Robin Carnahan’s Work Gloves: Wrong for Missouri

On Robin Carnahan’s official campaign Web site,, we see several photos of Robin Carnahan sporting work gloves. Three of the seven photos where her hands appear, in fact. And what do those work gloves tell us about Robin Carnahan.

<dramatic chord>

Robin Carnahan's work gloves: cowhide and clean

Those are some good quality workgloves. Definitely cowhide. Probably set her back $8 to $15 dollars, but they’re worth it, since they don’t tend to wear holes in them like the $4 fabric gardening gloves. Why, you could a couple hours swinging a pick or turning soil with a shade and not feel that at all.

But wait a minute. Those work gloves are clean.

That’s not the way used work gloves look. Used work gloves look like this:

My work gloves: cowhide and unclean

That’s some dirt and whatnot ground into those work gloves, and I’m not a manual laborer. I just wear them when I’m landscaping, sweeping, mowing, or using power tools repetitively.

Here’s another picture of Carnahan taking those gloves off after a long, grueling photo session:

Robin Carnahan's work gloves: cowhide and dirty this time?

Is it dirt, or is it shadow? Does Robin Carnahan have more than one pair of favorite work gloves? What on earth kinda hoity-toity has more than one pair of work gloves? Or does Robin Carnahan’s wardrobe and prop department have more than one pair of work gloves?

The third image from the Web site has a completely different set of gloves:

Robin Carnahan's tractor gloves

These are not her cowhide gloves. Those look like fabric gloves. Are they special tractor driving gloves? Does she have goggles and a scarf to go with them? Or am I the only peon in the state of Missouri who has a favorite pair of work gloves and uses them for most things?

Roy Blunt’s Web site depicts him in dozens of images with his hands showing, and none of them that I saw show him in work gloves. Roy Blunt is in government service, but unlike Robin Carnahan, he’s not pretending to be a brush-clearer like George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan.

Robin Carnhan’s Work Gloves: Wrong For Missouri.

(This post was far funnier in my head. Try to put yourself there for the full effect.)

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Wisconsin, Dissed

Or just unknown.

In a story about how the Auto-Tune The News guys are getting a television series, and we get this:

With this move, the Gregorys join a small but growing cadre of folks who have managed to move from the online space to television: The Onion, Fred and Sh*t My Dad Says, to name a few notables.

As we all know, The Onion started as an actual newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin.

Or some of us know.

Put that on your Beloit College Mindset List, I guess.

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Has The Pace of Change Slowed?

The new annual Beloit College Mindset list is out. You know, the list that indicates that this crop of college students is so young that they never drove a rear wheel car or never dialed a phone but always punched numbers, that sort of thing.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the things on this year’s list are kind of trivial changes, aren’t they?

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.

And so on.

Maybe it’s that Beloit College is now compelled by the list’s notoriety to put something out every year, but the kids don’t know how to write in cursive? Lands’ sakes (a saying kids these days don’t use), but I was taught cursive in elementary school, but one could argue that I don’t know how to write in cursive.

I think it says something about the flattening of our culture in the last couple of decades and perhaps how technology changes in since the middle of the 1990s haven’t been so revolutionary. We’ve had the Internet popularly and the Web mostly through that span, and no matter how fanboys spin it, the iPod is really just a souped up Walkman. A change in degree, but not a revolution.

Do you think in fifteen years these lists will be meaningful, or just silly? Or, worse, do you think these things will be in poor taste if most of the changes are bad (This year’s freshmen have never eaten ice cream since the FDA added it to the banned foods list.).

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Demand, Supply Decoupled by AP

I’m just a caveman, your modern science of economics confuses me. Which is why I don’t understand the new law of supply and demand I infer from this AP article: Oil up to near $76 in Europe amid economic worries:

Oil prices edged up for the first time in five days Tuesday as rallying stock markets in Europe and a weaker dollar masked concerns of a slowing global economic recovery that could dent demand for fuel.

So demand is going down, and the price goes up, huh? That’s so weird.

However, those of us with a lick of economic sense (I got mine from my high school Economics class with Miss Hutson) can suss out the real reason. Let me try rewriting that:

Oil prices edged up for the first time in five days Tuesday as a weaker dollar meant that it takes more of them to buy a fixed commodity, such as a barrel of oil, in an international market.

Is it true? Hey, I don’t know what made the price fluctuate, but I think I have a better grasp than the AP reporter of basic economics.

