Hello, fellow humans!

Hello, fellow humans. I’m doing righteous battle with a shifter short story, in which the following phrase has just been typed “there are going to be a lot of babies in the morgue any minute now.” And this doesn’t mean the babies are dead.

Okay, it’s probably not a short story, since it’s at 10k words and not finished.

However, we’ve reached the point in “how dirty my house is” (you really don’t want to know. let’s just say certain people of fuzzitude have tracked litter everywhere and there’s litteriness up with which I will not put.)

So, you know, the world is dirty and I must clean:

Unfortunately (?) nuking from orbit is probably not an option.

So, instead it’s a quest. I’ll go and clean, and then finish the story.

See you tomorrow. (I’d say more anon, but this is not anon. This is me.)

That is not me, because it’s male, but if it were female, it would be me going in search of the mythical land of clean.

Okay, see you tomorrow. Don’t destroy the blog.

144 thoughts on “Hello, fellow humans!

    1. At this point I’m convinced Sarah’s just baiting us when she says things like that. She knows us, after all.

    2. Only if by “short” you mean “not causing anything that could reasonably led to destruction.”

      For instance, no one should even intimidate that Fluffy’s name selection process was a trifle peculiar.

    1. Very good thread.

      Also, I gather from lower in the feed that “Worldcon: Suck Up to Tyrants Edition” is progressing swimmingly; and hence, professional CCP trolls are invading the comment section of any books that are wrongbooks.

      I would be more impressed that China Mike has stayed against Chengdu for almost half a year… except that he was in favor of it first. And so I’m afraid that he’s only against it because Ukraine is the current virtue signal. I hope I’m wrong. I hope he’s more of a human than that.

    2. > “I wish I hadn’t lost track of Shadowdancer’s drawing of Larry clubbing trolls like seals”

      You could ask if she’s still got a copy.

      Anyone know how she’s doing, BTW? Last I heard Fox said she was still waiting on some test results. I think that was a few weeks ago.

    3. I enjoyed the suggestion about moving to Mars. Central Pennsylvania is quite lovely.

  1. All my attention for the last months has been on my giant ever-expanding kitchen/dining room project (“fix one, find two” seems to be slowing down), and the rest of the house is starting to grow tumbleweeds.

    I think my ADD brain and I are going to cry “uncle” and just hire a cleaner to come in fortnightly.

    1. Yeah, I got a carport that needs this or demolition.

      (And please tell me stairs go in the L-shaped hole because the lack of joists is hurting my head.)

      1. Yes, winder stairs go there. Until a couple weeks ago that area was a hole to the basement. I rebuilt a load bearing wall and laid new joists that go side-to-side in the photo.

        1. Oh, I hope it was not a case of “previous owner removed load bearing wall for extra space.” A friend of the family got a panicked call from a client because said client was removing a “purely decorative” interior wall and heard funny noises from overhead as bits of ceiling started to drop onto him. Friend: “Stop! Get a jack under that NOW and call [hard-core emergency contractor].”

          1. Nope. That space — a 1944 10×14 addition to the back of the 1930 house, was designed as a single open space. There was a wall in the basement, but it was parallel to the joists and was literally just a partition wall, even though it was made of brick faced with concrete (1940s owner loooovvvved concrete). Several years ago I knocked down that wall, cut out the L shape, and built stairs, but they weren’t quite to code so they had to come out for this renovation.

            Also, the old floor joists ran front-to-back in the photo perpendicular to the ceiling joists (durr what? but the whole house is like that) with a big beam down the middle. I’ve taken out the beam and switched the floor joist direction, so I got an extra 1.5 inches of headroom back in my already under-seven-foot basement and no headknocker beam. That basement space is going to be built out as a pantry†. If I put in an egress window it could even be a legal bedroom since I’m grandfathered in on basement ceiling height.

            Also, I now have a 10 foot long 6×8 old growth Douglas Fir beam sitting in my garage, which when I get some more woodworking tools could be resawn and fashioned into … I don’t know what, but something cool.

            † the ground floor space is going to be 3/4 of my kitchen. I don’t have the budget to move plumbing around, so a line of base counters is going to extend all the way along the left wall (the one that’s being rebuilt) into the foreground where I’m standing to take the photo, with the sink to my right. Mostly the space where I’m standing — the old kitchen — is going to be the dining room. With a sink. Deal.

