dead mouse, 8 years, and the SOTU

Last week I bought some mousetraps at the dollar store.

Being dollar-store mousetraps, not the well-known Victor traps, they weren't properly set up for a mouse. The triggers were too heavy, if you will; a mouse would not set them off. I found that out after leaving them out the first night. All of the peanut butter had been licked cleanly off yet no trap had sprung.

I knew that I would have to tweak the triggers but decided against doing so immediately. I rebaited the traps and put them back again, with the same result, a couple more times. Then I tweaked one trap's trigger with pliers, until it could just barely hold the bail open without letting go, baited it with peanut butter and returned it to its location in the cellar.

This morning I was greeted by a picture-perfect mouse-in-a-trap. Didn't take an actual picture, not sure why, but the dead SOB had not finished the bait so I tossed him over the bank and reset the trap. I don't know if I had more than one mouse running around down there (I could hear something climbing around at sunset when I tend to go to bed), but more will come.

The mole infestation in the yard was so out-of-control this year that they even dug under and through the foundation, getting into the cellar. After our last heavy rains, the mole holes had delivered some water into the cellar. Mice have been coming in through the mole holes, I suspect, since I have plugged up their other options for entry.

Gotta get a damn cat.

Well, yesterday was my 8 year sobriety anniversary. I didn't do anything special; it was cold and very windy, if sunny, and I spent most of the day indoors, except for tweaking that trap and taking one quick trip down to the store and up to the Parkway (which is finally closed for the season) just before sundown.

You know, when I was an active (very active) drinker, I rarely got ill except from hangovers. Eventually hangovers went away because I never entirely sobered up anymore. But actual illnesses were rare. I used to joke that I was "too toxic for the germs to survive," and half-believed that it was true.

However, it seems that I simply have a good immune system. I still rarely get ill. Strep throat has been going around at work and elsewhere; I had a slight sore throat for a couple of days, with one tiny white spot on a tonsil that never spread and went away after a couple of days. No fever, though I felt feverish when I had the sore throat (the thermometer denied that I was unusually warm).

It's not like I eat well. I've discussed that before. I do take a 50+ multivitamin every day, and I obviously get plenty of exercise. I use a neti pot, especially when I feel a sinus condition coming on, and I haven't needed an antibiotic for a sinus infection since I started using the neti pot (thanks for the tip, Dad). Of course I have the chronic conditions - depression, pancreatitis, and a little arthritis in one joint - but I haven't taken a sick day in the three and a half years that I've had my current job.

On to the SOTU. I will be brief.

Having no television, I listened to the State of the Union address on the radio. That is my preferred way to hear a speech, anyway, without the visual distractions of video. I started doing that under Clinton because I felt I had better comprehension that way, and under Bush I could not stand to see his mug on TV while he talked. So, I made it a rule: the SOTU address comes to me on the radio, only.

(Of course I recalled the Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960, where those who listened on the radio thought that Nixon won, while those who watched the debate on TV thought that Kennedy won.)

This year, President Obama's final SOTU address, was (in my opinion) very good. I cannot think of anything that I disagreed with. I am proud that he has been my President and wish him well in his final year.

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