Biff Rambles On About … What Kind of Tree I Am, My Final Windows Update, and Book-fest At Tiffany’s

Biff Hiking #4

Today was a wonderful day here in Biffville (population:  content).

For one thing, it was Friday, and what’s not to like about that?

And secondly, even though I still had to go to work, it was virtually deserted there, so it felt sort of like a holiday.  Work is much more pleasant when no one is there.  I can actually get things done.

However, under those circumstances, I’m not really sure who I’m doing it for.

I feel like a tree falling in a forest.  If there’s no one there to watch me work, are any PowerPoints actually created?

And thirdly, and best of all, I got to spend some time with my daughter today.  That always makes for a perfect day.

Old Light Through New Windows

Earlier this week I had a chap come out and measure all the windows in my house so he could write up a quote for replacing them all.

I am taking this foolhardy action because every window in the house has lost their collective seals, thus releasing their argon back into the wild where it can roam free and live a more natural life.  For argon, it is a noble pursuit.

For the rest of us, argon is a noble gas.

When I was growing up, I never heard of anyone replacing the windows in their house unless someone threw a baseball through it, or maybe a brick with a note tied around it.  The windows lasted as long as the house did.  There are houses built in the 1700s with their original windows in them.

However, the builders of modern houses … or more accurately, the manufacturers of modern windows … decided that that system simply would not do.  Some genius in the window department came up with the idea of windows that would need to be replaced every 20 years or so.

It was a revolution in Windows technology (sort of the opposite of Windows Vista).

“Just imagine!” said the wide-eyed and enthusiastic young window designer as he took the podium to accept his Nobel Prize in Ignoble Marketing Ploys, “Windows!  That need to be completely replaced every 20 years or so!”

Amid the thunderous applause that shook the rafters and cheap seats of the Stockholm Concert Hall, a certain P.T. Barnum was overheard to say, “Dammit!  Why didn’t I think of that instead of that cockamamie circus idea?  Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

The thing about replacing the windows in one’s house, is that the price tag can easily begin to approach the cost of a new house.

Many a man has been overheard saying,

“Pack your stuff, Martha.  It’s time to replace the windows in the house, so we’re moving.”

“Wherever shall we go?” asks the overwrought Martha as she wrings her hands.

George stares grittily off into the distance, “We shall go where a man can be a man, and where windows never need to be replaced.”

“Oh God!” wails Martha, now distraught as well as overwrought.  “You’re not going back to Linux, are you?”

Anyway, I have not received the quote back yet.  So if you see a post from me in the next few days stating that I am moving, you’ll know that I finally got to see the quote.

Reading is Fund-duh-mental

I had an opportunity to go to Barnes & Noble tonight, so I took it.

Those of you who know me, know that B&N is like my own personal opium den.  I am often seen going in, but rarely seen coming out.  They generally have to throw me bodily from the store.  They sometimes set me out by the dumpster along with last month’s unsold magazines, the books from the “last chance!” cart whose idle threat did not entice anyone to buy them, and the giant stacks of “Cooking With Hagfish” cookbooks.

But tonight I did not buy anything.  (Yes, yes, I’m fine.  Thanks for asking.)

All I want to know is … when did magazines start costing as much as a hardback book?  I picked up several magazines that interested me and would have been glad to pay the reasonable price of, say, $6.99 or so.

But then I would see the $25 price tag and stagger back and nearly trip over the display of “Javascript for Infants” books.

It was not my intent to buy stock in the publishing company, only to buy a little piece of fluff to wile away an idle hour or so before tossing it into the recycling bin.   But if I were to pay $25 for a magazine, that would put it squarely into the “family heirloom” category.  I would have to keep it in the safety deposit box and would even have to throw away all of that useless Enron stock to make room for it.

Oh well … it was still fun browsing around B&N.

At least Archie Comics are still reasonably priced, as long as you don’t want the jumbo or the double digest editions.

The Dismount

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.

Tune in tomorrow when you will hear Biff say, “Au contraire, mon frère.  I am on Team Betty.  Veronica is much too high-maintenance.”









  1. Lucky for me I live in an old house where the windows were intended to last forever. I mean, so what if they have imperfections built in that make identifying that strange bird that just landed in the bush more challenging? Character I say, character!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is indeed character! Or provenance. Or something or other that adds value when I’m trying to buy a house, and subtracts value when I’m trying to sell it.

      I once read somewhere that glass is actually a liquid, albeit an incredibly viscous one. So that, after a hundred years or more, when windows get ripply, it is because they are slowly oozing towards the ground.

      Either that or I am developing cataracts at an incredibly slow pace.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good point!

      And they’re so old, they might have articles in them about things I actually care about. 99.9% of the magazines on the news stand nowadays have virtually nothing in them that interests me.

      Thank heavens for doctors’ offices!


  2. Well, I’ve learned something new. So that’s why our front windows have developed that permanent interior fog…planned obsolescence. This is only our second home ownership and our first house, remodeled and re-windowed in 1912, had removable storm windows. (Remember that spring and fall task?) As you say, replacing unbroken windows is an idea foreign to us of the older generation.

    My dear hubby lives at the bookstore. I, more virtuous dollar-wise, spend an hour now and then in the book section of Value Village. Then there are the bi-annual super-huge book sales… You must love them, too? That’s where you can get all those magazines at reasonable prices. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear about your windows! It is a fate that awaits us all who have houses newer than, say, about 1980. Maybe someday someone will invent a good energy-efficient window that only needs to be replaced every one or two hundred years.

      As for book sales … omg yes! They are my downfall. In this area there are innumerable library sales. In addition to that Half Price Books has a ginormous warehouse sale every year. I always ask my family to PLEASE do not let me go to that. But they never stop me. I think they are hoping that I get lost there and not come back home. Ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How true, beautiful stained glass windows that have been there for six hundre years are never replaced, but we have just had another round of double glazed window replacement so we can now see out of the front window and it doesn’t look like it’s always raining. I hope you don’t have our mini disater when they brought the wrong size window – TWICE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That sounds like some kind of crack team of window replacers! Sounds like the time I bought a refrigerator from Sears and they kept bringing out ones that had slight damage to them. The only problem is, they would never take the old ones away! At one point I had a garage full of brand new but slightly damaged refrigerators. I had a dickens of a time convincing them to come pick them up. They finally brought out a refrigerator that was still damaged, but the damage didn’t show, so I just accepted it so that I could get on with my life.

  4. Oh Biff, your window story…. Engineers all around the world have busted their butts making things less reliable, and they did a pretty darn good job! My favorite example is large appliances (oven, fridge, washer and dryer…) When I moved out of Mom and Dad’s house, they figured it was the perfect excuse to get rid of their old appliances, and get new shiny ones! So I inherited the whole set, of (ugly) yellow things, but they were all working very well…

    Mom and Dad changed their set at least once or twice since, and I still have my old yellow kit! It is almost as old as I am, and the washer and dryer might not sing songs to my clothes, or offer 19 modes I never would use, but they still work! My fridge keeps stuff cold, my oven makes things hot, and the other two make sure that my clothes are good looking and smelling great! LOL

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my gosh! I remember those old almond colored appliances. Or avocado colored ones. I’m sure they will come back into vogue someday soon, so keep holding on to them. I’m sure they’ll continue to work long after our sun has gone supernova.

      And I hate modern appliances for the same reason you mentioned: too many features! I don’t want to have to study the control panel of the space shuttle just to figure out how to wash a load of clothes. I no longer have the patience for such things.

      Plus, I suspect that all those different modes do exactly the same thing. They just want us to believe that the machine actually knows how to wash clothes better than we do.

      Liked by 1 person

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