Sunday, September 13, 2020

Six Minute Disco Cemetery

Well, after yesterday's depressing post, let's move on to lighter and happier subjects. How about the overpopulation of aphids in our garden? Can you see them on the stem of the teasel, above? In the case of the teasel it doesn't really matter, because it's already dying back and going to seed, but they're on the gazanias too. I probably should get out there with some soapy water and spray them down.

You may remember about a month ago, I mentioned ordering my credit reports because I was afraid my identity had been used by someone in Massachusetts to get a loan. Well, happily, that appears not to be true. My credit reports look fine. But before I got them, I used an online service called Spokeo to run a report on Internet activity associated with my e-mail address. When I did it, Spokeo said the report would cost something nominal -- a dollar or two. Imagine my surprise when my August credit card bill arrived and I was charged $25 -- and then another $25 this month! Apparently, by running my report, I bought some kind of "membership." Lord! So I had to get that cancelled, and at my insistence they refunded the $25 for September. I'm not sure I got any good information from them anyway.

Fortunately, Dave got a £25 gift card from one of his students to John Lewis, a British department store chain. We used it to order a new vacuum cleaner. Our vacuum is nine years old, and although it's been great, the hose is broken and the carpet-brush no longer reliably revolves. There's enough wrong with it that buying a new one seemed justified. So I figure we broke even -- $25 lost to Spokeo, £25 gained from the gift card.

More drama: Remember our rat problem? Well, although the rats are long gone, we've been waiting all this time for the management company to get the hole in our exterior wall repaired. (It's been covered by temporary screening and a chunk of concrete in the meantime.) The repairmen finally came on Wednesday, and now the outdoor wall looks great, but whatever they did damaged the indoor side of the same wall:

Argh! So I've told the management company and I guess we need another repair -- which hopefully won't take another four months to arrange. I copied the landlord directly on my e-mail so they know the contractors did the damage and not us.

It occurred to me that I haven't made an Olga-cam video for a while, so yesterday I got out the GoPro and took Olga to the cemetery. Woo hoo!

When I first put the harness on her, she didn't want to move. She hasn't worn it in a while and she definitely doesn't like it. I got her going by throwing her Kong.

Some highlights: About a minute in, she begins chasing squirrels -- or, more accurately, the sounds of squirrels -- and I paused the music so you can hear her barking. At 2 1/2 minutes, she manages to get the harness off her back and the camera films just her wagging tail against the sky. Near the end we passed the headstone where the dolls have been -- you'll see me point to it -- and they're entirely gone now. Oh, and at the very end, I took the camera off Olga and filmed her walking. When we come up the steps to our house, you can see our new autumnal chrysanthemum by the front door.

Anyway, it gives you a sense of our cemetery walks. I had more than half an hour of video which I reduced to six minutes, and I apologize because it's probably still too long. I chose the music based on length -- I had a six-minute video and needed a six-minute song -- but I think it works pretty well, don't you?


Frances said...

I feel exhausted after that walk!!

Anonymous said...

That was fun to watch. Olga looked rather tired after her filming work.
I hope you are buying a stick vacuum cleaner, so mush easier to use although wall mounted charging in a rented property might be problematic

Ms. Moon said...

I like the look she gives you at the end- "Well Dad? Going to open the door?" Nice porch plants.

Ursula said...

Just read your May rat post, Why you didn't move OUT there and then is a mystery to me. Mice are one thing. As long as they don't come into one's abode, uninvited, they are almost cute. RATS? For starters they are big, have gnashers and that awful long and naked tail. Carriers of the plague.

Although not squeamish on the whole, I can't bear dead animals - particularly those squashed in traps or by a car. A few years ago one of my neighbours (very young) knocked at my door. She had put down one of those sticky tapes, now didn't know what to do. Those tapes don't kill the mouse immediately. It's just condemned to stick to it. HORRIBLE. What a fucking way to go. So I put something over it and my decisive fist down. Yuck, yuck and fuck. Still, sometimes in life we have to get over ourselves and do what needs to be done.

Love cemeteries. Used to live close to one. Took the Angel there often. Him on his trike, later his bike, me meandering from gravestone to gravestone reading engravings. One day the Vicar was out. Not sure of graveyard etiquette I was vaguely apologetic as to a toddler weaving his wheels around the graves. Don't worry, the Vicar smiled, the dead won't mind.

Last mother's day the Angel asked me what I'd like to do in the afternoon. I believe it was the Sunday before lockdown. At my request we went to one of the most amazing graveyards ever. I'd love to be buried there (no cremation for me). Alas, I fear they might not take new conscripts. Will have to find out.

Aphids? In the food chain they are there for some good. Ladybirds?


My life so far said...

A dog's life:)

Mary said...

I feel as tired as Olga looked at the end. But what a good time for her. She really does well with other people and dogs (notice I didn't mention the squirrels).

Red said...

That's a very heavy infestation of aphids. I'm sure many people would not notice them.

robin andrea said...

That was quite a nice long walk.

ellen abbott said...

that's a great picture of the teasel with the aphids. fancy floor. the first house I rented as an adult on my own had wood floors with inlays in them. it was a fabulous house 2 bed one bath with a big eat in kitchen and a big dining room and big living room with a fireplace and double sliding doors between living and dining with a small atrium at one end of the living room that was all windows on the two outside walls. I only got to live there for a year as the owner sold the house to a developer who tore it down for townhouses.

what were those pink trees near the beginning of the Olga video?

