Monday, May 16, 2011

Lift Off Endeavor

Hurray and huzzah for the launch of the second-to-last Space Shuttle, which is the last launch for Endeavor and the second second-to-last launch after NASA decided that the last last launch would not in fact be last.  If the last second-to-last launch is any indication, this will not be the last second-to-last launch at all.  We will need to wait several months, I think, after the last launch to be sure that that launch is not also the second-to-last launch.

With apologies,


Saturday, May 7, 2011


Florida has nothing if not critters.  Alligators, of course - splashy, fun and pretty good diced, battered and fried.  I wasn't in the state but a short time before I fetched up against the Palmetto Bug crisis of 2009.  Like any self-respecting Northerner, I took this personally.

Then came the wretched armadillos.  I'm not even getting into the love-bugs fornicating on the grille of my Honda because by now I am a resigned Southerner.  But of late there has descended upon Castle Newton a plague of rodents the likes of which has not been seen since the Middle Ages.  I check myself daily for buboes.

It's not just the mouse, for what man's hickory-dickery castle has not had the odd mouse lurking?  A chocolate-shot-looking turd here; another there.  I set one of those fancy plastic better-mousetraps that promises to shield your sensitive eye from the putative corpse-to-be.  The mouse left it baitless and forlorn three consecutive nights.  Four bucks wasted.  Not to mention several dollops of peanut butter.  Conventional traps, HAH!  I even filed down the trigger on one of those spring traps so it fired off if I so much as farted in the general vicinity.  No mouse.  No peanut butter either.

Glue traps?  Forget it.  My exterminator-- yeah, Floridians have exterminators like Northerners have snow shovels -- gave me a big commercial glue trap, which stunk like hell and trapped only a thick carpet of those tiny winged no-see-um gnats that are the state bird of Florida.  I folded another glue trap into a hollow box-like affair (insert Tab A into Slot B) with the glue inside, and I slathered it with yet more peanut butter.  The Skippy folks have sent me a nice thank-you note.   My mouse crapped on top of the box.

Last week, something started gnawing on my air conditioning duct. It only comes out at night.  Could be a rat or a possum or an overachieving chipmunk.  I tucked three large traps -- one dangerous looking spring-loaded affair and two big glue traps -- into my duct-work.  That was three days ago.  The peanut butter/cheese bait has gone bad.

And I have already whined enough about the squirrels.  Today I bought a medium Hav-a-Hart contraption, baited it with breakfast cereal (shredded wheat, miniatures, unsweetened) and set it out under the oak tree.  Screw the peanut butter; the critters don't care a whit about peanut butter. I sent the note back to Skippy. 

I keep sneaking over to the window to peek under the oak tree.


Monday, May 2, 2011


Dear God:

If You're out there and if You're listening, thank You.