Better mousetrap?

In my zeal to do something about the rodent population around here in the spring/summer, I started out with the tried and true? snap traps:

But I wasn’t having sufficient luck – a few got snagged, but mostly, they just found a way to snag the bait w/o getting caught. Hmpf… the usual gopher/vole poison isn’t viable here – too many kitties, hawks, eagles, etc. Don’t want to hurt them. SO…

A little research revealed the rodent “electric chair”

Rat Zapper ULTRA

Seems like it would work. So, a quick spin over the Amazon and I found a good price at the Maine Supply Co. Great – I like supporting the state of Maine – the folks there have cool accents…

But… and here’s where things go awry – I get the thing and put batteries in… turn it on and … crap… the thing shorts out, gets super hot like its about to melt. Great. Its like a disappointing Xmas present – ever get a present that either didn’t have all the parts or broke in the first 5 mins of use? Yea, that’s what this was like…

So… back to Maine Supply it goes. I call them up to get an RMA. The dude who answers the phone has a total non-distinct accent – he could have been from here in CA. I was totally bummed – I was looking forward to talking to someone with a real Maine accent… like “Ayuh,
her-ahs yor RMA numbah”

But alas, once again, disappointed… sigh…

Well, here’s a guy who takes his rodent catching a bit too seriously… RAT-CAM!

If you’re tired of seeing our kids, skip this one….

The kids, when finally shoved out the back door, decided that they do actually like snow. It’s fun to play in. D-Square, as usual, doesn’t spend much time with any of her feet on the ground….

And Dretti, well, he found the poo-pile from Jack’s stall buried under a few inches of snow and proceeded to rub his face into it (frozen poo is especialy good)

They both had a fantastic time running and playing;

Snow is Yummy!

And then it snowed some more

The next morning was pretty cool. I think thats the EARLIEST I’ve EVER seen Art voluntarily get out of bed. I wanted none of it (getting up, that is), the dogs wanted absolutely none of it (getting out of the warm bed and even thinking about going outside, too damn cold)

This was at about 8 am.
By 9:30 it looked like this;

By about 11am, it was all gone and back to dreary winter blah with no snow anywhere but really high up on the hill.
I hate March.
March is gross.

What sort of secret agent are you?

This quiz is going around a group of folks out here… So, I took the quiz

I guess given my current gig @cisco, the 94% on ‘freelance agent’ is probably pretty accurate 😛

You scored as The Spymaster.

You are Jack Bristow from Alias. You have been in the spy game for quite some time and very little surprises you. You can do field work when the need arises, but you now tend to run operations where you can put your fearsome experience to best use.

The Spymaster


The Freelance Agent


The Cold Agent


The Patriotic Agent


The Undercover Agent


The Reluctant Agent


The Treacherous Mastermind


The Backroom Boffin


The Suave Agent


What sort of Secret Agent are you?
created with

Life is good, cold, but certainly good.

I have many more pictures of Mr. Stine in the snow, sans hot-tub, sans towel. I will sell them to you for a fair price, you can then turn around and sell them back to Mr. Stine for a pretty tidy profit. It’s a win-win situation.
It’s not that I don’t love him, but he really should have re-thought the snowball situation. Him-naked, me-with a camera. Dumb, just really dumb.

The Day After Tomorrow, California Style

And then it snowed some more.

Fortunately by this time Art had made it home safely from the weeklyBSG Geek-Fest* at Frank and Meghans house down in snow-less San Jose. It’s like freakin’ Tahoe up here, man.

*BSG=Battle Star Galactica. Everyone gets together to watch the weekly installment of BSG on the SciFi Channel. Not the old, dorky/cool BSG.

The new and improved BSG

All spandex, lycra and latex. And boobies, lotsa boobies.

The women, with one exception are manly,

and the men, well….aren’t.
And would someone mind telling me why they didn’t replace the black dude? Oh wait, they did, they just didn’t see fit to include him in the “cast” photo.

Holy Ice Crystals Batman!

Disclaimer: If you come from somewhere with real weather, we appologize for sounding like bloody morons. Lets make one thing very clear from the start of this post: We admire, respect, revere and applaude you for your fortitude, for the strength you show to live in a place that challenges your ability to carry on in a normal fashion when the thermometer drops below, oh, lets say, 35 degrees. We’re sure you suffer….you suffer more than us on a daily basis based on climate alone. And you never complain. We know. You are strong, and have many wool sweaters. Your children have many wool sweaters. You own something called muckalucks. So don’t even start with the “we have it worse than you” comments, we know you do. Kay? Kay.
This is you (not California):

And this is us (California):

So anyway…..
It snowed for reals at the Stine Compound today! Well, this evening actually. I came home tonight to everything looking all Christmasy and white. It was dark, but I got a few decent pictures:

The skylights in the barn:

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, skylights in a barn? Whatever. It’s California. It came with the house. Get over it.
So here’s Sara, complaining about how cold it is

And Jack, all bitchy because I was late with dinner and didn’t put one of those warm blankies on him yet. Sheesh.

