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TRAGEDY!
Author
Post
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2179
I have a problem. Its a squirrel problem. I live on the north side of Chicago where guns of any kind (airsoft, bb, pellet included) are not legal, and neither is poisoning varmint unless you are a proffessional. These squirrels have caused thousands of dollars of damage to my home and personal property. They have eaten through all my metal and plastic garbage cans. They ate through the main control wiring harness on my Dodge Durango....I think they said that wiring harness has 85 connections! $1500 to replace it. Squirrels and racoons ate a swath across my roof at the gutter on my second floor causing an entire roof replacment. They have torn out the sophits and some shingles on my garage. The latest:

I was putting christmas lights up this past weekend becasue the weather was perfect for it. The grage door was open, and a squirrel was in my garbage. I have shot these guys countless times with a pellet gun (shhhh, I know). I've gotten so good I can peg him between the eyes from 30 feet. Not easy to do....the idiot keeps coming back!

Anyway, this time, I didn't have my pea-shooter out cause the kids were with me, so I just yelled at it to scare it off. Well, instead of beating a quick retreat out the main garage door, it run further into the garage. It jumped up on to my drill press, and then on to my work bench.

As you may know, I have been working on 5 guitars and a lego table. The guitars were all on the work bench standing on the ends, all in a row. The squirrel ran behind them all, knocking the Mango, the Padauk OM, and my sisters guitars over. I was still across the garage, and couldn't get there fast enough....only one of them actually fell off the bench, and on to a floor with a rubber mat.

My sisters guitar and the Mango didn't sustain any damage. The Padauk OM, the one that I am building for my son's school auction, hit the ground on the edge of the upper bout soundboard side. It cracked from my bout-side sound hole all the way through the waist, and up the lower bout. All of the side-braces cracked along the side as well. I am furious and heart broken wt the same time. This was the one guitar that truly has a deadline, and needs to be offered up as a pristine custom built guitar, and there was a nother contributor involved. The mango (I hate to say it) can wait. My sister....would probably understand. I have to start over with this one....no other choice. I can't dis-assemble the entire guitar and get it back together without damaging it. So if I am not around much this next two months, or if I sound a little crabby when I am, please forgive me....I have no fuse at the moment.

Dec 01, 09 | 5:24 am
moocatdog

Total Topics: 35
Total Posts: 302
That is a bummer, Ken. I feel for you. Good luck with the replacement guitar and with the rodent problem. I think I'd be sorely tempted to bend the local rules a tad.

Not to make light of your situation, but, if laughter is the best medicine, I would recommend a dose of the "Squirrel Cop" episode on This American Life.

Best,
George :-)

Dec 01, 09 | 5:57 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Ken -- sorry this has happened to your guitars. I would ignore the law in this case and protect my property. If this was a human harassing you and destroying your property, you could legally defend against him, right? I would put out feeders with food laced with antifreeze (where birds and dogs couldn't get to them), mousetraps with whatever squirrels like, get a .410 with a silencer, electrify trip wires -- whatever it takes. Seriously. Kill the little critters and leave them on the City Council's meeting room doormat.

I would also suggest appearing in front of the City Council meeting ... put out some flyers in your neighborhood to get neighborhood support. Start a "Kill The Squirrels" campaign. Again, seriously. It's only going to keep happening every Fall when the squirrels try to get fat for the winter.

I had a neighbor with this kind of problem a few years ago. It literally drove him almost crazy. His wife finally organized an intervention and convinced him that they had to move away. They now live near Tempe AZ and don't deal with squirrels much. He's a happy camper now. I know you can't do that, so ya gotta fight 'em on their turf.

Not meaning this to be humorous or make light of your situation. All serious!

Bill




Dec 01, 09 | 6:08 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
Ken, I can feel your frusatration all over here. Those #%^&* bastards must drive you carzy. I'm not in favour of gunposession and I love animals, but I'll understand if you stand up against them.

And your guitar and all that work...
Hope you can fix it. Good Luck.
Herman

Dec 01, 09 | 8:27 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ah Ken, that is disheartening! Who would ever think that a squirrel would be the cause of a guitar accident. I'm with the rest. Do what you have to do to rid yourself of them.
I'm sure you have already considered this...can you use on of the gits you have going (planned for someone else) as your auction guitar, and then replace it with another build started later? Does it have to be Padauk? You have more Zebra, can you use that one and replace? Just thinking here...again, you have probably already played the idea around in your head. I do hope it works out for you, and feel for you.

Kevin

Dec 01, 09 | 8:58 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Thanks guys....truly depressing. I think the squirrels have caused a total of $7,000 damage to my house and car, not including the guitar. CRAZY!

I have another set of padauk sides that are thicknessed and ready for bending, the zebra is not, and is much more difficult to work with....at this point prep speed is essential. I will still have to thin down some back and top plates....not a problem, but the padauk will go a little faster.

I do have some stunning zebra sides, and a very cool back set, but have a lot of work to do to get them into bending shape. I think I will

The other guitars are either for someone else specefically to their specs, or not to the specs that have been discussed for the auction. The mango is mine, non-negotiable for the moment. I still don't know what it will sound like either. Thanks again, though, guys.

Dec 01, 09 | 10:20 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Ken, I am so saddened to read this! I don't know if this will help but here's another idea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgfxOAfBpQQ

Dec 01, 09 | 12:52 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ken, I knew you would have a plan!

Dec 01, 09 | 6:41 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Martin,
That is TOO funny!

Dec 01, 09 | 6:44 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
That's hilarious! just about peed my pants!

Dec 01, 09 | 6:45 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
PERFECT! Ha! Now, Ken, just set aside the guitars and the cajones for awhile -- you've found a money maker!

Everyone in your neighborhood has a problem with squirrels, right? So, start building catapults in the garage. Soon your pockets could be filled with money and the air thick with squrrels!

You could call your business something like, uh, "Rockie's Flying Squirrels" maybe.

How do you get rid of the squirrels that land in your yard though? Hmmm.

Dec 02, 09 | 5:44 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Need to make it automatic tho.

Dec 02, 09 | 5:50 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
LOL....They wouldn't be landing in my yard.....not my problem. Man, at the rate that one took off, they would land 3-4 yards over in that neighborhood.

Dec 02, 09 | 7:57 am
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
Wow! If you've lost that much, buy a German made pellet gun.....they won't walk away. I bought a Beeman to shoot starlings and sparrows that try to take over my martin and bluebird boxes. (as an aside, neither european starlings nor english house sparrows are native to America.....both were brought over here by some loon that wanted all of the birds mentioned in one of Shakespere's plays to released in Central Park in NY to celebrate that play being performed. Now those two species have taken over the USA. Drive through any town east of the plains and roughly 90% of the birds you see will be english sparrows or european starlings.....and the affect has been devastating on our native cavity nesting birds like tree swallows, martins, bluebirds, some woodpeckers, etc.)

Get an accurate pellet rifle but not a powerful one with a lot of velocity as they are too much if you have close neighbors. Bait them so you can shoot down toward the ground where it's safe.

Dec 02, 09 | 3:30 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Ken, I can't imagine the frustration.


Dec 02, 09 | 6:21 pm
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Oh My Ken! I truly am sorry that happened.

Bill Murray in Caddyshack comes to mind. "License to Kill Squirrels"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv87T1CQF8E

John

Dec 05, 09 | 6:52 pm



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