Monday, June 28, 2004

Gophers 15, Tom 1.

Gophers have been tearing up our lawn, back near Emma's swingset. Almost every day a new mound of dirt appears. (Gophers like to come to the surface but can't stand to have openings into their domain. They religiously fill in any openings when they're done with them.)

I tried a silly electronic repellant stake, even though people told me they don't work. Turns out they don't work.

Then, on Saturday, Meliisa noticed that the gopher(s) had left a hole open. Ed (her father,visiting for the week) and I pounced on the oppurtunity, bringing out the vicious little macabee traps I'd bought for just such an occasion. As we fumbled with the traps, I saw dirt moving--the gopher was trying to fill in the opening as we stood there! We redoubled our efforts, keeping the tunnel open with a garden spade as we frantically fiddled with the traps.

Once placed, the traps were triggered several times by dirt being pushed upward by the gopher. Twice it seemed we'd caught him, but each time he escaped. As night fell, I filled in all but one hole, and left only one trap active.

In the morning, that trap held one big, dead gopher. Though intellectually I know there are probably more, I choose to believe that we've solved the problem. Let me have my victory.

If you have a gopher problem and, like me, have lost all empathy for the little bastards, I can definitely recommend the macabee traps.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

With ties to the moon, via the gravitational field.

And speaking of politics--If I hear the phrase "with ties to Al Qaeda" one more time, I'll scream. I felt this way even before the recent 9/11 Commission conclusion that Saddam and Al Qaeda weren't connected. It's clear that, for the last couple years, "with ties to Al Qaeda" has been shorthand for "to the extent that you're afraid of Al Qaeda, please be afraid of these guys too". I don't doubt that most terrorist groups have ties to other terrorist groups, but every time I hear the unsubstantiated phrase, I'm pretty sure that my intelligence is being insulted, and it makes me feel less inclined to trust the speaker.

Makes me feel like this.

Fahrenheit 9/11

I'm looking forward to Farenheit 9/11.

Christopher Hitchens (author of the entertaining The Missionary Posiotion: Mother Theresa in Theory and Practice), takes it apart as pompous, misleading drivel. The Nation lauds it as inspiring and effective polemic. Should be fun.

Saturday, June 12, 2004