WD-40 and the Wasp

I hate wasps, no I mean I really hate them.  Every time I turn around they are trying to build their nest on our front door.  This image is not the same one, I didn’t think to take a picture because whenever I see a nest I freak out, grab the WD-40 and spray it into the hole then within half an hour I’m knocking it down with whatever I can grab.  It’s like how you freak out when you see a roach then grab a shoe or say, a hammer lol.

It was only a month ago that I had to do this.  A wasp started building a nest on our front door and I spray it with WD-40 then waited about 30 minutes and knocked it down.  I didn’t know it came back and started over, if that is the same wasp, do they even live that long?

The last nest I knocked down shredded because of the WD-40.  It was empty so I didn’t have to worry about anything coming at me.  This time it was full, it wasn’t full of wasps though.  It had maybe 1 wasp inside of it, about 20 spiders and something that looked like larvae, I’m not quite sure.  It looked exactly like this:

They were all dead, probably because of the WD-40.  But I’m wondering why it had all those spiders and larvae inside of its nest.  I don’t know much about the insect world, other than how to kill them but I’ve never heard of this behavior before.  Having spiders in a wasp nest that is.

One of our neighbors a block away tells me every year that there are wasp nests all over her porch and she has to dodge them to water her lawn or do any gardening.  That’s why her garden is such a mess because she can’t go out there to do anything because they keep stinging her.  I told her that she should call someone out to get rid of them or go to the store and buy some wasp spray.  She can’t afford an exterminator and she’s too afraid to try to spray them or knock their nest down because she’s afraid she’ll get stung so she lives in fear of her own garden and porch.

We don’t have a large porch that you can sit down on, or a garden, all we have is our front door.  I have to be able to walk in and out of the house without being stung so I had to act quick before it got any bigger.

I read on eHow Home that if you spray the area that the nest was the wasp will not return to that spot so I sprayed the heck out of that spot and around it and even on the other side just in case.  You can’t be too careful right?

If I never see another wasp I will be a very happy person but I have a feeling that the war has begun lol.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t over and it will be back for revenge.  That is if it didn’t die from the WD-40 that I sprayed on it while it flew away from me.

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Goodbye Borders

I have some very sad news about Borders.  It looks as though they are closing their doors forever.  I got an email from them several months ago – Borders Sad Chapter 11 News – which also had a letter in my inbox saying they are closing some stores but not all of them.  Well, things didn’t work out too well for them and now they are closing their doors forever.  Read the letter that I got from them last night by clicking the smaller image.

This is sad news for readers everywhere who have enjoyed visiting Borders over the last 40 years that they have been open.  They are closing their doors because they couldn’t convince any company to help them stay afloat.  I guess everyone has given up on them.

It’s sad though that people have basically abandoned their local book store to buy e-books from the comfort of their home.  But this is the casualty of electronic evolution.  Although not everyone can afford to buy an e-book reader so there are people who still buy books.  Borders doesn’t just sell books though, they sell magazines and toys and cd’s and movies etc.

Today is the first day of the sale so if you still have a Borders near you, go there quickly because they close their doors on July 29th.  You have exactly 1 week from today.  They have a 40% off sale at Borders locations, unfortunately as you can see from the image below that the sale is only in stores and not on their website.

It’s sad that they are closing and I hope that there is a chance that they will still keep a few stores open to keep the Borders name alive.  Who knows for sure until the end of this month when we find out their final fate.

I don’t want to give my final goodbye just yet because anything can happen in a week…

New CR-48 Discovery – VGA-Out

I’m not quite sure when they fixed the VGA-Out but my CR-48 is now able to hook up to my television.  This is very cool because I’ve been wanting to get it hooked up for a long time so I can watch Hulu on my TV.

There is one little issue though.  When I plug the VGA cable into the chromebook, the screen stretches.  It basically goes from a widescreen, I’m not quite sure what the exact resolution is, to 1024×768 which is a 4:3 screen.  So if you have a widescreen 16:9 HDTV like I do, you will have to set it to 4:3.

When you watch a video on Hulu on your TV with the CR-48 or I assume any chromebook, you will notice that when you click the full screen button, which sits next to the volume button, your screen won’t look the same as it does when you watch it on your netbook.  Instead, it will cut off the right side of the video and you will see a small video on your screens.  Not exactly the effect I was hoping for.  To fix this you can click the pop out button on the right side of the video instead of the full screen.  You will see a small 320×240 box pop out on the bottom right of your screen.  Just resize it so it covers the entire screen.  It’s not the ideal situation but I’ll take what I can get until they fix the issue, if they ever do.

