What started me thinking about this was because we seem to be overrun with the little critters this year. I mean, we’ve had them on our ‘basement’ walls every year since we built the place, but this year, it’s a bumper crop.

It’s kind of strange. I guess I never really looked closely at them till this year. I never realized that there was a live, moving bug inside most of these little things. Well there is.

This also was the first year that we noticed them upstairs in the main living area of the house. As a result, I got curious about them this year. I first spent quality time observing one of them while I was sitting on the throne (as you do) taking care of some personal business. I happened to see what appeared to be some sort of worm or bug sticking out of one end of the thing and actually moving the thing along as it went. I’d never seen that before.

After that revelatory and satisfying experience, I happened to ask a few folks at our Friday pool party if they knew what the critters were. Everyone had seen the things, but no one had a clue as to what they might be.

I didn’t think they looked particularly ominous, but down here, with as many critters as there are, and some quite bad-ass ones to boot, you just never know. I wasn’t real keen to grab one and get bitten or stung and find out I’ve got like 30-seconds to live.

My only experience of getting into close contact with them previously was to grab my broom and sweep them off the walls into a nice tidy little pile, scoop them up into the dustpan and then deposit them into a nearby trash container.

Not that now that I know more about them, that I get particularly cozy and all with them, but now I don’t fret if I happen to actually make real, physical contact with them.

So, wanting to know more about them, but having run into a knowledgeability roadblock with our social crew, I thought I’d ask Dianna to post a photo on Facebook and see if anyone had more of an idea what they were than this lot seemed to.
My Blurry Photo of Small Bug-Thing
I would have done it myself, but for religious reasons, I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook.

Dianna had never posted a photo to Facebook before and suggested I ask Colleen to do it, so that’s what I did.

Tuesday, I emailed Colleen the following:
Hi Colleen,

I've attached a photo of those little bug things that seem to hang out on the inside walls. It's not a very good photo, but I think it gets the idea across.

The bug thing appears to be about 5/8th inch long by 1/4th inch wide at the middle. they're flat and appear to have some sort of worm sort of thing poking out of one end or the other, and they really like being on walls. It appears to be a very small inch-worm like critter. Must be a larval form of some type of moth.

If you could post the photo and the description to Facebook and ask if anyone can identify it, I'd appreciate it. I did ask Dianna to do it, but she didn't know how to do the photo end of it. Thanks.

While Colleen was posting the photo and request to Facebook, she and her hubby, Bruce, were playing host to the best minds in the business, who happened to be getting ready for a heavy day of playing golf. Their suggestion as relayed by Colleen as to what we were dealing with was the following:

The golfers said, “They are a cocoon of sorts. Have a tiny caterpillar inside that changes to a moth. We all have a lot.of them.this year.”

I’m glad I didn’t bet the kingdom on that answer. Those boys must have read my email. Colleen also provided a potentially useful tidbit when she said that her housekeeper called them ‘dust bugs.’Does that help?

Apparently, there were more witty responses on Facebook to the posting. One from some wag named ‘CT’ who suggested turning up the A/C as that made them go away. Wonderful. In the meantime, I wouldn’t be able to afford my electric bill - that’s assuming I had A/C in the first place, which I don’t.

After a few more erudite comments from the peanut gallery, CT actually came back with the most complete and concise posting on the topic. Big ups to him for that. He posted a link (http://indian-river.fl.us/government/ces/dc021499.html) to an informative article written by a Florida County Extension Agent (Daniel F. Culbert) about our critters. He called them ‘Plaster Bagworms’ (Phereoeca dubitatrix).

I’ve since found all kinds of research about the critters. It seems that the more correct name for them is the following from the University of Florida:

Phereoeca uterella is a species of moth belonging to the family Tineidae. It is commonly known as the plaster bagworm but as the term "bagworm" more properly refers to moths of a different family (Psychidae), it is often called the household casebearer – which may in turn refer to the related Phereoeca allutella. It is found in warm, humid climates throughout the Americas although the exact range is difficult to map as it is easily confused with other case-bearing tineids.”

This came from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phereoeca_uterella). It seems the experts (so-called) have as much trouble as us lay people telling what’s what in the critter world.

