Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Roundup

     Sunday, I was very slightly involved in a bat rescue.  If I had gotten ready for lunch a little earlier, I would have been in time to be the principal remover of flying mammals; but I was just as happy to leave it to another neighbor.  The little bats sneak into my neighbor's house down the chimney; they may, in fact, be sleeping in there, though sweeps report no sign of long-term residence.  Sneaking in shows very poor judgement on the part of the bats, since she has five cats, who welcome the sudden appearance of a flying-mouse toy, and go chasing merrily through the house.  They have yet to do one harm past exhaustion, and a flung dish towel usually brings the bat down.  My neighbor then puts a bucket over the trapped bat, but she can't bring herself to glove up, slide a sheet of cardboard under the bucket, carry it outside and hang it on a vertical surface.  Fortunately for the bat, others of us will.
This is as plush-furred an animal as you'll find.  But please don't pet it!
      Result, one scared little bat, in as dark and protected a spot as it could find upon release.  It was brownish and not free-tailed, though I didn't look it in the mouth and therefore don't know if it was an Indiana Brown Bat (the state bat has pink lips, which most bats don't).  --Yes, bats can carry rabies.  Most don't and they are small, weak creatures.  Thick gloves and careful handling have done okay so far.  The bat is not all that interested in biting you. It just wants to get back to sleep.
     We are in some danger of running out of bats.  White nose syndrome has been devastating and even waking them during hibernation can be a problem -- bats don't budget for much waking time in the cold months and can starve to death if they stir too often.  In summer, they are Death From Above for many annoying flying insects, so unless you like skeeters, you should be kind to bats.)

     Saturday, I went to the Indiana Historical Radio Society summer meet, and saw several friends.  I came home with an isolation transformer and a variac, both in need of a little attention.
     This was not one of their bigger meets but there was an interesting assortment of items.  I found a copy of a book I had owned and lost, Jeff Taylor's Tools Of The Trade, remarkable essays on hand tools: Taylor is a master carpenter, who writes as well as the best in The New Yorker.  The result is one of the few books that teaches not only about tools and the work one can do with them, but a craftsman's attitude towards their use.  This book made me a better woodworker and entertained me while so doing.*

     From the IHRS to an antique mall in Westfield -- Tam might be amused by the cameras.
     They are nice-looking and most take 120 film.

     I have my doubts about the original-ness of the stencilling on this Sellers cabinet (a Hoosier-type baking center) but it's certainly attractive.

     This pencil case (fully stocked!) was irresistible to me.

     Or would you rather watch a movie?

     On the subject of movies, I watched another Clifton Webb film Sunday, Mr. Scoutmaster, which is very much a piece with Robert A. Heinlein's stories featuring Boy Scouts only without the science-fictional content.  A patriotic comedy with a sentimental, happy ending.  Webb is cast as "Robert Jordan," a married, though childless, TV star; Mr. and Mrs. Jordan remind me a bit of Robert and Virginia Heinlein in the 1950s. (I almost didn't post this, as it could be controversial -- the famously-prissy Webb's private life was subject to speculation, though it is notable that nobody ever wrote a "tell-all." He was nearly married twice. Some straight actors thought he was gay; gay actors and playwrights apparently found him unattainable. His biographer is frankly uncertain. I suspect Clifton Webb was mostly in love with himself, which undoubtedly spared him no end of trouble.  At any rate, the role he plays in the film is a straight arrow indeed.)

     An interesting weekend.
* Yes, I went to the old-radio meet and found a woodworking book.  I bought a Yankee screwdriver and shortwave (all-band, in fact) radio at a gun show; I bought reloading components at a hamfest.  It happens.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Did you ever see "Follow Me, Boys" with Fred MacMurray?

Roberta X said...

I did, though it's been years, and the two movies are generally similar.

homebru said...

You do seem to have a happy talent for finding neat stuff.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone encouraged your neighbor to install a chimney cap? Lowes sells them for about 50 bucks if memory servers.... After I had a dead bird in the fireplace...

Eventually there may be a dead bat. And Indiana Brown Bats are endangered.

D.W. Drang said...

Any weekend filed with neat stuff and little or no un-neat stuff is a good one. Need more of those here.

And I posted some pics of a Hoosier cabinet found in an antique store last year in, um...
Oh, yeah, of course, go for the cheap pun, Drang: Who's (in) Yer cabinet?

Roberta X said...

That's a very complete example, D.W.! Usually all the little stuff and paper is gone.

The Freeholder said...

We've had a couple of incidents of of bats in the house since we moved in. Haven't figured out how the little boogers got in. My methodology for removal has been to get them trapped down to a single room, them open the windows/doors to the outdoors and get them flying. It will take a minute or two, but eventually their echo locators help them find the opening and they beat wings for the outer reaches.

This is all rather difficult to accomplish when accompanied by the screams and shouts of my wife and daughter and the assistance of 6 cats, all of whom want to play with the new toy.