dandelion

Creativity 2017

So, much of 2016 was terrible. I won't go into why, you either agree with me or you think the chicago cubs are more important than america. So much death and heartbreak, and my response has been to drink way too much, eat garbage, and scroll down my tumblr page with a dead look in my eyes. In an effort to become a healthy productive member of the Resistance, I am making this post to remind myself that creativity is the animating force of humanity, and that making an effort to be creative--even if that output is terrible, and much of it will be--will make me feel like a better human.

BLOGGING: if I can get god damned photobucket to work, I'll resume taking pictures of urban nature and dogs and public art and other things that make me happy, and post them here. And tumblr and probably facebook too.

NATURE WALKS: This continues to be vital--get out there, take pictures, talk to people about what we're seeing, blog about it, watch the seasons change, drink in life and nature.

PODCASTS: I kind of have two now: Species of Least Concern, which is about urban nature and such, and Doc Talks, which is conversations with my dad. I have other ideas too, the limiting factors are my own damn laziness, and the fact that it costs money to upload and store these things. I'm on soundcloud at the moment.

MUSIC: I love music and I wish I made some. It's kind of easy to make on GarageBand. It will be terrible, but I should just do it. No one needs to hear it. I'm better at coming up with titles than anything else--two songs that need to be written include "Kill the Nazis" and "White People Get Your Shit Together."

CLAY: My most persistent fantasies involve making stuff out of clay--I have an airy comfortable studio, Alexis throws beautiful pots and vases, and I make monsters to stick on them. I do not have a studio or a wheel, but I do have a box of Sculpey and I should get back to making monsters with it.

BATTLE VEST: I have no need for a battle vest, a piece of denim armor covered in buttons, patches, spikes, and bones. And yet I keep making one, in my imagination. I blame @KatieAaberg. I have a shit ton of patches and buttons, all I need is the vest and the ability to sew. It would be good to know how to sew. It would be fun to resume collecting bones, too.

Other things: I dunno. I'm writing this with an overcaffeinated brain during a break at work. The above items were making my mind itch, but I'm sure there's other stuff that I want to be creative with that I'm not thinking of right now. Also I ran out of anti-depressants two days ago so I should probably deal with that.
dandelion

Charlie memories

Loving a dog means getting your heart broken in 10 to 15 years. You know it's going to happen, but there is no way to prepare for it. This week he stopped eating and drinking, and on the infrequent times that he would walk, he would shake himself and fall down. We sent him back to the universe at 10 am this morning.



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dandelion

This common household product will put the pest control industry out of business!

The pest control industry is a highly regulated multi-billion dollar global industry. The discovery that vinegar attracts fruit flies, or kills weeds, will not drive them out of business. As with most internet claims, if a helpful hint for pest control sounds too good to be true, it is. A good test of whether a substance or a product is effective at controlling pests is if a major pest control product distributor carries it in its inventory.

You see, critics of the pest control industry are right about one thing: they’re in it for the money. But their business model isn’t “conceal the fact that cinnamon works as a mild insect repellant so that we can sell more bug spray.” Their business model depends on developing and selling products that work as directed, and marketing them effectively. They know that some common substances like boric acid are effective—but instead of ceding the market to the laundry detergent folks, they have formulated products that contain boric acid, but that are more user friendly (contain anti-caking agents, or are combined with food-based baits, etc).

If you want to see if a pest control product distributor is serious about selling effective merchandise, look for ultrasonic repelling devices. These are popular plug-in devices that make a sound that humans can’t hear that other animals can. They don’t repel pests. This has been proven scientifically. If the distributor is selling these then they care more about making money than solving pest issues. Or you could check to see if they sell diatomaceous earth—this is an all-natural mineral substance that (when used properly) effectively kills insects and some other arthropods. It’s relatively safe to use around humans and other vertebrates, and is inexpensive. If the distributor refuses to carry DE products, then they likewise care more about the bottom line than serving their customers.

Of course prevention is always the most effective method of combating pests: if your house is clean and tidy, if all of your doors have doorsweeps and your windows have intact screens, if there are no holes in the walls or gaps at the bottom of the garage doors or cellar bulkheads, if you have properly landscaped your yard to keep it sunny and dry, if you have trash cans and recycle bins that are designed properly and removed and cleaned regularly, then you will have very little reason to spend money on either dangerous poisons that threaten your children and pets, or to misuse dryer sheets and mothballs in a misguided attempt to scare away mice, ants, and evil spirits.