Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Eyes Burn

I just finished reading a book entitled Outwitting Squirrels by Bill Adler. The first chapter is hilarious, no matter who you are. However, this is really a book written for bird watchers. Not really bird watchers though, more like those who put bird feeders in their yard, yet become extremely exasperated at the cunningness of the squirrels who figure out how to steal the seed meant for the birds from the feeder. It is a pretty funny book, though sometimes it comes in bursts, and if know nothing about birds, squirrels, or bird-feeders, this is not the place to start. For instance, in reading this book I learned that after a male squirrel mates with a female, he shoots out a waxy plug to keep his semen in, and other males' semen out. Good stuff, if you have a bird-feeder. But, I do not want this to be a book review blog.

So, I have a timely complaint with this book. Chapter 8 details 101 different stratagems for keeping squirrels out of the bird-feeder. Most of these are designed to be funny such as #2 Dig a moat around your feeder. Fill it with piranha; #33 Enclose your yard with a 20-foot tall Plexiglas fence; #40 Hang your feeder 100 feet down from a 200 foot tall tree; and my favorite, #94 Hire a lawyer.

However, when I hit #62 . . . let's just say that if I had a gun, I would have shot the book. The first few words from #62 are, "Make use of patent 4,712,512 . . . . Here's the patent as described: A method and apparatus components for converting a plastic . . ."

I gave up at that point. Fuck that, I am done with patents. I just finished Intellectual Property (post the grades already Prof.), and I sure as shit do not want to read about claims again, ever, unless someone is paying me to do it (becuase a) I am taking Copyright next semester (IP was a survey class) and b) I do not have the background to take the patent bar). If there is anymore convoluted syntax (outside of a Kafka novel) than a patent claim, please let me know. However, Mr. Adler chose not to limit this to just #62, as stratagems #62-#76 all started with a patent number. I skipped five pages of the book, and I do not feel guilty about it all.

And yes, skipping pages of a book, much like skipping to the end to read the last two pages, is a cardinal sin in my book. (By the way, the book I just read describes cardinals as aloof and ground-feeders.)

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I haven't had any experience in reading patent filled books, but I've read a few that I wished I could burn the image of out of my mind, hehee.

Hope your next reading endeavor turns out better :)

Best,
Kim