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!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Open Letter to the Weather Gods

Dear Lords and Ladies of the High Heavens, Zeus, Thor, et al:

A little snow every now and again is fine at our latitude. Twice in March is kind of pushing the limits of acceptability, but it's alright. No hard feelings on that count, really.

The issue I would like to see addressed as soon as possible is the temperature. You see, it's been far too cold for far too long. Sure, it helps keep the bug population down in the spring, but it also keeps my electric bill in up in a low-earth orbit. In fact, my electric bill is killing me.

Now, to be fair, I have to take some responsibility for my predicament. No, I didn't get all the storm windows up this last year. Sure, the weather stripping on the doors (if they have any) sucks. And yes, I did chose to live in an old house which is by definition drafty.

But, at the same time, there are some mitigating factors which ought to be considered:

Storm Windows: While most of our storms are not up, roughly 50% of windows in the areas we use most do have storm windows. The other rooms are closed off and unused in hopes of saving some energy. That, and the house is too friggin' big for us. Besides, since the storms screw into the window trim, getting them on and off is a real pain. We're still waiting for some re-touch painting before we commit to mounting them. Forever.

Weather Stripping: Okay, there are no mitigating factors to consider on this one. I'm lazy.

Drafty Old House (I): I was young and stupid when I bought this wreck. I actually thought you could seal the bugger up at the time. Little did I know that there isn't enough blown insulation, Great-Stuff foam insulation, and weather stripping in the world to truly seal an old home. Perhaps dipping the house in resin like some insect or scorpion in a freakish natural science museum gift-shop would work, but I don't see that as a viable option.

Draft Old House (II): I was young and stupid when I bough this old wreck; I had no idea that it was a creature of pure evil. As a creature born of Hell, the Devil Queen shares many characteristics with its land of origin. Specifically, the Devil Queen is as cold as Hell's dark heart (see Dante's Inferno, Ninth Circle if you don't believe me). In accordance to the Laws of Thermodynamics, "it is observed that temperature differences in a system lead to heat flows from the warmer to the colder parts of the system." As such, since Hell exists outside the laws of the limited, physical universe and will presumably remain cold for as long a it might exist, the Devil Queen will remain a cold, heat-sink in our world for as long as it exists. No amount of insulation will uttimetely keep the house warm. On the other hand, it's quite nice during an Arkansas summer.

Of course, there are factors completely beyond my control. The fact that our corporate masters increased electric rates last year has not helped. Jacking up the price of diesel to over $3.40 per gallon at the same time was not fair either. And, best of all, our corporate masters couldn't care less. Sacrificing a hecatomb in their honor just doesn't make an impression. Beseeching? Imploring? Yeah, good luck on that.

High Lords and Ladies of Heavens, if you could send some righteous storms or a well-placed bolt from the blue their way, I'd be much obliged.

So, Mighty Lords and Ladies of Heavens, I am left with no recourse anywhere else in this world. You are my only hope. I beseech thee: let the days be warm and the nights cool, so that I might turn off my bloody heat pump. Amen.

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