The number of regular or semi-recurrent readers of quasify is in the low double digits. Which is why it’s weird when some mostly unfunny inside joke get a Universal Hub link and we end up with 1200 people stopping by (which helps me learn of others solving the same problem with snakes – yes thanks, but no thanks…).
Progress has been slow since the dual kill on Day 1. Two days ago (Day 8, 3:30 in morning) I was awoken by what could only be described as loud mouse-sized dance party coming from under the kitchen counter. I over-optimistically hoped the remaining humane traps had gotten one of the buggers, but no. Everything went silent when I flipped on the light. When I came home tonight (Day 10), this was the crime scene in my living room:
If you can’t tell that part on the left is where the mouse gets suckered into eating some trans-fat free peanut butter only to be locked in by the bit on the right. Since the dog is (naturally) blameless, my years of watching forensic anthropology television shows had led me to induce that a R.O.U.S. is in play. The dance party noises were them increasing the size of their access tunnel to accommodate the new dog-sized beast who tore the trap apart with his mighty molars. Maybe he acted to rescue one of his brethren – there is no corpse so no fatality can be confirmed. Either way, I’m sleeping with the bedroom door locked tonight.
Two interesting things happened today though. This morning, I’m driving up the 101 from Palo Alto when a bird swoops across the highway maybe twenty feet in front of me, low enough that I think it’s lame and I’m going to hit it. A half-second later I realize it’s not a slow clumsy bird, but a hawk with a large rat or gopher still struggling in it’s talons. Awesome. Maybe more of this would be the solution to Allston’s rodentia problems.
The other – I stepped off the elevator at what I’m hoping is the right floor of my new office, look up to my left and see the view of the bridge above. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Golden Gate since I arrived in San Fransisco, and structurally it looks like JP got it right. I get the feeling I’m going to like coming in here – it definitely beats the view of the Tobin from CNY.
It’s been bizarrely warm in Boston this week, inducing massive inappropriate paroxisms of spring fever. Work? On a day like today? I’ve even been leaving my windows open (it’s January friggin 9th!) to clear some of the dog related funk out of my house.
The downside of this gorgeous temporary climate shift is the thawing out of the long dead street rodents, frozen since early November. This week they’re making rapid progress along their inexorable path from three dimensions to two. At first I found this to be unbelievably disgusting, now, somewhat of a gruesome curio, definitely not to be stepped on.
Allston, I love ya, but I can’t wait to leave.
Ever since my little buddy and I parted ways, I’ve been a lonely on the animal chaos front (maija being insufficiently motivated to cause hijinks and antics). Fortunately enough, friends from around the globe have their own problems and like to share. NP’s in Paris and under cat attack, JP’s in podiddle Texas and hanging with persistent lizards, and Southern Sudan has got monkey troubles (courtesy of SMHB the senior).
There was a little monkey named Jamma, He lived near the bald missionary with the brown hat. Now Jamma was a good little monkey but he was very curious.
One day when the man with the brown hat was away, Jamma came and found an open window. He went into the house and found all kinds of interesting things. He was fascinated with the computer and the little white plastic stick beside it. He held it, tasted it, and playfully ran away with it. He found nails, screws, plastic wall mounts and played with them. Many of them fell to the ground but George carefully placed the rest safely on top of the wall so no one else would mess with them.
As he playfully jumped about the house, he left dirty footprints on the walls. The footprints had fresh egg juice from the kitchen floor. When Jamma heard a car enter the gate, he jumped out the window and watched from the roof, eating an onion from the kitchen.
Jamma watched and listened as the man with the brown hat came into the house. He heard him exclaim about the tiny human-like footprints on the walls and discovered the mess in the kitchen. Little by little the man found the screws and staples high on the walls.
The next day the man with the brown hat looked and looked for his computer memory stick. He looked on the table and in the computer bag. He looked in all his pants pockets and suitcase. He looked under the bed and inside his tent. The memory stick could not be found. The man prayed to Jesus for help to find the memory stick.
That night as the bald man lay in bed, praying and thinking, he remembered the monkey and the hidden screws and staples. First think the next morning, the man went to look on the other ledges in the house. Sure enough there was the memory stick. Curious Jamma heard the man with the brown hat give thanks to Jesus for the memory stick which had been found.
I like to keep on top of the scientific literature and so was somewhat embarrassed (yet, excited!) when VC sent me the long overlooked results of a science fair run by Objective Ministries. Making this even more exciting was (given my fondness for all things Hystricomorpha), was the efforts of one high school senior whose project combined animal husbandry, fluid dynamics and the Gilmore-Gomory cutting-stock heuristic. Sadly it seems as though the fix was in – this work was relegated to second place (honestly – prayer based antibiotic resistance has NOTHING on this).