You can watch YouTube videos with better results.  Just go to YouTube, browse the videos until you find the one you want to watch and go into full screen.  Your video will be normal, however since you are still in 4:3 mode on your HDTV it will be as if you are watching a program that is in letterbox mode.  No problem if the YouTube video isn’t in widescreen format.

Those are the only 2 websites that I have checked so I’m not quite sure how it will be for every website, or every HDTV for that matter.  I highly doubt that a 4:3 TV would even have a PC-In so if you don’t have an HDTV then this most likely won’t apply to you.  But I’m not positive.  If you have a 4:3 flat screen then it might have a PC-In.  If that is the case then no problem.

The reason I want to watch web videos on my TV is for the simple fact that sometimes a video that I am watching doesn’t have a high enough volume for me to hear it and the best way to get around that is to use the tv’s speakers.  Also, I get to see it bigger when it’s on my tv rather than my little 12″ netbook screen.  I’m sure anyone can appreciate that.

I don’t know why it took me this long to check to make sure that it worked but I’m glad I finally did.  Now if Netflix would just get their service working on the Google Chrome OS, I will be set.

My Faster Bike Rides and New Goals

I was riding my bicycle this morning and was paying close attention to my average speed.  Lately it has been 11.5 mph give or take.  Today it was 12.5 mph.  That meant that I got home 30 minutes earlier than I usually do.  Riding faster doesn’t just mean that I will exercise faster, it also means I will burn more calories every time I ride.

I have these index cards which I used to use to keep track of my bike riding.  I would write it out so I had a hard copy because digital seems to get deleted a lot.  I first started writing it down on November 3rd 2008.  My average speed was 10 mph and I only rode for 38 minutes burning 345 calories.  Gradually over time I can see that my speed goes up to 10.7, 10.9, 11.1 etc.

My last entry was when I hurt my shoulder and I stopped riding, that was July 20th 2009.  My average speed was 14.0 mph.  That of course was doing 23 miles in 1 hour and 38 minutes.  Of course I was probably gone from the house for 2 hours with breaks but I don’t seem to recall.  I also see that I started riding in October 2009, I only got 3 bike rides logged then stopped, my shoulder was still in a lot of pain but I wanted to get exercise.  Then my shoulder got better and I started riding again and had 2 entries in July 2010 for 23 miles each but the next day after my 2nd bike ride my back wheel broke and the log entries end right there.  Of course I wasn’t used to riding anymore so my average speed was only 11.9 and 11.0.

I will add all of those old logs to my Bike page soon.

Today my average speed was 12.5 mph which has gone up from 11.2 since July 6th, 2 weeks ago when I started logging my cycling times again.  I had been riding since early June but couldn’t get my bicycle computer to work since I put the tire on backwards which meant the magnet was on the wrong side.  Oopsie.

I think that I am progressing very well and I’m sure that it won’t be too far off when I’m going 14 mph again, or even 15 mph.  The riding times will get shorter even though I will still be doing the same 23 mile route.  If that becomes the case then I will step it up and continue on to Hart Park.  That will add 10 miles to my route, 5 miles each way.  I have mapped it out:

That start point (A) is my halfway point where I stop riding and rest for a few minutes so this still might be a resting point before I continue on to Hart Park.  Once I get used to the ride then I will probably just continue on until I get to Hart Park and rest there.

Of course I’m probably talking many months before I’m in enough shape to do it but I will eventually do it.  When my average speed gets up to 15 or 16 mph then I will definitely do it.  In fact, I was ready to start doing it just before I had to stop riding because of my shoulder in July 2009.  I made a video and put it on YouTube that showed my bike ride from where I get on the bike path over on Truxton all the way to Manor St. and made a sequel from Manor all the way to China Grade Loop.  I wanted to do a 3rd video from China Grade Loop to Hart Park but… my shoulder and all.  So that never happened.

My goal now is to continue as I am now (training) until I am not in as much pain from the bike ride so that I may ride to Hart Park.  The day that I plan on that is the day I will bring my video camera with me to film it.  I know it’s boring to most people but it is an achievement to me and I’m sure to others.

I can’t wait to see how many calories I will burn from riding 33 miles every day.  The fat will just melt off, I hope lol.

