The Great Fatsby

Fatman: I mean, I get there‚Äôs some sort of narrative. Rich people in the 1920s threw lavish parties and felt disillusioned and oh so melancholy and behaved badly as a result and it was all rather tragic. 

Most of the main characters in Gatsby are rich (though not the Wilsons and their set – and they’re a charming bunch themselves). Therefore, to get anything out of the book, it’s important to see the difference between how the characters conduct themselves.  For example, Tom Buchanan is not like everyone else – he’s a hypocritical, (extra) racist, sleazy piece of shit.  

Compare to Nick, who breaks it off with a girl back home rather than stringing her along.  He probably could have married Jordan, but he realizes that deep down she’s dishonest trash. He chooses to earn his money honestly (well as a bond salesman but anyhow ūüėĀ)rather than become involved in “gonnegtions” with Gatsby and Wolfsheim. He’s loyal.

Nick is no saint to be sure – he drinks illegal alcohol, probably says a bad word at some point (I’ll check with Rex for citations), and kisses girls. His lawn is unkempt. But saying there’s no difference between the rich people in the book (keep in mind Gatsby, Wolfsheim, and the Buchanans are a whole nother level of rich compared to Nick and Jordan) is like saying all poor people or all Russians in other books are the same.

—-

Today mowed the lawn. Rex claimed that he weeded the cracks in the driveway three days ago and that the weeds grew back.  I was skeptical and sent him out to (re)weed while i mowed. There was a lot of trash and sticks in the ditch by the road so i sent him over there to clear that first. He picked up one thing and started walking inside. I finished my lap and came inside to catch him standing in the kitchen sipping water out of a cup. 

Rex: what? I got thirsty.

There were three full water bottles on the counter. I picked up Rex and the bottles and flung all four out of the door with some velocity. Quincy found this hysterically funny.

Karena (later): SHE IS EVIL

Karena later remarked that the house was very quiet (and not headache inducing) when it was just her and the littles.

Karena: YOU AND REX HAVE A VERY LOUD RELATIONSHIP. YOU’RE LIKE SARGE AND BEETLE BAILEY.

i thought this was pretty apt. Coach Jr is a lot like Otto IMO.

Or maybe not i never wear this outfit.

Training to never have to pick sticks again

Megalodon

img_20170717_105301677.jpg

This prehistoric shark was the size of a school bus.  But school buses had not been invented yet so there was really no way to tell how big it was.

IMG_20170717_105432304

Coach Jr reluctant to be compared to size of “cookie cutter shark”

IMG_20170720_175755521_HDRKarena with wrist brace making insectile claw shadow

IMG_20170716_152818396_BURST000_COVER_TOP

I could only afford one calf implant.  If the market continues to boom, 2018 will be my year for lower leg symmetry.

IMG_20170708_133059041I assume she’s yelling “HOT CROSS BUNS” but possibly just howling nonsense.

IMG_20170705_140003119

Poor Kent Goom


Me: Sorry but your Hello Kitty travel mug is moldy or something. I’m gonna throw it away.

Quincy: But it’s my very new cup that i got for Christmas a long time ago when i was three


My father-in-law is recovering from heart surgery (hence recent pics with hospital setting) so I mowed his back yard.  He has a Troy-Bilt riding mower and it doesn’t have a gas pedal, just a brake and a lever for the speed.  If this was a good system for a vehicle than cars would operate like this.  Imagine as soon as you start your car and shift into gear that you must have the gas pedal depressed all the way.  He has a small fenced lawn with many obstacles & hopefully was not watching out the window as I mowed.  It was rambunctious.

Chainsaw chess

I’ve lost at chess to Rex three nights running. We play with a 6+3 timer and the games always go like this:

1. Opening – I develop my pieces in a textbook manner and control the center of the board. Rex moves pieces aimlessly, moving the same ones multiple times while leaving others blocked in.

2. Midgame – Rex is so excited about capturing my pawn that he doesn’t notice that he’s left his piece unguarded. Repeat.

3. Endgame – he’s down to two worthless pawns and I’ve got like two rooks, a bishop and a knight to chase his king around with. Then i run out of time.

