24 August 2008

They Can Fly Under Doors!!

I improved my batting average/Graydon Number/bat wrangling quotient to 2 BW in 4.5 BE (0.444) tonight. However, the incident was not without some startling revelations:

(1) My bedroom door is not protection enough. Seriously, I knew one was out in the hallway earlier, but I cleared its escape route (the bathroom opens out onto a fire escape) and closed all the other doors, so I figured I could get back to a few minutes of editing while I waited for him to exit. All of a sudden, the damn thing is back in my room! And now I'm alone with the bat in a small enclosed place. Awesome. I couldn't help being reminded of Question 3 ("Remember, bats fly at 10 m/s and they do not know fear").

I also learned that while they indeed seem to be very stupid, they apparently start to fly lower and lower as they exhaust their (still pretty ineffective) search for high altitude escape routes. How are we supposed to evade them if they're flying at crouching-level? As Colette pointed out earlier, we can't fly.

(2) Leaving the fire-escape door open apparently varies as an effective wrangling technique. It worked like a champ the other night, but tonight--despite not seeming to have had it open any longer than last time--I returned to the bathroom when the coast was clear to find it bat-less, but also an entomological menagerie. I've got so many damn bugs in my bathroom, I need to track down another bat just to get rid of them all. I feel a little like the old lady who swallowed a fly (what is the point of this video, incidentally?) but kinda in reverse. There's going to have to be a mosquito massacre in a few minutes.

Speaking of massacres, I'm seriously considering starting to take swings at them (the bats, not the bugs). I'm told that if you hit them you can stun them and then carry them away to safety in a plastic bag. The key, apparently, is to not swing too hard. But one bared its teeth at me yesterday when I was trying to shoo it away from its perch, so I'm not really interested in turning a swooping but seemingly non-combative flying mammal into one that perceives me to be attacking it. Frazzled and fanged is not an attractive combination, in my book. Thus, I'll be employing the Dan Uggla philosophy: swing hard in case you hit it.

Note to potential St. Francis House residents (or anyone who's afraid Colette, Hattie, and I are going to get rabies): We'll get to the bottom of this chiropteric conundrum. These bats have to be getting into the house more easily than in the past. We should be able to find the entry points and secure them.

Image: xkcd #135. Used by permission.

19 August 2008

Kyle Oliver: Bat Wrangler

For those of you who don't know, I now live at a church. An old church. One with bats.

I've decided the best way to cope with this less-than-ideal aspect of my otherwise wonderful living situation is to have a little fun with it. Watch my Twitter feed (reproduced at right and on my Facebook status) for updates to the bat wrangling quotient (aka Graydon Number or simply batting average), which is calculated by dividing the number of bats I manage to wrangle out of the house (bat wrangled, BW) into the number I encounter (bats encountered, BE, aka at bats).

Some notes:

(1) I've already learned that bat wrangling is (often necessarily, and I suspect also to our mutual advantage) a team sport. BW and BE numbers will be split among all participants in the encounter/wrangle. Thus my current bat wrangling quotient is 1 / 2.5 = .400, because tonight I added two solo encounters and one successful wrangle (don't know where the other one got off to) to my previous 0/0.5 record after Carl and I had an unsuccessful bat run-in last week. As you might expect, I'll report my stats baseball-style, i.e. "Current bat wrangling quotient: .400 in 2.5 at bats."

(2) Despite all the baseball language, I want to emphasize that all the blunt instruments (they're badminton paddles actually) on our floor are for self-defense only, and I'm not actually taking swings at them (the bats). The goal is to guide them out of the house, not knock them into oblivion Dan Lin-style.

(Sorry for mixing metaphors here. I've so far avoided bat-transmitted rabies, but I do have Olympic fever.)

Stay tuned for bat wrangling advice and tales of heroics...and probably also anti-heroics, as in my second at bat this evening, wherein I just shut the door to the TV room and went on watching hurdles and gymnastics.

Ned Yost Is A Big Honkin' Doofus

What the hell was C.C. doing batting in the eighth (and then pitching a long ninth) with such a huge lead last night? I know we're probably not going to be able to keep him, but we still gotta get him through hopefully a couple months' worth of baseball yet. Don't get me wrong, the guy has every right to keep himself in games and risk flushing millions of dollars down the drain in a contract year. But, rental player or not, we shouldn't let him be so hasty with his future, because it's our future too until after the season. Grrh.