Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Obese Squirrels--Not the Name of a Band

February 22, 2015

Don't you hate when people make excuses about things. . . when they won't take personal responsibility when clearly they need to?  That's not me.  I try to live by the mantra "own it."  Not in the let's-go-shopping-and-buy-stuff sense, but in the just-face-up-to-your-mistakes sense.

If I scramble eggs and forget to use Pam, I don't leave the skillet for Walter to scrub.

Every semester I fall on the sword on behalf of my entire profession for teaching the BCG model/GE business screen in the 80s, which ruined value in many good companies in the pursuit of short-term financial gain.  Mea culpa.

And after seeing the obese squirrels in my front yard yesterday, I'm here to say "I apologize.  It was my fault."

Who would have guessed that the simple combination of feeding the songbirds all winter and complying with the neighbor's not-so-friendly request to never, ever let our dogs outside without a leash would have created a public health menace in the squirrel world, but it has.

This is a borrowed photo image.  The actual squirrels in my actual yard are actually much fatter.

Walter tried to give me a pass on my culpability, suggesting that there must have run out of SBCP (squirrel birth control pills) at Squirrelgreens and CVSQ, and that what I was seeing out front was just an extraordinary number of pregnant squirrels, great with child.

First, their numbers were impossible to justify the pregnancy theory. . . And their asses were too wide. . . and they had double and triple chins and dimples on their elbows and knees. . . and they were hiding extra servings from the all-you-can-eat birdseed buffets in their oversized purses and backpacks. . . and they were carrying super-sized drinks to wash it all down. 

So now I will own it.

It is my fault that legions of squirrel families are living without one or both of their parents who have succumbed (choose all that apply):

    • Coronary heart disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Dyslipidemia 
    • Stroke
    • Liver and Gallbladder disease
    • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

It is also because of my personal actions that many squirrels must traverse the yard in small, but sturdy power chairs (and that the families must endure those half-hour infomercials teaching them how to get around squirrel medicare rules to acquire them without a co-pay).

I may have given rise to the squirrel mumu industry.

Anyway, It's my fault.  And I'm sorry.

Next time you may be saying, "Who Let The Dogs Out?" but at least the squirrels will be getting some much needed exercise. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Burn, Baby, Burn

February 5, 2015

Quiz time.

If you needed to start a fire and you didn't have a handy charcoal chimney starter or two in your pocket, what would you do?

And if you forgot to pack back issues of The Eagle or your scout manual that you could crumble up and light, what would you do?

If you didn't want to waste your slim supply of matches on something that wouldn't catch fire and burn steadily until other material could be added bit by bit until you finally had a roaring fire, what would you do?

Forage around looking tiny dry sticks and lifeless bark?  Hope to stumble across some cotton batting spilling out of an abandoned mattress?

The real answer is that you would hope you had a bag of Doritos handy.

Yesterday at the Carter Creek After School Program, Payton Foote led the kids in some survival activities and experiments.  They built a variety of small piles of kindling to test which would be the best option as a fire starter.  The pile that consisted of 3 Doritos burned quickest, most robustly, and longest--better than the piles dried bark or dead leaves or moss or paper or combo piles.  

Go figure.  But it does give us all yet another reason to keep Doritos at hand.  I wonder if Cheetos would work?