—–

I was gonna buy a chainsaw and various safety regalia and cut the tree that fell in our front yard. But the saw i wanted went up in price while it was in my Amazon shopping cart, and while Karena and i deliberated (and i bought a new‚Äč axe and fooled around with it) my father-in-law returned from out of town.

Even though he has a chainsaw, Karena didn’t want to ask him to cut the tree because he would be unsafe with it and possibly overwork himself. I didn’t want to ask him to cut the tree because i didn’t think it was fair. After all it was my tree and i should be given a chance to buy my own chainsaw and be unsafe with it.

But when they stopped by on their way home, he saw (pun) the tree

MIL (to Karena): your dad is very excited to get to use his chainsaw.

According to somecowboyguy and the entire internet, when you use a chainsaw you should wear eye and hearing protection, gloves, chaps, and workboots.

But you can’t really advise another man (particularly an older more experienced one particularly your own father-in-law) about safety. ¬† I did offer him some protective items which he politely spurned.

Some of his other practices seemed unorthodox.  For example I witnessed him leave the chainsaw running, embedded in the tree trunk, while he stood on a log that was wedged underneath the trunk Рand bounced up and down.

I thought back to my Army training:  I could make a tourniquet out of my shirt and one of the many sticks available, but I hoped that it would not come to this as I have seen many unpleasant sights of gore.

While he chainsawed, i lugged pieces of tree to the road. Ironically (and thankfully) the only injury was to me: I got an ugly bruise on my thigh because one of the hunks of trunk (rhymes) had a two inch twig sticking out of it.

Father-in-law (as I lifted a 3 foot x 2 foot diameter log): You should get the wheelbarrow.

Me (trying not to grunt while I spoke): nah, it’s all good.

Immediately after I moved that piece I went and got the wheelbarrow.  No shame in it.

Eventually he got tired and decided to come back the next morning to finish up. ¬†I knew that he would leave the trunk in like 4 foot sections if he didn’t have to help me move it to the road and this is what happened.

But fortunately I had a manly plan: ¬†I would split the wood into smaller pieces. ¬†After all I had split wood a few times under my father’s supervision about twenty years ago. ¬†And as I frequently remind blog readers and anyone who will listen in RL, I am descended from 5 generations of lumberjacks (sort of: my dad only did it as a summer job – it’s the main reason he decided to go to college).

Honestly I do like hitting things with axes and sledgehammers and etc. I have daydreams of playing High Striker and winning gargantuan¬†stuffed animals for hot girl in skimpy sundress or short shorts¬†then idk some villain tries to steal it but I for some reason still have the sledgehammer… then maybe the Ferris wheel gets stuck and if there was only someone strong enough to lift this axe¬†they could chop it down and i guess catch the children as they tumbled out…

Karena: YOU JUST WANT TO USE YOUR NEW AXE.

Me: …

Karena: MY DAD BROUGHT OVER A DOLLY YOU COULD TRY PUTTING EACH 200 POUND PIECE OF WOOD ON THAT AND SLOWLY DRAGGING IT TO THE ROAD, STOOPED OVER LIKE A COAL MINER WHILE WE LAUGH AT YOU WHEN IT FALLS OFF THE DOLLY AND IT TAKES ALL AFTERNOON.  (not verbatim)

Me: Why don’t you stand farther back sometimes pieces of wood or the axe goes flying

IMG_20170507_091125

Just getting started.

Rex: Wow dad you did that one in one hit.

Me: stop standing around and pick up those sticks like I asked you to (looks around to see if Karena was watching my prowess)

Anyway my plan worked. ¬†I hacked the tree into splinters in about ten minutes and I was tossing them into the wheelbarrow & feeling pretty good but then I realized that I was just a parody of my manly forefathers – splitting wood to throw away. ¬†Also I have a field that I don’t grow anything on. ¬†The one thing I do cultivate in abundance (grass) is a weed. ¬†Well at least kids sometimes play in the yard but they spend most of their outdoors time in the driveway riding bikes and bouncing frisbees.

IMG_20170507_181857

Dismantled tree.

But then two guys came along in a beat-up pickup truck and asked if they could take the wood. ¬†They were grateful that I had already split most of it. ¬†I was grateful that i didn’t have to haul any more to the curb and that my task had some sort of meaning.

