Category Archives: General

Rat and Rat Chase

If I don’t say something about rats having hated cats for their killing spree, the spirit of this blog site is not complete.

Before that I must talk about the squirrels.

They are very intelligent and watchful (scientific in many ways) and social animals.

They are the first to alert of any danger and Pol Kittcha is the other guy.
They work in tandem when cats and snakes are around.

I have looked after many orphaned squirrels as a kid and gave it up after two major incidents.
1. The cat (killing one of my favorite squirrels)
2. When they are uprooted from their environment they become dependent and vulnerable to infections and one day I found in it’s nest thousands of tiny flea like creatures to which I did not have any remedy.
With advancing age I realized that they deserve to go back and since then every squirrel or animals saved were nursed back to nature.

If you do not have cats at home one can get them (squirrels) to feed from your hand like pigeon and they love cheese like any cat.

Furthermore, do not have bird table if you have cats at home.

We have decimated our house sparrows and I am still wondering why they disappeared in little over 20 years.

We cannot improve nature but we can make “live and let live” a simple principle.

Never ever try to improve nature knowing man is the biggest polluter and destructer of all living beings including man himself.

There is a house nearby where there is a bird table and I have often seen when house is empty the cats from the neighborhood ( including the cats of the same house catch birds).

They are not Buddhist but I often wonder this is one way to feed the hungry cats when they are away?

I never talk to them at the same breath as here but warn them and report them I have seen cats catching the birds and don’t leave food when they are away on the bird table.

This is where I want to write about wastage of food (the have’s) in a lighter vein but perhaps not except stating that my house is a classic example (I have been trying to make them understand for ages).

Now that coconut is fifty and tea is double the price and sugar and milk are up I make sure one article is in short supply always (I wish all of them to get the message in full).

Slowly but surely I am getting the message across through necessity.

Before I forget India loses 40% of its grain to rats every year.

It is far better for them to not to send their children to America for further study and corrupt them but get them to do some ongoing research to minimize this and invest some I.P.L money to have this trend arrested and bring food prices down for the down trodden people who do not watch cricket.

They have done wonders for us and our team now even cannot make even 100 in text cricket.

Please kill our cricket in full then we won’t have corrupt politicians pulling strings behind the scene.

I wish English to white wash them in this series and (even without that we are going down precipitously) nobody can arrest the corrupt practices of politicians and their stooges at all levels which has ruined our cricket.

I was one of those who believed only way to arrest these corrupt practices (certainly not ICC is made corrupt by IPL already) for us to lose and lose and then only few who love the game will play (like England County Cricket- Good example is Thescovisk of England) and without much crowd watching except the friends who join at the pup/bar after the game.

In that case we can also go and watch cricket without a ticket like good old days with plenty of beer from saved (to purchase the ticket) money.

I am in the minority but sports should be for fun (not to destroy one physically) and not to make one fabulously rich and lose touch with common sense.

I am way off the title but that was done deliberately ( I am not going to write on cricket any more than what I stated above and I have totally lost interest due to how it has become so corrupt) since what I am going to say from now onwards is not very appealing for healthy being.

There are people on this earth who eat bats, squirrels and rats too.
There are rats bigger than some cats in India and some cats fear them.
We have of course big political rats of all shades.

I must mention here if anybody find a remedy for rat population he will get the next Nobel prize.

I have seen rats in London Underground and now I believe they have made connections with rats from France who do not speak English through the channel tunnel.

This was a big achievement of Mrs.Thathcr and the idea was to get the message across through underground rats who will tell the French that English originated from French.

Very clever political deal.

I am one who believes that rats fly through Trans Atlantic Airways to America from France and have made some good connection with American diplomatic rats without WiKiLeak tapes.

If not passenger flights, they are flying to America on cargo planes without having to get Visa from America or tickets for the flight.

They will have their head quarters near those hotels where IMF bosses play Pick a Boo.

I am told that the next IMF boss’s, one of the first priority jobs is to meet the rats alliance to discuss food storage in USA.

There is a grand wold alliance of rats and they have a party every time the new candidate for Republican party is declared.

They (rats) now know that American are the best food wasters of the world

I will list them and finish with how I used squirrels to complete with the rats.