Wikipedia had a much better photo, below, of the thing than my blurry effort.
Household Casebearer - From Wikipedia
Quite a bit more hot skinny on these critters is in a publication from the University of Florida IFAS Extension,  Publication #EENY003 (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in129). The publication also includes several photos, of which, below is a couple showing the Household Casebearer as we’ve seen them, and one showing the end result, the moth. Kind of pretty, that.
Household Casebearer Showing Larva
Female Household Casebearer Moth
Well, now we know more, but we’re still not sure exactly what we’re dealing with. It seems they could be any one of about three or four species of moth. I guess we can agree on the almost politically correct sounding name of Household Casebearer as being more specifically descriptive.

I dunno, I sort of like ‘dust bug.’ At least now we all know a lot more about these things than when we started. We can be assured now as we sweep them into our dustpans that the Household Casebearer isn’t quite the danger that it initially seemed was possible. Unless of course, you want to save and protect all those wool sweaters and such that you brought down with you.

Almost A Dollar Short

4/07/2014 08:45:00 AM | 4 Comments
I've written before about mis-directed mail - that is, mail intended for us that was sent to some place else. It's really pertinent when the address to get it to us is plainly and correctly written and it still gets sent to God only knows where.

You can read those stories by following these links: One from March and one from April, both from 2009. The latest one happened just a few days ago. Well, we got the letter a few days ago. I have no idea when it originally was sent.

It seems that our good friends at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owed us some money, not a lot, but enough that they felt obligated to send it to us. They didn't actually send us the money. What they did was send us an IRS Form 1099-INT. See, they owed us some interest from our taxes last year. So, they wrote up the Form 1099 and fired it off to us, trusting the US Postal Service to get it down to Belize where the Belize Post Office would actually deliver it to us.

That was their first mistake - trusting the US Postal Service. If you're like us, when you hear of mis-directed mail, you probably first think of the Belize Post Office as being at fault. Hah! They never get their hands on it at that early stage. First, the envelope has to be sent by the US Post to some remote and foreign spot on the globe. It's then up to that location's postal folks to re-direct it to us here in Belize.

That's what happened here. The envelope bearing the Form 1099 and plainly and correctly addressed to us in Belize, first had to detour to Paris, France. A location not even in the same neighborhood as ours. Granted, we have Canadian satellite TV and there's a bit of French language programming on there, but I don't think that necessitated sending our mail on an extended journey across the pond, and back.

Anyway, that's what happened. We did get the Form 1099 in time to include it with our tax filing, so no harm done. It's just interesting that we get to add another country to the list of places the US Postal Service has sent mail intended for us here in Belize. I'm glad we don't live in some back-water, out of the way, third world country. Who knows where our stuff would end up.

When we left off, I had just completed filling the new filter with sand and at that point, I stopped for the day.

What will complete the posting for that is getting the piping hooked up to the filter and giving it a go - under pressure to see how it fares as far as leaks are concerned.
New Filter and Piping
The new filter is a Pentair Tagelus TA-60D pressurized sand filter with a top-mounted 6-way valve. The top-mounted valve necessitated re-routing the three piping runs - from the pump (center), to the pool (left), and waste (right), which dumps through our storm water drain system into the canal. Union fittings are at the valve for all three runs so that the valve can be removed for easy repair.
Showing More of the Piping
I was leery at first, when it was time to fire up the system and actually move water through it. I've chased my tail often enough with leaks involving all this piping. It was a very pleasant surprise when I did open the valves and turn on the pump - No leaks. Not even a drip. First time in what seems to be ages that the floor of the mechanical house was completely dry.

Below is a bit better view of the top of the valve and the pressure gauge. I had to build some piping for the gauge as its port is on the very back of the valve. Without some additional fittings and piping, there was no way I was ever going to be able to read the valve. Of course it took a trip to Lano's Hardware out on the Northern Highway in Ranchito for brass and PVC fittings, and downtown to Villa's Imports for the brass nipple before I could connect it properly.
Detail of the 6-Way Top Valve and Pressure Gauge
Anyway, everything is hooked up properly, no leaks and it's filtering the pool as good as ever, and that's always a good thing.

After all that work, I needed a rest. Speaking of resting, here's a shot of Nelson I took yesterday. He's relaxing in my office chair. What a rough life.
Relaxing at the Office
He's probably dreaming of the two Basilisk lizards (Jesus lizards) I took away from him the other day. Did I mention that he's an accomplished hunter?

