Category Archives: Mini-Rancho

The missing bird feeder

Noticed it this morning. It was up too high to be hand-stolen by anyone but a seven-footer. So probably a squirrel. They are plenty aggressive little buggers at Neely’s Canyon. How they got over the greased pole, though, to boost the feeder’s hanging wire off the pole’s hook, I do not understand. Cannot see the feeder on the ground, either. Think it would take two cooperating to carry it away. That’s frightening organization.

Looking now at a squirrel-proof, motorized bird feeder that spins and whips the offender off the perch. Appropriately called “The Yankee Flipper.” It also doubles the hanging wire into a small circle over the hook which would seem to make it harder to get off. Alas, it’s $150. Marked down. It was $170. I can’t imagine paying so much, even to get revenge on the squirrels.

Solar electric house

A good friend is boasting of $4 a month electricity bills after taking up the city’s offer to have solar panels installed on the roof of her single-family, three-bedroom, one-level house. She can use the extra money that would have gone to her electric bills. Hmm. Wonder if our all-electric condo’s Homeowners Association would be interested? They’ve probably considered it already. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: They rejected it because of the aesthetics of rooftop solar panels. But, now, after last year’s lengthy power outages, some are talking of forming a new committee to research the idea again.

Silent Violin on backorder

Alas, my purchased Yamaha YSV 200 is backordered. Gonna be a while before it arrives. Meanwhile I will read the manual. It’s short. From all I can tell of the reviews, its sound is conversational level. Which should work. We have good neighbors. Don’t want to annoy them.

Buying an electric violin

I stopped playing my acoustic 4/4 about two years ago due to condo living. Simply too loud for the neighbors. The Yamaha YSV200 Silent isn’t really silent but makes a lot less sound than an acoustic, even with a steel or rubber mute, according to the reviews I’ve read. Conversational voice level, according to one reviewer. Played with headphones or earbuds for an acoustic sound. If I’m ever going to get back to the fiddle, it may be just what I need. Stay tuned, so to speak.

UPDATE: I bought one. Now to see if it’s satisfying.

Cedar Fever strikes

Been sneezing and nose-blowing all day thanks to high winds and cedar (actually juniper) pollen in the air. Being drawn into the condo by the heating system, just not as much as you get outdoors.

Kitchen Mama

A new kind of electric can opener, which produces lids without sharp edges, and does its work hands off. We love it. Thank you, Mama.

Ah, Halloween

It will be a quiet evening at the mini-rancho, with few or no trick-or-treaters. Not like the olden days at Rancho Roly Poly, when we regularly drew a few dozen, mostly small Korean kids with their parents lingering in the background. Then the Hispanic “kids” would arrive in a van and fan out across the street. We’d quickly run out of goodies and have to turn the porch light off.