Karena (overheard on phone with her dad): YEAH I DON’T KNOW IF THE AXE WAS REALLY GOOD OR COACH IS JUST SUPER STRONG BUT¬†HE DID IT…

i feel boastful typing that in but it is verbatim

IMG_20170507_102736

back to pink paper I guess

fifty dollar axe

So i went out to hack some of the limbs off the downed tree. But i forgot that late great uncle’s axe was broken. I guess i should have remembered since i have two axe handles and use them all the time (one became a Weaver stick & the other an ant hill poker)

Anyway i bought the Lamborghini of axes, the Fiskars X27.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004M3BAQE

I have been really pleased with their sledgehammer (based on the three times‚Äč i smashed concrete & the fifty times i got a sick forearm pump in my garage with it). Fiskars is a Finnish company that makes awesome orange/black tools. So basically Finland = unmotorized Sweden.

Btw you save a lot of money getting the Lamborghini of things like axes or staplers rather than of cars (or computers). I have an eight dollar stapler that uses special staples. ¬†Karena mocked me but i got the last laugh as her two dollar stapler broke and she had to buy another two dollar one and not to mention has to come to me every time she needs to staple forty sheets of paper together. Hmmm…

Anyway, I came home from Lowe’s full of fantasies of my new vorpal sword of axes knocking limbs off this tree with one hit. I am after all the descendant of five generations of lumberjacks. Each stroke into the trunk of the tree would make an explosion of sawdust and wood chips temporarily obscuring me from the admiring views of Karena and the children (watching from a safe distance).

Karena: HOW MUCH DID THAT AXE COST

Me: did you know that Fiskars makes scissors

But i couldn’t go outside right away due to having promised to play doh with Quincy. While she monopolized the sundae making tools yet again, i read about my purchase on the internet and started to get second thoughts.

First of all, reviewers claim the axe is for “taller than average people.”¬†I countered that in my mind by pretending that being stronger than average would make up for it (even though it doesn’t in optimal baseball bat length, pants inseams, or being attractive to women but shut up). ¬†Second, it’s a splitting axe and not a chopping axe so it’s meant to cut with the grain of the wood. ¬†I countered that by being reassured that the axe looked awesome and was practically as heavy as a sledgehammer so it would destroy any tree and not care which way it was facing.

image000003

Snicker-snack.  Ok a) nerd and b) that obviously took more than one hit but for once reality was pretty close to my dreams.

Edit for clarity: i rate this axe 10/10 and have not even used it for its intended purpose of splitting wood. i would take this axe with me into an axe fight (it is my only available axe but still) ¬†now that i have this axe i will undoubtedly find other things around the yard that need hewing, chopping, splitting, cutting down, or merely brandishing an axe and glowering at. ¬†If I could think of a way to exercise with this axe safely I would (it has a cool little cover but nah…) i’ll still store it in the garage where I lift for gazing upon and raising testosterone. When I wield this axe i may look like Gimli the dwarf but I feel like¬†Paul Bunyan.

Coach Jr is allowed to color with Quincy because he doesn’t know enough to take the tops off the markers. Poor Kent Goom.

IMG_20170503_054220

Slop Spillman

Outrage of the day: changing lawnmower oil requires a PVC tube. ¬†You attach it to the oil drain plug like an upside-down J,and this drains the oil into the bucket/pan of your choosing – instead of the oil dripping onto the frame of the mower on its way down. ¬†Kept this stupid tube in my garage for what seemed like years, seeing it everyday & forgetting what it was for – but I know I didn’t throw it out. ¬† When it was time to do oil change of course the tube hid. ¬†At Lowes couldn’t find the size of the tube I needed on the internet (only replacements for $15) so I just estimated and bought one that was about the size i remembered for idk 79 cents.

Makeshift tube was better than nothing but still spilled some oil.  Went to get extra rags from other garage Рand found original tube.


Karena: REX HAS HOMEWORK AND OTHER CHORES TO DO.

Me: I swear the only yardwork I gave him was to pick up a couple of sticks.

Karena: WELL HE’S BEEN OUT THERE ALL DAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND


notice how he says NUDE for no apparent reason in the middle

Edit: the weird “oh” sound i make is not a burp it’s my vocalization of Coach Jrs frequent vacant contemplative looks. It’s become a habit; now i just do it randomly (though afaik at least only when I’m around him)


wed 3/15/17

Wt: 166.4

Karena made Oreo pie for Rex’s birthday. one slice has 884 calories. She got mad at me for telling her this.

