The nose knows


Conflate –  to combine (things, such as two readings of a text) into a composite whole.

As in, I’m about to conflate several post references to a conclusion and an inanity.

To start off, several posts ago I mentioned my battles with pesky and possibly reproducing flying pests commonly known as mosquitoes.

Additionally, many times I’ve mentioned my soft spot for ants and my extreme unwillingness to murder them, singularly or en masse.

Finally, I’ve talked recently, in blog and Facebook, of the unrelenting rain we received in the past week (of which there has mercifully been a respite).

Here’s how they all fit together.

Last Thursday, I was sitting at my desk banging out some verbiage. It was during another period of heavy rainfall.

Not for the first time, I smelled moisture. I looked around the floor, the window and even up at the ceiling, but there was no dampness nor stains to be found.

Later, as the smell returned, I was startled to see a small-scale invasion of black ants around the inside and outside of my office window.

I was left with little choice but to eradicate the lot of them. Unlike large carpenter ants, the quantity and size of black ants doesn’t make them good subjects for “catch and release”.

Though I was unable to identify anything specific, I determined I should call an “expert” and located and contacted a window repair and replace service.

I did so on Friday and they scheduled me for the next morning. In the meantime, I experienced another large incursion from the black ant brigade, forcing me to break my time-honored tradition and also spray outside my home. I felt guilty, but I had to defend my home until the window man arrived.

Though I was assured he would show up in the morning, he got there at 12:01 pm. The issue was a family lunch at 1:00 pm. Still, he assured me he could have any work done before 12:30.

Except, there was no work to be done. My weather stripping, which I assumed to be the issue, was fine (if old). My window, he said, seated tightly, as far as he could see. He could not recommend either repair or replacement.

I maintained there had to be something wrong, for I had left the dead ants on the sill as prima facie evidence. That ultimately led him to his not recommended but possible solution: seal the window shut permanently.

Works for me. The window is inset on the west side of the house and offers no free air flow due to its positioning in the room (and the fact that all prevailing winds come from the east).

So the deed was done and now I await the next heavy rain to see if that solves the issue. Woe be to me if I have permanently sealed my window only to find out it is not the culprit.

Oh, and the inanity? During the process, he accidentally snapped the hook on my venetian blinds. He was unable to reattach the rod that opens and closes the blinds.

I went out the next day to Lowe’s and could not find a similar hook, though I ultimately found similar sized “S” hooks and used some pliers to bend them to my will.

But, and here’s the foolishness, while in the window department along with the appropriate Lowe’s employee, we were not only unable to find replacement hardware (though for everything else), there were replacement rods for sale and none of them came with the hook!

Conflate that.

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