Open Thread

Speaking of hippies, I’m listening to more of my Water Lily Acoustics recordings, and I’m telling you, the sound clarity of these recordings is second to none. I miss that studio so much.

57 replies
  1. 1
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Can someone help me identify a mystery bug? I am afraid we may have roaches. In early December, I saw a brown bug ambling across the top of my TV . It was about an inch long and looked more like a brown cricket than anything else, except it didn’t have jumping back legs. All six legs were the little wiry bug legs. When I swatted at it I missed and it fell behind the TV cabinet and I couldn’t find it, so I swept back there and called it a day. I spent the next 6 weeks shining a flashlight under cabinets, behind the fridge and stove, turning on lights in the middle of the night. Never saw anything. Then last week, the same bug, or his identical twin, ambled across the sink, and this time I nailed him. Both times it was unseasonably warm, but since it is winter, I fear it was, or they were, non-roachy looking roaches. What do you think? Any southerners out there? (southerners know their bugs.)

    Normally if you even suspect roaches, the first step would be to get a cat, but if I’m caught with a cat my landlord will charge me a $250 “non-refundable deposit,” so it would actually be cheaper to put out poison–but poison has attractants and I certainly don’t want to attract roaches if they aren’t already here. Any ideas?

  2. 2
    TooManyJens says:

    @Rosie Outlook: You might try putting your description and location into .

    Edit: FYWP.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Can you take a picture of the bug and link it? Maybe that would help someone identify it. Also, including what part of the country you live in might help.

  4. 4
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Reposting from downstairs go to

    It is a brilliant site where you can buy and download west end productions of great plays. I just watched David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing. I am going to watch Jonathan Pryce in “King Lear” next. It is actually like being there.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    @Rosie Outlook: You can look up photos of roaches on the internet to confirm, but that does sound like a roach. Tell your landlord — it’s his building, and keeping it pest-free is his responsibility.

  6. 6
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    To be on the safe side (in case it is some kind of roach) get the Hot Shot gel. It is a clear gel that comes in a syringe which you dot about in places where you have seen the roaches. It is the most effective roach killer I have ever known.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    I been living in the same apartment for 9 years now, and never saw a roach until the past 6 months. Then one or two, then more. The new owners quit spraying cause like me, most tenants refuse to let them in their apartment .

    But there is a secret weapon that is natural and mostly safe to use, and that is Boric Acid. It is a weak acid that unless you eat it, is a natural pesticide and harmless. I made up some powder with water into a solution a couple of weeks ago for spraying, and nolo roaches since.

    There are ready made preparations that you can buy, but you can also do it yourself with a common bottle sprayer.

  8. 8
    Rosie Outlook says:

    I’m in central Ohio. I will get the Hot Shot too. Unfortunately I did not think to take a picture.

    I would rather take care of the problem myself and get it done right than trust a landlord who doesn’t live here. We’ve been here 7 years and never had bugs. I guess the honeymoon is over.

  9. 9
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @General Stuck: I also scattered borax around. That also kills ants.

    I didn’t know there were round roaches, so to speak. I thought they were all sort of flat.

  10. 10
    srv says:

    Great, a thread about hippies and SACDs devolves into roaches so quickly

  11. 11
    General Stuck says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Their were two kinds I’ve seen here recently. One kind was obvious roach, and the other had a round body like you describe. I had not seen that kind before, and I lived on the gulf coast for years, where they have every kind about there is.

  12. 12
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Well, I will assume it is a round roach (sounds like something you’d smoke) and proceed accordingly. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it snuck home from work with me. We lost our cafeteria when the contractor decided not to renew and within a week or two people were seeing bugs all over the building, although I myself did not see any unless you count the mystery bug.

  13. 13
    Hungry Joe says:

    At least everybody’s spelling “hippie” correctly in this post/thread. “Hippy” is someone who’s a little wide across the beam.

  14. 14
    greennotGreen says:

    Help! Comments have fallen into the mobile theme, and they can’t get up! What’s going on? Anybody else seeing this?

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    Hippies and roaches.

    I love this place.

  16. 16
    greennotGreen says:

    Never mind. After telling me it couldn’t publish my comment, it did, and meanwhile I did the shift + refresh thing, and it worked. BTW, I hate the mobile format.