            1. A) Advantech. Nice. Best stuff there is.
              B) If I had time and everything (HURHUR) I would love to come and build those winders for you. I love building winders – most fun I have doing stairs. Haven’t had an opportunity to do a circular stair yet.

              1. Yeah, I figure I can afford it, so might as well put in the good stuff that’s going to last forever. I’m removing all the 1×6 board siding, even where I’m not replacing rotted wall studs, and replacing it with Zip sheathing as well. I got a blower door test done before I started demo and got a 15.27 ach@50p result (new construction is required to hit 5), so hopefully re-sheathing about 1/4 of the house will help that (plus insulating rim joists, etc.).

                I worked very carefully for hours in Sketchup to get the angle of the winders exactly right so I can fit four winders around the corner instead of the usual three. The old ones were very comfortable so I’m going to use the same proportions. They weren’t to code because the headroom at the bottom wasn’t quite sufficient, and because I screwed up along the way and one step was out of tolerance for height.

    2. Last year we redid the master bath in a 170 year old house. Forget out of square, I found framing that was non-Euclidean.

      1. Our volunteer group works a lot of church camps. The joke is there are three words we are not allowed to use: plumb, square and true.

        1. More like Dread Cthulhu’s….

          “On his throne in R’leyh dead Cthulhu sits…… “

      2. I can relate. Every time I open up a wall, I wonder “how has this house not burned down” or “how has this house not collapsed” or both.

        1. Camp in Montana….camp manager says, “By the way, this room you’re repainting? One corner is five inches lower than the rest of the room. Could you jack it up?” A couple of weeks later, one torn-up floor, new joist, re-laid floor, we painted the room.
          I’m still talking to myself about the camp where I checked the laundry room and some one had “fixed,” the lint trap in the dryer by using chicken wire. That was another camp where, “lay tile in this room,” became, ” replace the floor, replace the underlayment, pull the rotted joists, OK, now you can lay the tile.”

  2. At least it’s just cat litter. Imagine if it was moose litter! Mixed with the nuts left by the RLF.

  3. Allow me to recommend “The Limits of Vision” by Robert Irwin, AFAIK the only Serious Literary Novel to explore the related themes of questionable sanity and housecleaning.

  4. Perhaps a bigger cat mat outside the box?

    My dainty little gray tabby, Miz Kitty, makes more mess than any prior resident, including a pair of Main Coons. And one of those was OCD in the box, scraping and covering for several minutes, for both cats.

    1. The could help. We’ve got a letter mat right outside the cat box, and a larger textured rug outside the laundry room where the litter box it. The second rug catches what the litter mat doesn’t, and it largely stops there.

      1. Athena used to act like she was employed by an excavation company or something. Now there’s just the usual tracking.

    2. Our two were rescued from Winter over a decade ago. The Current Lord Cat then never showed the kittens how to cover their messes in the box because he didn’t, so I had to do odor control a few times a day.

      This wasn’t a big deal until they got much older and decided to poop Hellfire and Brimstone. Then I realized that the spouse moved two of the litter boxes under the internal intake of the HVAC system.

      I hadn’t smell such foulness since I was at my alcoholic grandfathers house. He had a fondness for garlic and pickled eggs. Combined with his other aliments, we ended up playing outside 24/7 on summer visits out of necessity.

      1. Be careful, the 4th closet on the left in the 3rd sub-basement is where Fluffy keeps his special supplies. Do not ask what’s so special about them!

          1. He is grouchy, and likely to use his secret weapon on you, the dreaded Earth Pig Snout Punch.

            1. Cerebus the Aardvark!

              Now that is a name I have not read in a long, long time.

              1. “But that’s not a fair fight!”

                “They are dead and Cerberus is alive. It doesn’t get any fairer than that.”

                1. Remember, kids, Vizzini lost the battle of wits the moment he agreed to give up the advantage of a hostage for a fair contest.

                  NEVER give up an advantage when DEATH is on the line!