CPP: 185,190 x 2

BPS #16: 465 x 1

Time: 60

Obviously i did more than this in terms of multiple warmup sets but NCBY. Have become fond of muscle cleans as a start-the-workout kind of thing.


3/16/17

Wt: 164.6

CGB: 225,235,245,255,265 x 4

HBPS: 225,245,265,275,285,290 x 1

SGDL: 305,345 x 3


3/17/17

Wt: 165.2 parents are visiting; Karena made another pie; people keep taking us out to dinner

CPP: 195 x 1

BPS #16: 475 x 1

SLDL: 300 x 3

time: 69


3/19/17

wt: 166.8 parents have left now returning to regular diet of spinach and misery instead of cake and steak

CGB: 275,280,285 x 3

HBPS: 295,300,305,310 x 1

SGDL: 350,380 x 2

time: 79


Villain profile – Slop Spillman

Background: born Sam Spillman, he was the victim of neglect by his rich parents, who were too busy working, using the internet, and getting divorced to toilet train him.

Consequently he was an outcast at his high school, nicknamed Slop Spillman. Despondent after yet another day of mockery and rejection, he had an extended and hilarious accident that involved getting restaurant garbage dumped on him, being pursued by a pack of stray cats, hiding in a portapot which was emptied with him in it, sitting on a freshly painted park bench, being covered with flour that fell out of a truck, and falling into a sewer.

When Sam climbed out of the sewer, a mysterious old man was waiting. The kindly man helped him get cleaned up, gave him a place to stay, and built him a super-suit which could amplify his natural odors and emissions to horrific levels.

But this old man (really the Bookworm in disguise) expected to be repaid. He talked Slop into doing him a small favor – walking into the Townsville jewelry store in his superhero costume. ¬†Once inside, the Bookworm remote controlled Slop’s suit to release incapacitating amounts of fart gas, knocking the employees unconscious. ¬†The Bookworm (wearing a gasmask) then appeared on the scene and robbed the store.

After the robbery, Sam/Slop was then confronted with a moral dilemma.  Should he turn himself into the authorities and reveal the whereabouts of the bookworm?  Or should he give a bunch of stolen jewelry to the girl he is in love with in order to impress her?

Reverse Ant Christmas

So it’s ant season again. Ant season in my yard extends from approximately early January until the end of December.¬† Previously I extolled the virtues of my citrus degreaser/dish soap concoction and I improved the efficacy of my delivery system over time:

  1. Mixing it in a bucket and dumping the bucket on the anthill
  2. Putting it in a pressure sprayer.  This took longer and reduced the amount of liquid delivered to each hill, but made up for it with the pleasure of blasting the ants with targeted streams of death and extreme cleanliness
  3. Making Rex fill old gallon jugs with water, then I’d put in a few ounces of degreaser and soap and then store until needed, shake, and destroy.

But the ants took the upper hand.¬† I’d kill one anthill, go out the next day to satisfactorily note its destruction – and discover two more mounds on the way out and three on the way back to the garage.¬† I consulted my neighbor, the elderly patriarch of the neighborhood, in search of a solution.¬† Actually he was out doing yardwork and Coach Jr wanted to wander across the street, but I know that old guys like giving advice, so I asked him for some – even though last time he recommended motor oil.¬† This time he recommended that I go to a particular out-of-the-way store and buy some powder that smelled bad and you only needed a teaspoon full per anthill but he couldn’t remember what it was called.¬† So I went to Lowes and got this stuff, which I figured was close enough (and didn’t involve talking to people)

bengal-ultradust

According to the reviews online this stuff is like the tenth Biblical plague: you put a few sprinkles on the mounds in the evening and in the morning Рno ants.  Even Karena recognized the severity of the problem as she not only gave me her Lowes gift card that she got for Christmas, but she agreed to watch the kids while I played with ant hills.

crazy-ant-guy

If you search for Bengal Ultradust, a picture of Celica’s crazy friend shows up even though he is holding a bottle of maple syrup.

