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2005mar01. Flickr: Seagull.

2005mar02. Goose Coop.

This is one of those dumb things you think of then immediately dismiss, but it worked out quite well. After finishing the frame of the goose coop, I had to move it to the cinderblocks way over there but it’s very heavy and ohhhhhh. The book Working Alone didn’t seem to have a chapter devoted to moving projects via skateboard, but I’ve never been one to let “workplace safety” come between me and and a tenfold reduction of labor.

Oh yeah. Goose coop. For geese. It was going to have insulated walls but then I read that geese are hardy folks so screw it, I said.

Geese. Yes. The girlfriend is going to buy some geese. I am building a coop out of whatever scrap lumber is lying around.

YES GEESE

2005mar07. This is how I see numbers in my head. That is not how I see numbers in my head. From this ask.metafilter thread.

2005mar08. Fantasy Celts. Words. Lacking words here.

2005mar09. The goose coop now has a floor, and the framing has been joined together with those cheap little metal doo-dads that should cost negative fifteen cents for twenty. The ones with the holes. It’s a metal rectangle with holes. I’m working on the roof now, which is funny because I just went ahead and built up to the roof without “worrying” about the roof and as it turns out, that’s sort of what flat roof construction is all about. Leaving it for last, just sort of tacking it on (w/more metal doo-dads, but they’re shaped differently and thus cost even more). Sweet. The geese will have a nice three foot overhang in the front, so they can sit in the shade and read their John Cheever novels. I’d like to rig the front door of the coop so it “locks” automatically and the geese could “unlock” it, but I imagine trying to train them to pull a cord or such would entail a lot of frustration. Also loud honking.

2005mar09. Flickr: Now ... presenting ... the incredible ... bathroom fixture that was seen in a major motion picture!!!!!!!!!! Gotta get me a subscription to Restroom World, you bet.

2005mar10. Moving an obelisk. [via i forget]

2005mar10. A few people gave me the Leisuretown tip over the past few days, but I’ve been in and out building that coop thing. It’s getting too hot to be working outside at midday, though. So much for “spring,” I think it lasted all of three days. Whoopee. There’s a roof on the coop now, so I don’t have to spend a half-hour wrapping the thing everyday in case it rains. Not that it matters, this is all waste-o wood that’s warped and cupped and crooked and bowed and twisted. THIS WOOD IS TOTALLY TWISTED!!!!!! YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE IT

I talked about the weather! A new Cardhouse low. No, wait, mentioning Paris Hilton. That was it.

2005mar10. YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE IT

2005mar10. Theoretically, if you’ve seen all of the Leisuretown stuff already, the feature “Pussy Driven” (second from the top at the right) may be “new” to you. I don’t remember it being around when the site went down. [via high-level conference call with destiny-land]

2005mar12. I caulked the gap between the two roof panels on the goose coop to-day with caulking tar stuff. A tip: don’t wear your good clothes when balancing on a goose coop roof with tar caulk. They weren’t really “good,” but they were “presentable.” Now they are “not.”

“Dude’s got a new entry, right? And he’s working on that hilarious coop thing? Right? And he messed up his clothes AAAAAAAHHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Oh christ what will happen to the dude next, that’s what I wanna know.”

2005mar12. Flickr: I like reading the menus.

2005mar14. Digging through ask.metafilter some more. Found in the middle of suggestions for someone who has an aggressive roommate who cannot control his own anger:

When my dad was in grad school he and his housemates came up with a house rule for stopping arguments. Any time it looked like someone was getting angry, anyone could yell “Suit up!” Then everyone in the room would have to form ”hand glasses” – making a circle with your index and thumb, turning your hands upside down and then hooking your middle, ring, and pinky fingers along the sides of your face so your palms pressed against your cheeks and the index and thumb formed “glasses” around your eyes. The idea was that no one could possibly continue a serious argument while looking so ridiculous.

2005mar17. Doc needs a notebook. Yes, these things actually work. I shouldn’t have to remind you to get a temporary email address through yahoo or the like to use for e-commerce purposes. I have a personal successtory: years after adopting my own convoluted system of rotating email addresses, I’ve received three pieces of spam in the last two months. Yes, three.

In other news, the goose coop is almost finished, though I’m not sure how I’m attaching the corrugated metal to the roof. Yeah, I could use some gnarly long screws, but the intention is to be able to crawl inside it to clean it up and I don’t want anyone kebabing their skull. Sounds like a job for Mr. Bolt and his trusty companion Nutjob.

