August is worm picking season. This is the month when all the flowers are in full bloom. Different flowers attract different moths and when moths lay eggs and the eggs hatch, the fat little half inch to 1" long worms start to eat the flowers. The candy-striped petunias are especially attractive to moths.
Sevin spray could be applied, but Rachel prefers to go around with her clipper, cutting up the worms. First of all, it produces instant results. Secondly, it is a very satisfying feeling to see the flower juice oozing out of their sqirmy bodies and know that these destructive arch enemies will never resurrect to eat the flowers again. Thirdly, the less use of poison the better.
A racoon has been eating more and more of Rachel's flowers. The problem has not been solved.
She has been leaving delicious little packages of strawberry jam, blueberry jam, and apricot jam in the Havahart trap as baits. The jam was always neatly and cleverly finished but the trap has not been set off yet.
As if that were not bad enough, she then started spying chipmunks. The chipmunk population has grown by the thousands ever since 2 summers ago when the natural weather & climate elements were perfect in producing a record amount of acorns from the dozens of oak trees in the Bau's yard. That year, our lawns, driveway, flowerbeds, doorsteps and everywhere were covered by inches of acorns. It was an agonizing job to remove them bag by bag because they were heavy, so a lot of nuts were left on the barkchip beds. For a while, they looked more attractive than barkchip covers. That season gave the squirrels and chipmunks plenty of field days because nuts are the staple of their diet. Fully fed, they multiplied by the hundreds.
Now they are burrowing in and out of our stone walls in both the front and back yards. While they are very cute, about 6 to 7 inches long not counting the tail, they could wreak havoc. If their population is not controlled, the stone mounts they build inside the stone walls could actually cause walls to collapse. Paul and Rachel are trying to leave mole poison pellets in the entry and exit holes and setting rat traps with peanut for bait.
On the night of August 15, 1998 a franctic phone call was placed from Philadelphia's 30th street Train Station to the residence of David and Heidi Bau...No answer...doh! Oh well, the caller thought, considering Philly is not the safest city in the world, and I have no idea where their apartment is, I had better stay in the friendly confines of the train station where there are at least some security officials about, weary, but still a presence.
Another phone call was placed, and eureka, Heidi answered the phone. After a hurried consultation it was decided that the guest would take a cab to the corner of Walnut and 18th street in order to reach David and Heidi's residence. Walking out of the train station, the caller tried his best to hide the fact that he was a tourist in a big city, but the fact he had no idea where to catch a cab, gave him away. After pleading with the taxi driver to give him a ride to what they considered was too short a distance to be worth their time, the caller's first ever lone ride in a cab ensued. It was a frightful experience as the caller had never witnessed such driving since his last trip to Taiwan, however, it was even worse in this case because it seemd like only the cab driver who felt like driving in such an ungodly manner, which meant, the other drivers were not practiced in handling such drivers. Finally after 15 anxious minutes, the cab stopped and the corner of Walnut and 18th was reached.
"Oh, oh..." thought the caller, "where is David and/or Heidi? What was the address of their building again?" Fearfully peering at the street sign for a clue as to which way to turn, a voice cried out "Ryan!" Looking around, he spotted someone who looked familiar, except for the fact she was pregnant, but now he knew he was finally safe.
No More Smoking For Ron
Well, after a year and a half of regular exercising, gym workouts, lost pounds and inches, Ron decided it was time for him to "kick the habit".
With commitment, help from the VA "Stop Smoking Clinic" and Nicoderm (a three step series of nicotine skin patches), Ron has not smoked a cigarette in over two months. It's not so easy to break a 30 year habit.
Active Weekend in Boston
This weekend, the Tan's of Rochester are coming to the Boston meeting of the American Chemistry Society (ACS) to hear their son, Derek give his first paper,"The Irrational Design of Drugs". Derek is a PhD candidate in chemistry at Harvard.
The Bau's, who are being visited by Deanna (Paul's older siste from NYC) will hook up with the Tan's for a couple of events and at least one meal together. Guess where? Most likely a Sunday lunch buffet at the
Tokyo Restaurant in Cambridge. Cousins Myrna and Michael from New Hampshire will join the group who plan to go native and have their lunch sitting on tatami mats in a private room.
Paul will attend Derek's talk .... advanced chemistry is not one of Paul's strong points! Help!
Polaroid Headquarters Moves
After more than 30 years at Technology Square, Paul's office for the last 10 years (rented office spaces), Polaroid moved its corporate headquarter about a mile away to the banks of the Charles River, 784 Memorial Drive, Cambridge.
It's an old beatutiful building, owned by Polaroid, that was not well maintained.... but a landmark Frank Lloyd Wright building and on a great piece of land. Millions have been spent on renovations and it is spectacular... the new tenants will move in this month.
Hunter-Killer of Weston
If you are a member of the ASPCA, please skip this article.
The mild winter of '97-'98, has left the New England forests full of ants and full of chipmunks... guess what? We live in the forest! We've sought help and advice(hardware stores, garden shops, Home Depot) on how to get rid of the chipmunks. Answers range from "There's nothing you can do to control them" to "Use Mole and Rat poison... they might go for it". Bahhh, all useless suggestions.
Well the hunter-killer of Weston loaded a couple of rat traps (not mouse traps) with peanuts and WHAP! The very first 12 hours landed one field mouse and one large Chipmunk. Guess I'll be going to Home Depot to buy a couple of more traps.