Things I Didn’t Know Were Problems

problem pigeons

Pigeons and tawny crazy ants. Who knew?

Here’s something that might be a problem: Would you be alarmed if your smallish freshwater fish tank containing a single betta fish suddenly had scads of little snails in it? Cone-shaped snails, the largest of which is maybe the size of a raisin and others that are really tiny? I don’t know where they came from!

Open thread.






201 replies
  1. 1
    Doug R says:

    Look for a car with a “S” on it.

  2. 2
    tarragon says:

    The snails problem happened to me after I added some commercial water conditioner to my single gold fish tank. Eventually I assumed they were related.

    All I did was scoop the snails for about a week and then there were no new ones.

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Get some garlic and butter and the snails become an opportunity, not a problem.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Every betta must be named Max.

    There oughta be a law.

  5. 5
    Han says:

    I don’t know where they came from!

    Well, you see, when a mommy/daddy snail and a mommy/daddy snail love each other very much…

  6. 6
    Doc H says:

    It sounds like Malaysian trumpet snails (/Melanoides/). They can, in the right conditions, explode in numbers. I like ’em, but people who don’t sometimes use assassin snails (/Clea helena/) as a a biological control.

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    We have had a swarming invasion of what I think are carpet beetles. They are proving to be very hard to kill. A commercial exterminator wasn’t any use. Anyone have any suggestions?

  8. 8
    redshirt says:

    Snails just spontaneously arise. They discovered this in the Middle Ages.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    Think I might have caught a glimpse of Tawny Crazy Ants in a Doris Wishman nudie flick.

  10. 10
    p.a. says:

    If the Tawny Crazy Ants get ino the Tawny Port- RUN

  11. 11
    misterpuff says:

    We have had a swarming invasion of what I think are Trump supporters.
    They are proving to be very hard to kill.
    A commercial exterminator wasn’t any use.
    Anyone have any suggestions?

  12. 12
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    Do you like snails, or oysters? wink wink nudge nudge

  13. 13
    redshirt says:

    I have built a stream which runs for about .5 mile now, and I just surveyed it as it’s flowing nicely with the spring melt and is a thing of beauty. But in the few isolated flat portions, there are these tiny red bugs that form an almost complete mat. They don’t seem to move. I have no idea what these are, but I suspect they’re all about to die as temps here at New Gondolin will be dipping into the mid teens the next few days.

  14. 14
    redshirt says:

    @misterpuff: Take off and nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Carpet bombing?
    (Like anyone really thought I wasn’t going to swing at that pitch?)

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    @p.a.

    Any port in a swarm.

  17. 17
    Trollhattan says:

    @Doc H:
    Yes, they’re live-bearing snails that rode in probably on a plant. They’ll make more snails like crazy and you often don’t know you have them as they frequently hide in the gravel during daytime..

    A natural control is clown loaches, which will dig for them in the gravel (presuming you a. have gravel and II. it’s not too deep). I’ve watched them reduce and even eliminate the population.

    Or, you can kill them with snail drops, which is a copper compound that I don’t quite recall. Remove the fish (easy with a betta) treat the tank including plants, change water and clean the gravel, return the fish.

  18. 18
    elmo says:

    My wife has a half-dozen fresh and brackish water tanks, ranging in size from 20gal to 150 (that’s for redear turtles). Among other things, she raises axolotls. She fights the battle of the snails all the time. Apparently the larva is on everything, every kind of aquatic plant, and in the water, and maybe in the air for all I know. So she orders assassin snails from Amazon and eBay.

  19. 19
    HRA says:

    Did you have plants in the tank? They have to be cleaned before adding a conditioner.

    http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/.....festations

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    My latest YouTube obsession: Cupcake and ice cream recipes. The YouTube obsession right before that was Lotus sports cars. I almost never eat cupcakes or ice cream anymore; I just like to look at them. I don’t particularly enjoy driving, and I doubt I will ever be able to afford an Elise Sport 250. Elises are not the fastest sports cars, but damn if they don’t look the prettiest.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    Are pigeons still a thing? I had an uncle in East Boston who kept a pigeon coop. Filthy critters.

  22. 22
    Elmo says:

    Oh and BTW, since we no longer have site maintenance threads – BJ is becoming unusable on Internet Explorer. Hangs constantly, crashes two visits out of three. (Yes, I know, browser snobs, but some of us goof off at work.)

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Doc H:
    Why is it always Malaysia’s fault? Harrumph.

  24. 24
    FlyingToaster says:

    I had to spend some time identifying the ants that come into our house every spring.

    They’re pavement ants; they farm the aphids on the viburnum when they’re not invading the building.

    We also have some very tiny light brown ants, which are the odorous house ants. They usually don’t come inside.

    I think Bwahstin is too cold for crazy ants of any color.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I now know what I’m doing for tonight’s recipe as I’m filling in for Tamara: cupcakes!

    I just hope the cleaners was able to get the stains out of the frilly apron from my last fill in Food Goddess post.

  26. 26

    I like the loach idea. It sounds fun to watch. Plus, fat loaches! Who doesn’t like fat loaches?

