar: eat the ears first or eat the ears last? 😉

    1. Ears first. Always. And when eating gingerbread men, bite the head off first so they don’t suffer.

    2. Are they solid or hollow? That might matter. And I like the Emo Phillips approach: eyes first and “Stop staring at me!” if one has the appropriate audience.

    3. Depends on size, if it is small enough to hold onto the hind legs, ears first, if the bottom is too big… well a good handle is important.

    4. The early choir survey was: ears first – 8, body first – 3, just eat and don’t have a pattern – 3 (all college age males, interestingly enough.)

    5. You are a cat. Toy with them and torture the poor creature. Then just leave it on the porch

  16. Don’t worry, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Man, that light is approaching awful fast . . .

    1. I get that you’re excited, but quit with the honking! It gets so loud in this enclosed space.

    1. I kinda like the idea of an Easter Fox rather than an Easter Bunny.
      *flicks tails*

  17. I seem to remember a wise(ish) philosopher coining the phrase: If you can’t run, you walk. If you can’t walk, you crawl. If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.

    Provokes the feels when said whilst suffering a sucking chest wound.

  18. Just dropping in to pass a message before I hit the sack: Shadowdancer and company are still working out the kinks after the host move, but most things are back on line. Her blog has moved to a different subdomain, so update bookmarks accordingly. Secure back channel communications seem to be working fine, and are expected to be proof against the troll de tutti trolli and his goons. Shadow sends her love, and hopes to be back here soon. Night, Huns!

    1. Tell her we’d buy tickets to watch how her new setup serves troll flambe’.

      Clamps has always struck me as the kind of troll all the cyberpunk novels / games had in mind when they developed black ICE software.

  19. Because:

    There is plenty of ‘I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing’ available online. There was a lovely one from a concert performance. Sinatra’s was somehow just too cool hipness. Bing’s from 1936 wasn’t bad. There was a gem where the music was directed by Gershwin himself… but I opted for this one.

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