Chuck’s sister, Gin, and her two kids came down Thursday and will leave tomorrow. I feel like such a scrooge sometimes because every time we do “family” stuff, it’s always Chuck’s family. No, this is not a guilt trip for my clan – my nearest relative is more than 1,000 miles away, so it’s not so easy to drop in as it is for Chuck’s brother who lives 3 miles down the road. But still. You know what I mean. Sigh.

Good questions

Good questions I’ve either discussed with friends recently or read in other blogs:

  • What do you *want* to learn today?
  • If a person has been deaf his entire life, what does the little voice in his head sound like when he’s talking to himself?
  • And when *you* talk to yourself, is it always in words, or words + images, or something else?

I want to learn more about IIS on my new Windows 2003 server and how to make FrontPage interact with it better. I recently migrated my hack Web site from an XP workstation to this server and there is SO much more. ‘Course, I didn’t read any books or anything, just hacked into it, ha ha!

When I talk to myself, it’s a combination of words, sounds, images, emotions, flashes and sometimes smells. For example, when I tripped over the FREAKIN’ CROWN MOULDING, the little voice in my head said “Dumbass!” When I’m trying to figure out the Web site stuff, it’s some words, flashes of screen shots and emotions (hope, excitement, whatever) like “Hey, that might work!” When I’m looking at a menu trying to decide what to get, I read the words and mentally smell the results. When I’m looking at sheet music, I hear the music in my head. Very idiot savant, I suppose! 😉

It’s all mine, mine, mine!

I just oiled my desk (furniture oil) and it always looks so cool. This is “my” place – where no one better leave their crap, ha ha!

This is where I hear from friends and family, get news, read jokes and learn things.

And this is my tool bag. It’s all mine and the guys know that “blue tools go in the blue bag.” I got tired of never being able to find basic household tools like a hammer, so I put together this little kit. Love it! And it’s been very useful with Tool Club.


I really don’t know how I feel about the Virginia Tech thing except all jumbled up, cynical and jaded. I’m sorry it happened, and it makes me sad in a way I’ve not felt before. I hate that the media says “32 lives” – like the poor guy who did the deed doesn’t count, somehow. Does he not deserve even a sliver of empathy? Something. I hate that when people are killed needlessly, they are made out to be saints. Why isn’t there someone who is quoted as saying “Well, Harry was kind of a conceited jerk but he was really good at math”? And for the love of god, how many times did they have to say “convocation”?

While I’m ranting and babbling here, let me say that I can’t stand the ponderous tones, the DRAMA, the hyperbole, the body count and the anniversaries. At this rate, we can make a calendar where at least once a month there’s some terrible tragedy to “remember.” Our county school superintendent called with a recorded message to the effect of “let’s listen to our kids and if there’s something unsafe, report it.” I mean, really.

What I expect to hear next is that the victims’ families have filed a class action lawsuit against VT alleging the school did not properly protect their children. Oh, and a claim against the government for restitution. Bet the Oklahoma City families are wondering where their money is – I don’t think they hopped on that bandwagon.

Sigh. I can’t figure it out. I *am* sorry it happened.

Tool Club (need a better name)

Last fall, I invited my two good friends, Michelle and Candy, to form an all-girl project club. The idea was we were all tired of waiting for our respective husbands to help us with certain projects, plus us women work better together than the couples do. We pick one project a month and take turns at each other’s house. That means you get help with at least one project per quarter, which we all thought was doable in terms of time and money.

Our first project was Michelle’s half-bath, which she needed to finish in time for Christmas company. New toilet, pedestal sink, mirror, paint, borders, subfloor, linoleum squares, baseboards. Looks great!

Next project was Casey’s bathroom (see previous post). Due to the complexity of the freakin’ CROWN MOULDING, we actually spent two Saturdays on that. I don’t know that I would want to do it again real soon, but I have a much better understanding of how the damn stuff goes up. A special thanks goes to my buddy, Tokso, from work, who suggested a lunchtime mission to nail the shit to the wall. He had some extra experience, heh heh.

No projects in March, but Candy’s next. She’s so patient – plus as an accountant, she had to get through tax season which ends tomorrow. She also wants to do outside projects (painting shutters, sealing her garage floor and putting in a rock walkway) which requires good weather, so I think we will get to her very soon!

This is working out very well, and I must say, I have very good friends. Big hugs to them both!!

Finally…a sense of closure!

On January 27th, my all-female “Tool Club” took on the project known as Casey’s Bathroom Overhaul. I’m proud – and relieved – to announce the damn thing is finally done! (Delay caused when a male got involved, ha ha!)

Things done: resurfaced walls, new baseboards, new crown moulding (that’s a whole OTHER story), new towel bar, new TP holder, new vanity, new sink, new medicine cabinet, new potty, paint. About the only thing we didn’t replace was the tub and the linoleum.

Most important lesson – I’ve got true friends who spent not one, but two Saturdays working on this. Second most important lesson – crown moulding is a BITCH.

Evil crown moulding before (as we were trying to install new stuff):

Evil crown moulding after (take THAT, you rat bastard moulding!):

Eliminating disposables

I don’t know how well this will work out, but I saw an air filter (for the house air intake) for $3 that can be hosed off every month. It’s not the metallic kind – we tried that before and did not have good results with it – but it’s kind of a plastic mesh/fiber thing. I figure that instead of spending $2-3 a month for the disposable air filters, we could try this. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Works as advertised or is worth it

I want to start making a list of stuff that works as advertised, or alternatively, is worth every dime you pay for it. If you have any, let me know and I’ll compile a list. In no particular order, here’s what I can think of for now:

Ostrich feather duster –
Stoner “Invisible Glass” –
*Note: Stoner is available at Wal-Mart.

Boar’s Head hard salami –
Melting Pot fondue restaurant –

Cirque du Soleil “O” show in Vegas –
Canon PowerShot “Elph” digital camera –

More decluttering

I wish I had a “before” picture, but let’s just say you literally could not walk into this closet in our guest room. You can now!

And no clearing-out would be complete without coming across yet more stuff from Mom and Dad. The Ten Year Anniversary Surprise Package was…two pretty pictures of fish! Those are going up.