Life on the California Farm.
The Stine Compound.
Hey, listen up….when this country finally comes apart, and zombies walk the civilized streets, you’ll be BEGGING to come live up here. If you’re nice, and we like you, you can come. If not, we’ll refer you out to the Other Stine Compound located in The Middle of Nowhere Nevada. You don’t want that. They don’t have skylights.

Never Again

There’s a reason we’re not having children. It’s because I would make a HIDEOUS mother. A cat would be a better mother than me. Ask the lamb, I suck as a mom. Ask Art, he’s done more than his fair share of lamb-feeding and management (okay, not really, but I didn’t really want him to have to do any of it at all, and he has) I hate having to watch over something that constantly. No, wait, I hate having to watch 0ver something that stupid, smelly, loud and obnoxious constantly. People: lambs are not cute little balls of cottony fluff. They poop on themselves, they bawl incessantly (second only to calves) and they are dumb as dumb gets. There is NO learning curve with sheep. That’s why they’re so tasty, they’re too stupid to be anything other than a meal. Cute, yes. I’ll give them that much. They are damn cute. Until they open their mouths and start screaming to be fed that is. When they were just fed 20 minutes ago. And they know damn well how to eat some of that rich green grass right there. Or maybe some of the hay I just put out for them. Gracie-Lamb, or Doodle as Art calls her, is fat and healthy.

She thinks she’s a dog, in fact. Big mistake, letting her run with the dogs. Now she only wants out to run around with them when I put her out in the pasture with the flock for the day.

The rest of the babies are doing well; the “non-reject”, Gracie-Lambs brother

and Mrs. Hook’s two (including the ugliest-lamb-ever, dubbed “Cow”)

the other young ewe we have squirted out two new lambs about 2 weeks ago:

You know, I’m starting to wonder exactly what is getting into our pasture and shagging our sheep, because wow, none of these lambs look anything alike, and they’re all out of the same ram. I know, I know, different moms. But still……if I had to guess I’d say Mrs. Hook was gettin’ it on with one of the free range cattle and that other ewe?…hookin’ up with one of the local sasquatch.

Day of Reckoning in Our Office

I’ve been after Art for the longest time to GET A REAL DESK. He’s always had one excuse or another for keeping this cheap-ass dorm room era make-shift piece of crap.
NOTE: I’ve included a greyhound for scale.

This “desk” is nothing more than a thrifty bachelors genius idea to take two filing cabinets and a solid core door and piece them together like legos to “custom create” a desk that’s “deep enough to put all my shit on” . I swear, the only thing that would make this worse is if he had decided to use cinderblocks instead of filing cabinets. I finally came very close to giving up and started asking him if we could get one of those big wooden spools to use as a table and a poster of Motley Crue in the office to complete the decor. Fortunately I’m really stubborn and refused to give in. This “desk” was full of negative energy, it had to go.
NOTE: see how the negative engergy from the “desk” sucked the life energy out of Dretti???? See?!???

We had to carry him off, he almost didn’t make it, his aura was tainted.

Enter: the Wooden Duck. Yes, you read me correct….the Wooden Duck. Here, check it out for yourself:
They are very awesome, everything that comes out of that place is solid as hell (read; heavy as hell) and really just quality stuff. So we drew up some plans and trotted on down to Bezerkley and got the ball rolling on having them custom make a couple of new desks. That’s right, if he gets one, I get one. That was back in October. I figured “Great, this will get Art to clean up the office….unpack boxes (from LAST MARCH), clean off the evil-desk, sort some crap….you know, prepare for the new arrivals. Uh, yeah. Dream on, lady.
November; office full of crap. December; ditto. January…a new year! ….nope, still junked up. February…the desks are ready to inspect, we get a delivery date…nope. Still crapped up. Push off delivery one week due to hideous weather conditions…..ahhh, a stay of evil-desk execution….No such luck. Procrastination prevailed until, literaly, the final hour when a very cranky Paul called to say he was on his way to help move the desks out of OUR BEDROOM WHERE THEY HAD BEEN DEPOSITED BY THE DELIVERY DUDES THE DAY BEFORE. Let me quote Paul, for posterity….”That office damn well better be clean and ready when I get there, I mean it Art”

Look at this mans face. Does it look like the face someone whose advice was heeded? No, indeed it does not.
Suffice it to say, when Paul arrived Art was still disassembling:

(alright, don’t even get me started on this one….this is the patented Stine Table Leg Removal Method, much easier than, say, just turning the table upsidedown)
And …..oh gawd….vacuuming, over and over and over and over;

(ocd issues with vacuuming)
We did finally get the desks into the office, and as you can see, they look fantastic. This is Art mourning the absence of a top drawer on his desk (I requested one be added to my desk, because, you see, I knew I would need a place to put my pens. Art….decidedly declined a top drawer. Who’s sorry now?)

And D-Square wishing she had thumbs so she could have a desk too.

NOTE; see the damn-stupid cat behind the screen. Too stupid to find his way out. Nuff said.
So, in exchange for his efforts Paul has asked to have the old “desk”. And in my haste to get that piece of energy-sucking crap out of our house I couldn’t say yes fast enough. But please, everyone, do me a favor and don’t tell Paul we let our dog tea-bag his new personal workstation, kay?