Posted in February, 2015

Note that I started this post more than a week ago, but only finished writing it now.

A little more than two weeks ago, I discovered a rat living in my house, to my horror. I’m pleased to report that this nightmare has come to an end.

The exterminator came by a few days after I first discovered the rat’s presence to assess the situation and leave some traps out, baited with peanut butter but not primed. Since some of my own lesser quality traps had gone off without catching anything, he opined that the rat may have became “bait shy,” so the first priority was to retrain it in thinking the peanut butter was safe to go after.

A few days later, after some of the traps had been licked clean, the exterminator returned to put more peanut butter out and prime the traps. This whole time I had been keeping food and plants out of the rat’s reach (apparently rats can have a 36 inch vertical1, so this wasn’t that easy), and spent my nights sleeping with towels stuffed under my bedroom doors.

Then, it finally happened. Around two or three in the morning, a loud snapping sound woke me up, followed by the sound of something bulky and solid tumbling around in the room directly above me. It didn’t stop on its own, so I eventually went up to see what the commotion was. This is what I found:

Despite its neck being caught in the trap, it was still very much alive, squealing and struggling to break free. Not wanting to deal with this at three in the morning, I put a bucket over the trapped rat, then stacked some textbooks on top of the bucket, then put a suitcase on top of the textbooks. Somehow, I still wondered if it would get out.

I didn’t have time to deal with the situation in the morning, so fast forward to 16 hours later when I’m finally at home with some time to take care of the rat. I took the suitcase, textbooks, and bucket off and found the rat was still alive. Not just barely alive, but as alive as it was at 3 AM. In fact, I’m not sure if that above video was from that morning or evening.

I had already called the exterminator, and he came by to take the rat and remaining traps away. He looked around and concluded that was very likely the only rat in the house, so it appears my saga has finally come to an end.

I foresee much Clorox and paper towels in my immediate future.

  1. Terrifyingly enough, this is about the height of my dining table. 

Smarter Archives 3.2.2 has been released. This update has the following:

  • Updates to the Italian (it_IT) translation
  • A new Dutch (nl_NL) translation, thanks to Micha

Download it now.

Sometimes the Onion comes along and absolutely nails it. You can usually tell by the headline, such as in this case:

Labor Secretary Horrified To Learn Some Americans Working Jobs They Do Not Truly Enjoy

WASHINGTON—Saying he fears the number may be in the thousands or possibly even millions, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced at a press conference Wednesday that he was horrified to learn some Americans are currently working jobs they do not truly enjoy.

The whole article was so on point, it was hard to resist pasting the whole thing.

For the mass market, it was an obnoxious technology that gave rise to the term, “glasshole”. But despite Google admitting its failure in trying to make it the next big thing, Google Glass has found willing adopters:

One of Europe’s busiest airports, Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub in the Netherlands, is trialling Google Glass for use by airport authority officers as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

It’s also testing Google’s face computer on travelers passing through the terminal in a bid to better understand the ‘customer journey’, thanks to Glass’ first person perspective.

It’s more proof, if proof were needed, that Google Glass is another Segway — i.e. a technology not destined for the mass market, but for niche industrial and service industry applications.

No shit. There’s absolutely no need to strap a camera to your face for people’s everyday life. Not only for lack of tangible benefit to yourself, but for the sake of everyone else around you also.

It’s the natural evolution for this kind of computing: first it was someone at a PC station, now it’s mostly employees walking around with iPads, and soon it could be people wearing something like Google Glass in that role.

Bananas after the rats

I woke up this morning, and my bananas looked like the picture above. I noticed the chunk missing of the apple below them the day before, but I didn’t think too much about it. I couldn’t figure out what happened. Did the fruit rot from the inside out? It couldn’t be insects — there’s no way insects could do that kind of damage.

Then I sent that picture to a few people and asked what they thought. One person replied with something that froze the blood in my veins: rats. Well, hopefully only one.

I searched for “bananas eaten by rats” and the first image that came up looked exactly like what I saw this morning. That settled it: I had rodents in my house. My first instinct was to burn the house down, collect insurance money, and move far, far away. But calmer thoughts prevailed.

My first step will be to check all the screens covering the doors and windows to see if there’s a hole somewhere, as well as to check the dry foods in my pantry. After that, I might have to pick some traps up or call in a professional.

More updates to come.