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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Round... 4?!

I have a friend who's convinced that my life, as well as his, is actually a sit-com. Not a good sit-com, either, but one of those bad, predictable ones with lousy dialogue and recycled plots.

We talk about it every now and then; it's become something of a Truman-esque running joke. Sometimes, though, something will happen that makes me wonder... Life imitating cheap art?

The reason I say this is that, at one point last night while I was battling Cao Cao for control over central China, I heard something moving around in my room. So I guess I had more than a single mouse after all.

This baffles me. See, a home can have one mouse. Or it can have dozens. There's no middle ground. Yet, if there were dozens of mice in my bedroom, I should have seen more signs of them than I have.

Regardless of bafflement, I have at least one more mouse to catch, so I guess declaring victory was premature. And I get sucker-punched by yet another recycled sit-com plot.

(This mouse, incidentally, is going to be much harder to catch than the last, because he/she is much quieter than Li'l Bastard.)

In other news, my boycott of Coke products is nearing the end of its second week. This has been a very difficult thing for me to do; a Wal-Mart boycott is easy enough, because it's not like they sell anything you can't get somewhere else for a buck more. Coke, though? I really, really like Coke, and it's helped me survive many an exam.

Why have I been boycotting Coke, you ask? Well, it seems that, although I only heard about it recently, Coca-Cola has been using Colombian death squads to keep union workers in line for some time now. Even the BBC picked up on this story a few years back.

Coke's defence is that they don't run the plants in question directly, but their business partners do. I'm afraid that isn't good enough for me. Just as I feel a person is at least partially responsible for the conditions of workers in sweat shops who are being terrorized and exploited to provide the $20 sneakers that person wears, I also feel that Coke shares responsibility for death squads who carry out murder and terror campaigns to serve their bottom line... Just like I would share that responsibility, myself, were I to buy coke products knowing the kind of business practices they endorse by their hand-waving excuses and inaction.

Some of my friends, whom I shall deign not to name, find my particular code of morality hard to understand. I know that most of them think my boycott of Wal-Mart is kind of silly, though I've been pretty clear about my reasoning behind that in a previous post... But death squads? It's not like this requires a very highly developed moral code to find death squads abhorrent and to decide to actually put one's dollar where one's mouth is. I'm not going to judge a person (at least, not consciously) for not feeling about matters like this the same way I do, but even then I'd hope that my position and my reasoning is clear nevertheless.

Anyway, I'm tired and getting grumpy. I need some no-name caffeinated beverage to wake me up in preparation for the first-playtest of a home-brewed Supers RPG tonight. Ciao for now.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 3:15 PM


Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Okay... So given the huge snowstorm, I wasn't able to make it to Fredericton for my rumoured High School reunion. Which may be a mixed blessing. I got about half-way to the rental place, fighting snow-drifts while wind whipped the stuff around me so strong I was having trouble both seeing and breathing, when I decided to give up and just cancel.

Came home, figured that if I wasn't doing anything tonight, I might as well try to catch some extra Z's. Around 4 in the afternoon, I was lying half-asleep when I felt something move across the bed on top of the covers, stopping just on top of my foot. I think, "...the hell?!?" Inclining my head, through blurred, groggy vision I see the little mouse standing there. He zips off in a flash as soon as I make any move toward him.


He was screwing with me. Purposefully, deliberately screwing with me. Damn mousie's got balls.

Anyway, I get up, do a bit of cursory research on the effects multiple moons would have on the ocean tides and tectonic plate movements (nothing elaborate, just stuff put in layman's terms), and read my usual news sites. Did a bit of writing after that. Typical lazy day, really.

Then suddenly I hear this movement in my wastebasket... I recalled I just minutes ago threw out an empty-save-for-the-crumbs bag of french onion Sun Chips, and it *sounded* like the noise was coming from INSIDE THE BAG! *gasp*

Picking the bag up, I glimpse inside to see a little furry thing rummaging around in there. Before he has time to leap out, I close the top of the bag. With one hand free, I set up one of the spare rat cages (the one that would actually be able to hold a mouse) with food and water, and then I dump mousie into the cage, shutting the door a fraction of a moment later. Victory!

