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8.28.2006

This blog has moved!

OMGWTFBBQ! It's a new address! Goodbye, my little slice of internet real-estate. It's been a great ride for, um, I forget however many years. But. Please join me at emptyage.honan.net for more blog journaling fun. Now with Typepad.

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8.10.2006

Oh My!

Why... It's the old design, back again! Where is the Vox? Where is the FeedBurner? Where is the crappy layout that was only meant to last a day or two but has been around for, oh, two months or so?

Gone! Gone, gone, gone. Like so many sorry dot coms. And comiong soon: Typepad.


Also, for what it's worth, this is the kind of blog post I hate the most. These "I'm switching to Blah-blah-blah" housekeeping crapfests are the online equivalent of walking into a room and announcing what color shirt you have on today.

Mine is green.

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7.05.2006

The Killing of a Flanger

. The Cure was playing over the speakers at the coffeeshop where I was working yesterday morning. I loved it. It took me back. I once loved The Cure. But I had never noticed, until this morning, how much they relied on the flanger. Almost every song; flanged.

. I don't know where my flanger is. It was bright green. Vivid. Very 80s. Purchased in the 80s, in fact. I used to love hooking it up to my guitar, and stomping it. Peeeeeeeowwwwwwwweeeeeeepeeeeeeowwwwwwweeeeee. Who stole my flanger? Give it back.

. You don't hear the flanger quite as much as you once did. I think it had its heyday at some point around 1988. When bands use it today, it sounds almost old-fashioned.

. I used to read Guitar Player, quite a bit. There was no reason for this. But let's forget that. I remember reading an article about the Black Crowes in Guitar Player. Now, I understand how hard it is to write something original on the same subject for a magazine every month--how do you think I earn my living? But this article, a brief 250 or so word intro/profile, contained the single most cringe-worthy line in any magazine artice I've ever read. I remember it verbatim today, sixteen or however-many years later.

?. "Hand these guys a flanger, and they might punch you in the face!"

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6.15.2006

Free Range Mantids


On the orchid
Originally uploaded by honan.
A story. In response to a request from the esteemed Mr. Fox...

A couple of months ago, all of our house plants became infested with spider mites. Spider mites! In addition to being disgusting webby little creatures, they were killing my frends the plants.

I tried killing them with some non-toxic hippie insecticide, but all that did was keep them in check. If that, even. But determined not to use poison indoors, I headed to Cole Hardware, and came home with live ladybugs and mantid egg cases.

The ladybugs cleaned house. I let somewhere betwen 50 and 100 go indoors at the base of the plants. 48 hours later they were all gone, and so were the mites. And aphids, and other creepy crawly little things. Yeah, ladybugs look sweet, with their little spots and their red coats, but don't let them fool you. They are stone-cold killing machines.

The rest I let go in the garden, and placed one of two mantid egg cases out there. The other case I took inside and, as per the instructions on the box, placed in a bowl so I could "watch them hatch."

Now, silly me, I presumed that they couldn't, you know, get out of the bowl. That they'd be there for a while. In the bowl. And quite honestly, after a few weeks I more or less forgot about them.

And then last week I walked in the kitchen one evening and noticed some sort of bug crawling on the wall. It was a mantid nymph. And his 500 brothers. Oh, man.

I scooped a few dozen, or hundred, or, I don't know thousand, into a jar and took them out back to the garden. But I left a few inside because, well, they're cute. Like itty bitty aliens. They'll cock their heads over to look at you. They follow you with their eyes. It would be creepy if it weren't so cute.

They're especially cute when they drink. A few times a day I'll spritz all the plants with some water from a spray bottle. The mantids will then lean down, bending their narrow little bodies, and slurp up the water off of leaves.

I've been trying to figure out what to do with them, how to feed them. I've only seen one eat anything. That would be the jaunty fella pictured here. He munched an aphid. I was so proud.

So last weekend I ordered some fruit flies, from an obsessive mantid site I found, and they arrived today. Special delivery, Mr. Honan. Your flies are here.

This has been a challenge. For obvious reasons, I don't want to just let all the fruit flies out. I've been trying to feed them individually, but that hasn't always gone so well. The guy on the flower here has been gangbusters. He's quite tame, and he'll eagerly lean over to take fruit flies off my finger. The rest, not so much. I've started putting a few fruit flies in a jar and then dropping a mantid in there with them, and letting them out after they've eaten.

I'm not quite sure where I go from here. The few that are left inside aren't going to starve, I don't think. But I don't know how many mantids I want to keep inside. And I don't really want to cage them, I prefer free range mantids, but how to keep them out from underfoot? From scurrying out the window to the barren wasteland of our roftop empire? And how many do I want to keep anyway? And what about when they start eating each other? What happens when I go out of town? Are there mantid sitters?

I don't know. I have a lot of questions.


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