Category Archives: Castle Willett

Coming Unglued

It was a little thing, but it stood out to me as a sign that I’m not as in touch with today’s world as I might think. Or maybe the little things are just slipping away from us all and we don’t notice until it’s too late.

I was putting together a piece of furniture, one of these things that comes in a box with a few dozen pieces of pre-drilled particle board and a big bag of miscellaneous pegs, screws, fasteners, and a set of instructions which are more or less in English. One of the key components was a small tube of white glue.

Did you ever watch “This Old House” or “New Yankee Workshop?”  Our pal Norm Abrams’ favorite phrase always seemed to be “a little bit more glue,” and it seemed that the wood glue he used was probably more responsible for holding up entire houses than all of the nails and screws. I think what I got in this DIY project was probably just glorified Elmer’s White Glue, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

However, the tube of glue enclosed was woefully small for the task. It warns you to only use a drop in each joint where you’re using these small wooden dowels or pegs to keep things aligned and fastened together and I was being pretty fanatical about using the smallest drops I could manage, but even then I wasn’t a quarter way through when the glue was gone.

No worries! It’s just white glue, Elmers, I’ll have some around? Didn’t the kids use that all the time for their homework?

That thought should have been my first warning. The last time I checked, the youngest spawn got out of grade school around the time the Y2K bug was all in vogue and out of high school when one of the Bush guys was in the White House. If there was any old bottle of Elmer’s glue around, it had long ago fossilized.

No sweat, I’ll walk down to the corner store. It’s a half mile each way, but I need to get my steps in and make my watch happy. Sure, it’s about 95°, but the exercise will do me good. Except they don’t carry anything like that. They have the small section of school supplies and stationary and super cheap tools and light bulbs and so on (you know what I’m talking about) but it has glue sticks, duct tape, scotch tape, and super glue. No white glue.

What about the big liquor store next door? Their “school supplies and cheap tools” section is tiny, but maybe they have the glue I need, even one of those little tiny bottles about the size of a lighter, with that orange plastic tip that always got clogged and they’ll want $5 for it. Maybe? Yeah, at least they were nice enough to wait until I left the store before they started laughing at me for asking.

So I walked back home, no longer so thrilled about my watch being happy with my step count for the day, sweating like a pig, and retrieved my car so that I could drive to the big Rite-Aid that’s basically a Wal-Mart wannabe.

Guess who has glue sticks, duct tape, scotch tape, and super glue, but no white glue? Guess what sort of look I got when I asked the young lady behind the counter if they carried it? Guess who had never EVER heard of such a thing and just recommended the glue sticks or super glue? I might as well have been asking her where they kept the buggy whips, saddle soap, and bag balm.

Back to the car and another couple of miles to the Home Depot. They didn’t have the Elmer’s White Glue, but they did have a whole aisle of glues and goops and gunks including two dozen types of wood glue (many of them made by Elmers).

So now the furniture is pretty much put together, waiting for the glue to dry overnight and my body to heal from a) getting up and down onto the floor all day to assemble furniture, and b) being stupid enough to walk to the store in the stupid heat for something that hasn’t been manufactured in probably twenty stupid years.

What in hell do kids eat in kindergarten these days if they don’t have Elmer’s White Glue? What’s this world coming to?

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Filed under Castle Willett, Paul

Dusk From The Back Yard

God knows that over the years I’ve posted enough pictures taken from our front yard, often at dusk or sunset. Interestingly, I don’t recall a single picture of that sort taken from the back yard.

Part of the reason should be obvious. I’m very often taking pictures of the sky and much of the sky is blocked out in our back yard by a row of freakin’ huge pine trees.

Still, the one good thing about the back yard is that all of the local street lights are blocked from view, so what little bit of the sky is visible is much more visible and dark than from the front yard. Plus, the gardeners and tree trimmers were there all day today, so it’s opened up a bit.

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Step Two

Okay, following the “Step One” BBQ on July 3rd, we were thinking this “bigger, better” BBQ would happen on the 4th.

Best laid plans and all of that, but in the end we wound up with more people and more fun and MORE MEAT (and more corn) so it was all good. An end to the weekend that I sort of needed after the rest of it.