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike in NC:
    As I understand, they aren’t any filthier than other birds if you don’t keep them all crowded together. I understand Mike Tyson keeps homing pigeons.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Technically it’s a day too late for them, but chocolate Guinness cupcakes are delish. Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for them.

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @elmo: I was just texting my daughter about it (she maintains the half-dozen tanks in the house, five of which are in her room), and she mentioned assassin snails too. Seems kinda harsh to me — poor little snails! Maybe I’ll try scooping them out first…

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Speaking of birds, I am getting a kick out of the eaglecam at the National Arboretum in DC. One eaglet has hatched and we are waiting for another.

    I got to watch a changing of the guard so spotted the tiny little bird as well as seeing on of them chow down on something that was takeout. Oh and they totally decimated a fish.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    The purpose of cupcakes is to provide people a dozen opportunities to screw up baking a cake, all at once.

    ;)

    Actually, today would be a good choice for any Easter recipes as it gives folks a week to gather ingredients.

  32. 32
    LAO says:

    @Amir Khalid: When I was a kid, my dad had his midlife crisis, which resulted in his purchase of a Lotus Turbo Esprit (not as nice as Lotus Elise). He drove that car everyday to work from Westchester to lower Manhattan — what a waste of a sports car!

    Oddly enough, I too have a new food obsession — chocolate candy making (even though I really don’t eat much of it).

    But I remember that stupid car — a two seater for a guy with three kids.

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I think the betta would kill or at least fight to the death any fish added to his tank, though. My kid does have fat loaches in one of the other tanks, and they are cool. Big fat cigar-like fish!

  34. 34
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Han: With snails, it’s frequently when one mommy/daddy snail just gets bored. Those wacky mollusks.

  35. 35
    Trollhattan says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    They’re well named because not only do they have the clown stripes, they can be goofy as heck (then there’s the nighttime clicking they sometimes do, which has had me walking around the house until I remember I have fish that can click). Had a trio–Larry, Curly and Mo, of course– that lived twenty years until I introduced ich with some new fish. They’ve been known to live decades longer.

  36. 36
    Librarian says:

    @NotMax: Maybe it was Tawny Kitaen?

    I was waiting for somebody to make a Tawny Kitaen joke.

  37. 37
    Trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    You can usually keep a male betta in a community tank provided there’s room, hiding places and the other fish are fast. They’re only really fixated on battling other male bettas, but will nip fins of the unsuspecting.

    Have you tried a mirror against his tank? Tons of fun. “Oh yeah, so’s your mother! Don’t you talk about my mother!”

  38. 38
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Betty Cracker: What about using regime change snails instead?

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:

    “Tawny Crazy Ants.” Going on the list of band names.

    ETA: “Assassin Snails.”

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @The Other Chuck

    What happens in the shell stays in the shell.

    ;)

  41. 41
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Amir Khalid: I have seen Lotus Elises on the road and they are very small and very low to the ground. Probably a lot of fun but not sure I would feel safe driving one around here (you know, with all the Asian drivers…yes, I’m disappointed that no one took the bait on my comment earlier).

  42. 42
    misterpuff says:

    @redshirt: No Nukes.

    But I like the idea of the United States covered with an exterminators tent.

    Drumpf’s Big Top!

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax:

    Actually, today would be a good choice for any Easter recipes as it gives folks a week to gather ingredients.

    I love that you ask a nice Jewish boy named Silverman for Easter recipes :-)

  44. 44
    Keith P. says:

    @Librarian: I was literally just about to when I searched for “Kitaen” to see if someone had already made the ‘crazy’ connection.

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @LAO:
    The Esprit Turbo was notoriously underpowered for a sports car of its time. Yet it was James Bond’s ride in The Spy Who Loved Me, so one can imagine its appeal to a dude in midlife crisis.

  46. 46
    Scamp Dog says:

    @NotMax: What about Blocker? Don’t bad farm-a-suitical (FYWP) puns count?

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Snails are creepy. Take that beta fish out of that tank before they slime it to death!

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:

    @LAO:

    [. . .] that stupid car—a two seater for a guy with three kids.

    That was probably the point.

  49. 49

    In Florida, I generally expect a standing body of water to develop snails, frogs, minnows, turtles, and eventually alligators in about one weeks worth of time. I don’t see how having it indoors would make any difference. That state seems to prove the theory of spontaneous generation.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    How bout that Pac 10 basketball!!!!!

  51. 51
    LAO says:

    @Steeplejack: On further reflection, that was definitely the point. He did have a nifty jeep wrangler for weekend driving (so just as dangerous, but we all fit!)

    @Amir Khalid: got it in one.

  52. 52
    Elmo says:

    @Betty Cracker: Um. Scooping them out, fine – and then what? Setting them up in their own little tank?

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trollhattan: I haven’t done that, but a certain combination of lights in the room where his tank is must cause him to see his reflection on one side because he goes ape shit! It is kinda funny, but I always douse a light because I’m afraid he’ll stroke out or something. (Yes, I realize I am anthropomorphizing the aquarium critters!)

    @Elmo: Nah — I’d just toss them in the creek!

    @NotMax: I could do an illustrated butter lamb tutorial. I’ve been made the official butter lamb bearer.

