Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunny Sunday. Surprise!

So, since I wrote yesterday afternoon, the NY Mets have suffered a no hitter (Max Scherzer's second of the season in which he tied Nolan Ryan's 17 strikeout record for a no-no) and went 7 + innings without scoring a run on the final regular season game of the year. Lucky for them, the Mets' pitchers were almost as good as Scherzer today. They held Washington hitless into the 7th inning and tossed a shutout punctuated by Granderson's solo home run in the bottom of the 8th.

The last day victory gave the Mets 90 wins for the season, put them 7 games ahead of second place Washington, and sent them into the post season with a wee bit of momentum.

The Mets begin their post season play at Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Friday, October 9th. Jacob deGrom, who started today's game and threw 4 hitless innings while striking out 7, will be on the mound. Noah Syndergaard will start game two. Mat Harvey will start game 3 back in New York.


Oh yeah, the Jets (3-1) and Giants (2-2) won today.


I spent a couple of hours this morning over at the range. It was the Sportsmen's Club's annual work day. Guys were there to repair shooting tables and rails, weedwack around the target pits and do general repair and maintenance. I have been a member for a couple of years but have never taken advantage of the range. It's got rifle targets out to 200 yards as well as a pistol area and a rim fire area. They have sponsored pistol competitions and various types of rifle competitions. (A running deer competition will start on November 1.)

In the past, I would take my rifles up the Bolt Hole and shoot on the 50-yard  lane that I created. Now that we've sold that place, I need to find some other place to shoot. Besides. I couldn't take my pistols up north into New York.


Today's weather was surprisingly nice. The last couple of days were cold, rainy and dreary. We had 0.45 inches of rain in the gauge this morning. Today, contrary to the forecast earlier this week, we had clear, sunny skies with a high going up to 65 degrees. All with Joaquin heading further and further out to sea. I bet there are lots of folks in the journalism community who are very disappointed. Except for the exceptional monsoon-like rainfall in South Carolina, they have no "disaster" to write about.

Sunday's 8 PM prediction fr Joaquin

Saturday, October 03, 2015

That Was The Week That Was

I finished busting my butt and staining the deck on Sunday (September 27) and then retired with my bourbon and pro football. The stain calls for 24-48 hours of curing before walking on the surface. It also says to not apply if there's rain expected within 24 hours. I got through the entire week with no rain and pretty low humidity. In fact, it didn't rain until late Monday night...more than 36 hours after I finished staining. I must say that the deck looks good.

The only part I didn't stain was the top surface of the top rail. I had hit that with a different stain about a month ago and it really would need sanding before it gets stained. That will have to wait until spring. Why? Well, it has rained every day since Monday. (We had 1.95 inches of rain in the gauge on Wednesday morning, October 1.) In addition, the temperature hasn't climbed above 45 degrees these last three days and it may not get much higher for a good long time.


I began to wonder what was up when Adam didn't show up on Monday or Tuesday. (He was supposed to return from Peru late Sunday.) Terry had a meeting with her church ladies on Tuesday and hear the sad news. Adam's dad, Don, died on Friday. He had been battling lung disease that had been destroying his ability to function. While Adam had told us he was showing some improvement, Don passed quietly at home. Don was 66 years old.

Don was the contractor whom we hired to build the Aerie back in 2006. He, Adam and I were the only three on the job from start to finish. He and his wife, Deb, allowed me to stay with them during the building process from April through November. I got to know them and their family quite well.


Terry and I sat down on Sunday afternoon to activate our new iPhones. We had no difficulty setting hers up but when I tried to set mine up, the phone said there was no sim card inside. There was, however, so I had to wait until Monday to head for the Verizon store to find out if the problem was the phone or the card. The very helpful young lady at the store took the sim card out of my old phone and installed it into my new phone. At that point the new phone saw the sim card and I was in business. She then started the set up process and sent me home where my wifi is faster than theirs to finish retrieving stuff from the Cloud. I left the old phone with them as part of their rebate/recycle program. Didn't get as much for it as I was originally promised, but, hey, it had a faulty sim card.

To sum it up, both our phones are iPhone 6ses and both are now activated. Life is good.


I've been watching the progress of Hurricane Joaquin this week. Initially predicted to impact the Atlantic coast somewhere between the Chesapeake and Long Island, it has slowly been shifted further and further off shore. This is due to the presence of a stationary front just off the coast that is steering the storm.
Friday, Oct 2: Stationary front runs from Florida to Nova Scotia

As of 5 PM this evening, the storm will stay well out to sea.
Predicted storm track at 5 PM Saturday.

Even so, the storm is throwing lots and lots of moisture on shore and it has been raining hard from Georgia to Boston for several days. And that will continue for a couple of more days before the storm moves far enough north. I saw a prediction that Columbia, South Carolina may end up with as much as 18 inches of rain before it's all over.


