Ticks

We have been scaring Ms. EThompson with snake stories after learning that she is moving to an area of northern Florida where poisonous snakes abound.   However, I think we would be best to spend our energies cautioning about ticks.

Ticks are small critters that feed on your blood, like mosquitoes, but different.   They are little crawlers.   They are a pest that, like mosquitoes, carry disease.   Some tick-borne diseases are very serious, like Lyme Disease.   There are sixteen different ailments that you can catch from ticks.   Though rarely fatal, they can become chronic.

In a couple of recent discussions I have recommended snake gaiters over boots as preferable to snakeboots.   Snakeboots are stiff and hot and uncomfortable.   Gaiters over boots is way more comfortable, though whether or not it is comparable protection against snakes depends on your boots.

But there is a drawback that must be considered.   Snakeboots also provide improved protection against ticks, who will jump off of the weeds and onto your leg, crawling around until they find a place to bite.   They can climb under the gaiters and get to your socks, burrowing through the socks and then burrowing into your skin.

Bug spray

So the thing to do is to treat your socks and the gaiters with a tick spray.   I frequently see DEET recommended, and that is good, and I recommend it, too, to prevent all sorts of insect bites.   It is not completely effective, but it really helps.

In addition to DEET, there is another product that I also recommend, which is permethrin.   It is easily found as a spray.   Permethrin lasts longer than DEET, so you can spray the gaiters today and they will still have an effect for a couple of weeks.   Spray both the outside and inside of the gaiters.   Spray pants, shirts and socks.   Make sure you do your spraying up on the porch or in the garage, and not out in the flowerbed, because both sprays kill bees and butterflies and other pollinators.   Do not spray near pets, as it can make them sick.   But definitely use this stuff.   Tick fever is dangerous.

Tick Tubes

A new thing I recently learned is tick tubes.   These are coated cardboard paper towel tubes filled with little cotton balls.   The cotton balls are sprayed with permethrin.   You toss a dozen tick tubes around the yard, under bushes and in clumps of flowers.   They are for the little critters that live in the yard.   Mice and chipmunks and squirrels and even moles will find them, and take a prized cotton ball home to line the nest.   The result is that their ticks die.   I have healthier mice, chipmunks and squirrels now, and the result is also that we have fewer ticks.   I have noticed a difference after just one year.

I could make my own but I am too triflin’ lazy and too bothered by the chemical to want to do that by hand.   They come in a box of a dozen tubes.   We put out two dozen in early spring, and then another dozen in late spring.   We don’t see the tubes again until the foliage dies in winter, and then we pick them up and toss them in the trash.

Possums

Opossums are a common woodland critter that have adapted well to the outer suburbs.   They are really unusual in several ways.   One thing about possums is that they have a low body temperature, lower than most mammals.   This makes them resistant to rabies and some other diseases.   It also makes them a less-attractive host to ticks.   But the main thing about possums is that they eat ticks.   They eat lots of ticks.   Possums can be good to have around, on account of they eat ticks.

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Weekend Cruising

Sunday at 2pm one of us decided to go somewhere. This week, the adventure target was the Deschutes River Conservancy Area near Maupin , OR.
The other one decided it had potential, so off we rolled in the F150.

I love day trips. The weather was perfect, sunny along the whole route and all we needed to do was grab a travel mug of coffee (Try Black Rifle, I recommend highly) , a bag of beef sticks and grain free granola bars, the new camera and off we rolled. All else is in the truck at all times.

We had not done the run over Mt Hood in a while and it did not disappoint. The momentous presence held our gaze for miles as we drove over the southern side. We descended through the forest of ponderosa pine to the beginnings of the high desert as we crossed the Warm Springs Res.

We found Maupin, and I was able to out route the GPS by the unique human ability of looking at another map so we arrived just around 5pm at the Deschutes river.

River here was placid .

River here was not.

So we came home via the Columbia Gorge on I 84. Here is a shot upriver at near sunset.

And here is an unloaded coal barge heading back for another load shot downriver.

A good time was had by all.

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Serenity As A Time Share

It being the Red Headed Irish Wisecracker’s birthday we headed to the Ridgefield NWR, which is only seven miles from where our new home will be.

Memorial Day weekend weather here in the Wet Northwest is soggy, with 99.9% chance of overcast except for brief gorgeous sunshine, deep blue skies and white cumulus clouds if you act without hesitation.

So we fired up the F150 and our new Canon SX70 and went in search of sunshine and wildlife.

Flashing my $10 vintage lifetime Curmudgeon pass to all Federal lands we arrived and enjoyed a serene and gorgeous afternoon.

