Sunday, July 21, 2013


Eleven years ago I had a problem with raccoons lifting off the lid to the metal garbage can where I kept about 60 pounds of bird seed.  And a related problem with them eating the 60 pounds of bird seed.  I tried various straps and other devices to secure the lid without it being a pain for ME to open the lid, but eventually the raccoons always figured out how to foil my schemes.  Finally I figured out that I could place a huge inverted plastic tree potting container over the lid and most of the can, so that any critter would have to lift the plastic container straight up about two feet to get it off.  And if they lifted it any less than two feet it would simply fall back down and keep the can secure and rain proof.  
This all worked fabulously until last week.  The mister brainy super-coon somehow got into the can and had a pretty good feast.  Then it rained.  I showed up Friday and discovered the mess, figured he would be back for more seed, and set the coon trap.  Early Saturday morning he took the bait and I took this picture.  See at the back of the photo the can, birdseed bag, and the black potting container off to the right.  And of course mister not-so-happy coon in the trap.  I think I'll stick with the old potting container scheme for now since if I can go another 11 years without a problem that's not so bad.  But if super-coon trained some any of his friends and family on his technique, I'll have to get smarter. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Basket case

After years of deep contemplation it has been settled. Last weekend in Fredricksburg we found the right end table for our loft.  It is actually a basket, so it serves double duty as the keeper of linens for the adjacent futon.   And the  hanging light overhead allows access without having to move it light a tabke lamp requires.  What will I do with all my spare time now that this major life decision is complete?  Hmmmm.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Birthday Chimes

Ann gave me these really big chimes for my birthday this weekend.  These monsters resonate FOREVER with amazing elegance... so beautiful to hear them while relaxing on the back deck.  Combined with the other set of big chimes near the entry, with a good breeze we should  be in stereophonic heaven. 

Monday, July 01, 2013


The summer is HOT but our solar & battery electrical backup system is ready for any amount of heat that Mother Nature (or global warming) send our way.  There are a total of four deep-discharge batteries kept ready-to-go by a 230 watt solar panel.  Not a fancy setup integrated in with the whole house power system; just a "spot power" approach where I can take a battery to where it is needed (fridge, lights, TV), hook them to a portable inverter to get 115 volts AC, and run them for hours wihtout all the noise, fueling, and exhaust problems of a generator.