1. I had to dissect rats with bare hands in school (please do not take this as a rag. Now present undergraduate needs spoon feeding about leadership roles, which they will never get with the present constitution which is amended for third round of elections).

2. It was uphill task to find one from the Municipality (there were rat catchers employed and some of them are now candidate for local elections after retiring fro their of posts and many of them are in the ruling party.

3. I once killed a rat in my rage for damaging a plastic top of tin of baby milk powder imported during 1989 dark days.

4. His companion I could not kill but escaped. I never so that rat who was terrified.

5. I was angry I missed the other one.

6. Then when the anger subsided, I asked myself why have you done that.

7. Plastic Micky Mouse Picture hanging on the wall told me a different story.

8. What is the different from a squirrel. They almost look the same except the ugly long tail.

9. There should be a method to control not to kill.

10. Make the house rat friendly or is it not friendly.

Now I am a Mickey Mouse convert and my daughter was less than six months then and am I able to tell her that I kill a rat because of a tin of milk with plastic top?

Shall I bring my children animal friendly?

Not due to religion but simple logic tells me that I have no right to kill or destroy any life.

Will I make them vegetarian?

In ten minute of contemplation, I was a different person.

The next stage was to use my observation habits.
I looked for all the dwelling places of rat.

My rat research started, then and there.
It is based on rat friendly theme.

1. Baby Food were stored in either fridge or in steel cupboard.

2. Rat poison was banned from the house on the pretext of lest the children be poisoned.

3. No rat traps

4. Store less food

5. Clean regularly and meticulously

6. Do not leave food out in the open, be that it may be, bin, table or kitchen.

7. Cats were prohibited but one landed on a rainy day.

8. There were lot of opposition but I was the master of ceremony in charge.

9. After many months of perseverance and observation I finally realized that rats never have their nests where squirrels were nesting. There was healthy competition and squirrel made sure that rats are chased especially when young are nursed.

10. Rats make nest in total darkness, whereas squirrels need lot of day light.

Final conclusion no food no rats and if you have food put them in tight plastic or steel compartments.

90% of our problem was solved.

Never ever keep your house /rooms not occupied a single day.
Every time you are out they know you are out they have a party late at night, like after the declaration of candidacy for next American Presidency.

There is a misconception that rats can see in total darkness and catch rat. The reason that rats prefer nocturnal activity is due to the fact cats cannot see in total darkness. Cats have dark adaptation and ability reflect light (photos) that had not impinge upon rods. Similar reflecting mechanism is used in roads to reflect light and that is why they are called cat’s eyes.
In addition cats have long whiskers to guide them in dim light.
So not feeding cats at night expecting them to catch rats is a total misconception.
However, Ceylon Civet (now Famous Kala Waddas are better at hunting rats at dim light than cats.
So it is better to have a Kala Wadda instead of cat at home but they are very secretive animals and avoid humans at all cost!

In Sri-Lanka rats come for a party only on President’s House where food is thrown at lib.

In our houses food is becoming scarce and most of our rats are hitchhiking to America.

The best way (Sri-Lankan way) to control rats is for us to eat less bread and rice.

We are on that pathway now.

India can follow without feeding their rats with stored grain.

Or else they should eat them without sending them across the Palk Straight for our consumption and make poor Indian strong enough to play IPL cricket (not test cricket).

How to Freeze a American Credit Card

It is very difficult to be a very SMART credit card user.

About 12 years ago when I returned from sojourn abroad and decided not to go back in spite of the many risks involved (including losing my life on public transport or in a public place like Central Bank of Ceylon-now it is no more public, it is almost private where few cronies make all the decisions, or while watching a cricket match) in Ceylon. 

I had six credit cards and a small saving abroad.

Unfortunately those cards were international and one can use it in this country in spite of the war.

I was without a job and was not hunting for a job wanting to take a welcome respite since the sojourn abroad was lot of work covering for three local doctors who did not want to work where I worked but was a beautiful, place now almost wretched by the recent earth quake.

I was enjoying the welcome respite but I could not resit the indulgence with the credit cards.

One day when I looked at the credit balance abroad and the amount of money I owed and the interest accumulated, and it dawned on me I may not survive even a year.

That night I took all the cards and cut them in half and went to sleep.

