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Saturday, November 26, 2016


I've had two grand mysteries in my life:
  • razor blades that shave forever
  • soap at the bottom the bed to prevents leg cramps

Over these soap bags are a mattress cover, then a bed sheet.  I have cured my leg cramp  problem.

In my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, I elevated these mysteries to miracle status, comparing them to Jesus Walking on Water and Moses and his Israelites Crossing the Red Sea.  Last year I re-visited the soap miracle and reinforced my modern mysteries/miracles.  Last month Snopes--the web site that validates or debunks urban legends, rumors and the like--re-looked at this soap urban legend and continued to be mystified, saying it makes no sense, but it does seem to work for some.

About razors, for the past decade I have used about four razor blades.  One of my razors broke when I dropped it, so I bought a new Schick.  On my travels I cracked a plastic one, so replaced it with another anonymous plastic-type, and have now continuously used this for several years.  I say "around," for I had to experiment around to find three good ones.  Most of the travel versions which hotels provide free are junk.  Every so often you stumble across one that works well.  I have one waiting to replace the usable razor if it ever becomes necessary.

To repeat my SIMPLE SOLUTION book contention of a decade ago, there is also the INFINITY RAZOR, now on sale for $5.79, which, according to their ad, lasts forever.  I'm a PhD chemical engineer, so I appreciate that metals corrode, and the sharp edge is blunted when abraded.  Thus, what has happened totally befuddles me.

So to my latest grand mystery.  A week ago I notice these BB-sized black things on my lanai table:

They're dry, crumble to the touch and seem to have no odor.  But, frankly, I never tried to smell them.  Common sense told me that they either came from that calamansi tree or the bush of mint:

But nothing in those plants indicated that they could be the source.  There was nothing from the ceiling, so the only options were:
  • a neighbor who sneaks in and drops them off as a joke
  • ants laid them there to spite me
  • cockroaches
  • aliens
I wiped up those black BBs for several days, and even made a major internet search for clues.  I found a photo of mint seeds:

None looks anywhere close to those BBs.  I  found a video of a green parrot eating leaves in San Francisco.  These Telegraph Hill parrots look like the ones I see flying around Nuuanu.  They screech a lot and fly in flocks.  The ones here are scientifically known as Psittacara erythrogenys, or red-masked parakeet, known in aviculture as the cherry-headed conure. They are native to Ecuador and Peru.  They talk.

I couldn't find what their poop looked like, although located a photo from various parakeets:

Yes, looked similar.  So maybe those green parrots were the cause.

Anyway, as I went out for Thanksgiving dinner, I ordered take-out from 15 Craigside of their feast, and the next morning for a late brunch fried the turkey slices in butter, garlic and the gravy for a sandwich, truffles essence added to the mashed potatoes and chopped cranberry:

That is a 9-year old Collector's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Stanford.  As I was eating, I noticed that the leaves on my calamansi looked like the video of those dining San Francisco green parrots:

I can't sit here 24-hours/day, so I covered the tree:

This morning I noticed only one BB poop.  So those parrots came, and importantly, chose not to eat my mint, basil, shisho and Hawaiian peppers.  So problem solved, but when can I remove the plastic cover?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remove plastic bag at dusk. Leaves need fresh circulating air and emit oxygen. Re-cover before turning in for the night. Alternative is to purchase a screen or netting to cover your calamansi tree. Less work and probably better for your tree. Home Depot/Lowes sells screen and fabric netting sold at WalMart in fabric section. Good luck! KaraokeLuxe