  54. 54
    chopper says:

    @Trollhattan:

    A natural control is clown loaches

    oh come on now, you just made that up.

  55. 55
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The Esprit Turbo was notoriously underpowered for a sports car of its time.

    A perfect match for the notoriously underpowered Roger Moore.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @LAO

    Ah, if only he could have gotten hold of a family-size streamliner.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    raven says:

    @NotMax: The Rainbow Warriors with the huge upset over Cal!!

  59. 59
    japa21 says:

    @raven: One of my upset picks.

  60. 60
    LAO says:

    @NotMax: That would have been awesome.

  61. 61
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: Huh. I didn’t know Greenpeace had a basketball team.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack:
    They’re using Aston Martins with V12 engines for the Daniel Craig era — also a good match between the Bond and the wheels.

  63. 63
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven:

    How bout that Pac 10 basketball!!!!!

    Bear down!

    Arizona did beat Wichita State, right?

  64. 64
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Let’s be fair though. Baby sheep translates into just about any dietary cuisine. Hell it actually shocked me that the Chinese have lamb dishes, although that’s mostly in the north and west. Plus this gives me an opportunity to link to a Lamb Meatballs with Eggplant Sauce recipe that is simply divine.

    @raven:

    How bout that Pac 10 Pac 12 basketball!!!!!

    Yeah I’m not crazy about it either.

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Agreed.

  66. 66
    Eric S. says:

    @Amir Khalid: I saw an Elise on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago yesterday. I agree, they are a very attractive car. They’re reasonably quick but one buys a Lotus for carving up curves and corners.

  67. 67
    kdaug says:

    Spontaneous Generation! It’s not just for the middle ages anymore!

  68. 68
    Fair Economist says:

    Here’s an interesting analysis of Erik Erickson, courtesy Digby:

    He goes on to explain that “the will of the people gave us Barack Obama — a President many of these people think is illegitimate” which he seems to believe is a real put-away shot.

    And then he spells it all out:

    The will of the people is just a polite way of saying the collective, which is the authoritarian, socialist destiny of this nation if Donald Trump is elected.

    She’s using this to point out that Erickson doesn’t care about democracy, which is true enough. But this points out, and she didn’t get to this, that the current fight between Trump and NeverTrump is really a fight between fascism and neo-fascism. Both have similar goals – corporate power and profits – but different means. Erickson is a good representative of the neo-fascists who reject the old fascist techniques of violence and ethnic cleansing in favor of subtler ones like election fraud (especially voter suppression and gerrymandering) and media manipulation. Just when they thought they had it all down along comes Trump, who’s drawing from the old traditional fascist playbook of knocking heads, beating up reporters, and ethnically cleansing various minorities. Literally from the playbook, BTW.

    Although their ultimate goal is pretty similar for the rest of us, they’re fighting each other because they’re different gangs and only one gang gets to be boss. I think the neo-fascists know enough history that the outcome for them is pretty grim if they help Trump to power (see what happened to Rohm, the leader of the Stormtroopers).

  69. 69
    mel says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Yes!! Butter lamb tutorial, please!
    Speaking of lambs, has anyone figured out the symbolic intent of the dreaded “Smoking Lamb” cakes that appear in grocery store bakeries at Easter every year?

  70. 70
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    McConnell managed to enrage the last of his totebagger cred here in the People’s Democratic Socialist Kenyan Shariah Republic of Louisville. He had spent a lifetime in politics delivering pork and doing pretty decent things for the University of Louisville. Obama nominated a well-respected, bipartisan good choice to the Sixth Circuit – Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson. She’s not controversial, knowledgeable, was a fine trial judge (I appeared before her many times), a Louisville grad and the recent ex-wife of a philandering U of Louisville law professor. Her chops are solid.

    McConnell is scotching the nom. He’s sold his soul for teabagger peace. He may actually have managed to put some money on the table to turn his wrinkled ass onto the street with this one – he came from totebagger roots originally, and was one of them.

  71. 71
    Trollhattan says:

    @chopper:
    They’re real, man! You should see them pile out of a tiny aquatic car.

  72. 72
    joel hanes says:

    I’ll try scooping them out first…

    They can reproduce faster than you can scoop.

    Throw them in the creek

    [suppresses rage]

    Never never never dispose of unwanted aquarium anything by introducing it to a local body of water.
    Never.
    Especially in Florida where it’ll likely thrive.

    That’s how we (you) got water hyacinth, brown carp, and a host of other invasive aquatic pests.

  73. 73
    joel hanes says:

    If the tank has flat sides,
    you can delight your betta by taking a
    flat hard something (small square of glass, e.g.)
    and crushing the snails on a patch of the inside of the tank.

    The betta will take care of the rest.

  74. 74
    Central Planning says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    I had to spend some time identifying the ants that come into our house every spring.

    I just put out some Terro ant baits. That stuff works like a dream!

  75. 75
    misterpuff says:

    @misterpuff: Pee Wee Finger’s Big Electoral Adventure

  76. 76
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    MTSU!!!

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Eric S.:
    I’ve seen the videos showing how Lotus glues the chassis together from aluminium boxes. Interesting that they achieve such a strong, rigid frame that way.