'X' Marks the Spot

4/03/2014 08:39:00 AM | 0 Comments
Here's a little tidbit that's long, long overdue here in Corozal. How about an updated map showing where most of the stuff is located that is of interest to tourists and Noobs to our little town.
Corozal Town Map - Tourist Version
Corozal Town Map
Sure, there's probably stuff missing, but this is the first iteration of it. Some things that will probably be added in the future are the location of the little bakery annex where you can get sweet roles and such. Likewise, the little cafe at the Thunderbolt pier where you might be able to get a cup of coffee to go with that sweet roll - both open at 6:00 AM. The bakery is more consistent in it's opening times than the cafe.

There's other stuff too. Say you got a parking ticket in town. Where would you go to pay it? If you guessed the police station, you'd be wrong. I've heard that all that and more will be coming in future additions.

Who'da Thunk It?

3/27/2014 08:17:00 PM | 2 Comments
What would be your guess as to the one thing in someone's yard that would be among the items least likely to go kerflooey? Hey, that's spelled right - I even looked it up! Come on, take a guess. What do you think?

How about playing twenty questions?
  • Is it Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Other
  • Is it used for entertainment? Partly
  • Is it black? No
  • Would you use it in the dark? Sometimes
  • Do most people use this daily? Unknown
  • Is it harvested? No
  • Does it fold up easily? No
  • Is it hard? Yes
  • Is it smaller than a bread box? No
  • Can it scratch? No
  • Does it use numbers? No
  • Does it have a handle? Yes
  • Is it electronic? No
  • Does it get wet? Yes
  • Does it shine? No
  • Is it white? Irrelevant
  • Do you hold it when you use it? No
  • Can you smell it? No
  • Does it usually have four corners? No
  • Do you use it at work? No
  • Is it outside? Yes
  • Does it move? No
The twenty-questions game I found on the Internet guessed it was a bidet. I'm not sure how many people would keep their bidet outside, but what do I know? Actually, bidet was a close guess... Give up? OK, it's a swimming pool filter, which sort of operates on the same principal as a bidet.

This story actually begins about two years ago. A small leak began inside the pool pump house, or I should say more properly, the pool mechanical house. Whatever. Anyway, that small leak caused me no end of hassle trying to localize it. First, I thought it was this, then that, and then the other thing. Mostly I was wrong. Oh sure, I did find several small leaks now and then. I think leaks go with the territory - piping, water, vibration - all lend themselves to creating leaks.

Anyway this one drove me to distraction. I would think I found the source, get it corrected and next thing I knew, more water on the floor. But, I could never really zero in on the source. It was always a mystery.

That is, till five days ago. I came down to the pool Sunday morning and noticed the water level had gone down two tiles. Uh oh, something's wrong. I went directly over to the pump mechanical house, opened the door, and there was no doubt. I could hear water running behind the filter, but I couldn't see or feel anything because the filter was almost right up against the wall.

I checked the small drain valve at the bottom of the tank just to make sure it wasn't leaking. Nope. It was fine. I felt around the top of the tank just in case I wasn't seeing the leak. Nope. Nothing there. Slowly it became apparent to me just what was leaking.

I shut off all the valves that would allow water to flow to the filter. That stopped the strong flow of water. It now became a trickle as the residual water in the tank drained off. I also now opened the small drain valve to help get rid of what water remained.

My next task was to see if there was any way to get a replacement tank in a hurry. The short answer was no. The long explanation was that yes, I could get one from one of several vendors up north. But after purchasing the tank, there was still shipping to our freight forwarder in Florida, their fees, then Belize duty and 12.5% GST, and presto, I would be into real money, not to mention the time delays till I could actually get my hands on the tank.

That took care of Monday. A little research, other daily chores, going out to lunch with friends, etc., pretty well filled up the rest of the day.

Tuesday, I checked with Island Pool Supply over in San Pedro. They could get one, but pretty much the same constraints as me ordering from up north would apply as they didn't have one in stock. However, Don told me they did have several TA-60s in stock (I was trying to replace a TR-60.). He told me I could get a complete TA-60 (tank and 6-position valve) for a bit less than the TR-60 tank alone.

