Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why Owls Are Better Than Viagra

I was busy working away at my computer in my home office early on a Tuesday, when suddenly …

Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

What the heck is that? I thought.  The loud, mind-numbing, noise stopped for a while, but then periodically returned.

I looked out the window almost expecting to see a road worker with a jackhammer, but nothing.  A house up the street had recently advertised auto repairs and I thought it could be an air wrench.

The noise stopped later in the morning and I could finally work in peace.  But the next morning, about the same time, Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

This time it sounded as if the noise was coming from right above me.  I ran outside, but as soon as I got to the corner of the house the noise suddenly stopped.   I repeated this process several times that morning. However as soon as I got to the same spot, silence.  Something evil was happening on my roof, but what?

The next morning the racket returned eerily about the same time.  But this time I quietly slipped out the door at the other end of the house and moved stealthily like a ninja (okay like a tall, fat, middle-aged, ninja) and approached the roof from the other side of the house. It was then I caught the culprit red-handed. Or should I say I caught him red-headed?  Sitting right above my window was a red-headed woodpecker, pecking the hell out of my roof.  I made eye contact with the bird.  He looked angry, but not as angry as I was.

Stupid pecker. Stupid, stupid pecker, I thought. 

The morning peckings continued.   It was very difficult to work with the pecker frequently going Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat Rat-tat-tat RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! right above my head at random times every morning.

Stupid, stupid, pecker!
This was ironic.  For many years I had to deal will stupid peckers at work.  Some of these peckers had the title of director, some of them vice president, and yes, some of them I even called “boss”.  Now I was not in an office, I was working from home, and I still had to deal with a stupid pecker.
But why was this stupid pecker hammering on my roof every morning?  Of course I complained to my wife about it.

“I know why the woodpecker is doing this”, she explained. “He’s mad because you stopped feeding him”.

I initially thought this was ridiculous.  Who is she, the bird whisperer?

I had been putting corn, seeds and nuts out for the birds and squirrels during the brutal winter.  This had attracted a significant number of cardinals, blue jays and yes, woodpeckers to my deck.  The power pecking had begun the week after I had stopped the daily, morning, feeding.  The racket always started just about the time I put the feed out and the birds would show up for breakfast.  Somehow that hungry pecker had figured out the exact spot in the house where I worked and was pounding the hell out of the roof right above me.

This wasn’t a stupid pecker!  This was a nasty, intelligent, savant-type of pecker and boy was he pissed at me!  This was equivalent of an angry customer pounding his fist on the counter.  I was playing a real life version of Angry Birds.

I was not about to give into this pecker intimidation and resume the feedings, but the morning peckings continued.  This was until the stupid pecker let loose early one Saturday morning awakening my wife.  Like many problems in my home, they persist until my wife gets upset and then things happen.  That afternoon she went shopping and returned with two large, expensive, fake, plastic owls which were intended to scare away the woodpecker. She placed the owls at opposite ends of the house.

I thought this was the most stupid idea ever.  I was not happy about it at all. This pecker was surely smart enough not to be fooled by ridiculous fake owls.  But very soon after that, the peckings stopped. 
Owls scare the hell out of nasty peckers!

So what did I learn?

Woodpeckers hate owls

Owls dominate woodpeckers

Stupid peckers, wise owls

Stupid husband, smart wife.

If only I would have known about this sooner, I would have gladly taken an owl to work with me to scare away all those nasty peckers I encountered over all these years.

And so concludes the story of how my wife getting two large fake plastic hooters took care of my pecker problem. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Absolutely Nothing Important Happened Last Weekend

I was planning to be informed of news and happenings during my recent three-day mini-vacation by way of my I-Pad.  I was pleased to learn that our older, beach hotel did have free Wi-Fi so I logged on and, and, and, and …

This was not high-speed internet; it was low-speed internet. I’m not sure that the word “speed” should even be associated with this internet.  It was internet that you would expect in a third-world country where the router is powered by oxen walking in circles.

I suddenly turned into Beavis, shouting “Load! Load! Looooooooooad!, #!*@f#!, Load!” as if the Internet had suddenly added a voice activation feature.  Finally after several minutes, a page appeared.

This was going to be a disaster. I was going to be wasting so much valuable vacation time waiting for pages to load.  This was going to cause me extreme frustration for the entire vacation.  I considered moving to a different hotel, but then I discovered a different solution.  I logged out, shut down the I-Pad and never touched it for the remainder of the vacation.  I also decided that while I was at it, I would not read a newspaper.

Now this is a big deal for me. I subscribe to two daily newspapers. I speed surf the Internet to absorb as much daily information as I can.  I keep very well informed on a myriad of subjects.  “Cutting the cord” also meant no Facebook, no LinkedIn, no e-mail and no contact with my blog.
Must have Internet!  Need Internet!

This decision caused a great deal of psychological stress. This would be difficult, but I reasoned that I could survive without the Internet for three days.  The only real important things that could happen that would affect me were a hurricane, a nuclear explosion, and an outbreak of the plague. I surmised that none of these were very likely and not within my control if they did occur.   I value vacation time as almost sacred and it will not be ruined by anything, so I “unplugged”.

And I am happy to report that I did not miss much over those three days.  Here is a summary of what I missed during this time:


-         My former co-worker Joe was on a business trip to the Philippines where he was mugged and lost all his money and identification.  The government is threatening to throw him in jail if I don’t wire him $10,000 immediately.  Unexplainably, Joe has memorized my e-mail and chose me as the one to ask for help.

Joe, I don’t know how to break this to you, but I never liked working with you. I always considered you a big, stupid, sunavabitch.  You probably got beat up, not mugged, because some Filipinos discovered that you are just a stupid sunavabitch. Their government probably threw you in jail because you are such a sunavabitch.  And you thought I was going to help you? You stupid, stupid, sunavabitch!

-         A beautiful, young, Russian woman thinks that I am a handsome, rich, stud and wants to marry me.  I do admire that she is willing to make a long term commitment, unlike those wanton Russian hussies who previously just wanted to make me “cune”.  But considering the current bitter conflict between our countries, I’m going to have to pass.  Lips that sucked the life out of Crimea shall never suck mine!

-         Boner pills went on sale


-         My friend Darla’s “female” infection (v.i. for short) is back.  Why I need to know this is a mystery.  Why I needed to know this the first time is also a mystery.  I am fairly certain I had nothing to do with this, but I am buying some ointment just in case.

-         My friend Ron posted something stupid and then all his stupid friends made stupid comments about it forming one of the most stupid comment threads in the history of Facebook. It was in a word, stupid. Thanks for nothing Ron.

Important News:

-         J-Lo was spotted on the beach in a revealing bikini. A telescopic photo revealed that her nipples were not as perky as usual, leading to speculation that her marriage was on the rocks.

-         Kim Kardashian wore a tight, daring, new outfit that either made her ass look enormously wide or deliciously sexy depending on the news source.

-         Some stupid (politician or celebrity) tweeted something that was (racist, sexist, stupid, and offensive to anyone and everyone) and had to take it down because millions of people have nothing better to do than to be offended by it.

-         The Cleveland Browns drafted a quarterback that is sure to lead them to a Super Bowl victory.

     Unbelievably, the world got along just fine without me worrying about all the problems happening everywhere.  Unfortunately this makes me feel insignificant and unimportant, but maybe that is the secret to truly having a relaxing vacation.

Fortunately I was able to enjoy my vacation free of any distractions.  Of course trying to read books on my Kindle lying on a beach filled with young women in thong bikinis can present a challenge. Oh well, I guess not all distractions are bad.