Turns out that he has actually been a she all along, which makes it pretty miraculous that I don't have a mouse infestation considering how long she's been living in my bedroom closet. At first she freaked out inside the cage, leaping and zipping to and fro in an effort to find an escape. Now she's calmed down and is partaking of the offered food.

I think I'm gonna name her Li'l Bastard.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:14 AM


Friday, December 24, 2004

And The Battle Goes On

I have no idea what happened to the mouse. He hasn't been caught, and I never catch glimpses of him anymore, but I can still hear him at night... Chewing things and generally making enough noise to keep me awake. Drat and curses.

In other news, I've made the decision to attend my 10-year High School reunion on the 27th. To a certain degree, I've confused myself with this decision. I mean, on the one hand this may be the last chance to see a number of people who once occupied my life, since I have no idea where I'll be in another ten years for the 20-year reunion. On the other hand, the majority of these people are not remembered with any degree of fondness. Plus, there's the money for the car rental required so I can drive to Fredericton and attend the event...

Ah, well. Decision's been made. We'll see where this leads, I guess.

Regarding the rest of the universe, this recently caught my eye: Apparently some kids, in lieu of writing to Santa for Christmas, have decided to write to Christopher Walken. Like the man doesn't have a big enough ego as it is.

'Til next time, and I hope you all have a Happy Holiday season.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:22 AM


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Round 2

While doing my Christmas shopping today, I stopped by Kent's and picked up a live-catch mouse trap. It's a little tin box that reminds me of a lobster trap -- little ramps allow entry, but the springs beneath them prevent exit. I've set it up near my closet and placed a ketchup-flavoured Dorito within. Later tonight, I'll probably add some peanut butter just for the extra aromatic oomph.

So now it's on, mouse. Let's find out just who's the higher life form.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 8:10 PM


Friday, December 17, 2004

Foiled Again

There's a mouse that's been living in my bedroom closet since at least late summer. I know this because back in the summer I saw a mouse sneaking across my bedroom floor. At least, I thought I did; it was only for a moment, out of the corner of my eye, and when I went to search for it, it was gone.

About six weeks ago I saw it again, sneaking into my closet. I decided to give a good, thorough search of my bedroom in an effort to catch it. I sealed my bedroom up air-tight, created strategic barricates dividing my room into sections, and then began systematically removing the mouse's hiding places. I found his (her?) nest, but no mouse; the nest consisted of bits of chewed up rags and cast-off shavings that I assume he carefully gathered from the edges of my rats' cage (which would be particularly remarkable given that mice are normally terrified of rats, since they compete for the same sort of living space and rats tend to kill mice without so much as a how-de-doo). I got rid of the nest and then put things back -- I figured that my room-sealing must have been less effective than I'd thought, and he slipped out or something when I wasn't looking. Either way, I thought, there's no chance the mouse is going to return to a "contaminated" nest -- rather, he'll search for a new safer nest in some other section of the house.

Then, about three weeks ago, I started hearing him occasionally going about his business. Sometimes I'd catch glimpses of him searching through my garbage for chip crumbs and such. He's been making an inordinate amount of noise, particularly at night (quiet as a mouse, my ass...) Five times I've almost caught him now, five times he's slipped out of (or around) my grasp. Fast little bugger...

The sudden change in behaviour confuses me. Prior to a few weeks ago, I'd hardly ever see or hear him or his activities. Yet now he's making all kinds of noise, and has few reservations about running across my line-of-sight. I'm not sure whether he's getting old, or just cocky.

