Not a Good Way to Start a Day…

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June 2, 2006 at 9:34 am

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I just spent the past hour and a half eradicting a large potted planter of an infestation of . Oh my WORD, that is the most horrific stench I have ever encountered in my life!

And the sound of all the larvae bodies wriggling in the wet, rotting soil and roots… Ugh!

Thank goodness I didn’t eat breakfast or have my caffeine yet when I began this task (which I thought just involved moving a very large aloe vera plant into a new pot because it was behaving, and smelling, like its root ball was rotting.)

Stupid, stupid Shannon. That stench would never be generated without filthy, disgusting, horrific insect larvae involved.

On top of the stench and stomach-turning nature of the whole ordeal is the fact that to kill all the larvae, I had to kill the aloe vera plant too — the quickest way to kill the maggots, after I ran out of salt, was (thanks to Google), to boil pot after pot of water and pour it on the plant, root ball, pot and soil.

Thankfully, the potted aloe vera plant was somewhere I could freely dump boiling water, otherwise I’d have had to sacrifice part of my lawn or garden bed, as well.

The stench, I tell you… I took a long, scalding hot shower as soon as I got the mess cleaned up enough that I don’t think my neighbors will assume I have a dead body in my garage, and I can STILL smell that stench.

I don’t know what gases maggots give off (methane?) but that stuff is wretched. And it didn’t help that each time I poured the boiling water on the mess/mass, it shot the scent right through my skull.

If that’s what a medical examiner has to deal with, you couldn’t pay me enough to knowingly put myself in that sensory environment ever again.

How’d the maggots get there? Apparently, house flies primarily procreate in garbage cans and garbage piles, which my aloe vera pot on the front porch most certainly isn’t.

I guess my fatal mistake was in moving the aloe vera to a larger pot a month ago, one that seems to have held more water than it allowed to drain, creating a perfect breeding ground for the little nasty bastards.

I’m afraid to go out on my front porch now, even after all the cleanup I did.

It smelled so bad, let me tell you what I did — salt (no help with the stench, and just makes the live ones wriggle faster/louder — ick!!); boiling water (LOTS of it; and I won’t mention the small fire I started in one of my stove top burners!); glass cleaner with ammonia (Hint: Ammonia and natural decomposition stench = BAD COMBINATION!); Bleach (yes, bleach; I figured “What smells stronger than this stench? Gasoline? Fire hazard… don’t want to pour gasoline all over my front porch and garage entry!) The bleach bubbled and fizzed and I monitored it from upwind (ugh!) to be sure I hadn’t just made a serious Chemistry 101 error (fire! boom!) It dried into this somewhat less toxic foamy cap over the remnants of the soil and maggots I couldn’t shovel into a lidded trash can (more NASTY SHIT!) and that’s what I’m left with. I sprinkled carpenter and fire ant bait on top of it, since the tree near our porch area is infested with carpenter ants. Yeah, like any ant in its right mind is going to go within 10 yards of that area anytime soon!

Sigh.

And it started out as SUCH a good day. Northwest Airlines called and left a message at 2:35 this morning informing Justin that his 7 AM flight was delayed until 10:45 AM due to “crew rest” (WTF?), meaning he’d miss his connecting flight and be late to his destination. So, we both got up and stayed up since it was time to head to the airport pretty much as soon as he’d worked out a new flight schedule with the airline. At least he got out on time, albeit with an extra flight and layover thanks to the numbskulls at Northwest Airlines.

I headed home and, en route, washed my car before sunrise at the carwash 1/4 mile from our house. I don’t usually use do it yourself car washes after dark — just a precaution as a female.

I pull in to the slot nearest the only other person at the car wash, figuring at least that way I’m not startled by anyone. I note the SUV I’ve parked next to is dry and the driver’s inside, but I figure he just arrived before me and is hunting for change/credit card.

I start washing my hybrid.

I get through a quick high pressure rinse and soap my vehicle, and he still hasn’t started his car wash.

Odd. I smell cigarette smoke and decide this is going to be a speedy car wash — it doesn’t need to be spotless anyway, since I’ll be clay bar and waxing it at home later. I kept the high pressure sprayer on full blast the whole time and hopped into my car, leaving the non-car wash guy to whatever his business was. I thought I’d been paranoid, but after the way the rest of the morning went, I’m thinking it was a good call!

When I got home, I sent some emails and decided after sunrise would be a perfect time to start clay bar application and then waxing my hybrid. As I pulled the hybrid back out of the garage, I smelled the nasty aloe vera plant and figured, “What the hell — get this thing into a proper sized pot with fresh soil and the roots should recover; afterall, the plant doesn’t look too sickly yet.” One whack of a hammer on the already cracking planter told the tale — NASTY SHIT, I tell you!

And thus my day began.

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Archives from One Year Ago —

5 Comments

June 2, 2006

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So, this has nothing to do with this post, and it was a great read. But I thought maybe you and Justin could get one of these next.

‘The company hopes to eventually have the vehicle classified so that it can be piloted with a light sport aircraft license.’

‘Terrafugia is aiming to build a vehicle that will fly at 120 miles per hour and get 30 miles a gallon in the air. (It will also get 40 miles per gallon on the freeway and 30 in the city).’

It will be interesting to see what happens with this.

June 2, 2006

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That is too awesome! An aircraft-car hybrid that gets good fuel economy on the ground and in the air.

Incidentally, Justin will be at

(largest airshow in N. America, if not the world), when it begins in late July.

I wonder if he’ll catch a glimpse of that beast? We’ve seen some really amazing stuff at various air shows and fly-ins.

SOME-day, I’ll get around to posting the cornucopia of aviation and aerial photography we have… yet another project undone.

That “ license is awesome, btw. It allows people to fly who might not otherwise be able to afford the training or aircraft rental, or who cannot qualify for the stringent medical requirements of a full pilot’s license (all you need’s a driver’s license and reasonable health, not a biannual flight readiness physical like Justin’s license requires.)

There are restrictions on the size, weight and speed of the aircraft that can be flown with such a license, as well as the number of passengers (1 only), and flights can only be during daytime visual flight rules (clear skies). It opens up aviation to a lot more people.

Thanks for the find, JR — totally more interesting than maggots, and a helluva lot more useful!

June 3, 2006

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P.S. I discovered that Pine-Sol does wonders on the stench… if you don’t my your front porch smelling like you’ve gone nuts and decided it needed a good mopping!

June 9, 2006

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WTB photos of maggot infestation, PST.

June 10, 2006

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LFM for maggot infestation. Have healer, need tank and lock!

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