                  1. Notice that nothing the Man in Black said was FALSE. He merely deflected from the actual battle to a side issue.

            1. No rabbits were harmed in this post.

              Some doggerel on a minor workshop project:

              ‘Merican rabbets sing this song, dado, dado
              British rebates don’t sound right, dado, dado
              Gonna plane all day, gonna glue all night
              Workshop cab’net’s hung all right,
              all the live long day!

            2. The problem is that Alice knows who Alice is, but there’s a certain circularity in there.

  5. Well, I find we have varying definition of “destroy”, when it comes to the Huns.
    Let your imagination go wild on that one!

  6. O, what land is the Land of Clean?
    Where does its dust go, do its filters turn green?
    O father! I saw my mother there,
    Down on her knees, scrubbing bubbles fair!

    (With no apologies to the ghost of William Blake.)

  7. Don’t destroy the blog…

    “The” blog… I don’t think she specified “This” blog…

    OTOH, as a friend once said, “Do not meddle with dragons as you are crunchy and good with catchup.” Or something like that.

    Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

    1. Doing good so far. The predicted, “severe weather,” here turned out to be 10 minutes of hard rain and a day of wind, then it became beautiful, though still windy. Meanwhile, our new solar back up system got a workout because the wind knocked out power to the entire Tennessee side of town. Final inspection Thursday, first use Friday…
      (It will not feed power to the grid, but it will, hopefully, keep the fridge and freezer going if we enter the Land of Rolling Blackouts).

  8. The land of clean… I am getting closer to there. It got easier when I got an air compressor, so now after emptying Rooma-Actual’s bin, I take it outside and blow the dust out of both filters. It picks up a lot more that way!

    The house is still more than I can handle alone even when in good health, but it’s getting closer to clean.

  9. Right then. This time, it’ll work. Everybody cross your fingers and nobody think about green finches for about forty-five seconds consecutively.

    And if anything explodes in this timeline, I definitely didn’t do it.

      1. Several years ago, I read a short story about “pink elephants”.

        Roughly, the pink elephants are very small, can fly because of their large ears, and live on alcoholic beverages (more energy per ounce).`

        Of course, nobody admits to seeing them unless they are very drunk. 😆

        1. By the way, I “think” the story was in L. Sprague de Camp’s Tales From Gavagan’s Bar. I’m going to check out by copy of the book.

          1. Yep, it’s the first story in that collection and is titled ELEPHAS FRUMENTI. (Note, it doesn’t mention that they are pink.)

  10. The Land of Clean is a myth. At least in our house with six dogs, 8 cats and the occasional caprine break-in. We are waiting for the oldest dog (blind, diabetic, and incontinent) to leave this earth so we can replace the flooring.
    Good luck on your quest for clean!

    1. I decided to vacuum three days early. Good thing – for once there was more dirt than fur. This in a house with top-of-the line windows that lock into a nearly air-tight seal, and keeping dust-stoppers against the west-facing door. Sunday’s dust storm defeated everything.

  11. A couple of years ago we figured out “clean” was a relative term and have a house now that is healthy but dirty! In reality we’ve got a nice group of ladies who come in about every six months and scrub the place and we just have to maintain until the next visit. Best money I ever spent!

    As for destroying the blog… nah – it’s way to much fun here and any minor dings and scratches are easily buffed out anyway (just don’t ask Fluffy for help).

  12. experiment #34534. Fluffy will now attempt to clear snow from the walkway at 1000 ft altitude wiothout burning down the blog.

      1. Great. I now have an earworm of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane singing


        1. Whoops. That should have been “got a revolution” from “Volunteers”.

          (Distorted voice)
          “Error? ERROR!?! Examine….”

          1. And for some reason my mind pictured 4 Dune Shai-Hulud rising up and swaying and singing “Wait A Minute Mr. Postman”. I really wonder wtf my mental processes are doing some days…

    1. Darn you roomba for not including Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics in your product! That way the vacuum robot would have to obey due to 2nd law. I think it also might have to have an extended 1st law otherwise it might be a threat to pets (Honey, we just lost another gerbil to the Roomba, and now its moving to the cat).

