Monthly Archives: October 2003


I thought I heard some people coming up the porch steps, but it turned out just to be some dogs running loose. I shoo’ed them away.

This comfy chair is pretty cool. If I angle it just right, I can look through my window, AND through next door’s window and watch a football game on Cat Guy’s television. He has a dish, so he’s always got sports on TV. All of his lights are off, though, so I can’t see if he’s drinking tonight.

Speaking of lights off, I had to call a guy at our warehouse today and I asked, “What are you doing for tonight?”

Him: I’m going to go home, turn out the lights and pretend I’m not there for two hours.
Me: That’s no way to live. A captive in your own home. Just go out for two hours.
Him: No, I’d rather just go home and sit in the dark. At my old house, no one ever came by. But at this new house, I think there are more kids in the neighborhood, so someone might show up.
Me: Of course no one showed up at your old house. You used to live in a van down by the river.
Him: Funny. You know it was a houseboat.
Me: But on Halloween, you’d string it out twenty feet from the dock. NO ONE could get to you!

I couldn’t convince him that buying a $2.00 bag of candy for the kids once a year won’t kill him.



Trick or treat started a half hour ago and runs through 8 PM tonight. I moved a comfy chair from upstairs into my living room to make up for my lack of furniture. Now I can sit here and wait for the trick or treaters that will never come.

Every year for the past twelve Halloweens, I have bought candy, prepped a pumpkin and waited for the kids. No one ever shows up. This year I skipped carving the pumpkin, although I do have a small one out on the porch. I bought Pixie Stix because I won’t eat them if no one comes here tonight.

The street is just weird. Starting at the top of the street, from left to right is the following:

Auto Repair Garage – Parking Lot
Garage Junk Lot – Old Train Depot
Railroad tracks – Railroad tracks
Four storage buildings – empty lot
Cliff overlooking the creek – dumpy rental house
Cliff overlooking the creek – three large, fancy Victorian houses high up on the hill
Log cabin (The banker’s house) – four moderately sized Victorian houses part-way up the hill
Cliff overlooking the creek – Where Mrs. Night’s House Used to be
One house – four large, fancy Victorian houses high up on the hill
One house (that gets flooded every time the creek rises) – two smaller sized houses close to the street (“The Arsonist” and Mr. Mormon)
One house (With elderly neighbor) – my house
One underground house with boat dock – farm rental duplex (Cat Guy)
Fishing house with boat dock – three very small, dumpy “manufactured homes”
Trailer Park

No one wants to bring their kid to this street. If you start at the top, you have to walk half a mile up someone’s yard for a piece of Bubble Yum. If you start at the bottom, you have the trailer park and all the scary people who leave their doors open and let out the strange smells from inside the house.

Oh, well. I can hear dogs barking, cats fighting, crickets singing and a rooster crowing outside. But I hear no trick or treaters.


Remember this past Sunday when I wrote that Crazy Old Mrs. Night’s house had collapsed? The City came out and removed every last bit of debris. There is nothing left. No bricks, no chimney, no toilet, no furnace, no kitchen range, nothing. It’s all gone. They put down some straw to keep the mud from sliding down the hill, and then tacked a “No trespassing” sign to one of the trees.

The strange part is that this is the second house of hers to collapse. The other one fell in about six years ago and the City cleared that lot, too. Even if your abandoned house is occupied by birds, squirrels and other wildlife, and even if it has holes in the roof and the weather gets inside, it shouldn’t just fall in on itself. I have seen abandoned houses and barns in far worse shape that continue to stand, so I can’t figure out what’s going on with hers. Mrs. Night actually lives in a house on Main Street now. Maybe I should start a betting pool as to how long it will be before the Main Street house caves in.


By the way, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, thanks to the handy link supplied by Brian. I don’t know what my characters will be like, but I woke up last night with some great ideas for dialogue. We’ll be like Dickens…writing chapters just to lengthen the story and adding extra characters for no reason at all, neither of which activities actually add anything important to the plot. He got paid by chapter, but we’ll get our satisfaction from just knowing we wrote at least 50,000 words in one month.

Let me know if any of you decide to participate!


When I dropped off the car at the Goodyear tire store for an oil change today, Tag the mechanic said, “Your Valvoline sticker says you’re 10,000 miles overdue….” I hope the thick oil wasn’t the only thing holding the engine together. I was going to get the oil changed in July, which would have put the car at only seven months between changes, but I forgot.

Tag was nice enough to inflate the tires to the appropriate air pressure, top off the washer fluid, clean the blue fuzzy stuff off the battery, and check the radiator fluid for usefulness. I told him that in July the vehicle speed sensor had gone batty and that now the speedometer and odometer no longer worked reliably. Technically, this means the Honda was well over the 10,000 miles earlier stated, but Tag was kind enough not to mention it. He looked under the hood for the VSS and said, “Well, here’s your problem…this wire isn’t plugged in all the way”. Then he plugged the wire back in and voila! I now have a freshly working speedometer and odometer. Total spent $19 plus $1 tip for Tag.


I took a picture of myself in the ladies’ restroom at work and e-mailed it to my mother. In the mail I wrote, “I finally got a chance to sit down and take a break”. I thought it was funny.

She e-mailed me back and asked me if that was a “paper towel roll” next to me. I wrote back and said it was a toilet paper roll next to me and the chrome thing behind me was the toilet handle. Jokes are never as funny when you have to explain them.


Tomorrow at work, I am going to blame everything on the solar flare.

Angry Customer: I left you a voice mail. Didn’t you listen to it?!
Me: I’m sorry. The solar flare wiped out my entire In Box.

Angry Customer: I ordered two projectors, but you all sent me eight laptops. WTF?!
Me: I’m sorry. The solar flare messed up our orders database.

Angry Customer: Why is your website so slow?!
Me: Because of electrical disturbance caused by the solar flare.

Angry Customer: I placed an online order six weeks ago and haven’t received my items. WTF?!
Me: I’m sorry. The solar flare caused our online system to purge all orders placed by asshats.

Angry Customer: I need to speak with the manager in charge!
Me: I’m sorry. He was struck by the solar flare when he went outside at lunch.


The local news reported that an office building that houses some of our customers had collapsed when an electrical spark ignited some trapped natural gas. No one was injured. However, I couldn’t help but wonder how many projectors and computer systems they’d have to order to replace the ones that were lost in the disaster. I told The Boss about my thoughts and he said that my journey to The Dark Side was complete.