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Wiper Mouse

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Blog entry by Belford posted 01-18-2017 10:04 PM 674 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today the outside temperature climbed to 26 degrees above zero so I thought it would be a good day to align the blade on my table saw without freezing to death. So I opened the garage door and the garage windows to allow the warmers outside air to displace the cooler inside air. As I positioned myself at the rear of my cast iron delta to loosen the two bolts, which held the carriage in place, I noticed a little gray field mouse scurry inside and run along the wall until he was about 10 feet away from me. There he stopped, stood on his hind legs and looked at me. After a few seconds he ran past me and disappeared behind some tires stacked in the corner. I made no effort to stop the little guy because he reminded me of another mouse in another garage some 42 years ago……..

In 1974 I got a new dog (German Sheppard) and a new used Buick on the same day. They both lived in our garage in Fargo North Dakota. The dog was humongous, one day when it was about 30 below I let the dog into the house to warm up and have some water that was not a solid. I left the room with the dog and a frozen whole chicken thawing in the kitchen sink to answer the phone. When I returned the dog had drank his water and eaten his Milk-Bone treat so I put him back in the garage. About half an hour later my wife asked me what I had done with the chicken, it was gone. We searched the house but never did find that chicken, not even a lousy bone. I had my suspicions but could never prove anything.

Anyway, I think the dog must have harbored some sort of a resentment against me because that night he ate the valve stems off all four tires. When I awoke to the sound of hissing I went to the garage in my shorts and the dog and I had a “come to Jesus” meeting. I told him he had bitten his last valve stem and stole his last chicken, frozen or not. I also expressed my concerns regarding his incessant barking each and every night and told him if he had thumbs I would make him replace the insulation he had ripped off the walls.

As I was chewing him out I noticed a mouse scurry up the left front flat tire and disappear. The dog witnessed this event also but made no effort to stop or even delay the mouse. He was supposed to be a guard dog, perhaps he had been trained at a minimum security white collar prison in Sweden.

The next morning (Saturday) I put the dog on cheaper dog food at half rations for a week, and blocked his doggie door from the inside. I raised the hood on my Buick, everything looked fine. But I knew that little bastard was in there somewhere, most likely hiding behind the coil, giving me the mouse finger.
I removed the air cleaner and found a multi-room nest made for a King mouse. In one portion of the nest, made from enough insulation to provide an R rating of 36, was a small pile of pebbles (I suppose to retain heat after I had turned the car off) in a separate pile was neatly stacked Purina Dog Chow Nuggets and in another area was a sleeping chamber lined with leaves, but the crucial piece of evidence was a valve stem plastic cap laying in the center of the nest.

I called the dog back inside the garage for another meeting. I asked him if he had any idea how many trips that mouse had to make up and down the tire to accumulate such a vast storehouse of the dogs own food, not to mention the warming pebbles and the building materials. He had no answer, just sat there looking dumb.

Throughout the course of the day I had all the tires repaired where the car sat, while the dog watched, as if he were trying to learn something.(doubtful)

I parked the car outside in the driveway, hoping the mouse would seek shelter elsewhere, now that his humble abode had been dismantled.

Sunday morning brought new challenges in the form of about three feet of snow. I looked out the kitchen window for the dog, but no dog. I figured he must be in the garage because my back yard was surrounded by a six foot high chain link fence. So I checked the garage, again no dog. So I got dressed and went outside to look for the dog or his body. When I got outside I could see a snow drift that I couldn’t see from the window. The drift was a big one and went from the ground to the roof of my garage. Where my dog was walking around like he was a ranger in a fire tower.

Monday morning I started the Buick, sure that the mouse was just an unpleasant memory. I drove North on University Avenue, a one way. It was about 5:40 am.
I’m driving along about 35 miles an hour and all of a sudden I find myself eyeball to eyeball with the mouse, he’s looking at me and hanging on to the windshield wiper with his little front paws.

