August 2006

Mites, eggs and hibernation plans

We’re just finishing up the second mite treatment for the collection: after four days, we’ve removed the dichlorvos and are putting the water dishes back in. We’ve found quite a few dead mites in some of the cages, plus, I’m afraid, one small live one, in the ball python’s cage. This means that we’ll almost certainly have to do a third treatment. I suspect that the first dose (see previous entry) wasn’t long enough (it was three days instead of four), and the gap between it and this, second treatment was too long as a result of the vacation in the middle of it (they should be two weeks apart; it was three). Note for future reference. But we are killing mites — hopefully faster than they’re breeding. Cross your fingers.

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Not with a bang but a whimper

Remember that crazy emergency court injunction that the Regional Association of West Quebecers and some John Paul II High School parents were seeking, the one that would block the school’s closure on minority-language education rights grounds? Apparently, according to page one of today’s Equity (link good for one week only), it never got filed — and both RAWQ and the parents are blaming the high-profile lawyer for not doing so.

Meanwhile, the school board had only received an e-mail and voice message about the pending injunction, and I can add that the teacher’s union hadn’t heard of it, so it does seem that the PR side of things was moving much faster than the legal side. At any rate, I’ll bet there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than this. The paper does not mention whether they tried to contact the lawyer to get his side of the story, though I doubt attorney-client privilege would allow him to do so (even so, they ought to have made the attempt).

Since classes start next Tuesday, this is not a bad outcome.

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Back home

Back from a nearly two-week road trip to (and from) Winnipeg. Reports and photos — lots of photos — to follow soon.

Three thoughts while driving from Shawville to Winnipeg

  1. Wild blueberries are endemic: there were roadside stands all along the highway right up to Winnipeg. Yesterday’s Winnipeg Free Press had a story about the wild-blueberry industry (if you can call it that; it’s pretty low-paying work), but the Freep doesn’t make its stuff available online for free, so no linky-link. Note, however, Jennifer’s post about wild blueberries in Nova Scotia. They’re everywhere — and here I thought signs advertising blueberries and home baking were unique to Highway 7 between Peterborough and Ottawa!
  2. Passing lanes are plentiful along Highway 17, and make driving so much easier. Once they were put in so that cars could quickly get around slow-moving trucks that had trouble going up hills. Now, though, the trucks go around us. They seem to be a tad more powerful these days.
  3. iPod FM transmitters are all over the place, and they’re all set to my frequency — or at least that’s my conclusion after the 20th or 30th blast of strange music over the radio as a car passes. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised about that, considering iPods’ increasing ubiquity — and, really, on Highway 17, you really need an iPod in your car. It’s that long a drive.

Mites, cleaning cages, and a reptile keeper’s secret weapon

We spent today recovering from yesterday, when, as part of our collection-wide treatment for snake mites, we cleaned every reptile cage in the house — all 34 of them.

We’d been on guard for mites for a while, since a snake that had been passed between our collection and a friend’s turned up with mites a while back (it doesn’t really matter who gave who mites, and it’s impossible to tell in any event), but we were reluctant to begin the treatment until we had definite confirmation that mites were present at our end. We only confirmed mites — on three snakes — a week ago today, which set the treatment process in motion.

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Never rains but it pours

Well, that was exciting. Just finished mopping up the basement. Torrential rain this evening caused the town’s sewers to back up. Which, in turn, caused water to pour into our basement — two to three centimetres’ worth, or about 1,100 litres (rough guess), which, thanks to some help from Ricky and his shopvac, we were able to vacuum up, bail out and mop up in only a couple of hours.

All in all quite lucky: everything on the floor down there was either in plastic containers or, if in cardboard, fairly low-priority stuff; damage so far appears to be light. Could have been much worse. Exhausted, though, now, so to bed with me.