Posted by: David | December 6, 2008

Rear Window

The view out our back window appears often here. There are 2 bird feeders that are kept full of sunflower seeds all year round.  Many seeds fall to the ground below. In summer, a sunflower or two always manage to survive the regular mowings. There is a rosebush below where many of the birds take their seeds to work them open and eat. Also in summer, when the rosebush is in full foliage, our cat waits in ambush. She has preyed upon so many birds there. 

The music is the intro from Jesca Hoop’s song “Seed of Wonder”.

Today was somewhat productive in that I finally cleaned the chimney. This is a very important thing to do if you don’t want to have a chimney fire. We’ve heated with wood for many years, thus we’ve had our share of chimney fires. We’ve even had neighbors whose homes have burnt down because of chimney fires. The fact that this chimney had not been cleaned since we’d had it rebuilt and lined a couple years back has been on my mind for some time now. It’s the last thing that I really really needed to do before winter sets in. Well hooray today I finally did it. And what a disgusting job this is. Dick Van Dyke made it look so easy …

At least I saved some money. The brush was $16. If I’d asked someone to come and do this for me, a chimney sweep, it would have cost much more. We are very broke now, I don’t need to tell you. I need a bailout. I wish that the government would just divvy up  that $750 billion dollars and give it to us people who actually OWE the money so we could just get it paid off. Jeez, it’s not rocket science! But guess what? I hereby declare that billion is the new million. In much the same way as 50 is the new 40.

The chimney was rebuilt and lined with a stainless steel tube a couple of years ago. This is the first time it’s been cleaned since then. 3 or 4 cords of firewood, very well-seasoned and dry, were burnt in an inefficient Fisher stove and left about 7.5 gallons of creosote behind. 5 gallons just needed to be scooped out from the bottom of the chimney, while the remaining 2.5 gal. was loosened and removed with the 6-inch diameter brush that I bought this morning. Had to climb up onto the roof and lean a stepladder against the chimney, drop the rope that was tied to the brush down the liner, shove the brush into the liner, then climb down and tug it down, inch by inch, from the cleanout door, which is not easy to get to.  I pulled the brush through twice.  I’m sore now and I’ve been coughing from inhaling the dust. Yuk. Glad to have that behind me.

Once that was done, I was treated myself to a technology wonder, thanks to YOU, O wonderful INTERWEB. My BFF and I grew up together on TV of all kinds, and have been known, in the distant past, to have watched TV programs while on the phone together.  Sure, you’ve all done that too I’ll bet. So today, via internet and phone connection, we watched a wonderful YouTube video produced by an hilarious group of goofballs who call themselves VooDooWop. It was a half hour production in 3 parts that was called See That Guy. I so recommend this video! I know, it’s a half hour of your time. And there’s a good chance that you might find it disturbing. So. Enjoy!

This is part 1 of 3. Sorry if you don’t care for it. Apologies to the bandwidth deprived.



  1. 😆 I liked part one, and I’m off to see part two. Oh, and “billion is the new million” is so true. I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. The exact same think. I could so use a bailout. 😐

    VooDooWop are brilliant aren’t they? Most of the their videos are short, but See That Guy and another one at the YouTube site called Something are worth the half hour IMHO. I know we’re all very busy people.

    Re: bailout. If the $700billion were divided among the 220 million adults in the nation, we’d each get about $3200. Not much help I guess. I read in some other blog somewhere the theory that this economic black hole is just the Great Thieves of The World collecting their final booty before The End. Cheery thought.

  2. 😯 I did not see that coming. 😛 Ca-razy!

    Yeah, nice twist at the end. Brian Scolaro is like Abbot & Costello, Chico Marx, John Candy, and John Belushi rolled up into a giant homunculus of hilariousity.

  3. I forgot again what “BFF” is. I thought it was “best friend”, but then there is one too many F.

    Do you like the new dashboard? Isn’t it messy? Strange. Can’t figure out what the idea behind the change was, except maybe to encourage the use of media and discourage writing.

