Memo to Me
Thursday, 3:42 pm
Remember to send a bag of 30 apples to the meet on Saturday morning.
Thursday, 8:12 am
As usual, I waited until the last day to have my car inspected. But it’s done and I’m legal for another year. My car was third in line this morning—at 7:35AM. The fellow behind me was an older gentleman, a World War II veteran. While we waited for our cars to be completed, he regaled me with tales of war and life. Turns out he’s 84 years old and doesn’t look a day over 60. He lost his wife two years ago, after 60 years of marriage. She succumbed to Alzheimers. He showed me their wedding photograph. He keeps it in his wallet. With a twinkle in his eye, he asked, “Would you have married that feller?” Time takes its toll, it’s true. He was a handsome sailor back in the day. But a fine looking man now. He said he’s feeling better about life. It took a while after losing his beloved wife, but he’s ready to get back in the saddle again. “I’m looking for a girl who has a boat this time,” he said. With more twinkle in his eye. “You wouldn’t happen to have one would you?” “How big a boat?” I asked. “At least a 48 footer,” he grinned. “Guess that disqualifies me” I laughed.
He’s currently working as a ranger out at the wildlife/beach reserve. Loves his work and the people he works with. I imagine they love him, too.
Numbered Tab Goodness
Thursday, 7:33 am
This is for adventurous Firefox users. Say you have 9 tabs open and you want to jump between them, but would like to use keyboard shortcuts to do it. (Ctl + “tab number"). Well, to make it easier—without having to stop to count the tabs—you can install a cool little extension (Numbered Tabs for Firefox) that overlays a transparent number image on your tabs. The current downside is that you have to install it yourself (in the Chrome folder your Firefox uses), which means you have to know where to put it and I didn’t.
So....I learned that I could install another extension called ChromEdit which makes tinkering with the stuff in the Chrome folder a whole lot easier. It told me immediately where the Chrome folder was that my Firefox uses (not where I thought it was) so that I could copy the transparent tab number images to the folder. And I also used the ChromEdit window to edit the UserChrome.css file that my Firefox uses to insert the numbered tab css code. And now I have numbered tabs. YaY!!
(reference to the numbered tabs found at ChasingDaisy who is a really, really interesting read with the greatest links. The fellow who wrote the tab number thingy writes other really great stuff, too. Box of chocolates.)
My Wildlife - Part II
Wednesday, 4:35 pm
Continued from My Wildlife - Part I
In between vacuuming the ceiling and running the lad from one place to the next, I did a quick internet search for “white worms crawling on the ceiling” It’s surprising how many people have made the same query. This is what I have. The Indian Meal Moth.
The especially disheartening facts about this pest are:
• It is introduced by being brought in with a food product which is already infested.
• This pest may enter food from a store that has an infestation of this insect. The immature stages of this insect may crawl into other food packages thereby introducing Indian Meal Moth into a home or business.
• The larvae are likely to infest: grains, cereals, pastas, chocolate, cornmeal, dried flowers, nuts, spices (red pepper being a favorite) and some herbs.
• They can chew through plastic packaging.
• The adult females lay 100-400 eggs at a time. On food products.
The solution? First, of course, find the infested food and get rid of it. And, for good measure, get rid of anything that would attract these pests, and thoroughly clean all cupboards and cabinets.
And so, after the lad left on his camping trip, I began cleaning out cupboards and filled a few large trash bags until there was nothing left but canned goods. Vacuumed and scrubbed them all.
And still the worms kept coming. Then one came crawling over the top of one of the kitchen cabinets and the light bulb went on. Because, precisely in that spot is where I store my sweet and semi-sweet baker’s chocolate so that cats, dogs, and child can’t find it.
I hauled the coffee table up to the side of the kitchen counter and got up to see what was happening on top of the cupboards. The sight, as they say, defied description. I couldn’t see the two packages of chocolate for the mound of creeping and crawling mass on them. With vacuum nozzle at the ready, I switched it on and sucked ‘em all up.
Gingerly...oh so gingerly, I brought the packages of baker’s chocolate down and opened one in the sink. There was nothing but powdered chocolate left inside. Along with more worms and gobs of their webbing. It was soooo gross! Into another trash bag the chocolate went.
I suspect that was the infested food that started all this. I only bought the chocolate a couple of weeks ago. Nothing else appeared to be infested, but I’m not going through this again. It all goes and I start fresh, with everything new going into glass containers.
