Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bees again

Almost a month later, and I'm still working on the bees (that originally showed up in a tree more than a year ago).

As the humane approach, I've avoided any kind of insecticide, after all there are a lot of bee deaths out here in California as humans encroach upon their habitat. And we really need them to pollinate the plants, like all of that fruit that grows in the valleys to the south of us... Got a nation to feed, after all.

What I have done is stuff plastic bags into the holes at the base of the olive tree. A few years ago, I had tried the expanding foam thing, you know, the kind of stuff you can buy at the hardware store to "seal" up the cracks around your door moldings, etc. To keep energy costs in check... Bees just love this stuff, after it drys and hardens, they just eat right through it, sort of like ants and their tunnels.

So this year, I've tried the plastic bag trick, but I have to do this in the early a.m., when I can see by daylight, and the bees are still cold and not moving around. Evening, well... let's just say, I'm too tired to do much after about 8pm...

My results are mixed, in that the bags have a natural sort of expanding mechanism that on their own must be tied to some kind of mechanical property of the plastic itself, you know, sort of like those "memory" metals that remember their shape. I'm not saying that the bag wants to be a "bag" again, only that it doesn't want to be a "hole plugger". Anyway, give the bees an inch, in that the bag expands out a little, and those little industrious bees, they push like heck until they find a little opening, and BAMM! they are Free!

I'll keep you posted.

**** Update: I really jammed the plastic in the hole, it's staying. That's the good news... The bad news- they have found a crack higher in the tree trunk for ingress/egress...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Towel Day is this Friday

Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams.

More information can be found at wikipedia.

The event was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams' death on May 11, and since then annually. On this day, fans carry a towel with them throughout the day. The towel is a reference to his popular science fiction comedy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Domestic Violence Awareness

Earlier this year, one of the people that works in a call center for a wireless carrier in Rancho Cordova, CA lost her life to domestic violence. This employer is/has been committed to remember her and to take further action to promote domestic violence awareness, they have:

  • Awarded a grant to a Sacramento-based domestic violence prevention agency, in her memory. The funds will be used to develop and offer domestic violence awareness training at local businesses.
  • They have Offered workshops on campus, including both grief and awareness sessions.
  • Posted the EAP and National Domestic Violence Hotline numbers in break rooms.
  • Provided an easy way for employees to make matching grants to the same agency, in her honor.
Violence at the hands of a loved one, or former loved one, remains a part of the lives of too many.

You too can make a difference:

  • Be observant. Offer your support and concern if a coworker exhibits possible signs of domestic violence and any EAP program, which usually offers confidential assistance.
  • Urge anyone who confides in you to call #HOPE from a Verizon Wireless phone. It’s a free call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can also call from any phone to 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Encourage the coworker to also speak to his/her supervisor. They can help if they are made aware.
  • Recycle your old phone through HopeLine to help support efforts to end domestic violence.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ophone

You are probably going to laugh at this one...


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comes in 3's

Today when I came home from work
  1. The bees in the tree in the far corner of my property took up residence in the base of a tree right next to the garage.
  2. I started to flood them out with water, delivered by garden hose, but noticed that the water pump was running start-stop; a clear sign that my new air-volume control is not keeping enough air as a cushion/spring in the water tank. The easy way to resolve this is to turn off the water and allow the tank to drain to about half-way.
  3. I told my wife I was "adding air to the water tank" and it would be about 30 minutes... About 10 min later she tells me that she didn't make the connection between my statement and the literal fact that the water would be off, as she was brushing her teeth and couldn't rinse her toothbrush off.

Later, water back on, flooding recommences, bees are mad again; I'm keeping my distance.