This would be Day 275 of this blog. I started out posting, or trying to post, daily.
Now I’m posting only sporadically.
Really, I’d prefer to use this domain name for a different purpose.
Soon, if I can figure it out, I’ll move my whining and rambling to a different site.
If I can’t figure it out, I’ll probably just delete all this and start over.
Starting over can be a good thing, right?

:: sigh :: I’ve wasted too much time trying to figure out the easy way to move the content of ChamberOfChaos over to the new site, PikeyFatGit.com. I’m sure there’s a clever, tech-literate way to simply re-point the domain or to copy over the SQL database files. Thus far, though, my several attempts have resulted in “breaking” the sites. The PFG site seems to be particularly touchy regarding “database errors.”

Thus, I think, if I decide to save the content of this lamentable blog, I’ll go about the task the old-fashioned way — I’ll copy and paste the posts one at a time, changing the dates accordingly. At over two-hundred posts, it might take a while. I’d probably be better off just starting over.

I’ll decide later. Right now I’m working on another “retro-reprint” self-publishing project.

72. The Secret of the Desert by E. Douglas Fawcett

The Secret of the Desert; or How We Crossed Arabia in the 'Antelope' by E. Douglas Fawcett (1895)

The Secret of the Desert; or How We Crossed Arabia in the ‘Antelope’ by E. Douglas Fawcett (1895)

 The Secret of the Desert; or How We Crossed Arabia in the ‘Antelope’, by E. Douglas Fawcett is now available, carefully transcribed in its entirety from an 1895 original, formatted for the Amazon Kindle… and at a reasonable price!

CLICK — See It on Amazon — CLICK


A few more people have looked at the house, but no serious interest. Oh, sure everybody would “buy it right now” if it were the whole house, rather than just a CPR “half of a duplex.” But if it were the whole house, the price would be nearly three times what we’re asking!

I think the best bet is to make some money some other way and pay off some bills and debts and then lower the asking price. By a lot.

I really don’t want to be living here anymore.

Meanwhile, on the fat front, I’m still hovering around the 202 pounds mark; 201.8 today, somehow UP almost half a pound since yesterday.

In another hundred days I’ll have been updating this blog, more or less regularly (considerably less regularly recently) for a year. What will I have to show for it. At the moment, after 260 days… absolutely nothing.

Why is change, or more specifically, positive change, so difficult to achieve?

I ran across this cute blog site, Knotted Things, today while following links on the internet. You know how that goes. Another person who becomes obsessed with hobbies.

And this guy has been documenting his collection of vintage video recording equipment for years. He has video recording tubes dating back to the 1930s and 1940s in his collection, in working condition!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Weight: 201.8 pounds.

One of my co-workers started a weight lost program last weekend. It’s one of those programs based around purchasing a nutritional power, alternating the “nutrient drinks” every two hours with small snacks of vegetables or fruit. Caffeine and alcohol are eliminated from the diet. My co-worker, who was essentially the same weight as I am (within a pound or three, according to the balance scale at work), has already lost ten pounds. Ten pounds in a week!

He said he’s starting the plan because he had reached the point where he wasn’t feeling well and had to do something about it. And so far, he’s doing great! He says the caffeine withdrawal (mostly coffee, and some soda) was mild and only lasted a day or so. He hasn’t felt lethargic or tired.

One thing he didn’t like: whatever the program is – I can’t remember the name – it’s one of those that “encourages” participants to sign up their friends and become distributors. He said that almost turned him off to the program. He simply wanted something that would enable him to drop some pounds. He’s just buying the concoction right now, and following the plan, and has no interest in becoming a sales rep.

Another of my co-workers apparently used this program a couple of years ago and found it effective. She liked the “purge and cleanse” aspect of cutting the junk out of her diet.

I looked at the ingredients list on the compound. It’s mostly powdered grain products – rice, primarily, along with oats and wheat, I think. Definitely not “gluten-free,” and certainly not Paleo.

