Monthly Archives: August 2012

Don’t Make Bees Mad and Hang Around to Talk

For the past few weeks my kids have been telling me there are bees in the basement.  We would always have 1 or 2 every year but it was no big deal.  Yesterday morning while reading the paper I found one flying around in the kitchen.  It clicked in my memory banks that I had to look into the bee problem.

Our house has a bay window that is poorly constructed and is opened into the house.  In the past I added some extra insulation and plywood to try to seal it up.  It worked to some extent.  But now it seemed there were bees below the bay window.  I went outside to check and there were about 30 bees flying around one of the posts holding up the window.  I looked below, being careful to stay away from what I thought was the entrance point.  And there it was.  They were buzzing around and crawling inside and out.  My first thought was to spray the entryway to the hive.  And so that is what I did.  I bet you can imagine what happened next.  The bees got mad and more showed up.  The basement had to be inspected to see what effect the spray had.  Down in the basement by the assumed hive location there were now about 10 bees flying around.  I killed them all.  Climbing a small step-ladder to see if I could see an opening I heard the buzzing.  It was pretty loud.  Thinking quickly I decided that the plywood and insulation needed to come down.  Back upstairs I went to start my career as an exterminator.

Oblivious to the bees buzzing around I began the work needed to take down the plywood.  I was doing a pretty good job pulling nails and became really focused on the task at hand.  Big mistake.  First I feel a sharp feeling on my head and moved quickly to whack it away.  No damage done.  I become more focused on getting plywood off.  And bam! A bee anchors itself onto my hand.  I shook my hand and realized the bee didn’t come off.  I swiped it away and it was off.  I hadn’t been stung in over 20 years and it hurt.  Sharp pains through my hand.  It was like someone stuck a needle in my hand.

I tried to remember what to do with a bee sting.  I remembered something to do with baking soda.  I put some baking soda with water on my hand and hoped it would help.  I went back to work and removed the plywood.  No other injuries occurred.  Many more bees appeared and I knew more spray was needed.

In the interim more bees had entered the basement.  That escape route for the bees had to be blocked.  Plastic was secured and no other bees go into the basement.  So now, sweating in the heat with a bunch of wet baking soda on my hand I went to the hardware store and got some additional bee spray.  I went at it with a vengeance and hoped that the bees were finished.  There weren’t as many now and I could get closer with a stick and other tools to scrape out the hive.  I kept spraying though because the bees just kept coming back.  The picture here shows the remnants of what I was able to pull out of this area.  The hive was right above this post.

 So I figure that I am all set.  Bees killed, the sting wasn’t too bad.  Now I was off to my son’s hockey game.  Had to take a shower first, shave and all that is necessary to look like a respectable coach in front of the kids and parents.  I get into the shower, run the stung hand under the water and wowwee, it was like a knife through the hand.  The pain subsided and I got use to it.  Funny thing happened though, the hand started to swell up.  Nothing much at first but it has gotten worse to the point where it is moving up my wrist.

The first picture is my left hand with the bee sting and the second is my right hand, what my left hand should look like.  Not that I don’t have fat hands, I prefer to think of them as muscular.  They are not dainty that is for sure.  However, the way it looks now is ridiculous.  I am loading up the hydrocortisone and pumping in the Benadryl.  If it isn’t better tomorrow I am going to the doctor again.  And that story will have to be told another time.

P.S. Looking at these pictures now my hands really are not photogenic.  I could never be a hand model.


You know what I like about this blog?  It helps me become a better writer.  Okay, if you look back at my posts, most of them are simply references to other articles.  Going forward I am going to try to write some more, even if I only reference other articles.

I have two weaknesses when it comes writing.  The first is that I write like I am making a list.  It seems to me, but maybe not others, that the writing is stilted.  I will write like an engineer listing out things I have observed during an inspection or an analysis, or listing out steps in a calculation.  A previous boss of mine hated this about my writing, he said it did flow.  He was right, it didn’t.  The second weakness is that I get bored easily or have a short attention span, I am not sure which it is.  As I write this I am thinking to myself, “How much more do I have to write to get my point across?”

Hopefully, I can at least address my first weakness in this process.  I suspect that someone who reads this might say, this guy is a horrible writer, he has more problems than these.  So be it.  I am looking to improve any way I can.


A Good Man Who Happens to be a Great Golfer

Today I will participate in the last scramble tournament of the year.  The foursome will be the same as in previous years and should be a good day.  One of the members of our foursome is my gym teacher from middle school, or junior high school as we called it back then.  He is a great guy with an unbelievable memory.  He started teaching back in the 60’s and can remember students names like he had them last year.  The stories he tells on these golf outings are incredible.

On top of that he is an unbelievable golfer.  When he was in college left handed clubs were hard to come by so he bought right handed clubs although he was left handed.  No too hard to do because I think I would have been left handed if I had left handed clubs to learn with.  But he was good.  For a time he was the golf coach at my high school and for a time was an instructor at a country club near where I live.  The amazing thing about all this is that he now also plays left handed.  He taught him self how to play left handed so he could look at right handed players while he was teaching them.

He is now in his 70’s and regularly scores in the high 60’s low 70’s with either hand.  His swing is effortless and he can still crush the ball.  I was talking to him a few weeks ago and he said he finally figured it out.  He plays his best when he uses his right handed woods and his left handed irons.  Incredible.


Presidential Election as Popularity Contest

This morning I followed a routine that has become part of my regular day.  I got on line and began checking the news on various blogs I check regularly.  What I found continues to astonish me.  In all the polls that are being published Barack Obama is leading the presidential race.  I can’t understand how this is happening.  Are the polls skewed?  That is what I originally thought until I saw a Fox News poll with the same result.

What is going on here?  How can people want this guy to continue to be president.  Are people that much against the reublican party just because it is the republican party?  I just don’t get it.

Someone help me understand…




Marathon Training 8.10.12

Training has stopped because of foot pain.  I haven’t run for training purposes for 3 weeks and have only run short distances to test it out.  It has not gotten better.  I used the elliptical the other night and the pain was pretty bad, so I am not certain what is going on.  Time to go to the doctor to get it checked out.  Although the marathon is only 2 and a half months away I am still hopeful that I can catch up on my training.  I will not rush it to get in extra miles but hopefully if I can figure out what is wrong by september I can get in enough mileage to at least make an attempt.  No need to run 9 minute miles so I can do 11 minute miles and still make a good time.

We will see.