My So-Called “Fake” Blog from Reviewme

I have been using 3 specific websites to get paid to blog with over the last couple of years and have made quite a bit of penny from it.  I’ve been broke lately and haven’t gotten as many paid blog offers as I used to so I thought I would go searching for some more websites to sign up with to make more money.  Times are tough and you do what you have to do right?

So I found this website on the Google search engine – 26 Sites That Pay You to Blog

I am looking at the list and thinking, wow, I had no idea about any of these sites.  So I start with number 1 and sign up, number 2 and number 3.  It gets boring having to fill out so many forms so I figure 3 is enough for today.  I’ll see what happens with these 3 for now and if I don’t get as many offers as I had hoped for then I will sign up for more later.

One of the sites that I signed up for called Reviewme sends me a rejection email.  I’m ok with a rejection email as long as it’s a legitimate reason for rejecting me.  These are their reasons for rejection:

– The website is a suspected fake.
– The website does not have enough link popularity.
– The website does not have enough traffic.

Fake?  Seriously?  I can see the link popularity or the traffic issue but fake?  Do they seriously think that I would create a fake website to sign up for theirs?  Really?

I bought this domain name sometime in 2002, the name Xanapus is based on a character that I played in the MMORPG game “EverQuest”.  It was a very odd name which is what attracted me to it.  I liked it and I’ve been using it all over the internet ever since to sign up for websites.  I didn’t start blogging with it until around 2007.  I have spent many hours every day over the last 9 years on this website and 4 years on this blog and to have them tell me it’s a suspected fake is just insulting.

I emailed them telling them this:

“You think my website is a fake?  I have had this website since I believe 2002.  It is my own personal website.  I started blogging in 2007.  I have spent many hours of my life every day over the last 5 years on my blog and to have it called a fake is an insult to me personally.  Thank you, I now have a new blog post to write about.”

I was so mad that I forgot that it had only been 4 years since I’ve been blogging but whatever.  This is their response to me:

“When reading the below e-mail, it states these are the most popular reasons for rejection, not the reason/s it was rejected.  I would suspect the traffic was lacking and that is why it was rejected.”

Whatever reviewme.com, screw you! There are 25 more websites in that list that I can sign up with to make money to feed my family with.  Yes, 2 dudes and a dog is a family to me.

Our Trip to San Diego

We went to San Diego this weekend to celebrate Chips brothers 50 year anniversary with his wife.  We left Bakersfield on Friday before lunch time, got gas, got food, then got more gas from the food then drove down to San Diego.

Because the I-405 was closed all weekend, the I-5 was congested more than usual.  It’s normally always congested due to LA traffic but it was even more so this time so it took us about 7 hours to get there.

The night we arrived there was nothing to do but talk and reconnect with who was there for a couple of hours before everyone went to bed.  We all got up at 6am and had breakfast before setting everything up for the party.

Since they live on 1 acre of land there was a lot of work to do.  There was setting up tables on the front lawn and setting the tables with the champagne glasses (for Martinelli’s hehe) and the plastic silverware that actually looked silver but felt plastic.  I had all the plates on the table put down before being told it was buffet style, everyone had to grab their plate at the food table.  Oopsie.  No big deal getting the plates stacked up again.

There were candle centerpieces which weren’t really lit up since the sun didn’t go down until after the dinner was all eaten.  There were Chinese lanterns with battery-powered lights in them.  There were 3 large Styrofoam boards with pictures stapled to them which were all screwed to the garage door.  The buffet table had tons of great food to eat.  It was a great party.

They have this block of cement on the side of the house that is meant for a flat even surface for like a picnic table for summer BBQ’s but it’s big enough to use as a dance floor so they rented a wooden floor to put on top of it.  It was really cool and the couple had their first dance on it, actually they shared 2 dances before anyone else came to dance on it.  At first there weren’t anyone on it but eventually there were many people on it.

I don’t dance.  Plain and simple.  In order for me to dance I must have 1 thing, Rhythm, which I don’t have.  I was being dragged to the dance floor and was like whoa, hey no I uh, I don’t think so.  Of course that made her a tad upset and disgusted with me but whatever.  I don’t dance, especially with girls lol.

I sat on the bench near the dance floor watching and people were telling me to come dance and I had to decline.  No means no people!  I did eventually do the cabbage patch in my seat which is about the best I can do.  I’m not a complete fuddy duddy.

