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Episode 12: Translating Your Remote Control

venturing beyond the power, channel, and volume buttons

guys!  although we cannot reveal how, we have managed to secure an exclusive photo of a genuine english remote control for tv / dvd player / even vcr.

the best part is, is that it looks almost identical to smelly billa's official (non-english) remote control here in our studio.  could they be the same??

our preliminary tests demonstrated a remarkable 88% similarity which you are welcome to feast your eyes on by clicking on the comparison below.

Episode 11: Help! I'm sick of eating the same few foods every day!

a reboot for your billa pantry

so there's this neat website online that i like to think of as a reverse cookbook.

you just input what you have in your cupboard and it gives you a list of compatible recipes.

well, i've been so bored with my routine food choices lately, so i thought, heck-
why not input my whole grocery store?!

surely the site will give me tons of new ideas to experiment with (and kill my food-boredom)...

Episode 10: Help! My Billa Shower is Cooking me Alive!

controlling your water

many of us have had the same experience in our billa sink-showers: either screaming hot water, or the complete opposite.  you turn the faucet down to what should be "nice and warm", but the heater shuts off as there's not enough demand for MOLTEN HOTNESS.

where is the happy medium?!?!?!

right here:

Billa Brief: ugly summer... not so ugly

well, it's ugly summer again.  that means two things for you and your billa:  nightly mosquito raids, and soggy laundry that just won't dry!

remember to eliminate both of these issues by checking out the following posts at smelly billa:

just click.

also, all this humidity might be causing black mould to grow in your bathroom and around your house   ~yes, that's what those black spots are on the wall  :(

so check out this post on how to eliminate black mould from your house (and prevent it from returning too!)

dry bum, no mosquitoes, clean bathroom.  ugly summer has not been so bad this year.

for all other things billa-related, check in at smellybilla.blogspot.com and browse the topics bar!

credits: image of mosquito; image of mould by bob blaylock at en.wikipedia; image of soggy-laundry bum by adriaen brouwer, 1631.

Episode 9: aggh! Sink-showers!

your billa sink-shower and you

so has this ever happened to you?  
can you count how many times 
this has happened to you?

once again mr. martin over at ROKetship nails it on the head, right on down to the ill-fitting green shower slippers. 

and it's even worse when you're already dressed-up and on your way out the door, but need to run to the bathroom.  turn on the sink and BLAM.  you're all wet, and mad, and need to change.  the blue jeans which just took 3 days to dry are now drenched and your cool hair-do ain't so pretty anymore.

wanna know how to get rid of this problem?

[click to read on]

Episode 8: More on Smelly Drains

this just in: now you can block your billa's smelly floor drains without actually plugging them!

you may have already been using smelly billa to smell-proof your house, including a method using plastic cling wrap to cover your drains.  as mentioned in that post, however, this very effective method could be very dangerous in the event of a plumbing or laundry leak (and not to mention inconvenient if you're daily uncovering and recovering your drain before and after each shower).

here are a few more solutions that have come my way which may help you greatly.  the first two are for those of you with three inch drain pipes in your floor.  to determine the width of your drain pipes, just use your fingernail to lift the silver plate off the drain and measure the width of the pipe.  if they are three inch pipes (which is about the length of your thumb), here are two great solutions for you.  first up...

idea 1:  the cup trap

this traditional concept has been shaped into cup-form to fit into your billa floor drains.  it keeps a little water in the cup, and the water actually becomes a floating liquid seal that guards against odour coming up out of the drain and into the apartment.

here's how it works:

Episode 7: Doing Laundry without Stretching your Clothes

a very quick, cheap, effective solution
me: nice dress you've got there.
contesse d'haussonville: it used
to be a blue t-shirt. got a little
stretched in the wash.

my billa washing machine has three settings: coarse, vigorous, and psychotic.  it comes in very useful for washing things like burlap sacks,  football equipment, and large rocks.  surprisingly compact, LG's Death Cyclone 3000 efficiently washes, rinses, and spins with the toughest; yet fashionably blends into my billa's homey atmosphere.

i had to learn the hard way, however, not to throw my favourite t-shirts into the DC-3000 unprotected. wash after wash, my t-shirts would get thrashed, get stretched longer and longer, and distort into a frilly wave at the waist area just like a pretty dress.

