Biff Rambles On About … Road Rules, a Poison of Interest, and Taking a Victory Lap(top)

Biff Hiking #4

I am always tempted to begin these sorts of posts with a jubilant, “I’m back!” However, more often than not the overwhelming response is a a confused-sounding, “Who are you again?”

I get the same response at work when I go back after a week’s vacation.

Well, the truth of the matter is that I am back. I have been away for a week and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a vacation, it did involve traveling and being away from home. I have four criteria that must be met before something can be called a vacation:

  1. It must be away from home and even outside my home city (i.e. it cannot be a “stay-cation”)
  2. It must not involve traveling to anywhere to visit relatives
  3. There must be no getting of small children or pets onto a plane. This also applies to car trips of more than about 30 minutes.
  4. There must be no mention of work and certainly I must not have to take work along with me or be contacted by anyone from my place of employment

My trip last week only failed one criteria (#2), but as that ended up being quite pleasant, I am willing to waive that one and go ahead and call it a vacation.

Don’t worry: I will not be droning on about my vacation or showing you a million boring pictures of the trip. I might do so in the near future, but if I do, I will spread it out over several posts and will try to keep them short and pithy and easy to scroll past if you choose to do so (and I expect you will).

But, even though I enjoyed a wonderful week in the warm, magnolia-scented, slow-paced Deep South (Alabama), I am glad to be back home. I say that in spite of the fact that the first thing I had to do when I got back home was to get outside and try to tame the lawns that had somehow become overgrown in just one week. I guess it is true what they say:

When the owner is away, the grass will play.

Or something like that.

Or maybe it was:

An unwatched lawn always overgrows.

But whatever aphorism caused it, I had to get out and edge and mow and generally spruce up casa de Biff. And, after enjoying a week of temperatures in the low 80s (29 C) with cooling evening showers, it was quite a shock to the system to suddenly be exposed to one hundred degrees in the shade (38 C in the metric shade)!

Unfortunately, before I could do that, I had to take care of a few unpleasant tasks. It appears that one of my neighbors decided to re-enact “The Pied Piper of Hamelin“, but using chemicals instead of a musical instrument. Therefore, I had to remove from my back yard, three and a half rodents that were in various states of disassembly and with several key components missing, making refurbishing them all but impossible.

Hey, I dislike rats as much as the next person. I keep my yard and my house tidy so as to discourage them setting up shop on my property. However, I bear them no particular ill will and, as long as they stay outside where they belong, I am content to let Nature, in the form of hawks and cats, take care of things as she sees fit. However, it angers me that people feel they should take such matters into their own hands by setting out poison. After all, they are not only poisoning the rats, they are poisoning anything that subsequently eats the rats (such as the aforementioned hawks and cats). People can be so irresponsible sometimes.

But I am not here to talk of such things. Life is depressing enough as it is. One only has to turn on the news for 30 seconds or look at one’s latest 401K statement to confirm that. So I am going to not ruin the afterglow of my vacation by thinking about such things.

Instead, I will concentrate on the day ahead, which I hope will involve me buying a new laptop computer. Yes, you heard correctly: I still have not replaced my PC, which, like the rats mentioned earlier in this post, ceased performing its duties.

I am rediscovering that buying a new laptop is a frustrating, exasperating, and needlessly complex task. Laptop manufacturers have all conspired together to make sure that you cannot get every feature you want in a single laptop. Or, if you can find a laptop with all of the features you want, it costs about the same as a new Ferrari.

But I simply must do it today. I have grown quite weary of this antiquated, Ubuntu-infested relic that I rescued from the depths of my junk closet to serve as a temporary replacement for my defunct laptop. I am tired of its main feature, which seems to be a propensity to lock up every 20 or 30 minutes for no particular reason. I suspect there is a memory leak. I suffer from the same malady, so I can recognize the symptom in others.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and I hope to be back soon with some (mercifully short) posts about my trip to Alabama. You cannot say you have not been warned. This might be a good time for you to go on a vacation of your own.


    • That would explain everything! My hamster-powered laptop has lost its hamster. I wonder if I can replace it with a similar sized rodent? Most modern computers have two and sometimes four hamsters apiece now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Pat! I didn’t know you were from Alabama. And you’re right. I should have said “slowER paced”. My Mom lives in a tiny little town and nothing moves at a frenetic pace there. But that is not true of, say, Tuscaloosa or Birmingham or Huntsville.

      And I love grits!


  1. Good luck with the computer and the vacation sounds good. I look forward to seeing photos and hearing stories about it. You tell a good story. I am worried about going on vacation now and coming home to find dead rodents in my yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nick! It was a really good vacation. I wouldn’t worry about finding expired rodents when you return. I think I just had a poison-happy neighbor while I was away. Enjoy your vacation!


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