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Well, ‘e Quipped

Story: FDA considers revoking approval of Avastin for advanced breast cancer

Federal regulators are considering taking the highly unusual step of rescinding approval of a drug that patients with advanced breast cancer turn to as a last-ditch hope.

The debate over Avastin, prescribed to about 17,500 women with breast cancer a year, has become entangled in the politically explosive struggle over medical spending and effectiveness that flared during the battle over health-care reform: How should the government balance protecting patients and controlling costs without restricting access to cutting-edge, and often costly, treatments?

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the recommendation of influential scientific advisers to revoke authorization of the drug to treat metastatic breast cancer. Contrary to initial research, new studies indicate that the benefits of the drug, which costs $8,000 a month, do not outweigh its risks, the advisory panel concluded.

Quip: They’re not Death Panels. They’re Not-Life Panels.

(Link via Ace and Hot Air.)

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Wherein Brian Violates Copyright

This is just like the time I photocopied an entire book because the professor put all copies in the Marquette University Memorial Library on reserve, which would have meant I could borrow it in two hour blocs in the library itself, requiring a large number of two hour round trip bus rides to cut into my short evenings. No, I had a large number built into the prepaid photocopy card, and I used them. I’d probably do it again because I’m just as bad as any peer-to-peer guy when it comes to flouting the law.

Which is why I am reposting, in its entirety, this copyrighted work in its entirety:

Gas pump printer test page, copyright 2009 Autogas

Remember that any time you want to use the phrase “Print Paper = OK”, you need to credit it to Autogas and perhaps pay them a royalty, or you’re a thief.

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Explain “Balanced”

Power, trout needs must be balanced

Someone had better explain to me what “balance” means here.

Here’s the lede, so you can understand what the story is about:

Table Rock Dam was built to control flooding along the White River and, secondarily, to generate hydropower electricity for the region.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs the dam in concert with Southwestern Power Administration, a federal agency that markets electricity produced by White River hydropower dams.

Both find they must balance the needs of power generation and flood control with maintaining the health of the trout fishery below the dam.

They also have representatives on the White River Dissolved Oxygen Committee, which has worked for years to solve the problem.

Fritha Ohlson, civil engineer with Southwestern Power Administration and a committee member, said keeping oxygen levels up at Lake Taneycomo has not been cheap.

Southwestern Power buys liquid oxygen by the ton to inject inside the dam’s four turbines. Liquid oxygen mixes with the lake water and also cools it, both beneficial for Taneycomo trout.

“Our average use since 2001 to 2009 has been over 100 tons a year,” Ohlson said. “Liquid oxygen costs about $200 a ton, on average.”

Please, someone tell me how the needs of the trout outweigh the needs of the people who use power. For example, how many trout balance against the need of a single ventilator for a human? That’s determining balance, brothers and sisters. On one side of the scale, some number of fish and on the other side of the scale, people.

You might say I reduce it to extremes, but really, that’s what it comes down to. If you cannot defend a simple equation like this, you cannot defend the position that the needs must be balanced.

I’d happily accept considered, as in Trout Needs Considered in Power Generation.

But to put some number of fish on balance with a single human life, I cannot do it.

No, no, Brian J., one might say, we don’t mean turning off the ventilator for someone, we mean excess power consumption.

Like air conditioning, maybe some refrigeration for food storage?

Oh, no, excess.

You mean like electric cars?

Heavens, no!

How about those snazzy entertainment centers that hipnocrats have? A pile of recharging cords for iPhones, iPads, and laptops?

There’s your excess, brothers and sisters. But don’t expect a hipnocrat to go back to writing his or her thoughts in a paper diary instead of tweeting. Instead, expect hipnocrats to compel you to give up incandescent light bulbs and to turn your air conditioners up. For the greater good of a fish.

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Other Trophies, Mounted

I got tired of these old games just cluttering the shelves in my desk, so I decided to mount them on the wall:

Old handheld games mounted on the wall

Click for full size

I put some adhesive-backed Velcro on the back of the games and the loop side of the Velcro on the wall (with a couple of staples to help the adhesive). Now, when I want to play, I can just reach up and grab one for a dose of 1980 electronic blip goodness, and when I’m not playing, they display rather nicely.

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Book Report: City by Clifford D. Simak (1952)

This is a very interesting book.

It’s a collection of connected short stories that take place over the course of 20,000 years as mankind travels to other planets in the solar system, advances in technology, and slowly loses its civilization until the dogs and then the ants take over.

