Friday, May 6, 2011

What, There's More?

Yah.  Who knew?  From the truly important to the utterly trivial.

1.  Gramma Grasshopper is recovering nicely from her lumpectomy yesterday.  (Happy Cinco de Mayo!)  That's the good news.  The bad news is that the first lymph node showed cancer, so they took "a cluster".  We're waiting to hear if the margins were clear.

2.  Read for pizza!  Yah.  The legends are true ;D  Pizza Hut's Book It program will reward your kids for reading.  And now homeschoolers can win too!  The program is for Kindergarten through 6th grade, and runs for six months - October through March, but you have to register by the end of June.  You, the parent/teacher/supreme-commander, get to set the standards, whether it's minutes per day, books per month, or whatever you want.  They provide certificates for a personal pan pizza, per month, per student.  How cool is that?  Information and enrollment HERE

3.  A better mousetrap.  My hilarious bloggy buddy Jena recently mentioned a little problem in her basement.  She'd like to borrow a cat named Nimrod, (a la Genesis 10:9) but that might prove difficult, so I'm offering this alternate solution.  A better mousetrap.  I learned to make these at a ski area where I worked back in the day, and I can vouch for their success.  So, for your general edification, have at it.

You will need: 
  • an empty bucket - about five-gallon size
  • a wire - an old coat hanger is perfect
  • an empty pop or beer can
  • a piece of wood or a yardstick

First, make two holes, directly across from each other, near the top of the bucket.  If it had a handle, you can probably use the handle holes.

Second, punch a little hole in the bottom of the can.

Third, straighten out the wire and thread it through the can.  The can should be able to rotate easily on the wire, sort of like the TP does on the holder in your bathroom.  (It doesn't have to spin that easily, but it shouldn't stick.)  Come to think of it, the cardboard core from your TP would work fine too.  Because this is a high tech and very class-eeee mousetrap.

Fourth, put the two ends of the wire through the holes in the bucket, so the can is suspended over the bucket.

Fifth, put about three inches of water in the bottom of the bucket so little rodents that fall in will drown, instead of climbing or jumping out.  Besides, we don't want them squeaking and warning all their little friends.

Sixth, smear something tempting onto the can.  Peanut butter and jam works great.  Much better than cheese.  Keep it near the middle of the can where it's harder to get.

Last, lean something like a yardstick or a board against the side of the bucket for the mice to climb.

Confusing?  Here's a picture.

Clearly I was not an art major.  And ignore the bit about Coconut.  That was for friends trying to retrieve a lost pet.  Alive.

Make sense?  Good.  Then you're set.  Leave it out over night.  Works great. 

The idea is, the mouse smells something wonderful and is smart enough to get up the side of the bucket, where he sees the object of his desire.  NOT being smart enough to master physics, he does not realize that the can is not particularly stable.  He inches out the wire or jumps for the can, which spins, and drops him into the bucket.


And guess what?  You don't have to reset it!

Well, you'll want to empty out the dead mice, and replace the gooey can from time to time.  But there ya go.  As the boys say, There is no charge for awesomeness.


Ritsumei said...

I have friends who did that in the garage. I think they were reducing the squirrel population. They called it "The Bucket of Death."

Que Grr: "I'm gonna sing the Doom Song now!"

Felicity said...

My sons want to try this. We have a rat problem in our laundry (and most of the back yard...) and they've been using old-fashioned traps which can be a bit gross....

leah said...

You are a woman of many talents - that is genius in engineering! Simple, cheap, and VERY effective. We might have to try that in our attic. Unless, of course, our "mice" turn out to be bats.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Ewwww, rats! You might want a bigger bucket. Rats can swim for quite a while! Hope you get them :D

Mrs. Squirrel said...

Quite an ingenious contraption... and no slapped fingers if it “goes off” prematurely!

I use gloves when setting the old-fashioned traps, but they still go off sometimes and make me jump. I hate setting them! Your mouse-trap would not be difficult to load and unload... HUGE advantage!

Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Squirrel said...

Oops! I forgot to add a note that I'll keep praying for good results for your Mom!


melanie said...

What an awesome trap =)

(eewww, Felicity - we had rats in a previous home :p Happy hunting!)

fyi, our Pizza Hut let my kids get the BUFFET instead of just a leetle personal pizza. I'm surprised they're still in business ;-)