Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Ears!

To quote a great American (even when he's in pain!), "It's always sumthin'."

And living in the country, that's especially (and frequently) true.

While Sarge was vacationing in DC with his feet up and wait staff at full force, things are Rancho Juvat seemed to be collapsing around my ears.  My Beautiful Daughter had come for a few days and stayed in the guest house.  The guest room in the main house having been appropriated by Mrs Juvat as her workout room and would only be used as a guest room in dire circumstances. 

So it is written, so it shall be.

However, dire circumstances prevailed.  After MBD had retired to the guest house, we received a communique' which said it was near freezing in the house and could we come and educate her on how to work the heat.  Since the ambient air temperature was near freezing also, I rode to the rescue with alacrity.

Only to find that the heat would not come on even after a hard reboot accompanied by a circuit breaker cycling (or 15).

She accompanied me back to the main house and was soon ensconced in the guest room.  The following day, the prime directive for my actions was to get on the schedule of the air conditioning guy.  Which I did.

He arrived that afternoon, which floored me.  Same day service?  YGBSM!


He also knew what the problem was.

The prior year for whatever of Mother Nature's reasons the winter had resulted in Field Mice everywhere.  Furtive little creatures, they were rarely ever spotted, but left little clues shaped like little black grains of rice every where they went.
Cute isn't it? No...Not really, they're called a pest for a reason.

The problem in the main house was alleviated by the addition of Schmedly, Moushka and Mushka.  Thanks, guys! Mrs Juvat appreciated your hard work hunting the little creatures, even if she did get a tad excited when you dropped proof of your prowess on her pillow in the middle of the night.
Schmedly, a tiger by heart.

However, we still had problems in the Barn as well as the guest house throughout that winter.

Come spring, Mother Nature did her magic and the field mice disappeared.  

Or not...

Seems one of the little Mickeys decided to have his last meal on the control panel wiring of the AC/Heat unit.  It also seems that when he expired, that bit of electricity fried the control panel rendering the unit irreparable.

Realizing we had guests staying that weekend and not wanting to have to cancel, I asked him when he thought it might be back up and running.  I was very relieved to hear that he would order the new unit that evening, it would arrive the next morning and be up that afternoon.

Being in the proverbial circumstance involving rocks and hard places, I asked the usual question.  Having just watched "White Christmas", I gained a new appreciation for the line "between ouch and BOINNGGG!"

My wife, ever the glass is half full type, said "well, we needed a business deduction".

Yeah, babe, right!

In the middle of this episode, I'm leaving the property and hit the clicker on the gate opener.  Usually, I can open the gate from anywhere on the property.  I've got THE clicker.  Other mere mortals, have to get within a few feet of it in order for it to receive the signal.

I click the gate button, nothing.  Closer, nothing. Stop at the manual gate button.  It's laying on its side in the dirt.  

The horses have knocked it down using it as a butt scratcher.

So....I call the gate guy, explain the situation, and he says he can come that afternoon.  Again, I count myself lucky as he's usually booked quite a few days in advance.  Lot of people from a state out west that rhymes with california putting their money into ranches in Texas nowadays.  (Skip, I know what you're going to say "We're not all like that'" However, the ones moving here seem to be.)

Sorry, Sarge, I know, Back on Target!

So, the gate guy comes, has to replace the solar panel which charges the battery which died and caused the remotes not to work.  He checked out the manual button, pronounced it serviceable and hammered some angle iron into the ground and welded the post to it.

He said I might want to build a structure around it that the horses could use to scratch on instead of the gate infrastructure.

So it is written, so it shall be.

Been working so far.

After a long day of dealing with things and writing checks, I fix dinner and afterwords load up the dishwasher.  It's a nice dishwasher made by Bosch, very quiet and very efficient at washing dishes.


The next morning, I look at the dishes and it doesn't appear to have operated, even though it had made noise like it was operating.

Try it again, nothing. 

So....I call the local appliance repair guy.  He says he can be out the next afternoon.  Arrives right on time, takes a look at the problem and says "You want the good news or the bad news?"  

"Good News"

"Your wife is getting a belated Christmas gift"

"Bad News"

"It'll cost more to fix than to replace"


Didn't realize it, but evidently this model dishwasher has a float underneath and if it leaks and starts to flood, the float turns off the machine.  Unfortunately, that's also where the motors and other mechanical parts are located.  Machinery, electricity and water are not mutually compatible.

