Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Clean Bees

Some insects live in the ground.  Sometimes they make their home in your home turf.  Some such winged bugs have located their hive in an area of lawn between our kitchen window and the driveway.

Since I am in the habit of walking willy-nilly about the yard, I've experienced irritable insects flying up my shirt.  (Hot under the collar does not begin to describe my feelings about this.) 

Some call these creatures ground bees.  Some call them sweat bees.  I call them uppity squatters.

The last straw was trespass on the dogs' water bowl.

Unfortunately, these gals did not stop by and eat the bees.  Thus, some other method of debeement was called for.


Throw a Tarp on the Problem 

This method is supposed to kill the bees softly.  You sneak out after dark when all the bees have retired to their slumber room deep in the hole.  You place the tarp over the hole, lay some heavy object(s) on top of the tarp.  Flee the scene.

The theory is, come morning when the bees awaken and attempt to leave the nest, they will be unable to get out and smother under the tarp.  Doesn't really sound like it'll work, does it?

It didn't work.  The industrious bees dug through the grass under the tarp till they reached the edge of the tarp.  Off they flew.  They couldn't get back under the tarp to go back into their hole, however. 

Soon, a mob of agitated bees amassed.  They flew round and round above the tarp.  More and more bees joined the air queue, creating a state a major unrest.

The tarp method only made things worse.

Clean Them to Death

This method is supposed to poison the bees without using scary dangerous poison.  Basically, you pour some soap down their hole.  It so happens, since our new house has no dishwasher, there was a nearly full box of dishwasher soap on hand, yearning to be used.  I dumped a whole bunch of the dishwasher soap down the hole.  A great deal of soap powder remained near the opening of the hole.  The bees continued to come and go -into the hole and out of the hole. 

The next day some powder could still be seen around the entrance of the hole.  The bees continued to come and go. 

The day after that, the powder was gone.  The bees continued to come and go -into the hole and out of the hole.

Several days passed.  The bees continue to come and go.  Yesterday I mopped the floors in the house.  Afterwards, I dumped the bucketful of dirty Spic n Span water into the hole.

Today, the bees continue to come and go -into the hole and out of the hole.

They are still uppity squatters.  All that has changed is they are clean uppity squatters.

To be continued, surely.

Monday, September 15, 2014


 We're here!  Moved in!

 Check out this view from the kitchen window.

Meanwhile, the boxes full of our stuff are lined up in rows with aisles in between.  This arrangement works well in the big garage but in the little living room, it's grand, as long as you don't mind walking sideways to move from one side of the room to the other.

Mabel refuses to let a few boxes disturb her serenity. 
Alas, not all of us are as serene as Mabel.  Where is my favorite paring knife?  Why the bleep wasn't it in the box with the other knives?!
Ah, here's the hammer.  Now, where the **** are the hanger thingies for the pictures?  I was so sure I'd packed them with the stud finder.   The stud finder is beeping merrily.  It is clearly a buffet of studs around here.
See, some ninny painted all the walls white.  Some other ninny probably told them it would help sell the place.  White walls are neutral.
It's OK.  A few pictures will perk up these walls.  Let's hang some pictures now! 
Still haven't found the picture hanger thingies.
With the lack of something appropriate to pound, it could get ugly around here.  Perhaps it would be best if I stopped carrying the hammer around the house.

Henry helpfully points out how a colorful rug can brighten a drab hallway.  

Sure, it's easy for you to be easy going, dogs, you aren't still looking for your favorite paring knife. 

And the picture hanger thingies. 

Maybe the thing to do is to go outside......

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crate Training, Flood Edition

Yes,  dog crates are a wonderful tool.   The dog has a private place of his own to rest, take meals and stay out of trouble.  The crate system works well.  It has worked well at my house.  That is, until the crates took on water.

Thanks to the August 11th mega storm, the basement stayed full of ankle deep water.  The liquid remained in place for some three, four days.  During this interval, the dogs lost their crate availability, at least in the old manner of use. 

We came up with a new routine.  For the older dogs, it meant offering an alternative location to dine.  Thus, when the bowls were full and ready to be served, instead of following the dogs down the stairs to their crates to serve the meal, access to the basement was casually blocked.  The dogs were steered to separate areas of the kitchen with the invitation, "let's eat our food".

For the puppy, at large eating was not a sensible option.  Conveniently, we had a second crate already in place in the bedroom.  (At night, the adult dogs sleep on blankets on the floor of the bedroom.  Puppy Henry sleeps on a blanket inside a crate.)  So at mealtime, after the big dogs got their food, Henry was led to his crate upstairs for his meal accompanied by the suggestion, "let's eat our food".

Interestingly, several days later when we moved to the new house, the older dogs easily transitioned to eating in the new kitchen.  (The big dog crates, now dry, remain folded in the garage.)  Puppy Henry continues to eat and sleep in his crate in the bedroom.

"Let's eat our food" may not technically be a command, but it worked just fine for our impromptu flood retool/training.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 28

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Let's get on with it.

Penn State is all agog.   No, not more tawdry locker room goings-on.  A junior at Penn along with a sidekick have themselves a sort of circus act.  They're getting more likes on Facebook than the Penn State mascot.  She has even been interviewed on the hard hitting "news" source, NPR.

What and with whom is she doing to garner all this attention?

She started a Nerd Walking Service?  You know,
like a dog walking service but with nerds.

That's so insensitive and hateful.
Hostmaster:  oh boy.  Incorrect, Fluffy.
She's raising awareness of Women's Rights
by wearing a dress made of
sanitary napkins?
Hostmaster:  eww. 
With tampon earrings to complete the ensemble!
Hostmaster:  Yes, the benefits of higher education include time to sit around, get high and watch MSNBC.  Geez, I almost hope this student is high.
Incorrect, Cyndi.
I know about this because I
 try to keep up on squirrel news.
Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel
wears hats and holds things.
 This student takes his picture
adds a caption, and posts it online.
The student claims the squirrel does
it all willingly for food.
Hostmaster:  correct.
What sort of captions?
Stuff like, "We're Ready to go Back
to School!" with a picture of
the squirrel holding a pencil.  
Hostmaster:  higher education takes another hit. Give the squirrel some lines from Candide?  Nah.  Hand him a pencil.  Clever rated to preschool level.
They're selling stuff too.
There's a picture of the squirrel
next to a little toy store
wearing a straw hat with flowers
on it.  The whole thing is
undignified even for
a squirrel, it seems to me.
Well, if you want to see this freak show, be sure to visit FB soon!
This squirrel won't be around much longer.
It's only a matter of time before he dashes into the road for a
potato chip and is run down by a garbage truck
or fails to see the shadow of an approaching
 raptor because the brim of a stupid
 hat is blocking his view.
So ends another round.
I hear squirrel is tasty.  I'll bet Molly has some recipes.
You bet I do! 
Fluffy, you brought your car, right?
  Let's get some lunch!

Let's not
 brake for lunch.
I'll bring the chips!
Round 28
Fluffy/Molly  14
Bryan/Cyndi   10