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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 29, 2013 7:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Lonely at the top. The next post in this blog is Twist those rules. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Gassing Stenchy

We've spent our cheapskate spring break enjoying some great weather. We pumped up the tires and rode the bike a little. We did a little graffiti cleanup around the block. And the Mrs. and we have been out in the yard taking care of the garden, and getting a nice sense of satisfaction out of it. The kids have been out there, too, helping, playing, observing, and as always making our days brighter than they've ever been. The clematis and the daphne are both blooming sweetly at the same time, and the trillium is out as well. It's the way it's supposed to be.

But the mild winter just past has set the scene for what looks like a bad summer for pests. We've already swatted a few mosquitoes, and it's only March. And then the other day we noticed a telltale rat hole next to the driveway. Little wonder -- it's close to the neighbor's trash bins, where thanks to the lunacy of the Sam Rand Twins, stinking garbage now sits out for two weeks at a time.

Not that it would do any good, but we thought it would be fun to dig these out of the basement and re-enact a scene from Caddyshack:

We lit the fuse on one, tossed it in the hole, and started covering it up with dirt as fast as we could as the toxic smoke bomb befouled the air. It really wasn't all that bad -- as we've mentioned here before, it's mildly reminiscent of the aroma in the Hoboken PATH station circa 1968. It probably isn't going to kill a hearty Portland rat. But don't say we didn't give it the old college try.

Before we use the last of our supply of bombs, we'd better check -- they might be collector's items nowadays. Particularly in Portland, we wouldn't be surprised if they were banned altogether. Except if the Goldschmidt People want to use them, of course.



As we were doing our exterminator thing, the churchgoers were showing up for Holy Thursday evening services down the street. It reminded us that we need to go back out on Sunday morning and check the hole.

Comments (12)

I'd like to think Stenchy went down the rat hole far enough to get away, so maybe he'll come back in a year, if you return to blogging.

But speaking of getting rid of pests, I've always felt a little guilty about being a cyber-parasite on your blog. When I had my blog running, I had my own version of this - someone named Butch who chimed in every day. I was sort of grateful for the traffic at times, but it gets old.

So anyway, thanks for giving me an outlet here. There was an ancient philosopher named Keith Richards who once said, "I'm going to walk before they make me run."

Good luck going forward, Jack, and thanks for everything. I appreciate you giving me a heads up that you could be shutting down, and for over 3 months, I've pondered what to do here. Write a song? No, you've suffered enough with my songs. Get a plaque made? Naa...

All I can say is thanks, and best wishes.

I also want to thank the other commenters. I'll miss you maniacs. Wait 'til the Holidays roll around and there's no cyber-party. That'll be grim. Darn it, now I'm getting emotional. I promised myself I wouldn't do this.

Stenchy, hand me a Kleenex. It's time to get in the compost bin and roll on out of here.

They do work good, but you need to flush the hole with a garden hose first to make sure you hit the main tunnel. Once it's open, then throw in the smoking stick and cover it with mud.

Jack, you need to pull the part about the mosquitoes in this post. The city employees that monitor your blog will see the city's bioswales and mosquito breeding ponds are working well as designed.

When a rat hole appeared in the front lawn of my NE house, a neighbor advised me to get my main sewage pipe scoped for damage. Sure enough the pipe was badly cracked and encouraging rat activity. I heard from others they had the same problem.
The solution was a spendy and disruptive replacement of the pipe under my property and a plea to the "City that works" for them to do a gratis connection of my new pipe to the main pipe in my road.

I suggest you take the rest of those "giant destroyers" down to City Hall and set them off there!

I wonder why it wouldn't be more economical for most Portlanders if the garbage program was reworked to where the homeowner gets two weeks of garbage can pickup and one week off. Do the same with other three bins, two weeks on and one week off.

Here's the gain: Only two trucks in anyone given week run through the neighborhood instead of alternating two and three trucks every other week.

This would sure help me when one of our offspring moves back in all of a sudden and has to get rid of a large amount of garbage all of a sudden. Or also at Thanksgiving, Christmas and other family parties.

The biggest discovery for me was most of our refuse was actually paper towels for cleaning, and so, the switch to every other garbage can pickup was not as horrific as once thought. But it still is uneconomic when you consider the extra time people are spending separating out their garbage. It's almost like forced labor with rather dubious environmental gains, especially when you have three trucks running through neighborhoods rather than just one or two.

For those of us with the 62 gallon TRASH bin and RARELY need the "FREE" yard debris/wet garbage/compost pickup (we compost on site without wet garbage), the $42/month (every OTHER week) pickup fee works out to $ 21 per can picked up.

Anyone besides me think I should bail out of the program and buy six garbage cans and make once/three month trips to the dump?

Do we still HAVE a dump? NO? A TRANSFER station, only? Do they charge less than $ 21/can? Maybe I should by a DOZEN cans and dump once/year.

Where does Sam or Randy live again? I need a place to dump this stuff.

Are you expecting Stenchy to rise on the third day? ;)

the switch to every other garbage can pickup was not as horrific as once thought.

We tried putting all our food waste in the green bin. We didn't buy the special bags from Eileen Brady to do it in. In less than a year, the smell inside that thing was beyond "horrific." And the whole program is ruining the vulnerable rural community of North Plains. We pay the extra for the bigger garbage can now. We compost vegetable waste with worms, throw the rest in the landfill. It's worth it to tell Sustainable Susan and her holier-than-thou acolytes to kiss my grits.

The Giant Destroyers are awesome. I use them to play wack-a-mole at our cabin, where we have a large meadow/lawn. We open up a few mole mounds, place a Giant Destroyer in each and set them off. Last year during this process my neighbor was mowing his grass and saw one of Stenchy's cousins escaping the gas trap. The befuddled furball actually ran directly under the mower, self destructing before our eyes. Great sport.

Great sport indeed. I have just enough moles to keep my basset hound and beagle busy. My fat lazy cat sometimes gets one too.

Be thankful you don't have possum issues. They're like super rats.

Well, the North Plains stink has been reduced - they truck the commercial food waste about half-way between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. to compost it.

Yeah boy, "Green". Whoopie!


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