I have made a few smart decisions in my life and very many structurally poor decisions (including returning to my mother Lanka and watching absolute corruption at all level including schools, health sector (both public and private) and electioneering.

But this was one of those SMART decisions.

I could foresee the credit market collapse (but not so soon though) even though I was not a financier.

The decision was to live within my means and not bloated like the mega politicians on credit loans from abroad.

I have some information for you how to FREEZE your Credit Card that you got the other day, thanks to the Lifehacker International for sharing their wealth of financial advice with me.

They are as follows

1. Take the card in your hand and oil it with some Sri-Lankan butter and wrap it with a tin foil. It may be useful to swipe a strong magnet over it to demagnetize the inner foil.

2. Buy 12 plastic containers that fit in inside the other and gradually become smaller that would have the capacity to hold a small piece of fish cake sold at Rs.100/= in a super market food stall-For example Majestic City.

3. Now put the credit card nicely foil covered in the inner most container and place other containers on top of it. By doing this you are going to save on the electricity, bill .
The innermost will have the coolest air trapped which cannot escape and the outermost will have the warmest air.

4. Now switch on the freezer and put the lowest cooling rate and place the credit card containing cartooned cartoon deep inside the freezer compartment and put all the reused or rotten food you eat on top with few onions and garlic to sanitize the rotten food.

5. Now you have to pay your electricity bill with cash and not by credit card.

This way you can Freeze your card till you become old enough to say good bye to this world.

Do not forget to put a note inside stating that “I do not owe the bank any money”.

This will stay put and a STATUS SYMBOL for your name since you may the only one under the hot Sun in Sri-Lanka who does not owe anything when you died.

All the rest are pawned for another 60 to 100 years by our caretaker politicians.

Cricket and the big Face Lift

Cricket is getting a big face lift.
I do not agree with the behavior of some fans in the Asian subcontinent even the events  of off the field actions are brushed off as minor incidents.

Severe deterrent actions are necessary on the filed and outside the field what ever the outcome of a match.

Host country need not have to win by hook or crook.

Let the players inspire and umpires in the middle take the center stage not arm chair pundits.

In our country in the past during elections violence is brushed off as minor incidents and it metamorphosed to ethnic violence and after the war ceased nobody except the parties and candidates are interested. Last election, like in the west 42% did not turn up and it will be 50% this time around by fixing the elections at a time of Cricket World Cup and coming new year festive season.

But we are sure with voter apathy malpractices will be rampant on the day of the actual voting with opposition disorganized as it is now.

In a democracy it is the opposition that matters.

Similarly what ever the fan’s behaviour that is not acceptable in human interactions should be dealt with with severe punishment like not hosting an international events in that country for 10 years or so.

We lost Bob Woolmer last time.

There was antecedent Pakistani match fixing incidents.

And similar pressure can be brought when crunch games are played.

At least to save goodwill and ambassadorial work done by Imran Khan and his perseverance for neutral umpires, unlike other games, cricket has got a tremendous face lift.

It is true and I see even the not usually interested females are taking some interest in SriLanka now.

If they are to  come and watch games there should be absolutely  no violence  on or off the field.

We must maintain that.

In election violence also females take a step back and withdraw.

It is the host government’s responsibility to take all deterrent actions.

In SriLanka it is the ticket sale and there is a black market issue here.

It is the government’s role to take action and minimize the inconvenience to the fans who actually do come to the ground and put their money in the coffers of the administration.

Otherwise blacklist and do not hold events in that country.

Sports should be taken out of politics and religious fanaticism, if we are to make them viable and active engagements both the actors and the spectators in film parlance.

We do not burn down film halls and that principle applies to cricket too and crowd control must be proactive and not after the event.

Most of the umpiring decisions and revisions are making an acceptable change to the game.

Umpires also given some credibility and it was at stake when reviews were not allowed.

It is the players who make the requests at critical junctures and reviews should be balanced and credible.

By doing that we make less importance to the daily papers who report them 24 hours late.

Television commentators are also adding some spice to the game and all these are good for the future of the game.

Now it is the time for the players to add some spice and the lift the game up.

Players should have the courage to walk out if they feel they genuinely had a touch or believe they grassed the ball instead of waiting for the reviewers to make the decision.
It will help the TV umpires and cut down the delay in making the decisions.