and it seemed as though my sweater sleeves were being yanked and pulled down to my knees.

that is once i got the mad octopus of laundry untangled after every wash.

just watch the following video which luke martin put together; it was alarming to me that the rest of the billa community was going through the same ordeals with their old-school washing machines:

Billa Brief: Baking without an Oven

fresh warm bread and cake!

do you ever miss fresh, warm bread?  melting butter into it right after taking it out of the oven?  mmm.

most of you billa villagers don't have ovens, but as long as you have a rice cooker, you're in luck.  check out these billa dwellers' blog and see all the rad things they've baked in their billa using nothing but their rice cooker.

here's some examples of the goodies they've baked up:

and homestyle mac & cheese!

banana bread
garlic peppercorn bread

even birthday cake for the husband

just check out their blog for recipes and tips:

(pronounced, The Toads)

Smelly Billa ~ 빵!

Episode 6: Singing in the Rain: Your Billa Shower and You

walking into his bathroom
betrayed the obvious:
the shower head.
good news for the 6'4" expat

meet livio. he's the only one of my cousins to have walked away from the sicilian mob without ending up at the bottom of a river. he now spends his days in a billa, making and selling leather purses. he tells me that life is much better in his little home, yet he can't quite figure out the infamous billa shower. in this billa interview, i asked him to explain the situation to me (but he only responded, in the classical foggy italian voice, "come. i show you.")
[click below to read on]

Episode 5: Doing Dishes without Busting Your Back

your billa low-rider (kitchen sink), and you 

meet luka.  he's 6'10" and from finland.  he teaches arts and crafts in a daycare and lives in a billa.  interestingly, our only common language is k!xa so we are forced to visit each other with clicks and wails.  the giant tells me mostly of the horses and ferns he has raised in the hills.  he seems to be a quiet and simple person, and very content.  his only complaint as we converse over milk and vodka is that the kitchen sink in his billa is so low that it kills his neck and lower back when he hunches over it to do dishes.

badly enough, i myself know exactly what he's talking about (even though i'm like two feet shorter than the great finn).  doing dishes in my billa's low-rider sink hurts my back too.

anyway, enter billa 3M.  take a look below at how to raise your sink by 7 or 8 inches and feel normal again.  what you need is:

[click below to read on]

Episode 4: Infestation (in your bathroom). Battling Black Mold.

Battling Black Mold

my high school foods studies teacher taught us a little about mold and bacteria.  she said that the three conditions that they thrive in are moisture, warmth, and darkness.

my old produce department manager ryan told me that some drunk guys won a bunch of subs (sandwiches) on their way to a party at his house once, and hid them in the bottom of his china cabinet when they got there.  anyway, ryan didn't know they had brought the subs in, and the drunk guys ended up forgetting about most of the subs by the time they woke up from their smashed stupor.  the subs sat there for weeks.

later ryan opened the cabinet while looking for something, and had the shock of his life.  a bunch of subs.  what on earth!

as he told the story i said to him indignantly, "but didn't you smell them rotting in there over all that time?!!?!!"

he said he hadn't smelled anything, and that they actually weren't sitting there in a rotten heap.  he went on to say that when he picked them up, they were hard as a rock.

dried out.  interesting.  anyway, pretty much end of the story.

but no mold.  and dried out.  this simple thought set my whole life on a new trajectory.

during my research and experimentation in the years that followed, i discovered yet another gem in the olde journals of early french microphysicist geordi la forge:

[click below to read on]

Episode 3: Where are all these Mosquitoes Coming from?!!

