What’s That Smell?

Him: Do you have the oven on?

Her: No. What I’m smelling right now is lighter fluid. Like someone is firing up a BBQ.

Him: Yes, lighter fluid! Why do I smell it in the house?

Her: Kitchen window is open. I’ll investigate.

So I did investigate. First I stuck my nose up to the kitchen window. The lighter fluid smell was coming from outside, but no neighbors were outside. I didn’t hear the sounds of anyone having a BBQ. All the yards were dark. To get a better bead on where the smell might be coming from, I stepped out onto the front stoop.

The smell of butane slapped me in the face so hard it made my eyes water. There was no telling what direction the scent was wafting from, because it was everywhere.

Other people likely would have called neighbors, the gas company, or maybe 911. I shrugged my shoulders, went back inside, closed the kitchen window, reported to the husband it smelled like someone had crop dusted our street with lighter fluid, and went back to making dinner. If I’m going to die in a fiery conflagration, I’d prefer to do it on a full stomach. Wouldn’t want to arrive in any possible afterlife with low blood sugar and a grumbling tummy.

By the time we sat down to eat a few minutes later, the smell had dissipated, at least inside our house, so I forgot all about it. We ate, watched an episode of Star Trek Prodigy, I did a little reading, and then off to bed I went. With not a care in the world and my stomach pleasantly filled with feta and basil ravioli, I immediately fell into a deep slumber.

This is probably where you’re thinking we were rudely awakened in the middle of the night by some terrifying catastrophe, but no, we were not. I slept for for four hours, awakened at 2 am as I do these days, and bounced off to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. While I was waiting for the water to boil, light coming from the neighbor’s workshop caught my eye. I hadn’t noticed whether or not they were on during the nasty smell event during my dinner making, but why would I? It’s as normal for those lights to be on at all hours of the night as it is for the stars to be in the sky.

The fact our neighbor is in his workshop tonight, doing whatever it is he does back there, does provide a possible answer to why the air was thick with the smell of lighter fluid. I’ve only been in his workshop once. It was a tool-filled place which also contained a gas welding rig and a variety of other tanks/containers holding an assortment of gases/liquids that required warning stickers. Unless further evidence presents itself, or I hear anything on the grapevine, I’m just going to assume he had some sort of incident in the workshop involving butane or kerosene.

If I bump into him on trash day, maybe I politely ask if they noticed any strange smell on Saturday night. More likely, now that I’ve written it all down, I will forget all about the night the air smelled of lighter fluid. Unless it happens again. Once is weird. Twice in a period of time before I have forgotten the first instance escalates the situation greatly. I would prefer the air outside my house not reek of chemicals on the regular. Can’t be healthy.

And thus ends my tale of the Stinky Air Incident. 🤣

Note: There are probably a hundred other explanations for why I stepped onto the front stoop and got slapped in the face with the overwhelming smell of lighter fluid, but this one seems most likely. I love our neighbors. They’re odd in all the right ways.

Computer? Computer!

Yesterday, while looking for a particular book on my crowded shelves, I ran across my old Acer Aspire One netbook. I promptly forgot about the book I was looking for and plugged in the netbook to see if it still ticked at all. It did, but as I dabbled with it off and on over the course of the day, it was obvious it needed a new battery and a bunch of other work to be usable for anything, and even if I did all the things, it still wouldn’t really be usable for much of anything. It was barely usable when it was new! So back on the shelf it went. Was fun messing around with it though, and I did find some long forgotten files on it that I may some day remember to get onto some other device. Or not. Maybe they’re best forgotten!

When the husband came home from work, I told him about messing around with my netbook, and naturally, he thought I was trying to solve my problem of not having a desktop computer with the old netbook. Yes and no. A little bit of me had hoped it would at least work well enough to work on the backend of my websites with, and if it could have done only that, I’d have been very pleased, but no way no how does a netbook replace a desktop. Never did. I do though need some sort of actual computer. Using an iPad for everything is wearing me down. My iPad is great, I love it, and it blows the pants off the old netbook (even when it was brand spanking new), but iPads are also not appropriate for every activity.

This morning I’ve once again explore keyboard cases for the iPad. I’ve regularly checked in on them since my very first iPad. I’ve never bought one. The reviews have always been so mixed, so it’s hard to tell if they are all crap or not. The ones that look like they might be best aren’t cheap, and at the point where I’m spending half the cost of a laptop on a keyboard case, I pause. Not having a physical keyboard is not the only irritation my iPad workflow causes me. Lot of money to solve one problem, you know?

So I continue to get all my computer related work done on my iPad, as I wait impatiently for Apple to come out with the next greatest iMac. I miss my iMac. Not enough to spend money getting a 17 year old computer looked at by someone who could fix it, but I miss having a desktop computer. All the things I need to do are so much easier to do on one. But I want the very newest possible iteration of the iMac, and so I wait on Apple to present one to the public. It’s been a long wait. Too long.

Likely because he’s tired of listening to me complain, the husband has offered to fix up his old laptop for me to use. It really just needs new heat gel put on the processor, irritating to do but not terrible to get done. I’m probably going to pester him about it this weekend, because I’d like to get back to actual computing ASAP. It’ll be the first time I’ve used a Windows PC since 2006, and while generally I’d say I’m not going to enjoy it that much, I don’t know. I’m sure things have changed. It’s possible I adapt, and then I don’t even need a new iMac.

Who am I kidding? Of course I need a new iMac. I’m a member of the Cult of Apple. There is no way I can possibly be deprogrammed. I fell I love with the Apple IIe a million years ago, and then came the Macintosh. I may have been stuck using Windows boxes for ages, but in 2006 I finally got my own Apple computer, and I knew I’d never go back. Until now, because I have to, and I’m going insane trying to get things done on this iPad.