ærial robot sent to interrogate
Thursday, August 19 2004
The east deck of the house is more then a full story above the ground beneath it, and this fact, along with an excessive cantilever that needed stabilization, contributed to a structure that is more in keeping with the ad hoc carpentry of Tijuana than what one normally sees in American McMansion construction. The most suspect of its features was a rail post in the middle of a span of rail. It passed through the deck to within six feet of the ground where it hung in mid-air and met a two-by-four parallel to the ground, presumably there to keep the post from wobbling back and forth. One of the painters who had painted our house had been a carpenter and he'd looked at that and scratched his head. It was something of an embarrassment. Today I replaced all that nonsense with a simple angle brace, one that allowed me to cut three feet off the hanging rail post.
At some point during my trips back and forth between the ground beneath the east deck and the front of the house, I noticed a ball of Yellow Jackets on one of the plastic Adirondack chairs on the concrete slab near the sliding doors into the main guestroom. Beneath them was a section of paper comb. Something had apparently dug up an active Yellow Jacket nest and flung it onto the slab. There are very few creatures that would do such a thing, but a Black Bear might.
I've been very careful about hornets since being stung the other day. Today, aside from having to avoid cluster of pissed-off Yellow Jackets, I encountered several White-Faced Hornets, which are bigger and more belligerent than Yellow Jackets. They mostly seemed to be foraging for kitchen scraps we toss from the deck, as opposed to protecting a nest. But even in the field they can be intimidating. They come up and buzz in your face like an ærial robot sent to interrogate. As I would in a dystopian world full of such robots, I immediately freeze and wait for the interrogation to end before proceeding with whatever I'm doing. No sort of impatience is worth being stung by a White Faced Hornet.
I went to the Bush/Cheney '04 website today and it had so many headshots of John Kerry one might have momentarily mistaken it for Kerry's website. Indeed, there wasn't a single photograph of George W. Bush on the homepage. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Bush that didn't highlight one of the traits he would be better off concealing.
This evening Gretchen and I watched a French language movie called French Twist about what can happen when a beautiful woman starts a romance with a "diesel dyke" while her husband is secretly carrying on numerous affairs. The household that results is anything but traditional, and just when you think things are as weird is they can be they get even weirder. I expected the adulterous husband to be portrayed as a cartoonish buffoon, but what's most interesting about this film is how he develops as a character.
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