  78. 78
    Central Planning says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    assassin snails too. Seems kinda harsh to me — poor little snails! Maybe I’ll try scooping them out first…

    Scoop them out and then what? Set them free?

  79. 79
    Trollhattan says:

    @mel:
    Wow, you got my attention with “smoking lamb.” Evidently it’s a thing.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Central Planning:

    If you can figure out where the ant trail is coming in, putting ground cinnamon in front of it to block it actually works. I need to renew the sprinkling in our master bathroom because they’ve started showing up again.

  81. 81
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Always pictured Bond tooling around in an early model Marcos Mantis, for some reason (maybe because it was a British car). Never happened, though, AFAIK.

  82. 82
    redshirt says:

    There are times where it’s good to live in the cold, hard North. There’s nothing much alive to invade your house.

  83. 83

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    He’s sold his soul for teabagger peace.

    You can’t sell what you never had.

    I’m not entirely joking. McConnell has no principles except maybe ‘No black man could ever be better than me.’ His hate of Obama always did seem personal that way. He does whatever seems politically expedient, he’s never worried about honesty or consistency, he’s generally a mean shit who likes stomping on the weak, and most importantly his voters have never liked him. He gets reelected anyway. After he crushed the last Tea Party challenger, I don’t think he’s afraid of them. He’s just giving the finger to Obama, possibly in revenge for knowing Obama will win this Supreme Court nomination fight.

  84. 84
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    Izzo is going to have to go to a cardiac care unit.

  85. 85

    @FlyingToaster:
    If the ants are a problem, ant baits you can buy in grocery or hardware stores work these days. They didn’t back when I was in college, but the chemical technology has improved. They probably won’t kill the colony, but they’ll kill the branch invading your kitchen and keep them out of your hair for a couple of months. Best if you can place the bait right next to where they’re coming in.

  86. 86
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Upset Alert:

    Holy Shit: Spartans going down.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @redshirt: Until blackfly season.

  88. 88
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    He actually started OK. The teabags turned him into something ugly.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    Betty, I’m afraid I have to agree with joel hanes and Central Planning — unless you’re going to move the betta to a whole new tank and maintain a tank full of snails, you’re gonna have to assassinate them. Farm the work out to your teenager if necessary, or get the recommended fish and let nature take its course, but pitching them anywhere that they could potentially survive is just introducing an invasive species to your local area.

  90. 90
    Betty Cracker says:

    @joel hanes: Oh good point — I stupidly assumed they were native critters who had somehow slithered in from my yard to infest the tank. (Don’t worry — my husband, the subscriber to the magazine featured above — would have stopped me from doing something that dumb by reminding me that “duh, Everglades pythons, nitwit!”)

  91. 91
    Central Planning says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ground cinnamon in front of it to block it actually works.

    Unfortunately for the ants, I’m more heartless than that. Terro is a liquid sugar/borax kind of thing and they bring it back to the nest. These are the 3/8″-1/2″ black ants that I’m eliminating

  92. 92
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Could be the biggest upset in NCAA history. a #2 seed defeated by a #15 seed

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Scamp Dog

    Nice.

    @Yutsano

    No linky. You fix, please.

  94. 94
    Heliopause says:

    To answer the question on everyone’s minds, no, I did not have Middle Tennessee in my bracket.

  95. 95
    p.a. says:

    @Trollhattan:

    clown loaches

    Is that a pro- or anti- Trump Repub bloc?

  96. 96
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: Eh, PAC-12. Do try to keep up.

  97. 97
    raven says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Eh, they suck. As does the B1G, bye bye Sparty!

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Central Planning:

    We just have the normal tiny ants, plus we have cats and don’t want them wandering around in poison.

    If you want a really satisfying spray solution and don’t care that it will almost certainly shorten your lifespan, I used to buy something called Hot Shot. Killed everything super dead immediately and they didn’t come back for months.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    Better that than this.

  100. 100
  101. 101

    @misterpuff:

    Drumpf’s Big Top!

    I thought that was what they called his comb-over.

  102. 102
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: I want to gay marry Taureen Prince for his wonderful stupid question answer. So deadpan and gracious.

    I watched some Match Madness today at the College of Medicine. Very weird; some students were clearly delighted with their match, others were assholes, and one who I was told wanted very much to match at UC in psych appeared thrilled to go to Cleveland Clinicn. They had Tshirts and everything.

  103. 103
    RobertDSC-Quad Intel Mac says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    This is why I don’t follow college basketball. What a waste.

    The whole “bracketology” industry should die after this.

  104. 104
    redshirt says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Blackflies don’t really invade your house. Nor mosquitoes.

    In awesome news, I think my work over the last 6 years of eliminating standing water spots has all but eliminated my mosquito population. But with all the running water now I think it’s increased the blackfly population. But I’ll take that.