That is, cheap land (hydroponics replaces farming, which leads to cheap land), cheap transportation, and a benevolent central government make it so all mankind, or at least the ones in America and Europe, can live on lots of land. Cities (including the city in the lead short story that leads to the name of the book) break down as there are fewer people to fund services that no one really uses any more, but the local governments insist upon providing. Then, agoraphobia sets in as man grows very accustomed to his surroundings and does not want to leave his homestead for anything. This leads to a surgeon who specializes in Martian anatomy failing to help a friend, a Martian philosopher who has discovered a philosophy that could advance mankind hundreds of thousands of years. Then, a descendent of the fellow learns how to build a star drive, and another descendent advances dogs to speaking and learning.

The book has a frame story as a scholarly tract relaying myths and legends of man. A dog scholar, way in the future, discusses each story and outlines the controversies between other dog scholars who might or might not believe the stories or true or that the race of man existed at all.

The book is a quick enough read, and it really looks into a number of themes of race (human) versus individuals and the programming of the race (in the book, man is unperfectable in that he will always be warlike and future non-human civilizations must be protected from his influence). However, it’s not that straight man is bad, since other animal races, when raised, retain some bloodlust and desire to hunt. So it’s a very thought-provoking book, and although you can somewhat figure out what Simak thinks, the author leaves you room to ponder.

That’s old school science fiction.

I understand a later edition of the book has an additional epilog added. I’ll have to hunt that one down so I can find out what that means. The book I read was the old edition.

I’ve read some Simak before even though I can’t find any reports on the book the blog here. I don’t mind reading another if I find it at a book fair or even on my own shelves.

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Conspiracy Theory Du Jour

You know when they started changing the way American money looks after like 50 years of quarters and dollar bills to make them look more like foreign monies?

They were planning to devalue the currency even then.

Think about it, man. Suddenly, you’re looking at your pile of change on your dresser and you can’t tell your fifty different US quarters from Canadian money or your nickels from other silver coins, and suddenly your big, colorful five dollar bills have a 3-d image of Lincoln on them. You start thinking, this isn’t the money I grew up with. This isn’t real money at all.

Then, BAM! It ain’t.

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It’s A Retail Operation, People

The conservative blogs are spilling some pixels on an operation known, charmingly, as F*ck Tea.

Last summer, Democrats argued that the tea party movement was the AstroTurf creation of corporate groups. Now that the grass-roots conservative resurgence has emerged as a clear force on the right, the left is making a different case: that tea parties are simply the enemy.

To that end, the Agenda Project, a new, progressive group with roots in New York’s fundraising scene and a goal of strengthening the progressive movement, has launched the “F*ck Tea” project, which is aimed, the group’s founder Erica Payne wrote in an e-mail this morning, “to dismiss the tea party and promote the progressive cause.”

“”We will be launching new products in the next several months to help people all over the country F*ck Tea,” Payne told POLITICO. “Products like a Glenn Beck Bowl Buddy (Beck B Scrubbin) and others are perfect holiday gifts or just a great way to say, ‘I love you and our country’ to your spouse, friend or family.”

This is not a political movement. It’s a retail operation aimed at people with a political point of view, like a Harriet Carter for the hipnorats, although probably not as successful.

I find it encouraging for two reasons.

  • It’s encouraging to see the leftwingers engaging in some good old-fashioned capitalism.
  • It’s becoming obvious that the politically connected on the other side are not going to take the wind out of the sails of the Tea Party movement, but at least they can part some of their peeps from their money.

But I have to hand it to the people behind it. They know how to get the word out to the very people they want to court: trigger the opposition.

(Link seen on Trog. See also Ed Driscoll and Hot Air.)

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Book Report: Great Presidential Wit by Bob Dole (2001)

This book collects some humorous anecdotes and quips from each president, ranked by how humorous the presidents were (according to Bob Dole, I guess) as well as the Al Gore and George W. Bush, who were running for President in the year in which the book was written.

Only a few of the anecdotes are truly examples of the President’s wit, and most of those come from recent presidents whose every utterance and quip lies either in archival television footage or in Presidential library complexes. Other anecdotes include amusing anecdotes about the President or the President’s family or insults and barbs directed at the President.

That said, it gives a little historical insight into the conditions of each President and his times and tribulations that everyone could probably use now and then. However, the arrangement of the Presidents not in historical order makes this a little more tricky to put into historical context. It also provides perspective into how vile politics has been throughout history. Somehow, in our current self-flagellating ways, we have forgotten this in a quest to be the worst ever at everything.

