Hmnnn, what shall I call this fine invention?

Recently, I banged into the toilet paper roll holder thing in the bathroom and took it down. While not happy about this, I’m male. It was not a dire emergency. So, after 3 months, I covered the hole in the sheetrock with duct tape, and continued using the roll I had standing on the vanity next to the commode.

Still, I’m blind. On the occasion the blind reach for the roll of toilet paper standing on the vanity next to the commode that’s less than half full, that roll tends to topple much easier than when brand new. As you might imagine, by the 5th month of this, I decided to take action. To do something to fix this problem!

The result? The Guillatrine. Timing’s perfect, too, because Halloween is coming and it goes with the décor in my bathroom (Pam doesn’t use this one), which includes a Halloween shower curtain year-’round, black towels and now…this. Yeah, it’s got some rough edges. I just banged it together with Billy the other day from scrap wood, but you can see, the concept is there. (And, I could use it as a stepstool should I need to change a bulb in there, assuming that someone ever told me that chore needed doing).

A tall, naked wood toilet paper dispenser. The roll is placed at the top, and a block with a hole in it is at the bottom.
The Guillotrine – Designed & made by the blind guy

Bet if I threw a little paint on the sides and dipped a brush in some red and dabbed that on the head-holding board, and stuck an action figure in there… Ehh, who knows? Maybe it’ll be available for sale next Halloween. Far better than one of those $49 wire stands that you can knock over just brushing against it. If you wanna get one now, though, and avoid the rush? Pam can send you a link to pre-order, and then just take your card and wipe.

Swipe! I meant swipe!


Nope, that is not a doctored pic of me at BackStreets from 2019 with a mask Photoshopped on. Pam had dart playoffs, and I hadn’t worked remote in a while (a l-o-o-o-o-o-ng while), so I packed up my gear and we headed out. Not only got a ton of work done, got a Jamaican 10-speed double to help pass the time between diet sodas. French Dip & onion rings rounded out the festivities. Was outstanding just being able to hang out again, even staying in a corner and keeping it to some fist bumps. Lots of new menu items, and the Nachos platter goes LIVE today, so head on up to try ‘em out. Me? I may have to wait ‘til next week. Maybe…

Joe at BackStreets, September 2020. He's wearing a bacon-themed mask, sunglasses and headphones as he types on a keyboard.

I’ll Never Forget…But Many People Are

Like many, I can remember like it was yesterday. Still had one working eye. Was getting dressed when Pam called me into the living room to tell me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. As I’m watching and pulling pants on and getting ready to leave, the second one hit, and we knew. No accident. Terrorism. 

I was driving to work, not even sure if I should be going, when there was screaming on the radio and I pulled my cell to call Pam. “Did they just hit the Pentagon?” I asked, dumbstruck. People were pulling over onto the side of the highway. Got to SCORE, and think it was Erasmo, had pulled out this little TV set we had in the building. Terrible reception, but we were crowded around it, trying to catch the updates on the local news. Pennsylvania, too. 

No, I’ll never forget. That’s the world radicals want. The world terrorists want. The world people who want to rip apart a country want. People you see living like they’re barely out of the 1500s. Societies who treat women like property and view the LGBT community as deserving of death. People who don’t know success or progress, who despise equality…and want to bring that here. 

No, I’ll never forget, and I’ll die before I give in to that kind of hatred and fascism. Me? I don’t see any difference between taking down buildings with planes and taking down cities with riots and arson. 


Battery Park City and the former Twin Towers at the World Trade Center NYC
Battery Park City and the former Twin Towers at the World Trade Center NYC – Source: Wikipedia, public domain