Mrs Juvat and I had a lovely Lowes date the next evening and the dishwasher is supposed to be installed sometime this next week.

It's always something.

Yeah, it is!

Hope you have a Happy New Year (without plenty of unplanned business expenses).

OBTW, if like me, you believe honor and integrity are underrepresented in Flag Officers, please view the video in the sidebar under  It wasn't always thus.
Couple of the guys in the overhead banner have speaking parts.  Caution: it will get dusty.
Good addition, Sarge.


  1. Lazarus, my Norwegian Forest Cat, was a mega mouser. He would leave parts of them as gifts.

    1. I'm good with it. The wife is also, however the cats are pretty good about raising the drama in their presentation of the trophy.

  2. One darn thing after another; welcome to life.

    I'm happy to read that no one was injured in any of the untoward events. ( Well, other than in the check book. )

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. I just would prefer life to be presented in slow, dispersed, fashion. I'm not enthused about rushing through it all at once. No injuries (other than dish pan hands) to report.

  3. A dishwasher made by Heronimus Bosch? That must be one interesting looking dishwasher!

    1. Naw....just a plain white one. New one is stainless steel, very modern. Completely unlike me. But at least there's no shiplap.

  4. That you Harry Bosch? Calling Michael Connelly.... calling Michael Connelly to the red phone......good response from all your guys Juvat. Lets hope things settle down now.

    1. Between you and Scott the Badger, I've learned more about "Bosch" than I thought possible. Interesting.

  5. What an exciting life you lead!

    1. Naw...pretty boring actually. Now Sarge on the other hand....

  6. You need a maintainer on retainer.

    You fighter pilots, gad, such excitement. 😉

  7. In spite of it all, our annual New Year's get together of the usual suspects was successfully held at our place this year. Plastic disposable plates are a wonderful thing. Treated our winemaker friends with a bottle of 25 YO Pinot Noir from my Dad's collection which was thankfully still good. Played cards til midnight, did the old Happy New Years thing and went to bed. Not a "hair on fire" kinda night, but fits right in with the elder statesman Fighter Pilot image I'm trying to cultivate.

    1. It was, and the requisite Post New Year's Eve Nap has been successfully logged. 19 degrees out with 15K blowing. You'd think it was winter or something.

  8. Who are these folks who are from a place that rhymes?
    Carpetbaggers, they aren’t.
    They move every time they’ve fouled the nest, leaving the mess for someone else.

    Ah, but today is the start of a new year.
    I shall try to remain positive, particularly since I am currently watching the Tournament of Roses Parade.

    It seems you got your surprises all at once... and in a timely manner... there’s that to be thankful for.

    Happy New Year!!!

    1. Carpetbaggers seems to be a good term. If they arrived saying "Hey we screwed things up and here's some of the things we learned." It would be one thing. Unfortunately, it's usually "In LA we did it this way....." Lest you think I'm in error, an example.

  9. One of the truisms of the world, (Well, my world at least) is "When it rains it craps." Or words to that effect.

    Happy New Year.

    1. Yeah, Or words to that effect.
      Thanks, Same to you.

  10. So what you are saying is that running your ranch is much like flying your plane.

    You push a button, nothing happens, and you shout, "Hey, GroundCrew!!!"

    (And was that OldAFS putting a hint in that he wanted to do a TDY to Texas?)

    Hope the new year treats your wallet better.

    1. Well, sorta. To quote a line from a classic movie, "A man's gotta know his limitations." Electricity is NOT my forte. Check that it's plugged in, cycle the CB, check for loose wires. Still no workee? Call maintenance. Which come to think of it was pretty much exactly what emergency procedures called for in a fighter.
      So, Andrew, once again you're right.
      I believe you're also correct in the TDY thing.

  11. You are definitely putting the new in happy new year. New dishwasher, new gate, new heater, and even a new horse butt scratcher.

    1. Yeah, Saw the turkeys out there trying it out this morning. Those are 7' T-posts, the switch is about 4 1/2' off the ground, so there's about a foot and a half to two sunk into the ground.

      I expect to see it on the ground again shortly, but that's just me being optimistic.

    2. Just put a "Please don't scratch here" sign up and you should be good.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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