Replacing floors is a total exercise routine. Moving furniture out of the way, ripping up whatever is there, measuring and cutting new sub flooring, carting around heavy sheets of plywood, tacking and nailing, and so on and so forth works every single muscle in one’s body. That’s what we did last weekend. Also, I was able to demonstrate my special technique for testing if a particular floor is safe, or if it is so rotted out that it has to be replaced; You stand on it bouncing up and down a little bit and if you crash through to the basement, that part of the floor was bad.

Saw the strangest insect thing we’ve seen in a long time. A wasp of some sort was covered … the entire body but not the head was covered … with little tiny things that looked like mites or itty bitty spiders or ticks or something. They were two or three thick over the wasp’s entire body. On first seeing this, I thought it was a wasp covered with bubble-bath. When Amanda first saw the insect staggering among old flooring debris, she thought it was a large drunken bumble bee, and not the lightly built wasp that it was.

(Added: It may not be a wasp. It is kind of hard to tell, being enveloped in several layers of tiny organisms and all.)

We put it in a jar so we can figure it out later.

We all sat down to watch a movie last night after a long day of prying and pounding and cutting and dragging stuff. The Informant, staring Matt Damon. I was the only one who did not drift off to sleep before the end, so I was the only one that saw the film to its rather bizarre conclusion. The movie is about one of the first major anti price fixing suits of the modern era, in the 1980s and early 1990s. It reminded me of a conversation I had with someone back in the 1970s, before any of that happened. He was an economist who worked for the international organization representing paper pulp manufacturers. He told me, with a few drinks in him and with a little too much hubris, about how price fixing worked in his industry. Apparently, he was more or less in charge of fixing production and pricing internationally for pulp manufacturers (or, at least, head organizer of this effort). He told me that the regulators would actually watch them at their international meetings (I did not know if he meant overly or covertly), so the representatives of each major pulp producing company would play it totally cool and do nothing about production and price fixing at said meetings. Then there would be a private golf game, at which the representatives of the various manufacturers would fix the prices. He was very proud of how he outsmarted to cops. I wonder if he ever got caught? Anyway, the movie was interesting, I recommend it.

Comments

  1. #1 John Callender
    September 19, 2010

    You should totally take a photo of your wasp-covered-with-critters, and post it to the “ID Requested” section of http://www.bugguide.net/. You will have a quick crowdsourced opinion from bug obsessives within a few hours, and probably a fairly definitive opinion from someone really knowledgeable within a day or so. At least, that’s been my experience. BugGuide is amazing.

  2. #2 Sandgroper
    September 20, 2010

    Golf has long been a medium for all sorts of cronyism.

  3. #3 frank habets
    September 20, 2010

    I once threw a rock on ice to see if the ice would crack, testing if it could support my weight.
    Of course, all I did was weaken it, thus ensuring I would fall through.
    Thank God a friend had a spare skidoo suit in the trunk of his car.