Shock & Awe

Last night, I was in the big black chair reading in my new book, Guitar All-In-One for Dummies, when Holly said with a little bit of alarm, “Matt, I think I just saw a mouse. Is that possible?” Hmmm.

Knowing Holly like I do, I figured if she’d really just seen a mouse, that question would have been come out differently, so I said, “It’s probably not a mouse,” and kept on reading.

The Dummies series of books has a number of guitar tittles in it: Guitar (an introduction to guitar), Rock Guitar, Blues Guitar, Classical Guitar, Guitar Exercises, Songwriting, Music Composition, and Music Theory.  Individually these books cost about $16 a piece and are about 300-400 pages each, but this book I got cost $23.80 and includes the non repetitive stuff from the others weighing in at a regrettable 666 pages (I am NOT kidding!)

A few minutes later I hear a high pitched very loud squeal from the kitchen.  Not really a scream, not blood curdling actually, just a very energetic yet disbelieving squeal. I close my book.

“It just ran behind the fridge. It’s back there.” Running into the kitchen, I’m looking all around at the floor.  Holly is perched on one of the dining room chairs pointing.

Another squeal. “It ran over to the cabinets.”

I’ve seen it too.  It’s fat and pretty fast. It’s definitely not a vole.  It’s a genuine mouse.

Judging the size of it, it’s been here a while and had plenty to eat.

I walked quickly to my coat to get my gloves.  I figured I’d catch it, but I didn’t want to get some weird infection from a bite.

That’s a bad sign. It probably went in the door where the trash can is.

After getting my gloves, I’m in the kitchen scoping out the floor and the kickboard.  Sure enough the under-the-sink door to the trashcan is ajar.

I open the door. It’s dark under there. I close the door and run to get a flashlight. My favorite flashlight these days is the little red plastic LED Weather Ready by Energizer which uses four AA batteries. I can’t find it so I grab my 18V Ryobi light. I turn it on, it’s charged and bright.

I open the door. Take out the trashcan. It’s almost empty. nothing. I move the box of trashbags from costco. Mouse poop. I take out the Draino. No mouse. Luke is there by my side eagerly looking on.

After removing everything, the mouse has definitely gone under the cabinets, perhaps into the crawl space.

More Mouse poop though. Actually, now that I’m seeing it, there is mouse poop all around, now that I’m looking for it. I get a brush and dust pan, and start to clean up the mouse poop.  Then I think again.

Then I stop cleaning.

This mouse just made a big mistake.

I put away the dustpan and whisk broom.

This mouse should not have come out during the daylight hours.

It’s days are numbered.

 

Davis 023After mentally debating the various approaches: poison, borrowing some cats, traps, a late-night vigil, I decide on a multi pronged approach. The Lumber stores were closed, as it was 5:45 PM, but a quick call to Olerud’s confirms that they have mouse traps. Holly confirms that we have some non-drippy Skippy Peanut Butter in the cupboards, so all we need is poison and traps.

Mark is tired and sound asleep on the couch, so Luke and I head out to get the main tool, pictured at left. Turns out they didn’t have any poison, just traps. Looking at the traps at the store, they’re the smaller type for mice and voles.  Not the big monster kills anything traps, so I buy six of them.

My first thought was to put a bunch of traps in the crawl space and put poison all around the perimeter, but then after thinking about all that poop centralized under the sink and how I don’t want a dead mouse under the cabinets stinking up the house, I decide with to concentrate on the under-the-sink cabinet.

After testing each one and fine tuning the sensitivity so they’re just hair trigger ready to fire off, and explaining the whole process to Luke who’s mentally taking notes and asking a ton of questions I go with the following setup.

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Back where the insulation is crammed in the corner there is a hole that leads under the cabinets, so I centered my response there.This mouse is definitely in the wrong house.  Don’t you think? Also, where there is one mouse, there is often another, or more of them anyway, so I thought it best to make it tough on the guy.

Then I put everything back in as it was.

This is the first time I’ve gone with the “Shock & Awe” approach, using overwhelming firepower to virtually guarantee success and focus all resources at a single point.

I’ll keep you informed on the progress.

