Saturday, August 3, 2013

No Bees, No Bats, but Fancy Feces Abounds

So, I was just reading the old local rag from Utah when I came across a story for a new kind of "beauty treatment," one gaining popularity.

Or "poopularity," in this case.

That's right, it's a feces facial.  A "fecial," you could say.  And not just ANY feces--this is bird feces.

And not just any ol' bird poop, either--no, no, there's no runs-of-the-mill (get it?  Runs?) house finch or boring pigeon poop here.  No, this is imported Asian Nightingale shit.

Apparently, shallow, bored, over-cashed women in New York City (which rhymes with--well, you know) are FLOCKING (oh, someone stop me!) to Shizuka (Shi-what?) New York Salon to indulge in this disgusting "treatment."  In New Mexico, folks are paying $129 a splatter for this.

Remember when I went nutty on the Civet Cat Shat coffee?  Well, same thing, only bird on the face instead of cat in the belly.

How decadent, how bored, how self-indulgent and desperate to impress does one have to be to drink coffee from beans shat by cats or pay 129 bucks to have bird feces smeared over the face?

Oh, the ennui!

How embarrassing!  Imagine someone saying, "Hey, here's 129 bucks--you can either fund lunches for 65 kids at the local shelter OR you can pay to have someone smear bird shit all over your face." Because, really, that's what this is.  And if that doesn't disgust you, I don't know what will.


Blood sugar is still a mess--really can't afford the bills right now (we're just barely nostrils above water right now, no way a gaggle co-pays can happen right now).  I woke up to 138.  Ate a low-glycemic Builder's Bar and now I'm at 166.  But later in the day I'll be between 80 and 100 for hours.  Some nights I'm going to bed at 105 or less (was 103 last night).  I know, "Dawn Phenomenon."  I haven't been working out at all since early June because of my blown knee.  I may have to bite the bullet and start again, knee be damned.  Because there's a problem here, and I need to get it under control.

A small update on that--it crept up to 199, so I got up and spent ten minutes loading the dishwasher.  It dropped 96 points in ten minutes.  Back up to 115 now.  I have no idea what's going on.  I'd say I need a new monitor, but I have been testing on two different monitors, one brand new, and they agree.  What a freak show my glucose has become lately.


With all of the things I've got to worry about lately, one that's really been howling has been the lack of bees this summer.  Our back yard is an explosion of flowers--from petunias to verbena, lavender to crocosmia, you can't turn around without crashing into something blooming.  Heck, even the grass proper is more clover than grass, with a profusion of puffy white blooms practically crying for bees.

And we have none.

Seriously, none.  I've been looking, I've been searching.  I've seen exactly TWO honeybees this entire summer, and only one was in our yard.  I've only seen two bumble bees.  All told, I've seen a total of three bees (one honey, two bumbles) actually gathering pollen.  

Not weeds between the stones, but thyme.
Cukes on the left, tomatoes on the right.

We've been hearing about failing hives and bees dead by the millions for years, but it really is coming home.  The United States is losing an average of 33% of its honey bees each winter. Colony Collapse Disorder, along with newer pathogens and parasites, are, quite literally, killing off our bees.  I've heard people say things like, "Good, I hate bees!" or "So?  Maybe my daughter won't have to carry her epi-pen anymore!"  

Oh, please, save us from ignorant people!

If you like almonds, cucumbers, tomatoes, macadamia nuts, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, broccoli, peppers, sunflower seeds, tangerines, or any other of a huge number of foods, then you need BEES.  Because without bees, there are no crops. 

Except CORN, of course.  Don't need bees for CORN.  No, I'm not going to go into a "Monsanto kills bees AND grows corn, wonder if there's a connection" rant.  Surprised you, didn't I?

We've been seriously considering hand-pollinating our cukes and tomatoes because--well, because we want more than three or four fruit in a season.

Another thing we need?  BATS.  And we're losing bats so rapidly to White Nose Syndrome (a fungal infection) that we could, realistically, see the total demise of various bat species in just a few more years.  Again, there are people who don't get what the big deal is.  "Who cares, they just carry rabies, they're just flying rats!"

I care.  And so should you.  Bats are the great nighttime pollinators, especially in the southwest and climes farther south.  If you like mangos, guavas, bananas (or any of 300 other tropical-type fruits), you like bats.  In addition to pollinating, bats eat bugs.  Your average bat will eat 600-1000 bugs (many of those mosquitoes) in just one hour.  And with the proliferation of disease-carrying non-native mosquitoes like the Asian Tiger Mosquito (which feeds all day and all night-no more sleepy-in-the-day skeeters), we need all the bug eating we can get.  

So, if you've been thinking that bats are gross and scary and awful, just remember:

These cute guys

Eat these disease-bearing bastards

And that's about all.  I was going to write something about student loan rates, ag-gag laws, and the terror facing gay athletes at the upcoming Russian (Soviet?) Olympics, but tomorrow's anothah day.

Here, have something awful:

Not a fan of pools in the desert (what a waste of water!), but if you're going to have one, keep it CLEAN.  This thing is a breeding ground for mosquitoes!

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