  105. 105
    Eric S. says:

    @Amir Khalid: Colin Chapman of Lotus preached, “Simplify, then add lightness.” They’ve been working with lightweight materials for a long time. Chapman teamed with Ford to bring a rear engine car to Indy in 1963. They did so well (2nd) that the era of front engined cars Indy cars started a death sprial.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    piratedan says:

    @raven: well…. considering the draws… not too surprising, Cal loses their leading scorer the day before the game. Wichita State should have no way been an 11 seed and AZ doesn’t have a PG. Oregon State, not sure how they got invited, much less a 7 seed, playing VCU who’s been there and done that. Colorado running into the anointed ones from UCONN and USC loses on a busted inbounds play. But hey, how about those Spartans! and that’s pac-12 to you bub!

  108. 108
    p.a. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That ’93 Arizona fail kept me out of the money in my pool; I really rocked every other bracket. 2 wins by them and IIRC I would have won. Those Lute Olsen teams were out early a lot.

  109. 109
    The Dangerman says:

    I had Hawaii over Cal (injury, distractions)….

    …but Sparty? Madness!!

  110. 110
  111. 111
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Izzo is such a great guy, hate to see this happen to him. He’s a big supporter of ACA (photo)

  112. 112
    p.a. says:

    @redshirt: I actually have to deet spray my headnet or the blackflies squirm their way through the mesh to get me.

  113. 113
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman:Potts for MTSU was awesome!

  114. 114
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    U.S. general Lori Robinson to become first woman to lead combatant command

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will name the first woman to head a U.S. combatant command, selecting Air Force General Lori Robinson as the next head of the military’s Northern Command,

    Obama thinks he’s Jimmy Johnson – just running up the score.

  115. 115
    Eric S. says:

    @NotMax: Without going through every movie as best I recall Bond has driven Astons, a Lotus, BMWs as company issued cars. In the original books he drove a Bentley which gets a mention in Gold Finger (I think). Q is giving him his first Aston and Bond asks where’s the Bentley.

  116. 116
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Hey, the young cook in Monarch of the Glen was given one of those by his mum!

    You’ll probably be amused by this video tale of taking one’s car to work – literally.

  117. 117
    raven says:

    @piratedan: Whaaa. Yale didn’t have their best payer either. . .bub.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    Have you ever tried picaridin? It’s becoming more popular with campers and backpackers because it doesn’t melt your gear like deet does, but I don’t know what frequent users think of it.

  119. 119
    raven says:

    And the dope from Iowa with a 3 pint foul with a 3 pt lead an 2 seconds to go. . .bub.

  120. 120
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    Potts for MTSU was awesome!

    True, but a real “team” win, well played all around; shockingly, MSU never led and I’m not sure they were ever tied.

    I saw this Dance as Madness. I have Yale all the way to the S16,- yes, I have Yale over Duke – but I also had Sparty to the FF. Oops.

  121. 121
    piratedan says:

    @raven: well, Yale played Baylor, who isn’t in the Pac12, Cal lost to the running rainbows of Hawaii.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m having a super unproductive day at work, which could probably be guessed by the frequency of my commenting this afternoon. In my defense, I woke up with a headache that wasn’t quite bad enough to stay home, but bad enough to kill any ambition for the day.

  123. 123
    Mike in NC says:

    @Eric S.: USA Today just profiled the Bentley Bentayga, an SUV that costs around a quarter million bucks. Mitt will probably order one or two for his garage in LaJolla.

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @piratedan: Yea and Yale could have made the whiny excuses too, they just went out and won didn’t they?

  125. 125
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    Putting my Sparty RWNJ brother on suicide watch.

  126. 126
    p.a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: last time I was at BPS I looked for some but couldn’t find it. admit I will miss the numb lips and slight vertigo effect of deet. (no I don’t purposely spray orifi but when you try to get effective coverage there’s spillage)

  127. 127
    Central Planning says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I used to buy something called Hot Shot. Killed everything super dead immediately and they didn’t come back for months.

    I think my dad sprays an 18″ wide swath of that stuff around his house in NC. I’ve never seen bugs inside his house.

  128. 128
    piratedan says:

    @raven: YES, they sure did and congrats to them for doing so.

  129. 129
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: I have Iowa State winning it. They said one of the bracket deals had 13 million entries and only 11,000 perfect brackets BEFORE today!!!

  130. 130
    NotMax says:

    @Mike in NC

    Trump would order one, then return it after discovering it’s capable of turning left.

    ;)

  131. 131
    raven says:

    @piratedan: Listen, Barkley or one of those guys was all about how great the PAC 12 was going to do. That’s the basis for my comments, I never thought they were any good in the first place.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    I’ve gotten it at REI and similar places, but honestly I don’t hike enough to be able to tell if it’s any better.

  133. 133
    kc says:

    Would you be alarmed if your smallish freshwater fish tank containing a single betta fish suddenly had scads of little snails in it?

    Alarmed? I’d run screaming from the house!

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Central Planning:

    My parents used to be Arizona snowbirds, and one winter they came home after several months away to discover a scorpion mound in the middle of their living room. They switched exterminators after that.

  135. 135
    piratedan says:

    @raven: well, if that gives you happiness, then I’m glad its found you. For those of us who follow college hoops out on the left coast, it’s been a brutal tourney, but not every year is your year, and have seen Arizona not meet and exceed expectations in the past. It is, what it is.

  136. 136
    Trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Speaking of the Big Combover, this.