And as every one of these books leads to Jeopardy!, reading this book let me question the answer “This US President’s son died as a pilot in World War I.” So I got to impress my wife anyway.

A good little read.

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A Shortage Of Ingredients

As the Facebooker amongst you know, I’ve baked a lot of zucchini bread. I had eight zucchini plants in my garden, and they produced a bumper crop of summer squash. I discovered that you can more easily give away a dessert bread than a summer squash. So I went onto the Internet and got a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread.

Zucchini bread recipe
Click for full size

However, as it gets to the middle of August, I’ve found that I’m running really low on one of the ingredients.

Zucchini bread recipe needs psychics
Click for full size

There just aren’t that many psychics around these parts. I’m going to have to start substituting in some dog whisperers or something.

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Book Report: The Salvage Sisters’ Guide to Finding Style in the Street and Inspiration in the Attic by Kathleen Hackett and Mary Ann Young (2005)

Now this is what Junk Beautiful book should have been. It relies on the writing of two sisters, both of whom must have married well since they have lots of houses and cottages amongst them to decorate with repurposed materials.

The projects outlined in the book don’t end up looking like jetsam that rolled onto the beach. The authors of this book add some fabric, upholstery, or Heaven forfend paint to make things look better and to fit in.

However, it’s still as much an interior design book as it is a project book. But it’s an easy couple of nights browsing. It’s saying something, but I read more of the accompanying text with this book than I do most.

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Richard Grieco Film, Interrupted

So the other night, I was sitting down for my once-every-sixteen-years viewing of the Richard Grieco film (If Looks Could Kill) when the telephone rang.

It was a student at Marquette University, calling to check my phone number, address, and whatnot and to see if I’d simply overlooked sending them a check.

She asked for my current address, having established logically that my phone number was still correct. Then she asked me the best part of the Marquette experience for my lo those 20 years ago. I’m sure I said something curtly. I was a commuter, essentially, since I lived in my father’s basement for the duration, so my job was way off campus on the Northwest Side and most of my friends where on the Northwest side (either people who worked in the grocery store where I plied my trade at the time or a guy who lived two doors down from my father, whom I’d gotten to know during summertime visits to Milwaukee).

My distance from Marquette as well as my upbringing that differed from the suburban put a lot of distance between me and the school as An Experience. By the time I had spent enough time with any of them to make anything like friends, I was a senior and off to live the life of a wage slave in Missouri while the rest of them prepared for a life in the Academy and the gossamer feel-good shawl of Progressivist thought.

The best part of Marquette University, I realized after the phone call, was the library. In those slightly pre-Internet days, the Memorial Library had books on everything I wanted to read. I spent a lot of time as a freshman blowing off Biology and Sociology to read Black Like Me, then a collection of Langston Hughes to see what the title of Black Like Me was from, then serious scholarly studies of Ed McBain, and some Existentialism for fun. That, coupled with the big Swedish mechanic who lived next door, had a library in his basement, and asked me if I’d read this or read that and how could I be an English major without reading them? made me who I am educationally today more than the Marquette University community and its $11,000 a year ticket ever did.

So I cut short the connect-and-make-them-feel-a-part questions with a declaration that I wasn’t going to contribute. She said okay, and then I asked how much Marquette cost.

$30,000 a year, she said. Without emphasis, because this is the milieu in which she swims.

“It sucks to be you,” I said.

She giggled and said, yeah, but that’s why scholarships are so important and that the tuition was only 3/4 the cost of educating a student.

“Someone’s getting overpaid. You could get a couple tutors and have them spend 40 hours a week with you for that,” I said. And I rang off shortly thereafter. Ringing off happens when you read a lot of British literature, and by British literature I mean “Agatha Christie” and “Alistair MacLean.” See, Marquette wasn’t influential in making me sound like the hoity-toity affected Anglophile.

After I did, I kind of felt bad for her. She was a junior, working the phones to work off part of her $30,000 a year. At some point, $120,000 is too much for what a college degree buys you. It took me fifty hours a week of working while I was going to college and ten years’ worth of student loan repayment (coupled with a good marriage which allowed me to be DINK to pay those loans off in only 10 years). And I left school only $20,000 in the hole with an English/Philosophy degree. For the first couple of years after I graduated, I made somewhere in the middle teens in income, sometimes working two jobs for that amount. I cannot in my mind justify spending what amounts to a middle manager’s salary to go to school. I cannot imagine coming out of school with $60,000 in debt and stacking produce, if I was lucky to have any job in 2010.

