Lots of people came over. There are lots of pictures too. Good times. I have mountains of extra food that people left, including 2 pies, bourbon sweet potatoes, mashed candied yams, casserole with green beans, jello, ice cream, whipped cream, turkey (lots), eye glasses, 2 chairs, a camera case, 2 cookie sheets, wine, beer, and a big mess. Happy holidays!
I'm staying in Denver over Thanskgiving. It's too far a drive for too much $ to justify leaving for the short thanksgiving break. It's fine though, because I've invited classmates over for thanksgiving and have a guest list over 10 now. Should be a good time!
In other (but related) news, I have cooked 3 turkeys now. There is at least 20 pounds of turkey meat (after carving) that we have frozen or eaten. Turkey and mashed potatoes, turkey sandwiches, turkey for the sake of turkey, turkey grilled cheese, turkey enchiladas, turkey chili, turkey taquitos, and a great big county fair style turkey leg.
There is one more bird to carve, and one more after that to cook ON thanksgiving. I'm still not sure if it's enough. Maybe one more???
My mission? To boldy seek out new life forms wherever they may fester and snub them out completely.
This rampage took place in early August right before I left for clinical. It started becasue I had an ant problem. Investigating the ant problem led me farther down the rabbit hole. I found lots of fun stuff. To date, I've probably killed 5 or 6 black widows in my back yard now but only took pictures of 2. Read below:
Monomorium pharaonis. The Pharaoh Ant. The Texas Piss Ant.
These sterile females are tiny. When disturbed, their colonies SCATTER with hundreds of queens per colony and form new ones. Sprays were ineffective for that reason. I've moved to boric acid gel baits. Here they are after the dug a hole under the dog's food dish. It was the same night Dimitri scratched little Mia's eye. I was in a bug killin' mood. This little mass of ants inspired a midnight bug killing spree.
Lasius niger. The Black Garden Ant.
These guys have basically been harmless except for really small piles of dirt on my back patio. Sometimes they mass up in the front yard and form piles on the sidewalk. Not a single one in the house all summer, but Bobby didn't like the way the looked when the piled up on the sidewalk for an hour or two a couple mornings a month. I didn't have to bait and poison them, but I was in a bad mood.
Latrodectus hesperus. The Western Black Widow. A BLACK FUCKING WIDOW!
I saw this funny looking web on a midnight prowl for ants. I saw 3 black legs right over the rim of the post. Closer inspection revealed a black body and something red - but she bolted up into the shaft before I could ID her... I should stick my camera in and get a better view...
All you can see is a blurred red dot at the very top. Neigh unidentifiable. Going to come back in the light with proper ant killing equipment. You might need to click on the image to get a better view.
Moments before an agonizing death. Raid. Lots. Up into the tube. She repelled down onto this brick and took a few steps and paused. We locked eyes. It was her or me. She's a man killer, to be certain. I don't want to give her that chance. She made a move. I hit her with a Hammer. Twice. Gallagher that fuck, would wish... The RAID probably would have done the trick given a minute or two more but my way was much more satisfying.
Genus: Vespa, Species: beats me - it's a fucking hornet. or a wasp. This picture always makes me want to watch Kill Bill.
Pictured previously, this little guy didn't stand a chance. He did not appear to be any part of the 3 formal wasp nests I had pwnd in the last week, but he had trespassed onto my bbq grill anyway. In my mind that offense justified using what was left of a can of flying bug RAID. First shot, he dropped out of the air like those helicopters you see in movies falling: "Oh SHIT! WE'RE GOING DOWN!" But, after he hit the ground, he got back up and flew in a couple small circles and then came straight for me. Luckily the 2nd shot grounded him permanently - where I took a quick snap shot - and then curbstomped him (not pictured - too much gore).
Wasp grounded seconds before curbstomp.
Nest #1: The first hornet mass grave. These guys were in the fence on my patio. It was the first of 3 hornets nests I would find. This was the biggest, and there are at least 8 to 10 fallen soldiers in this shallow space of dirt and weeds next to the fence post.
Nest #2: Opposing side of the nest.
Nest #2. MORE CARNAGE!!!
Nest #3: This picture also makes me want to watch kill bill. This little guy was trying to crawl away when I shot him. Shot him ded.
Pogonomyrmex barbatus. The Red Harvester Ant (I think). Related somewhat to Pogonomyrmex maricopa (found in Arizona) - one of the most venomous insects in the world (20x stronger than a bee sting). W. L. Meyer (1996-05-01). "Chapter 23 — Most Toxic Insect Venom". Book of Insect Records. University of Florida.
This little harvester ant is not the most poisonous ant in the world. He's just a dead red ant. It's worth noting though, that the big mandibles in the front are designed to bite and dig in, so that if you flick it off, they tear or cut your arm. This ant is HUGE - about 1/3d the length of one of the hornets previously killed. Alive, he was very hard to photograph because he was FAST. He's easier to photograph now because he is dead (or dieing). Kicked the bucket. It's passed on. This ant is no more. It has ceased to be. This is a late ant. It's bleeding demised! THIS IS AN EX-ANT!
