Tag Archives: postaday

This is What Roughly Half of my Basement Loaded Into a Truck Looks Like


All that was missing was an old lady in a rocking chair on the back.

That junk filled 1/4 of a dumpster at the dump. I was amazed at how much stuff we were able to fit into the truck. There’s also stuff in the backseat of the cab too. The only thing that fell off on the 4 mile drive to the dump was the slide. It fell off twice and each time it broke, making it easier to put back on the truck.

While it was very satisfying to get this much junk out of the house, there is still half of of my basement full of this stuff. A lot of what’s left is cardboard boxes that I can break down and throw out with the regular trash along with two mattresses that can go with the trash as well. The rest of the junk-junk can go on July 26th which is the next time the dump is open for free for residents. In the meantime though, I’ve cleared enough stuff out of the basement to move around the rest and make it easier to clean up the floor.

Sick: Part Two, Even Sicker (Not Really)

Still sick, but seem to be making improvements. I spent yesterday mostly at the doctor’s (well, urgent care because remember I hate my old doctor and I haven’t started my new doctor yet) and at the pharmacy. I got some high-octane nasal spray and allergy medicine that should help de-ick me. I came home early from work today and took a long nap and that seemed to work as well.

Tomorrow my parents are coming over to help me load crap from our basement into my father-in-law’s truck so I can take it all to the dump and start the full-on decontamination of the Basement of Doom.  I expect wacky photos to detail tomorrow’s adventure for you all. You’re welcome.

Hack. Spit. Snort.

*flops on bed dramatically with hand on forehead*

Sick Seems to be the New Normal

I’m getting just about fed up with writing this posts about how I’m always sick. It seems to be a never-ending cycle lately. I realize much of this is my own fault as my immune system is garbage because I treat my body like a drive-thru garbage can, but still, I’ve been like that most of my life and only now seem to suffering the consequences. Also, I have little kids so nobody at all seems to be surprised with how sick I’ve been.

By far though, the worst part of being sick is dealing with my doctor’s office. I detest my doctors office. In the 6 years I’ve been with this office I’ve gone to urgent care clinics more than my actual doctor because they never have appointments available. Yesterday I called them with chest pains, a fever, and shooting pains in my arm and was told it was viral and nobody would see me after only two days of symptoms. Awesome. So using my own advanced medical training I was able to cobble together relief with Mucinex, Tylenol, my inhaler and some BBQ from Famous Dave’s.

I also took the opportunity to seek out a new doctor. When we moved to Canton, I just signed up at the big medical complex affiliated with my employing university and figured that was that. But I’ve since found this to be one of the most poorly run medical facilities I’ve ever encountered. And it’s not just me. My wife has had problems getting appointments for herself and for the kids. And even when we would get appointments it was more with medical students than real doctors. So we’ve been talking or some time about switching to a smaller family care practice.

Yesterday we researched the office my in-laws use, made sure they take our insurance, then called to book appointments for all of us at the end of July. Not only were they able to schedule us that quickly, they did so with joy and seemed to know my own insurance better than the my old office that is actually part of the university that owns the insurance company. Hopefully this new doctor works out well and I can forget about it. We’ll be upping our dental insurance to the next tier this year to stay with our current dentist we love so much and hopefully all will be well for a while with medical service providers for our family. And hopefully I won’t have to use any of them again for a very long time.

Today My Brain Went Fishing

Yesterday was a great day for me. I had a big writing day that saw the completion of chapter two of the cozy novel and the appearance of the first corpse and I got a major editing project done. I still have a ton of work due in July, but I’m in a much better place for getting it done now and that feels great. Also, it will be nice when the final payments for all of these projects start showing up. But today I decided to let my brain rest. I watched TV and took a nap and read a very breezy cozy. I wrote a little bit on my own cozy but not of the level of yesterday. Tonight the wife and I will probably watch a movie.

Tomorrow I need to clean the house and read some Carina submissions and work on a line edit. I also need to get back to church. I’m not one who believes church is mandatory to be a Christian, but I like going and I feel more engaged with my faith when I attend regularly. I also need to write more. But that’s tomorrow. There’s still a few hours left of today I plan on enjoying.

An Experiment, Because Why Have a Blog If I Can’t Experiment?