The Mets...*sigh*...gotta love 'em. After clinching the NL East title and a place in the playoffs, they have been...well, horrible. They've dropped three to the Phillies on the road and one to the Nationals at home. (A second game will be played tonight and the final will be on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.) A few players have been dinged up, some of the young pitchers are being sat down and "saved" for the playoffs and, frankly, they have been playing like they've got hangovers from the celebration or something. Snap out of it guys!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Doing Some House Work


Adam finished staining the house on Thursday last, and then took off for a week in Peru. I looked around and decided I'd start work on the deck. First I started cleaning all the old bird seed from between the boards using a spackling knife then the air compressor. (This after Adam had hit it pretty good with the pressure washer!) That took much of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Okay, not much much of Saturday or Sunday because....FOOTBALL!)

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I hauled out the extension ladder and started on the outside of the deck staining the stiles and rails. There are a boatload of them! More than 100 stiles with top and bottom rails. Each 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 22" stile presents three surfaces to be stained when viewed from the outside. And, since the stiles are screwed on the outside that leaves a small--about 4" wide--pocket between each. And that needs to be stained, too. Very time consuming. Lots of up-and-down on the ladder, too. Good exercise for the knees and thighs!

Thursday and Friday I finished up those stiles I couldn't get because the ladder was in the way and started on the inside where I only had those two rails (top and bottom) and the one surface of the stiles to do. Still, there are well over 100 of them on the 10' x 36' deck and the 8' x 16' covered porch. While I had very limited need for the use of a ladder (just three posts on the covered porch), everything was below the waist so there was a lot of bending over and/or squating. Good exercise for the back and thighs!

Thursday afternoon I was working on the east end of the deck. The sun was shining directly into my eyes and its reflection off the house windows was getting me from the other side. I had to ask Terry to come out and be my portable shade umbrella just so I could see where I was supposed to be putting the stain. I haven't looked closely, but I think I got it where I wanted it.

Any way, I finished all the hard stuff this afternoon around 2 PM. Tomorrow, I'll get to work on the deck itself. I also used up 1-1/4 gallons of stain, so I went and got two more gallons this afternoon just to be safe. If I have extra, it does call for two coats--or there's the front of the shed.

When Adam does return, he won't have too much to do! (Except stain the front door porch, fix the electrical outlets on the deck (they have never worked properly) and touch up a half dozen log ends he missed because they are hiding behind a downspout.)


I mentioned that Terry and I purchased new iPhone 6ses last week. They arrived today. One delivered via UPS and the other via FedEx. From different directions.

Now we have to figure out how to transfer our data/settings from our iPhone 5s to the new phones. I've backed up to the Cloud several times and so has Terry. Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to doing the transfers.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good News, Bad News (again)

Got a phone call last week from Adam K. Seems he didn't forget about the conversation we had back last November.December about pressure washing and staining the Aerie this year. (I did ask his brother, sister-in-law and several nieces to remind him when they were cat sitting early in the summer.) He's been busier than a one armed paper hanger but finally had an open week where the weather looked perfect.

So Adam came out Monday with his ladders and pressure washer. While he cleaned the logs and deck, I drove over to Beaver Mountain in Deposit, NY to pick up two five gallon containers of stain. That took me the better part of the afternoon as it's about 120 miles one way. When I got back, Adam was just wrapping up the gable end of the garage.


Tuesday Adam started in on the staining while I went south to Cabela's in Hamburg, PA with Joe. This was a long ago planned outing to pick up some fishing equipment to replace broken/lost stuff. I picked Joe up at his home outside of Jersey Shore, PA and we eventually got to Cabela's around 11 AM. (It's a l-o-n-g ride--about 180 miles one way when I stop at Joe's.) We shopped for about two hours and got nearly everything we wanted although I was disappointed in not finding the handgun I was looking for (Springfield XD Mod.2). Not too surprising as it's a new release and hasn't hit all the stores yet.

When I got back to the Aerie around 5 PM, Adam had finsished staining the south side of the house and the bedroom dormer.


Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment over at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. I was to have a CT scan of my lumbar spine and then meet with a new neurologist. (The doctor who did my surgery in January has moved on to greener(?) pastures. Dr. Reichert and her PA Tim Rogers were very thorough, friendly and informative. I'm almost sorry this may be the last time I see them as the CT scan showed the screws inserted in my lumbar spine were stable and holding their own. There's new bone growth that's typical of a fusion surgery and everything is progressing well. THe small amount of tingling I still have in my right leg is normal and all I need to do is get more exercise to strengthen the thigh muscles. I was given a clean bill of health (from them and as regards the spine) and told I wouldn't have to return.

