Here’s a picture of the motion-activated spotlight in our apartment:


And here it is in the well house. Andy pointed it towards the area where the rats had tried to build their nests.


So far no new rats in the zappers.

It’s not just our equipment that needs protecting. Here’s the new layer of fencing Andy put around our redwood tree to keep it from being destroyed by bigger critters.


Do you ever have problems with animals eating your stuff?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Here’s Hoping

Each of the rat zappers killed a rat Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, so the total is now

rats in truck 16
rats in well house 9
mouse (in truck) 1
ground squirrel (in truck) 1

Andy put the Rid-a-Rat in the truck Thursday. A rat had moved it yesterday, but there was no new nesting material and no rat in the zapper.



Today he’s going to put the motion-activated light in the well house. We don’t want rats destroying things in the truck and well house, but we don’t want to kill them either. Keep your fingers crossed for us.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 8 Comments

Yay, Scotland! Yay, UK!


The above is a screen shot I took during BBC Scotland’s coverage of the referendum for Scottish independence. The colored areas on the map are the ones where the votes had already been counted. Areas marked in red had voted against independence, green, for independence. Not surprisingly, the No’s won.

Why would I spend time watching the results? I have a warm spot in my heart for Scotland. Kaitlin spent her junior year of college at the University of St. Andrews, and I visited her twice while she was there. The first time was for a weekend in the fall when I was on my way to Germany for a business trip. The second was when Andy and I went for a week during Kaitlin’s spring break. We rented a car, saw a lot of the country, and had a great time.

So I love Scotland and think staying in the union is a good thing for it, especially if the Scots do get the increased autonomy they’ve been promised. We’ll have to see.

Did any of you care about the referendum, one way or another?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments

Smooth Ride? Or?

Has your life been one smooth ride? Has it had enough rapids to make it adventuresome? Or have you been “dunked” more times than you would have liked? Or…?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 19 Comments

Poor Obama

That was a long time ago, wasn’t it?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 7 Comments

Interesting Stories

There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here.
—Official in the Chinese city of Chongqing

So the city tried an experiment. It divided one stretch of sidewalk into two lanes — one for smartphone users, the other for non-users. Did it have any effect? No, because the smartphone users were too distracted to read the signs.

Then there was the fellow who was applying for a visa to Australia. He was asked if he had ever been arrested for a felony. His answer? “I didn’t know that was still a requirement.” Neither Andy nor I saw that one coming.

Have you read/heard any interesting stories — either true or made up — lately?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Discouraging Critters

Yesterday I wrote saying I hated the idea of killing poor critters who only wanted to make a nest for themselves, and Beate emailed a possible solution. A friend of hers had good luck with Rid-A-Rat. The idea is simple. Rats like dark places, so just install a little blinking light to discourage them.

I ordered one of them and also a motion-detecting LED porch light — the light turns on when it detects motion, then shuts itself off to save the batteries. We’ll try them both, one in the truck engine compartment and one in the well house. We’ll let you know if either of them seem to work.

Thanks, Beate!


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 7 Comments


This weekend Andy and Orlando were going to fix up the roads so Andy can plow this winter, but Orlando couldn’t get the backhoe in time. They now plan to do it next weekend.

They’re also going to install these two new culverts in the road drainage system to help keep the roads from washing out next year.


A critter has been bringing materials into the engine compartment of the truck — to build a nice nest for the winter.


I’m afraid, and Andy hopes, the rat zapper will get it instead. What would you be rooting for?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 13 Comments

Say, What?

Radical groups in Syria have for years waged a slick campaign to recruit Westerners by appealing to their sense of religious duty and by assuring them that despite all evidence to the contrary, war isn’t so tough.

Recruiters have referred to the fight in Syria as “five-star jihad,” with impressionable would-be fighters promised ample accommodations, fine food, money and brides. Some recruitment materials have featured smiling fighters holding kittens.
—Karla Adam, The Washington Post

Adam’s article, entitled Westerners Fighting in Syria Disillusioned With Islamic State But Can’t Come Home, is about disillusioned young Britons fighting in Syria.

Apparently some “experts” studying these young adults say some of them are not hardened jihadists — if they were offered a deradicalization program and were carefully monitored by MI5, they could be a powerful weapon against jihadist recruitment efforts in Muslim neighborhoods.

My guess it would be a hard sell to politicians and the British public. What do you think?


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 6 Comments

tammy’s Back!

Her latest post, a lamp by the window is up at peanut on the table, and she’s welcoming comments again.

Yay, tammy! We missed you.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 4 Comments