January 28, 2015

2015 Blizzard Aftermath

slider 420 IMG_9432.JPG

Yeah... I told you we were going to get our butts kicked, and we did as the pic above shows. The good news is that we have continued to keep the birds fed and watered, but the bad news is that aside from battling our way out to the feeders, we are pretty much house bound. I tried to start digging us out, but the snow has drifted so deep that I can't even find my shovel. Observations:

  • When it comes to your feathered friends, be ready for emergencies like this storm. The excuse, "I ran out of seed" is a sad one. Always have a backup plan...
  • In the case of this storm, I'd say always work in pairs... I fell (plunged) into roughly 4' of snow and had a hellacious time just getting back on my feet. Obviously, a healthy person can rise, but it takes energy... A stout 6' walking stick or snow shovel would go a long ways...
  • Spend as much money as you have to to prepare for this sort of event. Of special importance:
    • Gloves: Check the Web and Amazon and find out what folks who ride snow machines wear...
    • Bibs... See above...
    • Boots... See above...
    • Goggles... See above...
    • Undergarments... See above...
    • (Are you noticing a pattern here? Read that as, "Money doesn't matter when you're cold!)
  • Buy several quality snow shovels and station them strategically and secure them completely. I just quit when I couldn't find mine -- it's been buried by snow...
  • Make plans and then make them again. The results might just surprise you...
  • Get as much sleep as possible -- you're going to need it...

Half buried by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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January 26, 2015

Blizzard Update: 10:00 PM From Harwich... 1-26-2015

2015 blizzard 10PM IMG_9425.JPG

Well it's official -- we're getting our butts kicked.

Thought I'd get a post in while I still can... The wind is starting to make itself known, and we're making final preparations for loss of power. Here's a quick list in no particular order

  • Break out the generator...
  • Ready the heavy extension cord so that we get power with the generator a safe distance from the house
  • Gather boxes so that we can take fridge food out to the car...
  • Ready guns should we need to go out to access the generator... (We've had a visitation by a mixed breed of coyote and wolf; a neighbor was hunted by a pack while she was walking her dog -- she only escaped attack by fleeing into a stranger's home.)
  • We plan on firing up the generator every few hours just to keep the freezer stuff good and provide heat for our garage/rec room...
  • Know where our flashlights are and keep one at hand...
  • Have a towel ready to stuff the gap at the base of the window when we run the extension cord through...
  • Etc...

Fighting the good fight here in Harwich...

Good luck...

CapeCodAlan


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Blizzard

Alrighty then,

Blizzard 420.jpg

Well... Based on the prediction above, it looks like Cape Cod is going to get absolutely clobbered by this Nor'easter. We probably will lose power, and for umpteen days at that... Oh goody. But this is life on "Old Cape Cod..."

So, the battle goes on... I checked the generator about a month ago, and it was working like a champ. We've got plenty of food, water, medication, batteries, gasoline, etc.. (And yes, we have a fresh stock of bird seed. Can you say the same?) If you read this blog with any regularity, these preparedness links shouldn't be necessary, but here they are anyway...

It's funny, but it's times these this that give me a mixed feeling of both vindication and sadness... Why don't people prepare for emergencies? I write about this stuff all the time, and even family members just smirk, pat me on the head, and say, "It can't happen here..." Yes it can. My mother was alive for the Hurricane of '38... She watched the roof of a house blow off... That was a hurricane with cat. 5 wind gusts, and it killed over 500 people in N.E. alone. In 1954, Hurricane Carol had cat. 4 gusts, and blew boats out of the local boatyard and unceremoniously dumped them onto the road beside... Why don't people prepare for this stuff???

Anywho... This is no place for the lackadaisical or the infirm. If there's a question, get the weak to a shelter.

Gotta go... I've got things to secure, a car to worry about, batteries to charge, etc...

Good luck to you,

CapeCodAlan

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January 17, 2015

Crow with Hotdog and a Smile in a Crazy World...

420 crow with hot dog.jpg

Hi,

Sorry I've been so long in posting, it's just that I don't want to write just for the sake of posting "something". I thought the photo above might explain a lot. You see, I (like everyone else who walks this orb) face the times that try souls' souls. (Hat tip to the KT...) We all grapple with problems: a world gone completely mad, family problems, career issues (and you thought you were alone...) No... No... You're not alone. But if you're reading this, you either already know of the joys of backyard birding, or are thinking about getting involved in the hobby/lifestyle. (If you are a newbie, the following links should get you started:

January 7, 2015

Previous messageNext messageBack to messages Installing Spotlights and Finding a Level in a Warped World‏

Hi,

First off, we certainly hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and we hope the same for your birds. (I promise that someday I will actually write a post without mentioning birds...) Anyway, 2015 should be an interesting year.

