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Of my father.

So Friday evening, I rang him up and had a conversation.

I also dreamed of headlice.

I'm still scratching my headpuzzling over how to react to that one.

This is the first of my catching up on the week/weekend posts.
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Or almost. Technically, my subjects will be dead, so that's not vivisection. On the other hand, I'll be directly responsible for their deaths.


I've been threatening it for ages, despite Looby Loo's squeamish reaction to the suggestions. I've caught two wee beasties. They've been in an airtight jar for over two days, climbing over a couple of strands of hair. (It's like a tiny zoo exhibit really.) They've finally expired (two days plus) and I'll be putting 'em on a slide and sticking 'em under Looby Loo's microscope. Since I needed to keep them intact, I couldn't put them out of their misery, and they are immensely hard to squash anyway. So a slow starving and/or asphyxiation was their necessary fate.


I'm quite looking forward to what we'll see.


(I suppose we ought to attempt to catch the odd cat flea, too, next time we've itchy cats.)


All in the name of science, right?


Mar. 1st, 2007 10:02 pm
muninnhuginn: (Default)


  • Peter S Beagle, The Last Unicorn
  • Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One
  • Thieves' World
  • Gamini Salgado, The Elizabethan Underworld


  • Ankle socks for Loby Loo in Opal Ladybird
  • Gilet for Barbie in scraps of Opal Ladybird


  • S199 Introduction
  • S199 Surface temperature
  • Maths Skills Booklet for Science Short Courses

Got out of my hair:

  • nits
muninnhuginn: (Default)

From Guardian Books' interview with Laura Barton:

"Here," she says, pointing at an illustration showing several mites driving cars up and down a person's leg. "This was because I got headlice. Briefly. I think it was something to do with being at college. But I put on all the cream and then I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought, what about those poor creatures that I killed? That was their home."

Oddly, Monday evening, whilst exterminating the putative next generation <i>in ovum</i> and combing the current crawling passengers down the plughole, I did feel rather sorry for them all.

And I clean forgot to save an example of adult and egg to put under the microscope. Oh well, next time.

And we all know there'll be a next time.

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No, not the usual little beasties. Ants.

It must be Spring.

Are we sufficiently obsessive to go back and create a memory to group all previous formic postings to match the group of little beastie memories? (The latter we sorted out yesterday.) Do we need a meta-category of "little beasties" as well?

Edit: we were.

muninnhuginn: (Default)


Purchased: one electronic head lice comb.

This is, of course, the point at which we discover that these aren't the electronic variety at all but real live flesh and blood!

Electronic head lice, now there's an idea....

Actually, the current not so small object of desire is a theremin (ready made) plus gig bag, plus stand plus practice amp for around £300 lurking on Ebay (that is if we've understood the German correctly).

muninnhuginn: (Default)

Is it proof that Spring's here that the annual ant incursions have begun (most seem to be arriving somewhere near the cat bowls and promptly drown themselves in the water-filled one)?

Or is it an indication that's it's bl**dy freezing out there again and the poor things are coming in for the warmth?

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They were back again yesterday, using a completely different route. Today all is calm, after generous applications of ant killer to further interstices in the kitchen. We await the afternoon--these ants don't seem to do mornings!
muninnhuginn: (Default)
...through a different point in the skirting board, rather confirming my suspicions as to the location of their home planet (sorry, nest). They were "discouraged" once again. So the collective has learned not to go one way, very rapidly. They'll run out of possible exits along the wall eventually,... or colonists. I just wonder where they'll try next.
Must buy more ant powder.
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Finally got round to the second bout of hoovering up the annihilated ants in the kitchen. Most died Monday night, when I liberally squirted ant killer around the part of the skirting board from which they were emerging. I got to them before more than a very tiny number had opened their wings and flown off in search of new colony sites. Rapid reaction due to noticing the suspect pile of sawdust below said run of skirting board: these have appeared before just before a party of ants started trooping around the kitchen (to recap further... The ants tend to start appearing in numbers, well into double figures, in the kitchen in the spring. They troop up the kitchen units from their various points of ingress, help themselves to whatever they can find by way of sustenance, and then go off and tell their friends. [Very Tom and Jerry, though I've not yet seen one at the front blow a bugle! As in Pup on a Picnic.] They have in the past climbed up an outside wall and in through the slight gap around the drainage pipe from the sink, through the back of the units to the kitchen floor. Now they seem to have a route under the floor of the laundry/pantry (in fact the nest may be under the floorboards there) and through the brickwork and over the top of the skirting board. They do not come in, or over, anywhere where food or crockery is stored. It's usually raining when they arrive. Evidently, a bit like school kids, they need indoor playtime on wet days. I've attacked them from both inside the house and out with ant powder, but have never fully eradicated them. To be quite honest, finding the odd one or two in the kitchen doesn't bother me anyway. I leave them be. They leave me be.The local spider [I never kill spiders! Shelob, I just love Shelob.] population needs something to keep it occupied. More than ten or so, however, and I feel they're beginning to take liberties.) So I got to them quickly on Monday and a pile of corpses built up. I left the powder down overnight, covered with a weighted-down newspaper (in case the cats were stupid enough to sample the ant powder), and vacuumed the remains up on Tuesday morning. There's a new pile built up since then. Evidently, there's just enough powder in the interstices of the skirting board to "get" the stragglers.
I do feel rather sorry for them. I know the weather's just this week gone from summer to standard-British-summer and the previous few days of heat had probably spurred them into making their great expansionist move, but outside, even in the wet, would have been a more sensible direction. We may have one potential and unproblematic ants nest, but one's enough. (I felt very much the same about the wasp nest we had several summers ago: the lucky wasps flew in and out of the nest and the house--no problems experienced by either wasps or rest of household--and the unlucky ones left their nest and flew around the house until they died of starvation or exhaustion. We disposed of the corpses. Admittedly, a little care was required if wandering around barefoot. Eventually the wasps died or moved on. At that time, there was no great problem co-habiting. [The invasion of fleas, however, was quite another matter.])
I don't feel guilty about the formic carnage*. Would've done, once. (Wouldn't even kill moths and daddy-long-legses. And that wasn't just because I'm petrified of them.) Makes me wonder, when/if we set off in our own little colony ships what's out in the kitchen ready to swat us. Or feed us kiwi daiquiri jam (that seems to kill 'em off, but they apparently enjoy the process: is too much rum bad for ants?) And how do we know if we're aiming for the kitchen or the back garden?

* Incidentally, not a googlewhack.


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