Cicadas: I first became aware of them in 1996 when I visited my brother and sister-in-law in Alexandria, Virginia. "What the hell is that mechanical sound that's been going on for three hours?" I wondered.

I don't think we had those in Utah. We had crickets. Cicadas are so Christmassy with their jolly fat green bodies and their fake-looking buggy red eyes. I have read that cicadas "drone," but I wouldn't agree with that. It's definitely a mechanical, or electrical -- an electro-mechanical sound. Imagine a robot endlessly winding a watch while being dissolved in acid.

As you can probably tell, I really like them. Here in Kentucky I'm surrounded by them all summer. If you don't have cicadas at your home or place of business, try some today!