Monkey Wine Furry Pinot Noir

I recently tried this Pinot Noir from Germany. I now know why the Germans are not renowned for their red wine. The bottle was the best part, with the raised glass painted monkey, a real classic. Sadly the wine tasted kind of like the monkey, which is a tasting note I don’t particularly care for in my wine. Alas.

Grilled Catfish

Grilled up a little of the mighty Mike Spencer catfish special. Super easy to do and tastes great. Get yerself some meat rub from whole foods, such as the Blackened Cajun or Jamaican BBQ (in the meat section, not the spice section) or if you aren’t into shopping at Whole Paycheck, grab similar products off amazon (Cajun Jamaican.) Get some catfish fillets, which are great because they are cheap, environmentally friendly, and taste great. Lightly butter the fillets then totally cover in seasoning and grill on full heat 3 minutes a side. Very tasty. I tried to use tongs to get flip the fish which was a bad idea, you really want a spatula or more specialty fish grilling equipment. Thanks again to Mike Spencer!

The Kite Runner Worth a read

I recently read The Kite Runnerafter hearing it was a good read from my friend Molly. Definitely not disappointed. It is pretty easy reading and I cruised through it in a couple of days, the characters were great, with good pacing and plot. I have no basis for deciding weather any of the portrayals of Afghanistan were accurate or not, but I did enjoy reading them as I know very little about that part of the world and even the fictionalized version is probably a step in the right direction for me. Anyway, a good read, recommended.

Mite Attack bitey little things living on rats

Last Thursday Rachel mentioned she was itchy from various bites.
I too had noticed I had been bitten a few times. I thought it was
fleas given the kind of bites I had. Having just moved to the
‘country’ in Sausalito it didn’t seem too improbable that the cats
had gotten fleas, even though they are indoor cats. A quick
combing revealed that they hadn’t a flea on them. However I did
get a tiny little bug about the size of a spec of dust off
Wooderson. Looking around on the internet we found there are a
variety of mites that bite humans, most notablely rat mites and
bird mites. Our cat Wooderson has taken to sitting near the
bathroom staring at various spots on the walls and we have heard
some scrabbling noises in the past, so we assume we have rats or
mice in the walls. Thus we must have rat mites. Gross! While
trying to press my ear up against the wall to listen for rodents I
found another mite on the wall. Needless to say we stayed up way
too late looking up stuff about mites on the internet.
Friday Rachel took our captured and frozen mites to work with her
for hopeful identification by the entimologists she works with.
However, none of them are mite specialists and there are something
like 45,000 known mite species so it is a bit hard to pin down.
They did however image the mites for her, so as you can see in the
gallery we have a lovely picture of them. All the evidence did
point to rat mites though, and a specialist I emailed the pictures
to definitely thought it was a rat or bird mite (they are quite
similar) after a quick glance at the photos. Great, we have
biting mites in the house.

My upstairs neighbor Kevin and I went poking around under the
house Saturday to see if we could find any holes the rats could
get in. Given we are built out over a canyon this is actually
quite an undertaking as you end up on scaffeling 10-30 feet up in
the air. I went out and found a variety of animal crap on the
scaffeling (cat or racoon) and a good sized hole under our tub
with various chew marks on it. I took a bunch of pictures
(including jamming the camera up the hole) which indicated there
was at least one rat living there, possibly under our tub. We put
a rat trap by the garbage thinking that was were they were getting
food, but no luck. Unfortunately I managed to get myself and my
clothes covered in mites and didn’t figure that out for several
hours so got super bit up and got lots of mites in the apartment.
I sprayed with RAID but Rachel and I slept in the livingroom
anyway that night.

Sunday Kevin took the fight to them, we went back
under the house with a gallon of spray and lots of mesh wire. He
got up on the scaffeling this time and sprayed all over the place,
up in the holes, the piles of animal dung (and swept said dung off
the scaffeling) and then went and stapled metal mesh over all the
holes. I was there for moral support, suggestions, and to call
911 if he fell off the scaffeling. ;) Quite an undertaking!
Afterwards I went and sprayed some more in the bathroom in a
hole by the toilet and under the baseboard by the tub which also
has a hole behind it. I’ve only squished 4 or 5 mites since then,
so hopefully we managed to wipe most of them out. They can’t live
without their host rodent for more than a couple of weeks so if we
keep killing them and the rodents can’t get in we should be good.
If not, well, I think the landlord will have to call in the
professionals.

Quite the weekend.