Eternal Damnation

Karens, cockroaches, and blood parasites will survive the apocalypse. I know this because Fallout told me which bugs will mutate into low-XP enemies. And Hollywood showed me how I’ll die horribly. And Karens will always tell me what I’ve done wrong, and will always exist in some form. If there were a just and loving God, then the bugs would kill the Karens. But there obviously isn’t if the apocalypse were allowed to occur. That would be a vengeful and punishing God. The Old Testament told me that.

Fortunately I live in pre-apocalypse times, so the bugs are smaller. The Karens are more numerous, but I’ll take the tradeoff. Here’s my latest attempts at blood parasite mitigation:

Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis. I stumbled upon this recently. The concept is as follows: put a bucket of water somewhere, fill it with debris so it mimics the kind of stagnant pools that mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in, and inoculate it with a mosquito dunk, which is a block of dormant bacteria (species mentioned above) that infects and kills insects. The idea is to gradually decimate the local mosquito lineage as they reproduce, with the caveat that the trap should be the only pool of standing water available. Persistence is the key here.

For more immediate needs, I use a fogger. But the compounds it uses are sold very diluted and are more repellent than lethal, obviously targeted to the casual consumer. Instead, I purchased something that’s more of a commercial variant: a standard Pyrethrins/Piperonyl Butoxide mix, as is growing in popularity. As a bonus, it’s considered “safe” for agricultural purposes. The latter chemical disqualifies it from being organic certified, but it’s better in theory than much of the long-living spectracides. And I enjoy seeing cucumber beetles flee in terror. Finger of God indeed.

And lastly, in an attempt to capture adult mosquitos actively searching for blood, there’s the lactic acid-baited UV trap. The bait simulates the smell and CO2 emissions of a human, and upon getting too close the mosquito is pulled into the trap via a fan and held in a basket where it’s exposed to UV light, killing it. This captures a lot of moths as collateral damage, probably more drawn to the UV, but we don’t like those either.

I have it on a smart timer that comes on one hour before sunset, with the goal of starting capture during optimal hunting time, with a dawn shutoff.

Results so far have been encouraging, though gross.


The verdict so far? Fewer mosquitoes, but they’re not gone entirely. I think I’d need to get my surrounding neighbors onboard, but I know that’s not going to happen. Regardless, I’ll settle for the net reduction, and hope the remnants are primarily biting the neighbors instead.


Zone Rouge Hazards

Following the First World War, sections of the former No Man’s Land in France and Belgium were deemed uninhabitable for the foreseeable future, due to their lingering high levels of soil contamination of lead and various chemical weapons. These areas, assigned the moniker “Zone Rouge”, were quarantined and allowed to return to nature.

Following the Great BP Easement Purge of 2017 in Centerville, OH, lands that were formerly allowed to return to nature and then cleared, were in part allowed to return to nature again after some neighborhood hostilities. Their efforts to block us from view involved the planting of many conifers, which have gradually expanded to almost accomplish such a task. The Landscaper, who no doubt planted them at the behest of his screaming harpy, was considerate enough to do so in a manner that considered a property line buffer. It was a perfectly acceptable way to approach not wanting to see us.

The impetus to do so was upon the completion of the the BP Purge, followed by us deciding to get a professional survey of our property line, which revealed the former green belt to be primarily ours – a revelation that upset more than one neighbor, for now they were forced to utilize their own land to plant new screening, effectively reducing the perceived size of their own property. I mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again here: Surveying your property line might not make you any enemies, but it will definitely not make you any friends.

But moving along, as these conifers grew, the buffer shrank. Because trees grow. And while they had previously mowed this buffer, it shrank to the point that they couldn’t get their wide-track mower into it, because that would have involved mowing onto our side and we had since installed shrubs and gardens – with stakes to prevent any “accidental” landscaping incidents. A normal response would have been to tackle the buffer with a smaller push mower or a weedwhacker, but as The Landscaper had since been kicked out and the chore now the responsibility of their indifferent son, they instead decided to just ignore the buffer.

Which is why I call it the Zone Rouge. It’s a post-conflict abandoned strip of land. And occasionally and irregularly poisoned with isopropylamine salt of glyphosate, courtesy of the The Landscaper’s replacement (the new guy the Harpy’s fucking).

I, however, refuse to allow my property to return to the “communal” green belt. This makes my own landscaping somewhat more difficult, and hedge trimmers are now required to maintain the delineation. But there’s a greater problem at large: wildlife. Specifically, the insect variety. The blood-consuming variety. And they like overgrown flora to hide in.

To exacerbate the issue, the corner of the neighbor lot floods regularly. A french drain or perhaps a berm might reduce that problem, but as I have so subtly suggested previously, these aren’t exactly people who do anything to contribute to the community at large. Nor are they outdoorsy. So to them, “doesn’t impact me” = “I’m not going to do anything about it even though it might impact others”. Which is also why they haven’t put up any sort of containment system for their dog which constantly shits in everyone else’s yard. They’re a little young to be boomers, but they sure have the mentality.