Instapundit talks a lot about the higher education bubble about to burst. It’s going to happen, and I feel really bad for the last people in the scheme like this poor kid, calling hard-hearted Hannahs like me for a pittance against her pitiable annual costs.

Oh, and without segue, I’d like to point out I’m a little miffed what college costs have done to my personal puff narrative. Working fifty hours a week while in school to cover the shortfall between my remaining grants and loans, begging the bursar to let me register for the next semester when I was a couple hundred behind in my monthly schedule (he laughed even then, commenting about how much other students owed), and paying off $20,000 in debt. Kids these days are going to look at my hardships and say, “You pansy, you had it easy.” And then they’ll get into grad school to get the Master’s Degree they’ll need to work in outcalling sales in 2020.

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Also Required: Photos of Your Children To Prove They Were Not Kidnapped

Greenfield and other cities impose strict new rules on resale shops :

Moms come into New to You Kids in Greenfield every week to sell their babies’ outgrown rompers to the small resale shop. But the business says it will have to close if it has to comply with a new city ordinance requiring it to take each mom’s picture and send that, along with detailed descriptions of the items she sells, to a police database every day.

The Greenfield ordinance also imposes transaction fees on resale stores that could amount to tens of thousands of dollars annually – a big burden for small retailers.

This also applies to bookstores, apparently:

Half-Price Books, a national resale chain that has a store a few doors down from Reinhardt’s in the Greenfield Fashion Center, will consider getting out of its lease, district manager Joe Desch said.

Half-Price also is thinking about filing a lawsuit against Greenfield on First Amendment grounds, because the new ordinance, which takes effect next summer, will require the bookstore to send police a daily list of customers who sell books to them, with identification and titles sold.

No word on if the book sellers need to provide a book report for their new mommy, the government.

(Link seen on the Twitterverse.)

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The 2010 Dryer Affair

We’ve had the RCA dryer before we were a we; my beautiful wife bought a Radio Corporation of America (!) dryer when she was my beautiful girlfriend in Columbia. It moved with her to St. Louis, it moved in with us in Sycamore Hills, it moved with use to Casinoport, it moved with us to Old Trees, and then it moved with us to Nogglestead. It had travelled very well and has voted for Democrats in five different Congressional Districts.

But a couple weeks ago, it started making metal-on-metal noises when running. We had to replace our three-year-old washer (bought new when we moved into Old Trees) when it’s agitator passed from this life to the next. A repairman who came to check its pulse said that modern washers and dryers have a lifespan of about seven years. So when the dryer started making noise, I warned that we were going to have to spend money on it before long.

A couple times in the recent past, I’ve opened the dryer to find it full of dry clothes and the timer set to the start time. Sometimes, we loaded the dryer and saved its run for naptime or children’s bedtime to introduce some white noise while they slept. We’ve been doing this since Old Trees, when the dryer lie between their bedrooms and the rest of the house. We hoped the white noise woud mak the noises we made elsewhere. At any rate, I found the dryer had not run and assumed I had failed to start it.

However, one day, I started it at naptime, and it stopped post-haste. I tried it again, and it started again and stopped. I wondered what could cause it. A clogged dryer vent? I went to the south side of the house, where a vent opens right next to our air conditioner (I’d joked with the home inspector, “May the best appliance win!” because warm air blowing out on a running air conditioner makes the air cooling less efficient, but the joke is less funny when you explain it even if the explanation lies in the same set of parentheses as the joke itself). I went out and opened the vent to take a look in, and the vent cover, one of the little louvred vinyl jobs, opened on a 2 inch PVC pipe. That’s odd, I thought.

And then something dark appeared out of my nowhere and hit my knuckle, causing a great disturbance in my pain-free morning. What was that, I wondered? Biting horsefly? Spider? The rest of the hive of wasps that had been hiving in my air conditioner’s casing came out to answer my challenge. So as my middle finger swelled (all the easier to see when displayed, bonus!), I got a can of waspicide and went the whole Anakin on them (I killed them. I killed them all. They’re dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I HATE THEM!). After which time, using the dryer-starting talents of my wife, I deduced that the vent was blocked since no air was coming out of it when she turned it on.

I paced a bit and determined that since we were going to get a new dryer anyway, we should just go and get one that afternoon for delivery the next day. I cannot even dramatically recreate my thinking for you; I was not utterly convinced that the vent was the cause. So we dropped $600 as though we were still DINKs (I even bought the extended warranty given how well our last washer did).

