Monthly Archives: August 2004

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It’s been rather relaxing to rest at home instead of going to work. I figured with all my spare time, I’d clear out the Zen Room (so named because we’ve spent a long time thinking about what it should be called). Mr. Capp got an upright freezer for free and had been “storing” it in the hallway, so I moved it to a newly cleared space. One of the things that got removed was a bag marked “Rags” that Dr. Evil had brought over to the house. I looked inside and there were all sorts of cut-up shirts, but thankfully, none looked familiar.

Then I moved the sorting baskets out of the laundry room and moved the ironing board in to the freshly vacated space. I even moved the junk off the dining room table and put on a new tablecloth. After all that activity, I felt so domestic I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies. I mixed up the dough and dropped it on to my brand new baking sheet. When I opened up the upper oven door, I discovered that the new sheet was too long and wouldn’t fit inside.

You know how they say necessity is the mother of invention? Well, I thought I was being all clever by tilting the baking sheet and cramming it inside the oven to get the cookies baked. It wasn’t until I was finished that I thought to check the lower oven. I’d assumed the top and bottom ovens were the same size, but it turned out the lower one is larger and the sheet would have fit perfectly. I munched my lopsided cookies and pondered my lack of foresight concerning oven sizes.

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Hmmm…. Due to unbloggable circumstances partially beyond my control, I am still on “vacation”, though I am not driving anywhere. Since I’ll have some free time on my hands, I decided to clean out the box gutters on the house.

Oh. Man.

There’s a freakishly huge walnut tree that sits on the property line between my house and the house of Mr. and Mrs. Mormon. A couple of years ago, Mr. M. cut down its twin on to my newly replaced roof, but that’s another story (a painful story in which the reader wonders why I didn’t snap and set fire to my neighbor’s bungalow). The remaining tree drops individual leaves, then the leaf stems, then the walnuts in to my gutters with the precision of a B-17 bomber.

Each year I climb an extension ladder to survey the filled troughs. Then, I climb back down, go inside the house, climb the stairs to the bathroom, open the window and walk out on to the roof. I’ve thought about skipping the ladder part of the sequence, but I’m always hopeful that this will be the year that the gutters are clear.

No such luck this time around. In fact, this year was a little different, in that there were also giant piles of cat crap all over my shingles, and I had to clear those off. I gently swept them so that their trajectory took them in an arc that landed on top of Cat Guy’s roof. After finding decayed leaves, curled-up caterpillars, an ant farm and tons more cat crap in the gutters, I swore (literally and figuratively) that this will be the last year I clean them. I predict that next year, I will attempt to hire someone for this task, no sober person will be available, and I’ll have to do it myself, but for now, I hold out hope.

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I leave tomorrow morning for my Vacation. My mother asked if I could e-mail her everyday, like I do when I’m at work. When I said no, she asked why not. I told her, “It’s not like there’s just some vaporous cloud of Internet out there that I can just tap in to wherever I am.”

The Boss said that on Monday, he’s going to call my mother and tell her that I was lying, and that there IS a vaporous cloud of Internet out there and that I’m just trying to ignore her.

I so need a break.

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Dr. Evil came over to the house while I was at work the other day. This time, since there weren’t any green bowls to filch, she BROUGHT a couple of items she’d been unable to find in my kitchen.

The first item was something she called a “dish cloth” and she claimed that people use it when they want to wash their dishes in the sink. I told her that’s what the “Scrubby Scrubber brush” was for. I also told her I was familiar with the “dish rag” method of washing dishes and that I chose to use the brush. She said it was a “dish cloth”, not a “dish rag” and that it was “better” than a brush at cleaning.

The second item was a cover for my toaster, because people “shouldn’t just leave appliances laying out in the open on the kitchen counter.”

The third item was a carton of buttermilk. She was appalled that we don’t keep it in the refrigerator. I told her we don’t keep it in the fridge, because we don’t drink it. As she put the carton in my refrigerator, she picked my jar of peanut butter off the counter and put that in, too. WTF? She said that peanut butter should be stored in the fridge so it won’t “go bad”. I told her that we go through it like peanut oil through a bear, so it didn’t have much chance to go bad at our house. She insisted that peanut butter was never meant to be served at room temperature.