Anyway, so following this long-winded complaining intro about bad neighbors – we have a mosquito problem. Which I have taken some steps to mitigate!

But I’ve recently received feedback that my shorter posts are more entertaining, so I’ll make this a two-part post! Haha! Teaser. You’ll have to wait to read about mosquito eradication techniques.

And now, a word from our sponsors…


Remember the Fish

That’s probably not what we’re supposed to memorialize on Memorial Day, but I bet there’s a lot of veterans out there who fish, so I think it qualifies. Besides, it had been 3 years since we caught anything with the old man. So behold! Fish!

Bluegills are the swarming mice of inland water, but a fish is a fish. And that first one was very nice. Redbreast Sunfish, looks like.

It will be remembered!


Rogue Wave

It’s somewhat surprising to me that scientific acceptance of the rogue wave phenomenon only dates back to the mid 1990s. So humanity has colonized every continent and established international shipping lanes for trade and travel, but as a species we never believed stories of big goddamn random waves until recently?

Here there be monsters. I suppose the low survivability of such events kept them in myth, with the occasional eyewitness rendered incoherent from PTSD. But still, the 1990s?

So why was I thinking about rogue waves? I dunno. It was one of those internet rabbit hole kind of days. Because apparently I needed to scare myself away from ever getting on a ship, aside from the more obvious reasoning: trapping myself in the ocean with a bunch of people. No thanks.

But it also triggered a vivid memory. As a kid, I took an interest in natural disasters. Extreme climatology became an independent subject of study for me, perhaps from living in Tornado Alley. What caused these terrifyingly lethal events? And, how does one avoid them? By the end of elementary school, I was well-versed on tornado and tsunami formation, and how to recognize their impending appearance. I had books on the subjects. In 4th grade. Yes.

And on one summer evening I was experimenting with wave formation in the collapsible swimming pool (I had a lonely childhood). It was one of those rubber-bottomed things with semi-rigid sides. Only 2-3 feet deep, though it always slumped slightly and never filled to capacity quite right. But I could push the sides and turn it into a wave pool and simulate the sinking of various objects based on this wave action. Single waves impacted the opposite side and sloshed around the circular perimeter. Rhythmic wave creation caused predictable patterns: sine waves and standing waves. Inconsistent wave creation led to chaotic results. And as I was a kid, a narrative always accompanied my experiments. A fleet of warships encountered a typhoon! An enemy bomber squad appeared overhead! All hands to stations! Abandon ship! And I would dramatically belly-flop into the center.

In this particular experiment, I generated waves in one location, then a few feet away, then back to the first spot, and I noticed a pattern. Waves generated some number of degrees apart converged across the pool. I continued the experiment by generating waves in different locations as I evenly circumnavigated the pool. My thought was that this would create some sort of water displacement in the middle of the pool that would replicate sudden tsunami formation.

Nothing exceptional occurred, and I lost interest. But before I left, and as the water appeared to settle into a waveless pool once again, a single wave rose unexpectedly towards one side of the pool, traversed the diameter, and crashed onto the opposite wall, splashing over the side. Then a second wave appeared in the same spot, and just as before, followed the prior wave’s same path. The waves were of significant height in comparison to the otherwise placid pool of water, and their sudden appearance, in complete contrast to the present equilibrium and without further input on my part, startled me. Actually, the event rather disturbed me, as it lacked any reasonable explanation.

Excited and needing some form of validation, I ran inside to explain the event to my dad, claiming that I had inadvertently created a tsunami in the pool. Of course, without much context to go on, he gave me a generic acknowledgment and that was the end of that. And many times thereafter, when the pool was set up again, I attempted but failed to recreate it. And I always wondered what had happened that day.

Through some form of random and predictable events, I had created a rogue wave situation (hence the name). But as constructive interference is easily explained in basic physics, it didn’t account for why I was able to create what I had by rotating around a circular body of water. Ultimately, I’ve come to accept the Draupner wave event as the explanation – a rouge wave whose empirical documentation led to fluid dynamic studies that ultimately recreated the event. The explanation: nonlinear convergent wave trains in crossing sea conditions (tested at varying angles of intersect). Or more simply: bursts of waves at different angles making big waves when they meet.

The pool had seemingly been still, but my last waves, or perhaps waves reflected from the pool sides, had intersected at just such an angle after I had stopped generating new waves. And the result was those two waves, significantly greater in amplitude than anything that should have been remaining in the settling water, formed from that improbable intersection. It was an odd experience to see the pool come to life on its own, and very difficult to explain sufficiently so that someone else might visualize.

It’s no wonder that sailors were a superstitious lot. No one believed my story either.