  137. 137
    Eric S. says:

    @Mike in NC: I’ve seen pictures of the Bentayga but haven’t read up on it. Recent history, 10 years or a little more, has seen the high end luxury sedan shunned for the luxury SUV. Porsche wen there with the Cayenne. BMW has the X series. Mercedex the G series. It’s not surprising Bentley is making an SUV. Lamborghini has even flirted with the idea.

  138. 138
    raven says:

    @piratedan: My old man became a huge Cats fan when he was alive. It was really hard because I hated Lute with the fire of a thousand suns. When Illinois came back in that incredible game in Chicago I cried like a baby because all I could think about was him and how he loved Arizona even though he was an Illini too.

    And the Hawkeyes save the B1g!

  139. 139
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    I have Iowa State winning it.

    Reasonable pick; I didn’t go that crazy (I picked Xavier to cut down the nets) but I can’t recall a Dance that has such … parity isn’t the word … how about unpredictability? Madness, indeed.

    ETA: Iowa State in the region where a 15, a 12, and an 11 have won (and I don’t think Virginia is all that)

  140. 140
    p.a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: West Marine has it too. This works too, but can interfere with fishing. Also a useful human repellant 😋

  141. 141
    piratedan says:

    @raven: well, not sure what Lute did to engender that kind of response, but sports does cater to those kinds of emotions (I have a passionate dislike of everything Dallas Cowboys) but that’s what makes the tourney what it is, the upsets, the efforts, the emotions. Even in a “bad” year for your teams, there’s almost always something worth watching.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    raven says:

    @piratedan: He was the Iowa coach and a whiny fuck before he went to Tucson.

  144. 144
    Eric S. says:

    @The Dangerman: I have Michigan and WVU is a pool that goes by the point spread. So long as the team I have covers the spread, I advance to the next round with whoever wins.

    That said, my pseudo alma mater, Iowa, just one. I attended for one year before transferring to an in-state school.

  145. 145
    PIGL says:

    @redshirt: if a fellow named Turin shows up, give him the hard goodbye.

  146. 146
    redshirt says:

    @raven: UofA is a really nice Uni too, from my experience, and Tucson is a great city.

    My Pa went to ASU on some military deal so I was a Sun Devil as a child and was told to hate UofA, but now I feel completely opposite. Tucson is the far superior city, just as the U of Arizona is far superior to ASU.

    Example 1: The Biosphere.

  147. 147
    raven says:

    @Eric S.: I’ve been in a Calcutta for 11 years. I won money my first year but nothing for 8. The last two years the bidding had gotten so high I could only bid on teams that might pull a big upset or lose by the most (that paid 5%). This year we didn’t have enough guys so we didn’t have it. Bummer.

  148. 148
    redshirt says:

    @PIGL: No shit, right? I’d love to see Jackson or someone make a Turin movie, or a Beren movie. But the Turin movie could be so grimdark I think it would be a huge hit.

  149. 149
    The Dangerman says:

    Just read … of the first 21 games completed …. 11 of the Dogs have won. Sure, 8/9 and 7/10 games are basically a coin flip but … still … that’s kinda nuts…

  150. 150
    raven says:

    @redshirt: My half sis went to AZ and my idiot half brother to ASU. He and my old man almost came to blows after the ASU fans chanted PLO, PLO at Kerr.

  151. 151
  152. 152
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: Isn’t it great!!!

  153. 153
    raven says:

    @redshirt: He was the only one that didn’t get sick. I did but I kept fishing and his 4 friends never fished. That is what allowed me to catch the 130lb tuna!

  154. 154
    redshirt says:

    @raven: What’s the PLO background on Kerr?

  155. 155
    Eric S. says:

    @raven: I’m not much of a gambler so I’ll have to google “calcutta” in a minute. Some regulars at my corner watering hole are in some kind of pool(?) where they bought teams at an auction. As a team they spent $65K. The total sales from the auction was $400K. I know they have some purchases that are straight up teams going all the way. Other bets they have has to do with upsets and blowouts. Beyond me. I can’t even figure out from the local paper’s website what the spread is on my teams. I’m trusting the bar manager to be honest.

  156. 156
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    Isn’t it great!!

    Yup. College Football could have this, too, but probably never will. Oh, well.

  157. 157
    redshirt says:

    @raven: Did you sell the tuna? How much did you make, if you don’t mind me asking.

  158. 158
    raven says:

    @redshirt: They killed his father,

  159. 159
    raven says:

    @redshirt: Nope, it belonged to the boat and they got $1200. So I paid $200 to catch it and $700 for the replica I had made that is staring at the game with me.

  160. 160
    piratedan says:

    @raven: sorry Raven, can’t ID him…. was he just a UA athlete or someone from the area?

  161. 161
    redshirt says:

    @raven: Damn you! You made me search for it. PLO.

  162. 162
    raven says:

    @piratedan: Eugene Edgerson. . .the Edge. Here’s a funny thing, I was at our coffee shop one morning after that trip. I started talking to a dude about my trip, told him about Eugene and he said “I went to high school with him in New Orleans”!

  163. 163
    raven says:

    @redshirt: My father never let that go.

