The birds are back!

I tossed out all the cruddy suet blocks I bought and bought new ones.  The birds came back – in flocks.  In two days they cleaned out three blocks.  Here’s some pictures.

The squirrel came from across the road, bounded onto my lawn, dug a hole, and buried the walnut.  The one in the tree is a different one, but is still intent on cracking the casing.

I just liked the cardinal shot.  Note the crest.

Click on a picture to enlarge & use the ‘Back’ arrow to return.



Not in a good mood…

I have no idea how long this post will be today.  It all started (the day, that is) at the horrible hour of 0600.  The wife could only get an appointment to see her Doc. at 0710 so we had to get up and ready for that.  At this time of the morning, I am bleary-eyed and definitely not bushy-tailed.  We joined the throng headed for Wright-Patt AFB and headed for the hospital.  They tell you to arrive 15 minutes early, but what they don’t tell you is that the clinic opens at 0700, so being there at 0655 is counterproductive.  We stood until five after for it to open.

Then the receptionist opened the door, wafting out a cloud of toxic stuff she had dipped herself in.  This immediately slapped my sinus openings closed.  In seconds, the noxious cloud had spread to the entire waiting room.  Fortunately, we weren’t there very long before we had to leave for the lab, then her PT session for her shoulder.

For those who don’t remember, she had shoulder surgery to re-attach a tendon she tore while out in Colorado trying to corral a feisty grandkid.  She is wearing what I can only describe a sling on steroids.  It consists of many straps, clips, Velcro fastenings, and a huge foam pad under her entire forearm.  I don’t know how comfortable it is, but I do know I wouldn’t like to wear it.

. . .

My truck (1996 Nissan Frontier) is rapidly converting available iron/steel into rust.  The latest thing is for the tires to very slowly lose air.  I might not notice it until I have to fight the steering wheel as I drift towards the right side of the road on a semi-flat tire.  My only means of pumping it back up (save changing a $10 bill into quarters to feed the greedy “free air” machines at filling stations) is to try and use my old 12v pump.  I’ve had it for a while and, at first, it used to work rather well.  Over the years, however, it has slowed down considerably.  Now, I can attach the clip, start the compressor, and go read “War and Peace” while the pathetic thing puts a few pounds per hour into the tire.  My regular service guy(s) tell(s) me that older wheels will develop what they call ‘rusty rims’ and start gradually losing air through them.  This is what is happening.  So, the next time I have to buy tires, I’m going to have to spring for a wheel cleaning and refit.  Bleh!

. . .

It is apparent now that I bought some really cruddy suet blocks for my feathered friends.  I found some at a place called “Ollie’s” that were marked down to $0.75 each.  I don’t know what they were made of, but none of my usual birds or squirrels will touch them.  The same suet block has been out there, hanging on the tree, for a week now and had just a few peck holes in it.  I tossed it on the ground and it’s still there a day later.  Even the squirrels won’t eat it – and it’s supposed to be a tough winter this year.  That’s the main reason I don’t have any animal antics pictures lately.

. . .

I have also been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what is wrong with one of my computers.  At first, I just thought is was some playfulness of Vista, but that was not the trouble.  What happens is that it will suddenly, for no reason at all, freeze.  The mouse stops moving, the keyboard stops responding, and it just sits there looking stupid.  I have to power down to recover.  Then, during power-up and re-boot, it may or may not stop responding yet again.  At first I thought it might be memory but overnight tests say no.  Then I tried power supplywent from a 250W to a 475W unit.  Still does it.  Then I bought a new video card for the PCI-X slot – no change.  Then I tried a new 500G hard drive – no change.  Finally I threw caution to the winds and yanked all the connections and pulled the motherboard.  I examined every square inch of it by magnifying glass.  Couldn’t find a thing except one of the hundreds of pins on a RAM-stick slot was bent.  As a test, I pulled the stick out and firet the computer up.  It ran for two days and I thought I’d ficed it.  BOOM!  Still halts again.

Now enter the big guns.  I fired a salvo of Ubuntu LINUX at it.  This ran nicely for three days, then started halting again.  So, unless I can come up with the cosmic force that has inhabited my computer and making it fail, this one is headed for the old graveyard in the closet along with my 8″ floppy drive and my tape backup units.



More Squirrel

This morning, I found this adventurous fellow swinging on my suet block.  It managed to get around (or over) the upside-down dish-like thing I had to keep squirrels from eating the block.  So much for that.  In the final shot it seems to be looking out with a “so, what are you going to do?” look.


Morning visitor

My cat, Cami, was tearing around the house for ten minutes when she suddenly went on point staring through the front window twitching her tail and barking.  Yes, cats do bark.  I grabbed my camera and shot this series of pictures of our visitor – a newly minted rabbit:

In one of them, it appears to be sticking it’s tongue out at me after noshing on some greenery.



First Signs of Spring

Here are some shots of my front yard.  The first few were actually shot in March, but after a slight snowfall.  It’s hard to make out the spots on the bird, but I think it might be a female robin the other is obviously a small woodpecker.

The rest or shots of various other bird-type animals in and around my feeder.

All the squirrel shots are of the same one; a youngster in search of how to get to my feeder.  He tries all sorts of things, but couldn’t make the jump between my yard light and the feeder.


Terrible Blogger am I

I just realized that I hadn’t posted anything since May 22.  The summer doldrums just got to me.  As the days lengthened, and the heat rose up into the mid-eighties and higher, with the increase in humidity, I just got lazy.  I’ve been spending a lot of time during the last six weeks working over at a friend’s house.  She was widowed about fifteen years ago and finally moved out of town (to Washington state actually) and asked me to take care of her property until she can sell it.  The property is covered with huge trees and encompasses almost three acres of land (plus the house).  The house itself was partially built in the 1880’s with a more modern addition added around the mid-1970’s.  Brambles, wildflowers, huge bundles of lilac bushes that are almost trees themselves, and loads of poison plants like ivy and sumac abound.

I managed to get a very healthy dose of poison sumac the other day.  I was being very careful, but a vine of it fell from a tree as I was pulling it down and caught me across the forearms and forehead.  Now my whole left eye is puffed up with blisters all over the place not to mention stripes of clear blisters across my lower arms.  It itches like hell and the tendency is to scratch but that only serves to spread it around so I have to occasionally hit it with rubbing alcohol and Calamine Lotion.  Wooh!  That really stings, but sure feels good after I quit screaming.

I’ve also painted pretty much every building in the yard at least one coat and mowed down the thigh-high weeds in the back yard.  I spent one whole day pressure washing the black mold and moss off the back deck timbers too.  I now have most of it under control now so I can relax a little and wait for the grass to grow up enough so I can cut it.

If anyone wants to know, this property lies in the middle of Beavercreek here in Ohio and can be purchased for a measly $250K.  That is an extremely good price for a medium-sized house with four bedrooms, two baths, two kitchens and two stories.  The upper story can be blocked off at the stairs to make a complete apartment available for rent.  I have pictures if anyone wants to see what it looks like.

I will try to give more attention to the blog than I have in the past few months.


Yet another spring has arrived

Here are some neat shots from around the house.  I’ve added a few more that I thought were pretty funny.  Oddly enough, the rabbit was the first one I’ve seen this year.  He (she?) looks a little young and was probably born this spring.

This one just caught my eye as pretty funny.  No caption was given, but my caption would be “I am NOT Happy, I’m Grumpy if you must know”

“Don’t look – It’s horrible!!!!”

“No, you can NOT have my cheeze doodle”

Enjoy —