Linda Sue said...

Your teasel looks like beauty! Aphids are cute and pretty in color.The best thing i have seen all year is your walk with Olga, the happiest dog in the world, such a good life for a boy and his pooch! Love the satisfied look at the end and how she slowly runs out of gas...barking at the squirrel, so glad she is feeling feisty! Winter will tell won't it. That is the season for joints to ache.
We are still in a thick soup of smoke, staying indoors, which we have become accustomed to.

Edna B said...

Aphids and all, I love that photo of your Teasel. What a fun video of your walk with Olga. I see how it wears her out. Poor darling used a ton of energy running through the cemetery. I am impressed at how well she behaves around other dogs and their people. She's a good girl! You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

Catalyst said...

Oh don't apologize. The music is good and the Olga-tour is fantastic. She is full of energy but she looked worn out at the end and glad to get home.

Sharon said...

That video was great. I made if full screen and it was almost like being there....again. I'm always amazed at how unfazed Olga is about other dogs. She barely looks at them. Oh yes, I also loved that wagging tail!

jenny_o said...

Big fan of Olga's videos here :) It makes me think how it would be to be a dog. I could almost feel the cool grass under my toes near the end there. Love the wagging tail. "You're the best thing" to Olga, I'm sure.

I just found an aphid infestation in my deck garden yesterday. Ah well, it's nearly kaput anyhow.

Beth Reed said...

Olga is a Doggie Super Star to me. I love Olgas videos. The energy that she has is so awesome that I can actually feel it all the way to Texas. Wow your front steps and up to the door are just gorgeous.

I remember the rat ordeal and I cannot believe the damage that the contractors caused. They should should be reported because that is totally unacceptable.

I am slowly trying to catch up on my blog reading and I am so glad I had a chance to get online today and see your life thru Olgas eyes. She is really special. What Breed is Olga. You would think that I would know but I don't.
Have an awesome day! Give Olga loving Hugs for me... xoxoxoxxoxo

The Padre said...

You Found True Love - What A Crack Up Video - Really Needed That - Fantastic Perspective With The Rolling On Her Side Footage, Drinks Of Water, KONG Chasing, And Other Humans/Dogs Doing Their Thang - Thanx For The Creative Adventure - Extra Treats From Uncle T - Enjoy The Work Week


Michael said...

I LOVED the video. When Olga barked, Murphy looked up and cocked his head!!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hey. You did a great job with the Olga video. I especially liked the bit where we see her tail wagging. On a more serious note, I must point out that £25 is not equivalent to $20! I know that Great Britain is in dire straits under the leadership of Young Trump but the pound has not yet fallen that far! Oh - and you need some spray tan on your legs!

Alphie Soup said...

It's just one damned thing after another! The workmen fix the outside problem, only to create s other one on the inside.

Steve Reed said...

Frances: Ha! Call it "virtual exercise"!

Andrew: She did get a bit tired toward the end! We bought one with a cord, but I chose that over a battery-operated one.

Ms Moon: Yeah, she was like, "Put that phone away!"

Ursula: Yeah, that rat episode was pretty awful. Fortunately we haven't seen hide nor hair of any since, and now that the house is sealed we should be safe! I never use sticky traps. SO inhumane. Although poison isn't much better. I am always fascinated by old cemeteries! And yes, aphids do have their place, and I haven't done anything to ours for just that reason -- the ants are farming them, so there's a little ecosystem happening. But I will spray them organically if they get out of hand.

Lilycedar: Indeed!

Mary: She's almost indifferent to other people and other dogs. Unless she feels challenged.

Red: Par for the course for us!

Robin: It WAS a nice walk. I wish I could have preserved more of the original footage.

Ellen: We have inlaid floors in the foyer and the bedroom, and we really like them, although they're not in great shape. The trees are copper beeches, which look pink on the video but are really a dark purpley-red.

Linda Sue: Olga's enthusiasm really is a tonic for the soul. I love walking her because she's just so INTO it!

Edna: She IS a good girl, and she basically came that way. We haven't had to train her at all.

Catalyst: Glad you liked it!

Sharon: Yeah, she doesn't really care about other dogs. The tail cracked me up, too!

Jenny-O: Yeah, that's the thing about the aphids -- the garden is nearing its end anyway, so I'm tempted to just leave them.

Beth: Olga is a Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffy for short. Yeah, we are really not happy with the state of that repair! I imagine the management company will be even more annoyed.

Padre: I honestly didn't even consider the lyrics of the song when I used it for the video, but it does kind of fit, doesn't it? I HAVE found true love! LOL

Michael: Funny! Olga kept looking at me strangely when I edited it together, because she was hearing all the sounds from her walk while lying on the couch. She must have wondered what the heck was going on.

YP: Yes, you are quite right -- £25 is about $32 now, I think. There was a period in the spring when the pound and the dollar were almost at parity. The day I use spray tan will be a cold day in hell!

Alphie: I know, right?!

Moving with Mitchell said...

That medication has done wonders. It's like watching a puppy. You brightened up my day!

Aphids... and white fly... and scale. We're always growing more than just our plants here.