Friday, May 29, 2009


...asked Terri, while we were tuning in the news at about 10PM last night. Since it wasn't our usual station, I listened closely to hear if one of the news anchors was beeping. Unsure, I hit pause on TiVo (everything "live" on TiVo is really just freshly recorded) The beeping was faint, but from someplace else. I wandered the downstairs, ear cocked. Not here, not there, getting fainter, now I hear it better.

The bedroom: A beep - really a chirp - was chirping about every ten seconds. That's why the search took time; you could walk by it and it'd chirp 5 seconds later and you'd be rooms away.

I thought I narrowed it down to the air conditioning control, perhaps in need of a new battery? Though it flashed the message: Change filter, I just doubted that they'd wire that to a bird's ass (the chirper).

I consulted our collection of ring binders - when we moved we vowed to be organized ORGANIZED! and have ring binders with every applicable manual or instruction hidden in clear plastic, on the page you cannot find.

But I persisted and located the heat control unit instructional booklet. Ah thought so! Just grab in here and here and pull up and...

I was standing in the bedroom holding the control unit proudly when Terri walked in. I had figured that since the battery was invisible, I'd have to take the plate off the wall. I waved the control unit around and said, I think it's this. Terri went to and pointed at the alarm system and said - it's THIS. She was right.

So after I put the control head back on (turning off AC but not knowing until much later) and searching through the library of important documents we saved, I found the code: *2 would tell me what was wrong! CALL SERVICE was wrong - great. Call service, where I'll bet they'll charge me $50-100 to show up and replace the battery and 'test the system.' Test THIS! Online I ordered the lead-acid IM1240 and will install it myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


This is where the trap was set. Catfood bait.

I'll bet the beast weighs maybe 15-20 pounds!

I only hope THIS is the one which has been digging up our lawn and planting beds.

Until now, I can't recall ever seeing one up close. I have seen them occasionally on the roadside, with little Xs where the eyes would be.

The Texas armadillo is about the size of a large cat; its overall length is about 2½ feet, and adults weigh from twelve to seventeen pounds. The shell is really bone.

I drove this big fat one about 7 miles away and released it, somewhere where it hopefully will stay far from here. I let it go and it ran behind a fenced in property, once I shook it out of the trap.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A writer, Whitney Pastorek, wrote this, in her report on American Idol. I think it's such a great line... "while their less-successful former contestant counterparts roamed free, like a wilderness safari of failure."


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I suspect strongly the Armadillo that tore up our lawn last fall is back. We also found a big hole (watermellon size) when we redid the beds that parallel the house, with plants, etc (and lots of mulch.) I dragged the CATCH-A-KRITTER-CAGE-OF-HUMANE-TREATMENT out of storage, loaded it with a nice new can of stinky catfood, and placed in the bed next to the gas meter, where the hole was excavated.

And LO! Within a few nights, the trap was tripped, but empty!

I reset it just now. Time will tell, and if time does, there will be photos posted here, but I wouldn't hold your breath. The trap has never worked for us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Sometimes I am too cautious. It's a side effect of a good imagination - I imagine things going wrong... so when I take our dog out for her final pee in the dark, I always use a flashlight, especially at this time of the year, when snakes are said to be active. You never know.

Last night I swept the concrete with my spotlight, like a guard at a maximum security institution of incarceration. I noticed what appeared to be a branch, which had fallen onto the driveway.

But wait, the branch... was moving. A closer look - a snake! (And scarily, pointed away from the house, as if it lives there or close-by!)

Jessie did her business and I retreated to the house for tools - in this case a pickaxe, which I dropped on its side to immobilize the reptile, while I got the shovel for a beheading.

Yeah yeah, I know, they eat flies or something. I don't care.

Apparently I need a sharper shovel.

I thought it might be a baby copperhead but am not sure. Similar, to be sure.

I took a valium to sleep without snakey dreams as I had some adrenaline to overcome. Woke 45 minutes past my normal wakeup, with no bad dreams. I put the carcass out for the vultures.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Unrelated, but...

Something bit me on the elbow. Or stung me. Wouldn't you think to get there, the whatever-bug bypassed a lot of good MEAT?

The doctor prescribed me a medicine with the words, "if it works, you'll hurt. That's how you'll know it's working." Gee, that's JUST what I wanted. If it doesn't, he prescribed me a backup. Both the nurse and the doc - at separate times, cited HOUSE, M.D. (And BTW - the last HOUSE episode was, I think, the best to date.)

Terri's car now has a new $2200 what-used-to-be-called carburetor in it. Now it's an "engine-management-control-interface-which-nobody-understands-and-we-can-charge-a-fortune-for". I suspect what it really does is light the "check engine" light.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


That's what Austin's famous 6th street used to be called. The photography social group I joined met up at the fest for pictures. I think I got some good ones and they are below.