Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image


Before we left our Phoenix house in September, we arranged for a great deal of work to be done, and spent these past ten days down there making sure it all got done. And it did. Paint throughout, cabinet work, drywall work, and a new air conditioner in the single-bay garage (which will be my mad scientist’s workshop until I build a better one) among many other, smaller things. While we were there we had all the trees on the property trimmed to civilized proportions, had the AC vents cleaned, and had an interesting business called Seal Out Scorpions come out and, well, seal out scorpions by filling cracks and running matte-finish transparent silicone around the edges of all the wall plates. Those guys are into scorpions on a total lifestyle basis, and I learned a great deal about the little bastards just listening to scorpion guru Mike Golleher walk us through the seal-out process. They glow under UV, but I’m sure most of you knew that. (Didn’t you?)

Tourist shops around here sell lollipops with real scorpions in them. You probably didn’t know that.

The real mission was to make sure the house was ready to receive the Big Truck of Stuff, which is scheduled to arrive there on or about December 15. So we vacuumed and mopped and stacked spare floor tiles in the slump-block shed, collapsing into bed a little after nine every night. Oh, in truth we collapsed after spending half an hour in our hot tub, which made the collapsing all the more pleasant…especially on the night we knew Chicago was getting 16 inches of snow. I drew the outlines of my several workbenches in blue painter’s tape on the floor of the small garage. We figured out how to use the washer and dryer. We did not figure out–entirely–how to use the Nest thermostats, but they’re impressive in one slightly unnerving way: When you walk past one, even a couple of feet away, it wakes up the display. When this happened at 6 AM in a dark house, I jumped.

Workshop Taped.jpg

As aerobic as the trip was, we lucked out in a major way not once but twice. I had selected Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 as the successor to our increasingly cranky 2011-era Droid X2 phones some time back, but by the time I did, the inferior Note 5 was out and carrier shops around here no longer sold Note 4s. While shopping the Scottsdale Costco, I spotted a Note 4 on display at the smartphone kiosk. Assuming it was just display leftovers, I asked one of the kiosk guys if they still sold Note 4s. He looked up inventory, and sure enough, there were six of them on the shelves. Sold! said Jeff. We walked out with what amounted to a pair of unlocked phones on the Verizon network, which I’ve seen named as having the best coverage in the Phoenix metro area. At any time we can pay off the balance on the phones and take them elsewhere. I’m not used to that kind of deal in the smartphone world; perhaps the universe is now unfolding as it should.

The display is gorgeous, and although the upgrade to Lollipop (no scorpions!) ate up a spectacular amount of data, we’re very pleased with the phones. I’ll have more to say about them here once I’ve had a little more spare time to poke at them. Such time has been scarce; patience, patience.

Our second bit of luck was even stranger. Carol was going to supper with her friend Jan, and on the way to their favorite Paradise Bakery, they passed Oasis Waterbeds up near Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard. Out of the corner of her eye Carol saw what looked disturbingly like a “Going Out of Business” sign in the front window.

Whoops. We shopped there in August, and had decided to order a waterbed as soon as we got down there for the winter. Carol and Jan took a quick detour and confirmed that the store was half-empty, with inventory going fast. Carol cranked up her Note 4, buzzed me, and told me to get my hindquarters up there Right Damned Now.

A bit of backstory: Carol and I had a waterbed all the 13 years and change we lived in Scottsdale, and when we sold the house, the buyer asked if we’d sell him the bed. We decided to try the new Sleep Number technology when we got up to Colorado, and have been using that ever since. Sleep Number works well, but on balance, we both prefer the old waterbed. With growing alarm, we realized that there were only a handful of beds left in stock, and just a couple in Cal King. Had we waited until mid-December, there might have been none at all. So we bought one on the spot, for delivery December 17.

Crawling Eye Coffee Cup.jpg

Getting the rest of our Colorado house into boxes by December 9 is going to take everything we’ve got, so I expect to be scarce here, as much as there is to say. In closing, I must show you the Einstein Brothers coffee cup I got the morning we had breakfast there, at 64th and Greenway. Evidently Einstein’s has signed The Crawling Eye to be their holiday mascot for 2015. This would be a problem, if anybody but me remembered The Crawling Eye. (Hint: It was Forrest Tucker’s big film debut. Then again, since nobody but me probably remembers Forrest Tucker, that won’t help much.)


  1. I remember The Crawling Eye,thank you! 🙂

  2. Mike Weasner says:

    Just a reminder about scorpions. They like to eat bugs. Bugs that are attracted to light. Lights like porch lights, house lights, street lights. So to avoid scorpion problems, don’t leave outdoor lights on when not needed and live in a non-light polluted area. Oops, you are going to be in the Phoenix area. So much for living in a non-light polluted area… Guess you will have to deal with all the human health and wildlife health issues caused by unnecessary, poorly designed, poorly implemented artificial light at night.

    1. We actually chose the place we did because it was in an area of big lots, and–most peculiarly–*there are no streetlights.* Now, this doesn’t give us Palomar-class skies, but I can see way more stars there than I can in Colorado Springs, where there are streetlights everywhere. I’ll have a permanent pier at some point, and will use it to good effect.

      As for the scorps, well, we haven’t seen many out and around, and I’m not going to worry overmuch. We lived here for almost 14 years and saw only a few. I just don’t want them in the house.

      1. Dawn Dreams says:

        Can you see the Milky Way? If not, come to our house sometime. 🙂

        1. We may well do that..though lugging around my 10″ Newtonian is a project better suited for 20-year-olds than 63-year-olds. It’s a spectacular instrument, but so heavy and tricky to assemble that I’ve only used it a handful of times in the past 25 years.

          1. Dawn Dreams says:

            We’d be more than happy to set it up permanently on our property. Save you time you know, since it would take less time for you to drive to our house than it would for you to set it up and then take it back down. No, really, it’s all for you. Kindness of our hearts and all.

  3. Woodrow Stool says:

    “Those guys are into scorpions on a total lifestyle basis …”

    Thank you for writing a sentence I have never read before in my 56 years of breathing.

  4. RH in CT says:

    I can’t forget Forest Tucker because of F-Troop. I never was into movies like The Crawling Eye, but I see that the entire thing is apparently on YouTube.

  5. RH in CT says:

    This post is an experiment.




    1. RH in CT says:

      OK, that worked.

  6. For Dawn: This is my big scope, on the poured concrete pier I built in North Scottsdale in 2001, just before we lost our publishing company and decided to head north.

  7. Brant Herbert says:

    When the BToS is parked on your driveway, give a shout, I’d be happy to run over and give you a hand moving boxes. Would be great to see the both of you again.

  8. Rich Rostrom says:

    “They glow under UV, but I’m sure most of you knew that. (Didn’t you?)”

    Nope. But if you need scorpion defenses, you could get some of these little guys.

  9. […] back in my entry for November 24, 2015, I explained how we lucked into a pair of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphones. The Note 5 was […]

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