Monday, July 29, 2019

You dirty rat!

Fifteen years ago, I wrote about the dilemma of trying to get some dead thing removed from the crawlspace under my house. There simply do not seem to be businesses who dedicate themselves to removing rodents who inconveniently die under your house (or in the attic for that matter). Back in 2004, my only alternative was to either go under the house and remove the dead thing or wait it out until it decomposed to a point where it stopped smelling.

I chose the latter. It was only when I sold the house and an inspector crawled into the crawl space and noted there were bones from a small animal there.

So now, 15 years later, I smell that familiar smell of something dead and decaying. But this time it was in my garage. And since I am now married and have two children, the option of waiting it out until whatever it was rotted away didn't seem to be prudent.

We detected the smell on Friday afternoon. I kind of hoped it was just the cat's litter boxes. But by Friday night, even I couldn't deny the unmistakable odor of something dead. While I was eating my breakfast Saturday morning my wife reminded me I needed to go in search of the source of the odor.

Our house is a split level with a daylight basement. So there is no crawlspace. The garage is built upon a concrete slab, so that further narrowed down the possibilities for where the smell was coming from. Our first thought was the attic. There was a small access hatch on the ceiling of the garage.

So I donned work clothes and retrieved my extension ladder and reluctantly ascended to the attic.

Friday, July 05, 2019

The reluctant runner

I have never been an overly athletic person. This is not to say that I don't attempt athletic things, I'm just not particularly good at them. One of the few "C" grades I ever received was in 7th grade Physical Education. Part of it was that PE involved running a great deal and I have always been of the mind that a human shouldn't run unless they are being chased by a wild animal.

I did go out for various sports in junior high. I was on the 7th grade wrestling team but never won a match. I played intramural volleyball. I played basketball in 8th grade but was on the 5th quarter team. We only played after the regulation four quarters were over. They threw in the extra quarter so we got an opportunity to actually play. No one stayed to watch us however. Even the cheerleaders packed up when we were playing.

I was on the tennis team in 9th grade. But again, I don't think I ever won a game.

I was also on the Junior Varsity Quiz team in 9th grade and I was president of the chess club, but those don't count as athletics.

I had to take PE again my sophomore year in high school. I got an "A" grade in it because the instructor believed in grading on effort not skill. I didn't go out for any sports, but I was in the marching band and was the drum major my junior and senior years.

I didn't do much athletically my first few years in college. When I moved to Seattle to finish my education, I did participate in intramural volleyball again.

After college I played tennis occasionally. I also played on my office softball team. But I pretty much sucked at baseball. I blew out my ankle trying to slide into third base. I got the "Rodney Danger-in-the-field, I deserve no respect" award that year at the end of the year party.

I did manage a work volley ball league for a few years.