Best Spider PIcs to come:
Juvenile Latrodectus hesperus. A young western black widow. Found in a crack in the bricks of my patio while I was playing with the puppy - 5 feet from previously dispatched widow.
To boldly seek out new life forms wherever they may fester, and destroy them with extreme prejudice. Can I put any of this in my PT portfolio?
Fear not for my life, for she is dead. The white and orange stripes indicate that this here lady is a youngin - and has not reached maturity (not to be mistaken for reaching full potential to kill). All I see is a young man, girlfriend, or puppy killer (as well as a killer photo-op?). This one was gassed, squashed, then sealed into a zip-lock snack baggy and thrown into the dumpster so the puppy couldn't eat it.
Very Ded. Hour-glass underbelly - I had to be certain.
The first few days of a semester are always my favorite. I start out with hope and optimism for all the things I'm going to learn. And there is a lot of cool stuff to learn. I even get a little excited to read articles. I gather supplies, categorize, and organize material and resources for the upcoming weeks. I pat myself on the back for weaning off coffee prior to the start to increase efficacy later when I need a pick me up.
ICD-9: 728.87 (Generalized Weakness): Insufficient strength prevents mouse from lifting heavy objects and participating in great mouse escape. Appears to be motivated, but stupid. Potential for patient to achieve patient goals: poor. Skilled PT 3x weekly for 8 - 10 weeks with therapies to include therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities, functional self care/occupational training, manual therapy, modalities, physical agents, and patient education.
You must first discover and identify your foe - get to know feeding habits.
Phase II: Set the trap - Cheese with Peanut butter under a baking dish supported by a laptop cord. I am on a clinical rotation in Wyoming and do not have off hand things like yarn, sufficient boxes, or real mouse traps. I do however have my laptop, the charging cord, a piece of cheese, some bakeware, and lots of extra time.
CAPTURED!!! Hypothesis confirmed. Far too weak to lift a baking dish. Evolution and Gravity prevail!!! Now... A name... Meet Paul Newman!
I am on my first clinical rotation as a Doctor of Physical Therapy Student. 6 weeks in Thermopolis, WY. I am in clinics in Basin, WY and Worland, WY learning hands on how to manage patients, document, educate, and relax again. Excited to be here DOING something and learning instead of sitting in a class room for 8 hours a day practicing my backwards pen flip, updating facebook statuses, and pondering the approximate amount of adaptive shortening my hip muscles have gone through. Good times.
About Thermopolis (in no order): ~3,174 people. A few less deer. A neighbor with Owls. Nobody has successful gardens or small pets. 1 Stoplight referred to as "The Stoplight." 1 hardware store. 1 Sports Store with sports stuff in it. 1 Sports Store with dead animals in it. 4 - 7 restaurants (hard to pin down an exact number - like cockroaches). 3 Hot Springs. 2 Parks. 1 Cultural Center. 2 Grocery Stores. 2 or fewer police cruisers on duty at any one time. Rafting. Floating. Golf. A hill behind my back yard and that's all there is back there. Buffalo. Cheap poultry and expensive fruit. 1 movie theater. And finally, one video store that has every episode of The Waltons on VHS. God Bless 'Merica!
I went to Ft Collins last night to see That 1 Guy. Fun concert. This guy BUILT his own instrument with steel pipes and bass strings. He's like a 1 man blue man group that didn't have to blue himself! Also, he played an electric sampled cowboy boot. A BOOT! THE MAN PLAYED A GOD DAMN BOOT!!!!
Just living the dream. Finals is in 4 weeks and includes lots of stuff. I'm pretty sure I'm going to sweat caffeine again. Soooo, that will be fun (see Caffeine Pit Stains).
I other news, the house I was buying FINALLY closed. There is a picture below. It isn't really big, but it's big enough, and close enough to stumble hungover to campus instead of driving to school drunk first thing in the morning when circumstances require. I'm sure there were some mothers out there pretty MADD about that.
The inside had an interesting color scheme. It screamed "I just finished my first semester of my AA in Graphic Design and finished a Home Depot workshop on color schemes so I'm going to wing it!" There was a pink room, a yellow room, and 2 rooms that were their own unique flavor of vomit (one yager, one tequilla). You'd be amazed at how quickly 10 or 11 drunk grad students can paint the inside of a house! I got to buy a drill, a rake, and a couple other fun implements of destruction. Shades in the mail tomorrow.
And by the way - when did Home Depot start sucking? I'm looking for... lets call it a dowel-pin-nut-thing. I show up to the appropriate portion of the store saying to myself "Self, surely someone here can identify this!" The lady there didn't know a nut from a bolt let alone what this thing was called or where in the mile long stretch of shiny stuff hanging on the wall to find my little toy. "You were wrong, self. And don't call me Shirley." Next task: A Drill. I have a 12v battery and no charger. I show up to the drill section while I wait for Rip VanWinkle to tell me they don't carry a battery charger for my drill and that he doesn't know anything about batteries, drills, or chargers anyway. Fail. I bought a rake and decide to go home.