Coping: Everyone Needs a “Board of Directors”

Best I can remember, the first time I heard the phrase was at the kitchen/dinner table at about age 8, or so.

My mom had some question or other, and pappy didn’t have an answer.  “I’ll ask the Board of Directors tonight at work.”

We were eating at 10-minutes to five so pappy could leave the house by 5:15 and drive the 20 minutes, or so, up to the fire house in West Seattle.  Engine 37 is at the highest point in the city.

A little trivia here:  The reason fire houses were always built at the tops of hills if possible, was so the horses could have an easy – and fast – run downhill to a fire.  Most people don’t know that one – not sure if it’s in Trivial Pursuit, or not.

Anyway, pappy was almost always early for roll-call, but he always scheduled enough time for a bridge opening.  The high level West Seattle Bridge hadn’t been built yet.

The board of directors were the other firemen on his crew.  Fire departments in big cities had different shift, but they followed a paramilitary org chart; platoons, battalions, and such.  And pappy’s “board of directors” was the crew he worked with.  There wasn’t a lot of turnover in platoons.

Gather any three or four firemen, you could get an answer to just about anything, and while washing hose, cleaning up after drills or training, it was always good to have a fresh topic to kick around. Made the work go faster.

My mother’s question – and don’t hold me to this – was about some obscure aspect of gardening, if memory holds.      

Joe had come up a street-smart Italian, Dave was the high-roller who owned a 50-foot boat, and I forget some of the other fellas.  But they all referred to pappy as “the encyclopedia.” He just didn’t know gardening well, having advised me from birth “Never put in a bigger garden than your wife can take care of…”

It wasn’t the answer that mattered in this case.  It was the form of decision-making that mattered.  One I’ve never forgotten.  Everyone needs a “board of directors.”

The concept has been around forever.  Some called it a “master mind group” in the early days of the PMA (positive mental attitude) movement, which was in some ways a precursor to the prepper movement.

When you look at most successful people, you’ll find most of them have a “board of directors” or master mind group.  Some, especially in politics, just get called the “inner circle.” If you’re a drug dealer, it’s your posse, and so on.

Without further delay, I have an important announcement to make.

YOU have just been appointed to my personal board of directors. 

As luck would have it, there’s a thorny problem that is bugging me (in a literal sense as you’ll see):  We are being over-run by June bugs down at the hangar this year.

Oh, I’ve sprayed.  Even got the security light turned off.  But there’s some magic about my hangar in particular that had become incredibly attractive to June bugs. 

Since I spray the place religiously – and since we don’t live in the space – I took the electric leaf blower down Sunday and dispatched 5,000 of them – carcasses-  back out onto the grass from whence they came.

But they keep coming back.

In fact, by the time I was done on one side of the taxiway, the hardy (*Boston marathoner type) bugs were already headed back to the finish line inside the hangar.  Invisible to Ures truly.

So your first problem has a Board Member for you is to figure out how to solve the problem.  Selling the airplane or moving to a different hangar are off the table.  The poisons work, but the smell of dead June bugs is not particularly nice.

It eats about 80-minutes a week says my time log. Get the blower, drive to airport, blow out hangar, lock up, 10-minutes for social chit-chat at the airport office, and then back out to our place..

The mechanic, who’s doing the annual maintenance check in the hangar presently complains about running over them with this creeper.  I expect he’ll ding me a bit on the bill, too, since it’s no fun to pick up a June bug instead of the 10-40 screw for an inspection cover. 

Ideally, someone would come up with a simple answer for something to repel them.  I’ve thought about a mothball at opposite corners of the hangar, but I don’t know if they’re legal anymore.

No trap suggestions, though.  I don’t want to have another project like emptying traps every day or three.

Send me an email – and ask all your friends, too, since I assume you already have an informal board of directors yourself. 

“What repels June bugs?”

