Back home

Lisa and the pups are back after 3+ days down in Lompoc at the Western Regional dog show thingie. The dogs all give the new van 4 paws up… After a bit is sushi for dinner, Lisa crashed out. I guess she’s pretty tired after a weekend of hard dog partying. I spent the time doing some picking up around the house (trying to catch up on 4+ months of accumulated mail on my desk) & yard, lots of laundry and mostly playing with my new Mac laptop.

Close call

Lesson learned – do not leave the hav-a-hart trap set up in the barn when you think skunks may be in town. I went into the barn tonite to make sure one of the cats didn’t get into it and just as I went to check on it, it tripped. I peaked over the top of the hay and there in the trap was a rather confused skunk. I let it chill out for a couple hours and then very carefully opened the door with a broom handle and left it propped open for Pepi to exit. After a couple hours, he left w/o incident. Whew…

Coon #3

We seem to have a bumper crop of the ring-tailed cretins this year. Found coon prints on the cars this morning, so out came the trap and some treats tonite – a couple hours of patience and bingo – #3. Took this one down to visit his friends by the Hetch-Hetchy water treatment plant. He should find plenty of water and some frogs, etc to munch on. I tagged him with some white surveying paint on his tail/back to ID him in case we see #4 wandering around later this month.

Birthday, beach, lazy dogs

I took yesterday off for my birthday (sort of – went in for meetings in the morning) and we packed the dogs into the new dog-mobile and headed down to Carmel. We should have left much earlier, as we ran into tons of traffic due to early rush hour (3pm??). But we finally made it down there by early evening and took the dogs around Carmel. Unfortunately, their favorite store (Diggity-Dog) was closed, so after wandering around a bit trying to find the other dog shop, we headed off to the beach. The clouds/marine layer cleared off and it was actually decent weather. Dretti loves the beach and couldn’t wait to get off leash to run around like a madman. It was Q’s first trip to the beach and at first he wasn’t sure what to make of the sand/surf, but he clued in pretty quick and ran around like a little referee, keep rein on the big dogs as their played (and trying to not get run over himself). After beach time, we went out for dinner at The Forge which has a doggie dining area. Q got to come in with us while the big dogs cooled their paws in the minivan.

It was the first time I drove the dog-mover since we got it. Its a pretty cushy ride, I have to admit. I think it will be nice on long trips, tho I need to figure out now how to install the Xbox in the back seat area so I can play games/watch movies while Lisa drives 🙂

Plumbing – 0, Electrical – 1

Mixed bag of this Sunday. Started off early in the morning with relocating raccoon #2 to his new home, far away and then made a trip to Lowes/Home Depot in search of parts to hook up the field irrigation line to the water trough at the top of the pasture. Should have been simple – key word – ‘should’. The previous owner used poly line instead of normal pipe to put the line thru the pasture. I can sort of understand, since what he was doing was supplying water to the rancher across the road for his cattle during the summers. However, I have no idea where around here he got the parts for doing this, since none of the hardware stores I went to have parts for 1.25″ poly line (its like a big version of the stuff you use for low pressure drip irrigation). My hack of radiator clamps/silicone seal blew apart under the pressure. Not to mention I found 4-5 spots where I ran thru the poly line with the rototiller. Joy… time for Plan B – install PVC to the edge of the pasture. I love PVC – its so easy to work with and in ready supply.

The electrical stuff in the barn was much more successful. Wired up a couple new 20amp outlets and a new breaker. All with out shocks or fire. Found lots of spiders – note to self – need to get the shop vac out there to clean up the webs.

Fraley came by late in the day to help me take the hard top off my Jeep. I’m missing the convertible, since I traded it in for a minivan for Lisa – yea, she needs to make a post about that.

Got raccoon #2

I setup the trap last nite before going to bed with the hopes of finishing the relocation program started last week. Bingo – one young ‘coon in the trap this morning, soon to be relocated to a nice place miles away near the reservoir. Maybe he’ll find his friend, maybe not – just so long as he doesn’t find our place again.
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SUV – 0, Deer 1

Lisa had the unfortunate timing to be coming home last nite shortly after someone driving along the road in the valley crashed their SUV and had it burst into flames. We were not sure if it wasn’t another case of someone torching their car out in a rural area (its happened a couple times now since we moved to Sunol), but this one was an accident, unfortunately with a fatality.

The short writeup is here:

I came down the hill when she called me and by the time I got there, the scene was swarming with police and fire crews. I had scene a vehicle that sounded similar to her description a short ways down the road about an hour earlier, possibly dumping something in a parking area, but it doesn’t appear to be related. Looking this morning, the folks in the parking area appear to have dumped some pieces of a cut up tree/leaves/branches.

Rain in July??

Yes, we’re actually have showers tonite – I guess some storm front from the south is blowing thru, bringing t-storms and some light rain. I’m just glad the forecasts of dry lightning didn’t result in any fires.

Racoon relocation program

Ok, I screwed up – I left a bunch of unopened bags of food (chips, etc) in my Miata the other nite and left the windows cracked an inch. The racoon(s) saw this as a challenge and promptly shredded the weather striping trying to squeeze their butts into the car. I stopped by Mazda today to order replacements – $230. Ouch. Tonite, out came the live catch trap. Less than 5 mins after I set it up at dusk, SNAP! I went back outside and the little bandit was there. He got quickly relocated about 10 miles away. As soon as I got back, I found a second ‘coon in the barn. Trap set up again…