Last night I snuffed out three mosquitoes without any remorse. This brings to 25 the number of mosquitoes I've personally removed from this earth. This is my contribution to the Bill Gates Foundation. Do you think I can get a tax receipt from them?

No, I didn't so either.

Today is the first third time I'm at Milano's Coffee Roasters for my morning coffee and e-mail wrap up before I go into work to face the fresh hell that is presently my life. I may never leave this cafe again because of the comfy chairs and the delicious blueberry tarts.

In the past few days, I've not only had dinner invitations retracted, but also been told that I'm a diversion that is bad for work e-mail. How is that possible? I don't know. Regardless of these niggling remarks (much like the mosquitoes which buzzed around me, and which have now been snuffed out), I've completed one more manuscript (about time) and am about to submit a second, and completed my employment review. The two manuscripts will add to my yearly totals, but sad to say, like any putative tax receipt from the Bill Gates Foundation, will be deemed unacceptable for someone like me.

It's a no win situation. You can publish in quantity, but you'll be told that the quality is insufficient. You can publish with quality, but you'll be told that the quantity is insufficient. Publishing in quality an in quantity is not possible for me given the man power that is available to me, not to mention, I want a life, however pathetic it is.

I read of a Dr. Fox in Oxford who says that the brain is like sand, and then she described a stream of water running through the sand to make semi-permanent channels in the sand which eventually makes the network of water run in the same way.

She then went on to explain that because the brain is like sand, one can using pure thoughts and feelings change the networks in one's brain. The example she used was develop an optimistic mind set by virtue of thinking optimistic thoughts when bad things happen to you. She said that the answer was to seek alternative answers to the bad that happens rather than jumping to conclusions. In this way, one can inure oneself against bad.

Unfortunately this doesn't work with mosquitoes. Snuffing is much better for dealing with mosquitoes. After all, what alternative explanation is there to mosquitoes buzzing around you other then, 'they want to suck you dry of your blood, and give you nasty parasitic diseases'. I challenge you to think of a positive alternative explanation.

You can't, can you.

I rue the day that the City of Vancouver privatized the Department of sanitation Engineering. The result of this is that each apartment building has to make arrangements with a private sanitisation company, and so now instead of one city wide service which comes once a week, we have different sanitation trucks and attached engineers buzz around different buildings several times a week, but all apparently at the same time of the day - there had to be some consistency somewhere I suppose. How does this affect your poor, afflicted correspondent? Well, let me tell you. Like mosquitoes, they buzz around at 7am in the morning every other day revving their engines, picking up sanitation containers with gusto (read, CLANK, CLANK, CLANK), dump the contents with enthusiasm (THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, SQUELCH), and then drop the empty containers with total disregard for those who've finally dropped off to sleep after a hard night being buzzed by mosquitoes, then snuffing said mosquitoes by jumping around with a feather duster (BANG! BANG! BANG! (the second two bangs are like little echoes of the first as the containers wobble before finally settling down)).

Alas, I do have to depart Milano's now and deal with the human mosquitoes that unfortunately I can't snuff at will, much as I would like to.

Where's the mosquito repellent?