July 12, 2009

What the hell, how has it been a month since I've posted to Undismayed?

Mostly I have been working my ass off on researching on the book, since I had proclaimed my intention of having a chapter drafted by this point and am still wandering in thickets. None of which is really conducive to blogging--or to learning fiddle tunes, or even going to the beach. And if you don't go to the beach here you are stuck sitting on the back deck listening to the gunfire, as we did last evening. (The shooting didn't start until 11 pm. My wife asked: how far away was that one? I reassured her it was blocks and blocks away...)

A week or so ago I did spend a long time trying here at Undismayed trying to load some video I had shot of Mexican and Columbian bands at the National Folklife festival. For whatever reason it wouldn't load and I fled in frustration. It still won't load for some reason I can only blame on secret policies shielded from Congress by Dick Cheney. I even cut the things down from 10 minutes each to a few seconds just to give a sense of the music, but that didn't seem to do the trick. I could always load them into youtube but that is just a whole other level of complexity.

Here is an example of what else I have been dealing with in my limited free time—attempting to unsnarl this terrifying pile of frames for my bees.

Coming back here a year ago I returned to a good 15 dead hives, which meant hundreds of frames to clean and refit for the new hives this year. It has been a huge task but I am essentially there.

A friend of mine visiting on the 4th looked into the garage, say this pile as well as the other stuff in there, and said "dude, you are insane." I've been hearing some variant of that remark a lot recently. Por que?

The other thing that mirrors my return here last year is, as usual, dealing with the got-damn rats. I saw a truly gargantuan rat come out of the compost pile the other night. This freaking rat was not much smaller than Wee Oscar. It makes me wonder what the swamps around here have wrought. I have found some kind of animal dropping in the garage which had better not be coming from a rat since it is so big, I am hoping maybe a raccoon.

Anyway, I set a bunch of fearsome traps in and around the compost to kill this fucking thing. I obviously didn't want to use poison on the compost heap, though that is my weapon of choice in the garage.

The traps have instead steadily killed a bird or two a day. Why these damn birds are messing with the traps I can't imagine. The first one I think was a mistake, since I think it triggered the trap accidentally with its tail and the trap ended up snapping and cutting the ass end of the bird clean off. Not a pretty way to die. The other birds though have died in the traditional way. So far no rats.

I did manage to have the trap snap closed on my finger when I was reloading it without snapping it first. I had actually just thought of the need to be careful when the crushing bird-ass-removing force of the trap came down upon my finger. It would help, perhaps, to pay attention.

One of the traps was sprung and empty today and the other was missing entirely. This portends a rat big enough to crawl away dragging a trap. A .22 is sounding much more reasonable as a control measure at this point.

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