The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lost, Replaced, and Found

Is there a law, theory, or principle to explain this phenomenon?

I lost our old digital camera two or three months ago. After looking for a month or two, I gave up hope and bought a new, low-end replacement digital camera. Even though it was the same brand (Vivitar) of camera, it was very difficult to operate. Even with the manual, I couldn't get it to do anything. In short, it really pissed me off.

Finally, I had enough. My house has begun to fill up with more and more items to eBay and it's been three or four months since we posted any house photos on the bog. With my wife's blessing, I decided to buy a new digital camera. I decided that I was willing to spend up to $200.00 on the damn thing. In particular, I wanted a preview screen. A memory card would be nice but not essential.

Friday night my wife and I went to, God help us, Walmart. Unfortunately, there is no where else buy digital cameras at midnight in Russellville. I was looking at the cameras in my price range, and I wasn't wowed by any of them. Still, I was set on keeping to my budget, so tried to narrow it down to one I could live with.

Meanwhile, my wife has having fun with some of the higher end cameras. She's in the market for something like a Nikon D70 or better. She is a serious photographer (as in the kind that loves spending days in the dark room huffing all the chemicals), so if a camera doesn't have an adjustable ISO, she's not interested. None of the cameras at Walmart were up to her standards, but she was having fun taking pictures of strangers with the display cameras. I noticed she was having a lot of fun with a Kodak, and I took a look at it. I was hooked. I knew that I wanted that camera. Not only did it have a preview screen and a memory card, but it also had a fairly high resolution, a zoom lens, and a lot of versatile, easy to use features.

My wife, noting my interest (I guess the drool was hard to miss), says, "Why don't you get it?"

"I don't know, I hate spend that much money on it. I'd feel guilty."

She shrugged and said, "Why spend that much money on a camera if it's not what you want? Pay the extra hundred and get what you really want."

"Are you sure?"

She shrugs, "Yeah. Go ahead. Happy Birthday."

I am sure I'm going to hell and my wife is the devil. On the upside, I am the proud owner of the nicest camera I've ever had.

Getting the camera out of Wal-Mart was a challenge. Apparently, in an effort to keep prices low, they've started hiring troglodytes to work the graveyard shift. All of the high dollar cameras are locked in a glass display case, so you have to have someone on staff unlock it for you.

The troglodyte-woman was maybe five feet tall, round, with long gray hair pulled into a waist-length ponytail. She looked a hard-living fifty-five and had an attitude that was primordial. Maybe she thought that my wife and I were two teens hanging out and playing with the merchandise (we're baby faced so that happens a lot). If so, apparently teens are not worthy of words. She just kind of grumbled at us. The fact that her facial expression never changed didn't help either.

She opened that cabinet and retrieved my camera. She hands it to me and mumbles something. Not understanding I grin and nod. She locks the cabinet. She stands there and looks at me. She grumbles, "Immaggggnnnahavetogggggggtogrummmmgggrrescortyoutoggggggfront." Some how I decipher that she is supposed to escort me to the front register to pay for the camera.


Mercifully, troglodytes aren't into small talk. I made my way to the front as fast as I could. Apparently, she found me as repugnant as I found her. As soon as I was within 30 of checkout lane she bolted back to whatever cave she'd crawled.

Since my wife and I weren't finished with our shopping, I paid for the camera, put it in our car, and doubled back to the camera section for my wife.

"I'm glad you're back. That woman was giving me the creeps,"my wife says.

"You and me both. And she isn't the only one. I think the walking dead come here to do their shopping at night."

"You mean like us?" she says.

I watch a guy with glazed eyes and a limp drag himself down one of the aisles. I let the comment glide by me. I say, "Maybe we should go by the Sporting Wear section and get a gun or machete. Lets finish up and go home. Maybe they won't eat us if we're fast."

Saturday afternoon the wife and I are working on the Queen. I was rooting around the front parlor/bedroom, our de facto tool shed, looking for something when I found our original camera. Somehow, it had ended up in a Lowe's sack full of spray sealer.


So, now I have two digital cameras. Why is it that whenever you loose something, you invariably find it after you've replaced it?!

Really, I don’t mean this as a complaint. The new camera kicks ass. Photos will soon follow.


Anonymous Shauna said...

I'm also in the market for a digital camera, probably looking for one with the same features you've got. I've never purchased one before, so I'd be interested in knowing what Kodak model you decided on (and maybe an idea of the price range -- I'm based in Canada, so I'll adjust accordingly for our dollar). Every time I go into one of those mega-electronics stores, I'm overwhelmed. Thanks

5:47 PM  

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