Battling with Raccoons….

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The raccoon in the picture is a local raccoon but not the one who was in my house.

For about the last ten days I have been battling raccoons that moved into my home. At first, I thought the sounds were mice in my garage or their larger cousins rats. I put out mouse and rat traps and nothing. I put out mouse poison. There was not a nibble.

The sounds continued. The noises got louder. They were loudest at about 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.. After a few days with no results, I looked around and spotted a hole under and eave in my home. That day, that lady next door reported seeing a raccoon on the roof of my attached garage.

That evening. I was in my bedroom closet and heard a sound that sounded like birds chirping. It was a Mama raccoon and her babies. I shut the closet door. My ever attentive dog tried to open the door. She also started barking at walls.

Last Saturday, I called for help. I checked around and found a guy on Angie’s List who does live capture and releases the the invading wildlife back to the wild.

The first night, I heard the trap spring at about 9:30 p.m.. The cage was rattled periodically all night long. It was the Mama and she was not happy. From the sound showing the ability to rattle a rather large cage, I thought it was the Mama. When I checked in the morning, she was curled in a ball and sound asleep. I put in a call to my guy who said he would pick her up and set a new trap.

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Last night, one of the babes was trapped and was reunited with Mama at rehab. When the whole litter is trapped, they will go to the wild site. I have to say that the noise last night was so much less noise that I may just be able to get more sleep tonight. It is just before 9:00 p.m. and I can hear the rest of the babes getting ready to go out for the evening. There is a delicious can of cat food awaiting them.

Acoustic Ambince

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The first place I went was Northern Lights Lounge in Detroit to see the Mike Jellick Trio. I usually have something to eat. It is usually an appetizer since they are half off on Wednesday evening. I ordered the beef nachos and waited. I did get my club soda and lime so at least I had something to drink.

This blog is specifically about the acoustic experience. On Wednesday evening, Northern Lights Lounge is a good experience. Each instrument is set up so the microphones pick up the sound. An extra microphone is on stage for any additions. There is an actual professional sound guy who runs a sound check and makes adjustments. This is an unusually good acoustic experience. The room is also set up for music. The musicians are on a stage and wood is the predominant material. The speakers are set up so the sound spreads evenly throughout the room.

Venues can have all sorts of things that make it difficult to get a good sound. The Detroit Institute of Arts has a music program on Friday nights. It is well attended and is free. However,the room is huge and over two stories high.

A lot of the time, the musicians just set it up for themselves. Most of them are used to it and do a good job. However, there is occasionally the rogue musician who manages to crank his amp up to the point that he is stepping on all the other instruments.

I went to another bar after Northern Lights and the whole experience was so different. The band shoes play on a stage up front. But, there is a brick wall and a glass wall. The speakers are hung on the ceiling and are between. the musicians and the audience. All the seating is either under the speakers or behind the speakers. The bar and table seating go back for fifty feet. In order for the back to hear, the music is turned up. In the front, it is not bad if you can get to one of the tables under the speakers. With the music turned up and in the back it is so hard to hear any of the words of vocalists. Sometimes the music is distorted. If I’m in the middle, I usually leave once my headache starts or go outside for a breather.

So what I’m trying to say is that no matter how great the music may be if it is not played well to the room it is lost.

Dog Walking Her Owner at Park

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Yesterday I dutifully went to the park to walk my dog. She wasn’t having it. She had ideas of her own. The walk is a little over a mile and it started out well.

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We started along the path on a beautiful sunny day. On weekdays,the park is relatively empty and there were very few dogs. So Bonnie(the dog) decided to look for other entertainment. After attempting to chase squirrels, she realized being on a leash did not facilitate chasing squirrels. So, she decided to checkout the stream. I went along for the ride.

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I decided not to walk across the stream on the log. Bonnie was disappointed. But, never mind, there were other areas to explore.

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We heard ducks here and never saw them. From the pile of old logs in the stream, I though there might be some animals in there. Bonnie looked for the ducks. Some times, she held her nose in the air sniffing all the new and different smells in the park.
I was tired after the loop and Bonnie wanted to continue. This may be an ongoing theme. The vet told me to take her for more walks to relieve her arthritis and she is getting better each day.

?.?.? A Sunday Walk in the Park….Disappeared

My post disappeared…trying again….

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Yesterday I decided to take a walk in the park with my 14 and 1/2 year old dog, Bonnie. It was a beautiful sunny day. I usually walk Bonnie in the neighborhood and it was not energizing her this year as it had in past years.

The path in the park is between one and two miles. There is a enclosed playground with many children. There are grills and picnic tables. A stream wends its way through the park. For the most part, the path follows the stream.

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It was a joyful walk. Bonnie tried to run after squirrels. When she went down to the stream, it reminded me of a former dog who would give me a fish eye before trying to dive in the stream. She made it once into the stream. Bonnie perked up at the sight of other dogs, runners and joggers. We socialized with several dogs and their owners. Bonnie loves to meet and greet other dogs. By the time I ended the walk she was strutting her stuff again. I was tired.

A Fictional Look Back

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My seasonal job is preparing taxes. I hear a lot of things and I keep it confidential. But, there are times when I look at a client and think, what if… The following is a fictional account of a tax interview.

Ms. Renee Dupuis in the chair opposite me to have her taxes done. The person who has done her taxes before was not available so she had to take someone new to her. The preparer was experienced but, Ms. Dupuis wanted to make sure and asked her some questions. Finally satisfied, the preparer was allowed to start the return.

As usual, the talk was more than just taxes. Ms. Dupuis was born in France and preparer was planning on a trip to France. They talked a little about the Musée D’ Orsay and all the great impressionist art in the museum. They compared the cathedral at Chartres to the Notre Dame and agreed that the hand carving at Chartres deserves more attention then it gets. Ms. Dupuis mentioned that four Catholic churches in her area were closing. Her church was closing and at 73 she did not want to make a change to a new church. She decided to attend one of the churches that was not one that was designated.

She began talking about a family reunion she had missed in Paris a few years ago. One of her teenage ‘crushes’ said he had missed seeing her at the reunion in an email brimming with passion.

She had missed the reunion due to a surgery and when she recovered, she visited him in France where they had a torrid, passionate affair. The preparer kept typing tax information into the computer and occasionally asked a question. Although the question were about taxes, Ms. Dupuis answered the questions and continued with her story. Her friend had visited Detroit where the affair continued with the same enthusiasm. Unfortunately, he was married.

The preparer sneaked a glance at Ms. Dupuis. She had a smile on her face as she recounted the events. After he we not back to France, she went to confession and promised not to do it again. And she didn’t with him. She began to tell the preparer about the wonderful gentleman friend in her apartment complex.