That meant I could order it that morning and have it PDQ. Well, almost. First Wednesday, I had to go to Belize Bank and transfer money from our account to Island Pool Supply (If you're wondering, they don't take bank cards). Then I had to email them a PDF of the deposit slip to their account. That gave them enough time to get the complete filter down to the Thunderbolt water taxi so it would get up here to Corozal by 5:00 PM.

Since we went Jamrock for supper with Denis and Vivien, it was easy for Denis and I to slip away and get over to the Thunderbolt pier - about two minutes away and pick up the box. We were both amazed at how much freight came out of that boat, not to mention a boat-load of passengers. Shipping via Thunderbolt was very reasonable. It only cost $20.00 BZD.

That brings us to Thursday morning. Bright and early. But first, an aside. Wednesday evening, I had been searching YouTube to find a video on easily removing sand from the filter. I already had experience with doing it the hard way and the mess all over the floor that resulted. Dianna suggested trying to borrow a Shop-Vac to speed the removal up. My Shop-Vac is in pieces as I'm currently trying to get the motor rehabbed so that it will work again.

I called Graham Thursday morning. He had one and I could borrow it. I jumped into the Isuzu (did I mention we have the Isuzu back now - after about two-months in the shop?). Ask the doggies about that. They think they've led a deprived life with no rides for all that time. Anyway, I grabbed the doggies and we ran over to the house where Graham is house-sitting (Jim and Melanie's old place for those who remember them, or Don's place for those whose memories are more recent) and picked up the Shop-Vac.

Back home, I got to work getting about 325-lbs of wet sand out of the old filter. After a couple of hours, all the sand had been removed and I was then able to disconnect the filter from the piping and remove it from the mech-house.

Finally, I was able to see the extent of damage. As you can see below, the rip runs almost a whole foot vertically in the fiberglass of the tank. Plus, the discerning reader will notice some discoloration indicating a smaller leak that had existed for some time. How about two years? There's the source of the phantom leak. Finally!
Rip in the Fiberglass Filter Tank
Here's the sand that I took out of the filter. Almost got it all into the plastic bin, but just ran a bit shy.
Sand Ready to Go Back In
Looking at the wall inside the mechanical house, you can see easily where the leak had been going for quite some time. But with the filter right up against the wall, it was impossible to see where it was located.
Showing Leak Traces
 Here's a shot of the new filter, this time with the valve on the top of the tank instead of the side.
The New TA-60D Filter Mock-up
And in this shot, I'm adding the sand back in to the new filter tank. Since it was only a few months ago that I replaced the sand, reusing the sand made perfect sense. Even though wet, it still vacuumed easily and also went back in the same.
Adding Sand to the New Filter
Late Thursday afternoon, the new filter is in place, completely filled with sand. All that remains now is to rework and connect the piping. I'll start of that project tomorrow.
New Filter With Sand Sans Piping
Now, I'm not even going to ask what could possibly break next or go wrong. I'm ready for some uneventful mornings and afternoons - at least for a while.

Oh, I almost forgot. I put the old filter (minus the side valve) in the large cardboard box the new one came in, labeled it conspicuously 'BROKEN' on three side and put it out beside our trash bin. Around 5:00 PM, or so, some Mexican scrap metal scroungers stopped and loaded the whole thing onto their already overloaded pickup truck, and away they went. I just hope I don't head out tomorrow morning and find the filter and box lying beside the highway somewhere, after they discovered 1) it really was broken, and 2) there was no metal in the thing. I really don't want to bring it back.
Whatever the heck it is, it's damned infuriating all the same. What got me going on this thread was this. We were sitting on our front porch yesterday evening, early, just after supper, talking and enjoying our short twilight. All of a sudden something swooped down out of the ceiling or somewhere, and damned near hit Dianna. instead, it crashed onto the floor and broke into a bunch of small pieces.

It goes without saying that it couldn't have been the almost two months the Isuzu has been in the shop waiting for a part (a used part at that) to come down from the States.

Anyway, we jumped up and turned on the porch light. it took a few seconds to see what had happened. We have this perforated metal sheet material, that I had cut and placed in between the porch ceiling rafters to act as screens to keep bugs and other nasties out of our porch.
Decaying Screen on Porch
It had done the job very well for several years, but decided last night to give up the ghost, disintegrate, and proceed to fall all over the place on the porch. Since this initial piece was only a three-inch or so triangle, in and of itself, it really wasn't that big of a deal. But it got me to thinking.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that lately, I've been spending what seems to be an inordinate amount of time repairing, replacing, fixing, and/or substituting this and that thing, piece of equipment, appliance, electrical device, hardware, or whatever.