It occurs to me as I’m here in the kids area of McDonalds working on my cozy novel that I haven’t written a blog post through my newly self-hosted site on the iPad. So this is that post. So far, this is just one more area I’m impressed with the iPad as laptop replacement. I’ve done just about everything on this iPad that I ever did on my laptop plus a few things I could never do on my laptop (like write on an airplane or use work all day without even thinking about re-charging the battery).

I’ve had the iPad now for almost eight months and in that time the only time I’ve touched my laptop is to set it up for the kids to play on it. Traveling with the iPad through airport security was amazing and I never once regretted not having my laptop with me. Part of me craves a shiny new MacBook Air but I think I’d be unhappy with that because I can’t pop off the keyboard of the Air and use it to read manuscripts or watch Netflix.

The only thing I really don’t like the iPad for is reading for pleasure. It’s way too heavy for any sort of sustained reading session and the glass screen kind of sucks for reading in most settings. I also want an ereader without web access so I don’t have to deal with all of the associated distractions. I gave away my $79 Kindle when I got the iPad and I think for my birthday I’m going to ask for the Kindle paperwhite which seems like the absolute perfect ereader.

So Apparently That Wasn’t a Very Smart Idea

I guess I should have known better than to try and post here daily when I’m up to my eyeballs in overdue editorial work while also trying to kick-start my fiction writing muscles. So I’m not exactly abandoning the place for now, but I really don’t anticipate a daily posting schedule until then end of July at minimum. July is absolutely stockpiled with editorial work, none of which I’m behind on yet, and I’d like to keep it that way.

And as for that fiction, yesterday was a very good writing day. I worked on the cozy novel that I have officially anointed as my current work-in-progress and I also did some editing on another novel that I am stripping down and polishing for possible submission to the Dutton Guilt Edged line. Updates on that as they seem appropriate.

So until I see you again, enjoy your summer.

Nothing to See Here (Quite Possibly, Literally)

The process of switching from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site here has begun. I apologize for how borked this site might look for the near future.

My god, it’s full of stars…

UPDATE: I couldn’t even get out of the FTP stage due to my new modem/router not playing nice. I don’t have the time or energy for this sort of crap right now so I think I’m keeping the site hosted at WP.com for the time being. Stupid technology…

SECOND UPDATE: Okay, I think I did it. I used the auto install of WordPress instead of manual to avoid some FTP issues I was having, and it has worked so much better than comments online led me to believe it would be. So have a look around and let me know what you think of the place.

Get Offa My Cloud

Working in the cloud has made my professional life so much easier but every once in a while you run into a few days like I’ve had recently where your entire cloud life evaporates into thin air and you’re left dangling, unable to work, and forced into spending an absurd amount of time messing with cable companies and modems and website servers and any other number of technological pieces that don’t work together in any sort of coherent way.

But I did, and now I think I’ve got everything back to normal, though I’m about a week behind on my work. Blech. As part of this revamping of my cloud life, I bought into a 3 year prepaid deal for web hosting through 1and1.com which is where I have my domain name registered. In the back of my mind I’ve been thinking about switching to a self-hosted blog through WordPress.org, but in the immediate term, the reason I signed up was because I was able to get 50gb of cloud storage and 250 email addresses with 2gb of storage each for $35 for three years. Even if I keep my website housed on WordPress.com, which at this point I’m more inclined to do due to lack of sufficient time on my part to handle the maintenance of a self-hosted site, the web storage and email addresses are worth the price alone.

I’ve been interested in getting into some cloud storage that isn’t sponsored by one of the major email companies. Right now my stuff is spread across Google Drive, Skydrive, and Dropbox. Skydrive is where I have pictures and video stored, Googe Drive is where I have my writing stuff stored, and Dropbox is where I keep my editing stuff because they work better with my iPad and Microsoft Word. I’d love to get all of my pictures and videos into storage with my web host so I’m better protected if Microsoft folds or randomly decides to get out of the cloud business.

So that’s where I am with the cloud these days. Is your head in the cloud at all?

A Follow-Up to My Smelly House and a Note on Failure

So the smell I discussed previously that had been camped out in my house has been gone now for more than four days. I think it’s safe to assume I removed everything rotting and festering for now.