It was funny because the wind was blowing the fur on his neck and head over his face and his little ears were flapping back and forth at me. I don’t remember if my Buick had intermittent wipers of not. But I turned then on to the lowest setting (I didn’t want to fling the little guy against some tree on the boulevard)
But he hung on, as the wiper took a sweep to my left the little mouse’s butt and tail would swing further to the left, then to the right, where his butt would bounce at the end of the sweep. But kept hanging on, left, then right, left once again (Weeeeeee) then right once more. I wondered what the mouse’s limits were. Could he hang on at Monsoon speed? What about gale force 7? Let’s find out, I cranked the wiper knob all the way to the end. Now he’s just a blur of fur, but still reluctant to let go. I figured I’ve give the little bugger a rest and returned the wipers to low, but increased my speed to about 65, then back up to top wiper speed . My forward motion speed combined with the mouse’s sideways speed must have been the equivalent of warp speed 13 on the Starship Enterprise. Through it all the mouse held a death grip on my GM wiper blade. Just before I got to the plant gate I shut my wipers off. I said to my self, you made it little guy, good for you. I had a new found respect for the mouse with the ruffled fur. I glanced back at my car as I walked to the gate but didn’t see the mouse.

At the lunch break I told my fellow workers about my mouse and his adventures on my wipers. One crazy dude offered to blast him to smithereens after works. I declined, he most likely would have shot the tire out on the wrong car.

The mouse was gone, and I missed him. I knew he was gone for good when I pulled into my garage and my dog ran up to the left front tire and stared in to the wheel well then hung his head and walked over to his bed and laid down. Just when you start to like someone, they leave.



8 comments so far

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

500 posts in 2025 days


#1 posted 01-19-2017 12:51 AM

I enjoyed your tale. No sure if it is tall or not. :)

-- socrbent Ohio

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2630 posts in 468 days


#2 posted 01-19-2017 01:14 AM

HEY …. you cant hardly make that up …... CAN YOU ? :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View jbee's profile (online now)

jbee

57 posts in 451 days


#3 posted 01-19-2017 01:59 AM

So did the mouse or the dog take the chicken?

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View Belford's profile

Belford

65 posts in 264 days


#4 posted 01-19-2017 02:28 AM



So did the mouse or the dog take the chicken?

- jbee


You are the very first person to ask that. I have a feeling you already know.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3574 posts in 3124 days


#5 posted 01-19-2017 02:31 AM

Belford ate that damn chicken and just wont admit it!

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

View Belford's profile

Belford

65 posts in 264 days


#6 posted 01-19-2017 02:34 AM



Belford ate that damn chicken and just wont admit it!

- papadan


Hahahahahaha

View atouchofoz's profile

atouchofoz

131 posts in 815 days


#7 posted 01-21-2017 08:27 PM

You are not only a gifted woodworker but a gifted writer!!! Thank you for taking the time to take me on your journey of critters verses people. LOVED IT!!!
I live remotely and the rodents are very willing to share our comfy habitats. They can do very real damage to the vehicles and emotional damage to K-9s. I can imagine the scolding the K-9 received while the little ittty bitty mouse is giggling in his wire harnessed home that he is about to chew up. Been there.
So did you get your band saw blade aligned? ~Suzanne

-- Suzanne, A Touch Of O.Z.

View Belford's profile

Belford

65 posts in 264 days


#8 posted 01-21-2017 10:02 PM

So did you get your band saw blade aligned? ~Suzanne

As a matter of fact I did. And it turned out to be a much simpler task then I was expecting once I found a very simple but very accurate method. I used two rare earth magnets on the blade (as far apart as possible) then I set my Starrett 12 inch rule on edge affixed to the magnets. Then I moved the fence as close as possible to one end of the rule. By doing so I could see how much out of parallel the rule was to the fence. Then I simply loosened two of the rear bolts that held the under saw carriage to the top. From there it was a simple matter of tapping the carriage and thus the blade into perfect parallel with the fence.
The other method of marking a tooth then rotating the blade is cumbersome and not very accurate as far as I can see.

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