Anyway, we have 50 less ant hills in our yard now.


Sunday 1/22

wt: 168.8

FP: 295,300 x 2¬†¬† Floor press is good as it didn’t bother my shoulder and it seemed better than doing bench pressery daily and it doesn’t require rack space but tired of getting off and on the floor, think i’m switching to (clean &) presses as main exercise EOD (alternating with CGB).

Squat: 365,385,405 x 2

MP: 185,187.5 x 1; 127.5 x 6

SLDL: 205 x 8; 225,245 x 4

WSG: 4.25 x 3

time: 1:11

Breaking Concrete

Me: (Swinging the sledgehammer) It’s pretty tiring. After a few minutes I’m sick of it.

Karena: SO HIT IT FOR LIKE THREE MINUTES, THEN TAKE A BREAK, THEN HIT IT SOME MORE.

Me: that’s what she said


On a somber note, RIP Roy Innis. I suppose a very small handful of men led lives as distinguished, or accomplished so much in the field of civil rights, but nobody else beat up both Al Sharpton and a white supremacist on national television. You will be missed, sir.


Read War Dogs which I highly recommend. I know they made a movie about it which I’m sure is stupid and inaccurate like most movies.


Also read 7 habits of highly effective people. Some of it was familiar so i must have read at least part of it before and i guess was satisfied with 2.6 of the habits.  Anyway, 11/10.


wt: 168.0

t/h: 59/100%+ actually above 100 this means of course that I worked out underwater today

FP: 275,280,285,290 x 2

Squat: 315,335,355 x 3

MP: 180,182.5 x 1

SLDL: 285,305,315 x 2

Pullups: 0x10, 25 x 5

time: 1:04

Ants in Pants II

I forgot to post about this yesterday even though it was leaf blower-related.¬† A similar incident happened a year or so ago* but I’m too lazy to go back and check and when i searched for “ants” it came back with so many hits because apparently I’m obsessed with them but you’ll understand why maybe:

Anyway was taking the leaf blower for a practice run and using the vacuum function to suck up a big pile of pine needles and chop them into i guess smaller bits of pine needles since the bag wasn’t attached.¬† But I was standing in an anthill and the bastards were all the way up to my knee.¬† I was wearing boots and long socks and jeans but I could feel them at least psychosomatically so I ran to the shed but it was locked so I fumbled with the key while doing a little dance, then remembered the ant poison was in a different garage (one of the pitfalls of being wealthy in outbuildings) so I sprinted back and got it and doused my leg and boot which of course now the ants were still alive just 90% were now frenzied and writhing and still would live for ten more minutes and I’m sure this is a violation of the label application so I took off my pants and boots and socks while still continuing to hop about.¬† My garage door was open and I expected to hear somebody call out NUUUDE but there was nobody home so I threw the clothes on the garage floor so Karena could find them and laugh at me later and went in and changed. But no stings.¬† They got the agent orange til the yard was knee deep in suds and ant bits.

*In case I actually didn’t mention this last time it happened was even more odd/hilarious to anyone secretly filming my life since I was with a barely walking Quincy way in the back yard and had to shed my pants and sneakers and keep her out of the ant hill and then come running inside, carrying her while she struggled and cried because she wanted to play outside more.


rex-scoresheet-201608This is from August.¬† When we play family games I usually keep score.¬† I sometimes annoy Rex (and by proxy Karena) by giving people hilarious nicknames, or drawing rude pictures.¬†¬† My favorite thing to do is make a 3, then a series of very small sideways 8s coming out of it, which gives Rex a fit because it looks like a butt pooping but I can claim to a skeptical, irritated Karena that I’m just doing math.

Anyway I agreed to play some game only if Rex and I could both keep score.

Karena: THIS IS MONOPOLY DEAL – YOU DON’T EVEN NEED A SCORE SHEET

Me: It will help his fine motor skills.

So basically we just drew “good” stuff in our own column (I removed the names but I’m Bimbo, Karena is Orange and Rex is Winning.) Then when someone offended us, or we just thought it would be funny, we put an insulting picture in theirs.¬† I’m not sure why bread is bad, btw.¬† Also, that face in his column is supposed to be him, which I couldn’t stop laughing about and duplicated exactly on my sheet. The original game is pretty damn awesome (house rule is 4 monopolies btw).¬† Our version took 3x as long to play but was 8x as fun (not to Karena who did a lot of sighing and subsequently became the all-time scorekeeper in all games).