Where are all these Mosquitoes Coming from?!!
subtitle: Mogie-Proofing your Billa
A Cheap, Simple, Non-toxic, and very Effective Solution to no longer being Eaten Alive at Night.
File:Mosquito on roof.jpg

after just one week of their covert, subversive attacks, a grown man experiences what it means to lose his mind, to crack, to snap, to break, to suffer.

there was a time when i too suffered the nightly attacks, the buzzing in the ear that leads to paranoia, the furious jumping from bed like a raging madman hunting an invisible enemy.

having to deal with mogies (mosquitoes) from june to november, the going theory here on the peninsula is that mogies get into our homes by coming up through the drains. i've heard it said that mosquitoes are very clever and always find a way in.
unable to keep mogies out, locals fill the air with spray repellents, or burn little wafers at bedtime which produce an (apparently) non-toxic repellent scent. it seems to work for some people, but i have my doubts about the non-toxic part.
but as for bugs coming up my drains... you know from episode 1 that my smelly drains are blocked and sealed like no man's business, and no bugs are getting in through there. 

so where could all of those blood-sucking little dragons have been coming from? i needed to know.
searching through my billa, i was completely alarmed to find the following:

Episode 2 Continues

this is part 2. please see part 1 first.
  last time on smelly billa...

understanding humidity and heat fields helped one billa villager kick mr. soggy pants in the rear.

tired of having a soggy bum and dampened dignity, this billa villager discovered how to get his clothes dried in a couple hours (not days) using nothing more than a household fan.

back to part 1


part 2: extreme seasons
(click below)

Episode 2: Hang-drying your Clothes in 99% Humidity

Hang-drying your Clothes in 99% Humidity  
Part 1

An Inexpensive Way of
Reducing your
Drying Time

2 DAYS...

1 or 2 HOURS.

now just tell me that luke martin's comic doesn't say it all. just think of how many times you've waited days for your jeans to dry in the high humidity...

...or how many times you have not waited (and just gone out on the town with soggy pants).

yeah mr. soggy pants.

however, today's story is about pants dry and crispy. as a matter of fact, just last night in my little billa i did laundry and hung my clothes to dry on the drying rack, went out, came home a couple hours later and...
clothes were dry and relatively wrinkle-free.

and in order to share my secrets with the world, let me take you down the trail of my thinking.

what do hot soup, rain puddles, and radiating excessive amounts of body heat have in common?

Episode 1 Continues

this is part 2. please see part 1 first.

 last time on smelly billa

the realms of the village underworld wreaked havoc on one billa.

despite continued strategizing, the beasts of waters black 

could not be held back in their relentless invasion.

back to part 1




"who was left standing"

in B minor

(click below)

Episode 1: Help!! My Billa Smells like Poo/Death!!

best viewed on site: smellybilla.blogspot.com


Help!! My Billa Smells like Poo/Death!!
subtitle: Smell-Proofing your Billa's Plumbing

A Similitude

Part 1

"i love the way your apartment smells!" it's what my friend John says every time he comes over. i tell him it's just superior pheromones, but he knows better. he knows this billa's been on the long, smelly road to snuggly-soft spring-freshness.*

the toilet was flushed.
the garbage was out.
the sink drains were covered.
the bathroom fan was on.
the kitchen fan was running.
yet the the billa smelled like sewage.
open, raw sewage.
the putrefying fumes wafted up from the deep recesses of the village; a foul, underground network of poo and lies. it always found it's way to me. through the floor drain i thought. i meditated long and hard on how to block that floor drain, and launched many unsuccessful attempts. then, the biggest billa brainwave ever (inspired by the olde journals of french micro-physicist, geordi la forge):
i knew what i had to do was create a subspace field which would function like an infinitely thin --but rock-solid-- forcefield between me and the environmental phenomena i wished to avoid!
it was so simple but it changed my life forever: i could create my own version of a subspace field using nothing other than... 

plastic cling wrap.

For best results and to maximize overall cling, spray a mist of water on the floor before applying plastic wrap. 
Blocking of a floor drain is very unwise if there's any chance that large amounts of water could possibly be flowing onto the floor (e.g., as a result of laundry leakage or plumbing ruptures). This could be catastrophic beyond your wildest nightmares and not covered by anyone's insurance (not yours, not your employer's, and maybe not even your building-owner's).* (all asterisks[*] refer to the blurb at the bottom of this post)  
UPDATE FROM EDITOR: see this new post for other smelly-drain-stopping methods which are just as effective and way less dangerous than this one! :) 

but for some reason, the stench of methane gas and rotten eggs would still visit at random times.

through long and drawn-out months of investigation and people telling me to just move to another billa, several significant factors were discovered.

the following are my findings, broken into five readable parts which you can read over several sittings as you troubleshoot your own billa. [click below to continue reading]