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August 02, 2006

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Matt

What is it with the bats these days? It seems rather bvious it's a conspiracy of Nature against Long Sundayans, particularly, and theirs (thinking of CR, myself...) Is it really that much cooler inside?

Craig

I was worried I had bats in my place, but they seem to have moved along after staying a few weeks to eat most of the mosquitoes. (We had a lot of those.) No matter what my parents do at the cottage - fill up all the holes and gaps, put in 'bat nests' in the trees in the forest - the bats won't leave the front porch. They poo everywhere, too. Little tiny bat poos. Really gross.

Worse than bats are these creepy, pre-historic looking bugs we have in the basement and the bathroom - many legs, they move lightly, and are a brown/orange colour. They climb walls, they go up and down drains and they move quickly for such ungangly creatures. They feel like wind on your arm - so you don't notice them - and then you see them and freak out. They look hairy, but they are all legs and feelers. From Mars, likely.

I'll take the bats (outside) over these things. A sudden explosion of big black ants in the past two weeks as well.

Definitely a conspiracy.

s0metim3s

I'm with the bats. http://archive.blogsome.com/2006/06/20/flying-fox/

Jodi

I always suspected that underneath our friendly disagreements there was a deeper source of antagonism between me and Angela. Now we know. She chooses evil. Those evil, malign creatures who actually BIT MY FRIEND IN HER SLEEP a few years ago so she had to get A SERIES OF PAINFUL RABIES SHOTS IN HER STOMACH. Unfortunately, my own brother has also chosen evil--he frequently lectures me on the pounds and pounds of mosquitoes ingested per bat, ending on some kind of rhetorical 'would you rather put your arm in a case with mosquitos or one harmless bat?'

Craig, the same forces (allied with Angela) have established a strong hold in my home (I think rather closely across the border from yours--don't you live in Canada?) The black ants have conquered the kitchen and living room and sent scouts upstairs to the bedrooms. Yesterday I escalated--chemical weapons (the little containers with sterilizing poison seemed actually honeymoon suites that encouraged more to move in and breed). That I spray so heedlessly alarms Paul, ever alert to the poison dripping from the ceiling onto our food and plates. All I can think is: die motherfuckers.

Matt--I think you are right about the LS connection: and we now know why: Angela is a double agent.

s0metim3s

Busted.

Jodi

Now that we have a confession, do we move the (show) trial over to LS? Or, should we lie in wait, alert to the possibility that more of your ilk, your co-conspirators or followers, might unknowningly reveal themselves?

s0metim3s

We are legion.

Craig

Jodi - I find a product called "Ant-B-Gone" (a poison, obviously and thus dangerous to pets and children - but I repeat myself) to be rather effective. We had a serious ant outbreak in an apartment once and liberal use of that product was quite effective: the whole colony, it seems, came to eat it and then we never saw them again. (A bad year for bugs: that same apartment saw a spider give birth to thousands of baby spiders one night in a lamp shade. Repulsive.) The product is liquid and can thus be shot into cracks and crevices and behind applicances. You can also put lines of the stuff along window and door frames. And, again, across any pathway they routinely take. It seems more effective than the Raid (if you have that product in the US?) "traps" that have poisoned food in them. I've never seen an ant go into a raid trap, but I've seen them eat/carry home the Ant-B-Gone poison.

It's the primitive brown-orange bugs that I really hate. I don't know what they are and only saw them for the first time in Toronto last year and then again when we moved out of the city.

We're an hour north of Kingston; roughly halfway between Kingston and Ottawa. The nearest border crossing is the ferry at Wolf Island. And then Thousand Islands, Prescott and Cornwall. As the crow flies, we aren't that far apart (you're near-ish to Rochester?), but the highways make it a bit more complex.

You know she's evil - she cheered for the bugs in Starship Troopers.

CR

Yes, uncannily, Matt is refering to the fact that just two days ago, in the course of an email exchange, I yelped because there was a bat caught in a heat vent thingie in the floor next to my desk.

What the F?

(It may be a regional issue - without getting publically specific, we could have a partial-roster LS bbq at my house if we wanted to.)

(HEY! Maybe we should! Matt, would you drive out? I know you like the bats... We've missed both May Day and Bastille Day... Labor/Labour Day?)

CR

Craig,

I can't remember - maybe I mentioned this before - if so forgive me - but my dad's from Brockville. Actually Cardinal, which is very tiny. Do you know it?

Craig

CR - I know both. I like Brockville. Well, I can say that I find the colonial and victorian architecture quite impressive. I can't say I know much about the town as such. I'm in Perth, which is about forty-five minutes away from Brockville by the backroads, longer if you take the highway from Smith's Falls.

Matt

Unlike Angela's (more exotic) visiting bat, my terrified little black vampire was almost instantly quarantined in a small room, but it was several hundred times around my head (holding window screens to protect myself) before he collapsed exhausted on one of the small windowsills, and out. Where he belongs.

