yellow flies and other nasty things

The lake is way down and has been for nine months or so. Down so far that the pump system I have down on the dock was inoperative because the water intake point was high and dry. In fact, the bottom was dry beneath the intake point so even extending it down wouldn’t fix the problem. That would have been too easy anyway. I’m very patient and lived with this for quite a while knowing that I didn’t really need to water anything in the winter and that when spring came the lake would rise up and solve the problem. It hasn’t happened that way and many of the plants I have down by the lake are drying up and dying. That plus the fact that we’re having a party next week and I wanted to power wash the dock but without water, no go.

So I bit the bullet this weekend and decided to correct the problem by moving the water intake point out to deeper water. I could have just moved the pump itself farther out the dock but really like it where it is. If my new plumbing job doesn’t work, that will be my fallback. The job is simple enough on paper. Just add some PVC pipe and couplings. But it had to be run underneath the dock which is a bit trickier and means I would be working in waist deep water and working over my head with a drill to install the pipe hangers. For me that means the certain dropping of hardware and couplers while trying to screw in hangers and hold a 20′ piece of PVC pipe in place; and the real possibility of dropping my drill. Which would really piss me off because it’s my favorite 19V DeWalt. Then assuming I got the pipe hangers installed, I had to cut and glue the various pieces together with all the measurements exactly right. For many guys all this would be a piece of cake. And guess what, the project went flawlessly. Not a dropped part, not a piece missing, not a bad cut or glue job. No trips to the hardware store or even the shed to get that one thing I’d forgotten about. I started the job at 9:30 and was finished by 11 AM. I need to let all the pieces set for 24 hours before firing up the pump so the story is not complete but the nasty part is done and looks very professional (to me). And because it’s located under the dock, I don’t have to worry about critics.

My next project is to assemble and install the yellow fly traps. Now that is a nasty job but the flies have come this year with a vengeance.

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I’ve often heard that after a bee stings you, it dies. I hope so. In fact I hope it’s a very painful death. I got my first bee sting this season clearing palmettos and had forgotten just how hard they hit and how nasty the after affects are. I do daily battle with fire ants and give as good as I get but the bees play at a totally different level.

And once again it’s yellow fly season. Yellow flies are like deer flies but yellow in color. They bite hard enough to draw blood and are super persistent. If you are patient enough to let one land and start to chew, you can easily kill them because they won’t let go. Nancy has trouble with that remedy. There is a way to semi control them. Sounds bizarre but they are attracted to black things. So we build traps that use the same principal as fly paper. You blow up a 20” beach ball and paint it black. Then you coat it with this nasty, sticky stuff called “Tacky Foot”. Easier to say than to do since the goop is about consistency of axle or bearing grease but is incredibly sticky. Any place it touches gets this difficult to remove gluey mess. I use latex gloves to apply it and am getting proficient enough that this year I wasn’t totally coated myself.

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And for the guys – watching the Dem’s fight over the nomination shows that we have a real problem. If you don’t like Obama, you’re a racist; if you don’t like Hillary, you’re a sexist. Our problem is that we don’t have any kind of “ist” for people who pick on us poor white males. I guess that’s ok for us Republicans since we are used to being called either Racist or Sexist but not sure how you white Democrat males – as few of you as there are – are dealing with having to take on one of the labels and not having some kind of defensive shield to hide behind.

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