Still getting the hang of handholding a 65 power telephoto with live subjects, even with image stabilization, so bear with me.

None of these animals watch CNN, FOX, MSNBC or read blogs. I do understand they are arguing about the ending to GOT. Apparently , some were rooting for Drogon and the winged faction was quite pleased.

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The Un-Terminator

Today I am recovering from eye surgery.

So by now I have two artificial lens in my eyes, several stainless steel bolts in my arm and a sensor patch on my left arm for monitoring blood sugar.

I wear a biostrap, shoepod and chest unit which records blood oxygen, resting heart rate, active heart rate, heart rate variability, steps taken, sleep levels and reads my workouts individual exercise data. I have an ekg unit that reads a two lead ekg and connects to the web for AI based analysis, soon to be replaced by a six lead unit.

Ah, the brave new world that has such creatures as us…

We are well on our way to cyborg living.

It beats driving your body without gauges.

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My Goldfish have survived yet another winter…

The water isn’t milky, that’s because the sun was shining. I’ve yet to put a ladder and a board across the pond to reach in and scoop out some leaves and put some of the rocks back to where they are supposed to be and trim what was left of the plants.

In the second clip, the fancy long tailed male on the right is about 14″ from nose to tale, just to give you a reference of size.

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Makes me wonder…

Why are we so dependent on our utilities?

We had a storm come through at 2:14 AM and we, along with 390 other customers, lost power for nearly 12 hours. It was starting to get cold in the house as the gas furnace needs electricity for the pumps. The battery operated sump pump nearly depleted it’s battery. The basement did not flood, it couldn’t because the water would flow out the garage door like it did the first mid winter thaw we had some 25 years ago. I was ready to go out and buy a generator when the power came back on.

Still thinking about a generator…..

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Gun owners are guilty until proven innocent!

Colorado enacts ‘red flag’ law to seize guns from those deemed dangerous, prompting backlash

This sucks! As I understand it, nearly anyone can attest to a made up fact that a gun owner is dangerous and his guns will be taken away in violation of the second amendment. The gun owner will have to prove to the state he is not dangerous.

Damn them, I have my compound and re-curve bows and I can still use them effectively.

I’m fairly sure that criminals will turn in other criminals with this law in place. Yea right, keep dreaming.

Read the report, It will disgust you.

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Tele-Monsters revisited.

Tele-Monsters, or those dammed scam/spam/nuisance/marketing calls.

I’m sure a few Ratburgers remember my posts about them and my successes and failures to turn the tide of them.
Yep “NoMoRoBo” is still the premier answer. But with drawbacks. The drawbacks are when every tele-monster calls and NoMoRoBo intercepts the call, we get one ring. Sort of like on “The Hunt for Red October“, but ring instead of ping.

Continue reading “Tele-Monsters revisited.”

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First warm day

Nature Girl took me for a walk through the swamp on Sunday afternoon.   It was the first warm day of the year; after a really cold week the temperature zoomed up into the 60s Fahrenheit.   It was a nice day for a walk.   We started in midafternoon, and it was nearing sunset as we returned.   She stopped to look at something to the side of the trail.

She stepped off the trail to get a closer look.

I zoomed in on the cottonmouth.

The sun had just dropped down and put that little warm spot into the evening shade.   Around the bend, the sun was still shining on the trail.   She spotted something on the trail.

It was a pretty little yellow rat snake.   A much more welcome denizen of the swamp.

A few moments before we encountered those critters, I took a couple of pictures from the access road that traverses the swamp.

We have only lived here for less than a year.   We enjoy living next to the Conservancy woods.   There are many trails that we were unwilling to walk on until after we had a hard freeze just before Thanksgiving.   After the sedges grow up so that you cannot see where you are putting your foot, we will stop walking those trails again.

I bought snakeboots and snake gaiters for her birthday last year.   I try to get her to wear her thornproof gloves when gardening.   After she saw a copperhead in a flower bed, she started to wear those gloves.   But Nature Girl is irrepressible.   It makes me nervous when she walks through the woods by herself, but she is having fun exploring our new surrounds.

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Christmas Lights.

OK, so I don’t have the fancy, dance to the music, lights, but I did a little something different this year. I decorated my mailbox with numerous multi-color LEDs that I soldered to strips and screwed them to the mailbox. They run off 3 volts so I had to make up a little regulator circuit for them. Then I found out I was exceeding the current for the circuit so I had to make up another. I solved the heat problem with the regulators by attaching them to little copper plates to be cooled by the cooler weather outside.

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“Tele-Monster” update. (the saga continues….)