    You’re right. The extra F is for Forever. The friend you’ve known since childhood. BFF is more widely used by teenagers I think.

    So far I like the new dashboard, though I’m not a big fan of the kind of thinking that makes people (e.g. software publishers) feel the need to completely redesign something that millions of users have just about gotten familiar with. Naturally I am inured to this because of having had to work with such software for many years now. I think WordPress folks have done a pretty nice job reorganizing.

  4. Why don’t you have snowflakes here? On my blogs they started to fall yesterday Saturday, and I think they would look very nice falling across your header.

    OK, I’ll check on that for you …

  5. In case you don’t know how to enable to snow falling :
    Look to the left where it says “appearance and there click to see “Extras”.

    I turned on the snow for you cantueso. It’s snowing real snow here today. Not much, just flurries. If WordPress offers xmas lights, I will NOT be turning those on. 🙂

  6. Yes, I remember that you have the Xmas phobia. That is very sad, though maybe your Xmas there is a bit weird.
    Not related to Xmas, but to the 750 billion that howvanished into air
    into thin air (quoting Shakespeare), here is something from the IHT for you:

    “These errors make us look either incompetent at credit analysis or like we sold our soul to the devil for revenue, or a little bit of both.”

    — A Moody’s managing director responding anonymously to an internal management survey, September 2007.

    A little of both! See how the world works?

    Maybe xmas everywhere is a bit weird. But thanks for remembering my phobia! 🙂 Nice summation from the accountant. Yes, I see how the world works. Rather poorly.

  7. I’m so impressed that you swept your own chimney! Well done you, and if a billion is the million….which way does that work? (by brain is slow)…like does it mean that if I have 1 dollar? I really have 1000 dolllars? ‘Cause I’m cool with that…or is it the other way around (which I don’t like, but in “owing” terms, I guess that would be cool)….damn that is too much math for one day, I go to sleep now…

    Thanks Romi, nice of you to say. Chimney sweeping is a sucky sucky job. 😦

    Being a “millionaire” now means very little, but if you’re a billionaire, then that is something. Unfortunately, your 1 dollar is just one stinking dollar. But if you had a billion of them, then you’d be RICH. Which is what we used to think that millionaires were. Now a millionaire is just another peon. Shit, millionaires take their own garbage out. However, they probably do NOT separate their recyclables. 🙂

  8. PS: I think that’s the lowest-IQ comment I’ve ever left on anyone’s blog….sigh…

    Well that’s nice too Romi! You are in good company here! Your comments seem brilliant to me! 🙂

  9. The snow is really nice, the way it falls across that header.

    In Spain Christmas is not weird, because it is next to nothing. The real thing only starts a little later, because the children get their presents from the three Kings that come from Orient on January 6. And they don’t come in stupid sledges, no! In the Orient you always use a camel to travel. And they don’t fly through the air! The walk along with their camels or ride on them. Voilà. So in the evening, before you go to bed, remember to set out a little water and some hay or raisins for the camels, so that they stop at your window and leave their presents there.

    I forgot what else you set out for the camels to eat.

    In Switzerland X-mas is not wild either because there is a stern Protestant tradition in its richer cities, and that tradition has mutated into highly restrained aesthetics, (which I dislike but cannot overcome, as you can see on my blog). And you know those people who said that ethics and aesthetics are the same thing? Well, your X-mas aesthetics…… it’s pure, undiluted crap!

    Postscript: Switzerland is minute, but do you know? Calvin and Zwingly were from there and Luther almost, too.

    And what about Swiss cheese? Your fascination with Switzerland is notable.

    AHEM! They are not my xmas aesthetics. However, let me be the first NOT to criticize the undiluted crappiness of setting out hay and raisins for the camels. It’s nearly equal to leaving out a glass of milk and cookies for St. Nicolas, just more southerly. 😉 Your Bethlehem page is lovely. Any of those drawings yours?

