Friday, August 06, 2010

3045 Bits, bugs, and spiders

Friday, August 6, 2010

"God created Man in his own image and Man, being a generous sort,
returned the favor."
-- Mark Twain --


We'd had rain predictions almost every day, but we've had very little actual rain. Clouds, little sprinkles, then nothing. I have to water the new flowers every morning, or they promptly dry up.

That's quite a contrast to last year. We had so much rain that the woods stank of rot. Most people don't remember that.


I saw the movie "The Kids Are All Right" Wednesday evening. It was ok, I guess. The promos had led me to believe it would be amusing, if not funny, but it wasn't. It was quite serious.


The last several movies I've seen have me wondering. Adults have sex, yeah, and it's often a part of the story, but I don't understand why it's necessary to show HOW they do it. If you want to say the guy'd been with a prostitute, all you really need to show is a woman tucking her blouse into her skirt and the guy giving her money. We don't really need to know in what position they did it.

I'm getting annoyed at all the gratuitous sex I'm being asked to watch.


This is an interesting article on what may be the most dangerous road in the world:


Cicadas in your yard? Eat them! Recipes:


Last night I had dinner with 12 other Mensa folks on the deck over the water at a lakeside restaurant deep in Hasidic summer camp country. It was so backwoods that the Garmin GPS didn't recognize the town at all, and Google Mapquest recognized the town and street, but got the last turn of the directions wrong.

The food was fancy and good, and the waiter was attentive. We didn't get separate checks, and when the money was all gathered, we were almost $100 short on a $500+ tab. Consternation. Roman added it up quickly, and decided that the waiter had made an error, so we asked that it be checked. We were good. Something that should have been $9 had been entered as $90.

There was a canopy over the deck, and as the sun went down, the mosquitoes came out - and the spiders. The entire ceiling of the canopy was dotted with black spiders in a range of sizes. They looked exactly like Black Widow spiders, but without the red hourglass. One after another they'd drop down on a strand almost to the table, or someone's head, and then climb rapidly back up. We spent the last 45 minutes there dodging spider bombs.

I spent several hours this evening trying to identify the spiders. They were black, smooth, not hairy, and shaped like the black widow, but without the red on the abdomen (not that I turned one over and looked). I searched the spider identification charts on the internet, and consulted my Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, and the only thing close that's not a widow is the American house spider.

BUT, the house spider gets up to 1/4 inch. A few of the spiders last night were at least a half inch. And the house spider is brown or grey, and mottled. Last night's spiders were black and solidly colored. They did act like house spiders, what with the dropping almost to a person's head before getting startled and climbing back up. (That's a house spider in the picture, photo from Patrick0Moran at en.wikipedia.)


I went to the laundromat this evening. Five loads. I brought them home wet, to dry here.

Nothing much else happening.

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