 

Leaf blower

I got a leaf blower. It is a Husqvarna 125BVX which means than I have to answer Quincy’s question like is it friends with the lawnmower or related? Was it also born at Lowe’s? Is it a girl? And etc.

Found this on my gas can when I went to fill it up. 

Karena (looking at pic):IS THAT A BLACK WIDOW

Quincy: What’s a black widow?

Me: What I would be if, no I mean your mom would be if, um forget it sigh, it’s not even appropriate, and I butchered it anyway.

I put Coach Jr in the box for just a second but he liked it and didn’t want to get out so I dragged it to the grass so when he inevitably tipped over because I was too busy taking pictures for my blog he wouldn’t hurt himself.



Quincy was making fun of him but when she saw how fun it was she had to have a turn.



Some book reports after i finish Grit.

Me: will you draw pictures for my blog?

Rex: what kind of pictures? How dirty is your blog?

I’m not making that up. But he said yes even without me having to bribe him so that’s good.

wt: 170.0

FP: 285,295,305 x 1; 205 x 6

Squat: 375,385,395,405 x 1

Mil Press: 122.5 x 6, 125,127.5,130,132.5 x 3

SLDL: 225,235,245 x 3

OHS: 140 x 10

Time: 1:00

Ant Infiltration

thisshithere15

Both the picture and the text of this album cover are somewhat astounding.¬† I didn’t download the album. also Karena just walked in while I was posting this and does not approve – or understand art.¬†


Playing Legos with Quincy and Coach Jr.¬† I’m not making this up I made a Lego Bosch the dishwasher for her and she was putting flowers and cupcakes and etc on top of it.¬† Coach Jr was looking for new and interesting Legos that he could fit into his fat mouth.

Quincy (pointing): Eek! Daddy! Buggy!  (returns to building)

Quincy has amazingly good eyes (everything about her is amazing yes deal with it) but she has exactly the same reaction above whether there is a dead ant twenty feet away on the driveway or a giant centipede crawling on the baby’s face.

In this case it was an ant Рactually four Рcrawling on the carpet.  Actually more like forty by the time I finished killing with vacuum.  Think I found the source which was a bunch of anthills right outside a sliding glass door nearby.  Went to work with poison and orange soaps.


wt: 174.2 Karena away all weekend she left pork and sliced vegetables but this time we ordered a pizza one day also i didn’t work out and watched Alien (1979) instead because never seen it.¬† Keep falling asleep & still haven’t made it halfway.

Floor press: 230,235,240,245,250,255,260 x 2

Squat: 380,385,390,395 x 1; 265 x 6

BTN Press: 156,157.5,158.5,160 x 1

SGDL: 270,275,280,285,290,295 x 2

BB Shrug: 280 x 10

time: 1:30

Killing Ants

So I’ve been looking for a method to kill ant hills.¬† Last time I mowed the lawn I found 18 fire ant mounds on about 3 acres.¬† Tbh I’m not sure if they are fire ants.¬† They are little and red and sting, they build mounds up to 2 feet high, and when you hit the mound a billion of them scurry out.¬† I marked these mounds with little orange flags and then Quincy and I engaged on an extermination experiment as the science/physical education/giving mom a break portion of her home schooling.¬† The existing method has been to strew those ant crystals everywhere and then drench the mounds in poison.¬† This killed 8 of the mounds.

Criteria:

