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Old 07-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #10741
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It's been a busy week. Our daughter is surfing-deficient so we've been out three times this week. I'm actually hoping to have today off for "vigorous yardwork", and we'll go surfing tomorrow.

We did a good bit of electrical work this week. When our new familyroom was built last December, the electrician put in white rectangular receptacles & switches. The receptacles match the white walls better, and the openings have small plastic "safety" windows over the hot/neutral slots that only recede when a ground is plugged in. So for the last six months we've been going around the house replacing all of the 23-year-old putty-colored oval receptacles with the new white models. Some of those gecko eggs & centipedes old receptacles did not age well. It's also been interesting to see what breakers are really supplying which receptables/switches, instead of the claims made by the builder's list on the distribution box. My receptacle tester and multimeter have had a good workout.

I've held back from doing the livingroom because it has so many receptacles & switches off one breaker, and that breaker controls spouse's TV/TiVo. We'd also have to move around a lot of furniture.

Coincidentally, spouse's TV started acting up. She prefers to watch cheap CRT TVs (no HDTV in this house) bought off Craigslist for $50 or less. Some of them only last a year or two, some last a decade. A neighbor had just given her one of their excess TVs, so when spouse's 27" CRT started shutting down on overload we upgraded to the neighbor's 32".

So in one fun morning we moved around all the furniture, swapped out the TVs, replaced half a dozen receptacles (one of them switched), and replaced half a dozen light switches (half of them three-way models). Only two of the wires broke, and I was able to fix them with pigtails. By lunchtime I was actually sore, especially in my hands from all the grasping & tweaking & twisting.

We're almost done but we still have to move a couple of bookcases in the study to swap out those receptacles, and one switch is going to require an oversized cover plate. It all worked out great but I was surprised at how many apparently unused muscles I discovered. And in the process, just like my submarine days, I've memorized practically the entire electrical distribution diagram.

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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
We got the two squirrels and then wouldn't you know it, another one showed up. Pesky critters.
They have little squirrel assignment officers (with clipboards) who move new squirrels to the territory whenever a billet becomes available...
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #10742
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Yesterday did the weekly food shopping with Mom. Then, DD came over (to Mom's) with her kids (3.5, 0.9) and we went to a nearby petting zoo. Everyone had a good time, except for a creepy guy, but we ran him off.

Today went to see the film Bernie. Highly recommended, most enjoyable.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #10743
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
We got the two squirrels and then wouldn't you know it, another one showed up. Pesky critters. With any luck we'll get him and that will be the last one.
There's no such thing as the last one. They always come back for more.

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In the meantime I bought a "squirrel resistant" bird feeder so I'll give that a try. We have already had a beautiful yellow finch visit.
Do keep us posted on this. If you find one that is really squirrel proof let us know. I'm buying stock in that company.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #10744
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Washed and waxed the young wife's MINI. I was assisted by my 16 year old neighbor (for $10/hr). He had never waxed a car before, so it was also a learning experience. I think we'll do an oil change next week.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #10745
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I recall Uncle Mick's battle with his squirrels a while back. He was using an airsoft gun that shot non-lethal plastic BB's. He gave up in the end, I think.

Why can't we just consider the bird feeders squirrel feeders and leave it at that? Aren't they both wild life that need to eat? I myself have no preference.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:30 AM   #10746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
....Why can't we just consider the bird feeders squirrel feeders and leave it at that? Aren't they both wild life that need to eat? I myself have no preference.
I did consider the squirrels to be benign for a while but unlike the birds, the squirrels leave droppings all over my deck railings that I then have to clean off. Once they started chewing my screen door, that was the last straw. This is war - the squirrels have got to go. I "think" this third one is the last one in the tree adjacent to my house, but we'll see.

There are a couple of beautiful yellow finches at the bird feeder right now - and they don't crap all over my deck railing.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #10747
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About 5 years ago I purchased a Droll Yankee birdfeeder for DH's birthday or Father's Day or something. The first year or so, squirrels tried to figure it out; it was rather amusing to watch. The perch is very lightweight and tips when a squirrel tries to use it to reach the food. Can't remember the last time I saw one try.

We have one that looks like the Tipper model. It was about $70.00 then - lists as $114.00 now. Ouch....guess that's why we never purchased another
one.

But, if you really, really want a squirrel-proof bird feeder......
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #10748
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Just finished canning 7 quarts of peaches! DH placed a plastic owl in the peach tree last week to keep the birds away. It actually worked, and we have a nice crop.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:24 PM   #10749
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Darn! The pigeons in my neighborhood are either too dumb or too smart to be scared by plastic owls placed on rooftops. They perch on the decoy to gain another foot in elevation as a surveillance spot!
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #10750
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Loafing a bit after a busy start to the weekend. We went to San Antonio to see the US Marine Band perform (my cousin is a 20-year member of the band but I'd never seen her perform in person). Wonderful concert, followed by drinks on the Riverwalk with my cousin - lots of catching up as we hadn't seen each other since my dad's funeral nearly six years ago.

Saturday morning we decided to visit one of the Spanish mission sites - DH is a native Texan and had never been. Very interesting - we'll check out a few more when it's a bit cooler.

