Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mosquitos suck. FACT.

They do. They really, really do.

Yeah, okay, so nobody is a fan, but we live in an area that is so mosquito heavy that I keep forgetting what it's like to live in an area that has a normal bug level. For example, I had to do some yard work on Sunday (one of the rare days of sun that we've had in I don't know how long), so I donned my summer work clothes, put on my work shoes, and stepped out the front door. Then, in the safety of the open air, I took my handy bottle of anti-bug spray and fogged myself with a lovely, toxic cloud of DEET. Arms, legs torso front & back... I even sprayed my hands and rubbed them in my hair and on my face. Pretty extreme for daytime, eh

It's not so extreme for our neighborhood because we have to put bug spray on our legs since the deer moved into our area and brought deer ticks with them. Lyme disease is insanely thick in our area and, after finding three deer ticks on my youngest son a.k.a. "Tick Magnet", I'm not so jazzed on deer. They may be cute, but I really wish that they'd be cute somewhere else. But I digress.

Anyway, freshly soaked in toxic chemicals I headed into the yard to work.

In the sunny yard.

In mid-afternoon.

I still got MUNCHED. Desite sun and heat, those buggers made a b-line for me like starving women to a banquet table. Those aggressive, sun loving buggers found the chinks in my chemical armor, like in my armpit, a spot on my shorts where the DEET must have been less concentrated, and in a momentary gap between my shirt and shorts in the back. The desperate/brain affected ones were ready to take on my chem soaked arms, but I killed them when I could. These weren't the gently buzzing kind of mosquitos either, they attacked with the speed and gusto of attack squadrons. Of course, this wasn't unexpected. Really aggressive insect popultations aren't exactly an unusual thing in this part of the country and, as a matter of fact, one of the guidebooks for a climbing area not too far away carries this statement right in the guide book: "Don't even think of visiting in May or June, when man-eating insects abound. If you slather on enough DEET, you'll probably survive, but the blood loss will be staggering."

These are tough bugs out here. I'll be that they drink DEET for breakfast. Citronella leaves them rolling on the floor holding their sides with laughter. We protect ourselves the best that we can if we go out in our yards in the daytime, but you take your life in your own hands if you step out at night, even to put out the trash. I secretly suspect that your family would find your dry, shrivelled remains in the driveway the next morning if you stayed out for too long.

Man, I miss the city.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Summer That Wasn't

It may be of interest to nobody in particular that, yes, I am still alive and that I do intend to actually return to blogging after a reaaaalllly long hiatus and/or sporadic posting.

So, what the heck have I been up to? I wish that I had a good answer, but I'm afraid that it amounts to "not much". We are in the middle/late stages of "the summer that simply wasn't" where, inundated with what seems like an absurd amount of rain and thunderstorms and some uncharacteristically cool weather, there hasn't been too much opportunity to do anything recreational. I take that back... it would have been an ideal summer to play "Lightning Roulette" out in an open field somewhere. As a matter of fact, this is the first week this summer that I can remember where there are two days in a row without a chance of rain. Rapture!!! It's so weird to have lush green lawn in August when it's supposed to be a bit droughty and it's too bad that I couldn't figure out a way to send all of our overabundant wet weather to our friends who need it so desperately.

Other than that, the fire performance things have been going slowly, perhaps too slowly for my tastes as I still haven't been able to light up yet. Soon, I hope, soon. Hey, if I can channel my energies into something creative then it will be a good thing.

Good to see you here again and I hope to post again soon.