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I’m sitting at home, trapped without my car…

Last night, coming home from Charles Town, my car with a load of groceries and me died at the Engle Switch Rd railroad crossing, while waiting for an awfully long train to pass.

I managed to roll it off the road to the side, then proceeded on the unimagineably complex and bewildering communication via iPhone to the Triple A. It took nine calls, during which I was switched all over the place to find someone who represented this little piece of woodland in Harpers Ferry, WV, and was repeatedly disconnected, forced to call again, give my membership number, spell my name, describe the problem, be told that I was at the wrong `office, but would be transferred….

Finally yelling at the last, really undeserving guy who I hadn’t spoken with before, I got notice that a tow truck was coming and waited for an hour until it go there. Total times with calls and waits was close to 2 hours.

Now Brown’s Auto Service picked up the Subaru this morning and with luck they can get it running today and I can find someone to give me a ride over to the west side of Shepherdstown to pick it up.

Not a great day at the beginning.

My Podcast is at 10 AM Today if you want to tune in…

… we’ll be spending some time talking about the economy, the political future of the Middle Class, and a few other things.

That’s 10 o’clock this morning http://www.blogtalkradio.com/billtchakirides/2011/07/19/under-the-lobsterscope.

Bill 1 – Groundhog 0

OK… today I scored in the Groundhog Trapping game. Before I get all caught up with myself I have to admit that the creature was very, very small. I can’t believe that this is the beast who tunneled down next to our back foundation… nor did it seem big enough to have eaten all that cantaloupe that was outside the trap yesterday.

That must mean that this critter is a child and still has parents down in the hole. Elly recalls that when our tenant over in Hagerstown had a groundhog problem last year, he ended up trapping three of them (not, of course, at the same time.) So I’ve rebaited the trap and set it again and I’ll see if there’s a new animal caught tomorrow.

Before I did that, however, I had to deal with the little fella I caught. Putting the trap in the back of my new old Subaru, I drove about 5 miles from my house to the Opequon Creek Fishing and Wildlife Area, Federal land where wild beasts are welcome, and turned the groundhog loose. It ran off so fast that in a split second it had vanished. I hope it is happy there…I didn’t want to kill it and I didn’t want it to get near any other houses. When I catch the rest of his family they will go there, too.

So now the trap has fresh (albeit rotten) cantaloupe in it and the spring trigger is set. Now if I can just keep our smaller dog, Byron, away from the trap and the groundhog hole, I’ll feel much better.

Outwitted by a Groundhog…

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but we have  a groundhog (at least one) living in our back garden with a hole right at the foundation of the house. Bummer. This isn’t good for the garden, of course, so we ordered a Havahart trap which I put out yesterday. The plan is to catch the groundhog, then put the trap in the back of my old new Subaru and drive it out into the woods (far enough away so it won’t find its way back), then release it in the woods. I don’t have to kill it, which satisfies my particular feelings, and it can have a lovely new life in nature.

However… the groundhog made me look stupid when I checked the trap this morning. It had eaten the bait trail right up to the trap’s open door, but did not enter the trap to get to the bait inside… just past the trigger mechanism. Double Bummer.

OK, I rebaited this morning, putting only a few pieces of delicious rotting melon (a favorite of groundhogs) outside the trap door, and put more pieces inside the trap leading up to the trigger mechanism with the bug feast on the far side. If this doesn’t work, I’ll have to change strategies.

Busy Morning…

Off to Ranson this morning to finish the registration of my new old Subaru in West Virginia at Motor vehicles, then to Charles Town to do Early Voting and grocery shopping… then back home to take care of the dogs and clean up the kitchen.

Early Voting is something Elly and I have done in the last few elections and, since my mind is made up on who I am voting for, it is a convenience which I find very helpful. I’ll get my votes in for Manchin, Graf, Doyle, Dunleavy and get a YES down on the school funding issue. Then I won’t have to worry about it on November 2nd.

Funniest Commercial on TV: the 2011 Mediocrity!

This is showing up on TV now…it leads you to a web site: 2011Mediocrity.com.

It’s only after you got to the site (which is pretty complete… and all beige) that you find a secret button that takes you to the real sponsor…Subaru.

After the radio show and we’re having coffee at Mellow Moods…

John Case and I are enjoying our post-show coffee over on German Street as we watch Phil work like a demon to service his customers (including getting our two bagels toasted). Right now none of his help are around and he is working like a mad man… impressive!

Today I’m finishing up my search for a sale of my dead car for parts. So far the best offer is at Brown’s for $200.00… I’m still hoping that one more guy who is looking for an Echo motor might come through and buy the car to retrofit. I gave him two days and this is the third, so I’ll call him. Whatever I get from the parts goes into paying for Linda Bartash’s Subaru.

Tonite starts the second and final weekend of Thurber Carnival… John says their brushup rehearsal was pretty good last night. I skipped it… the director said she didn’t need lights for the rehearsal. Just as well, since I was exhausted last night. Maybe we’ll have some audience, too. Full Circle does a really bad job of promoting shows and a 10 or 12 person audience in a 90 seat house is not unusual. We hit 30 on  the Sunday matinee last week and that was the best house so far.

OK…have a great Friday. The rain has stopped here and the sun is out…first time in a couple of days…and I want to enjoy it.