A MOUSE’S TALE – BY TOM CURLEY

This is a tale of a mouse. A mighty mouse. No, not this one.

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More like this one.

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What makes a mighty mouse? What makes a mouse mighty? I say it’s by doing mighty deeds. But what motivates a mighty mouse to do mighty deeds?

A sense of duty? Honor?  Is it because he has the firm conviction to never give up? Never surrender?

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Or could it be because he is really, really, really stoned? Allow me to explain.

This is a true story. You can’t make this up. OK, I guess you could make it up. But that’s not the point!  I’m not making it up. It really happened.

We have a mouse problem at our house. The problem being that we have a mouse in our house. OK, to be honest, we probably have more than one mouse. They tend to hang out in groups. I don’t want to bring in an exterminator because, well they exterminate. I have no beef with the mice. I just don’t want them in the house. So I bought one of those “mice repelling noise generators” that’s supposed to drive the mice out of the house.

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I put it in the basement where all the mice are. Or were. The device worked. Sort of. It drove them out of the basement, but it didn’t drive them out of the house. It drove them upstairs. Well, at least it drove one of them upstairs.

Every night for the last month, between the hours of 9 PM and 10 PM, while we are watching television, Ellin would suddenly scream “Did you see that? A mouse came up from the basement and ran across the hall!”

Insert mouse running here.

I never would see it. It happened really fast. About a half hour later Ellin would see him running back down into the basement. This happened every night.  We soon surmised that the mouse was running into our mud room. Why?

We finally realized we had stored a bag of dog food in the mudroom. It had ripped open a few months back. Ellin thought she had cleaned up all the loose kibble. Obviously, she hadn’t. Our mouse was making a dinner run, then going home. Home. To our basement.

One of the rooms in our basement is our studio. I left a little plastic baggie on a table that contained three gummy fish candies.

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They weren’t regular gummy fish candies. They were “special” gummy fish candies. According to the label, they each contained 10% THC. Pot. They had been on the table for about a month. Then one day about a week ago, I went downstairs and noticed that the little plastic bag was still there, but the “candies” weren’t.

My first thought was. “Damn it! A mouse stole my stash!”

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But then my second thought was “Damn, a mouse ate all three of those candies? Wouldn’t that kill him?” Then I thought, “Well, maybe it was more than one mouse.”

I then imagined what the conversation must have been between them about 4 hours after they ate my stash.


MOUSE 1: Whoa …

MOUSE 2: Have you ever thought that maybe the whole universe is just a single atom in a single molecule of a single cell that is part of a really big, really huge mouse?

MOUSE 3: Whoa …

MOUSE 1: Have you ever looked at your paws? I mean, really looked at them?

MOUSE 3: Whoa …

MOUSE 2: What were we talking about?


I forgot about the whole incident until the next night. Ellin and I were again watching TV when we heard a really odd, loud scratching sound coming from the kitchen. I got up and walked into the kitchen.  I found our mouse trying to open the lid to the wooden bin where we store our dry dog food.

Actual dog food box.( Note the TiVo box. It becomes relevant later)

He was so intent on what he was doing I was almost able to catch him and put him outside. But at the last second, he saw me and ran away. I then realized that if anybody needed proof that you can’t overdose on pot, I was looking at it. I couldn’t help but hum a variation of that song “High Hopes”.

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Everyone knows a mouse can’t,
Raise the lid of that box.
But he had high hopes,
He had high hopes,
He had high apple pie in the sky hopes.

And laughing to myself I went upstairs to go to sleep. I was awakened early the next morning to Ellin downstairs screaming.

TOM! THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE DOG FOOD!!!

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I ran downstairs and looked in the box. No mouse.

“Are you sure he was in there?” I asked my wife.

“Yes, he ran over my hand!!”

So, as my wife freaked out and I couldn’t stop laughing, both of our dogs glowered at us. Basically saying “Mouse, schmouse. Where the hell is our breakfast?”

Uh, Hello? Two dogs waiting for breakfast sitting here!

So now we have to put an old unused TiVo box on the dog food bin. Why a TiVo box? It was there. (I told you it would become relevant to the story)

The mouse is still in the house. He hasn’t come back upstairs in days. Maybe he left.  Maybe he’s still full. Maybe he’s just looking at his paws.

So there you have it. The tale of a mouse.

A mighty mouse.

A mighty, stoned mouse.

Everyday goodies that make a difference …

I write a lot about computers and computer-related equipment. I also write a good deal about photography and photographic equipment. Strangely missing from my writing are the many “low tech” items on which I depend and many of which are so integral to my life that I don’t know how I would manage without them. Most of these were reviewed on Amazon, which for a variety of reasons, is my shopping site of choice. Most of these items are available elsewhere, but not around here.