  164. 164
  165. 165
    piratedan says:

    @redshirt: Steve Kerr’s dad was the president of American University in Lebanon and the PLO executed him (circa 1986?. In their misguided fashion, ASU students chanted “PLO! PLO!” at Kerr at a home game in Tempe because … reasons.

    As such, a heated rivalry took on for many years a sense of bitterness that still remains…

    I’m sure it was simply a bunch of classless drunken dudes who thought they were being funny but that distaste remains to this day between the schools although many coaches have tried their best to put it all in the past. The Arizona fanbase still fumes about it to this day.

  166. 166
    piratedan says:

    @raven: Edgerson! he was a good guy, went on to major in special ed I think and went into teaching and coaching. Long considered a good guy (hard to recognize these guys without their numbers :-))

  167. 167
    Eric S. says:

    @redshirt: I followed the Chicago Bulls quite closely when Kerr was with them. I’ve never heard this story before. It’s a very ugly incident at ASU but I find it an interesting but very sad bit of history about Kerr’s father that I never knew.

  168. 168
    redshirt says:

    @piratedan: It’s amazing how a few individuals can so shape overall opinion. Not just in this matter, but all matters.

  169. 169
    raven says:

    @piratedan: When my old man had the run in with my half brother I told the dude that he’d regret how he talked to our dad. It never set in and, in the interim, he married this teabagger bitch and I cut all communication wth him. I should have kicked his ass that night.

  170. 170
    bartkid says:

    Tawny, Crazy Aunts makes a lot more sense.

  171. 171
    redshirt says:

    @raven: I get why. Though it was probably just a frat of douchebags.

  172. 172
    raven says:

    @piratedan: Yea, all the people on the trip we his teaching colleagues from Arizona. They were comatose but he and I had a great time.

  173. 173
    joel hanes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    blackfly season

    [shudder]

    I’ve canoed western Ontario in late May.
    At times, a headnet was required if one was to maintain even a modicum of sanity.

  174. 174
    piratedan says:

    @redshirt: in this case, the entire fanbase and coaching staff and university circled the wagons in support of Kerr (as you would expect, after all, his dad had just been murdered weeks before) and served as a reminder on how to behave and when when the rhetoric can go too far. Whether they are classier or not over ASU fans, it’s one of those things that shapes events in the state. Hell, Tucson is usually considered simply a good place to get gas on the way to Puerto Penasco in the local vernacular from what I’ve heard from friends in the Phoenix metro area. The state coffers are pretty firmly tied up in the Phoenix area and leads to rivalries and issues between the capital and the rest of the state.

  175. 175
    redshirt says:

    @piratedan: Given the general blue nature of Tucson, I’m not surprised it’s the center of lots of controversies within the state.

  176. 176
    piratedan says:

    @raven: he really seemed to accept his role on the squad, board, pick up the garbage points, play tough defense and seemed to simply enjoy being out on the floor. Seemed like getting into education was a great fit for him, boundless enthusiasm.

  177. 177
    kindness says:

    @Betty Cracker: Don’t worry Betty. Betas will really only go after other betas. We have them in tanks with other fish and they could care less. Until another Beta enters the tank.

  178. 178
    piratedan says:

    @redshirt: well, Arizona is complicated and Tucson’s place in it is part of that. Lot of resentment here of Phoenix and how things are done. Plus the Koch Brothers puppet just put into effect that if the state chooses to, it can nullify any locally voted upon ordinance. Plus the behavior of the former governor and their actions post the Giffords shooting really had a telling effect here in that there’s a shit-ton full of dark money here in the area with a massive smear campaign in place (that’s how we got Martha McSally as our Congresswoman… yech). It’s why there was the wry movement of free Baja Arizona spawned because not only did Phoenix control all the money, they wouldn’t even let us manage our own affairs.

    On a related note, the Kirkpatrick campaign is claiming that they’ve pulled even with McCain for the Senate election, which if true, would be awesome.

  179. 179
    Raven says:

    @piratedan: one of my best friends has lived there for 40 years and he’s pulling up stakes and moving to Ft Meyers. We used to go fishing down in Sonora on the Sea of Cortez but it’s just not a smart play.

  180. 180
    redshirt says:

    @Raven: I visited Tucson quite a bit and a trip to Nogales Mexico used to be a part of it, but not since the drug war went white hot down there. It’s sad. I loved going to Mexico.

  181. 181
    piratedan says:

    @Raven: hey, I love it here, and while its not perfect, few places are. Hope your friend loves Florida, maybe you can hook him up with Betty on where to fish :-)

  182. 182
    Raven says:

    @redshirt: We would drive to Hermisillo and then across the desert to the gulf. Insane beauty with garbage dumps and plastic bags in the cacti. Great fishing.

  183. 183
    Raven says:

    @piratedan: Yea, his bride has work and after 20 years in the property management biz he was ready.

  184. 184
    redshirt says:

    @Raven: I’m surprised the USA didn’t seize the region either during the Mexican-American war or the Gadsden Purchase. Seems so ideal.

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: You want the Jewish American guy to post Easter recipes?

  186. 186
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Trust me, it was much cheaper for him to get the Lotus than to splurge on the blonde!
    (Unless he did that too, in which case I’m very sorry for stirring up painful childhood memories)

  187. 187
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Nu, so why not?

