Pythagoras and Black Flies

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I’m a fan of the smelly stuff. I’m not into expensive perfume, but I do like to start my days with just a touch of lovely smelling body spray. I’m just anal enough to have a winter scent and a summer scent. I once had a coworker kindly describe this personal quirk of mine as “sophisticated.” I think that “eccentric” and “crazy” are probably more apt descriptions, but nonetheless, when snow starts to melt, I reach for my containers of cherry blossom products. When the autumn nip returns, the cherry blossom stuff gets shelved and the vanilla scented products come out. But what I really, really need to learn to do is to stop reaching for the smelly stuff during the summer.

If you’ve spent any time in northern Minnesota in the spring, you know where I’m going with this. Biting insects are fans of the smelly stuff too. “Mmmm,” the little black flies and mosquitoes think when they smell me coming. “What is that . . . a bit of cherry blossom mixed with . . . what’s that? Ohhh, my favorite: BLOOD!”

The black flies made their spectacular entrance into Summer 2010 this week. As I dig in the garden or shovel around gravel in the backyard, the black flies get all riled up and hungry. Right now I’m itching away behind my ears, one of those lovely little spots (ankles are another great place) where the blood is close to the skin and black flies belly up. I know the black flies pollinate the blueberry plants, but I wish they would take a lesson from their fellow pollinators, the bees, and only take a nice chomp out of me when I’ve actually committed a crime against them.

Since I feel the need to spritz myself with a bit of body spray every single morning (if only I could be so consistent with taking my multivitamin) maybe it’s time to replace the smelly products in the bathroom with a big ol’ basket of bug spray.

It seems smelly stuff + black flies = bug bites is theorem nearly as infallible as a2+b2=c2. We’ve been testing out Pythagoras as of late around here. That’s because Andy’s building a shed in the backyard. So far my job in the project is grunt worker and mathematic consultant. Since I took a class entitled “Logic” to complete my analytical reasoning requisite at college, this is pretty terrifying. But it turned out my distant memory of a2+b2=c2 was pretty useful when it came to setting the shed’s corners. Those diagonals can be really helpful!

That’s good, because it’s pretty much all on Andy to turn this into a shed.

I’m sure he’s up to the challenge. I’m happy to help where I can, but I’ve probably pretty much exhausted all and any assistance I have to offer.

It’s been absolutely gorgeous up here, with highs around 80 for the last three days. Kind of a strange time to finish up a sweater, but there you have it.

I’m still trying to gain my equilibrium with the new job. I’d gotten pretty good at the self-employment gig (well, should probably have been making slightly more money) and now it’s time to figure out what this new challenge I’ve taken on is all about.

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