In other related news, the rotting scent of failure has been surrounding me in an aspect of my real life. Yesterday I was finally able to crack open a window and let the smell dissipate. And let me tell you, I know as Americans we have a history of embracing failure and learning from it and all of that crap, but we don’t talk enough about how much it sucks to fail at something.

And it does. It’s embarrassing and depressing and, depending on the timing, can ruin your life. So far the timing on my particular failure has been okay and there does’t seem to be any long-term harm on the horizon except to my ego. But man, I’m shell shocked and kind of nervous about trying again.

I’m still wondering what to do about June here at the site. I initially thought about doing a post every day, but I’m not sure that’s the best thing. I’m still way behind on the amount of writing I need/want to do on my new novel and any words I write here are words that aren’t going in the novel. That’s not to say I won’t post here at all, because this site does feed a part of me that I need and I hope you all out there find it entertaining enough to pop by when I have something to say. I just suspect I will keep the same random schedule I always have. But maybe I’ll make sure no more than two or three days go by without me posting something here, even if it’s just a picture. How’s that? Would that work?

And on a final note, I’ve lowered the prices on my editing services for the summer, so go check them out and tell all of your friends. My kids have a very expensive toy habit.

A Open Letter to Whomever Cursed My House

I’ve mentioned in passing here how much I hate owning a house, and how much I hate owning my current house specifically, but all of those feelings (and consequently my drinking and cursing) have been taken up many thousands of notches recently.

It started with my dog scaring a rabbit to death.

Actually, it probably started with the former owners of our house with a tiny little oddly shaped back yard planting a tree big enough to reach the moon and house an entire colony of tree people. That tree has ruined our deck, our foundation, and until we chopped it down with the gleeful hate of a thousand neighbors, our basement drain. So because our drain still has lots of chunks of that damn tree clogging it and I haven’t had the time to get down there and clean it out, every time it rains the drain backs up and we get a little bit of water down there. It always drains away after a day or so and only leaves a faint musty odor for a day or two as well. 

So, this rabbit. Dog killed it, I, being the suburban goober I am and not knowing any better, throw the corpse in the trash. Oops.

And then it rains. A lot.

Did I mention my kids are incapable of ever shutting a door when they play outside leaving our house open to any number of critters?

So anyway, we have a rabbit corpse in the trash, a monsoon in our back yard, and a basement drain that doesn’t work so good. 

The first sign of trouble came with the flies. They started showing up in huge clumps at the windows. We spent a few days swatting them, spraying them, vacuuming them and any other number of ways to make them go away. Our first thought of course was the rabbit in the trash. But there were no flies around the trash. Then we came home from work one day to an awful smell in the house coming from the basement. I went down and saw that after about four days, this batch of water hadn’t drained and was really starting to stink. So I sucked it all up with the ShopVac and bleached the floor and put enough deodorizers and coffee grounds down there to choke out the Black Death. 

But the smell remained. Not as intense as before, but still pretty awful. So the next day we sent the kids out to my in-laws and I donned a respirator and gloves and went poking around in the basement. Guess what I found. Go on. Guess.

A dead possum. Ew. 

So learning my lesson from the rabbit corpse, I threw the possum corpse over the back fence into the yard of the neighbor I’ve never met.

More bleaching, more deodorizing, more slight reduction in the smell. But it still wouldn’t go away completely. After sniffing around in the basement and following the smell trail up to under the deck, I figured the deck must be the source of the smell. That was immediately confirmed when I cracked open the first deck plank and was treated to a smell that could only be described as dirt-enhanced death. But no corpse.

After enlisting the help of my neighbor (the non-corpse deposited neighbor) and his power tools with free beer, we cut out a chunk of the deck playing find the smell. We never did find a body, but there was a puddle of standing water that smelled so awful it had to be the source of everything that had ever gone wrong with the house. I assumed it was a liquid curse and disposed of it as such. By this time the smell in the house had diminished quite substantially and I’m hoping what’s left is just delightful leftovers from the previous rotting  goodies. My next step is to get a truck and take everything from the basement (up to and possibly including the cat) to the dump. If that smell remains, then it’s only a matter of time I suspect before there’s an “accident” that burns down the entire house. 

And the weeds are back too. I wouldn’t be surprised if these devil weeds weren’t what killed the rabbit and the possum in the first place. And then possessed them to invade my house with their smells. Forever.