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Those Crazy Cats0

I’ve never driven a Bobcat, though I’ve been around them enough.  My most recent encounter involved the operator of one of these fine machines screwing up—and destroying my van.

I don’t hold that mistake against the Bobcat.  In fact, I’ve recently earned more respect for the machines based on the kinds of crazy stuff that skilled drivers (unlike the poor guy who tore up my ride) can pull off.

 For example:


Holy crap – that’s an extraordinary amount of skill and questionable sanity!  Would you try that with . . . well, with anything??!?! 

And I’m sure that the talented self-loader does things like this when the boss isn’t around:

Apparently Bobcat stunts are popular enough to have fans.  Check out this guy at the Campo Pequeno Arena in Portugal:

I suspect that if the guy who ripped up my van were trying these moves, it would look like this:

Of course it would look like that if I tried as well—except with my luck, it would fall first, and then probably explode . . .

by John Barker

Cat Box Odors1


That’s Buster, my 20+ pound cat.  He’s quite floppy, very friendly, and eats a lot.  And, like any person (and yes, he’s like a little, fat, furry person), when he eats . . .  well, let’s just say that nature runs its course.

I have a litter box that is the size of a small trailer.  I scoop it regularly—but cat poop has its own particular brand of stench.  And though cat litter has come a long way, sometimes the resourceful cat owner needs to go a few steps farther.

So what do you do when your house smells like your cat has gone head to head with the Man-vs.-Food guy in a chili burrito eating competition?

Start with baking soda and disposable liners.  After a few rounds of scooping, I remove the whole thing and toss it in the trash.  After putting in a new liner, I dust the bottom with baking soda, then pour the litter on top.  You’d be surprised how much this helps.

But sometimes it is still not enough.  I found this great air freshener from Citrus Magic designed specifically to eliminate pet odors—and it works quite well for a few weeks.  I just put it on the bathroom counter across from Buster’s litter box.

I’ve read some suggestions that you can use car fresheners (you know… the little pine trees that dangle from your rear-view mirror) inside the litter box itself.  I wouldn’t recommend this.  Think about it for a sec.  Just sitting in the car with one of these things makes my eyes water.  Imagine something like this crammed into a litter box (even one the size of a small trailer!). That can’t be pleasant for the cat.

If cleaning the box, using baking soda, and employing an air freshener doesn’t work, you may need to look into your cat’s diet.  Or the poor little guy may have Giardiasis, an infection of the small intestine.  If that’s the case—time to pull out the ol’ wallet and take your furry buddy to the vet.

Avoiding that cat-poop-post-burrito-eating-competition stench is pretty easy overall.  It just takes a few minutes of your time and the ability to deal with . . .well . . . cat poop.  Just follow these few steps and your house will thank you.

Well, actually all of the people visiting your house will thank you.

by John Barker

Mud Hero Saves the Day!0

Superman is a pu**y compared to this guy.  DrywallinfoMan is the hero who comes in to repair the damage other heroes create when battling the forces of evil.  That’s gotta be a very lucrative business.  Have you seen the damage that just Batman can do?  And he doesn’t even have any super powers!

And angst-ridden teens everywhere should worship this guy.  Not only does he make Moms happy, but he also does it in a stylish costume.  The wipedown knife in the helmet is a must-have accessory.

Of course Dads may not like this.  That Mom looks reallyhappy.  Too happy, if you get my meaning.  Perhaps she is Mrs. DrywallinfoMan . . . or maybe  the wipedown knife has powers of seduction tool that ordinary mortals don’t know about.  

Hmmmmm.  I am feeling like I might punch out a wall, right now.  What about you? 

And, I’ll be keeping DrywallinfoMan away from my girlfriend . . . just in case.

by John Barker

Things Not to Do With a Fish Tank0

Fish tanks are a beautiful and cost-effective way to brighten up a home.  But—if you’re stupid enough—they can get pretty darned expensive thanks to water damage.

Take this kid, for example:


Okay—that was an honest accident.  I suspect the kid will be more careful next time he’s flexing his massive guns around glass objects.

