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Entries in squirrel (6)


It is an interesting life

After coming into 2019, writing all those posts on Belize, trying to get back into the routine.. got some bug from somewhere that had me down for most of the previous week.

Everytime I tried to rest, do yoga, drink fluids and recover, it kind of knocked me back. Even San was sick for a day or two.. to a point where both of us could not get up in the morning and the kid missed first period in school! 

That has not happened in our parenting history.. 

My colleagues were not exactly happy to see me at work every morning and understandably so. I would barely make it to a little post lunch before deciding to come back home. 

The funny thing was that a lot of folks kept honking at me while driving. Given I was not taking any medication that would make me drowsy and I was fully conscious.. and drive slowly.. was really suprised by all that honking.

Then San tells me that the indicator lights are flashing different. Yesterday got honked again but it was raining and in the reflections saw that my turn indicator lights were not flashing!!

That explained all the honking. Promptly took the car to get it checked.  Thought it would be a bad bulb but then the guy tells me to pop the hood to see what is going on and this is what we saw!

The guy is like "what bird nest is that? it has chewed through the insulation and is there for the warmth".. 

Me : I know what did that! It is a squirrel. Recently my neighbor has put some squirrel repellent electronic gizmo around their oak tree and all of them are in our front yard looking for a new home.. we were travelling during the break and the car was parked outside.. guess it made a perfect nesting spot

The top foam is a noise reduction insulation which is something that has to be ordered.

With squirrels come insects.. was scratching my feet yesterday and was wondering why would something bite me in the car.. it is pretty well insulated.. well, now everything is explained.

Now we need to squirrel proof the car. 

Even before this was having a conversation with Jr. when we detected the indicator issue. 

Jr.: can we sell this car and get a small Prius instead? I can drive it

Me : you can drive this car till it can no longer drive. what is wrong with that

Jr. : it is dirty! 

Me: I will wash it

Jr.: you only wash the outside. You have to clean the inside

Me: okay

Jr.: That yogurt stain has been there in the back seat for three years. You don't sit in the back seat okay? I do.. all the time. If you don't get that stain off, you better sell that car and buy another one.

Me: your mom is lobbying for a Tesla. We cannot afford it right now. You want me to replace a car for a Yogurt stain.. Where have I gone wrong?  

Jr.: I am not getting between you, Amma and the Tesla. All I am saying is I don't want to drive the Leaf or this Prius. The Leaf brakes I don't like. The Prius brakes hard and I like it, but I would be more comfortable in a smaller Prius. 

So basically she wants to buy a Leaf sized Prius. I think she also knows that she cannot go far in the Leaf other than school, target, whole foods, trader joes, safeway or one of the local classes she or her sister go to. The prospect of becoming a replacement chauffer for her sister is weighing heavily.. guess she wants to be able to drive "farther".. 

Meanwhile the "Tesla debate" is continuing. The red carpool sticker is still valid only for 3 years. When your commute becomes 2 hours a day.. time to rethink everything. 

My idea of a green car is any fully electric car.

My idea of a commuter car is something that can take me to local places fast. The carpool sticker is more valuable than the car.

My idea of a self driving vehicle is a public transport bus. ( I am not driving !)

Given that logic, the Leaf seems as good as a Tesla given we don't really "need" all those fancy features.  However, people tell me the "feeling" and "experience" part.. etc. 

Many years ago, I was fortunate to work with a Maintenance Manager by the name of Ray Romero. He passed away after fighting cancer. One day in his typical style he called me and said "Sundar, I want to have a chat with you".

So we go to an office and Ray has some popcorn and water melons waiting for me. He goes "you know, I love working with you. You had no experience working with direct labor, but were willing to listen and learn from us. you also have a good sense of where money is wasted"

I knew there was a "but" somewhere in the conversation that was coming... and it did. You know that part you are negotiating? We waited three days and got it down from 5000 to 4000.. but now we are waiting another three days to get it from 4000 to 3800.. The first move was smart. The second one not so. I know when someone called you a "cheap bastard" you told him it will be taken as a compliment. But you should know when there is a diminshing return for time vs money.

It was an important lesson that he taught me. Still use it everyday at work and outside. You should know when to stop haggling.

Where were we? Squirrels, car, one more reason to find fault with the current car to say "let's get a Tesla!"

Forget the car. What do we do about the squirrels?

Might have to buy one of those gizmos and put it inside the hood of the car.. and also try to build them an alternate nesting site of some kind... 


Backyard fun

This post starts with an apology to Pavan Uncle and Deepti mami!

They visited the kids a few months ago and gave a gift. As is customary in the house, gifts are always opened at a later day. This one went to the garage shelf, thanks to San who doesn't believe in reading what the gift actually is before hiding it from the kids.

We reserve the right to hand over the gifts on days when the kids have to be bribed for something. We run out of bribe gifts and hence this rule! As it so happens, this gift was Christmas trees to be made of cookies which had an expiry date for the frosting and the cookies.

We still let the kids make the cookies with frosting, sprinkles, etc. but instead of eating it, placed it in the backyard..

Now that we have enough critters that visit us every evening and make it practically resemble the Fairyland projected in the latest Snow White movie. The kids and grandparents enjoyed watching the birds and animals come close to us to taste cookies..

It was great to watch them come and devour the decorated cookies, one piece at a time..

We are truly blessed with this 20 foot hedge that defines our backyard that makes any summer evening a pleasant evening!



Kaakaa pochu Anil vandhudhu dum dum dum dum..

The crows (காக்கா) are gone and the squirrels (அணில்) are in..

A young family (dad, mom, 3 babies) are everywhere in our backyard.

Was sick last two days. Was either sleeping or throwing up yesterday. Finally after multiple hospital visits, CT scans the solution was to reboot me instead of putting me in hibernate mode.

A few painkillers and sedatives that had me knocked out for a few hours this afternoon and voila all lightning strikes and flickering lights inside the head were gone.

Going to take it easy for a few days and that means less blogging, less staring at this monitor...

When I woke up this evening and starred out of the window, this is the sight that greeted me! An invasion of Anil's!

The babies were unsupervised and they came close to us and they have not figured out yet that they have to run when the USM motor in the zoom moves!

In other news, the eyes and brain have to be in tip top shape for Friday night!

We have tickets to go see superstar on the big screen!

Until then...



Backyard, camera, action

They fought dearly for something..

The squirrel won!

The evening Chai was with some outdoor entertaining by the little friends.

A lot of serious and frivolous posts, all incomplete, as the mind wanders aimlessly..

Until something brings me out of this trance...



Backyard Playtime.. Photoblog

Today was spent in napping, biking with kids (yes, Daddy got back on the bicycle for the 2nd time since the accident... and went on the main road as well!), taking pictures of the flowers, girls, squirrels, and birds in what was a great spring day.

The jasmines are in full bloom and the whole backyard smells divine!

Made some good chai and settled in the concrete steps..

This look on the little one's face is what we refer to as the "theesa kalai".. she must have done something she wasn't supposed to do and that explains that look.. She was moving too fast and I had the camera in manual.

The girls surprise me more than the birds and squirrels...

Need more of these quiet afternoons to lift up spirits...