Onward into the work week.

How are y’all doing?

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Step One

One can not BBQ on both the 3rd and the 4th unless one first grills on the 3rd!

Nothing fancy tonight, just burgers & corn.

Tomorrow might get a bit fancier. Chicken? Kabobs? Steak?

We’ll see how energetic and creative I feel by sundown tomorrow.

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Eggstra Frustrating

I went out this morning to head off to the hangar and found that Hissy (my car) had been egged during the night.

Since that crap will mess up your paint (and smell bad) I ran through an automated car wash (I was in a hurry) only to find that it didn’t do a very good job of getting all of the egg debris off. I ended up cleaning it off by hand in the end anyway.

While doing so, I was trying to maintain perspective. On the one hand, I was pissed and felt myself being ever so slightly slipping into “Old Coot GET OFF MY LAWN!” mode. On the other hand – it was a couple of eggs, probably tossed by a couple of teenagers who had just had their first stolen beer.

Trying to think back, I can’t remember ever egging anything or doing that kind of punk kid pranks. The six years of Catholic school no doubt had something to do with that, although it didn’t stop me from hitting Father Murphy’s car with a snowball at every opportunity.

(For reference, Father Murphy was NOT one of those hip, young, fun priests, if you know what I mean, so he would go a bit berserk when thus “attacked.” If you were caught, you would get marched home to your parents with him holding you by the scruff of your collar. Hopefully with thawing snowball running down the back of his neck and into his ear from a well-placed shot. Yes, I’m going to Hell. This is not news.)

I did tee-pee a couple of houses, but both times it was my Mom’s house and she had it coming. She was always the one who would tee-pee our house first. (Yes, I just went to “she started it!”)

I never put flaming bags of dog poop on people’s front porch.

I never rolled pumpkins. (The end of October in Vermont saw the streets and curbs running orange near the bottom of Main Street hill and Summer Street hill.)

I never put sugar in anyone’s gas tank, nor have I ever peed into a gas tank.

It’s hard not to think that being a victim of these egging attacks is not so much punishment for a misspent youth, but karma catching up to me for being boring.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Paul

Raccoon Update

They’re back again tonight after a few days away. I’m probably at least partially responsible for their absence. There was a night last week when they were REALLY raucous up on the roof and I ended up going out into the back yard twice with a big flashlight to try to figure out what the hell was going on.

Mama Raccoon generally doesn’t like that, so it was quiet the next night or three. Then I heard them back for brief periods for a couple night, and tonight they’ve been back most of the evening.

One thing I did find out on that night last week is that there’s a whole gang of kits out there. A quick Google search shows that “two to five” is normal for a litter – they hit the jackpot since I saw five at once and could hear others.

The first time I had gone out Mama immediately let them off across the roof to retreat, and I saw three kits with her then. They were back in about fifteen minutes, at which point the sound level got even worse and I thought they were coming through the roof. When I went out the second time, there was no sign of Mama – but as soon as I flashed the light, five little faces scurried over to the edge of the roof to laugh, point, and ask if I had food.

They are too cute to live. They’re probably only a month or two old, about half the size of your normal adult house cat, and apparently without any fear or common sense. (That’s how this sort of thing happens.) My money says that Mama told them to sit tight and “Be-HAVE!” We know how well that works with humans, raccoons don’t seem to be any better at it.

Time to be thinking about how I can get a better video or picture taking setup on the roof…

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Time To Invest In A UPS

Some days…

After I got home tonight I came into my office to do a “five minute job” (before going back to watch the ballgame while playing the most boring video game in the universe). Five hours later…

Seems there was a four or five minute long blackout this afternoon. Probably has something to do with the 108° temperatures again today.

Whatever the cause, my computer system did not enjoy it. Started running repairs, scans, diagnostics. Finally got to the point where the Dell software reallly, REALLY wanted to update the BIOS and firmware.

Having a recent backup set will embolden one, I guess. However, I have to wonder if the dozen or more little fits, starts, boots, reboots, almost-there-nope-not-quite-let’s-start-over-again reboots were part of the process or just a way to make me insane.

A decent UPS (not the shipping company, an Uninterrupted Power System) can’t cost THAT much, can it?

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