And there was much rejoicing.
I am slowly but surely plowing through my e-mail backlog. If you needed something from me but haven't gotten a response, and if I don't respond by the end of today, please re-email and I will be delighted to answer.
In other news, after about two weeks of picking at it, the squirrels finally made off with about half my finch seed bar--they'd been determinedly working it down until the remnants could finally fit through the gap at the top. Again, I bear them no real grudge--that took a lot of work and no little ingenuity--one of 'em had to work the clasps that hold the roof down--and the birds got a week and a half worth of feeding, and it is, after all, a 99 cent bar. I put up a fresh one, cinched the roof down extra tight, and escalated the arms race by putting up a hot-pepper suet bar. (Birds can't taste hot things, evidentally--their little tongues don't have the sensors to respond to capascin--so they'll cheerfully chow down on cayenne-and-jalepeno suet, while the squirrels, in theory, will go screaming off into the bushes looking for a glass of water. In theory.) I really don't mind the squirrels--I could easily just go outside and chase 'em off, after all--but why make it easy for them?
It occurs to me to wonder if all bird flesh is immune to pepper. I mean, at the risk of being crude, I've eaten some things that were as hot on the way out as they were on the way in. If their little tongues can't taste it, do their little avian cloacas not feel the burn? Will the white-breasted nuthatch picking at the suet with every evidence of enjoyment be cursing me and my descendants unto the seventh generation later tonight?
As hobbies go, birdfeeding is cheap, fun, and provides hours of disturbing amusement...