I mean in short, anything and everything from a rubber door-stop to a fairly high-tech laptop, or dare I say, a vehicle, has decided that now is the time to take a dive off the deep end. Stuff has snapped off where it shouldn't, melted, rusted, corroded, grown mold, disintegrated, cracked, split, plain busted, or quit working for no apparent or discernible reason.

Here's the thing. stuff up in the States and in Canada seems to last more or less for a reasonable length of time. In some cases, even longer. I remember wishing at times that some widget that we had been using for years would break so I would have an excuse to go to the handy neighborhood store to pick up the latest and greatest whatever it was that had caught my fancy.

On the other hand, everything down here is subject to great big gobs of humidity, intense sunlight, and I assume UV radiation. Not to mention, assaults by geckos, spiders, cucaraches, wood lice, molds, mildew and a myriad of other fungi, bugs and wiggly things that you have no idea what the hell they are.

All of this conspires to cause severe shortening of useful life of anything that you want to use. Stuff that you’ve never used that’s occupying space in a drawer or a closet, seems to be immune to these newly discovered laws of nature. That crap will last forever. It’s just anything good, that you can and want to use, well, you can be sure that, sooner or later, it’s gonna break on you, and certainly by that ‘lucky seven’ year. If it doesn't break, trust me, the handle will become sticky and extremely unsanitary looking.

If there’s two (or more) parts to something, say like a hand mixer that has two mixing thingies, well, you can be sure that one of them will rust out or otherwise fall apart.

Now, I’m just guessing here, but since we’ve lived here for about seven years and this seems to be the year that I’m trying to repair, replace, fix, or repair just about everything we own, I’m going to state it as a scientific fact that the working lifespan of all your stuff is right around the seven year mark.

This means, that if you’ve scrimped and saved to be able to acquire stuff here (it’s a given, that the stuff you brought down, if it was used already, by the time seven years rolls around, it’s already been relegated to the junk heap of life) has just reached it’s ‘use by’ date and if it hasn’t yet, soon will crap out on you.

So, the rule of thumb should be, that once you get all your stuff and start living down here, thinking you’re set for the long haul… guess again.

As soon as you acquire all that stuff, you have to begin scrimping and saving to be able to replace it all during the seventh year, and by extrapolation, every seven years thereafter. Fun, huh?

At least then, that’s when you get to get that new, latest and greatest gadget. Of course, you have no way of knowing just how long it sat on the shelf before you came into possession of it, so your chances of getting a full seven years useful life out of it, are ‘iffy’ at best.
Of course, if it hasn’t been around for the full seven years, then your cat (you do have at least one of those, don’t you?) will take matters into his own hands, and help move it toward the end of it’s workable life.

Take for example, the nice little keyboard I recently purchased. Yesterday morning, Dianna and I were sitting in the living room enjoying a nice breakfast from the taco stand at Gomez Cemento Maya, when all of a sudden - ‘CRASH!’ came from our office. What the hell was that?

I jumped up from the couch and hot-footed it into the office. What I saw at that time was that my souvenir police helmet from the North Wales Constabulary, had somehow come crashing down to the floor from the shelf high over my desk. How did that happen? Hmmm, I wonder.

It wasn’t till a couple hours later, when I sat down at my desk to check email, that I noticed a whole bunch of little shards of black plastic on the floor. What’s that, I wondered? It took me a couple of seconds to realize just what I was looking at. My keyboard had suffered a grievous, though not fatal injury.
Damaged Keyboard
It seems that when the helmet was launched by Mr. Nelson (one of our two cats), on it’s way to the floor the helmet decided to whack the corner of the keyboard and splinter the corner of that to pieces.

As you can tell from this posting, the keyboard still works. But now, its innards are exposed to the humidity even more than before. Any guesses as to how long it’s going to last?

You know the saying, ‘This is why we can’t have anything nice?’ Well, now you know. No, you can’t have anything nice. If it survives to year seven, it will have faded, shrunk, wrinkled, rusted, corroded, molded, or rotted, so that by the time that magic seventh year rolls around, it will be barely recognizable as the cute, colorful, and useful widget it once was.

