The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I, for one, welcome our new Vespoidea masters

“Those aren't wasps,” said the exterminator. “They're yellow jackets!”

Idiot, thought Spring. Yellow jackets are wasps. “Can you do anything about them?”

“Let me suit up,” he said. He walked out to his truck. A few minutes later he comes back. “Sorry, we don't do yellow jackets.”

“Excuse me?”

“We don't do yellow jackets. We need to refer you to another company.”

Another company? You don't do wasps?”

“Yellow jackets.”

“Wasps, yellow jackets, who cares? You don't exterminate them?”

“Nope. Those things are dangerous!

So we are stuck with our Vespoidea friends until Thursday!



This was the news I got upon waking (the bit above is a reconstruction of events that happened earlier in the day). Spring had also bought some wasp spray, one can with a range of 15′ and one with a reach of 22′, just in case. She also checked out our bedroom, which yesturday was being lordered over by a pair of Paravespula vulgaris. Several minutes pass as I wait outside the closed door.

“They don't appear to there anymore,” said Spring.

“Did you check by the closet?” Outside the building, they're swarming around the portion of the Facility in the Middle of Nowhere that corresponds to our closet.

“No, let me check.” Spring went back into the bedroom for several minutes, then came out. “I was afraid to mess too much with the right side of the closet. I could hear them.”

“That's not good,” I said.

“Buzzing around, and what sounds like some scratching from inside the wall,” she said.

Inside the wall?

“Yes,” she said. “It didn't sound like wasps; more like a scratching noice, like mice or something.”

“In the deaththrows of being stung to death, I don't doubt.” Great! They may be inside a section of wall!

But they don't appear to be inside the room, and Spring did spray around the areas most likely for them to crawl through. So the room should be safe.


And they don't appear to bother anyone coming or going in or out of the Facility in the Middle of Nowhere so several much needed trips to the grocery store ensued.


Inside the wall.

Can I scream now?

On the plus side, The Office is paying for this. Not us.

Update on Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

Spring presents her side of the yellow jacket story.

In my defense, I have such a horrible memory for dialog (so of course I became a Drama Geek in high school), unlike some friends of mine, like Gregory, who can recite whole swaths of diaglog verbatim from a film he's only seen once while for the life of me I can't remember what was said to me mere moments before.

Thus, the embellishments.

But then again, all you need do is read The Demonic Creature that Invaded Bill's Room to see just how wild my embellishments can get.

The Johnson Automatic Perspective Machine

Mark hired me to do some HTML work for his company. Basically, jazz up some pages for a demo of his product, Seminole. So I figured some graphic images, a logo-type deal, would be nice for the hypothetical, Internet enabled toaster we're doing for a demonstration (later on, we might add a consumer grade router type device, but I'm still getting used to his templating system and working with what he's done so far). I'm not that graphically savvy to create logos and whatnot so I decided to check the net to see if there were public domain clip art that could be appropriated.

There does exist a nice body of public domain clip art, but not much that is accessible by website. Sure, there are websites that will sell you CDs and books of public domain clip art (such as Dover Publications), but they don't make it directly available via their sites.

But I did find two sites that had some Victorian/Edwardian era clip art.

I have a thing for late 1800/early 1900 line art.

During the 80s, Wendy's design motif was turn-of-the-century and all the counter and table tops where decorated in old advertising. I used to love reading the various advertisements and gaze at wonder at the line art. The intricate detail. The cross hatching. The various line weights. Beautiful stuff.

And now I'm drooling over Heck's Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science (which inspired many of the O'Reilly book covers), Heck's Pictorial Archive of Military Science, Geography and History and Heck's Pictorial Archive of Art and Architecture.

Drool. Drool. Drool.

But guess what Ftrain should showcase (besides the Johnson Automatic Perspective Machine, write for particulars to Shaw & Johnson, Tampa, Fla) but hundreds of magazines from the late 1800s to early 1900s, with tons and tons of public domain Victorian/Edwardian clip art. All online.


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