Sticking with the 'home and garden' theme, here are a couple of neat gadgets/tricks I've picked up along the way...

As for installing a spotlight, I had initially resigned myself to crawling around in the attic and hard-wiring a conventional unit -- not a pleasant or cheap project in the least. But the Internet springs eternal. On a lark (there goes the bird addiction thing again) I thought the Web might offer a less painful/expensive alternative, and by dang I was right. I'll let you look up your own solution online, but I used 'Mr.Beams'. It was basically an "install-the-batteries--mount--and-you're-done" sort of operation. The shot below pretty much tells the tale...

spotlight420.jpg

The only profound words of wisdom I can offer are:

  • Be sure to test screw the base before attaching... (Man that doesn't sound right...) But the point being that the wrong size pilot hole or the wrong size screwdriver are a prescription for eyeball explosions -- I know.
  • Orientation of the base is important.
  • Be sure to use the highest quality batteries -- now is no time to be scrimy. With a little luck, we can get six months or even a year out of the Duracell Procells...

On to a warped world...

There's nothing quite like trying to find level and plumb in a 45 year old house. When walls, ceiling, and a warped concrete sloping floor do the boogaloo, how on earth does one get even close to anything civilized? Well... Here's how... Find accuracy through corroboration -- use umpteen levels and several rules to come up with a common consensus. Mull the below -- all things kosher and good...

(How to square up a small laser level...)

laser source 420.jpg

And the final results...

laser 420.jpg

And there you go... Sanity in an insane world...

Still fighting by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


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December 30, 2014

Late Christmas...

Hi,

{Note: I started this post on 12/25/14, and have been working on it ever since...}

Please keep in mind that this is from CapeCodAlan, and does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of eBirdseed.com...

Time for a bird break...

Well, here we are again... Christmas... I remembered this snippet of a Charlie Brown special, and thought I'd include it here...

From: ( http://youtu.be/DKk9rv2hUfA... I believe this is from Luke...)

Keep in mind that I'm an agnostic, but IMHO, the sentiment expressed is wonderful. There is great tolerance and empathy in it...

Related is one of my favorite passages (again from Luke) uttered by Christ during his crucifixion: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do". It's stuff like this that haunts me... And it's holidays like Christmas that give me an empty, shadowy pause... Here's a brief explanation...

My first job as an engineer was to design a computer-controlled machine that would make a critical part for stuff like satellites -- my creation would help to put the 'eyes' in stuff like Landsat.(http://landsat.usgs.gov/) And that in turn would help scientists track stuff like weather, erosion, global warming, etc... One small problem -- my 'eyes' could be used for less-than-"Politically Correct" causes -- namely military stuff.

And so, at Christmas time, I put my agnosticism aside and imagine the afterlife of the Christians, and that someday when I've shed these earthly bonds and sing the choir eternal, I might have to face God and explain my machine. Would Christ build such a thing? The best I can say is that I gave my utmost to do the right thing... After that, I just don't know...

Happy belated Christmas, and let's see if we can have a better New Year...

Melancholic by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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December 20, 2014

24 Hours

Hi,

First off, Happy Holidays!

I thought I'd just toss in a couple of nice pics from the backyard..

moon 420.JPG

winter 2014 420.JPG

Being a life-long night owl, these shots seem fitting for the season for me -- there is a backyard gentleness about them...

It's 5:02 AM now, and the crows will be here soon -- as soon as the 24 hours turn black and blue, the Corvids will make their presence known and I'm going to have to find something for them to eat. We have a couple of old "Haw Dawgs", but that won't cut it. What next? Potato sticks?

Too late, Corvidae Extreamus... I guess they're just going to have to live with the haw dawgs...Sometimes it sucks to be a crow...

My 24 hours are up...

Peace,

CapeCodAlan


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Comments

Very nice photos. Seems like a good time to thank you and Mrs. CCA for the blogs this year. I've enjoyed each one of them. Wishing you and the Mrs. a Merry Christmas and a happy hangover, err, I mean Happy New Year. "Gipper"

Hi Harry,

Thanks! (Sorry I'm so tardy in my reply...)

I'll communicate when I can...

Best,

CCA