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Saturday, October 20 Living

My rants about squirrels, beer and frostbite in aisle 2

It’s healthy to vent once in a while before things build up to a point where you find yourself arguing with robo callers or head butting a snotty ATM. And just to set the record straight here, I have never argued with a robo caller. So, please bear with me as I get a few things off my chest.

Climate change, please

Granted, it is necessary to keep the temperature low in the supermarket produce department, but not to the point that one has to dress for January at Killington simply to buy a head of lettuce in July. Venturing into the produce section is to risk hypothermia, frostbite, shrinkage. And you wonder why men don’t like to go to the store.

Political ads

Because Connecticut is not usually a “battle-ground state” we are spared from the onslaught of political ads during presidential election years. I’ve never seen any research on this but I’m pretty sure this adds years to our lives. Unfortunately, we cannot escape political ads in years we vote for governor, which I am also pretty sure, subtracts years from our lives.

One thing of which I am 100 percent sure, however, is that in the history of political ads there has never been a case of one being entirely truthful. Nasty and mean, you bet, but accurate, nah. Although their content is suspect, political ads play almost as important a role in our elections as the Russians. This is because we often base our votes on which candidate’s ads make us change the channel the least or yell bad words at the television. My name is Jim Shea and I am responsible for this rant.

Repeat after me

You ever talk to someone who repeats himself? You know someone who says again what he has just said? You know, someone who repeats exactly what he has just said, and then says it again? Did you ever talk to someone like that who says the same thing over and over because they have nothing else to say but don’t want to stop because if they do then it will be someone else’s turn to talk.

Squirrels

We have a squirrel problem on our hands.

Wild life biologists say that a bumper crop of acorns last year resulted in a baby squirrel boom. This makes sense. When squirrels don’t have to spend so much time foraging, they have more time for romance, more time for doing the wild-life thing.

As a result, it has become virtually impossible to drive down the road these days without having to dodge one of the furry frenetics.

Sometimes you are successful.

Sometimes your tires end up being where the rubber, and the rodent, meet the road.

What can be done to stop the carnage?

Could designated squirrel crossings be an option, maybe little suspension bridges attached to utility wires?

How about behavioral modification? Capturing and training squirrels to look both ways, in hopes they will teach this to their brethren when released back into the community.

And what about squirrel therapy? With food not as plentiful this year the future looks bleak for squirrels. Perhaps much of the road kill we see is not accidental?

Read Full Article 

This Bud’s for you

Beer has gone uptown. There was a time when a beer snob was someone who used a glass. Nowadays, it’s someone who favors esoteric brands with clever names like Smooth Hoperator, Alimony Ale, Hoptimus Prime, Moose Drool, and Men’s Room. And don’t get me started on IPAs, whatever they are.

Personally, when someone offers me a beer I want it to taste like a beer.

Dilly. Dilly.

Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist. jimboshea@gmail.com; Twitter: @jimboshea.

Jim Shea|Columnist

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