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01 June 2017 @ 08:59 pm
Son of a B~~!!!  
I was having a lovely bike ride yesterday—light winds, nice temperature, not too crowded—when *STAB*

Wait, was that a— OWWW! Damn it, that hurts! Ow, my HAND!

My first instinct was to tough out the sting and keep going, but my bike glove had a suspicious bump in it, so I decided I'd better make sure a yellow jacket or wasp wasn't under there, waiting to sting me all over again.

I pulled over (tricky to steer and brake, since that's the part of the hand where it stung me), and slowly peeled back my glove. Stupid yellow jacket! It flew away, all "La-la-la-la-laaaa." Do you know how small the space was between my finger and the part of the bike glove surrounding it? About 3/16ths of an inch! What possessed that pesky creature to sneak in there in the first place?

HalfshellHusband says he has been stung perhaps twice while bicycling. Twice EVER. For me, it's usually 1 to 3 times a year. And today, not quite 24 hours later? Epic itching. :(

In other news, I took the day off from work and was home not doing much of anything... except answering the doorbell. The County Sewer Department is upgrading the lines in the neighborhood, and were working next door. Mostly, it was just really noisy until about noon. Then,

*dingdong* Hi, we're from the sewer department. Can we get into your back yard to open the outtake to the street?
*dingdong* Hi... So, um, it's not going well. Really not. You're going to have to stop using your water for a while. Maybe a couple of hours?
*dingdong* Hi, um... we lost our camera in the sewer line. Can we get into your back yard?
*dingdong* Hi... we, uh, we have to dig up our camera. Through your yard. So, we're going to take the fence apart and try not to kill too many plants. If we're careful, we might be able to replant them.
*dingdong* So, we knocked over a plant in the yard. But its roots were rotten, so it was mostly dead anyway. Want to see?
*dingdong* Uh... we broke a pipe. So, you have no water until we get that fixed.

At some point, you're thinking, "For the love of all that is holy, STOP TOUCHING STUFF!!!

There were about 10 interruptions by 6pm, and right now? They're still in the yard, probably hoping to finish before it gets dark. But given their luck today, I see klieg lights in their future. Criminy.

Direst Ryl: Song Sparrowryl on June 2nd, 2017 11:48 am (UTC)
Good grief! Did they send the Keystone Kounty Workers to your house?

We had a day like that last week with the septic tank. The guy came to pump it and discovered that not only has it probably never been pumped before (ICK), the lid collapsed because it's a home-built job from 60 years ago that is so not up to code it's not funny. Irish Storyteller had a Money Pit moment because the septic system was the one thing that wasn't covered when he had the top-to-bottom home inspection done before he bought this house five years ago. It's required now, but not then. So now we have a big piece of plywood with some dirt on top in the back yard and a danger zone where we can't walk.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on June 2nd, 2017 07:15 pm (UTC)
It was a very unlucky day for them. We wound up turning on the lights in the yard, because they were out there until after 9:30, in the dark, trying to get things in a state where they could finish it off the next day.

Your septic thing actually sounds much worse. Yikes!
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on June 2nd, 2017 12:30 pm (UTC)
Ouch!!! Worst feeling ever!
My kid once got stung by a hornet hiding in a hand puppet at the library of all places!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 2nd, 2017 07:16 pm (UTC)
:( :( How would you even know to look inside a hand puppet that lives indoors? Ugh!!!
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on June 2nd, 2017 09:17 pm (UTC)
For real! Who knew?
bleodsweanbleodswean on June 2nd, 2017 02:09 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's quite a day.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 2nd, 2017 07:17 pm (UTC)
As obnoxious as it all was for us, I felt so much worse for the sewer crew. They got increasingly embarrassed each time they had to ring the doorbell, and the whole thing just kept escalating.

They finally fixed the pipe around 9:30 pm, and we had to turn on the outside lights for them-- which still don't cover that corner of the yard all that well. Poor guys. :(
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on June 2nd, 2017 05:10 pm (UTC)
Eep that sounds like a nightmare!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 2nd, 2017 07:22 pm (UTC)
The hornet thing was a shock, as always, and I was lucky not to steer out in front of the bikes coming the other way.

