Do you like these stories?
So leave a comment, for cryin' out loud.
Oh, yeah; and buy my book:

Mouse Whisperer

     I love that expression; you don't have to go home, but you Can't Stay Here!
     I told that very thing to an elusive mouse just today, when I found a nest just starting in the ignition housing of my emergency generator, and also now I knew it was about time to replenish the peppermint-oil mouse repellants.
      This machine in question, which is calculated to protect the gizmology lab from flooding in case of the apocalypse, lives outside under a tarp, and is also covered by a little shed roof. Therefore, it is a perfect place for mouse nests: for young mice just starting out in the wild world and learning to find the best places to settle in and start a family of their own. Certainly, my machine has some cozy little cubbyholes inside its electro-mechanical works.
      My problem is, and correspondingly the mouse's problem too, is that despite how smart they are supposed to be, mice really know nothing about machinery. They will be chewing, peeing, and rearranging things in a way that will just not do, in a place like that.

Beez Whacks

    We found it! Yay!  My son and I found the hornet's nest, and we weren't even looking for it!
    All that it cost us was several stings apiece inside our shirts, as we did a lovely jumping dance, leaping and tearing off our shirts and shouting like wild men. Finding the nest was easy: all I had done was open the metal cabinet on my deck to get out the bag of bird seeds, and Bob's your Uncle!
We were suddenly enveloped in a swarm of outraged yellow jackets; just that easy.
    The insects didn't know it, but we were even more outraged than they were, and so I assembled a stinkpot compounded with sulfur, powdered sugar, and saltpeter, and stuffed the mixture into a can with a convenient length of fuse. Then I put on my hazmat suit [flak-jacket] and gloves, and approached the zone of still-alert buzzers flitting about. I lit the fuse and threw the smokebomb into the drawer, shoved it closed and then showed a mighty clean pair of heels, at the quickstep!
    Approaching cautiously a few minutes later, I could see thick yellow smoke seeping out of every crack in the cabinet, and a few very despondent hornets buzzing around trying to figure out the horrible disaster which had struck them. Sorry, but they never should have started with me.


    I got my start as a maker when I was about four years old. I would sit outside by the chicken wire fence, and bend the wires back and forth until they broke, then twist them back together into different patterns. By the time I was five, I had graduated to using pliers, nails, and a hammer. My workshop was in the low crotch of a tree, where I would bang in the nails, and use the pliers to twist the wires around and across them.
    A friend came over one time, and I asked him if he was interested to see my workshop. He said he was, so we climbed the tree and I showed him the various nails sticking here and there, and the twisted pieces of wire connecting them. I had a story and an explanation for each part of the work in progress; for instance, this particular nail was intended to be banged in deeper, but had bent over, so I had been obliged to put in this other nail next to it. My friend listened to my explanations very attentively. After I had shown him everything, I felt grateful: to have such a friend, who took my work as seriously as I did.