April 2017 Archives

no full measures, walter

Walt sighed the now-familiar sigh of a repair guy about to deliver bad news.

"It ain't good..." he said. He sighed again. "If you were going to fix this the right way, you'd have to—"

"Skip to the half-assed solution, please."

a whiff of stupidity

I was watching TV when I thought I caught a whiff of natural gas. I held a match to the burners of my stove, but all seemed normal. I did the bubble test on the gas lines, but they too were okay. The next day, I thought I smelled it again. I smelled it after I opened the back door. "It must be the neighbor's grill," I thought.

Today as I went to turn on the water spigot, I got a face full of gas. My garden hose is connected to the water spigot, and a few feet away is an unused gas tap. It was in the full-open position.

"How..?" I thought, just for a second. I knew.

I texted handyman George. "Did you use the hose when you were here last week?"

"Yes. Why?" said the moron who, in the literal shadow of the connected water hose, turned on a gas tap and left it on.

george

I was at an appointment when my phone vibrated. My burglar alarm had gone off. I quickly checked to see if it was the usual false alarms—maybe I hit the panic button on my keychain, or maybe I accidentally left the motion detectors on when Fredo was at home—and for the first time, it was neither. Someone had opened my door. I begged off and raced home. The police were questioning my handyman, George.

No, George did not have permission to enter the premises for his task of exterior painting.

No, George had not let me know he was coming.

Yes, George is my only option. By that I mean his work is hit or miss, but he freaking shows up, which makes him Pittsburgh's Absolute Finest.

"I was looking for a shop-vac," he sheepishly explained. I had accidentally left a door unlocked. How convenient for him.

I went back to the appointment and rescheduled, then returned home to find brown paint slopped in my window screens.

I repeat: Only. Option.

pony express

I've been looking at houses in the Spokane area. There are many to like, but a problematic theme has developed: swimming pools and horse stables. An amazing percentage of houses I like happen to have one or both of those PITA things I do not want.

Especially stables.

You see, for years now I've tortured my Mom Friends who have daughters. "I'll buy you a pony for your 10th birthday," I told Allie's kid, Lily, during her birthday call. "Just so long as it's okay with Mom."

(She talks to Mom)

Lily: "She says we don't have room for a pony and that you're a filthy liar."

Me: "What is she talking about? Your back yard is HUGE!"

Lily (to Mom): "What are you talking about? Our back yard is HUGE!"

Lily (to me): "I'm not allowed to repeat what she just said about you. But it was really bad."

And so it goes, every time we talk. You can see, then, that I can absolutely not move to Lily's hometown into a place with a stable. I'm thinking maybe an efficiency apartment until she's 30.

craigslidiots redux

I've been unloading a lot of stuff on craigslist...again...which means the return of my favorite spore, the craigslidiot, to my life. He was not missed.

Among the items I jettisoned was 150 cans of soda and about two dozen bottles of mixers and juices. Price: free.

"Call me. I'd like you to tell me more about the soda," said one guy in response to the ad with a photo of the soda still in its boxes. I almost called him just to find out what else he could possibly need to know. Would I have to produce pedigree papers?

"I WAN YOUR SODA!!! CAN YOU HOLD IT UNTIL MEMROIL DAY!!" said another.

My favorite, of course, remains Meet Me Halfway Guy: he wants me to load up my car with the stuff I'm giving him and drive it 10 miles. It does seem like the least I could do.

Slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp... slurp...

Finally I relented and looked in my dog's mouth to see what was going on. He had something huge wedged in his teeth. Long past being grossed out by dog spit, I reached in and pulled it out.

Turns out I'm not past being grossed out by slobbery, live stinkbugs.

best used by 10/02

And the answer to the question "How old is this can of green beans?" is...

These green beans on my shelf were born before some modern-day drivers. I not only moved them to Pittsburgh in 2016, I moved them to Metamuville in 2002.

I might not eat enough vegetables.

endgame

I found the price point that will compel me to clean my own house, and it's the $500 the very pregnant housecleaner quoted me. Thus did I spend my weekend pulling the previous owner's hair out of drains. I would have been content to let it sit there forever in those unused bathrooms, but you see, I'm trying to dump this dump.

Side note: at a certain age, your body doesn't bother waiting until the day after exercise to start killing you. Mine was stiff within hours. I figure in another 10 years, it'll hurt before the exertion.

the emma watson dream

Okay, so she made only a cameo, but I wanted to echo the anna kendrick dream. I note that the starlets are getting younger as I decompose further.

The dream actually starred Daniel Radcliffe, for no reason I can conjur. I haven't seen him in anything since Harry Potter, and I haven't seen that since the theatre. I found myself sitting next to him at a bar, and while I recognized him, I didn't let on. We talked about everything except Harry Potter, and I did most of the talking—about politics, religion, sports, pop culture. He hung on my every eloquent utterance. Now, at this point I should have figured out it was a dream. The only realistic thing in this paragraph is that I was in a bar.

In the dream's closing moments, Emma Watson sat next to him. They kissed passionately, tearing into one another like raccoons in a dumpster. I scrambled to get my camera, but they stopped making out. I missed the photo.

"Goddammit!" I scolded them. "If I'd been able to sell that pic, I would have been set for life!" That's when Ms. Watson slapped me, hard, and I woke up.

Two thoughts:

  1. Yeah, that was accurate.
  2. At least I made physical contact with the starlet this time.

another pittsburgh splendor

This time last year, I mailed two envelopes to pay my personal and business taxes.

Behold this year:

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little man cave, indeed

Perusing real estate ads, I came upon this castration. Overzealous wife or mother—it doesn't matter.

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