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A Mouse In The House


The other night I was playing Internet Checkers with the same opponent for an hour and a half. It blew my mind that he/she kept wanting to play again, so I figured, "why not?" We ended up playing around 25 games before my opponent finally left without a word. Cool. But a few games before it was all over, I caught a glimpse of something small and dark moving smoothly across the floor. I thought, "That was too well-defined to be imagined." So after the extended Checkers game play ended, I found a sticky mousetrap and set it near where I had seen the phantom rodent.

This mousetrap is like flypaper. It's a thin plastic frame filled with gooey adhesive. I touched it to make sure it hadn't dried out, and left a small fingerprint. It took a small amount of work to remove the adhesive residue from my one finger, so I figured a mouse that stumbled onto the trap would have a tough time escaping. Indeed, similar traps have proved themselves in the past. The mouse gets stuck, and slowly turns to dust. Literally. It's like he just disintegrates. So I figured, "Great. The trap is set. Now I can rest."

A couple of days later, I was going through some things in an area near where I had seen the phantom rodent, and I found a set of headphones I used to use. Earbuds, really, made by Sony. These are absolutely fantastic. I got an iPod a few years ago, and the headphones they came with were awful. Not that they broke easily. It's just that they're built to "fit" into your ear. They're tiny, rigid speakers that I'm supposed to wedge into the area I would stick my fingers if a jet went supersonic right in front of me. And I never could fit that type of headphone into my left ear. One size does not fit all. So I was thrilled when a couple of friends came back from a trip to Japan with two sets of Earbuds. These headphones work just like the ones Apple sends out, with one major exception. The speaker is even smaller, and surrounded by a special cushion that actually goes into your ear, like an earplug. So not only do they fit perfectly, they also help block out extraneous noise. Needless to say, I had to have a pair. After some research, I decided to go with the American version. I think they cost less than the Japanese one, or were in greater supply or something.

So I've got my great earphones. Time comes when I stop using them as much. Eventually I left them on a chair. I kept them open and available, should I ever need them again, as I'm not completely done with them, and don't feel I'll ever be. They are after all fantastic. Well, what did I discover a couple of days after the phantom rodent first registered on my "that's odd" alarm, but that he had apparently chewed through the wire of my Earbuds, severing one of the speakers from the line. He had made three breaches of the wire before his efforts finally paid off and he removed one of the key components. So now I need a new set of Earbuds. And now I'm sure there's a mouse where it doesn't belong. I decided to upgrade my rodent elimination efforts.

Every day I had been checking the trap, and every day it remained empty. So I went and found an old electronic device that was not being used at the moment. This gizmo is basically a small speaker designed to emit a high-pitched noise at regular intervals, the speed of which can be adjusted. I plugged it in, turned it all the way up, and set it in place. That'll show him. But there's still a problem. The mouse was elusive to begin with. My expectation is that the speaker will make him leave. So how do I know if that's happened? I guess I'll never know. But at least I can pretend.

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