Coming back to actions in the field, the birthday boys heroics in New Zealand against Pakistan match make me to revise my decisions of not supporting a team.

After the earth quake damage to South Island and Christchurch, it was something for the New Zealanders to take note and smile.

It may be a little boost to ones who lost their loved ones and property and if they can take the Trophy home, now that they are on top of the table, it will really rejuvenate the rebuild efforts for those who lost almost everything.

With Daniel Vittory in the injury list it may  be a treat and farewell for him with his retirement from one day cricket announced.

On the field they are the best guys and good luck with your game with Australia.
Weather did not allow an outcome at Premadasa and I hope you will end their victory streak, like what you generally do in rugger field.

Human Destiny

If man needs to survive in this planet with dwindling resources and utmost pollution he has to take major steps.

The WHO culpable for its inability to forecast and foretell the emerging trends. I is is also culpable in not having a sustainable strategy.It seems it is dictated by the rich nations funding it and the cronies employed to effect the rich nations desired plan of inactivity.

They haven’t got an estimate of what is the sustainable population in which the planet can produce food (with a buffer stock.for major catastrophe).

They let the market forces decide the events.

With inflation, the price of food is going up and that is no concern for them.

They haven’t got a plan for food security.

Above all they haven’t a slightest of idea of how the global warming would threaten food security.

Their performance is akin to UNO which is impotent in formulating any viable preposition to this planet except for dividing land, countries and nations to a level desirable for the rich nations to exploit economically.

Their pseudo-economic aid make these poor countries more vulnerable and this is happening in Asia and Africa.

They have no strategy to make Africa a food basket of the world.

Asia cannot sustain food security due to population explosion in India and China which are following a death trap of new open economy.

For the first time India was not able to produce onion which is not an essential commodity.

But what about the staple diet. It is no different. Up until now soya had been filling the gap. While supplementing the staple diet it was a buffer for the poor nations.

Now with bio-fuel taking precedence this commodity is becoming the rich nations darling exploits.

Wind up with water security.

It is common knowledge that this planet is abundant with water and even can submerge some low lying nations with glacial melting.

But we do not have ample drinking water.

The man continue to pollute the rivers and their origins and basins with industries that should be banned for the benefit of mankind.

China, India and Ceylon are good examples.

In Ceylon all our rivers are neglected and allowed to contaminate with dangerous agro-chemicals from up country to low country of the North and North East. The rain forest is gradually destroyed and and disappearing fast and some rivers are actually now drying up in dry season.

The government priority was the war and making the economy running somehow but not having a sustainable plan to protect the forest and the rivers that are the live wire of our wellbeing.

In fact we do not have water security.

In the mean time some politicians are getting ready to sell the last resource we have. That is water for money to foreign capital. That plan is still in the drawing board and with two third majority even that is sold to a company or companies for generating money. I am not surprised judging by the level of intellectual capacity in the parliament. It.is possible in the distant future for the water to be be sold to foreign capital, however much they deny that there are no plans to privatize water industry.

That is a big lie!

Human needs and his Destiny

It looks likes human needs take paramount importance to all the other needs of living beings on this planet.

 

Human needs are not measured by bare existence but by uncontrolled desire, greed and exploitation of the very environment he lives in.

He is not very responsible but very erratic in behaviour.

He explores and expand both in numbers and the spheres of influence.

When the going is good he expands and when the going is bad he perseveres at the expense of all other beings.

Human is the only species known to eats its own beings and all the other edible beings.

He does not spare anything that this earth can offer,

 

When the going is good it is Lancashire hotpot with lamb but when the going is bad it is only potato hotpot.

His culinary desires which includes cannibalism speaks of his destructive nature.

How can we say he is a rational being?

Only rationality is his own existence at the expense of sometimes his own fellow beings.

Rat race and nothing but rat race.

That is the virtue of all powerful capitalism, power and wealth.

There is something wrong in this simple equation.

Expand, exploit and try to gain control at every advantage point.

He does not learn lessons from the past,

40 years ago in 1973, when oil price hike followed after the Middle est conflict he was ill prepared.

I saw what that meant for our children.

Thousands and thousand of children died of starvation and illness.

We are not ready for its repetition.

This time it is the global warming which is going to precipitate it.