    Spread your wings and fly!

  188. 188
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You are always quoting Hamilton (“super dead”)!

    I know, I know, I’ve got the same disease. I’m reading Chernow’s Hamilton out loud to my husband as he cooks, and every time it mentions “Hercules Mulligan” I do it in the voice of the guy in the show whose name I can’t remember right now.

    Okieriete Onaodowan

  189. 189
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That kind of made me chuckle when I read it. Does our Hawaiian correspondent have a similar background?

    Speaking of spring, if I were to email you a couple of items of savory Bundy junk for you to pass along to LAO, would that server as a digital Purim mitzvah? Most of my Jewish friends are out of town due to Spring Break preceding Easter in some districts here.

  190. 190
    joel hanes says:

    @p.a.:

    The Cutters and OFF products with about 50% DEET seem to work
    about as well as 100% DEET products like Muskol.

    Amazon seems to carry at least a couple 100% DEET products;
    although it looks as if the trusty old Muskol brand may have died.

    I like to couple DEET-heavy repellents on the skin
    with non-DEET herbals on my collar and cuffs and hat, etc.

  191. 191
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I make a mean roasted leg of lamb, maybe I’ll do that. I don’t have any pictures though.

    And by mean I’m indicating tastiness, not that its running with a bad crowd and getting into trouble late on a school night.

  192. 192
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Sure, send them along. I think I’ll do a roast leg of lamb and hamantaschen for dessert recipe for tonight. Very ecumenical.

    Now I have to go wash and wax my car while its nice and overcast as the humidity is nice and low. Back later tonight. Most likely 9:30 or 10:00ish.

  193. 193
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    yes, please. To the tasty, non-bad-crowd-running leg o’ lamb.

  194. 194
    joel hanes says:

    @joel hanes:

    further googling discloses that Muskol is alive and thriving,
    and although Amazon US doesn’t carry them, amazon.ca has the spray.

  195. 195
    NotMax says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)

    So far as family background goes, yes.

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Proud member of the small club whose roster prefers hamantaschen with poppyseed filling

  196. 196
    Gvg says:

    @Betty Cracker: do not put them in the wild anywhere. Florida has enough non native invasive species. We don’t need to spend millions more getting rid of another pest please. Even if they die fast (and snails won’t) they can introduce microbes that kill things. You have to kill them or live with them.
    The one that bothers me is the introduced venemous lion fish is all the way up the coast to Jax which should have been too cold for email but noooo. Those things scare me.

  197. 197
    Fermion T. Clown says:

    cone snails?!?

    Anyway, the case file that Bob’s been given by his manager contains a letter from H.P. Lovecraft to his protégé and friend, Robert Bloch. This letter, which Bob reads to us throughout the story, and which is written in the same ornate and overblown style as Lovecraft’s stories, describes the author’s encounter with a unicorn that had enchanted the girl who Lovecraft had a crush on as a teenage boy. When Lovecraft is seduced by the girl, he discovers the truth about the unicorn life cycle. It involves virgins (surprise) and cone snails which, if you didn’t know, have poisonous tentacles. The experience with the girl, the unicorn, and the snails explains Lovecraft’s mental instability and his obsession with “eldritch horrors.” (Now that they’ve been so vividly incorporated into Lovecraft’s mythos, cone snails and unicorns have become creatures of horror to me — thank you very much, Mr. Stross.)

    from here:

    Possibly even worse than creeping Sharia Law.

  198. 198
    tybee says:

    @joel hanes:

    amen

    never release any wildlife into a stream. never.

  199. 199
    mel says:

    @Trollhattan:
    It’s baffling, indeed. I first saw one about fifteen years ago. When I asked the baker what was up with the ciggie lamb, he looked totally taken aback. After an uncomfortably long silence, he blurted, “You know – maybe it’s a Catholic thing, or something!” and fled to the back room, leaving me and the teenaged assistant standing there in another awkward silence until she said, “Um … so… do you, like, want that sheep cake thingie?”

    Um, like, NO!

    Especially since that particular bakery’s version of Smokey the Lamb looked more like the love child of Yoda and a Bactrian camel.

  200. 200
    mel says:

    @Trollhattan:

    It’s baffling, indeed. I first saw one about fifteen years ago. When I asked the baker what was up with the ciggie lamb, he looked totally taken aback. After an uncomfortably long silence, he blurted, “You know – maybe it’s a Catholic thing, or something!” -and fled to the back room, leaving me and the teenaged assistant standing there in another awkward silence until she said, “Um… so … do you, like, want that sheep cake thingie?”

    Um, like, NO!

    Especially since that particular bakery’s version of Smokey the Lamb looked more like the love child of Yoda and a Bactrian camel. The stuff of nightmares.

  201. 201
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Have you ever tried picaridin? It’s becoming more popular with campers and backpackers because it doesn’t melt your gear like deet does, but I don’t know what frequent users think of it.

    Never tried Picaridin, but am a frequent user of Permethrin 0.5%. Available thru Sawyer and is sprayed on clothes and gear only. Works well. No Chikungunya or Zika ever.

    VERY dangerous to cats when wet. Dries in little time. . .

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