      1. OK, who put the Gerbil Hut Delivery sign on the Roomba, and why is it stopping at the cat bed? 😎

  13. Apropos of nothing, today has been a good day for unsticking the sticky plot threads that have been jammed up. Not so much for the writing, but there is hope. Things are getting darker for our poor protagonists. evil writer laugh

  14. Sorry, can’t resist sharing this quote from the cinema classic The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra:

    “Aliens? Us!? … Is this one of your Earth ‘jokes’?”

  15. There are times where I think that the cat spreads litter around intentionally. For fun. Because she can.

    1. Probably. OTOH I came across an old photo of Matrix, our college not-quite Persian who was basically a Persian with a muzzle, sitting on the throne in deep thought. To the best of my memory, Matrix did not make messes with his litter. It was the only time the poor dear ever looked like he had two brain cells to rub together. He was gorgeous and very sweet-tempered, but not bright.

  16. Too tired to set any fires here today…

    Her Litteriness was taken care of yesterday, once the snow melted and I could take her mat out to be beaten.

    But I made the mistake today of bending over to look at the inside top of the microwave. Don’t know whether it was soup or sauce, but looked like a murder scene up there. In for a penny, in for a pound, ended up taking everything out of that shelving unit and cleaning the whole thing top to bottom.

    1. I picked up a “ShiftEase Litter Box Sifter”. Not automatic. A lot easier to get everything than using a scoop. Don’t have to worry about the clogging other sift options result in. Just don’t use over carpet (not the sifting, the dumping of what gets sifted out).

      1. That’s a great idea! I will look for one of those. With four litter boxes strategically placed throughout the house, scooping litter takes a lot of time!

        1. four litter boxes

          We have 4 too (only not spread through the house). And scooping never gets all of those pesky sticky ones in the corners if only because breaking them loose breaks them up too much. Still happens but not near as bad. I’ve even cut down on the amount of litter in the boxes was putting in to try to prevent. I’d go with automatic, but while one off brand isn’t bad cost wise … x 4 or 5, um, ouch (we have 4 cats, technically should be # of cats + 1).

    2. If you microwave something that puts out a lot of steam – I’ve been known to microwave hte soapy scrubby sponge (sterilizes it and makes the steam (just then wait until it’s not a spone full of boiling hot water before picking it up)) – then let it sit a little while, it’ll loosen all the crud on the walls, ceiling, flood, and inside of door, and you can wipe 90% of it off.

        1. Water and lemon juice works about as well as vinegar without the vinegar smell.

        2. Crud came out without much hassle, there was just a lot of it. I didn’t do the vinegar treatment yesterday, as I had people who would have complained (loudly). I’ll have everyone out pretty much every day next week; I’ll do it then (if I remember, the pinkish stains are only on the top where I don’t see them every time).

  17. I thought I was joking. Democrats in Pennsylvania overwhelmingly elected a state assembly candidate a month after he died. To represent all their dead voters, no doubt.

    What’s next, electing an imaginary candidate to represent all their imaginary voters?

    In other news, the Biden* Regime is pushing a candidate for FAA Director whose only qualification for the job appears to be having watched ‘Airplane’ under the impression that it was a documentary.
    Elections are far too important to be left up to a bunch of uncontrolled voters. The Party MUST exercise oversight and management to prevent mere voters from electing the wrong candidates!

    1. In other news, the Department of Transportation (alas, not to Australia) has announced a phase-out of diesel fuel for trains, in favor of biofuels.

      That’s right, they’re going to make the trains run on thyme.

    2. Good news, though. Chicago Democrats have voted Mayor Lori “Deep One” Lightfoot out of office with only 17% of a three-way vote so she won’t be in the runoff. The 30% top choice was the tough-on-crime police-union-endorsed guy.

      Even Chicago Democrats, like flatworms, will (eventually) turn away from pain.

      1. That woman looks like a victim of the zombie apocalypse. Why do so many “liberal/progressive,” females look like either undead, or squirrels on meth?
        (Current WH press secretary manages to not look like either, but sadly, she achieves “frustrated airhead,” status quite easily).

      2. I don’t know Balzaq, if you put a Chicago Democrat and a planarian in a learning situation my money’s on the flatworm evry time…

      3. And the other guy is the paid operative of the Teachers’ Union. And boy did he get paid. The Teachers’ Unions were pretty much his only funding source. I’m impressed by the chutzpah.

