Thursday, December 22, 2011

Freecycle Comparative Review: Brooklyn vs. New Hampshire Sea Coast

Brooklyn Freecyle
+ TONS of activity
+ Fun to travel to different neighborhoods
+ People post lots of interesting/weird items
+ Not a lot of "Wanted" emails
- TONS of emails
- No pets
- Carrying 5 grocery bags full of glass dishes on the subway and bus

NH Seacoast Freecycle
+ Fewer emails
+ Pets
+ You get to know certain people who post a lot
+ Lots of farms use it
+ Nice people donating things like turkey dinners at Thanksgiving
- TONS of wanted ads for things like xboxes and bigger tvs
- Some places in NH are unexpectedly far away (New Durham is FAR from Durham)
- Driving 45 min with a huge dresser on top of car is SCARY

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peppermint Oil for Mice Problems

If you have left a vehicle parked in a wooded area for a few days you may have had this problem. For the past year and a half, I have had 4 or 5 separate incidents of mice taking up residence in the car. This problem is obviously so gross and also scary because mice can wreck your car by chewing on the wiring. I also have the eternal fear of one scampering across my foot while driving.

There are lots of ideas for dealing with mice in the car, from playing loud music to placing a scary garden gnome with big eyes near where you park. Obviously you could use traps, but some people (like me) are too squeamish to deal with the aftermath of that. Peppermint oil is a good option because while it is nontoxic to humans, mice are very sensitive to it. Apparently, they won't go near it.  I put some drops of peppermint essential oil (extract doesn't work) on cotton balls and put them around the car. I suspect this would work in say, kitchen drawers, if you have a mice populations in your house. It does not stop them from nesting, but it will keep them away!

In addition to the peppermint oil, I have driven the car more frequently and I don't live in the woods anymore - and I have had no more mouse problems since July.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New England NPR Stations

MPBN - Maine Public Radio for southern Maine transmits south, far into New Hampshire and even the north shore of Massachusetts. Primary station characteristics include opera almost all day on the weekends and classical music during the week days. I used to always catch the funny, strange show The Vinyl Cafe that seems to play Gordon Lightfoot music while the host narrates weird stories sent in my listeners in some version of poetry voice. I also like the show Snap Judgement hosted by Glynn Washington which I've only ever heard on this station.

NHPR - New Hampshire Public Radio does not have the strongest signal where I live now, but has some funny quirks that I appreciate. I love the guy who reads the NH news and station underwriting throughout the day. (A quick search has revealed that this is Dan Colgan and he is the "Voice of New Hampshire.") I also love the segment Something Wild that tells me about things like squirrel survival strategies and moose license plates. One annoying/hilarious thing about this station is that, since it transmits to every single town in the state, the list of stations takes about 5 minutes to read off.
UPDATE: I like NHPR even more because of the transition music they play between segments and under local news/weather updates. This morning at 8:30am it was Nelly's "It's Getting Hot in Here."

WBUR - When the NHPR disappears while driving east (which it quickly does), and MPBN is playing opera again, you can tune into WBUR out of Boston, MA. This station is frankly like another planet to me. They air many local show that I am not familiar with, such as, Only A Game, and others that don't even sound like NPR shows! This can be disconcerting. However, there have been many times while diving south on 95 that I have been able to hear This American Life on WBUR, in its entirety.

In conclusion, I still love the NPR station from my hometown most of all (WUNC).