My brand new keyboard has a “Euro” key. I don’t have the slightest idea what I’m going to do with it, but that hasn’t stopped me from boasting to my co-workers.

Speaking of which, don’t, for the love of all that’s holy, eat your Euro notes. Note that the reporter says that “eating more than 400 new euro notes could make you ill” (i.e. you can safely eat 400), when in fact the doctor clearly states that “there is a product in the ink which, if you ingest 400 notes, become toxic” That’s the kind of sloppy reporting that’s going to get someone killed!

I Hate Mice

I am an animal lover. I pet every cat I pass on the street, even the ones which flatten their ears and narrow their eyes and make noises similar to those my garbage disposal makes when a plastic sprork gets wedged down there. I firmly believe that every motion picture should include at least one dog. And when there are spiders in my house, I try to herd them out onto the porch rather than squash them outright.

But since a few years ago, I have had a special place in my heart for mice. And like all the places in my heart, it’s a place full of BLOOD!

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer, I lived in a small adobe house and lived primarily on grain, fruit and tubers — the three food groups that mice thrive on. So it wasn’t long until the walls of my adobe home were hollowed out and turned into little rodent townhomes. And there began my protracted war on mousiedom. In fact, I think my fondest memory of Peace Corps Volunteer Service was the night I awoke at 2 am to the sounds of a mouse raiding my rice (again!). I groggily arose, somehow managed to corner the little beast (a near impossible feat, since they had escape holes about every two feet along the adobe walls) and beat it to death with my broom. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

Incidentally, here’s how I finally won: I made a bucketful of Death Dough, by combining equal parts flour, water, oats and rat poison. I took the resulting mixture and plugged up every mousehole in the joint. That night the mice, as usual, chewed through all my barriers and partied hearty until the wee hours of the morning, but a that was the last night of mouse-induced insomnia I had to endure.

Which brings me to: Mouseageddon. Warning: contains photos of actual dead mice, which some will find distrubing and others will print out and hang all over their cubicle.


This was driving me craaaazy. I could vaguely remember exactly two lines from a year-old pop song called “Kaitlin” or “Caitlin” or something. Finally, in desperation, I wrote my local radio station:

Early in 2001, there was song getting lots of play on the radio. It was a poppy little tune about a girl, and some DJ said that it had actually been written by the lead singer for his daughter. The daughter’s name, as near as I can remember, was “Kaitlyn,” or some variation thereof (e.g. Catlyn), or something similar (e.g. Kathrine).

Two lines of the chorus when something like

“When everything just falls to bits
I think of you, my own Kaitlyn …”

… or somesuch …

The band was not a well known one. This song rapidly faded into oscurity. [The radio station] Star 101.5 may have been the only station in the Seattle area playing it.

Any clue?

And, moments after hitting [send], it came to me. “Cailin” by Unwritten Law. Boo-ya!


Like most males in the 30-35 demograph, I keep my butter in the refrigerator. This has, in the past, proven to be a problem, because when I make toast (which I do often, because I’m cuckoo for the rye toast) the butter is then hard, making it difficult to cut and impossible to spread.

Recently I realized that if, before I start toasting the bread, I remove the butter dish from the fridge and place it right next to the toaster, then, by the time the toast is done, the heat radiating from the toaster will have heated the butter just enough to make it perfectly spreadable.

This is the greatest thing in the world.