Friday, July 17, 2009

Yelowjackets: This is How We Do It In Ohio

So you've got a yellowjacket nest, hrm? Looks like Ricky Shambles needs to do some schooling so ya don't hurt yerself (based on true events).


Yellowjackets are NOT bees. They are yellow and black and fly and sting, but they are wasps (sting multiple times), terribly ornery, and tend to make their nests in the ground.

When I was 8, I was standing on a railroad tie in our backyard like I'd done hundreds of times before to get some water from the spigot. Suddenly I was being stung multiple times in the legs, straight through my knee-high striped baseball socks. Screaming ensued. Then calming. Then Grandpa and Dad went to work.

My daughter found the nest, smack in the middle of the yard. Luckily for us we did not learn that day whether she shares her mother's toxic reaction to stings.

So keep back and spend some time observing. Yellowjackets sometimes have a secondary, back door to their nest. When you attack, you will want to know if that is a potential.

NOTE: If the nest is out of the way, it's up to you if you want to eliminate it. If it is near the end of summer, you may want to leave it alone either way - this is when they go batshit crazy in a last-gasp effort to gather food.

Buy Death in a Bottle
Best stuff from what I could find online is a powder that spreads. But for my money, I like the immediacy of an expanding foam - two cans please.

Wait Until Night
Yellowjackets are active during daylight hours and as the night gets cool, they hunker down and go mildly dormant. If you're lucky enough to get an evening when the temp drops below 50F, the buggers will have a hard time even flying - if they get a chance to get out.

Suit Up
It was warm, but I put on thick socks and tucked jeans into my Harley boots, tucked my thickest Guinness hoodie into the jeans, and tightened that hood. That image is yours to play with, but the electronic copy (procured by my daughter) will not be available for viewing.

I hovered for a bit, awaiting any sign of movement or activity. There was none. I was alone. I had both cans shaken and to the side. I moved quickly and decisively at the hole (about as wide as my thumb), held the nozzle close and sprayed. Within a couple seconds the foam had rapidly expanded and was coming out of the hole, but I kept steady, aimed straight. When the first can sputtered, I hit it with the second, keeping a close eye on the expanding foam bubble for any signs of a superbug of some sort making a break through the foam.

But there was nothing. No movement. Not even any buzzing when I was done. They appeared to be gone.

Set That Shit On Fire
When I was stung as a kid, it had been on a Saturday. I remember that because that night my father and grandfather hosed that nest. The next morning, after church, we stood outside and watched Dad kick over that railroad tie to reveal the nest underneath. A couple 'jackets lay dead beside it. He walked back to the garage and returned with a gas can. After a fair amount of pouring, he lit a match and we watched it burn, standing there before the small fire in our church clothes.

I joined my father in this tradition at 6am the morning after my own foamy attack. Treading carefully I quickly observed there was no movement or activity. I poured some gas down the hole and lit the emerging fumes.

Setting the nest on fire
(I know, it looks like JFK's Eternal Flame.)

After a few minutes and a visible spread of glowing orange below the grass that was beginning to smoke profusely, it was obvious I had been over-zealous in the application of gasoline. I batted the fire out with my broom and returned to the house, feeling proud, feeling part of a legacy, and damn ready for some breakfast.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Van Mural Wednesday: Thursday Edition

You thought I forgot. And I did until late last night.

But that makes it what time? I can't hear you!

That's right: Daïquiri Time

Daiquiri Group

How can you tell that it's Daïquiri Time? The umlaut over the "i" is the first clue. The second is the seductive, lounging posture of the lady on the van. And third is the abundance of martini glasses both in the lady's hand and as a background element. Yay Daïquiri Time!

And as a bonus, here's a submission from Randal on the topic. I can't say it's a full-on van mural, but if our purpose here is to entertain, it fits the bill. If we count the level of suckitude, it even beats mine.

Van Mural American Magic


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jane Austin Gets a Solid Makeover: Zombies and Seamonsters

When I was finishing college, my English degree required a single author class. And the only thing available (unless I wanted to wait around) was Jane Austin. I read all 6 of her novels. And daily, it was like wiping all the crumbs and dirt and animal hair off the dinner table after a month of holiday parties, cleaning the grit between the leaves, and licking it all off a mildew-y paper towel that was on fire. Every day.

So I'm glad to see these two items. Enjoy them. And if you haven't read JA, don't. Ever.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Sense & Sensibility & Seamonsters

Michael Jackson's Hair on Fire - Pepsi - Video Uncovered

You may be saying to yourself: "That's awful. No one wants to see that."

You're wrong. Enjoy it like I know you want to.

Gertrude Stein

After checking out Randal's Jabbering Wacky, I was reminded of a piece I put together a while back. Enjoy.

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude intrude rude Stein beer
A rose is a rose is a rose
Sounds pretty, doesn’t it?
Sounds pretty, aren’t they?
Sounds like stein. Pretty. Much. Many.
Sheds light: dark or bright?

She said her
repetition was necessity
Repetition is necessary
repetition, Mississippi
Over and over a clover Red Rover

A rose had never been so red she said
Bent red read twice after pretty
So read, so heady
Beddy ruddy ready
Not clover, but a mushroom like Alice
Told toad stool road read
Bedspreads quilt patchwork farms

A rose is read, gets pretty well, gets dead
Steins aren’t pretty, drink to death
The rap-rap-rap repetition wraps my head
Mississippi bent pretty, talk to us

“Okay, so what’s the question?” so she said
on her deathbed, what’s the question?
Red the rose? Are you ready?
Over and over heading the rose road sheds
Dead not dead is toasting is roasting
it hurts, my head.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Short: Bush Admin Double Epic Fail

Our exalted ex-prezzy W has been long railed as a goon on many accounts, but the thread that runs through Osama bin Laden wanted "Dead or Alive" and the abject failure to do either is one of my favorites.

And today we learn that no only was Bush unable to catch Mr. 9/11 by conventional methods, but that a clandestine, super-hush-hush CIA operation aimed at assassinating Al-Qaeda leaders that was at least partially active and apparently shepherded by Uncle Grumpy Dick Cheney was also unsuccessful.

Double Epic Fail.

Freedom From Religion

Imagine No Religion

Rut-roh. The Alabama Free Thought Association planted this one along I-20. And the result exactly what I would expect.

Angry Christians are calling in a sanctimonious batshit outrage with messages about the FFRF and AFTA that are anything but Christian. It is unsurprising irony. I deal with black billboards purportedly with messages directly from God, others with specific religious messages, and this monstrosity along I-75 known locally as "Touchdown" or "Butter" Jesus.

Butter Touchdown Jesus

They all offend me personally.

I understand that this may be the first time some of the folks down in Pell City have seen or heard of these lyrics by that dirty hippie John Lennon, but lighten the fuck up.

This is not a message for you to give up your beliefs. This is not a message for you to change your beliefs or telling your kids to worship the devil. It is a simple thought experiment. Look, if it makes you feel better: if there were no religion, there would be no Muslims either.

I believe I just heard a pressure valve puff. But the furnace is still charged, the thoughts still un-christlike, and there are angry fingers dialing even now, at the commercial break of General Hospital.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Parts of Some Days

Not a bad day; not by a long shot. But sometimes, maybe just an hour or two even out of a day can take this tone, and you're reminded of one of your tragically favorite poems.
Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Stevie Smith

UPDATE: Then it passes and you want to smack yourself in the back of the head for being a whiny bitch.