Copco 2510-9963 Acadia Reusable To-Go Mug, 16 Ounce Capacity
Price: $7.99

Copco 2510-9963 Acadia Reusable To-Go Mug, 16-Ounce Capacity (Kitchen)

Copco 2510-9963 Acadia Reusable To-Go Mug, 16-Ounce CapacityEver since Dunkin Donuts “improved” their cups, I have been looking for travel cups with a screw top that are big enough (16 oz.), will fit in my car’s cup holders, and will help me not spill my coffee into my computer keyboard. I have very specific preferences in lidded cups. I hate handles and the pressure fitted lids that explode all over the place when you open them.

I was actually searching for a new coffee machines — not finding what I wanted — and there were these cups. I read other reviews, then ordered 4 of them.

I don’t know how I lived without them. They are solid and the screw tops have a rubber gasket inside the lid that, assuming you get the lid on straight, keeps the coffee in the cup and off your clothing and equipment. It also keeps your coffee warm much longer than most of these cups.  They required just a quarter turn to open or close and you don’t have to jiggle it around to get it to fit on straight. They don’t have handles to get in the way and they fit comfortably into auto cup holders. They are not bad-looking, either. AND they were very reasonably priced.

Well designed, right-sized, and a great price! I haven’t drowned a keyboard since I got these about a year ago. That’s a record.


Logitech Wireless Mouse M310 Dark Aces (910-002087)
Offered by LLYtech
Price: $14.71

Logitech Wireless Mouse M310 Dark Aces (910-002087)Logitech Wireless Mouse M310 Dark Aces (910-002087) (Personal Computers)

I have a lot of computers in my home, 8 or 9 at last count. I have 4 of these mouses (don’t argue; mice are fuzzy and squeak, mouses are electronic and point). One lost a foot after heavy use and has become a back up  … but it still works. These never die from use. If you drop them often enough, they might break, although I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped mine and it doesn’t seem to mind … but wear out? Not in my experience.

I’ve had many mouses from many manufacturers and my favorites have all been from Logitech. Of the many Logitech mouses — and they certainly make a wide variety from ultra high-tech to basic and compact — this model is my favorite, not only mine, but everyone in the house. It’s a good size for any hand, large or small. It’s comfortable, accurate, and it doesn’t have any bells or whistles which for me is a big plus. The transmitter is tiny; you can leave it in your laptop. It won’t get in the way when you pack the computer in its case, even if it’s a tightly fitting case. Its one of the ones that theoretically you can use to operate multiple devices, but I’ve never succeeded to making it perform properly and inevitably wind up using a receiver for each device. It works without special software. It has what you need, no extra doodads, wheels, or buttons to annoy me. I have had fancier mouses and hated them. I always return to this model.

It comes in more colors and designs than I can count and at least one of them is always on sale. If you aren’t picky about the color, you can find what you one  at a price you can afford. If you’re picky, you can pay more and get something that will match your computer, your decor, or your shoes. This one tickled my fancy. It’s a bit girly, but I’m a girl. I gave my husband the solid red one, which was okay with him and took this one, which he felt was a tad feminine for his taste. My granddaughter has a blue striped one. My son has a grey one with some sort of design. Other than the color on the casing, they are exactly the same and work precisely the way you want a mouse to work.

I love Logitech products. I have Logitech keyboards, mouses, speakers, and other accessories. They are well made, reasonably priced, and last forever. You can’t ask for more.


Lodge Logic L8DOL3 Pre-Seasoned 5-Quart Dutch Oven with Loop Handles
Price: $29.99

Lodge Logic L8DOL3 Pre-Seasoned 5-Quart Dutch Oven with Loop Handles

Lodge Logic L8DOL3 Pre-Seasoned 5-Quart Dutch Oven with Loop Handles (Kitchen)


Stuck as I am with an electric range, the Lodge series of cast iron solve so many problems. Their flat bottoms work fine on my smooth top stove. I’m sure it would work just as well on a gas range. Great cookware.

You can keep a pot of chili or pasta sauce simmering without scorching for hours … and there is nothing easier to maintain than cast iron. Treated with even minimal care, these will last forever and are as non-stick as Teflon without the side effects.

It’s easier to clean than even the best stainless steel, better quality and a more durable almost anything … certainly more so than fancy and much more expensive brands.  I’ve owned all kinds of cookware over the past 40 years and finally, came back to where I started: nothing is better than cast iron and Lodge makes excellent cookware in all the right shapes and sizes. Whatever you need, they make it and you can probably afford it. It doesn’t get better than this.

If there is a fault, it is that it is very heavy. This pot, when full, weighs a lot. NOT something to pick up with one hand!