Stopped at Toys-r-4-Men Cabela's on the way home - another first time visit. Of course we found a few things we really needed just had to have.

Think I'll head out to the hammock chair with a book and a beer to enjoy the cool afternoon - although the forecast was for 100, it hasn't hit 90 yet.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #10751
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Visited Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA, and toured the USS Massachusetts (BB-59); USS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850); USS Lionfish (SS-298) and a Soviet Tarantul class missile corvette. I went with the neighbor lad who works for me on weekends and a friend from church and his daughter, who has recently enlisted in the USN on delayed entry. It was a very nice day.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:38 PM   #10752
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
I have a this bird feeder. Works for doves and large nasty birds.


Heritage Farms Bird's Choice Squirrel Proof Feeder
The Heritage Farms Bird's Choice Squirrel Proof Feeder features a weight sensitive metal perch that closes access to the seed tray when squirrels attempt to feed. The attractive spring operated perch is adjustable to allow or exclude large, heavy birds as well as squirrels. A seed baffle design reduces wasted seed and helps keep the feeder area clean. The reservoir has a large 6 quart capacity and the clear plastic reservoir windows make the seed level visible at all times. The feeder's TopLoc feature holds the top open when filling, allowing you to replenish seed one-handed. The feeder has a durable speckled-green powder-coated steel construction that will last for years to come. This feeder may be hung with the included 13" bracket hanger, pole mounted on a 0.75" to 1.75" diameter pole, or placed on a 4" x 4" post using the included adapter. Five year guarantee.
I have the same one. I think I want to convert it into a squirrel trap.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #10753
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I've been trying to photograph our brown quail family for several weeks. Every afternoon they've been hopping up our back steps and strolling through our yard looking for whatever brown quail eat. Now the young ones are fully grown and I'm sure the parents will be empty-nesters (literally!) soon. Yesterday I heard two of the males bickering from the backyard down slope. I knew the flock would be coming up the steps to our lanai, so I quietly brought the camera to the back lanai. I sat down in a chair, focused the camera on the top of the steps, and froze in place. The chattering continued for several minutes but I never saw any quail heads.

But they saw me. A couple minutes later the yard went silent. Then suddenly, without warning, all five of them catapulted over the top of the steps about 10 feet into the air and flew over the back lanai. Of course I couldn't reframe the shot. Heck, I barely even moved the camera before they were gone.

If I ever want to get a photo I'm just going to have to set the camera on the lanai, turn it on, and go back inside the house...

This morning I noticed a mejiro had hollowed out one of our papaya and practically turned it into a bird house. So I picked eight of them (papaya, not mejiro) even though they're probably not quite ripe enough to be picked.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:54 AM   #10754
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How'bout getting your industrious squirrels drunk so that they lose their agility and leave the birdseed feeder alone?

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Old 07-23-2012, 06:38 AM   #10755
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Went to see Macy Gray and Seal in concert yesterday. He is such a nice man. We went early to picnic on the lawn and they were rehearsing, when they finished he came out into the lawn area to say hello and chat. Great show.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:32 AM   #10756
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I was dozing in bed about 6:30 am this morning and I heard a "snap" - squirrel number 3 bites the dust. About 5 minutes later I thought I heard a squirrel chattering in the spruce tree adjacent to the house! Calling for its fallen comrade I suppose.

I hope that they are a learning creature and have learned that it is life-threatening to get near my bird feeder. Seems unlikely though.

Anyway, my plan is to put the trap away for now until I see a squirrel on the "squirrel resistant" bird feeder.

BIL and family from TN were here yesterday along with two local BILs, we had a nice time.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #10757
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As we waited in line yesterday for the show I overheard the folks behind us map out the following strategy when the gates opened:

Quote:
When we get past the gates half of us go to the right, half go to the left, and the rest cut across the lawn. Whoever gets the best spot stay there.
I have no idea how that worked out...
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #10758
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Quote:
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...About 5 minutes later I thought I heard a squirrel chattering in the spruce tree adjacent to the house!
They were probably talking about a plan to do this.

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #10759
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Quote:
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I've been trying to photograph our brown quail family for several weeks. Every afternoon they've been hopping up our back steps and strolling through our yard looking for whatever brown quail eat. Now the young ones are fully grown and I'm sure the parents will be empty-nesters (literally!) soon. Yesterday I heard two of the males bickering from the backyard down slope. I knew the flock would be coming up the steps to our lanai, so I quietly brought the camera to the back lanai. I sat down in a chair, focused the camera on the top of the steps, and froze in place. The chattering continued for several minutes but I never saw any quail heads.

But they saw me. A couple minutes later the yard went silent. Then suddenly, without warning, all five of them catapulted over the top of the steps about 10 feet into the air and flew over the back lanai. Of course I couldn't reframe the shot. Heck, I barely even moved the camera before they were gone.

Yesterday I had 6 adult Gambel's Quail tag teamed by 37(yes I counted) little ones. In my neighborhood we call the small guys popcorn of the desert, cause everything is out to eat them. I have had a female Painted Bunting coming around, I do hope that daddy makes a showing.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:29 AM   #10760
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Today I said goodbye to a dear old friend.
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