  10. LOL !!! LMAO !!!! I love those guys ! I have to see more ! In regards to the chimney cleansing ,pain in the ass as it was,not to mention a little dangerous, aren’t you glad you cleaned ? !I’M glad you cleaned ! Seriously ! All the creosote you removed ? UGH! Fire waiting to happen man!!! 😦 You did good .
    ps: Love the falling snow ! I’m going try that -altho I’ll probaly crash my computer in the effort .

    I know joann aren’t they hilarious?! Thanks for your chimney encouragement. You’re right, I AM relieved to have it done. Just like after getting the septic tank pumped out.

    I hope you don’t crash your computer with the snow. Please leave a link so we can watch the snow at your place. 🙂

  11. Dave, I absolutely love your bird video, and the music was so beautiful. Wicked, wicked cool. You’ve somehow got your videos to come out crystal clear, whereas mine get so muddy once I’ve uploaded them to YouTube. Got any tips?

    In chimney related news…the above commenter, JoAnn, is as you know my sister, and she’s got a chimney fire phobia tht I think dates back to the time my dad shoved our dried up Christmas tree up into the fireplace. Anyway, JoAnn raised me from about the time I was about 13 on (She was only 23 herself, and already had 4 kids.). That was the 70s and JoAnn had a really big old house that they heated with a wood stove. Her chimney must have been at least a hundred years old, so we lived in constant fear of a chimney fire, always listening for that horrible sound — like a train coming into your living room. As a result, I’m paranoid of chimney fires myself. As an adult I usually burn only those paper logs from the grocery store, so when I called a chimney sweep to look over my chimney he said, “My God, you’ve got the cleanest chimney I’ve ever seen!” I’d had no idea that paper logs don’t give off creosote. 🙂

    Thank you Wendy. I recommend Jesca Hoop– she’s kinda poppy but maybe she’ll mature if she keeps at it.

    I think that the videos you’ve posted look just fine. I don’t expect much though, since YouTube necessarily compresses the video we upload, and that loses a lot of the quality. To conserve storage space and bandwidth this is unavoidable. There may be better video sites available, but YouTube makes it pretty easy. My video clips were also shot with the same camera most of the photos are take with. No high quality there.

    Thanks for the reminder about JoAnn– I had forgotten that. I now remember the photo you posted of her with a horse. We’ve had 2 or 3 chimney fires over the years, and they are frightening. Luckily we’ve never burnt down any houses. Let’s keep it that way. We’re using both stoves today, and waiting for the power to come back on. I feel a little guilty about all the gas we’re putting through the generator, but that’s what it’s for. So our freezer full of food won’t go bad. And gas is now more affordable, though we couldn’t get it locally since the pumps are electrical. I need to post a few more pix of the ice storm now before the gas runs out in the generator.

    We usually shove our old xmas trees into the woodstove too. Usually my wife cuts them up into little pieces first.

  12. I keep forgetting to ask whether you don’t have chickens. On my grandparents’ farm there were chickens and I rahter like their way of walking around the yard looking as if they were looking for their glasses, looking a little lost and worried, and looking left and right while walking.

    Fascination with SWitzerland? No. It is simply very different from the countries around it in that it is small, did not get overrun by Hitler, has 4 official languages, is now rich, but used to be poorish, had to send the boys into foreign military service. It is a model country except that its example is only good for small countries. Do you know who is the President of Switzerland? I don’t know either. He is nobody. He is one of seven people who preside the government each a year…..

    Large countries suck.

    Small countries can suck too. But not on such a massive scale. So, clearly Switzerland is fascinating for many reasons, chocolate and cheese high on my list, then all that stuff you mentioned.

    However, you didn’t answer about the drawings, and the page from your blog F I S H I N G that I linked to is no longer up. A post called “Bethlehem”?

    Oh, and we don’t have chickens now, though we’ve had them in the past. I liked to watch them walk about and scratch too. Their one-eyed stare must be what evokes the “where are my glasses” look.

