I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Dabbling in the (Bird) Housing Market

Daily Kup (My Life on the Cub Scout Bear Trail)
I believe that I was born with a pile of incomplete projects.  Projects are like the mythological hydras; you slice off the head of one and two others will appear in its place. 

On this last day of school vacation, I gathered the project team of Attila "Can I Play a Video Game Instead" the Son and Princess "I Wasn't Pinching Him, I Just Wanted To Know Where He Was" Potatohead.  Needless to say, Spring Break has been a little tough on me.  I've grown used to quiet during the day and the subtle joy that comes from being able to take a shower without people who need you right then for your referee skills.

With our project team assembled and positioned apart beyond arm's length to mitigate the aforementioned location-identification-through-pinching, we faced the project that we had been avoiding all week:  Completing and installing a wren house.

Mr. T and the Son had built the house at a Cub Scout meeting last weekend.  In order to get the very last achievement signed off of the 692 or so needed to complete the Bear Trail and transmute into some other kind of animal with a different colored neckerchief, we needed to get this birdhouse completed and positioned for occupancy.

If you want to build your own wren house to attract these drab but vocal little songbirds, the construction is not hard:
Step 1:  Get a Cub Scout.
Step 2:  If you don't have a Cub Scout handy, you can borrow mine.  Really.  Any time you want.  If you are considering having children and are wavering, this experience will drive you clearly to one side or the other.  Trust me.
Step 3:  If you persist in your aim not to have a Cub Scout, here are free Cub Scout-less plans for cutting and assembling a wren house.

How do you know that this is a wren house and not built for another type of bird -- say, a bluebird or any of the Kardashians?  The diameter of the hole is critical.  Wrens are small and their houses feature an entrance hole 1" to 1-1/8" in diameter.  The hole on a house for the slightly larger bluebird is 1-1/4" and for one of the more surgically-altered Kardashians can be up to 4" in diameter.  The size of the entrance restricts a larger bird from entering and doing something antisocial like coming for dinner and eating the inhabitants.  I'm personally thinking of getting a smaller front door on my house for exactly this reason.  (Don't take this personally, Phil.)

The kit house as built by the little boys has the correct hole diameter but needs a few modifications to make it a perfect home for a wandering wren family.  First, wrens do not need a perch below the entrance hole.  Wrens don't use them but other birds appreciate the stability that the perches afford that permits a hungry guest to grab on while poking his head in for a baby wren snack.

"No wire hangers!"
Second, the metal hangers on the back are a great idea for placing the birdhouse on the siding of your house or on your expensive fence.  Or even to create a pathway for infection by nailing into one of your Dutch Elms in case you have $400 in tree removal money burning a hole in your pocket.  I love birds and all, but off with the stationary hanger and on with a nice padded cable to hang over a tree limb.  Wrens are one of the few birds to tolerate a birdhouse that swings gently in the breeze.

Air in, liquid out
Finally, these are birds that don't have maid service.  Like any dorm room, they need some air holes for ventilation and a couple of drainage holes in the floor to remove whatever liquid that may accumulate.

Martha's would have interior lighting

See the new Bear Scout.
He must stand here until Fall.

The paint is just for fun and to satisfy my inner Martha.  It's the same color as my front door and the trim on my mailbox.  Martha would approve.

Here is the completed birdhouse.  If you don't have a Cub Scout to hang your birdhouse from, I can set you up.

I know a guy.

He's a Scoutmaster.

One project down, three hundred to go.

For Rent

Be the first in your neighborhood to see this one room rental unit.  New construction and freshly painted.  Close to parks, schools, and bus lines.
Good ventilation.  No appliances included.  Natural heating and air conditioning.
"If you lived here, you'd be home already."


Your brother said...

I am not the character from Austin Powers that eats babies, I'm not even Scottish. But, if the smaller door keeps unwanted pests out, good. Maybe, I can climb through the bay window when it's open if you'd be kind enough to remove the screen. By the way, How's Mr. T getting in, or was that the idea also?

Burning Khrome said...

Hah! I KNEW that would solicit a comment. All in good humor.

Mr. T started going to the gym several times a week and has dropped 50 pounds or so. I am a bit under what I was in the Porkus days; that was an almost instantaneous weight loss after I departed their portal (equipped with a perch so that marauders could feast on occupants, by the way), so there may be something to that cortisol stress hormone connection. This still leaves me roughly the size and shape of a UPS drop-off box, so some rework is required there or I won't be able to go in and out the door either without greasing myself and a running dive. Look for a new blog tab shortly on this new couples project; the current codename is "Chubby Hubby Watch" though that may change (if someone tells T it's called that).

Many thanks, as always, for writing. Now I'm off to Ikea for a drug test. (What the heck does that mean?) All (or kind of all) will be revealed when I post for today.

Thanks for being there.

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