So. I climbed back up on the coffee table to continue de-worming the tops of the kitchen cabinets. There were plenty of them. When I couldn’t find another worm, I jumped down off the table. And forgot the vacuum cleaner was right under my feet. I landed on it, twisted my ankle, flipped completely around slamming my back into the knobs on the stove before I landed in a heap wedged in the corner by stove and kitchen sink.
I sat there a moment with a string of simultaneous thoughts running through my mind; i’m okay, nothing feels broken, i can move my leg and wiggle my toes, it hurts, this isn’t how i planned to spend my saturday, hey, wouldja look at that!
Sitting there on the floor brought me eye level with the collection cannister on the bag less vacuum cleaner. By this point there were probably something on the order of 400 worms in there. When the vacuum is on, the detritus spins fantastically fast. Kind of like being in a centrifuge. Do you know what a centrifuge does to 400 worms? It turns them into paste.
And I’m sitting there still thinking. How am I going to clean that mess out? Maybe if I stuck it in the dishwasher. Wasn’t it just a weekend ago that I made the claim that any old nasty thing can go in the dishwasher and come out sanitized? Yes, yes I did. But, you know, I take it back.
I scraped it all out with a spatula and deposited it in another small trash bag. And tossed the spatula in with the goo. And soaked the vacuum’s collection cup in bleachy water.
Until it was time to suck up more little white worms that were still appearing from behind the kitchen cabinets. I still don’t know where they came from. Perhaps they took a wrong turn from the top of the cabinet and decided to change course and head for more open areas. Whatever. It was a regular blast.
Three ibuprofen and and ace bandage got me on my feet and I’ve more or less spent the last couple of days looking up at the ceiling. So far, nothing to report. No more worms. No moths yet. Nothing for them to eat in the cupboards or anyplace else that I can think of. So even if a moth or two or a half dozen result, they and their offspring will starve to death if my trusty vac and I don’t get them first.
This saga ends at least temporarily, but I may have been permanently put off food. The good news is...if you put your chocolate and grainy food products in the freezer for 3 days, it kills the Indian Meal Moth eggs. If you don’t mind eating Indian Meal Moth eggs. Of course, since they are nearly microscopic, you’d never know for sure.
My Wildlife - Part I
Wednesday, 11:01 am
Saturday dawned bright and sunny. No better day for a 10K run and a camping trip. Before my feet hit the floor, the lad was dinging at me to hurry up. He had to go! But before any going happened, I had to make a pot of coffee. I go nowhere in the morning without being properly fueled.
So, while standing at the kitchen counter, waiting for the coffee to brew and swapping ripostes with a slightly nagging teenager, something plopped onto the counter next to my hand. For all the world, it looked like a tiny white worm all curled up in a ball. It was a tiny white worm. And then I looked up at the ceiling and shrieked.
There were hundreds of them. It was like the great gold rush. They were racing for the other side of the room. A whole herd of them on my kitchen ceiling. And the teenager was still nudging. “We have to go! Now!”
Oh, and there was one wolf spider on the ceiling making a snack out of one of the hapless worms. “You’ve got your work cut out for you there, buddy,” I muttered.
I was away from the house about a half an hour. When I returned there were more worms. And three large wolf spiders feasting away. The spider grapevine had been activated.
I dragged out my newish bag less vacuum cleaner and began sucking worms off the ceiling. I left the spiders to their work. Halfway across I started counting each worm I sucked up. By the time I reached the other side of the room, the count was around 130. Double that figure for both sides of the room. And I turned around and saw another wave coming.
Where were they coming from? What were they? Whyyyy?
That karma thing
Wednesday, 5:46 am
Well, it’s been an interesting few days. The really fun part was the sprained ankle and the 8 inch bright purple bruise on my back. I haven’t mentioned all that yet because it goes with a story that makes the sprained ankle kind of beside the point. It’s not a bad one, just slightly sprained and naggingly painful. I’m hoppingly mobile. But I’ve been really cranky. And snarky. And then there were the backend blog problems that have had me banging my head against the wall in wretched frustration. But it was the other thing. The one by which you could measure all other frustration. The one that has tested my mettle. My mettle drooped. I’ll tell ya. It was ugly around here. I’ll tell you all about it after I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee and a few more deep breaths. Because it was The Last Straw. But maybe it’s starting to look funny. Sort of.