But this next video . . .well, some people are just stupid on purpose.  Best guide the kiddies out of the room for this one—it ends with a naughty word.  And if you’re in PETA, avoid this video altogether.

The results were predictable, though I thought for sure those fish were goners.  I like being wrong about things like that.

Then you have the random factor that is a cat.  As I write this, my 25-pound furry buddy (Buster) is trying to squeeze behind the entertainment center – and, like an octopus, he is somehow compressing his body to the thickness of a sheet of paper.  In other words, he’s succeeding.  And in a minute or two I’m gonna have to get up and pull his fat ass out because he’ll get stuck.  He’s done this before.

But I digress.  This next video shows you why I currently don’t have a fish tank:

That could have ended a lot worse.  If a cat the size of mine did that, there would be glass, water, and fish all over the floor.

I guess there’s a little lesson in here somewhere.  Buy a fish tank.  Enjoy its beauty.  But, unless you have flood insurance, don’t go swingin’ heavy stuff around it, blowing it up, or allowing your cat a preview of the night’s menu.

by John Barker

He said, She said1

Hey friends, here’s this week’s report from blogland. 

I discovered an almost brand new blog called Meet My Ugly Baby, a 367 day apartment-flip project in Vancouver.  Today, and I mean TO.DAY, they get the keys and the clock starts ticking.  

Any e-Bay aficionados out there?  There’s a great story at BossyColorBlog that features gin, a pretty shade of blue, and lots of cardboard. 

Russel Wright Iroquois casual china

Thinking about fall yet?  Grass Rooted has some good tips about rakes.  She says better to check your supplies now than when your hands are blistered and the job is half done. 

Subtraction by Addition – get it?  Home additions that make a house uglier. These are bad.   At  HomeOwnerNut.

If you didn’t make it to Atlanta this week for the 2010 International Woodworking Fair (IWF), here’s a sneak preview of some  new tools on the showroom floor. 

Until next week, happy weekend!

by Lisa Oram

Cooking in the Dishwasher0

As a chef  (yep—I used to be a chef. . .now I’m just a burnt out husk of a cook), I’ve encountered a wide variety of bizarre cooking methods.  Like this one:  poaching salmon in the dishwasher.

This concept has been around for a long time.  Horror master and brilliant gourmand Vincent Price apparently cooked fish in a dishwasher on the Tonite Show back in the late 1970s.  I have one of his cookbooks – but couldn’t find any info on that little event.

This guy, Tom Scott, tackles the project with quite a bit of zeal:

WITH the dirty dishes????!?!?!?!?  That can’t be good for you.  And it kind of grosses me out.  I mean, I’m all for multi-tasking and such, but that’s sort of akin to eating a Twinkie that’s buried in the garbage and covered in coffee grounds. Isn’t it?

I admire the enthusiasm of Mr. Scott in the video above – particularly the gusto with which he scarfs down his meal. 

Here’s another version; this recipe has bit more skepticism and scrunched up foil. 

Yum!  Delicious soapy water and gritty detergent flavoring anyone?

I’m not saying that the method doesn’t work.

But I am saying that I’m not gonna try it.  My oven works fine, thank you very much.

by John Barker

Bug Bomb Fun0

Fumigating your house is not fun.  You can make it fun by holding some sort of beer bash in your garage while the bug bombs go off, I suppose.  At least that’s what I do.  Having a Cornhole tournament usually gets things going nicely.

Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that bug bombing is an annoyance.  What I didn’t know, however, is that it can also be explosive:

Something smells a little fishy to me.  I’ve never had a random pilot light problem.  In fact, I spent much of yesterday trying to figure out how to turn ona pilot light in a professional gas oven/stove.  Hint to me in case I forget: it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the back and can only be reached if you shrink to the size of an atom.

Sorry . . . got distracted.

The bug bombs I’ve used in the past wouldn’t ignite anything.  They just sprayed a huge cloud of gas all over the place.  Call me naive, but I’ve never seen any bug bombs that had to be lit like something from a fireworks factory until I sat down and started working on this article.

I’m not leaving any ignited substance unattended in my house.  That’s just. . . well, it’s just crazy.

