Rarely a day or a week or a month goes by but what I learn something new. Sometimes it’s not that it’s so really new, or earth-shaking, monumental or whatever. Sometimes it’s just that two and two come together and one gets four.

Or kind of. So here’s what I’ve realized in the last bit of time, say, one month; maybe even less. First, it’s about mosquitoes. I’m a blood-type O positive, and according to all the literature out there, I’m the first one that blood-sucking insects zero in on.

Be it mosquitoes, no-see-ums, wood ticks, chiggers, whatever–if any of them are around, and I’m in a bunch of people, the next thing you know I’m being chewed on. And when they chew on me, the result is some artistically impressive welts, red around the edges out to the size of a fifty-cent piece.

Even better, they’ll itch well into the next month. I guess I’m pretty tasty. So when a daughter bought me what I call a “bug sucker,” I was pretty interested. (If you’re also interested, and are being bitten, look up on Amazon “bug sucker.” One will come up.)

What they are is a little plastic plunger-kind-of-thing which one puts on a bite. When you pull up on the plunger, it pulls the venom or whatever out of the bite. Now, in theory, this should work. It’s similar to sucking the venom out of a snake bite, more or less.

Does it work? Yes. And no. It has worked on a deer fly bite. It has worked on a wood tick bite. It has also not worked on them. If one was a baseball player, and hit half the balls thrown in his direction, his resulting average would be .500. That’s pretty good, huh?

The best thing I’ve seen when it comes to avoiding mosquito bites is a good smudge fire. Notice that there are not many mosquitoes around lately? That’s because Canada has turned into a million-acre smudge fire. Sure, it’s hard to breathe, but the upside is that the mosquito population is breathlessly flying around on IFR, lost in the smoke. (Yeah, I know. We cannot breathe either; as usual, blessings are mixed.)

The next thing that I’ve learned is that wealth can be measured in many ways. How big a house. How many acres. How many cars. Trucks. Tools. How much money. I however have discovered a new algorithm to measure wealth.

It’s by the number of towels you own. A recent family get-together here, which now includes a number of female teenagers, has helped me develop this latest arithmetic measurement.

This statistical cohort, which numbers about five young girls, has helped me develop this formula for predicting wealth.

I just washed and hung 28 bath towels on the line to dry. Do the math. I have a wealth of young girls, by any analysis. 

I truly am a wealthy man.

And just darned fortunate. They were here only one weekend.

Another mixed blessing.