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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Buried under a sea of stuff

Posted by joeabbott on November 22, 2015

A few weeks ago I dropped a post called “What’s in your piles” about the mounds that amass on my desk. Well, they’re back … the piles, that is. Partly due to neglect, but also because the confluence of the holidays (my garage is now the home to a herd of deer … more on that later), my birthday and the accumulation that accompanies “Week of Joe” (another post for that one), and my attempt to get my knee fixed. We keep busy in these parts!

Follow me as we reach into the grab bag of random stuff that fills my days.

Deer me

imageMy wife likes holiday lighted deer and, I must admit, they’ve grown on me. But, we have a herd of roughly 16 or so now and it takes a couple days to pull them from the loft, test all the lighting, place them outside, and run extension cords to them.

imagePulling them down isn’t a big deal, but you need space and time and it’s easier to do with two. The long, chilly afternoon of testing lights and replacing bulbs is my albatross to bear, but I enjoy learning to do this better and better each year.

This year I learned that holiday lights come in multiple voltages but there seem to be primarily two varieties; let’s call them “high” and “low”.

If you plug a low bulb into a high voltage string of lights, you burn it out in a quick little pop. If you plug a high bulb into a low voltage string of lights, you end up with one bulb (the one you just plugged in) a bit dimmer than all the rest. There is nothing printed on the bulbs or strings of lights; the only way to know is trial and error. I tried and erred a lot this year before taking a break to look this up on the internet. But now I know.

The deer sat in our garage a week now, Suzy bringing a few into the house to complete the decorations we have in our home. Let me tell you this: you can’t come home after a long day at the office and a long, cold bus ride to your car, drive through a small but busy amount of rush hour traffic, get in after dark, and not have your socks charmed off by a home warmed by holiday decorations, complete with a couple golden deer looking down from their plant shelf. Just can’t. The day melts and you are home.


But, today we get another part that comes prior to the enjoyment of our lighted deer: putting them up outside. Fortunately, there’s no rain today. It’s chilly but little to no wind and we have an idea of where most will go. A few on the plateau, some in the front, a couple in the back, and even a pair in Chickenville. We’ll then stake them down, run a Gordian knot of extension cords from the house to their placement, protect the junctions in plastic containers to keep them from the rain, and wait for dark to see the show!

It’s a good tradition.

Knee fixin’

I tore the meniscus in my right knee. I don’t think there was a “this step here did it” sort of incident: just a long history of taking my body for granted and beating myself up on trails and hills and mountains near Seattle. It caught up with me after a 5K I ran nearly a year ago to the day, but the diagnosis was completed earlier this month and we tried to get into the doctor’s quickly for a fix up before Thanksgiving.

If I got it fixed the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I could be back in the office the following Monday, wrap up a last-week-of-work-for-2015, and then use my hoarded vacation to be off all of December … recuperating at my speed, attending a number of post-op check-ins, and still being able to do a few projects in the garage and about the house.


But, some of the pieces didn’t fall into place well enough and now we’re rescheduling. I believe I’ll try to get in after the holidays, if my knee lets me. It has good days and bad days, with the bad days worrying me a lot. But, early 2016 seems like a very fine time to have it looked at and attended to, so expect to hear what it’s like to have your knee orthoscopically fixed in January … I’ll tell ya all about it!

What’s this?

Another item in the sea of stuff on my desk were these cards.


During her last 5K, Suzy left me to wander the streets and shops of “Old Burien” and I happened on a tiny bookstore. I can’t imagine they sell more than a dozen books a week, but they had a fine selection and a number of interesting cards, calendars and stationery. In my poking about I saw these and thought they’d be a lovely collection to a few cards I have at home for general letter-writing purposes.

They are delightful.

And that’s it

I’m surrounded by parts from hard drives, a deluge of birthday wishes, and a book or two I’ve finished and want to write a quick review on. It’s an unabashed mess that’s waiting for time and attention but we have other plans today. Life is getting in the way: we’re going to tour properties, get in some shopping, and then we’ll setup the deer. We’ve even talked about postponing that. But, it’s a weekend and here at Joe and Suzy’s home, that means keeping busy.

Hope your weekend is pleasantly busy, too!


One Response to “Buried under a sea of stuff”

  1. momma said

    My piles in the laundry and workshop might be worse than your piles… you should see Naomi’s immensely organized storage room – all these grey Target boxes on deep shelves, neatly labeled (w/label maker)… We’re all reading the new little book by the Japanese young lady that simplifies closet and lives…. If you don’t just love it, or really need it, it goes! I don’t envy you the herd of reindeer, but I’ll bet it looks wonderful when lit up at night.
    The knee news – well, try to stay off the leg – well, maybe a wrap of some kind would hold things in place til your surgery? Keep me posted, please.
    And now I’ve forgotten the 3rd section of your entry here.
    Was that salt book you mentioned before “The Book of Salt”? I’m reading it now, just started, but it doesn’t sound like it’s the same book, though I’m enjoying it.

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