40 years ago it was oil and energy and thereafter the food crisis.

When there is scarcity we tend to invest more on the same resource instead of changing to alternative resources.

In fact after the last oil crisis we had being using oil at a rate far more energetic than before.

We were not ready for the global warming.

In fact we did all to precipitate it.

Then there is a Youth Bubble too.

The rich dictators were not receptive to the needs of the poor while piling up money for their own fantasies.

How can we say man is rational.

His greed dictates the front line.

The ones who are behind the line or sitting on the bench have no say.

Unfortunately this equation is going to change.

Be prepared the human, the stupid exploiter.

Potato hotpot and Umpires in hotpot (hot seat)

Potato hotpot is an easy to make British cuisine that I hate as much as some of the Australian and British umpires. Potato hotpot not only is easy to make but cheap and the hospital stuff we had to eat were the worst I could think of and there are no spices added and if there was any sauce, it is as bland as any British cuisine. One of my Indian friends used to say they (British) discovered salt and then pepper and after that it stopped till they discovered India. I totally agreed with Kurian and his wife’s cooking was one of the best coming from Kerala and quite similar to Sri-Lankan dishes unlike the North Indian stuff without coconut milk.

When I was fed up with the potato hotpot I had the luxury of having a meal with him..

I wonder where the guy is now and totally lost track of him.

The umpires like the potato hotpot, have the habit of easily raising the finger against Asian Stars (Sanath Jayasuriya in particular in 1996 World Cup) but deliberate million times and even twist the cricketing rules when the player is a British or Australian (latest seen in the Ashes series). Quite recently even Graham Smith had to bite his finger nail to its bed when umpires were in the hot seat and making the players to eat a humble pie or potato hot pot after the game.

Come this time too, the World Cup, the mistakes would be as common like the potato hotpot and I wish to propose that potato hotpot (or similar dishes) should be banned from our cuisine till the World Cup is over.

The real reason for me writing this has nothing to do with cricket, umpiring or who wins the cup.

We are made to eat a meal very much like the potato hotpot but without onions and potatoes.

Both onion and potato have gone up in prices and along with the gas and electricity. Electricity has gone up like a rocket and if we watch the cricket we may have to skip few meals to save money to pay the units of electricity.

I am pretty sure our guys (not when I privately inquire) will skip meals and watch cricket.

To save money on meals I have a suggestion for all Sri-Lankan mothers.

We must make one curry like the potato hotpot.

The ingredients are as follows.
1. One small onion
2. Two potatoes finely sliced
3. One carrot
4. One mango
5. One or two Ambaranka
6. Lot of leaves from the garden except grass
7. Little salt
8. And any other available leaves to fill the pot
9. Dash of Pol Piti Kiri
10. Put them into a large vessel with water and boil to taste.

By this method gas, fire wood and electricity can be saved instead of cooking three different curries separately.

With money saved watch all the cricket matches till April.

Then we won’t be able to make even this Sri-Lanlakn Pot-Pot-Hotpot.

We all will be on hot seats.

House Sparrows, a vanishing species?

I had been looking for an answer for why our house sparrows have become a vanishing species?

I have not found any luck.

Our ornithologists and bird watchers have not done enough.

I put the question to myself and these are the emerging facts.

1. This coincided with the disappearance of the migrant bird species which I counted over 30 in 1984.

2. Last 5 years I have not seen more than five species coming to our neighbourhood.

3. The last species who lost the habitat due to development was a type of robin who makes nests in the paddy fields. I call them the paddy birds and dearly as the last of the singing Bohemians. Once they lost the paddy field they started nesting on grass and when the remaining little waste land (now there is a three story building there) was encroached upon they disappeared. Till then I used to see at least 4 to 6 of the young ones yearly.

4. The house sparrows are more close to human habitat but they disappeared some 20 years ago.

Why?

That was my question.

I have seen one or two sparrows in Kandy City Center occasionally but none in the suburbs.

1. Unusual predator

2. Unusual predator of the eggs

3. Unusual destructor of their nests

4. Poison in our food and grains

I come to the last conclusion.

The amount of poison we eat every day in our food is sufficient to kill all the house sparrows over the last 30 years.

By way of aggro-economics we are killing our birds.
The story is true for pigeons too.