24 August 2009

Field Capture: Female Wolf Spider

I see lots of interesting stuff in my line of work, pest control. Today was one of those days.

I arrived at a client's house and was promptly informed that there was "a really big spider on the front step." Usually when people say "really big" and "spider" in the same sentence, their varying degrees of arachnophobia increase the actual size of the creature by quite a bit in their mind's eye. I put down my spray wand and went to have a look.

Turned out to be a "pregnant" female wolf spider:

That white sack you see attached to her abdomen is specifically how you can know that this is a female wolf spider - other than such obvious clues, identifying the sex of a spider frequently requires such things as microscopes. Inside of the sack are eggs and/or hatched spiderlings. Once they have undergone their first molt, they'll emerge and climb onto their mother's back where they hitch a ride until they're big enough to fend for themselves.

Now, as to her size, to many folks she really is "really big." To people in many parts of the world, they probably wouldn't even take notice of her. In any case, I put a U.S. quarter dollar next to her to establish scale:

She'll now get to live out her days in a nice terrarium, going along with us (the pest control outfit I work for) to home shows and whatnot.

17 August 2009

Quicken One Step Update Problems: IE 8

Recently I've noticed a sharp uptick in the number of hits my blog receives on a post I did a long time ago in regard to a problem I had with Quicken's One Step Update function. That post, Quicken 2008 One Step Update Problem: Privoxy, Vidalia, Internet Explorer Link to OL Error Code Issues, can be found here.

A comment left for me by a reader indicated that the reason I've seen a wave of hits on this post in recent weeks is that the release of Internet Explorer 8 may be to blame. I didn't install IE 8 on my machine so I haven't familiarized myself with whatever its default settings must be, but I know from experience (what I detail in that earlier post) is that IE settings can affect the functioning of other programs, particularly if you play around with LAN settings like I did.

If you're here because of a problem with Quicken and you recently installed IE 8, check your connection settings. Check out the post I wrote about my issues with IE and Tor for pointers.

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