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about my humble abode

Feeling worn out after spending somewhere near five hours this evening between:

  • breaking down and burning sticks and other wood from previous tree / branch / bracken removal and dead-fall
  • scooping dog poop

The start of a busy weekend.

Home Lighting: Sun-light, Moon-light

Every room has sun-light and moon-light. Hallways, stairwells, walkways, etc. probably just have moon-light. The sun-light would be the bright bulb(s) in the middle of the ceiling or by work areas to allow tasks to be performed. The moon-light is the much dimmer, low wattage option like a night-light, for moving about and other less visually precise activities.

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Dwight moved out

After a year and a half of living with me, my roommate Dwight finally moved out. His girlfriend got a “real” job in Texas, so he moved down there with her. His stay here was supposed to be temporary, but he liked the low living expenses so much he decided to stay.

This has been quite a change for me. The change in my cost of living is quite significant: My basic expenses will increase by an estimated 34%, not a small number. This is at a time when I’m about to lose my job. I have money saved, and could easily get a job at a restaurant in no time I’m sure, but it still could be rough, especially on some of my planned extra type expenditures.

Living alone is quite different from living with someone. There was someone there most of the time to do stuff with before, but now I have to put effort into finding someone to do stuff with, especially since I no longer have any real friends (he was the only one that I actually did stuff with excluding family). He had a good collection of movies and frequently rented some, so we often watched them. We also played card and other games. It was nice to have an additional person to help with some stuff: It meant I didn’t have to always be there to look for and deal with everything. It can be very lonely sitting at home alone.

Of course, it can be nice as well. I can have lots of alone time without worrying about someone popping in. Dwight could be quite the talker and sometimes would talk for hours, sometimes about things I wasn’t especially interested in. The dishes were a shared duty and they ended up being quite a mess as well as a lot of work. My house is much cleaner now and I plan to keep it that way.

On the cleaner note, I have moved some of the stuff from my front room into his old bedroom. The front room had been piled with stuff and virtually unusable, but now it is rather clean. It will be an entertainment room (video, board, and card games, chairs to chat, etc). His old room is rather clean still as well, and may become an office. I hope to get rid of a lot of stuff and make the house cleaner still.

We’ll see how this works out.

Another mouse

There was another mouse in my house, removed yesterday.

Over the summer I had occasionally heard some mouse-like noises, especially more recently. But I didn’t see any signs, such as mouse poop and chewed up food. On Monday I saw very sure signs, starting with the same scurrying past my bedroom door tiny brown furry thing that had alerted me to the presence of a mouse in the past. I didn’t want to alert Dwight, as I wasn’t sure how he’d take it or what he’d want to do about it. But as I was trying to sleep that night, the mouse kept chewing on something. I couldn’t sleep, so I repeatedly went into the kitchen searching for him. I pulled off some wall/cupboard material in my search. He finally stopped chewing after awhile, at least long enough for me to fall asleep, but I did set up one of my live traps from before.

He wasn’t there in the morning when I awoke. There were no signs of him. When I came home from work though, i heard a scratching/gnawing similar to the sound from the previous night. He was not chewing on my house though, but on the trap. I had him captured. When Dwight came home I showed him. He was not especially, though slightly, scared of the dirty little thing.

I drove him to the park. I tried to take some photos with my new macro lens, but was unable to get anything good. He disappeared quickly.


I recently purchased a clothes washing “machine” for my home. It is the Wonderwash, a hand powered small washing machine. I was a little leery of the product, as it didn’t seem to have much more to it than would a plastic bucket with tight lid. However, it’s very small and costs only $50, and is supposed to use less water and much less energy than a conventional washer, so I sprung for it.

It is indeed similar to a bucket. It does come with a stand and crank, which seem to make it take up more room than a 5 gallon pickle bucket would while having a bit less capacity. But the cranking is fairly easy. I could simply roll a pickle bucket, but I’m not sure if that’d be as effective as rotating it on the other axis, with the sudden thwumping fall from one side to the other. The lid is screwed down, which is supposed to pressurize the contents (it definitely does). The pressure is supposed to do much of the cleaning, pushing the water and detergent through the clothing. This is the area I’m most worried about the pickle buckets capability. I will have to try the pickle bucket though to see how the results compare. It would be much cheaper, easier to obtain, more versatile, and smaller. The only other thing I’d be missing would be the spigot on the bottom of the wonderwash, which is nice save for the leaking it sometimes does.

So anyway, the Wonderwash thus far has done fairly well at cleaning my clothes, even in the two minute wash cycle recommended. Crank for two minutes. Drain and fill with rinse water. The rinsing takes 30 seconds, but I usually do two rinses. The whole process is fairly fast, most of the time going to filling and draining. Compared to hand washing, it seems to get the clothes somewhat cleaner, though probably not as well as normal washers. It is of course much easier, with no hands in the water, and is much faster. The rinse is also much easier and faster and seems to get better results with less water (the wash also uses less water than what I was using).

The biggest problem right now is with drying. I can easily handle hang drying from a regular washer, as the clothes are spun in them. There is no spinning in this or any ability to squeeze out the water as a group. This problem was the same as with hand washing, and is one reason I rarely did it. Since this is so much easier than hand washing, I’m more liable to do it. But I have almost no space for drip drying. Those clothes can really hold a lot of water. I can spend quite a bit of time squeezing them by hand and they still drip. I think the presses would probably be too bulky and take too much time. I’m considering a spinner. The wonderwash people also make two electric spin dryers. Uses energy, but it’d be fast and take me nearly to the dry point. I considered getting a commercial salad spinner instead, but they cost as much as the electric ones and would be more bulky and not get the clothes as dry. So I may just order an electric spinner soon.

Unfortunately, the spinner hurts the size advantages of the whole operation. I now need the washer, the spinner, and still need some hang drying space and apparatus. Luckily, the energy needs and water usage should be much lower. I’m hoping that once I get everything set up and get a good system going, the time required will not be much more than with the regular machines, especially since I have to drive to my parents to use them.