Maximal Packing Of Rodentia Kinds: A Feasibility Study
Jason Spinter's (grade 12) project was to show the feasibility of Noah's Ark using a Rodentia research model (made of a mixture of hamsters and gerbils) as a representative of diluvian life forms. The Rodentia were placed in a cage with dimensions proportional to a section of the Ark. The number of Rodentia used (58) was calculated using available Creation Science research and was based on the median animal size and their volumetric distribution in the Ark. The cage was also fitted with wooden dowels inserted at regular intervals through the cage walls, forming platforms which provided support for the Rodentia. Although there was little room left in the cage, all Rodentia were able to move just enough to ward off muscle atrophy. Food pellets and water were delivered to sub-surface Rodentia via plastic drinking straws inserted into the Rodentia-mass, which also served to allow internal air flow. Once a day, the cage was sprayed with water to cleanse any built-up waste. Additionally, the cage was suspended on bungee cords to simulate the rocking motion of a ship. The study lasted 30 days and 30 nights, with all Rodentia surviving at least long enough afterwards to allow for reproduction. These findings strongly suggest that Noah's Ark could hold and support representatives of all antediluvian animal kinds for the duration of the Flood and subsequent repopulation of the Earth.
One is on solid ground when saying that Jason Spinter is in the upper echelons of the gerbil packing community.
The rats have returned to Allston. I have been seeing more of these creepy bastards over the last few weeks, but now it’s such that I don’t particularly want to go out in the evening hours without real shoes. The dog asked if I felt like she deserved to go for a walk and since she’s been decent, off we go. Down the hill she goes into predator mode, having spotted Ratatouille under a car. I let her chase it since she never catches anything. I’ve got this theory that if fear of my dog can increase the cortisol levels in rat brains the same amount they increase it in mine, the universe stays in balance.
Surprising all three of us, she caught the 8 inch long filth-feeder and gave him a couple strong shakes, to his vigorous protest. Luckily she was still able to recognize my freaked out ‘Drop it!!!’ despite the bloodlust. Fievel exits stage right, hopefully to warn the others. If everyone is free, let’s do it again tomorrow…
I decided to get a new stove as the old one was covered in the foulest of bacon grease and had a small infestation problem. The plumber who (Bobby at Allston Plumbing, (617) 254-1071) installed the new one was profanely amusing and didn’t end up charging me for the $25 replacement pipe he had originally told me would be needed.
After he left, I called the city about recycling the old stove. I had read that this was possible after reading the city’s Recycling FAQ. Here’s the pertinent section:
Do my refrigerator, stove, air conditioner get recycled?
Yes, large household appliances are recycled. Please call Sanitation at 617-635-7574 and put them out on your trash day. You may e-mail to schedule a pick-up: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you set an old stove out on the street on trash day to be ‘recycled’, it gets crunched along with the rest of the trash. How is that recycling?! Do they extract the mangled bits of bacony metal from the rest of the morass before they get to the landfill? Somehow I’m skeptical.
In what can only be decribed as a ballsy act of political hubris, Nancy Pelosi has appointed William Jefferson to the Homeland Security Committee. This is the same dude that got kicked off the House Ways & Means Committee after getting busted with $80,000 in cash in his freezer. Why he is still in office, much less serving on arguably the most powerful committee in the House, is a testimate to the current neutered status of the House Ethics committe.
How does this make sense? What possible advantage can this provide the party or the country? This is a bizarre display of ‘us vs them’ mentality on the part of the Democratic leadership. I feel ashamed of my ostensible party, but not particularly surprised.
Additionally, here’s a friggin mouse in my kitchen right now. He keeps running back under the stove when I make a move towards him, but then re-emerges to sniff at the dog’s waterbowl. The buildup to an epic battle looms. The question I’m asking myself is whether or not my mouse (who’s got at most another 24 hours to live before I trap his ass) would be a more moral, intellectually honest leader for these troubled times? My money’s on the squeaky little bastard.
I think this site needs a semi- or less-regular rodent count feature (not restricted to rats). These can be from my twice daily neighborhood canvas or in worst case scenario observations from within my apartment. Maija will assist with the observational work but won’t do any counting: only upon her notifying me of said observations will they be incorporated into the daily tally. Squirrels will not be included in the count even though they deserve to be.
Rodent watch: Rats, 2; Mouse, 1
As much as I hate those little bastards, sometimes I’m a little sad when I don’t see one. Fortunately, as oblivious as my dog is to squirrels and cats, she’s proving to have a finely tuned rat-dar. She’s becoming a productive member of the community by raising their cortisol levels with her aggressive sniffing at their safe havens.
Fortunately they’re all out there drowning right now.