  17. 17
    Alex says:

    An interesting (and fair) criticism by digby of the Obama Administration’s peculiar executive priorities in its first term. Record deportations (more in 4 years than the Bush Administration’s 8 years), low prosecution of gun crimes, heavy prosecution of medical marijuana — none of these actions make sense from either a political or institutional vantage point. Would be interested to hear what you all think of this.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    Cool. Site is borked again.

  19. 19
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @greennotGreen: Yes, I got the mobile version on my desktop. When I refreshed I got back the regular version. However the front page won’t refresh.

  20. 20
    Soonergrunt says:

    Rosie–take a picture of the bug in question, and submit the picture to Google. Believe it or not, you can often identify objects in photographs that way. You may get the species of the bug.

  21. 21
    Sarah says:

    Since this is an open thread: can anyone tell me if there’s a way to not have the mobile app for BJ as the default on my iPhone? I much prefer the regular version, but that mobile version keeps popping up.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    I liked the Environments series by Syntonic Research for field recordings of natural sounds. The Pyschologically Ultimate Seashore was/is fantastic for sleeping. Also great was Dawn and Dusk at the Okefenokee Swamp (one side each for dawn and dusk). They had helicopter in the recording equipment.

    Unfortunately, the recordings are out of print now. I have a couple on vinyl, which I take very good care of.

  23. 23
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @General Stuck: Hi General, I think spraying is also a good idea so I can do the walls. What proportions of borax and water did you use, and also, what region of the country are you in?

    I was born in 1959, the year of the pig (earth pig, if I remember right) and there was an article in the paper about how snake years bring bad luck for pig people. I guess the Chinese astrologer interviewed knew his stuff. Ironically, I like snakes and always have. They’re pretty and eat mice (and bugs!); what’s not to like?

    When it warms up, I may trot off to the pet store and buy a chameleon; the landlord does not count them as pets.

    If this problem continues, I guess we’ll be moving in December. Are there any Juicers in the Columbus, Ohio, area? If so, please tell me the good and bad aspects of your neighborhoods. (don’t worry, fellow pet lovers, we would take the chameleon along or find someone to adopt him.)

  24. 24
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Sarah: ME TOO! It is so annoying and when you switch it, within a half hour it’ll switch right back.

  25. 25
    Sarah says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Exactly! There must be a way to stop this!

  26. 26
    Rosie Outlook says:

    By the way, many people do not know that praying mantises are related to cockroaches–although if you bring it up, the mantises will glare at you and hastily change the subject.

  27. 27
    Maude says:

    @Rosie Outlook:
    There are praying mantises that are fierce. They are hunters and killers of anything a tad smaller that they are. The usual ones are also a bit fierce.

  28. 28
    mellowjohn says:

    for those old enough to remember:

    “next week we’ll show you what to do with those roaches.” –share a little tea with goldie (the smothers brothers show)

  29. 29
    General Stuck says:


    They are hunters and killers of anything a tad smaller that they are. The usual ones are also a bit fierce.

    Including the hapless male Mantis, about half the female’s size. She often dines on his liver after mating, with some fava beans and……..

  30. 30

    In other news, Eric Ericson died today.

    No, not that one – the noted Swedish choral conductor.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    We’ve been here 7 years and never had bugs.

    The problem with sharing your property with other tenants is that it they easily spread from one part of the building to another. You can do everything right, but one bad neighbor can feed enough roaches to infest the whole building. It’s kind of like Vietcong Taliban finding refuge in Cambodia Pakistan.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @General Stuck:

    Hepatic sex is awesome…

  33. 33
    General Stuck says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    I live in SW NM, and I’m not sure that just Borax is strong enough to do the roaches. You can buy pure Boric Acid Powder, usually at drug stores or sometimes hardware stores. That also has boric acid roach killers preps for sale. I mix it at about 50 50, and the roaches disappeared pronto.

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    #29 brown rice. A nice red wine to go with.

  35. 35
    Mack says:

    Can’t turn off mobile theme! Do not like!

  36. 36
    Mack says:

    Can’t turn off mobile theme! Do not like!

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:

    Interestingly, the whole “female mantises eat the males when they mate” thing turns out to have mostly been an effect created by keeping them in the laboratory. Scientists have found it rarely happens in the wild.

    ETA: Edited to remove repetitive repetition.

  38. 38
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: That’s the website with Into The Woods as well, right? I found that once on a low cash day and mentally filed it away for March (three paycheck month).

