It all started in late January. Things warmed up, and we were giddy with excitement. Idaho can be a cold place for a few months each year, but this year was going to be different. Then the bugs showed up.
They are tiny little black flies of some kind. Some people are calling them fruit flies. I call them black gnats. They were charming at first, kind of like the first robin of Spring. That was short lived. They’re everywhere now. This includes a glass of water, my beard, a cold beer, the air we breathe.
I originally blamed Old What’s Her Face’s* pointsetta. I’ve seen similar insects show up with the arrival of a new plant. Christmas ended and so did the giant pointsetta. The flies remained.
They are attracted to Tituba, my sourdough starter. At first, I had to pick one or two off the top with a spoon. Kind of gross, but cutting and feeding her involves throwing most of it away and just keeping a drop or two for the next batch. Then I opened the crock one day and a swarm flew out. I swear I heard Barry White music inside.
Saran Wrap doesn’t stick to crockery. Guess how I learned this. Tinfoil seems to do the job, but the little buggers still found a way inside. I was faced with possibly freezing the whole crock solid to kill them, or spraying the whole thing with Raid. Niether option sounded good to me. Sourdough starter freezes well, and comes back to life just fine. The freezer space is premium real estate at the Boyack house. Raid, well, just no.
Tituba, and her cute crock are safely nestled in a giant ziplock bag. She never complains, and is working hard to keep us in sourdough bread this winter. I have no idea how I’ll dry some to save for next year. Exposing it to open air will probably bring back the swarm. Maybe I could dry smaller portions out in the refrigerator.
She isn’t stylish right now, but there are no bugs.
As an experiment, I sucked all the air from the baggie. It’s probably a good thing I did, because it inflated like a balloon. Yeast fermentation gives off carbon dioxide. If that were added to the existing air in the bag, I’m sure it would explode.
I had my daughter cut my hair this morning. We got a nice visit out of the deal. Three different students complimented me on my beard. Don’t tell me it’s just professional curiosity. I’m convinced that it’s awesome. I left my daughter a $20 tip, because she needs it.
In other news, the cover reveal for Will O’ the Wisp is scheduled for next Tuesday. I also made landing pages for both versions and added the copyright notice to the North American version.
Then I opened a blank page and created ending data for every book I have out. Now all I have to do is add the purchase link for Wisp, and it’s a simple copy and paste to get the “also by this author” data in each book.
I also used an online service to update my sidebar with these tricky links that direct people to the correct Amazon store. Now I’m not begging people to initiate a special search so they can buy one of my books from their store as opposed to Amazon.com. If one of my international followers would test any cover and report back, I’d appreciate it.
Since this post is mostly food oriented, I scored some baby bay scallops at Whole Foods. I’ll sauté them in garlic butter, and Old What’s Her Face is making us some Ceasar Salads for dinner – baby bay scallop Ceasar Salads. (Heck with that chicken Ceasar stuff.) Fresh ground black pepper — yes please, it cammoflages the black gnats.
Tonight I’ll probably tackle another post for my blog tour. I’d prefer writing them all before I book it.
* Entertaining Stories; protecting my wife’s online identity since 2013.