Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Cartoons?

It seems I have always been drawn to cartoons, even if I am not very good at drawing them. Strips that I have done or been part of that have seen the light of day in print: The Further Adventures of Captain Death, Johnny Asilid: Danger Force Nine, and Super-Mega Botanist Friendship Friends. The nameless strip that remains captive in this blog is useful for me, and I thank you for tolerating it.

I actually spend a fair amount of time reading comic strips. When I actually have a newspaper in front of me, the editorials and the comics are the first places I turn to. The Mark Trail strip was an early inspiration for me in comics that were about ideas. The Virtue of Vera Valiant was a newspaper strip I loved to read. It was a hilarious and absurd exploration of life that did not ‘try’ to be funny. This strip contains elements of every strip I have ever read, but not in a copyright infringing sort of way:

why cartoons

Bed Bugs

I have identified numerous bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) in the past few years, but I have never found my own. My first bed bug encounter was when I stayed at the Mizpah Hut in New Hampshire in 1976. The hiking was amazing. I did not get to see bed bugs, but a couple of the people I was with had marks that told of their nocturnal encounters with Cimex.

I first became aware of the resurgence of bed bugs in 2006 when Kelly Tindall showed me some live bed bugs that had been brought into the Twin Falls County (University of Idaho) Extension office. Since then it seems everywhere I go there are bed bugs, that other people show me for identification or confirmation of their identification.

2014-01-28 19.13.26-1Recently, Kelly and I were staying at the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa and in our initial room survey Kelly found a beautiful, adult bed bug and I got to see a bed bug in ‘the wild’. I am sure I will get to find my own before too long…

To learn how to avoid and deal with bed bugs I highly recommend this video. The bed bug registry allows you to see if hotels and apartments have had reported bed bug incidents, but not all incidents are reported.

The really cool thing about bed bugs is they depend on us. They have evolved to feed on our blood and have been associated with us for a very long time. They like us, they really like us, but their love of us is unrequited.