Yesterday I went to my first graduation in the rain. If I was aware that Wyoming High School has a tradition of outdoor graduations come rain or shine, I would have brought an umbrella. As one of the top public schools in Ohio I guess if you are tough enough to graduate from Wyoming you are not going to let a little rain get in the way of the celebration. For a lot of us there was not much of a view. Here is my view of the graduation.
My congratulations go out to all of the graduates. Here is what a newly minted Wyoming High School graduate looks like.
When I arrived home yesterday I was surprised that Fox News was not on the television. My wife is a big fan. Occasionally we have problems receiving the Direct TV signal in rain storms but today we had a light snow and it stopped hours ago. Was this was this manna from heaven or the first step of some conspiracy to shut down Fox News? After completing the Direct TV Error Code 771 recommendations, we called Direct TV and set up an appointment. Later that night while I was giving the horses their nightly hay, I thought about the problem and decided to take a look at the antenna. Yup, the dish was full of snow. It is surprising we got any channels at all! So I pulled out the step ladder and using a brush we use to clean ceiling fans, brushed the snow out of the dish. By the time I got upstairs my wife had already noticed that Fox News was back on the air. As Red Green once said,
If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Many geese have been born on our property but very few have flown away. I suspect all of them became someone’s meal. The five geese in the middle were born several weeks ago and a couple of days ago I saw them with adult feathers. So I ran, got my camera, and took this shot to commemorate the five who made it.
I went down to feed the horses last night and guess who was hanging from the light fixture. So I grabbed the camera and took this shot. He is probably a Big Brown Bat since he is about 4 to 6 inches long . The girls were not thrilled. I am guess it is about time I move my bat house to a sunnier location.
Most of the folks who ride out of our barn are young women. On Saturdays they stumble in wearing riding clothes and what looks like fuzzy slippers. I imagine that they were asleep just a short while ago. They probably rolled out of bed, put on some clothes, and forgot about the slippers. Maybe it’s a new style. I do not know. It is an amusing site to see them putz around while they try to wake up and get their horse ready. There is no rush. They are relaxed and comfortable. This is a good way to approach riding. Then I thought, I can do that. A pair of fleece lined moccasins would feel pretty good with these cold floors. Now I go from slippers to canters. Life is good!
I recently put up an upside-down suet feeder and have patiently been waiting for its first customer. I have a traditional type bird feeder nearby that has quite a traffic jam in the morning. Since I have low cost access to suet I thought that a suet feeder would be a nice addition to the bird feeding scene. Below is a picture of the only bird feeding on the suet. He is doing quite a job on the suet! I think it is a male Hairy Woodpecker rather than the Downy Woodpecker because of the beak and the red feathers on his head. Here is a description from Cornell’s All About Birds page on Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Visual comparison of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.
Overall size and bill size and shape are the most useful characters for distinguishing the two species in the field. There are subtle plumage features that can also be useful when a good close up view is possible.
Last year was a particularly difficult electric power year for us. In the last 13 years we probably had four outages that lasted more than 24 hours. It happened so infrequently we kept the generator in the back of the barn. Last year we had four 24+ hour outages. The big problem for us is that we get our water from a cistern. That means that we need electricity to pump water. Ten years ago we had a transfer switch installed so we could safely use a generator to power 6 circuits that included the pumps. It was a Generac transfer switch with a double throw switch for each circuit. During the third power outage I hooked up the generator and it immediately tripped the breaker on the generator. My wife decided it must be the generator since our generator was ten years old and went out and bought a new generator. With this new generator we keep it in a much more convenient location to the transfer panel. I can roll out the generator and hook it up to the transfer panel in about five minutes. On December 23rd we had our fourth 24+ hour power outage. I hooked up the new generator and the breaker tripped whenever I tried to turn on a circuit. A circuit providing power to the water was not functioning whether it was connected to the generator or the utility power. Now I knew that the Generac transfer switch had a serious problem. I performed some emergency wiring to get power back to the pump. Two days after Christmas our electrician came out and confirmed that we had a problem with the transfer switch and cleaned up my temporary wiring. Last Friday we finally got our new transfer switch installed. The electrician replaced the Generac unit with a GE Power Transfer switch and a new electrical sub panel. This a more industrial looking solution so I have a warm, fuzzy feeling that this solution will be more reliable. I stayed home on Friday to test the switch and verify that the circuits were working. It worked. I was curious about the price of the transfer switch. I found it at Home Depot and Lowes for $118. This looks like a cost competitive and more reliable solution compared to the Generac prewired solutions.
On Friday a storm came through and knocked out the power for about 3 million people including me. The temperature in my house last night was 92 degrees when I tried to go to bed. I slept with a towel so I could wipe up the sweat. It was miserable.
Now it is Sunday and McDonalds has three things that I do not have, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and hot coffee. The Duke power outage map for my area looks like somebody shot it with a shotgun so it looks like it might be awhile. I guess it is time to work on those outdoor projects. Oh well!