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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Mrs.B is a great fan of crime/detective/lawyer/police/judge/prison series. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t switch from one channel to the other watching her favourite shows. Much to the dismay of yours truly, who is more interested in human interest shows based on profound psychological insights in the human psyche, such as films with Arnold Schwarzenegger, animation series like the Simpsons or South Park or any Sci-Fi show. Oh, and high-tech geek stuff on Discovery channel!

One of mistress Bee’s favourites is NCIS, or Naval Criminal Investigative Service. I must admit I too find it appealing, as long as we don’t have to watch it every damn evening. But unfortunately, the series has a bad influence on my wife, making her even more violent than she was before.

As you may know, the leader of the Navy team has the habit of slapping people on the back of the head when they make a stupid remark. Since the series got airtime in this drizzly kingdom by the North Sea, slapping on the back of the head has made a dramatic entry into this household. It takes no crime investigation team to figure out how this has happened. And I think you can figure out the name of the victim here. But we’re not only talking about domestic violence here, oh no…

Last week, Mrs.B had to take job interviews, together with her boss. She designed the questions for the oral examination of the candidates. At one point, she poses a question to a candidate, upon which her boss inadvertently and absentmindedly gives the answer. And in a reflex…

She slapped her boss on the head! I should also add that Mrs.B is still in her probation period (which is a ridiculously long twelve months). So slapping your boss on the head may have abrupt and drastic consequences.

Good thing her boss has a well developed sense of humor then.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Autumn bee on a flowering plant - Ardennes, Belgium  

Posted by Bart at 9:43 PM
Categories: Framed

Monday, November 16, 2009


This weekend I discovered a large puddle of water on the first floor. On my brand new floor that is, which I laid only three weeks ago. Water was dripping from the ceiling; at least it dripped until I touched the rock wool insulation with a finger. It went right through and the very next moment I had a whole waterfall streaming down.

I couldn’t believe it, ANOTHER bloody hole in the roof! Last summer, I got so fed up with plastering the roof with repair kit, that I re-roofed one side of the roof with a new roll of bitumen. Needless to say, the leak is in that part of the roof that I thought was still pretty fine.

Luckily, the new bathroom ceiling isn’t up yet, that’s for next month. But I can tell you I’m getting pretty fed up with this colander we’re having for a roof.

Posted by Bart at 8:33 PM
Categories: Home Improvement

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Short Circuit

With autumn well under way and winter fast approaching – Christmas decorations anyone? - it is time to prepare the garden. I must admit that Mrs. B is the one with the green fingers, my services are only called for to do the heavy work such as pruning things and digging out old shrubs and things like that.

So this weekend I pruned our grapevine. Almost all its leaves had gone, and the bugs had left nothing from the last grapes but a few dried-out and rotten corpses. Previous years, I just cut off the long branches and tried to stuff them in the green container. But this year, I had a secret weapon in my arsenal: granddad's Ultimate Destroyer. A handy machine that allows you to feed whole branches one way and turns them into small slivers of wood.

So instead of having three containers of branches, I ended up with half a bag of atomised grapevines. Super!

Then I attacked the mountain of pine branches that lies next to our neighbours garden shed. If you remember, last spring we took out the 25 meter long/4 meter high/1.5 meter wide hedge that separated our garden from our neighbours. They kindly offered to stack the branches in their garden, and when we were done they had a mountain of pine branches so high in their garden that planes need to make a detour. Ever since, the next door neighbour and I have been taking tours at pushing those branches in the GUD (Granddad's Ultimate Destroyer).

It's an annoying task, because the flexible small pine twigs sooner or later make the cutting disk inside grind to a halt. Which means you have to open the GUD, remove the twigs and shavings that didn't come out and close it again. On top of that, there is this security mechanism with an interrupter that keeps getting clogged by the pine needles. All this makes for a fun afternoon in the garden.

So I was happily feeding the GUD with pine branches, until I had a couple of them that were too large to feed in one piece. No problem, because I have some mean pairs of cutting scissors. And while the machine was turning in the back I was cutting happily away at a big branch on the ground.


The GUD's electrical wire was also on the ground. Under the branch I was cutting. And then the inevitable happened. SNIPFlash! - and then the cutter ground to a halt. It was a good thing those cutters had plastic handles (and I was wearing gloves of course). I had taken off a good 50 cm of wire.

Half an hour later I'd put the plug on the remaining end of wire and I was back in business. But I decided to cut those branches a bit further away from the machine.

Posted by Bart at 9:39 PM
Categories: Home Improvement

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