Monday, July 31, 2006

Movie Review: Clerks II

Because it was so bloody hot outside this weekend, Hambone and I went to the movies in order to accomplish two goals 1) get out of the house and 2) not experience heat stroke

We went to the Columbia Mall, where I am constantly struck by the "whiteness" of it all. After frequenting Arundel Mills Mall, where we're the only honkies in the place, Columbia is like a trip to Stepford.

Anyway, we saw Clerks II and laughed ourselves silly. I mean, you have to really appreciate course humor and it is required to see Clerks I first. If you meet these criteria, the movie is dead on with the humor of the first Clerks.

But it's a dirty, dirty movie. Be ready.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Issues with Fungi (not Feng-Shui)

So in landscaping the yard, we opted this year for Scott's brand Black mulch. They say on the package that the mulch will never fade, and will keep looking great year after year.

What they didn't mention is the propensity to grow giant fungi all over the place. I'm not sure if the fungus comes from the heat generated by the black color or if the 80 bags we bought had spores already inside the bags.

Here's what we've got -- it starts out as this yellow stuff, then turns white, then starts BELCHING spores for days and days.

Monday, July 10, 2006

More about Feeding Birds in the City

This is the top of our garage (see the photo, left) You can see the pigeons waiting there hungrily for me to refill the bird feeder yet again. Well that isn't going to happen. Not until they stop begging like mongrel dogs.

See the gap in the lineup there? That's because Hambone's buddy took one out with a B-B gun. See how the rest of them are undeterred?

As an added bonus, the birds didn't actually eat all the seed they had shoveled onto the ground, so now we have little plants growing under the feeder. It's quite a joy.

We did buy more feed over the weekend, but neither Hambone nor I am ready to recycle this set of events...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wild Birds are HOGS

So we bought a larger bird feeder after I broke the one we had. (It tipped over when I was cleaning it out after the rain) I figured the larger feeder would help the seed last longer. But no, indeed that was not the case.

The birds, those sweet little sparrows and nuthaches and such are HOGS. They go to the feeder in flocks. Most of the birds sit on the ground, and the bird or two on the feeder SHOVEL the food with their beaks out of the feeder to the others.

We've watched the seed fling off of the feeder to 30 sparrows on the ground on a number of occasions. Then the pigeons come between the flocks of sparrows to gobble any remaining seed.

In our three weeks of 'birding' we've burned through 35 pounds of bird feed. I'm not kidding.

I really enjoy the birds, but this seems to have grown out of porportion. Has anyone got any ideas for how to manage this? I thought I was on deck for about 15 birds, but the flocking is really more than I had bargained for...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Rat Season 2006

It's July officially now, which means the rats are back. I'm not sure what it is about this time of year -- maybe their young are big enough to require more food than they did earlier in the year, but we haven't seen a rat since the beginning of last winter.

On Saturday (July 1) a rat dug under my Clematis, one of the three remaining after the rat/plant carnage of 2005, and snapped off all the vines.

I declared to Hambone that "It's ON."

He put out a trap that evening and by morning we had caught the culprit. Hambone's become quite skilled in this area.

Afterward, I found out that he had been 'baiting' rats and pigeons by pouring seed on the ground because he missed shooting things in the yard. For those of you considering bird feeders in the city, you may want to keep the bird seed in the feeder. You'll also want to keep the seed dry -- when it gets soggy it produces *quite* a stench, which draws some of the undesirables from the neighborhood, if you know what I mean.

Yesterday we bought a new feeder that's a little more water proof. I'm waiting for them to make one "Hambone proof."