fruit flies and cat piss
Friday, February 7 2014
I drink a lot of Red Rose black tea. I like the brand mostly because of the simplicity of the packaging; there are no envelopes (either paper or — heaven forbid — plastic) around each bag. This in turn simplifies the process of making a cup of tea and reduces the waste stream to just the tea bags themselves (it doesn't bother me that the tea bags include a piece of cotton string, a small paper tab, and a single staple made of steel). I throw all of the used tea bags (including, string, tab, and staple) into a plastic planter, the kind with drainage holes on the bottom. That planter sits on the plastic lid from a five gallon bucket of drywall compound in the laboratory, and when the planter gets full, I either compost it or bury it in the garden. Occasionally, though, there will be an outbreak of fruit flies that have been incubating in among the tea bags. I usually notice the flies as irritants attracted to both me and my monitors when I am sitting at my computer. Today there were enough of them (though not more than one or two bother me at a time) to cause me to do something about the composting tea bags in the planter. Since the ground is frozen and the composter is filling quickly, I dumped the contents of the planter into the northmost tomato patch, a place I have also been using to dispose of vaccuum cleaner contents and ashes from the woodstove. When the weather gets warmer, I'll stir it all together and add some silty Esopus lowland soil to make a rich gumbo to plant tomatoes in.
In addition to fruit flies, another recent problem has been a resurgence of cats urinating in various places in the laboratory. The cats mostly limit their urination to plastic I've put down to combat past incidents of this sort. I suspect having strange dogs in the house for nine days caused Julius (aka "Stripey") to revert to this disgusting habit. Otherwise he'd have to find his way to a litter box either in the upstairs bathroom or down on the first floor, and (at least in the early days of the dogs' visit) he didn't like leaving the laboratory at all.
I took a bath this evening for the first time in over a week. I try to conserve hot water when it is heated by burning fossil fuels, though I think I take my abstemiousness a bit too far. The truth is that if it didn't offend my Yankee frugality, I would take a bath every day, especially in this shitty cold weather.
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