That being said, I have a whole set of this cookware and I love and use every single piece of it. It’s the best.


Lodge LCC3 Logic Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker
Price: $29.99

Lodge LCC3 Logic Pre-Seasoned Combo CookerLodge LCC3 Logic Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker (Kitchen)


Talk about useful, this is as close to a pot that will do everything as any pot possibly could. Chili pot, frying pan, dutch over, stew pot … that and more. If it has a flaw, it is the problem with all good cast iron … it is heavy. This is a very substantial piece of cast iron and when it is full, even heavier (obviously). It can be difficult for someone with weak wrists to lift. That being said, its advantages hugely outweigh any problems. It heats evenly and keeps an even temperature. It works very well on my flat-topped electric range because it has a flat, smooth bottom. No small thing if you are stuck with using an electric stove. I should think it would work even better on a gas range.

It holds enough to feed a family, if not a crowd. It is the perfect pot for a couple and is my go-to pot for just about everything. Season it properly, treat it as cast iron requires and you will have a lifetime of use from it. Best pot I’ve ever owned and that includes some absurdly expensive pieces from big name manufacturers. The frying pan top is relatively shallow and you can use it as you would a griddle. Great for eggs … or pancakes. Or anything else, actually. I recommend this without reservation.


Dial AA and AAA Battery Storage Box
Offered by MMP Living
Price: $4.04

Dial AA Battery Storage BoxDial AA Battery Storage Box (Kitchen)

It’s exactly what it says it is … and just what I need.  After I made the big move to rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, figuring out what to do with them so they wouldn’t get lost became increasingly urgent. You’d think it would be no big deal to find a convenient and inexpensive box in which to store your charged batteries … but you would be wrong. Most of the boxes are fancy, expensive … overkill in the extreme.  Then, I found this and the problem went away. Light, small, closes securely.

Good rechargeable batteries are expensive, so you don’t want to lose them. You can pay a lot of money for something fancy that does the same thing, but this works, holds both AA and AAA. It’s the no frills solution.  Sturdy and worth the money.


OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Utensil Holder
Price: $19.99

OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Utensil Holder (Kitchen)
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Utensil Holder

I like to keep utensils within reach while I’m cooking. This means next to the stove on the counter top. I want to be able to grab things I use for daily cooking without searching. Many times, I’d just as soon not leave whatever is cooking, even for a couple of minutes, so having things within arm’s reach and visible matters.

I’ve used all kinds of containers to hold the spatulas, wooden spoons, and those myriad hand tools I use daily, but none of them enabled me to keep them in any kind of order so that I could grab what I wanted without dumping everything all over the place. This container is the best looking container I’ve found, but its design is also practical. It fit in a narrow space, yet it holds a lot of utensils and keeps them upright and separated. It contains everything I need and with room for more. I thought I was being self-indulgent when I bought it, but it has turned out to be a big improvement in “kitchen dynamics.” Easy to clean, too.


Eco To Go Cold Drink Tumbler – Double Wall 16 oz. Capacity – Smoke
Offered by California Tools
Price: $2.99

Eco To Go Cold Drink Tumbler - Double Wall -16oz. Capacity - SmokeEco To Go Cold Drink Tumbler – Double Wall 16 oz. Capacity – Smoke

I am always toting a drink around with me, usually fruit juice. It’s next to me when I travel, watch TV and most importantly, work at the computer. I am not the most graceful individual and have knocked over a lot of drinks over the years. I get particularly twitchy about having a glass of liquid next to the computer and have been looking for a cold drink cup with a good cover for years. This is IT. It’s big enough, solidly made, keeps stuff cold, is easy to clean and sturdy. It fits fine in my car’s cup holders too. And finally, with 3 dogs in the house, I spend a lot less time worrying about a wagging tail sending my drink flying! The screw on lid fits on easily and the rubber gasket forms a nice, tight seal. It is NOT dishwasher or microwave safe, but I don’t care about that. I have plenty of other glasses and cups that I can nuke. These are GREAT cups. The clumsy computer user’s best pal.


Case Logic JDS-6 USB Drive Shuttle 6-Capacity-Black
Price: $5.98

Case Logic JDS-6 USB Drive Shuttle 6-Capacity-BlackCase Logic JDS-6 USB Drive Shuttle 6-Capacity-Black (Personal Computers)


Always losing your flash drives? This may help. It’s got 6 slots, it zips shut, it’s a nice little case and gives you someplace to put them where you may actually find them again. Before I bought this case, I lost my flash drives almost as soon as I bought them. Since I got this simple little case, I can find my flash drives. Sounds like no big deal? Do  you now where your flash drives are? I do.

So many things, so little time … I’ll post more soon.