The next morning, the appliance guys came along, put the new one in, and loaded the old one in their truck. I realize I have enough land these days to expose plenty of appliances and derelict automobiles to the elements, but I’m starting slowly to easily acclimate my suburban and sophisticated spouse to the practice. After the appliance guys hooked it up (yeah, I let them do it. One fewer man point for me), I started it and let it run for a couple minutes. The appliance guys left, and I started in on the drifts of laundry that had accumulated in the two days.

When a load finished and was wetted for the drying, I turned on the new dryer and…. it stopped.

Dammit, I thought, it is the vent.

So I checked the vent from the interior. It looked like standard ducting and wasn’t really coated with much lint even though it was a couple of ninety degree turns coming out of the laundry alcove. I went to the utility room in the basement and tried to find the duct that carried the venting from the dryer alcove to the exterior and didn’t see it. What I did see, on the other hand, is that the built-in vacuum was right where the dryer duct should come out and…. Oh. That would explain it.

So I didn’t know where the dryer vent came out and I was at a loss for action. After some thoughtful pacing, I called a company that could clean out dryer vents. That should fix it for me.

Fortunately, the dryer vent company spokesman worked me into his schedule at the same time as my wife was loading the children up to go meet her mother for lunch for my wife’s birthday. The dryer vent guy located the vent in the sill board immediately underneath my deck. So it’s been blowing hot, wet air on the underside of my deck for the entirety of the deck’s existence. Awesome.

My wife finished her child loading and left. The dryer vent guy tapped on the back door with a mournful look on his face. “I can’t clean your vent,” he announced. “It’s not metal ducting, it’s plastic that’s deteriorated. I can show you if you want.”

I looked. It was plastic venting hose stretched under the finished ceiling in my den. Breaking down.

This is the inside of your walls on cheap.

Swell. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen plastic where metal should be on really important functions in the dream home.

The dryer vent guy, who works for an HVAC company, said they could probably tear out 20′ of my ceiling and replace the ducting for $300-500. Of course, they’re not carpenters, so they wouldn’t replace the ceiling or match its paint, natch.

I said, you know, I can just get an interior vent.

You know, those have drawbacks. Humidity and it’s very dirty, he said.

We lived with one of those in Old Trees for three years since that particular rehabber didn’t bother to vent it at all, much like he didn’t bother to install any phone jacks or even hook the telephone line onto the correct interior set of plugs at the exterior phone box ($125 for AT&T to come, diagnose, unplug, and plug in correctly in a manner of 10 minutes). He also charged me $50 for coming out, climbing a ladder, and pointing a flashlight into my dryer vent.

And took fifteen minutes to write up the invoice. I’d thought I could make it to the restaurant to eat with the family, so I called and discovered they weren’t there yet. I was planning to join them, I told the restaurant, could my party call me when they arrived? So I changed clothes and whatnot and realized that I could only get to the restaurant 30 minutes after they sat down, probably, and they hadn’t called, so I assumed they didn’t get the message after all.

So I raced into Republic to buy an interior vent and raced home to beat them back. I did, and I beat the rain, which is good because the old pick-up’s windshield wipers manage to miss the portion of the windshield directly in line of sight for the driver. I put the interior vent on easily–lots of experience with them, you know–and turned the dryer on. I wandered off and….

The dryer stopped, of course.

I was through pacing at this point. I was onto gibbering.

And then my wife called from the restaurant. Of course they’d gotten the first part of the message but not the second. Still, an hour later, they had ordered and had eaten. My beautiful wife ordered something for me, too, and brought it home. Which is good, because at that point I could not have verbally communicated to a server that I needed a glass of water.

The next stop: calling an electrician. The next morning, one arrived and examined the outlet. Then he examined the outlet more closely. Apparently, a loose connection within it was causing it to lose power when it warmed up or when the dryer vibrated it apart. Either way, $100 and a new outlet later, and the dryer works.

Actually, that makes it sound so simple. The actual arithmetic is: One wasp sting and swollen finger, $600 for a new dryer, $50 for a $500 dryer vent replacement, $14 for an interior vent, 20 minutes cleaning up after the interior vent blew lint all over for a couple minutes, $100 and a new outlet, 1500 words on the blog and lots of long retellings with hand gestures, and new innumerable fears about what other dangerous and hidden shortcuts were taken in the course of building this house later, and I can dry laundry now.

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