  • Effectiveness – Well, I’d like it to work.¬† (Texas definition of killing an ant mound is if you hit it with a stick you don’t see any movement after 15 seconds – they use the same methodology for death row inmates i’ve heard)
  • Fun – I am predisposed to visceral, graphically violent methods.¬† If I could make the ant mounds explode that would be good – if I could make the ants flee for ten seconds and then individually explode that would be better. So at least something I can do directly to the ant mounds as opposed to like “plant some Japanese bushes and lower the number of mounds next season by 90%” which Celica will no doubt suggest
  • Safety – In opposition to the previous criterion is that I need the method to be reasonably safe to me and Quincy during application (so no gasoline, dynamite etc sorry Jaysun, Cowboy etc.)¬† I’m not opposed to pesticides but I’d prefer a non-pesticide method as it would (hopefully) be more…
  • Cheap – Important criteria especially to Karena who criticizes excessive ant-related outlays even when i remind her it is educational and productive.¬† (She tends to denigrate my endeavors as “WALKING AROUND HITTING ANT HILLS WITH A STICK”)
  • Volume – My mom used to dump a tea-kettle of boiling water on ant mounds she found on the yard.¬† This method was 100% effective but we lived in a suburb & had a small yard. (one of my earliest memories is my mom putting a tree branch with gypsy moth caterpillars on a storm drain, drenching it with gasoline and setting it on fire; my mom is cool)

Not Really Criteria:

  • Safety to vegetation – the only thing I got more of than ants is grass.¬† Plus it’s not like the ants are resodding their stupid mounds.¬† i mean i guess it shouldn’t leave a permanent crater in the lawn but whatever.¬† Less to mow.
  • Actual Lethality – blah blah if you don’t kill the queen they will just move.¬† That’s honestly fine I mean I’m not gonna make a trail of sugar to my neighbor’s yard but whatever.

Methods:

  • Crystals : I’m too cheap to buy the specialty fire ant stuff.¬† Kind of boring, like you have to hope they eventually bring the crystals to the queen but you don’t get to see them do this, and it can take weeks and it doesn’t always happen.¬† Might as well blow cigarette smoke down the hole.¬† I mean sometimes it is wonderfully magic to find the hills abandoned after you’ve used this but also can cake in the broadcast spreader, and seriously, doing my whole freaking lawn would take like 100 lbs of this crap, so I only apply it on and near the mounds. Finally you’ll find bits of this left over in the driveway just waiting for someone to track it into the house for Coach Jr. to eat.
  • Poison: This is expensive but kind of fun to spray on the ants.¬† However the packaging makes it out like it’s Sarin but they take several minutes to die so Quincy gets bored while I’m staring at them and wanders off and starts gathering orange flags unbidden.¬† Plus I suspect the important ants just hide in a bunker and reproduce.
  • Coffee Grounds:¬† Read about this on wikihow.¬† It’s free since I already drink coffee, and safe enough for Quincy to carry out the little container with the grounds, and she enjoyed it immensely “Here is your coffee, ants” but it’s not very scalable and also does not work one bit.¬† Stupid wikihow.
  • Vinegar: Also read about this on wikihow.¬† Fortunately I found that Texas site before I tried grits, lemon juice, etc.¬† I actually don’t know if this worked.¬† I did it twice to one mound and there were still ants – that now smelled like pickles.¬† But then I came back two days after the second application and they were gone.
  • Dish soap and citrus oil: suggested by the Texans.¬† Citrus oil is super expensive ($4 oz) if you buy the pure, made-for-hippies-to-anoint-themselves-with stuff on Amazon.¬† But since I’m just dumping it on ants, I figured this was close enough:

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D-Limonene is the first ingredient on the hazardous material data sheet.¬† This stuff is also sold at Lowe’s and is only $11.50 a gallon.¬† I called Karena on the way home to tell her how clever and thrifty I was but she was on the phone with someone from boy scouts and didn’t appreciate me starting my announcement with “Listen carefully I have important news for the family.”

I mixed a few ounces of Zep with a few ounces of soap and a bucket of water and dumped it on the ants.¬† It drowned them satisfyingly (well maybe not since fire ants can swim) but it at least washed them away and Quincy liked the bubbles.¬† Best of all the next day I had eliminated 5 of 5 remaining ant mounds…

…I kinda can’t wait for them to come back.


Wt: 171.6

MRS: 210 x 6, 215,220,225,230,235,240 x 3

Light Floor Press as shoulder recovers

Snatch Grip DL: 295,300,305,310,315,320,325 x 1

BTN Press: 142.5,145,147.5,150,152.5,155 x 1

didn’t bother shoulder so why not

time: 1:21

Trim your nasty bush

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Old photo from before I had a beard.