By the way, Wikipedia reports mothballs do, indeed, have some risk to them:

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that 1,4-dichlorobenzene “may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen“. This has been indicated by animal studies, although a full-scale human study has not been done.[8] The National Toxicology Program (NTP), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the state of California consider 1,4-dichlorobenzene to be a carcinogen.[9]

Exposure to naphthalene mothballs can cause acute haemolysis (anemia) in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.[10] IARC classifies naphthalene as possibly carcinogenic to humans and animals (see also Group 2B).[11] IARC points out that acute exposure causes cataracts in humans, rats, rabbits, and mice. Chronic exposure to naphthalene vapors is reported to also cause cataracts and retinal hemorrhage.[12] Under California’s Proposition 65, naphthalene is listed as “known to the State to cause cancer”.[13]

Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder revealed a probable mechanism for the carcinogenic effects of mothballs and some types of air fresheners.[14][15]

Mothballs are a neurotoxin – especially those made of 1,4-dichlorobenzene – and need to be treated as such. They have been used for solvent abuse, causing a variety of neurotoxic effects.[16][17]

Mothballs and other products containing naphthalene have been banned within the EU since 2008.[18][3]

Toxin-free alternatives to control clothes moths include freezing, dry cleaning, washing in hot water, or thorough vacuum cleaning.[19][20] Camphor is no longer recommended as a moth repellent, due to its toxicity.

I’ve thought about cedar oil as an alternative, but I’m not sure if that wouldn’t just mask the smell of dead bugs better. And, it ain’t cheap.

So send them answer along pronto.  Operators are standing by, this is a free call, this is a special offer, ends soon.

Oh, and congrats on your appointment to the Board of Directors.  I did mention, I hope, that this is a non-profit and no liability protection for board members is offered?

And the Rains Continue

imagePlease, California, call back your rains!

As of this morning, we have had 18.1 inches of rain, and if your screen looks anything like mine, you’ll see that more is coming through almost any minute.

Seattle, which has always been our “gold standard” for rainfall, has slopped in miserable 14.15 inches.

Frankly speaking, residents of California should ante up a collection and move us out there.  Elaine’s got a secret method of putting out bird food that just about ensures rain within 12-hours.

A few years back, you’ll recall there was much climate change gnawing and gnashing about how Texas would soon be Sahara Junior.  But look how it has worked out.

Still, if you’re really a climate change believer and are anxious to be on the bleeding edge of a cause, simply take all that money you’re willing to pay as a “climate tax” and mail it to us.

I promise 1% of all money received will be spent on bird-food, thus forever ending the Texas drought.  All to be done with no UN resolutions or environmental impact statement.

In the meanwhile, the big San Diego desalinization plant is expected to come on line with 50-million gallons per day before the end of November.

In the meantime, word is local ranchers are running hay mowers round-the-clock – the rain may be miserable to drive in, but it sure does wonders for agriculture.  Next thing you know, the Piney Woods of East Texas will be replaced by Teak and Mahogany.

Write when you break-even…


27 thoughts on “Coping: Everyone Needs a “Board of Directors””

  1. George, 1st, have you ever smelled moth balls? And if so, how did you get their tiny legs apart? Try peppermint oil, it might be pricy, but seems to work on most insects. Good luck.

  2. Are you really talking about “June Bugs”? Or, just the common Japanese brown beetle? June bugs are triangular shaped and a bright green metallic color. Get yourself a hanger cat that likes to eat your june bugs, problem solved!
    Loved Ken Smiths question!

  3. Predators

    Flies in the family Pyrgotidae are endoparasitoids of these and related beetles. The female flies pursue the beetles in flight, laying an egg on the beetle’s back under the elytra where the beetle cannot reach it. The egg hatches and the fly larva enters the body cavity of the beetle, feeding on and eventually killing the host before pupating. Wasps in numerous families are parasitoids of Phyllophaga grubs, including Pelecinidae, Scoliidae, and Tiphiidae. They are also known to be prey to a large variety of amphibians.

    Some small mammals, including skunks and moles, feed on the grubs.

  4. where I live just off Lake Erie, the junebugs are always attracted to light. Maybe just place some solar lights off away from the hanger and they will accumulate around them instead of your plane. Just a thought.

