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Sunday, December 3, 2006

After working the whole afternoon away yesterday, I had about half of the living room cleared of clutter. I even dusted! And I was pretty pleased with myself for sticking to it long enough to get visible results. Well, the results are visible, but so is the other half of the room, the part I didnít get to. Still, you have to start somewhere.

Through all this, I even found time to sit and read for an hour, and I decorated my Christmas tree. The tree has been up since Thursday, which technically wasnít even part of December. Thatís a first for me, to have the tree up in November, and with lights in place, too. That was only because I had to buy a new tree, and you can hardly buy an artificial tree that isnít pre-lit any more. With that, Iím just as glad I couldnít find my old tree, and I kind of wish I hadnít looked so hard for it. All I got was dirty and cobwebby, with nothing to show for it.

2 December 2006


So I was tired and sore but satisfied last night, and then I found the ants. I have no idea where they came from, but they were on the inside kitchen counter. Not the counter by the outside wall or the sink, but the one attached to the inside wall that isnít even connected to the outside. How the ants got there I have no idea, but it wasnít the first time theyíve managed it.

At first I couldnít find my ant spray, so I got the flying insect spray and covered the counter with it. I washed everything that was on that counter in hot, soapy water, twice. I cleaned the counters with disinfecting wipes, then soap, then clean water. I re-sprayed with ant spray and re-cleaned.

And I threw my toaster in the garbage. I donít think I could ever again have eaten anything that popped up out of that toaster, after having doused it with two different kinds of insect spray. Probably you should replace your toaster every ten years or so anyway, and I think thatís about how long Iíve had this one. It gets kind of crusty after all that time, and itís not the most expensive appliance I own. But it does get used a lot, so Iíll be replacing it this week.

2 December 2006

Toaster in the trash.

By the time Iíd done all this cleaning and re-cleaning, I was even more exhausted than before, and with good reason, since it was well past midnight by then. At least the place didnít stink, because I get only unscented ant spray. And Iíd completely lost my appetite, except for a sudden and strange craving for toast.

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One responsibility of the General Services Administration is to monitor defense contracts for fraud and waste. The new Bush-appointed head of the GSA says that this has gone too far, and wants to cut the agencyís budget. She compares the Inspector Generalís office to terrorists, for the way they demand accountability. Apparently in a time of war, we are supposed to let defense contractors do whatever they want and charge whatever they can get away with. The current Inspector General (who, by the way, was a prosecutor in the Moussaoui case) says, ďNot everyone is happy with this level of scrutiny.Ē Yeah, the people who are trying to steal, for one. Oh, by the way, the new Bush appointee is a former government contractor herself.

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One year ago: Pause
"Why, it was bright enough to read! Itís just too bad that I couldnít stop and do that."

Two years ago: Prime Factors
"I thought, quite seriously, 'Itís too bad he had to grow up.' Then I thought, 'Itís too bad he didnít.'"

Three years ago: Stillness
"This isn't any deep-throated croaking bullfrog. It's more a 'cra-ack,' up in a higher register and a little more desperate. A teenage frog, most likely — earnest, endearing and insistent."

Four years ago: Machines
"Not that guilt is a big concern of course, but if there's a good time to waste time, why wait for a bad time?"

Five years ago: Bombs and Dreams
"Looking back over your shoulder is as prudent on a global level as it is when you're walking down a dark street."

Six years ago: The Loft Weekend
"I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere, something about flying in the face of the fickle finger of fate."

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