Thursday, July 27, 2006

Racoons and the surreal zone.

A few minutes ago, I woke up with heartburn.  I went into the kitchen to put something in my stomach to sooth it.  I noticed that the security light was on in the back yard.  That usually only happens when I set off the motion sensor, there's a cat back there, or the wind is blowing the tree branches around.  It's a calm night, and I didn't see any cat sneaking around back there, so I investigated.  As soon as I stepped out the back door, I noticed that trash was strewn all over the carport.  I saw chewed up napkins, plastic forks, bottles, and three little heads popped up.  The racoons had found the trash bag with the party leftovers in the bottom.  I wish I had a camera at the time.  The biggest one bolted down the driveway.  The two adolescent ones hid behind the trash bags, as if I didn't see them.  So, I went out there and moved the food containing bags, or what was left of them, against the wall, and surrounded them with bags which don't contain food.  The other two finally spooked and ran in different directions.  I know the procedure for thwarting these critters.  I'm a five year veteran of picking up trash out of my yard on trash day, which is a Monday morning ritual.  The racoons tend to lie in wait before sunrise on Monday for everyone to put out their trash, and then, when the coast is clear, they tear in and pig out.  Woe if you put yours out the night before.  Since the Kansas City trash pickup service is so backwards, they require the trash to be in bags.  The reason I have bags stored in my carport is because they will only take two bags per house unless you buy stickers for the excess ones.  No trash cans.  They will throw your trash can into the truck with your trash if you put one out there, or they just won't pick it up at all.  I learned the hard way.  I also learned a trick to keep the racoons away from my trash, and it worked just now.  I peed around the bags, and on the food debris which was strewn.  I went back inside and watched.  One at a time, they came back a few minutes later, sniffed around where I peed, and promptly left.  I don't know if that puts fear into them, or just puts them off their appetite, but it works.  <shrug>  It's cheaper than a BB gun.  I'd rather do that than pick up bits of chewed up barbecue napkins the next morning, or find food wrappers in every corner of my yard for the next two weeks.

On a less angry note:  Tuesday, I had a fun night out with Courtney.  We had previously discussed our common need for some good Mexican food and beverage and made an appointment for Tuesday night to sate that need.  So, I suggested we head to the northland and eat at Ixtapa.  Her quest for the best margarita and quesadilla combination was victorious in just that one stop.  It was a lot of driving, but there's no need to try every taqueria on the Boulevard.  That place never disappoints.  She said she didn't *want* to find a better chicken quesadilla appetizer.  Any attempt might be a huge let down.  I think that thing lasted 45 seconds before we had completely devoured it.  They put Grand Marnier in their margaritas.  Pow!  She had some pretty satisfying looking tacos.  I had to swipe some of the guacamole from her plate.  I had Enchiladas Nopales.  That would be cactus enchiladas.  They were delicious.  They also make a mean squash blossom quesadilla, although I'm partial to the ones from Casa Paloma in downtown Overland Park.  We explored Zona Rosa somewhat, since we were right across the highway.  That place is surreal.  In our quest for a public restroom we found the Cold Stone and ate ice cream so fast our heads hurt; it was so good.  The Tomfoolerie's at Zona Rosa has a different personality than the one on the Plaza.  Bike night?  There was a strange mix of yuppies and bikers there.  It reminded me how the Velvet Dog in KC has a completely different type of clientele than the one in the French Quarter, except this place has both types.  I found The Magestic Theatre.  That place looks swank.  No wonder the top comics are playing there and Harrah's and not the usual dumpy comedy clubs here.  Too bad it's way out by the airport.  I stumbled upon an Indian place called Swagat, with actual Indians eating there.  Noted!  "Bike Night Every Wednesday.  Free Admission with Helmet."  "Farmers Market.  Every Tuesday 4PM - Sell Out. Located in the breezeway between Victoria's Secret and Hot Topic."  You, too, can own a low rise condo overlooking the Sunglass Hut and DSW with a view of Dick's Sporting Goods in the distance.  Zona Rosa is just surreal.


  1. I could not decide whether to go with the "racoon" or the "raccoon" spelling.  The double C spelling looks more familiar, but I usually go with the economy of keystrokes.  Somebody flip a coin.  It is like "canceled" or "cancelled".  "Traveler" or "traveller".  I wish the folks at would say, this is the most common, and therefore correct, spelling.

  2. Just call them 'Coons

  3. digitalblarjuiceJuly 27, 2006 at 8:22 PM

    I go with raccoon. And cancelled. And traveler.

    I need more cheesecake ice cream.