While the guy above obviously didn’t have much fun with his bug bomb, this guy used his experience as inspiration:

If only it were that easy…

And then you have The Mythbusters.  Bug bombs inspired them in a slightly different manner.  And, if you watch that show, you know there always something that’s gonna blow up.

God, I’d love that job. . .

by John Barker

Duct Tape to Match Your Mood0

How many times have you wanted your duct tape to reflect your mood? Never, you say? Well, that isn’t stopping the good people at Duck from creating a few options for you.

Put away those Sharpie pens. Now, duct tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Duck just announced a few new flavors of the craft/work favorite, making for over 20 different options.

Some of the new patterns include animal prints like Zig-Zag Zebra and Spotted Leopard, a trippy Cosmic Tie-Dye pattern, the flame-filled Hot Rod, and the military-inspired Digital Camo. They already have a ton of colors, such as red, yellow, aqua and purple as well neon shades Funky Flamingo (pink) and Island Lime (green).

Perfect for that duct tape  prom dress. . .


Duct car . . .

 Or a duct couch . . .

 If you are looking for something special to do with that new funky duct tape (maybe a duct basketball hoop) the Duck website has plenty “Ducktivities,” which also include step-by-step instructions. They’re also always looking for new, creative uses, and invite submissions to the Duck website.

The new Duck patterns are on sale now. You should be able to find them at craft and home improvement stores, as well as anywhere else you’d find duct tape.

 by Rachel Cericola

Just Say No to Crack!0

We’ve all seen it.  And like a car wreck or a penguin on a unicycle, it’s difficult to turn away from.

Picture the scene: your kitchen sink refuses to drain.  You try clearing it with a plunger.  No go.  You then use a little snake to hopefully rid the pipes of whatever hell-spawned blob is causing the obstruction.  Still no luck.

So you call a plumber.  And this is what you see:

Plumber’s butt.  And worse.  You know what I mean. 

I’m not sure why but plumber’s butt, also known as plumber’s crack, inspires more than a few people to take up a video camera and get creative—like this guy, who inter-cuts audio from the classic film, Jaws:


But not all plumbers have to be men, right?  Where are plumbers like this when I have issues with my kitchen sink?

I saved the best for last—but don’t let the kiddies in the room when you watch this:

Gah!  See, that’s more like the kind of plumber I’d get in my house…  Except he’d be in his 60s and talk incessantly about how he itches everywhere…

Am I slamming plumbers?  Hell no.  I respect them immensely.  That’s some pretty hard work, my friends.

And if we’ve gotta see a little crack to get the job done… well, I can think of worse things.

by John Barker

He said, She said0

It’s the middle of August, which means it’s hot where I live. I imagine it might be hot where you live, too. 

There are some things that nobody wants to do when it’s this hot -  like putting on a new roof or welding. For me, whose house is PURRRRFECT and doesn’t need those things anyway, being hot meant I didn’t want to read anything too heady or technical as I sweated my way around blogland this week.  I simply didn’t want to think too much.

Freshome - Interior Design, Decorating, FurnitureSo, I spent some time at Freshome

In the architecture department,  I indulged my senses with beautiful photos of gorgeous homes from around the world.  Click the View More button at the bottom of any post  and you will be treated to a stunning display. 

Here’s a picture montage of a totally different kind.  Aaron Whomsley is a handyman who runs what he calls a “light construction company” in West Chester, PA.  This week, he features a lovely kitchen renovation he’s recently completed.  Thirteen photos.  Beautiful work. I wish this guy lived near me. A good handyman is a good find.   

There are nice photos throughout the posts on Rambling Renovators, but I am especially drawn to their occasional feature called Love List.  Shouldn’t everyone have a love list? 

This blog, Brick House, is sorta the opposite of a love list.  Read the FAQs (tolerable even in heat) and then look at the pictures. 

And, one day, when the temps dropped a little, and I managed to focus on two words next to each other, I really enjoyed this post at Garden Rant.  I think they make some sense . . .  but they also could  be kinda lunatics.   What do you think?

Happy weekend!  Keep cool.

by Lisa Oram

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