Ok, I guess that if this is the regular case, that there will just be ‘every month or so’ updates here.
Anyway, alot has happened. Let’s see, I went to Pennsic, and it wasn’t the best Pennsic ever. First of all, I totalled my truck on the way to Pennsic. Had trouble therefore getting everything to Pennsic, and dealing with the fact that I was SUPPOSED to be there the first Friday/Saturday because I am a land grab agent.
Luckily that worked out; however, I had to spend part of Pennsic dealing with insurance agents by Cell Phone. Also had to deal with a whole BUNCH of archery politics, and a misunderstanding that sent me making 3 complete trips around Pennsic, on already bad feet, and killed me. I spent the next few days with my feet taped, wearing multiple layers of socks, and in fluffy slippers.
Ended up going home a few days early, which we never do. Next year … next year will be better.
Anyway, got home, bought a new truck (Dodge Ram), and that worked out nicely with the amazing deals that they have now with the Employee pricing.
Then proceeded a few days later to get run off the road while driving to work in the Lincoln … then had to deal with the insurance company not wanting to pay, because it was the other guys fault, but he drove off. sigh*. That is all sorted out though, and tomorrow I get a loaner car to last me the 13 (yes I said 13) days that my car will be in the shop for repairs.
Last night, was interesting as well, as I got a phone call on my way home with my wife telling me that there was a huge snake in the house. She had locked it in the basement. When I got home I equipped myself with leather gloves, a wooden stick and a pair of grill tongs, and we proceeded to try to find it. We didn’t want to kill the snake, Heather knew from seeing it that it was a harmless black snake, but she did NOT want it in the house.
We couldn’t. However we found it’s molted skin … and yes, we could tell it was big. Well we tore the basement apart, and couldn’t find the guy. Heather had to go put Ramsey to bed, and I logged on to start reading up on how to catch/find a snake in your house.
Interestingly enough, there is a ‘good way’, which is to buy a whole bunch of those ‘mouse stick paper traps’, and cover a 2’x2′ board with them. Then set the out overnight and the snake will get caught on it. You can then pour vegetable oil on it and it will dissolve the glue and let him free.
The main things I kept reading about though, were:
A) If you found the skin, chances are that the snake just came in to molt, given they are vulnerable at that time, and then left again afterwards.
B) That while catchin ‘small snakes’ yourself is ok, that under no circumstances should you attempt to play Crocodile Dundee, and catch a large snake by yourself, even a ‘harmless’ black snake. As, you see, they can strike from 1/2 their body length away, and even though they aren’t venonous, they have long fangs that can cause deep damage, and will most likely have nasty bacteria that will get the bite very infected. So do NOT do it.
Well, Heather came downstairs after getting Ramsey asleep, and I told her what I had found out, and was ready to head to Lowe’s for mouse paper. She said that she was ok, and that yes, the snake probably left, and we should just put the basement back together.
I convinced her that we would both feel better, if we finished tearing the basement apart. There were a few corners we had not dug behind/into because they were so full of storage boxes. And we had not opened any boxes.
I said, if we spend another hour and search EVERYTHING, then we can feel safe he left. Well, just a few minutes into searching, we found him. Under the washer.
When I moved it he stuck his head out. I grabbed my tools and tried to pin him down with the wooden rod, so I could grab him with the tongs. Well, trying to pin him down wasn’t working … he kept wrigging out from under it because he was QUITE strong, and I soon realized, as the rest of him came out from under the washer, that he was 5 foot long, and a good 1.5″ diameter thick in the middle. This was a big snake.
Worse, he was starting to get mad, and was about to run into a different corner, where we would NOT be able to get to him. I had to make a split second decision, and having just read all those websites, I decided that I couldn’t try to capture him, and do it safely, without getting hurt, quickly enough. I had to decide to kill him, even though I (and even Heather), really really didn’t want to.
So I called to Heather to grab me the spear from the workshop (ok, nice thing about being a Medieval Reinactor … having a spear handy), and I stabbed him quickly so that there wouldn’t be much pain.
We wrapped him up and took him out into the farmers corn field next door to leave him, where hopefully at least he can do some good by feeding the carrion birds.
Sorry Mr. Snake … We didn’t want to do it, but you didn’t leave us much choice.
Mr. Black Snake … R.I.P. 9/14/2005