A day trip to Sheep mountain

Sheep Mountain 554 On Monday, Ron Horn and I went up to Sheep mountain to take pictures of the sheep. We were on the road by 6:40 AM and were up at the border by 7:30 and were scoping the mountain for sheep amongst the snow at 10:30 AM. We took his car and he drove all the way-so I just had to keep him a wake and keep an eye out for wildlife.

I like going shooting with Ron for a number of reasons: he’s got great photo gear, he knows a lot about photo stuff, he’s smart, he loves a good story, and has a lot of stories and experience he likes to share from all branches of life.  Of course we share photo stories of all sorts.

He just got back from Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean, the site of the famous battle during WWII which was the turning point of the Pacific theater. Lots of cool stories and interesting folks there.

709 Sheep Mountain

At first we thought we’d have a tough time of it, because all the sheep we spied were high up resting in the sun.  Then Ron spotted this one who wasn’t near as shy.

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All-in-all I counted 34 of them, so there were probably around 40, counting the ones I did not see. The seem to be browsing on the gravel, but were probably eating lichens and mosses.

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We also saw this fox along the way, just on the other side of Haines Junction. At first he didn’t seem shy at all, but then when I got out of the car, he thought better of it.

1270 Sheep Mountain

Of course there were the usual sights of snow removal and such as we came over the pass which while it may not interest locals much, as it’s a common spectacle in these parts, I think it’s amazing that a machine can throw hundreds of pounds snow per minute so far. when we actually got abreast of the blower, he turned off the blades and let us pass in peace.

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Sheep Mountain 607 Here’s picture of Ron’s car when he went ahead to get the gear while I stayed at the base of the mountain with all the photo gear. I include this shot just to give you an idea of the mountains immediately adjacent to Sheep Mountain and the condition of the road.  If you compare the snow covered mountain in the background with the one the sheep are on in the photos, you can see that the one that the sheep select to spend the spring-time months on is nearly clear of all snow, while the surrounding mountains are almost completely covered in snow this time of year.

I also point out that Ron has the perfect car for out-door photo trips in Alaska—a very modern Toyota 4WD 4 cylinder SUV. The temperature was probably around 22-25 degrees F.

We were back in Haines by 3:40 PM.

Welcome Home!

Here’s a video shot by Nate Malone of the Boys State IIIA Basketball Champions returning home.

We Love our Glacier Bears!

Front row: Devin B., Kyle F., Austin H., Caullen T., Austin B., Chris O., Ann Fossman.

Back row: Easton H., Jessie P., Tyler S., Kyle Rush, Logan S., Erik K., Mark McNamara, Steve F., and Parker Schnabel.

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We took the whole HS out to the Ferry terminal and met the boys basketball team back to town after they won the State Championship.  The American Legion handed out flags and brought a truck with loud speakers to play, “We are the champions,” while the pep band was not playing.

I’m not sure who made the 32’ sign that hangs across main street, but Tom Morphet asked me to ride with the team to shoot the parade and get out to take a picture of the boys sitting on top of the HVFD Engine #1.  I was standing on the hood of the school bus behind the tire truck to take the picture. We can fit the whole HS into two buses.

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Mario Benassi took most of these pictures, as I was in the band.

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The band played the standard songs, the school song, Final Count down, the Hey song, etc.  I got stuck playing the Tuba.  The weather was so bad and the snow falling so fast I had to shake the snow off my music stand three times in order to see the bottom staff. We just left the trap set in the back of the truck so we could set-up and break down faster.

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Due to the weather, the ferry was late by about 1/2 hour it seemed. Many different people made signs and held them up

 

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The receiving line

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Patrick Henderson gets the spirit award for the day, braving the cold and snow painted green.

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Where’s the left-over Popcorn?

This morning we were going through our normal Sunday morning routine when Holly sang out from the kitchen, “Matt, Where’s the left over popcorn from last night? Did you put it in a zip-lock bag, or did you eat it all?

I said, “Actually I threw it all away after John Caleb threw up into the bowl.”

For the opening weekend of Spring Break, we’ve had two really boys really sick all week, it seems like, so we stayed home from the projected Whitehorse trip this weekend. Despite the wonderful bright warm sunny weather, it’s been pretty miserable in many respects.

I did wash the bowl and the rest of the dishes last night after they went to bed.