Now let’s go win Doc a notebook! Yayyyyyyyyy!

2005mar17. I’m putting some sketchy plastic liner on the floor of the goose coop. It’s to make cleaning out the coop easier – the geese will have to be locked up at night to keep coyotes from snackin’, and I forgot to build in bathroom facilities. So I lay the first bit of liner down, and smooth it onto the wood for awhile because it’s got the sticking power of something that has completely no sticking power. Right after I stop, a very small ladybug walks onto the liner, walks off it, walks back on, stops for one second, and takes an even tinier poop on it.

“Yep, guess it works.”

The ladybug returns to its home. “Funniest thing, I took a shit today and then I heard this thunderous sound like ‘HAAAAAA HAHA HAAHAHAH.’ It was so scary ... I would have shit myself, but ... ”

2005mar17. Orbitz blows: Orbitz Blows. Special negative infinity bonus points to Orbitz for providing information about a passenger’s itinerary to other customers. I ain’t never touching their drink, neither. “Globules” my ass. [via cruel site of the day]

2005mar19. Flickr: I’ve totally got the 501-foot mark locked up.

2005mar19. Mail.

I’ve been looking high and low for “the other peep” It was made by TELL Chocolate Corp, P.O. Box 060650, Staten Island NY 10306. They were boxed with yellow, white and pink peeps. Do you know where these can be purchased or has the company really gone out of business?

They don’t have much of a webpage, but it has all the answers YOU NEED!

2005mar21. Walking outside just a few minutes ago. “Wow, the wind’s really picking up ... wait ... no ... that’s ... ” a giant swarm of bees flying directly overhead. One bee sort of lingered for awhile. Figured after that I’d lay low in the house for awhile. Who’s up for Parcheesi®?

2005mar22. As one of my lifelong friends, you are of course familiar with my stunning imitation of Billy Bragg singing Soft Cell’s “Sex Dwarf.” I have added a new selection to my oeuvre, that being Cat Power singing Joe Dolce’s “Shaddappa You Face.” Ask for it.

2005mar23. Driving to pick up my new bike from a national department store chain that rhymes with “Target,” I ran into another swarm of bees with the truck. The vegetation around Tucson has gone crazy with the craziness, weeds all over the place, thus, more bugs. Snakes. Scorpions. Scions. Those U.S. Scions are so huge. I want a Japanese Scion. Anyway, I was also gifted a large windshield-based rock by a caring cement truck, so I’m in a crabby mood today, randomly hitting things with my hitting stick. It seems something always goes wrong on the rare occasions when I want to spend money. I bought a PowerPC five million years ago – the clerk looked at me and said “wow, people are usually overjoyed when they purchase one of these things” which was the phrase that initiated the later addition of the hitting stick and matching belt loop.

Schmarget – I mean, “Target” – really isn’t geared up for the bike trade. They can sell their frilly little plastic-smelling knick-knacks all to shit, sure. But try and purchase a 26” Schwinn men’s Jaguar cruiser from one of their stores in Tucson. No, wait – try purchasing one from all of their stores. I visited seven of eight. I don’t want to get it into it, but a woman’s bike is not a man’s bike, even if you drive 30 miles out of your way to get it, and a mountain bike is not a cruiser bike, even if you drive another 20 miles out of your way to get that one. And a bike that is not assembled isn’t one that you can roll out of the store with, and if the model you’re interested in isn’t on the floor, I bet you could maybe go in the back and look and see if there’s one? No, that’s a woman’s model. No, that’s a mountain bike. No, you’re scanning my forehead.

Yeah, that paragraph was difficult, it was too long, and it didn’t make sense. There, you’ve captured the essence of my 100+ mile unsuccessful bike retrieval odyssey o’ the previous week.

2005mar23. Today was Waterfowl Arrival Day (WAD). You pick waterfowl up at your local hatchery, or you have them mailed to your local post office. They used “Priority” Mail (did you know first class is cheaper and more likely to get there on time?) and when I got the box I thought “wow, they’re sure putting up one hell of a peeping-type racket for only four geese and two ducks.” There was a minimum order, so the girlfriend ordered two ducks to give to 4-H, which had a huge interest in getting free waterfowl. I opened the box [not shown below], and ... WAAAAHHHHH?

twenty-five ducklings

TWENTY-FIVE DUCKS!!??!!!?

