news and trivia

Joey completed treatment 3 and so far his after treatment pattern is holding. We took Chris over to Cocoa Monday to see the boat. We had lunch with Joey and Mark and then did a grand tour of the beach from Melbourne south to Cocoa Beach. We stopped over at the Beach Place Guest House Resort where Joey goes to recuperate. I was impressed with the setup. It’s a set of cottages that were once off-base housing from the 40’s when it was Banana River Naval Air Station which predated Patrick Air Force Base. You can barely see the place from the road behind the vegetation but it’s a rustic, beach front without all the crowds of a Holiday Inn or other modern, commercial beach place. I can sure see how spending a couple of days there would be quite relaxing and a good place to recuperate. I sure appreciate the guys who own the place being so kind to help out like that.
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I have to pass this one along. Anybody who has a bird feeder in an area with squirrels knows how tough it is to keep the tree rats out of the bird feeder. I’ve basically given up. I had talked about this to my friend Lou Daniels and he agreed. Right now he’s up in North Carolina escaping the summer heat and visiting a fishing buddy of his who has a cabin in the mountains. He too was having a devil of a time keeping a bird feeder going because of squirrels. He researched it and found a book named Squirrel Busters or something along those lines. It gave him several designs that work 100% and I thought I’d pass them along. There’s a rule called the 5 – 7 – 9 rule that you need to follow. Any hanging feeder must be at least 5′ from the ground because that’s the highest a squirrel can jump. It must be 7′ from any jumping point on the side because that’s the farthest a squirrel can leap horizontally. And it must be 9′ beneath any kind of overhang. They can drop 9′ and grab ahold of anything but any higher and they can’t stop. That’s good poop but here’s a couple of good designs.

If you are stringing a wire between a couple of poles or trees with the feeder hanging in the middle, string 6” pieces of 1/4” pvc on the wire between the tree and the feeder from both sides. When the squirrel tries to walk out the pieces of pvc rotate and spins him off. You have to have a turnbuckle on one end so you can make sure the line is taut. Very clever. But here’s an even better one. Say you are pole mounting a feeder. Hang a slinky from the bottom of the feeder and if possible around the pole. I think it would work if it was just close to the pole. When the squirrel jumps up, he grabs the slinky and is bounced right back to the ground. Now is that a great idea or what.
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Saw one on TV the other day that cracked me up. In my top 10 things I hate, home owner’s associations are right near the top. It would be impossible for me to live in any area that had a home owner’s association. Not sure where this story was being reported but some folks have decided that one way to be extra green, conserve energy, do the carbon foot print etc – I think they actually wanted to cut the power bill – was to hang out their laundry and shut off the dryer. Nancy and I have always hung out the clothes because we like the way sundried laundry feels and smells. We’ve also always had a drier so we’re not dependent on the weather. So the reporter interviews several of the homeowners who were sneaking around to hang their clothes and they gave all the politically correct reasons. Sort of like the people who put an American Flag on their lawn to honor the troops or whatever. Then they interview the grinch – the head of the home owners association. He looked like a McNasty kind of old fart so it was a perfect interview. It – hanging out laundry – trashed up the neighborhood, ruined home values, and was just plain nasty. I’d probably just burn the jerk’s house down which is why I should never live in such a community.

But it brought to mind a personal story you might find funny. A few years back Nancy was having some shoulder problems and asked me if I’d mind hanging the wash. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I agreed. After a month or so it just became routine that she would wash the clothes and I would hang them out. Mostly she would take in the dry ones because for some reason she didn’t like the way I folded them. I quit arguing about that and just leave them for her to take down. One Friday she was doing the wash and loaded up the wash basket (as usual). I walked down the hall and picked up the basket (as usual) but she said, “oh, don’t bother, I’ll do it”. “oh, I don’t mind”. “No, I’ll just do it today”. “well how come all of a sudden you’re going to hang the wash?” “Well, we’re having company and they may get here before the wash is dry”. Our niece Joanne and her friend Edna were going to spend the weekend with us at the lake. “So what difference does that make?” “Well, you don’t hang the clothes right and I don’t want them to see it that way”.”What the ……… do you mean, I don’t hang it right. Seems the clothes have been getting dry with me hanging them for about 6 months now so how can I be doing it wrong?” “Well, you don’t hang the socks side by side heading in the same direction for one thing” and then she went on to list several stylistic hanging rules that I never knew existed and for which she would be banned by the sisterhood if they ever saw the wash hanging. Needless to say I got my job back the next wash day that dame around and I just relinquish my post whenever company is coming.
So maybe that’s what this homeowner’s association jerk was so worked up about – people have forgotten the proper techniques and the art of hanging has gone dormant.

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