It almost make me want to terminate my land line.

There is one persistent “tele-monster” that had called 15 times in the past 2 weeks. Last night I had enough. Granted NoMoRobo does detect these scam calls and terminates them as soon as they can get the caller ID. Unfortunately the caller ID is transmitted after the first ring, so I must endure many single rings from my land line phones. Tired of this, I set up my phone system through my provider so that when another call would come in and I knew it would, it would forward that call and only that call back to the point of origin.

(Click Continue reading below to see the screen capture.) Continue reading ““Tele-Monster” update. (the saga continues….)”

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Sean Hannity and Busted at the Border

Caravan Update…..
Just in case you have not been aware….

Sean Hannity: An important reminder about why strong borders, the rule of law, and the wall are so important.

And just today….

More than a dozen members of the migrant caravan were arrested Wednesday night along U.S.-Tijuana border, a border patrol source in the San Diego sector told Fox News.

This don’t look good…..

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I have seen too much to ever leave the Catholic Church

This morning I was reading over at the other place, as I do from time to time. I read Brian Watt’s post, The Church’s Ongoing Gay Orgy, and the first page of the comments. The first comment was Bryan’s, and he proposed a solution to the gay-clergy crisis:

The laity should abandon the church. Stop giving money. Leave it. Only that will force it to change. It was so 500 years ago.

There are a few ways I can argue why this isn’t a good idea, and they involve using arguments that have already been used over and over, none of which are really my own. And I see that others have attempted this strategy over there.

Rather than rehashing old arguments, I’d like to share something dramatically more personal. I don’t think people here have read my book (and for a couple of you, that’s my fault since I still haven’t sent the copies I promised to send!). I mention the book because it outlines some of my experiences that led me to become Catholic.

The bottom line is that I couldn’t have seen what I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality had I recommitted myself to any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because what I saw about the distortion of those things has its roots and foundation in contraception. Everything that I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality, much of which Protestants can and do affirm, is grounded in the notion that contraception is contrary to God’s plan.

Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase, “contraceptive mentality” in 1981 with his encyclical Familiaris consortio (The fellowship of the family)

You’ve probably all heard of the Catholic phrase, “the contraceptive mentality.” Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase in 1981. I have noticed that the phrase doesn’t seem to make sense to non-Catholics, so I prayed hard for a long time about how to convey the idea in a different way. I finally settled on the following that I believe says essentially the same thing: that fertile opposite sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus. I have used this phrase online many times, and it resonates with people. They believe that they do have such a right. I like this phrase because it captures something dear to people. We all do have rights, and rights are important. The State is obliged to recognize our rights.

Here is how the phrase applies to abortion: if fertile opposite-sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus, then abortion must be legal, because it upholds that right. A right for pregnancy-free coitus positions the unborn as unwelcome invaders. Their humanity is irrelevant because they have violated the right. This is why they can be terminated.

Here is how it applies to same-sex marriage: I’m sure you recall the marriage wars at the other place. Those on offense argued repeatedly that marriage, sex, and children were not linked in a principled way. And in one sense they were correct. What I mean is that contraception is what unlinked sex and children in a apparently-principled fashion. The right to pregnancy-free coitus is so appealing that people don’t realize that it is a new right. It did not always exist.

Because of the new-found right for pregnancy-free coitus given by

Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the ancient Christian teaching on contraception in his 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae (Of human life)

contraception, children are added-back to marriage in an ad hoc, couple-by-couple manner. If sex is a presumptively sterile act, making the ad hoc approach to children the correct approach, then same-sex marriage is logically justified since same-sex couples cannot conceive their own children.

Let me make it clear that when I use the word “right” in this sense, I am not referring to a clearly articulated legal right. I am using the word in a colloquial sense, although certain significant SCOTUS decisions allude to it. For example, see Planned Parenthood v Casey and Obergefell v Hodges.

I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, what God’s full plan is for marriage and human sexuality. I would never have understood this plan so thoroughly had I reaffirmed any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because the Catholic Church is the very last Christian body that understands the problem of contraception.

The gay-clergy and those who affirm them are wrong. They may do tremendous damage to the Church, along with the entire sexual revolution. Much damage has already been done. But for me, leaving the Church is not the answer to the destruction. The question is: who is right about the entirety of the sexual revolution, including contraception? We all think we’re on the “correct” side, but how we got there matters. I know where I stand, where I have driven my stake into the ground, and most importantly, how I got there. I can’t predict the future, but if I ever wanted to leave I don’t know where I’d go. By God’s grace I have seen so much of which I have shared a little here.

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