  13. No, I do not know how to draw anything except a konkey and a chicken.

    Of course small countries suck, too, but it is not intrinsic (?) to them, inherent (?) in them, part of their inner make-up. It is accidental.

    Remember I am Swiss, so that is the one country I understand. And it is intelligible! Which yours isn’t. Too big.

    In a small country the important people all know each other and most of them know everything they have to know. That is not possible in the US.

    Really? I thought you were German. And those drawings … I mixed up thinking that you drew them or that they were of a place where you lived once? Sorry, I have a rotten memory sometimes … I’m sorry about the USA being to big, noisy, and unintelligible. It’s not my fault. I’ve done the best I could do. In the USA people don’t WANT to know each other.

  14. Chocolate, cheese, high precision arms, banking services…..

    “Konkey” above is a spelling mistake. It should be “donkey”. You would have guessed, wouldn’t you.

    Yes I did guess, and normally I would fix it, but in this case I would have to delete the following corrective comment or otherwise alter it and I don’t want to edit comments to that extent. I guess it’s a slippery slope when first one practices to correct …

  15. I have heard that now, at least in Zurich, they are also into euthanasia services. It is very lucrative business, a real racket. They come from England, Germany, many places. Switzerland has always specialized in wealthy tourists.

    I wonder whether the service carries a Value added tax.

    OW! That comment hurts my soul. Even though I believe every word of it. One of our wiser forebears here in the USA is quoted thus: “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” (Benjamin Franklin) A euthanasia tax would be the ultimate in inevitability!

  16. Ooops, but I was wrong. Typically, I only checked AFTER writing.

    The euthanasia business is purely humanitarian. It costs very little to get killed in Zurich. I think it is 49 euros, but that includes the pharma contribution which are generally expensive in the free market.

    This means there would be a wonderful strong demand for a luxury service of this kind. Imagine. People on the way out would not be stingy since anyway they have to leave everything behind.

    The present service takes place in an apartment. I would hate that. I had imagined large open premises with piped in music and flowers.

    But there goes my fascination with Switzerland. Too much money is poisonous. So all over the Zurich newspapers you see small adds for psych counseling, self help methods, truth seekers Inc., psycho-astrology, and prayer sessions for atheists to address the Universe and read Rilke.

    Sounds a little like California. Too much money is poisonous, yes. Much worse than not enough money, isn’t it? Your picture of Deluxe Euthanasia Services sounds like the one from that movie “Soylent Green”. Horrid movie really, but there’s a scene where Edward G. Robinson decides to snuff it, with videos of long vanished green expanses on the wall behind him and the music of Beethoven’s 6th blasting away. It was a memorable scene.

  17. Postscript

    It is so sickening that it affects my spelling, see.

    It is understandable how this topic could affect you. In this case I fixed your typos. 🙂

  18. I did not see before that you thought I was German. That is incredible. Swiss allergy against things from Germany is very strong. So for instance if I do have to speak German , I quite naturally affect an immigrant accent. I can’t do otherwise. The real German thing makes one’s stomach cave in. I can’t do it and I won’t.

    In Switzerland we speak a dialect, but the written language and all schooling is in what is called High German.

    Look at a map of WWII and see that little spot that is Switzerland in the middle of the Third Reich. At the time, what were the chances?!

    Yes, I’m sorry about that. I now know that you are Swiss and won’t forget. My BFF’s father was a refugee from WWII Germany, most of his family were killed. They were Jewish. I think I’ve related this before, but my friend’s father never lost his German accent and my friend and I made much fun of that. I was using the phone once at their house and I wandered too far from the phone table and pulled the phone off. It crashed on the floor, but wasn’t broken. The father told the mother that I “threw the phone down”. I was too young to understand that he didn’t mean what I thought he meant, and protested that I did NOT throw the phone at all! Sometimes I detect this grammar and construction in your comments, but not often. Your English is better than mine!

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