Sigh.

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Storing material in hallway is prohibited – part deux

The stockpile of computers has been moved, but now there’s even MORE stuff being stored in the same hallway. Recycling bins, lumber, bags of cement and more line the walls.

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It’s time once again for CK’s Guest Blog Entry of the Week! w00t!

WARNING: NOT FOR THE WEAK OF STOMACH OR FAINT OF HEART…..

I walked into the ladies room during my lunch hour to wash out my bowl and take care of business. As I was rinsing my bowl out, I was surrounded by the miasma of rotting corpses and broccoli gone bad. ‘Great’, I thought, ‘the match lady dumped a load and didn’t bother to light up.’ I walked around the stall wall totally unprepared for the horror I was about to see. There, floating gently in a brown bath of its own making, was the biggest turd I have ever seen. Gentle readers, the size and girth of it brought to mind a summer sausage from a Hillshire Farm’s Christmas basket! Fighting down nausea and quite a bit of terror, I reached over with my foot to flush the dang thing down to the sewer hell where it obviously belonged, and no doubt, would be ruling within a few short hours.

Foot pushed down the lever, water swirled around it like the mighty Kharybdis and the surly log simply lay there. Not. Moving. An. Inch. WTF? At this show of power, I immediately ran out of the restroom and into Deb’s office.

Me: “Deb! Deb! Oh my God, do not go into the ladies room. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”

Deb: “WTF?”

Me: “There is a piece of crap as big as a house in the commode. I tried to get rid of it and it wouldn’t leave.”

Deb: >looking at me like I’m insane

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Using the “Next Blog” button on the navigation bar can be pretty scary. For every ten random blogs surfed, two will contain pr0n, six will contain the writings of some angst-ridden teenager who can’t spell his or her way out of a wet paper bag, one will contain some decent content with interesting stories, anecdotes, and pictures… and the last one will be like Totoro Land.

Totoro Land is particularly upsetting because the dancing badger (while cute) doesn’t even LOOK like the real Totoro!

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I went to the AAA office yesterday to pick up a TripTik� and some CampBooks� for my vacation.

Driving Maps Lady: Where will you be going?

Me: Yellowstone National Park.

DML: Oh, that’s nice. I’ve never been to Montana.

Me: It’s in Wyoming.

DML: Hmmm… {checks giant map on her desk} Aha! Yes, here it is. You’re right. Let me get the maps for that.

As I waited, I looked over at the old guy at the next desk. He was arguing with another DML because he wanted an “historical roads” map and she kept telling him they didn’t have one. He didn’t want a current map that showed “historic roads”, he wanted a road map from the late 1800’s. The supervisor had to come out to the desk and suggest that he try The Big Library.

My DML came back and started to run her yellow highlighter over the route. When she was finished, she showed it to me.

Me: That’s not how you get there.

DML: This is an AAA-sanctioned route.

Me: Be that as it may, if I have to drive across the entire state of Nebraska, from Omaha, to Cheyenne, in the southeast corner of Wyoming, then up to Yellowstone through the South Entrance, I’ll have to take a hostage.

DML: …

Me: I’m not driving across Nebraska. Look, I’ve made this trip twice before, and it goes like this: Louisville to St. Louis, to Kansas City, up I-29 through the western edge of Iowa to Sioux City, then to Sioux Falls, where you turn west on I-90 and stay on it until you hit Wyoming State Highway 14 and then you take that in to Cody and get in to Yellowstone through the East Entrance.

DML: If you know all this, then why are you here?

Me: Because I want the TripTik� marked with all the road closures and construction.

The supervisor walked over to my DML and said, “Honey, when someone wants to drive to Yellowstone, we have them go through the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s a far more scenic route.” Then she showed her the “Scenic Route” designation on “How To Get There” paper and had her re-mark the map. The Nebraska route got an orange highlighter over the top of it and green “Alternate Route” stamps. While my DML was changing the map, the supervisor said to me, “She’s new.”