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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 7, 2012 9:04 PM. The previous post in this blog was Have a great weekend. The next post in this blog is Quake!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Latest Sam Rand plague: houseflies

Portland's wonderful new biweekly garbage pickup sure is something. Now in addition to an increase in rats in the neighborhood, our home is under attack by dozens, if not hundreds, of houseflies. They're all over the outside of the house on the side where the garbage cans are. And if you open either the normal garbage can or the food and yard recycling bin, it's little wonder. They are both prime breeding grounds for maggots -- particularly the garbage can, which gets emptied only every two weeks.

It's just a matter of time before the looney tunes running Portland outlaw flush toilets. Anyone with a brain or a life has got to be thinking about fleeing to the suburbs rather than trying to live comfortably in Blumenauerland.

Comments (19)

Raccoon and opossums at my new place. But they don't really bother me as much as the rats at my old place did.

But maggots and flies are compostable, aren't they?

As the kids tell you, change can be difficult. But they have all kinds of advice to help you to deal with it.

They are, after all Really Smart.

Aye. The flies are the worst.

Some extra-strength non-sustainable chemicals would take care of those pests!

Brown bucket? Tossed into the recycling bin months ago by smart Portlanders N, NW, SE, SW & pts in btwn.

U-pik:

Alice In Chains - Jar Of Flies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dBgFZJOww8

OR

Alice Cooper - Halo of Flies (demo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl5IisxBgVo

Maybe the final Sam-Rand plague will be actual plague. My street is having it's annual block party tomorrow, unfortunately our pickup was last Thursday, so we have a ways to go after that.

Now when we consider fleeing, we have to consider where the new municipality gets their water, since Portland will be medicating Portlanders, AND those cities & town who buy their water from Portland. "We got to get out of this place if its the last thing we ever do..."

and when you take a vacation trek you have to plan it with the garbage pickup in mind...if those plans (like mine) are aligned wrong, you won't have a pickup in nearly a month. in the heat. i'm chucking mine in a rest stop out of town. it's only one plastic grocery bag full. with a bit of guilt, but lots less hate than having to dump it with my OCTOBER pickup.

Weird, I've been on a voluntary every other week garbage pickup schedule out in the burbs for almost five years now. Have yet to see maggots in either my garbage or the yard waste bin.

Granted, I also have a compost heap and deal with fruit flies around it, but it gives the spiders there something to eat.

Sam Adams, Lord of the Flies

I use bio-bags to put my food scraps in and before I move them to the green bin I put the bio-bag into a large grocery bag and close it tight and carefully put it into the green bin and this seems to keep the rotting goo contained until it's picked up and the green bin stays pretty clean of goo residue so it doesn't seem to attract a lot of vermin. I used to put my paper bags inside a yard compost bag inside the green bin but my wife made me stop. I have a sinus condition and can't smell so for all I know it's reeking but I don't see any more flys than usual. I do miss weekly garbage pick up though.

Ah, a few more years and Portlandia will be like Australia, where the flies are legendary.
Now as for composting toilets, we have one at our off the grid cottage.
They do work quite well IF the boys pee outside, because the toilets don't compost well with lots of liquid deposits.
And there are flies with those too; millions of tiny black ones. However a squirt or two of a very effective insecticide like Malathyon works well to kill the little guys and keep them at bay for some time after the application. And the final compost product has to be emptied. That is no big deal and the flowers love that compost!
However I do not see composting toilets being a good alternative for proper sewage disposal in highly populated urban areas. Somehow the thought of The Admiral's loos being converted does not seem like a good idea. But hey, bad ideas haven't stopped The SamRands so far!

Who cares about the flies? It's the ants that are driving me nuts!

Hmmm. Just to show u some folks that not all readers of this blog are "ditto heads"...

I've had the once a month garbage pick up for about 5 1/2 years. It works fine. I really like the everyweek yard debris pickup. I get a LOT of yard debris - crud from the damn doug firs; clippings from far too many decorative bushes; and chopped up hunks of junk trees that I'm slowly cleaning out. I used to have to pay WM for extra bag / extra yard debris can haul aways. I havent had to do that since the new schedule went into effect.

I've seriously composted grass clippings, brown leaves, and veggie / fruit scraps for about 30 years, and rototill the product into the veggie patch in October and May each year. Without that amendment to the veggie patch, I couldn't grow veggies in this ugly clay soil on the side of Mt. Sylvania.

I eat a lot of meat and fish, and the meat and fish scraps used to go into the extra freezer in the garage and be put out once a month. Now, same thing, but goes into the yard debris composting cart once a week, the morning of the pickup every Monday.
I now get 13 garbage pick ups a yera, one every 4 weeks as opposed to the 12 I used to get - once a month. The price went up a lot. I never did fill a garbage can under the old schedule - maybe 2/3 full at the max. Now its routinely no more than 1/2 full on pick up days. I get to pay more for putting out a lot less garbage each time. Annoying. Then again, I'm getting double the yard debris pick up and not paying extra bag / can fees. I think it balances out.

I'm not having any fly problems with the food waste at the trash cans.

HOWEVER, there is a noticeable increase in rodent population in the neighborhood.

The Recycling bin gets a good workout with loads of papers and the recyclable plastics. The garbage actually is almost all non re-cycleable plastic (clamshell packages; styrofoam trays for meats / fish;) aluminum foil.

Sure, now theres just one old fart north of 65 here; but it worked just as well when the 4 boys were growing up here.

Just took some advance planning. In the past, reducing the volume of stuff going out resulted in a lower monthly bill. It still does.

YMMV.

flee to the suburbs? Whoa Nellie- Lake Oswego just put out a survey asking if we'd like to compost our food waste and only have twice monthly pickups.....yucko.

One other thought about the increase in rodent activity out here on the slopes of Mt. Sylvania. A LOT of cats, both pets and feral, have gone missing; coyote activity is up. We are even getting frequent daylight coyote sightings. I wonder if the decline in felines due to coyote activity is resulting in a rodent population boom?

The flies have been horrible this summer and because I live in an apartment complex I am unable to do much in the way of mitigating stench coming from our small, overfilled bin.

I am seriously considering buying a pile of electronic bug zapper paddles and giving them to all the kids in the complex....

I sense an opportunity for a 20 something slacker career path:

"Housefly Efficiency Consultant"

NOW all we need is a few snappy names for our new vermin control consulting companies. I'll start:

Madmus, Pestfree Economics, Eco Vermin, Cascade Odor Controls, VECTOR LLC, Garbage Market Strategies, and other thriving odor & pest efficiency services companies.

For everyone who says "I just put my food scraps in the extra freezer...

Feel free to buy me an extra freezer and pay for the extra energy usage and I'll follow your lead. Unfortunately, not all of us are able to afford the expense of a new freezer.

The flies are terrible, the stench is terrible, and it sucks having to ration trash. We actually have a small pile of it in the garage (mostly packaging) that we haven't been able to fit in the bin. I guess I'm going to either dump it somewhere or pay the $29 fee to take it to the processing facility.

This new program is idiotic.


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Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
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David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 119
At this date last year: 21
Total run in 2013: 257
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In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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