So my ranking of outdoor chores in the order I enjoy them looks something like this:

1. Kill wasps
2. Kill ants
3. Kill weeds in driveway by spraying poison on them
4. Ride Swedish steed (mow lawn)

423. Weed wack long ditch at edge of property that is full of trash people throw out of their cars.

781. Pick up suspicious dead animals with shovel and fling them into woods.

2127. Trim hedges.

Believe it or not I actually like doing most yard chores.

Me: I’m going to mow the lawn.

Karena: AGAIN?

We have three varieties of bushes in front of our house.¬† Two are completely inoffensive.¬† There’s a few soft piney ones that stand apart from the others, and a scraggly fragile kind.¬† Neither variety grows very much, and if they could talk they would say something like:

Piney bush: Please sir, it’s been a year and I’ve become a bit unkempt, would you mind trimming me slightly?¬† But if you don’t, no one will notice and you can probably just circle the mower really close and break any wayward twigs with your hands.

Scraggly bushes: We once had flowers.

But the other type of bush, the one that unfortunately¬† predominates in the front of my house, is a species known as “Devil Razor Hedge.”¬† It is the pit bull of shrubbery and no doubt was sold to my late great-uncle-in-law as part of a home security system.

Karena: DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE HEDGES

Me: They can probably go a few more months.

Karena: QUINCY IS VERY UPSET BECAUSE SHE CAN’T SEE OUT THE WINDOWS ANYMORE

This hedge grows right up against the wall of the house on one side with only a narrow path to walk through Рa path which the hedge is determined to obliterate, forcing me to use the hedge trimmer like a machete just to get back there.  On the other side is a shorter row of the scruffy flowering types which the razor hedge is also trying to overpower.

Karena: MY DAD SAID HE’S COMING OVER

Me: Oh, to play with the kids?

Karena: NO I TOLD HIM I WAS GOING TO TRIM THE HEDGES AND HE SAID HE’D DO IT*

* I don’t even know if either/both of them were bluffing but it got me out there in a hurry bc shaaaaaame

I have a corded hedge trimmer & need like a 200 foot extension cord so you can imagine the antics of untangling/pulling the thing out of the socket repeatedly/getting it caught in the shrubbery etc and etc.  All while 102 degrees F.

Also because I’m short, I have a hard time reaching** the top of the hedge.¬† I have to trim it from both sides.¬† On one side I have to lean way over the stupid victim bushes in front.¬† On the other I just have to lean into the thing and hold the hedge trimmer overhead with both hands and swing blindly in big arcs while my hands go numb trying to keep the damn safety grip depressed so the trimmer doesn’t turn off.¬† Also you really have to saw at this thing.

** If you’re gonna say “use a ladder” in the comments first of all read the preceding paragraph about tangling cords and imagine the hilarity when I add a ladder into that mix; also this hedge is like a hundred yards long I’m not moving a ladder 60 times; also I’m lazy.

If these bushes could talk they would say something like:

Razor hedge: HEY HERE COMES THAT LITTLE GUY WHO IS TRYING TO STOP US FROM GROWING INTO THE SIDE OF HIS HOUSE. LET’S STAB HIM IN THE ARMPIT AND RUIN HIS SHIRT.

Other part of razor hedge: HAHA. YES I HAVE BEEN GROWING ESPECIALLY TALL IN MY TOP CENTER FOR NO VALID BOTANICAL REASON OTHER THAN TO BE AN ASSH*LE.


Wt: 170.6

Temp: 68 F / 60% first temperature/humidity in months that a real gym would keep anything besides their sauna. Not bragging it actually felt kind of cold and sh*tty.

Bench: 230,235,240,245,250,255 x 3; 260,265,270 x 2

Manta Ray Squat: 260,265,270,275,280 x 2; 285,290 x 1

Mil Press: 145,147.5,150 x 2

SGDL: 260,265,270 x 2

Horizontal Pullups: 11

Spent some time fooling around with a sledgehammer (that I bought bc FIL broke ours, and yes i plan to do some actual work with it of course dear but i keep it in the gym and not the shed so that is telling) doing levers with my hand like one inch from the business end, and doing 1 arm barbell shrugs because I read about them in T-Nation and I like training traps (see above pic) but am too lazy to load up a barbell with idk the massive 225 or 315 I would need IOT use 2 hands.

Time (including warmups and foolishness): 1:24