Friday, April 16, 2010

Fire ants

When I was a kid, in California, we had what we called fire ants. They were big, red, and could take a chunk out of tender skin with their nasty mandibles. The fire ants here in Texas are a different variety. They're tiny, and you can be covered with them before you even notice. They'll swarm up your ankles and legs and then all start biting at once. Once you finally get rid of the little beasts you are left to enjoy an annoying itch, reminiscent of mosquito bites, for several days. Needles to say, we all HATE fire ants.
'Seems like on a weekly basis we find another hill to treat, and killing the little devils is every bit as satisfying as this radio ad suggests. When I first heard it I laughed so hard my sides hurt - and I still love it. The ad may offend some environmentalists, but if it does, it's because they've never stepped in a fire ant nest! Click and enjoy. . . . ORTHO RADIO AD

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Only in Texas!

At least, I hope only in Texas. 'Saw this stretch limo in the parking lot at Cabela's yesterday. Check out the hood. (Click on the photo for a larger image)
I mean really. If you're going to go to all that work, couldn't you at least find a decent set of horns???

Home for rent

Here's my contribution to "green housing" with "re-purposed materials" - sheesh, my dad built with recycled materials all the time.... you'd think this was a new concept.

My approach emphasizes the "reuse before recycling" approach.....
This birdhouse is built out of wine corks (the real cork kind). I constructed the actual house while I was still working at the UofO and living in the RV. Hot glue and caulking hold the corks together - I hope they survive the Texas summer temperatures!  The moss and roost are from the oak trees in the RV park where I was staying. I moved the half-finished house here with no roof - thought about using my old Oregon license plates, but the size didn't work out quite right, so I hit upon a new and very historic solution. . . .  look close. . . .the roof is constructed from aluminum cans. (Click on the photo for a larger image.) The main areas are Pearl beer - oldest brewery in Texas, and the ridge cap is Dr. Pepper - invented in Waco, Texas. 'Seemed like a nice melding of materials - all beverage oriented  and both states represented, as most of the wine corks are Oregon wineries. The cork part of the construction was more time consuming than I anticipated, so I doubt I'll be doing another one, but it was an interesting challenge! There are a lot of other ideas here, and I'll be trying out some of them.