        1. Brandon Johnson is worse in every way than Mayor Groot except obviously mockability. This part of his platform alone will have every remaining business out of Chicago within a year. Keep in mind as you read this that the Chicago Board of Trade has not yet fled Chicago. https://www.brandonforchicago.com/issues/city-budget-and-revenue

          The Reader would laugh except he knows that he and his backers are deadly serious

          1. That’s the “Big Business Head Tax”? Yeah, that’s so stupid even Seattle wouldn’t go for it.

            Also, most of Seattle’s city council, including the Communist, is retiring and not going for re-election this year. Yay!! At least now we’ll get different socialists-pretending-to-be-Democrats!

          2. Why are you being so mean to Groot? That…creature doesn’t look much like Groot at all.

            That campaign page is one long screed of buzzwords and cliches, devoid of any actual content other than Tax, Tax, Tax. Oh, and tax people living outside of Chicago to make up Chicago’s budget deficits. Didn’t ‘taxation without representation’ used to be a bad thing?

            They want a ‘Head Tax’? How about politicians’ heads on pikes? That’s a tax I could get behind.

            1. “Why are you being so mean to Groot? That…creature doesn’t look much like Groot at all.’

              Because Mayor Beetlejuice takes too long to type?

            2. tax people living outside of Chicago to make up Chicago’s budget deficits.

              Eugene tried that. They had to back off to only taxing people who work for companies within Eugene. Then they proceeded to incorporate all (non-home based) business, school, and church properties, within the urban growth boundary. They tried it as originally, “If not paying Eugene property tax through home ownership or rent”, but got slapped down. It is now an Eugene, employee tax, so people pay if the employer is in Eugene (even those who pay Eugene property tax). Our son is paying the tax out of his paycheck every month.

              Oregon state does that to people who live in neighboring state but work in Oregon. Has for decades. Hubby’s job used to be exempt from that but no longer is (now they have to track the hours they are working in Oregon, if they do not live in Oregon). Exception was based on the fact that log rafts “could be moved while someone is on it”, changing the state border it is on. (Honestly my thought was “Really? Seriously? Not while I’m on it!” This was the Columbia River they are talking about. Not a chance!) But log rafts aren’t anything they work on anymore so Oregon removed the exception.

              1. When I lived in New Hampshire, Maine taxed the income of people who worked in Maine but lived out of state. The kicker? They taxed the entire married-filing-jointly income, even if only one of the people worked in Maine. Massachusetts, at least, only taxed the income of the spouse who worked in-state.

                1. Oregon also only taxes the spouse who works in Oregon, and only the hours worked in Oregon.

          3. Daaaang. And that fuel tax is going to hurt. All the business flights will go elsewhere and Midway will be toast.

      4. A Deep One, wearing a human suit made by something that never got a good look at a real human. Maybe it was modeled after drowned corpses?

  18. Shout out to the Hoyt boys – the Ross 248 anthology with their story is up on Baen.

  19. I’ve lost three divisions of space marines trying to clean the dust bunnies from out from under the couch. I think there must be a strip club under there somewhere. I’d use the vacuum, but then I’d have to clean it out as well, I think it is in cahoots with the dust bunnies. The truth is I think the dust bunnies are an alien invasion, and they’ve won.

        1. Dust Dinosaurs are a hardy breed and reproduce remarkably quickly. They can be found under a great many beds (or so the Reader is told – he does not have first hand experience of being under many different beds).

    1. Orphangeorge its not clear to me whether your losing Space Marines to the strip bar or whether the dust bunnies are attending a strip bar. The latter does have issues as what do dust bunnies strip? Of course it might explain why you have so many dust bunnies, they are bunnies after all…

  20. Word Press Must Die! 😡

    I just noticed that I wasn’t getting emails from According to Hoyt and other sites that I follow!

      1. This is why I keep a separate email account JUST for AtH subscriptions.

        Although WP seems to like sending stuff to my regular email anyway even though I DIDN’T subscribe there…

      2. Word Press didn’t like me (I’m guessing) but I changed my WP settings so now I’m getting them.

      3. The new email grouping sucks. Still getting as many responses, just they aren’t grouped anymore.

    1. I’m getting email whenever our hostess replies to one of my comments—from then on I get emails like I had checked the box.

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