I have totally fallen off the Paleo and any other health, diet, or fitness plan I may have been toying with. I might have to start up again – just so I can drop the same kind of weight as my co-worker while eating steak and bacon; his plan calls for basically eliminating meat from the meal plan. It was funny – today he said he’s already starting to worry that ultimately he may not even want to eat the foods he used to love!

Meanwhile, on the house front: nothing to report. forty-five days on the market, a half-dozen or so showings, no serious interest. But because of the nature of the house, I realize it will require a “specialty” buyer – or a stupid buyer, like we were.

I wish I could just pay the d@mn thing off. Then I wouldn’t worry about whether I sold it or not. So, all these bloggers who write vague lifestyle blogs about starting their own online businesses and making tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars a month while living a location-independent lifestyle – what is it that they’re actually doing to make all that money? And how many of them are lying about making all that money? Some of the blog sites I look at certainly don’t receive very many comments. Are these people, like, dealing drugs on the side, or what? Other than the people with tech skills who market “apps” for smartphones, and maybe a few of the people who publish self-help eBooks (while probably writing sasquatch-pr0n on the side under a pseudonym), I find it hard to believe that a lot of these people are even eking out a living, let alone traveling the world while raking in the Big Bucks. Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, yeah, they’re probably making the dough. The Tropical MBA guys are probably legit. I would love to be pulling in a “six-figure income.” I’d have my house paid off in a couple, three, or four years. But according to statistics I found online, fewer than twenty percent of U.S. households make over $100,000 a year. That’s households, not individuals.

Apparently most of the Lifestyle Bloggers are in that category. Twice. They gave up six-figure incomes and now make even more money without being chained to a cubicle.

I need to turn this blog into a vague, repetitive “success” blog.

Actually, I need to go eat supper. It’s spaghetti tonight. Not Paleo.


32. Your Website Hacked By Cyb3R Sw0rD

Friday the Thirteenth!


I navigated to the site this afternoon and found this glorious image in place of the usual WordPress page:

The retro-80s video game style text, somewhat reminiscent of what I remember from the old TRS-80 computers, redirects to another page, complete with kitschy midi music:

An internet search for “cyb3r sw0rd hacks” quickly turns up the Cyb3R Sw0rD FaceBook page:

I kinda figured I’d need to delete and re-install all the WordPress files on my host server. When I logged in to the server just now, though, I discovered that the Cyb3R Sw0rD hackers did exactly what they claimed; that is, they did not “harm” the site, they merely “defaced” it by inserting an “index.html” file that over-rides the WordPress “index.php” file. Deleting the index file restored the site.

In accordance to Cyb3R Sw0rD‘s suggestion, I think I had best revisit my WordPress password choices!



201.8 pounds.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of being fat.

I’m tired of being broke.

I’m tired of my job.

I’m tired of being tired.

I’m. Just. Tired.

Spring break starts… in a few hours. All I gotta do is get through this last day at werk. Gonna use the break to re-set, re-group, re-energize, re-whatever. I’d re-wind if I could.

Except, there are already a bunch of “things” that “need to be done.” Get a new propane tank. Finish painting the eves. Fix the sagging deck post. Fix the decaying trim boards around the base of the house. Oh, and people keep showing up to visit. I don’t wanna seem like I’m anti-social or rude, but I have limited time to do stuff, and even more limited money, and even going out for dinner at this point is a stretch.

What I want to do, but won’t have time or resources: resume exercising and running and eating right; write an stupid eBook novel and post it to Amazon for Kindle; finish editing my friend’s eBook; beta read and comment on my other friend’s eBook; continue with the decluttering; sell a bunch of crap on eBay and throw the rest away.

Will a week be enough time? No. I’ll have to prioritize.

I’ll probably end up sleeping. And wasting time on the internet.


I just logged on to eBay to check some prices. eBay has changed the layout of the item page. THEY NO LONGER SHOW THE FULL ITEM DESCRIPTION! There’s the “Item Specifics” box, and then there’s a “See full item description” link. You have to click the link to see the item description.

There’s already a problem with buyers not reading the descriptions and then demanding refunds because the item is “not as described.” eBay is now making it even easier for buyers to ignore the item description; they’re also making it more difficult for serious, careful buyers to find and read the item description.