I think a Target team member is somehow responsible for this. Actually it was an order mix-up, a hatchery was supposed to get the 25 ducklings. We hadn’t bought any of the feeding/drinking/warming lamp-type supplies for the geese, so there are my crappy makeshift water trays for all the world to see. You don’t want the geese (ducks) stepping in the water, but in every photo I took, there’s at least one duck sitting or standing in its own feeding “dish.” In this photo it also looks like they’re all just hanging around, but they were moving quite a bit, mostly away from the big scary human.

Endless peeping. So cute.

But they had to go. The 4-H guy wasn’t around that day, so the lot of them went to the feed store. They got to sit in a big horse trough with four or five older ducks, I hope they’ll play nice. And they had a great round drinking dish that was elevated so no duck was going to splash around in it. Forgot to ask for visiting rights. When I came home I heard some birds chirping and immediately thought “my babies ... my babies” and I collapsed or maybe that was after I accidentally banged my head against one of the goose coop rafters.

2005mar23. While I’ve been working on the goose coop the last week it’s slowly being marauded by hundreds of tiny bugs. Less than one millimeter in length, red legs. Sometimes the smaller ones (babies?) are all red. I’d seen them in the midwest during my childhood, forgot about them. Now they’re everywhere on the coop. They don’t seem to have a game plan – they’re not following scents, just sort of wandering around. I don’t know where they get their power from, maybe they’re taking microscopic bites out of the wood and that’s why they’re in love with the thing. Today there was a 3/4” inchworm crawling on the inside of the coop, so I took it and put it on the side of a tree, couldn’t tell if it was pleased or angry. I went back to sit down in the doorway and there was a smaller inchworm – about half the size of the first one – making its way across the vast expanse of dirt toward the house. This one didn’t have the typical inchworm movement, probably because it was too small – instead small ripples would constantly go across its entire body from the back to the front, so it looked like it was constantly puking while moving forward.

Before I could even think about the pastabilities of MICROBUG V. INCHWORM, the battle was being set up right before my eyes. An inchworm was crawling along the top side of a long desiccated weed sort of bent into a curved bridge shape. And coming up the other side ... uh oh ... microbug.

“Well, this is easy. The inchworm eats the bug.”

So they got closer, and closer ... and then there was this pause in the action, quite possibly while they were sizing each other up ... and the inchworm then flies off the weed and starts spastically flailing in the dirt for a good five seconds. I’ve never seen so much energy in such a small package. It looked like it was on a skillet, being skilleted. The microbug continued on its way. It was like a bad martial arts movie.

2005mar24. Mr. Chrysler and the 40000 hotel coat-hangers. From ask.metafilter somewhere.

2005mar24. Critter Week continues. Pictured: the remains of a scorpion after Mr. Frank [left] kicked its ass. I am lying, Mr. Frank was nice enough to pose with this desiccated scorpion I found near some wood panels. I think it got smooshered when I was moving things around.

dead scorpion, 
live beetle

2005mar25. Flickr: The Letter A. I would have never noticed this in situ.

2005mar25. Mail.

A note from your very occasional UK correspondent, or at least one of your very occasional UK correspondents. The Mr Chrysler coathanger article is funny because it is a humour article. It is in no way true. Miles Kington, the author, has a daily humour column in the Independent newspaper, and frankly it’s amazing he can keep it up so consistently. I would need to pause for breath, or to let my ego deflate a little.

Also, Billy Bragg walked past me in the street of a small Dorset village today, about 8 a.m. It was very disconcerting. I’m never at my best around 8 a.m., particularly if I have to do something superhuman like loading luggage into a car, and my train of thought went something like “Suitcase ... man approaching ... better say good morning ... everyone does around here ... oh, he only nodded HOLY CRAP IT’S BILLY BRAGG ... where am I going to fit that backpack ... ” Apparently he lives there. I don’t. Shame.

- James

2005mar25. Mail.

God, thanks for your photo-essay on Food City. It made me laugh on an otherwise depressing day. By the way, I found you by Googling PRAY FOR TUCSON. Because those billboards were making me really depressed during this Persistent Vegetative State week. I see you got all the other really bad ones as well. Thanks again!

2005mar26. Flickr: Another view of the Chevron waste area.