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Two Small Amusements

Took some stuff in for dry cleaning t'other day--my beloved wool trenchcoat, my patchwork jacket, and since it really needed to be pressed, and I neither own nor am skilled with an iron, my old hakama. (Mind you, I still haven't found an iaido dojo, but I keep the gear around, despite my periodic purges of the past, because earning my 5th kyu rank is perhaps the only purely physical thing I've ever done that I'm proud of, little enough as it may be.)

The dry cleaners did an excellent job with it, got the pleats all neat and everything, despite the fact that they had no idea whatsoever what it was. I know this because my receipt listed two overcoats and one "sleeveless dress."

And while the feeder remains unvisited by anything but chickadees and the occasional titmouse, yesterday I finally saw a squirrel!

Yes, a squirrel. I know, glee is weird here, but it had been over a week with no squirrels. It was like a violation of the laws of nature. No birds, no squirrels...when did I wander into Silent Spring? But at last, one appeared. He shinnied up the pole holding the feeder, eyed it carefully, climbed on top, climbed head down to the bottom, put a paw on the flipper mechanism, and was promptly flung free. I gloated behind the blinds.

And now, back to work...

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This begs the question - what sort of squirrel-flinging bird feeder do you have? Is there a picture of that model online, somewhere?

I'm always amused by the guesses people make ("sleeveless dress") when they don't know what a thing is. I love dropping Kyoht's art off at the framer and then looking at the receipt when they're done. We may have dropped off a pantheon of creatures, but according to the receipt, we're picking up "sitting wolf, lion in robes, standing wolf, squirrel, wolf..."

My absolute favorite was the drawing of multiple creatures which they titled as "Battling Critters". I always thought that sounded a bit like a video game.

We don't mind feeding the squirrels along with the birds and even leave out peanuts and corn specifically for them. Although watching them bury the various offerings around our backyard we are starting to wonder what, if anything, is going to be growing in the yard come next spring. (That's the reason we dumped the pumpkin guts down near the fence close to the lake. If we do get vines, at least that way they're not right up against the house!)

You have a bird feeder that repels squirrels? My boyfriend's parents would LOVE to get their hands on that. Info?

I really should not have been watching that video while eating lunch.
I especially like the slow motion capture near the end

I'd almost get one for the Indoor Cat's amusement, but the Barn Cat would consider it a buffet (or dinner theater)

For pole-mounted varieties, putting a standard steel Slinky around the feeder pole gets rid of most of the squirrels. They've pretty much given up at my parents' house. The silly skirls only stop by in late summer; by that point, a few of the spilled sunflower seeds have usually sprouted, making it worthwhile for them to argue with the birds over final custody of the giant blossoms.

Just wait until you see the Yankee Flipper we're building for you. It's got Mr. Tumnus holding a hot fudge sundae as bait.

The squirrels have pulled back to form a new tactical plan for assaulting the supply depot. You just encountered the first member of a Ghost Recon squad, walking point and taking initial reconnaisance of the area. Expect Operation Eternal Birdseed to be initiated shortly.

I was feeding two VERY tame Squirrels, Kellogg's Corn Flakes by hand, at the bus stop of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, TN. Tuesday Morning. My wife got a picture of me and one of them. The Squirrels of Vanderbilt University and Centennial Park, across Broadway from the University are the tamest I have seen in my life, for wild squirrels. I often get them to sit on my lap or my shoulder, and have been doing this for 40 years. I once had a baby squirrel use me as a tree to climb up to escape from a very aggressive dog on the Vanderbilt Campus. I carried it in my pocket over to a tree and released it happy and unharmed after the dog left.

You are brave - i wont let anyone touch my kimono, yukata or hakama but me, even if it mean i am fighting the steamer. Of course mine are the silk and delicate types.

My old Judo Gi though - i used to shove it in the washing machine with bleach to get the bloodstains out, mistreated that within an inch of its life :D

That's the whole point of a gi... they take the washing machine abuse just as well as the bloodstains, lol It's ironic that (in my system of karate that is) they make the students wear the white ones, and only allow you to wear black when you get your black belt - and are less likely to get messy. d'oh!

Well, yes, but we are told quite firmly not to bleach the judo Gi because it causes the fabric to break down and we wear double weave for a reason. By the time i was medically retired from Judo all my gi my were thin enough i was worried about them giving up class in a spectactular disintergration of material (and glad i wasnt competing anymore cause the refs would have sent me off the mats in disgust).

Of course there is nothing funnier than someone who has accidently washed their white gear with their blue, and now they have a royal blue gi and a patchy eggshell-to-darker blue gi :D Or worse, they havent washed the washing machine out properly after bleaching their whites - and thier blues come out looking tye-dyed :D

LMAO yeah that would be bad. I have a friend in class that periodically wears an old judo gi, he calls it his air conditioned one. It's definitely taken a lot of abuse from competitions and bleaching. D'oh! ;) I've been extremely lucky; haven't turned a gi an odd color quite yet.

They might not be entirely clueless!

I work at a drycleaner (and this is assuming they have a computer-based system similar in design) and we have to mark in karate uniforms as "labcoats" -- a lot of it is basically taking an item, looking at the selection the computer gives you at a set price, and picking the closest thing. It's all about getting the money in the right range, less about accuracy of the item on invoices.

Although, for the record, it does wig me out to take in a yukata and ultimately have to call it a robe.

I once picked up my cloak with the receipt "Men's bathrobe."

They kindly included some poor stranger's bathrobe belt.

Squirrels are a rarity here too... millions of them in the city, but out here in the country they only stop by the feeder every few months... :\ I miss them much...

If you fold it correctly, the pleats shouldn't fall out ... though this is hear-say. I have only owned my hakama for a year, and I train too often to fold it, ever.

I've a fifth kyu belt, too.

Heh heh heh... Every time I think about a hakama, I think of my first experience with one, which was this instructor here yelling mock-threateningly at one of his fellow instructors, "IT'S NOT A DRESS!!" I'd say if you were looking for iaido type work, you should find a Sanjuriu dojo... but alas, you'd have to get to blackbelt to do that particular part of it for one, and there aren't any closer than Tennessee... so I'm not much help. But something I find really funny, is the guy in that picture is also a bounty hunter for his day job... and one of the nicest and most respectful people you could ever meet. This also reminds me I need to get my hakama cleaned and pleated and learn how to fold the thing; it's been thoroughly abused.

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