I need a new strategy, obviously. I'm getting to the point where I'm considering buying myself a live trap of some kind. If I get ahold of him, I'll keep him in one of the spare cages I own and keep him fed and warm until warmer weather, whereupon I'll drive out somewhere (probably Irving Nature Park) and release him at a place he'll be unable to find his way back.

I know, I know... I'm a soft touch. I admit it readily. I have a hard time killing spiders I find inside the house, so killing something cute like a mouse? Not gonna happen. Eventually, though, I'll catch him. I'm smarter and more dedicated than some lowly mouse, after all.

Well, I'm more dedicated, anyway.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 5:21 PM


Monday, December 13, 2004

Just Finished My Last Exam

I'm trying to sum up my thoughts. There's only one word that's sufficient for this task. And that's...

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Wait, no, that's not right. What I meant to say was...

Image Hosted by

(At least for a few weeks. This was one helluva semester...)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need a drink.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 5:10 PM


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Police State Fallujah

George Paine over at Warblogging has blogged about the U.S. occupation's plans to turn Fallujah into a Police State. I won't go into any details -- Mr. Paine puts the matter better than I could -- but I'd like to just parrot him in saying that what's basically being done is turning this Miami-sized city into a massive prison camp.

What's more than that, it's being talked about as a "model." Implying that these techniques are going to be applied elsewhere.

Bush as Big Brother

I've been sitting on this one for a while, waiting for an opportune time to mention it. A post about a burgeoning police state/prison camp in Iraq seems as good as any, though my previous blog entry about the Our Leader billboards would have been a better opportunity, in retrospect.

Anyway. During a press conference in which Bush was speaking about home ownership, he actually had the gall to say the following:

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."

This was on June 12, 2002. It was only brought to my attention recently.

So, yeah. Basically, Bush publicly declared, loud and clear, that WAR IS PEACE. If it wasn't so bloody scary I'd laugh.

I think, tomorrow, I'll blog about something less depressing. Like cyberpunk dystopias or something.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 4:51 PM


Monday, December 06, 2004

And Then There Was One

I just passed in my last end-of-term paper (well, poetry portfolio, in this case), so now a lot of the pressure's off and I'm able to take a few moments to blog about something I've wanted to blog about for a few days.

Friday night I got back from my DnD game and I discovered one of my rats, Garfunkel, had died. Now, this didn't come as any surprise; he'd turned two recently, and had lots of health problems that were interfering with his quality of life and keeping him from eating much, so I'd pretty much decided to euthanize him either tomorrow or the next day providing he managed to make it that long. Which, of course, he didn't.

Of my three rats, Garfunkel was the most gentle and shy -- he was frequently the peacemaker between Simon and Socrates whenever they'd get into a spat. He was also the runt of the group, but that didn't stop the other two from adoring him. I think, of the three, Garfunkel was probably my favourite.

When I found him rigor mortis had already set in. Now, older rats, when they've bonded with younger rats, will often stand over them in a protective gesture. I was trying to describe it, but my powers of prose seem to have failed me at the moment, so I'll offer you a jpg instead to show you what I mean by this gesture:

Image Hosted by

Anyway, when I came upon Garfunkel, Socrates was standing over his body protectively like that.

My mourning was already done by the time I came to the decision to euthanize Garfunkel, since I'd been seeing him fade just a little more each day. Now, though, I'm worried about Socrates. As the above gesture would indicate, he was very fond of Garfunkel, and he's rather upset at the moment. Normally, Socrates is a very independant rat; although he loves attention, he prefers it on his own terms. For example, if I put him on my lap to pet him, even if he wanted to be on my lap and be petted, he'll usually climb off himself and then climb back on under his own power. He prefers to get places on his own. Not anymore. Right now, all he really wants to do is sit on my lap or my shoulder, and he doesn't care how he gets there.

Of course, Garfunkel (and to a lesser extent, Socrates) went through a similar state of mourning when Simon died, and he eventually recovered so I'm sure Socrates will as well. Still, I know he's going to miss his little pal.

So will I.

Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 3:18 PM


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