The sewer thing... that was like Murphy's Law unraveling on an infinite loop. o_O
Peterpeterb on June 2nd, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
Not a horsefly bite? Those are nasty.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on June 3rd, 2017 05:49 am (UTC)
No-- and I'm not sure I've ever even been bitten by a horsefly. They aren't really common in any of the places I've lived.

Yellow jackets, though-- they're everywhere. I guess outside of the US, they're all just called wasps-- though this variety is more of a hornet.

But you would never mistake one for a horsefly, because of the distinctive markings. I never even noticed the "wasp waist" on them before, because I don't like to be near them long enough to get a good look! I supposed our honeybees have that as well, but they're fuzzy around the middle, so the waist isn't really noticeable.
Blazesongblaze on July 23rd, 2017 09:51 am (UTC)
No, bees don't have the wasp waist, it's one of the ways you can tell them apart.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 23rd, 2017 05:06 pm (UTC)
Eeek, you've changed your username!

Here, honeybees all look the same-- orange and black stripes (and the orange is kind of muted), and fuzzy.

The yellow jackets are all the same evil species (here on the West Coast, at least), and the there are a ton of varieties of wasps. Fortunately, less common.

At our house, we have carpenter bees, which are not good (they apparently nest in wood, so they're destroying something somewhere). Large and black and fuzzy, but also pollinators. \o? Never been stung by one of those, but then again... I never get stung except while I'm riding. :(
Blazesongblaze on July 24th, 2017 09:02 am (UTC)
No, I haven't changed my username. I've been Songblaze since I was in high school.

Yes, yellow jackets are bloody evil things. But they are a type of wasp, and they do have a wasp-waist, though theirs is less obvious than some other species.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 24th, 2017 05:59 pm (UTC)
Oops, sorry. I mistook you for uselesstinrelic, who uses the same icon. :)

Yes, I think they're just considered wasps in a lot of parts of Europe. They're also called hornets, and are quite a bit nastier than regular wasps. I've never had much trouble with wasps, apart from accidentally stepping on a nest, which rallied the crowd. :O

But yellow jackets are ill-tempered insects. They seem to want to sting you, often for no apparent reason. They'll follow me around if I'm standing or walking outside, whereas bees move along because there's no pollen to gather. And their venom is SO much fiercer than bee venom. :(
cindy: spn - dean facepalm (by mixedbatch)tsuki_no_bara on June 3rd, 2017 04:05 am (UTC)
i probably shouldn't laugh at the sewer guys, but i did. they really lost their camera in the sewers? and then had to dig up the sewer - and your yard - to get it back? jeebus.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 3rd, 2017 05:52 am (UTC)
It actually was a special camera used for the project. They're putting "sleeves" inside the neighborhood pipes, because they're getting so old. It starts out as a flat, felt line that gets piped through (not sure how-- robotically dragged?). Then they fill it with plastic that binds to the felt, and let it cure. Now there's a new plastic pipe inside the old pipe.

I think the camera is walked through to either check the route ahead, or more likely, verify the pipe after it cures. But in this case, it seems they couldn't get it to go backwards. So... I guess it sounds dumber than it was? Still... that was a day of Epic Fail, many times over!
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on June 16th, 2017 05:15 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, that sewer story was hilarious. Not for you, but definitely for me.

The yellow jacket story did not make me laugh though, just wince. Ouch!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 17th, 2017 06:24 am (UTC)
It's one of the things that you know will seem funny after the fact, but at the time is just... seriously?

On the second doorbell ring, the guy who came the first time had already crossed from cautious unto despondent, and the third time it was a completely different guy. I can just imagine the embarrassment-- "I can't go over there again, you do it." And a succession of new guys every 2-3 visits. :O

Yellow jackets, boy I hate them. Last Friday, I thought I'd gotten one down my shirt, and I pulled over to lift the shirt away from several directions and check the sports' bra. Nada. So I started riding again, and within half a mile I could feel something under the shirt near the back of my neck. For crying out loud! So I stopped and repeated everything with the back of the shirt, and that time it buzzed itself out of there. As if there was no one else in the world to sting, or nothing to do BUT sting. I wasn't sure I'd been stung, since it didn't hurt much, but the epic itching a day later confirmed it.

Why do bees and wasps like me so much? :( :(
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on June 17th, 2017 06:39 am (UTC)
It must be because you are so sweet!