Monthly Archives: July 2013

Drunken Mosquitoes

As if things were not bad enough, it turns out that mosquitoes are more attracted to beer drinkers than non-beer drinkers.  Great!

This is not some old wives tale unfortunately, theses are the facts as being reported by and are backed up by a lot of data including studies from the University of Florida and the National Library of Medicine just to name a few.  In other words, a whole bunch of really smart people got together, and they all figured out that mosquitoes are more likely to land on and bite someone who has just ingested a beer, than someone who has not had any alcohol at all.  And yes, as little as just one 12 oz hop and barley beverage can be the difference between a clear night or an itchfest.

Now, beer has not cornered the market on mosquito attraction, most any other alcohol will also produce an added attraction, but beer does have an added bonus that really seems to drive those little buggers crazy.  A little something called Uric Acid.  Just ask any gout sufferer about the stuff.  They will let you know it can be a real pain in the, well, foot.

Forget all the medical mumbo jumbo.  The very simplest explanation is that Uric Acid is pee.  Or rather, Uric Acid is a human waste product that is excreted in pee.  But, it can also be excreted right through the skin, and it just so happens that our tiny blood seeking friends can smell this acid, drawing them more quickly to someone who might have more of an uric smell to them.

Now, obviously there are other factors that also can attract mosquitoes, such as carbon dioxide and body heat, and since most of us are living, breathing humans, we are almost all subject to being bitten from time to time.  But if you find yourself being devoured more often than the other warm-blooded mouth breathers in the area, perhaps you should take a closer look at that beverage in your hand.

For those who are not drinkers, and still find themselves being an easy target to the vampire bugs, the Smithsonian report did point out one other unexplained pattern to these itchy pests, and that would be blood type.  The two most common blood types are O positive and A positive, and it seems that a person with type O blood is twice as likely to be bitten by a mosquito than someone with type A blood.

Guess who just happens to be a Type O beer drinker?

But the news isn’t all bad.  There are those who swear that a few shallow bowls of beer located just outside the area you are sitting, will help draw the dreaded suckers away from a crowd.  I guess it makes sense.  If mosquitoes are attracted by beer, use beer to draw them away.  But for gods sake, please don’t use any good beers for this purpose.

This would be a good use for Budweiser.


Happy Birthday to Me

I woke up this morning crabby.  It was not the type of crabby caused by being another year closer to death, this was the type of crabby caused by a poor night of sleep in a recliner, waking up with a crick in your neck and a headache.   The old age crabby came shortly after that, when I realized I just described a sore spot in my neck as a “crick”.

A kiss from my lovely wife and a cup of coffee seemed to smooth over both cases of the crabs.

Then it started.  The new birthday tradition that has taken over the world.  My Facepage started to light up with birthday wishes.

The first official wish came overnight from out in California.  An old college friend named Scott.  Thanks, Scott.  Very punctual.

Another college friend decided to celebrate with this long-lost picture:

very old brother tom picture

I am not even sure who that guy is, but I just love the oversized specs.

My daughter Molly decided to follow-up that prize photo with a post from her phone of me sitting in the dreaded recliner that started my day off so well.

brother tom today

My ability to take a casual photo has not improved with age.

(A quick side note.  The book I am reading is “I Work Better With an Audience” by Jennifer Inglis.  Yet another college friend who happened to get a book published. I am a tad bit jealous,  although I don’t recall if she sent me a birthday wish.  Yet.)

A few years ago,  birthday wishes, at least for me, were confined to just local family, and co-workers if your birthday happened to fall on a work day.  As many offices do, we all get to eat cake on those special days, but it is really less of a birthday wish, and more just an excuse to stuff our faces.  I feel bad that my absence from work has deprived the office of another chance at a sugar coma.

But then along came the Facepage as my mother is fond of calling it, and suddenly birthdays became special again.  People you have not seen in years were now wishing you a happy day. High school friends, college friends, friends you don’t even know, but they just happen to play the same dumb games on Facebook.  There were birthday wishes from former co-workers, former employees, and former family members.  (That last one is a little complicated, but I am learning not too uncommon.)  There was even at least one birthday wish from overseas.   Even after today is over, there will still be those straggling late birthday wishes.  It can almost be overwhelming.

In the past, I was something of a Birthday Scrooge.  I wanted nothing to do with my birthday, and would grumble back at anyone who would dare wish me a happy day.  There is an infamous story from almost ten years ago, when I was approaching my 4oth birthday, and at that point I was very insistent that I did not want anyone to make a big deal about this milestone.  No party, no cake, nothing.  It was just another day.  To put it nicely, I was being a bit of an ass.  And I continued to be an ass right up until some one reminded me that I was only going to be 39 that year.

Today I am not that same guy.  If I had gone through the day and no one had posted a birthday wish or photo, I probably would have been heartbroken.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes today, and if for some reason I missed yours, Happy Birthday to you too.