'tis the season for parties.

Jodi

Craig--the plague continues. I just found a horrid yellow green bug with lots of legs, tentacles, or something. It was several inches long, but didn't crunch like a roach when I smashed it. Horrid. With the ants, the Raid seems to be working so far. I'd rather not escalate until pressed.

I smashed a bat to death with a shovel a couple of years ago. It was crawling through my yard in the day time and my daughter wanted to touch it. The icky thing was when the wings appeared out from each side of the shovel at the first blow.

Paul Passavant

I think people are losing sight of the fact that there MIGHT have been a bat somewhere while I was trying to focus on using plaster. Probably rushing, my mix was too watery, and I made a huge mess -- ironically, part of the mess was on the brick I had worked for 3 days to expose. On day 2 I realized I was using a wood chisel and bought a brick chisel -- it went a lot faster after that, but I still have numbness in my fingers, though.

Matt

As carpenters (at least in my experience) often say, "you gotta have the right tool for the job."

For instance, in Jodi's case, apparently, a shovel.

Nate

I'm torn. My first impulse in any conflict is to side with Angela, and I find bats in photos rather cute. They were rather scary when I've seen them in person, though, like at Mammoth Cave.

On the other hand, as Craig suggests, Angela's judgment is questionable as evidenced by her siding with the bugs in Starship Troopers. Bugs are GROSS, don't you get that Angela? I mean ... ick! Luckily my wife kills them for me, but sometimes she's not home and then it's really awful.

I would therefore like to humbly suggest that Angela be offered the opportunity to write an autocritique prior to the show trial, and further suggest that all comrades close to her urge her to listen to reason on these important matters. In the meantime, can we all agree that, whatever the final judgment is on the bat question, their anti-bug effects are to be welcomed? Of course, someday hopefully the much vaunted Silent Spring will arrive such that the bats are no longer needed.

Craig

Jodi: my ants are back. I've drawn a nice modernist pattern of interlocking squares and rectangles composed of Ant-B-Gone poison on the driveway. Being vindictive and environmentally unfriendly, I let them all gather around the poison, eating it, and then I make an excuse to drive up to the grocery store so I can crush a bunch of them with the car. Not particularly effective, but it is satisfying.

While I'm liberal in my use of ant poison, I don't fertalize or pesticide my vegetable garden, even if I have a serious problem in the cucumbers with these horrible yellow beetles. (You have those, Matt?) And the flowers are even worse! The daisies and lilies are filled with slugs. And I think a bee stung me while watering the garden today.

Paul: the plaster in a number of the rooms here is crumbling. Well, cracking is more like it. Being an old house, the joints and corners aren't quite square and there are traintracks down the road. I spent two weeks fixing up one room - pulling off wallpaper (only to discover why it was there), sanding over the cracks, filling the cracks with new plaster, and then sanding down the new plaster to make it smooth. Only later (i.e., after I was long done) did it occur to me that tape with plaster over it would have been more effective, more efficient and far, far less dirty. (I had plaster dust everywhere - and still do.)

Jodi

I think Nate's operative words were 'usually side with Angela.' He's a fellow traveler, people! lOOK at the way he is trying to complicate the bat issue by emphasizing the contribution of bats to the bug problem? He clearly doesn't hate them both equally!! He's a bat apologist, for crying out loud! Against the right deviation!

Nate

Jodi,
I may well have fallen into bat-ist deviation, having been taken in by their similarity to that most excellent dialectical creature, the owl. I still maintain, however, that need for a United Front Against Bugs is the most pressing issue of our day.
Yours,
Nate

s0metim3s

That's Starship Troopers y'all!! - better the bugs than Nazi Doctor Doogie Howser and his merry band of citizen-soldier-models. It it bugs the Thousand Year Reich (which is the world that Starship Troopers depicts, after all), I'm for it.

s0metim3s

http://archive.blogsome.com/2006/06/07/starship-troopers/

Go bugs. Go bats. Go cylons ...

Humans don't respect life like we do.

Matt

Craig,

this summer we got a free pile of goat manure which was terrific. Oddly enough, putting a little fox urine on cotton balls–I'm sure they sell it up there–and placing them on short sticks around the garden seems to keep the deer away. It doesn't do much for cucumber beetles, sadly, though I guess soapy water sometimes works, and just constant vigilance removing them by hand and squishing them periodically, leaving the bodies there as warning (or if nothing else, compost). At least they're very selective in what they chew. Our string bean leaves are completely tattered, but it doesn't appear to be slowing the beans down in the slightest.

Craig

Matt - you ever been bit by one? I think my possible bee sting was actually a beetle. Another got on my arm today, but then I smashed it. I'll try the soapy water.

Matt

Craig, it's possible. And while I haven't (yet), maybe they are more dangerous up there. Good luck.

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