January 27, 2013
Tory In A Box
A picture I often can't get because Tory usually gets in and out rather quickly - one of the other cats will notice and stare him out of the box (no, "stare" is not a typo).
Shadow noticed Tory shortly after the picture was taken, and decided he wasn't going to allow such indulgence on Tory's part. So, he walked right up to the box and the staring began . . .
The squirrels are rather determined to get into the new bird feeder.
That cap is of a fairly heavy steel sheet and they are trying to pry it off except the locking mechanisms on each side aren't allowing it - yet. Those are some darn strong squirrels!
That Aweful Sound
We are winding down a week that has been pretty darn cold. Mornings have been in the negative numbers (right now it is -2, even thought the low was supposed to be +2). As far as I know, we haven't been in negative double-digits, but the wind has been strong so the wind-chills have definitely been there. Several days haven't made it into the positive double digits, so the heater has been going full blast when we aren't home.
That is, it was going full blast until Wedneday morning when I woke up to the aweful sound of it sucking for fuel. I had just told WS that night that I had been meaning to order oil because I was sure we were getting low. With the temp (at 4 AmP) at -7, and the wind wipping along at a good 35 mPH, the other possibility was that the line had frozen up.
I got up and turned off the heater, started the fire back up in the woodstove and checked the temperature downstairs. It had already dipped to 63 (set at 66) and the water line going the front corner of the house was in danger of freezing so I dug up some space heaters and set one in the corner and the larger one was set in the open area between the laundry room and the hall to the heater room. Then I worked out as usual. By the time I was done, WS had gotten up and I told him the situation. I turned the heater back on and it managed to find fuel to run for aabout 2 minutes, then started sucking again - good, it was just a frozen line.
WS went into town to get some anti-gell for the tank and 5 gallons of diesel just to make sure that we had enough fuel. I went to work and later he emailed me that the anti-gel and a torch to the fitting worked. I ordered oil, which they delivered that day (she said that they had gotten a lot of calls already that day - after only being there 1/2 an hour) and life was once again good.
January 26, 2013
The Weekend Pundit had a dialog this past Sunday about ethanol laden gas. Ethanol lowers our fuel efficiency in our vehicles, and attracts water which can cause corrosion. This is especially true for engines that aren't run every day (motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, mowers, weed wackers, generators etc.).
Scary Yankee Chick says she can find pure gas fairly locally. I have wondered for years if the fact that I haven't gotten the advertised MPG out of my last two vehicles was due to my not having access to ethanol-free gas (cause you can bet your booty that athe testsing is run on pure gas!). I got either at the high end, or even bertter, MPG out of previous vehicles (pre-ethanol) because the roads I run have few stops and speeds of 40-55 MPH (the sweet spot for most car engines).
Anyway, for anyone interested, there is a petition at We The People to keep ethanol-free gas available. You will have to sign up (if you haven't already), but it is fairly straight forward. There is also a site that tracks were ethanol-free gas can be found in your state. To my surprise, I found 4 (last I knew there were 2 - both over 70 miles away). Unfortunatly none of them are in areas that I drive, but we do ride out into some of those areas occasionally.
January 20, 2013
Almost Survey Time
The time for bird counts is almost here.
The NH Audubon Society's Backyard Winter Bird Survey will be held February 9-10, 2013.
The Cornell Great Bachyard Birdcount is going global this year, so you don't have to live in the USA or Canada to participate. The dates are February 15-19, 2013. They have also supplied great buttons if you want to place them on you blog or FaceBook page (there are a total of 5 buttons) and there are also two posters if you want to print them out and post them at work or other places.
I just saw something new;,Project Feeder Watch, which watches birds thru April 5, 2013 and they are taking new members until the beginning of February. Just be aware there is a participation fee that is used to support the administrative costs..
So, if you have a birdfeeder, or watch birds, join in on one or more watches
Snowballs Be Gone
Missy and I must give thanks to Scary Yankee Chick for her reccommendation last year of Musher's Secret. It is a balm rubbed into dogs' pads and hair between the pads, that keeps the snow from balling up. Missy has been snowball-free this season (except the feathers on her legs) and she no longer hobbles around from snow packing up on her feet.
I also put some on Prince's pads. He has never had a problem with snowballs forming, but he would feel left out if I gave attention to Missy and not to him. So although he doesn't get so much use out of the balm, he thanks SYC too for the attention he gets.
January 13, 2013
Storage Party 2013
Yesterday was the storage party for everyone who had their bikes stored at our dealer. We went and visited the bikes; WS's bike was easy to find:
Mine is on the right and I have marked the visible differences with arrows. The first difference is that I have the lower shields on the fairing (very hard to see). But the big give away is the fog lights on the engine guards. Also, although not really visible in the picture, the windscreens are different (the bike on the left had the stock shield on, mine has a wave shield that is 2" taller). I just realized that our headlights are different too; the other one has the stock light and mine is LED (which has a different pattern if you look closely)
We took Cathy and Jimmy as our guests and we all had a good time yacking, looking at bikes (they had a bike "fashion show" featuring bikes the dealer had customized) and eating. They had a chili cookoff with the service personnel, meat and cheese trays, chips and salsa and fruit trays, so we didn't go hungry.
We didn't win any of the door prizes, but we made out pretty good last year so that's okay. We still had a good time and I got to talk to a good friend that I only get to see a couple times a year, so it was a good day!
Squirrels Be Gone
The old bird feeder gave up the ghost last week and I replaced it with another half-broken feeder that the squirrels had worried at a couple of years ago. Here are a couple of pictures of the latest broken feeder. Note that the (heavy) plastic insides are supposed to be 3 levels high. One section is completly demolished, letting the other sections cave down inside of it.
It looks really good and the top locks down so the squirrels shouldn't be able to get inside. The birds seem to be happy with it although they were a bit hesitant because they have to really lean inside the cage to get to the feed ports, but they are learning to deal with the change.
Should be interesting to see how long this one lasts!
January 11, 2013
Inequality Under the Law
If you or I did what this reporter did, we would be in jail, or at least arrested - even if we were ignorant of the law (ignorance being no excuse). However, a reporter, who was explicitly told it was against the law to posess this item, is not being prosecuted because "it wouldn't serve the public interest". Apparently it served the public interest in prosecuting those that were just passing thru and doing their best to follow information they were given by the police.
No I don't think either of them should be prosecuted, only because I don't believe the law should exist. But it is evident (under the information that I have) that one was not prosecuted because he is "important" and in the public eye, the other was prosecuted because he wasn't (as were 100+ other people).
The least that can be done is that everyone be treated the same.
January 01, 2013
For Cop Car - a new flying machine. I don't think that you'll get passengers onto that (air/motion sickness would be at an all time high!)
Hat Tip to Scott for the link.