Currently there is a “what do you think” survey button next to the “see full item description” link. I just now clicked on it. I selected the “I don’t like it” response, and added the following comment:

This is STUPID! But I guess you’re catering to the cell phone crowd. For me as an eBay seller, you insist that I describe the item completely and accurately, but now you make it more difficult for buyers to see the description, and you open the sellers up to even more frequent charges of “item not as described” because the buyer did not bother to click through to read the entire description.

As a buyer, you are doing me a disservice by making sellers less inclined to provide detailed descriptions, as they will feel it’s a waste of time since the description will not be readily visible anyway.

eBay is becoming increasingly seller AND buyer unfriendly, at least to those of us who like to consider our purchases or accurately and completely describe items we are selling. Perhaps your new approach will increase your sales to mobile-device shoppers. I suspect it will also lead to a higher percentage of returns.

I shouldn’t have to “dig” to find the item description, particularly on pre-owned items. As a buyer, this cinches it;I’m done with eBay.

I guess I should hurry up and list the last of my crap on eBay… and be prepared for a lot of return requests from people who don’t read the description. I’m done buying through eBay, and I hope, soon, to be done selling as well. Extra clicks — a giant step BACKWARDS in internet functionality! Thank you, cell phone culture!


DAY TWENTY. Twenty percent into the THIRD “One Hundred Days.” What do I have to show for it? A house that’s on the market. A house that’s on the market with almost no interest, and the few who have looked at it probably left wishing they had not wasted their time.

Every time I go to simply clean or touch up or rearrange something I find major problems. The kind of problems that those people on the TV home improvement or real estate shows would make a big deal out of: “Oh, this is serious!” “Uhm… this is going to be expensive.” “I’m afraid I have some bad news.” “This was unexpected.” “We’ll have to call in a specialist on this.” Wood rot and termite damage are the main issues. Rust… everything metal has rusted. Yes, kids, aluminum will rust, or more accurately, corrode and disintegrate.

Plus, I’m still working on stuff. Stuff I own. Possessions. Clutter. It’s endless. How have I accumulated so much? How is it that the more I discard, the more I still seem to have?


I looked at my LiveJournal account today for the first time in a year. Yes, it’s been almost exactly a year. It must be a February thing, because the last time I updated LJ was February 2014.

Three of my LJ contacts still post. Zannah is posting daily, chatty, entertaining slice-of-life vignettes. Her posts are actually RSS feeds from her blog, Vox Machina. SjonSvenson posts at least a few times a week, generally with brief observations from the office in which he works. LilRonGal posts a few times a month. Pretty much everybody else seems to have given up on LJ completely around 2012.

LiveJournal is owned by a Russian conglomerate now. There are options on the home page for viewing the site in Cyrillic.

LJ friend DBlume responded to my LJ lament with a comment:

It’s only thanks to RSS that I get notified that you posted. Don’t bother being sad about LiveJournal’s transition. Life is change. Do you have any other online haunts nowadays?

“Life is change.” Yes, for most people it is, I suppose. I went back and looked at my first few LiveJournal posts, from back in 2002. Marc 2002, in fact. The first post is about having nothing to say. That hasn’t changed. The third post is something about decluttering. About trying to thin out my possessions. Thirteen years of writing about the same stuff and doing the same stuff.

Obviously life is not always change, at least not for all of us. My life doesn’t seem to have changed. I’m older. I’m fatter. I’m poorer. And I’m whining about the exact same stuff as I was thirteen years ago.

I wonder if I can set up an RSS feed so ChamberOfChaos will post to LiveJournal?


The Clutter Cure (©2007) by Judi Culbertson is a sort of hybrid between the “psychological approach” and the “practical approach” to decluttering. The book includes a few worksheets, but not so many as to serve as a distraction as with other books. The approach Culbertson suggests is to go through each room and make lists based on various criteria before starting the actual cleaning out and discarding. She’s realistic enough, and approaches the subject with enough humor, to admit that sometimes she simply wants to tell her clients (particularly when it comes to paper hoarding), “get rid of all of it!”