Thursday, May 17, 2007


The birds are back in my gutter. I have a portion of gutter over my back door that has come a little loose. I haven't really helped matters any by being highly ignorant of even the most basic of home care.

I really want to be a handy kind of guy, and often I'm quite certain I know exactly how to fix something. Just as often are those things that I just don't notice. The gutter is sort of one of those things, except that I noticed it, but I only noticed it when it was raining and I was dashing through after a smoke in the garage. I'd think to myself thoughts of nicer days and getting the ladder out and cleaning the gutter.

Too many nicer days passed without that curtain of water to remind me that the gutters were fucked and needed my attention. Then spring finally came, and with spring came the birds. I'd begun to notice random drops of water on the back porch, often a sign that it's raining, but I'd know for a fact that this wasn't rain.

The gutter was so full of shingle bits and maple seeds that had dammed it up and the birds were using it, I'm guessing as a highly suspect source of drinking and/or bathing water. I have nothing against birds. I may have mentioned recently the removal of a bird nest from the hydrangea, so it might seem that I'm after the birds. I'm really not, but I can't very well let them have the gutter for themselves.

I shouldn't mention the actual cleaning, the rank odor wafting into my face as I removed more handfuls of gunk than should exist in such a confined place. I shouldn't go into the feeling of waterlogged maple seeds and random other detritus filling your hand as you move from the gutter to the bucket, dropping the mass with a lovely flop kind of a sound. The gravelly bits that wash off the shingles weren't so bad, but they were an added aspect into what could very well have become the hidden mosquito breeding ground of '07.

Removing all of that nastiness took enough strain off the gutter that it seemed as though I'd be okay. From the ladder, the gutter seemed to drain pretty well. I thought I'd taken care of the problem before it was too late, though late as it was should be really embarrassing to me no matter how I dress it up.

And speaking of birds, this may be the year they turn against me. I've discovered yet another nest that I disturbed before the birds were even able to finish. They tried to move into one of my recycling boxes. Because the garage door has a bit of gap in it, some sort of birds are getting in and out of the garage. I also found where in the garage they've shitting, though I caught that early in the process as well, so that mess isn't too bad. I've seen birds flying toward other parts of the garage, so there may be another nest attempt somewhere else that I have yet to completely disturb. This is also the year I swear to clean the garage, and I've actually already begun.

This isn't the place to post anything about cleaning the damn garage. There are certainly horrible stories to come about that. There will be the drive out Central to the scrap metal place. There will be the finally getting nearly two decades of home computers somewhere the hell else. There's also the gargantuan heating and air conditioning unit that is completely out of my hands. Remind me to tell you about that sometime. And for now, it seems I'll keeping running the birds out of all their new favorite haunts. I do really like birds, but there's only so much of their shit a man can stand.