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Happy Floodiversary

2009/06/11

It’s been a year since the flood got bad and a year that I’ve been gone. I figure that’s enough time off. It’s time to get cracking again. The thing that’s always held me back is there’s so much to fill in. Today, I will talk about the flood and my house.

I spent a good portion of today working in my yard. I got a new machete and anvil loppers and went to town, removing dozens of little trees. From the smell, I’d say they were black walnut trees. I wouldn’t have a problem if they didn’t keep coming up against my foundation and threatening to push in my basement wall. A couple actually sprouted out of a seam in my basement windowsill, which is now all torn up.

If today was any indication, I’ll be in big trouble when the zombie apocalypse comes. Weeds required a good backswing and trees were pretty much a no-go, even when only five or six millimeters thick. I don’t think I could sever limbs and heads.

My backyard is well over waist-high. At least, the part I haven’t treated is. I got about a third of it today and got the front and side a few weeks ago. There seems to be very little grass: the yard is mostly these tall flowering weeds, clover and some plant with round leaves whose name I don’t know. Near the house, it’s like a prehistoric fern jungle. There is seriously a large space under the ferns where light doesn’t reach and nothing else grows. This is probably and ideal hiding place for mice. I’ve had several over the last year. I think I’ll be taking the machete to them (meaning ferns, not mice) soon.

Anyway, grass that tall doesn’t mow well (and mostly bends over when you machete it). I’ll have to take lots of passes before it’s really trimmed.

There’s a stump next to my house. By next to my house, I mean less than a meter away. I’m guessing it was a black walnut tree, as that would explain where all these shoots are coming from. From its width, I would guess it was as tall as the house before it came down. My neighbor confirms this. I don’t know what the hell was wrong with the previous owners letting a tree get that big so close to the house. I suppose I should count myself lucky the foundation wasn’t wrecked. Apparently, the previous owners just let the tree go. Eventually, wind knocked it over and it thankfully fell right between the two houses. The just cut off the stump to a reasonable height and let it go.

Inside, I have a carpenter ant problem. Normally, I am opposed to killing animals. I live-trap mice, for instance. Insects, however seem to lack the faculties that make other animals’ lives special. As far as I’m concerned, they’re basically automatons. I save my sympathies for vertebrates and cephalopods. At any rate, I have little other recourse against these ants. I got some bait a few weeks ago, but have continued to see ants. It seems very few professional ant baits work on carpenter ants despite them being among the more dangerous invasive species and eating sugar and oil, just like any other ant. I finally found a bait indicated for them and we shall see how well it works.

According to my internet readings, I’d be seeing a lot of ants if the colony were in my house, but I don’t think I am. Most likely, the colony is headquartered in that stump. Perhaps a chainsaw would relieve the problem. It would also put me in a much better position when the zombie apocalypse comes.

I also confirmed my suspicions today that my garage sank in the flood. Even after thorough whacking around the front door, it still won’t open very far. I shall have to go a shovel and resurface the area. Ultimately, I plan to tear the garage down and build a new, better one, but this will be quite expensive so I probably won’t do it for a while.

Flood clean-up continues. A few months ago, I was walking to work and saw a bare hole where the Dairy Queen I used to frequent once stood. Now, it’s a car dealership. I should add they do not sell parfaits there. Blimpie finally started repair work a couple of months ago, but looks like it’s a long way from opening. Quizno’s seems to have not been touched since the flood debris was carried out. Dee’s, a local, generally irreplaceable Japanese restaurant, doesn’t seem to be coming back.

On the bright side, the church I was dragged to on a weekly basis for the better part of a decade was destroyed and is being torn down. I have to fight the urge to help them along with a few milk jugs full of flaming gasoline. In fact, at least four churches and a mosque bit the dust, but I have yet to hear anyone attempt to ascribe any theological significance to this.

Future topics: the economy, academics and the ladyfolk.

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