Since men usually don’t care a whole lot about ‘nice’ things. Here’s the kicker. Your tools fall under the same spell as everything else, with this addendum.

None of your tools were built to survive down here. You might have a really nice worm-drive circular saw that was your pride and joy up north. Hah! The wood down here just laughs at your saw. The stuff that’s called ‘wood’ here is so hard, dense, and heavy, that if your tools were actually built to be used with this wood, you’d be able to pass any power tool down for generations to come, instead of replacing it every couple years or so.

I mean, when was the last time you tried to drive a concrete nail into a piece of wood and actually bent the nail? And that’s with a clean strike of the hammer! However, with the wood as hard as it is down here, it too decays, as in suffers dry rot, termites, wood lice, big-ass long-tentacled bugs that chew their way out of wood, and on and on it goes. it occurs in all but the hardest of the hard woods (such as bullet tree wood).

Case in point, I recently had to repair some floorboards on our front porch. Here's a shot of that in repair job in progress, of course with proper supervision and inspection.
Nelson and April Inspecting
This was one of those little projects that in your mind's eye, should only take an hour or so. Three days later, my part was done, thanks in no small part to David W. loaning me his oscillating tool with saw blade. We weren't sure if it would work (again, the hard woods) but it came through admirably.
Repaired and Varnished Floorboards
This shot was taken after the repairs were completed (I redid four boards) and after Cody sanded and varnished the porch floor. Doesn't look too bad, all things considered. I guess that I did digress just a bit here.

Suffice to say, this tropical environment is rich and it encourages a spirit of renewal…

No, it isn’t. It’s terrible. It causes everything to fall apart. It’s all in a constant state of decay and disrepair. Nothing works right, at least for very long.

Is it Hell or is it paradise? Sometimes, and in regard to stuff, I don’t think there’s a difference. But, at least it’s warm, and there’s no snow, and the Belikin is cold. Maybe there is a blessing here to be had. I might have one right now… Where’s that bottle opener?
You know how sometimes we (collectively, not the imperial) wonder out loud in conversation, or amongst ourselves, just how big a group Gringos are down here in Belize? I have anyway, a time or two.

A couple of days ago, I took it upon myself to try to actually quantify that figure. Here's what I found out.

Roughly (and all these figures are 'roughly' - some more roughly than others), there's about three-thousand (3,000) U.S. Expats living in Belize. I was too lazy to find numbers for Canadians, much less all the other countries that have representation here in Belize. You'll just have to interpret as best you can. Like I said, the figures are 'roughly'. By the way, the three-thousand figure was compiled in July 1999 by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Not very current, but the it was the best I could find with limited resources, time, and money.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs is an organ of the U.S. State Department. Folks who have dealt with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy over in Belmopan will note that I didn't even have to make an appointment to get those figures (probably why they're not so current).

A bit more current is the February 2014 population estimate for the U.S., at 317,456,363. That I found on the U.S. Census Bureau's website.

Now, this is where the real magic comes in. I couldn't remember exactly, or even approximately, how to figure percentages. So, I queried Google for a 'percentage calculator' of which there are just oodles to choose from. Some tripped off the line when I plugged in my numbers because it turned out I was working with a result significantly less than one. They wanted to round off to the nearest whole number, I guess, which from the result, probably would have been zero. That was what they proposed I should use as a number. Not acceptable. I kept plugging away till I found one that was able to to go nineteen decimal places. That's close enough for government work, I think.

Here's the final number I came up with: 0.0009450117715863834. How much less than one percent is that number? A lot. In fact, a Hell of a lot less. Like I said, closer to zero than one.

Now you know, roughly, how large a percentage of the U.S. population is living here in Belize. We might become excited because of all the new arrivals during tourist season down here, but, it's all relative.

Our population here is still a drop in the bucket (that's a technical term) compared to the overall population of the U.S. I bet if you added in the Canadian percentage and even threw in all the other country percentages as well, it would still be a drop in the bucket.

Now that we've cleared that up, we can move on to the next item on the agenda. That is, what're the odds of correctly guessing whether the Belikin bottle in your coozie still has a swallow or two left in it or is it empty? Bet you can't tell...