this year was half OK. in a relative time sequence:

i started playing online poker

i added 1 year to my age

i started this blog. big deal

ol’podna stopped playing online poker

i started learning online poker

i enjoyed the soccer world cup. some posts about it resulted in my modest traffic records on this blog

ol’ podna resumed playing online poker – but i didn’t mention it in a blog post

i won the first bucks playing online poker. not enough to withdraw anything from my account

then i lost those first bucks, won again, lost again

my back pains kept worsening

i quit smoking. some would think it would deserve a post, perhaps a very special one, describing how and when and why and everything. it doesn’t – because it’s easier than anyone can imagine, even after 20 years, and from 3 packs a day. i didn’t even bother to remember the exact date. i just quit

the kids outgrew us: he‘s now taller than i am (i still keep an advance of some 20 pounds of weight heheheh), and his younger sister is now taller than ol’podna

my online poker account dropped below $100 again

drawing the line, i earned a little more than in 2009, but still not enough. enough for what? don’t ask. for instance, it was the second year in a row when we couldn’t afford proper vacations – but that’s nothing. i definitely have more white hairs than 1 year ago (they’re still a minority)

i am happier. it was the 6th year in the office

ladder to heaven

before writing about my martyrdom, a beautiful picture would beautifully illustrate this beautiful story. here it is:, it’s all you need. words are more important here.

my office needed a gymnastics ladder – well, not exactly the office, but since it’s where i sleep, eat, etc. it’s the same thing. i found a vendor on google, i saw that the goddam’ thing costed a little more than $100, and i decided to remain serene as long as i could.

so i ordered it unmounted, and i picked it up myself, to avoid the extra $10 for the delivery, plus presumably as much for having it fixed on the wall.

in theory, i had everything to mount and fix it myself – a drill with a hammer option, the skills, and the minimum IQ necessary to follow simple instructions. in practice, the serenity ended when i had to buy 2 more drill bits, for $30 – one for wood, and one for concrete.

ol’ podna couldn’t find the bits at the shop round the corner, while i was sticking the freakin’ bars into the freakin’ sides. no problem – i said, still keeping the appearance of serenity. i’ll go to the dyi shop as soon as i finish the assembly.

so i drove with my sore hands, with the blood at the inevitable scratches hardly stopped, with a burn blister (never touch a screwdriver bit after ruining a screw with the power drill – it’s hot!) and i bought the freakin’ drill bits. i came home, i drilled the wood, i hammer-drilled the concrete wall, i sought help from ol’podna to place the freakin’ thing horizontally, i gave up the ‘help’, i managed to do it right nevertheless, i ignored my back pain and i succeeded into still looking serene while testing the resistance, which was absolutely OK. i had my own doubts about the wall bars actually holding onto the wall with only 4 screws, but i got over it and i only showed the utmost confidence.

all the serenity was long gone, but the very last drop of appearance of serenity vanished when ol’podna concluded: ‘we should have paid the extra bucks and have it fixed by professionals’.

no, i won’t use the above line as a cheap closing quip. i’ll add here, in a fading lamentation — the frustration over the absurd uselessness of being a decent handyman —  the immense uselessness of keeping the goodwill and serenity one month after quitting smoking (i swear i never felt like lighting one, until i finished this job!) — the pathetic uselessness of the attempt to avoid an argument over the extra twenty or thirty bucks, beforehand (i perfectly knew it would have started) — — —


  • although i knew it was too late to point out, afterwards, that i have always favored paying extra for professional services, instead of injuring my hands and killing my back;
  • although i know it’s not easy for ol’podna being my ol’podna;
  • although i know she was equally sincere when she tries saving money and being sure that the ladder is sound;
  • although i know it’s even uglier to burst out after a loooong period of serenity (‘serenity now!!!’ remember george costanza’s father, from seinfeld?)

so, in spite of all these, boy, i DID point it out.

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