Terry had I then went over to Horseheads, NY to visit the Verizon store. I am experiencing swift battery power loss in my iPhone 5 (from 100% to 30% overnight) and wanted some answers. (In contrast, Terry may lose 5-10% of her power in the same time despite getting many more emails.) Instead of answers, we walked out having ordered new iPhone 6ses. Mine will get here around the 25th while Terry, who opted for the new rose color scheme, will get her's on the 30th. We also got new plans that are better suited to our usage.

We then Stopped at the Field & Stream store to pick up a couple things Joe and I couldn't find at Cabela's. I had a $25 F&S cash coupon burning a hole in my pocket that I got from purchasing a Henry Golden Boy (in .22LR) last week. We burned through that $25 coupon like a gas soaked rag as I picked up two boxes of .22 ammo, two boxes of Lightfield slugs, a couple of little stuffed toys, and several packs of the rubber skirts I was looking for...although they weren't the red and white that I really wanted. Those rubber skirts go on the Johnson weedless spoons Joe and I got at Cabela's who also did not have the red and white skirts. We're looking for something that's about 50-50 red and white but all I could find was about 10-90 red and white. Maybe they discovered that just a little red worked better than more? Whatever.

When we got home after putting another 180 miles on the Tundra, Adam had finished the north side and the west side of the house. All he has left is the gable end of the garage and the north side of the garage.


Got the checks from the closing on the Bolt Hole yesterday and were sorely disappointed on several levels:
  1. They forgot to collect the $700 for the furniture we left behind despite our having reminded the attorney's office several times and being assured that there would be a note made.
  2. They spelled our last name incorrectly on the check. (They used a "V" instead of a "B" in our last name. Lots of people make that mistake but considering they had our name spelled correctly on a dozen or more pieces of paper...well, that's inexcusable.)
We've made phone calls (too late to catch them in the office on Wednesday) and sent emails, but will be making more today. *sigh* Might have to make a drive up there on Friday to get the correct name on a check.
[UPDATE: Our bank accepted the check with the misspelled name, all we had to do was sign it the way it was made out and then with our "real" names. I guess it's now up to the attorney's bank to accept it.]

Adam should finish staining the house today. Then it will be time for the deck. He's leaving Friday night for a week in Peru so, should he not complete the deck, I'll probably be charged with doing that this weekend or so if the weather holds. There's no guarantee that it will be good when he returns and I've got the doctor's word that I'm healing well and in need of exercises that will strengthen my thigh muscles. Going up and down a ladder (necessary to do the rim joists and rails on the outside of the deck) should do the trick.


Today's my birthday!

Last week I bought the Henry rifle, then it was fishing lures and line, and today I bought a new gas grill. Of course, Terry will be the one using it most as she does 99% of the cooking when she's home. She said it was like "buying me [Terry] a vacuum cleaner for my birthday."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good News!

Got the word today that the closing on the Bolt Hole went without a hitch and that the checks are in the mail. Along with no longer paying town and county taxes (spring), school and library taxes (fall), phone bill, electric bill, and insurance bill, I'll no longer have to worry about mowing the grass, maintenance, rebuilding the garage, repainting the barn and finishing the painting of the roof, or any of the myriad number of things a neglected piece of real estate really, really needs. Which is mainly some TLC.

Yeah, I'll miss it a little. But the extra $$$ and the time will free me up to make some additional trips in the travel trailer to places near and far.


Did some further declutering today making a quick run to the dump with a few bags of assorted trash and half a dozen half empty paint cans. Still sorting through some of the stuff from Terry's Mom and the Bolt Hole. If I ever get around to doing inventory, I might have more stuff in my shop than Mr. Burns had in his hardware store when I worked there 50 years ago. (Some of it might be as old, too.)


I was notified that the ATV--a Yamaha ProHauler--was repaired and ready for pickup. All, that is, except for the tail light cover which is backordered. Okay. I can't pick it up until Monday anyway, how 'bout if I call you Monday morning to see about that light cover? (I've no immediate need to use the Hauler, anyway. AND I've still got to clean out a spot for it in a cluttered garage!)


Mets swept the Nationals in a three game series. They had to come from behind in all three games bit opened a 7 game lead in the NL East. Then they went and beat the Braves to make it a 7 1/2 game lead. Things are looking pretty good for some post-season play!

Oh! And the Jets and Giants open their NFL play on Sunday.


My Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0) will be playing the Washington State Cougars (0-1...they lost to he Portland State Vikings for crying out loud!) on Saturday at 3:30 PM EDT.

It will be interesting to see how the Scarlet fair in the running game (last week they had something like 280 yards on the ground) and who the quarterback will be. Both did well last week against Norfolk State, but the second half combo of Chris Laviano and receiver Leonte Carroo (three complete passes for 129 yards and three TDs) have earned Laviano this week's starting assignment.

Go R U!


Almost forgot we harvest more acorn squash today. That brings the total to nine. Pretty good considering I didn't plant any. These are volunteers that grew in the compost heap from seeds dumped there last year. Guess I need to distribute the compost to the growing beds of the garden!