while ago, I read a post by cjones80 who talked about bats in his house. What a scary thought–bats in the belfry. This past summer we have had other wildlife at our place. But first, concerning the post I wrote wireless during the information session at our language lab…

aznquarter: wireless is cool! *lol* did you get caught, such a short post..keke.

Hahahhaha, no I didn’t get caught, but I did have colleagues in the same session who were asking me questions like, “What are you typing? We know this stuff, right? Did I miss something?” I had to reassure her that she missed nothing and that I was taking notes just for the heck of it. Yes, I am bad…

jerjonji: think they were toughing out the class and then planning to transfer out as soon as the class was over… you didn’t hear a collective sigh of relief when you switched to english? 🙂

Alas, no. that is exactly what I was waiting to hear, but heard none. I was totally bummed.

HattoriHanzo: haha in other words…you were OWNED!

Thanks a lot, dude. Hope Katrina didn’t affect you too much… Speaking of which, lets be sure to say a short prayer for those suffering along the gulf coast. I cannot even begin to imagine how I would react in such a situation.

SunJun: I swore that whenever I taught my first college section, I would lay down the thickest FOB accent possible, just to scare the crap out of my students and see who I could weed out. Alas, I guess that wouldn’t work.

You’re right; it won’t work. I tell my class how hard ass my class is, that they will get quizzes EVERY class, there are not make ups and late papers are never acceptable. But they won’t drop the class. Still, the temporary thick accent will at least let your students know that you are a fun and crazy guy and they’ll feel more comfortable in class.

fuafuahamu: Onigiriman in a tie is way more entertaining than that joke

Will you get outa here already!?! *sigh*

Anyway, back to the original point.

So, cjones’ post reminded me of the problems we had this summer with mice. I live in one of the most rapidly developing areas in the country, northern Virginia. Houses are springing up like mushroom after a autumn shower. Everytime I look around, there are new tracts of homes. Many of the homes are built on old existing residential lots–but denser, to get the most value out of the property, I suppose. But they are also taking away a lot of the woodland that made northern Virginia so attractive in the first place. There was a good sized wooded areas across the street from the Vienna station–a couple of blocks from the sensei pad–but it was all taken away for condominiums that started at $350K–which is like one third more than what I paid for my touwnhouse. Behind the community where I live is Nottoway Park, a Fairfax County public park that not only has five baseball diamonds, four tennis courts, four basketball courts and a soccer field. It also has wooded area for people who are walkers. We can stroll around the park as if we were a hundred miles from civilization. It’s really pretty amazing.

Wooded nature path

But that is partially coming down because of furher development. Now this wouldn’t be such a bad thing I suppose. More people, more taxes, better local services–and Fairfax County is one of the better counties in the country–go ahead look it up. But the problem is the wildlife. These wooded ares are teaming–well, maybe not teaming, but it has its share of animals. From squirrels to moles to raccoons to the occasional deer, there is enough evidence of there existence in our midst. But with all the development going on, these animals no longer have a place to live, and so they are moving into residential areas.

Now, squirrels are one thing, but when field mice start taking up residence in you backyard, that could cause a problem. Especially if your wife is squeemish about mice, as M is. At first these mice were small and sorta cute, and in fact M gave one particularly cute one a name, Chutaro. But in a week or so they were growing big and we realized they had built a nest in a plastic tube that drains water away from our house. This is a problem. If the tube gets blocked and the water can’t drain, rain water will pool around the house, causing a muddy base at our foundation. So we decided to call pest control.

They told us the best thing was to poison them. What the pest people told us was that the poison would literally cause their stomach and other internal organs to dissolve. This seemed like a particularly evil method, but they told us that any physical trap that would cause the mouse to die instantly but perhaps bloodily would attract other unwanted pests. I told them to let me think about it–this was not my idea of pest “control.” For a week I tried to shoo theim away, hitting the tube where they nested. I tried to block the passage with rocks and bricks. I even sprayed water into the tube and actually flushed out their nest, hoping they would not come back.

But they did, leaving me with no choice. I called the pest control people and they set up bait traps. For two or three days, the mice pranced around as they had been for the past few weeks, burrowing, gnawing at our fence, but one morning one was dead in the backyard, and the others were noticeably missing. Later that day, we found another and another.

It was awful. I had to pick up and dispose of the dead mice–except Chutaro which M buried in the area near a boulder on the other side of our fence, a place he seemed to like the most. I’m not sure about the health issues of burying a dead, poisoned mice, but I couldn’t say no.

I kinda wish they’d stop all this development so wildlife can remain wildlife….