The party was very fun and even though I was a bit antisocial because I didn’t really know 85% of the people there I still had a good time.

The cake that you see in the image above was made by one of the family members who is a baker.  She used fondant which I have never actually had before.  I’ve seen them using it on all of those cake shows on tv but I’ve never actually tasted it before.  My first thought was, boy this stuff is hard.  It was very difficult for the person who was cutting the cake to cut it because of how hard the fondant was.  I mean she was having a heck of a time.  I think she needed a serrated edged knife like a steak knife to cut it.

I did like the fondant though, it wasn’t too sweet, although Darrin would disagree with me on that one because he said it was too sweet, then again everything is too sweet for him.  The cake was good too, I don’t know what was inside of it but it had a texture of like pudding in the middle.

I got lots of pictures and I got a few things on video which were very dark since there wasn’t a lot of lighting out there so I’ll have to fix all that in editing on my desktop.  I would like to get other people’s pictures and make it into a slide show with some music and add the videos into the slide show then put it on a DVD and send it to them.  They can add that to their photo album.

I’m glad we went there to share their happy day with them.  I applaud people who have shared 50 long years together.  It’s very rare to find a couple who can last more than a few years, let alone 50.  So that’s pretty cool.

We were given an alternate route to go home which was a really good route too.  We didn’t have to stop once.  I mean, besides stopping at the gas station and jack in the box for lunch.  The traffic wasn’t at a stand still which is what it usually is on the I-5.  We got home 1 hour earlier than we would have if we had gone the way we came.  I’ll definitely have to keep those directions for future visits.

Edit: I don’t know why I said “40” in the first paragraph, it was their 50 year anniversary.

Google Plus

Do we have enough social networking websites or are there not enough?  It all started with MySpace, not everyone was on board with it at first but people started flocking to it when they found out how cool it was.  Then Facebook came along and proved that it was better and it literally killed MySpace which people stopped using.

Google Plus is one of the newest social networking websites and it doesn’t seem like anyone really wants to give it a chance because they don’t really want to leave Facebook.  I think they think that they can only do one social network and that’s it but that’s simply not true.  You don’t have to limit yourself to one.  Heck, I should know because I’m using Twitter and Facebook every day and now I have added Google Plus.

What I like about Google Plus is the circles feature.  You can put certain people in your circles and when have friends and family who have such different interests as I do, you need to segregate them into those groups when you post the crap that I do.

Some of my friends and family love my sick sense of humor, while others think I’m disturbed and have even threatened to block me so they don’t see the things that I post.  I also don’t want everyone to see my posts from my blog which is why I have created a Facebook fan page and only invited those whom I want to read my blog to like the fan page so the others don’t see it.  With circles you can post whatever you want and you can choose which circles get to see it and which circles can’t.  That is what I’ve been looking for.

There is another feature which I absolutely love.  You can start a hangout, which is a cool new webcam tool, and invite people to join you.  It’s not just a video conference tool for 1 on 1, it’s a group video conference so you can invite as many people as you want.  I’m sure there is a limit, I don’t know what it is though.

When you are in a hangout, it adds a post on your wall saying that you are hanging out with 1 or 2 people or whatever the number is.  There is a button that says “join this hangout” so other people can join without inviting them.  I’m pretty sure that the only people in the circle you invited when you started the hangout can see that invitation though.

What’s great about the hangout is that when someone starts talking, the video focuses on them.  When someone else starts talking, it automatically switches to that person.  If you click someones video then you can’t get out of that auto switching for some reason and you have to leave the hangout and come back to allow the auto switching to continue.  Also, sometimes someones video will freeze and the only way for that to fix is for that person to exit and come back.  Other than those 2 issues it’s perfect.

I love the hangouts because I think that will be a great way to have a family reunion with family members you haven’t seen in a long time.  Or you can have your book club join via hangout.  Or maybe you just want to chat with a bunch of people.  Whatever the reason is, it’s a very cool tool.

I think that Google Plus will eventually catch on.  It doesn’t have games like Facebook does but given time I’m sure it will eventually.  I don’t care about games as much as I care about connecting with people.  At least that’s how I use social networking websites anyway.

I personally hope that it catches on because I really like the circles and hangout feature.  I’ve been telling people about it but so far I only have a few friends.  Hopefully they will come over and allow me to segregate them in my wall posts (LOL) and hang out with me in a group video chat.

Join me in Google+  If you can’t get in, ask me for an invitation via Twitter @xanapus.