  5. iam going to do what you said not to do –the question should not be what repells the bug but what attracts them —like the high velocity fans that blow into a net and a light bulb that attracts all the mosquitoes ,that is how they do it in florida, now what attracts june bugs hummm,just guessing but maybe other june bugs attract other june bugs so if that were true then trapping them and storing them away from the hanger might attract them to the nearby location hummmm

    • thought number 2 is that if you did reduce their population ,so that they didnt lay as many eggs for the next year so after a few years of ridding them of laying eggs the future numbers will be reduced considerably

  6. Birds, like the Swallow eat June bugs…..I suggest using natural predators for that problem.

  7. Hi George
    Make a slick metal or plastic J(june bug) rail! Like a k rail it will deflect the walkers back to the grass.PVC with 1/3 cut out might work?

  8. Have you tried hedge apples to solve the June bug problem? No the apples don’t come from a hedge fund. They grow on trees. Here is a link for more information. I’ve had good luck using these to get rid of spiders and other insect pests.

  9. Put onion sets all around the hanger. Diotomaceous earth and boric acid powders can be placed around the perimeter. Try planting marigolds all around the hanger.

  10. George you should try white vinegar, it seems to work on most bugs. My wife wiped out a swarm of ants just last week with that and organic dish soap. My guess is that the floor in your hangar is inundated with something that attracts them, change the PH with vinegar and see if that does the trick.

  11. The temp differential of the concrete pad is leaving it moist and they are seeking water. Air flow over the pad and some diatamicious earth would give ’em a reason to go elsewhere.

    You could always look to milky-spore in the lawn for the long-term fix.

    The other option – hire some ducks.

  12. Another option – worms. You can make ’em turn red Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. They should also glow blue at night.

  13. George, Please do not spray chemicals in your hanger, your not just killing the bugs, your killing your self. Please read about something called MCS (multi chemical sensitivity) I have it. There are over 100K chemicals on our store shelves all untested. All the home cleaning products, all personal care products. You worry about what you eat, all these chemicals are killing people, Most peoples own homes are a toxic waste zone. The big chemical company’s sell the stuff, then the big Pharmacy Company’s can help you when you get CANCER from it all, What a scam. Please be safe George, Tim

  14. try these, they work well in Houston in our house.
    Hoont Plug-in Electronic Total Pest Eliminator + LED Night Light – Eradicates Insects and Rodents or Bell & Howell 4-Pack Ultrasonic Pest Repellers. Both available from Amazon.

  15. There is no GMO wheat on the market. Gluten may be a problem and wheat may put on the pounds, but not because it is GMO. It is heavily sprayed also.

  16. Mom would go crackers when she would step on a bunch of dead June Bugs near the front door so her and dad went into the turkey and Guinea hen business BIG time one year. Holy crap they can eat a ton of those little crunchy bastards, along with all the grasshoppers and just about everything else that was slow enough to get caught.

    Doubt they would be too welcome around the hangar or the airport though. One of the Guineas would perch on top of the air intake pipe on the almost new Allis Chalmers till we had enough of cleaning Guinea crap off the machine.

    And no, yellow light bulbs don’t work worth a ding dang Mr. think you know everything at the MFA store.

    • Had to reject the bird ideas for the airport. Ever see what a duck does to a prop and windshield? ::(

  17. As far as I know there are no GMO wheat varieties grown commercially yet. I have also cut down on wheat products and sugar and my appetite has wained somewhat. Happy trails.

  18. glad to read your bit on the bug problem. i think what you are dealing with are stink bugs…shield shape body dull brownish green and emit a stink when attacked. george we here in monroe ga have been putting them outside down the toilet at least 5-10 a day since late fall. we instakill with spray bottle of 70% alcohol. i have never seen so many, think we are up against a siege of a bumper crop…kinda like the stench of politics across the nation, symbolic and ironic! they too consume their own kind.

  19. Use the bugs… might be like using ants to repel ants (which works a treat!). Capture and squash a good amount, soak in water for a few days then use as a spray.

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