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:


    Interesting. I had several entomology courses in college, and we were always taught the accepted version. But that was a million years ago.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Anyone know why I am getting the mobile version on my computer. I logged on earlier and didn’t. Of course in an actual post the header and such is back.

  41. 41
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @General Stuck: Thanks! I’ll get some powder and (Hot) Shot tomorrow. The Next to Last Samurai is going to war against the whatever-they-ares. I feel I should have an itty-bitty naginata, just for a touch of traditionalism. (The Next to Last Samurai is my other nom de Internet.)

    That reminds me. A person who lived in Tokyo said they had a terrible bug problem (the humidity?). Are there any ancient traditional bug killing secrets we missed in this topic?

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well, it’s a cooler story than, “We screwed up and weren’t feeding the mantises enough.” They basically seem to have accidentally replicated the conditions under which it happens in the wild, which is when there are limited resources to support two adult mantises, so the male sacrifices himself to ensure his genes survive.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:


    I think the same phenomenon occurs with Black Widow spiders, hence the name.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    @General Stuck:
    That’s what’s cool about science; people are constantly learning new stuff that forces them to reevaluate their theories. We really don’t know everything, so some of the stuff they taught you in school is probably considered laughably outdated now. And, of course, the more advance the stuff you learned, the more likely it is to be outdated today, since it’s knowledge at the very edge of our understanding that’s most subject to radical change.

    In fairness, this is true to a lesser extent of all branches of honest scholarship. The humanities are also subject to changes as the result of newly acquired information, and that sometimes forces people to change their ideas just as radically as new knowledge in the sciences does.

  45. 45
    mvr says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Yes, the main page doesn’t look like it should and does in fact look like it would work on a smartphone.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Are there any ancient traditional bug killing secrets we missed in this topic?

    I guess we covered various forms of biocontrol (e.g. lizards, mantises) which are the best alternative to poison for keeping the bugs under control. That and not leaving food out for them to gorge on, which isn’t completely under your control in a building shared with other people.

  47. 47
    Rosie Outlook says:

    In case it gets to the point where I have to cough up for a cat, would a cat that ate a roach poisoned w/boric acid be poisoned itself?

  48. 48
    sharl says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Is it possible that, rather than a cockroach, the brown marmorated stink bug has finally made it to your area? There are a bunch of photos at that Wikipedia page, if you want to compare with what you saw. Note that you won’t smell the stink unless you try to grab or crush them (if that’s what you have, that is).

    This invasive species is thought to have been imported from Asia in the 90s, first showing up near Allentown PA. We’ve been infested with them here in the mid-Atlantic for the past several years. They afflict produce farmers in the summer, then winter over in buildings that have heat, and a way for the little critters to get in.

  49. 49
    jurassicpork says:

    D r i f t g l a s s says, “Pay the effin’ writer” but I try to be more diplomatic about it.

  50. 50
    lojasmo says:

    Ran two miles (and did some incline walking) for a total of 40 minutes, and did 50 minutes of yoga today, then had pizza and ale for breakfast at 1:30.

    Even saw the lights of the good year blimp.

    Today was a good day.

  51. 51
    PIGL says:

    @TooManyJens: I would not regard this source as very authoritative. It claims centipedes are insects; which these two groups are about as closely related as we humans are to tunicate worms. Same phylum, but that’s all.

  52. 52
    Splitting Image says:

    Watching Spaceballs immediately after Star Wars made me realize that Spaceballs actually has fewer laughs in it than the movie it was supposed to be spoofing.

    This leads to the remarkable conclusion that the best parody of Star Wars is probably Return of the Jedi.

  53. 53
    Splitting Image says:

    On the matter of bug identification, Virginia Tech has a good guide to household pests. Even if you can’t recognize the exact bug, you may find a similar enough match to get an idea of what it is. If it isn’t a roach, I would guess that a some kind of beetle is the next best guess.


  54. 54
    wasabi gasp says:

    Sometimes, what you want is what you need…more bassoon.

    Illinois Jacquet – ‘Round Midnight

  55. 55
    karen marie says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Cats don’t eat roaches. No worries.

  56. 56
    Comrade Mary says:

    OMG OMG OMG! This is so fucking adorable that my special gland that responds to adorableness may just up and die from overuse.

    Now Attenborough gets all educational on our arses.

  57. 57
    dan says:

    Get a gecko. They are very mellow and eat bugs. And sell insurance.

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