Saturday, September 30, 2006

RU Escapes Big East Opener vs. USF
Comes Away 22-20 Victor

Rutgers R.small
No. 23 Rutgers squeeked past South Florida in both teams’ Big East opener Friday night by a score of 22-20. Ray Rice rushed for 202 yards and scored two TDs to help the Scarlet Knights remain undefeated. Jeremy Ito kicked field goals of 32, 40 and 53 yards.

South Florida failed on a two-point conversion that would have tied the score with just 15 seconds left in the game.

The Scarlet Knights squandered a golden opportunity late in the fist half. RU led 7-0 at the time and had South Florida pinned deep in their own end. Forced to punt from their own 8-yard line, the ball went out of bounds on the USF 26 after traveling just 18 yards. RU could not score a touchdown despite the great field position and had to settle for a 32-yard Jeremy Ito field goal with just 6:45 on the clock.

Matt Grothe then rallied the USF Bulls to two quick TDs on drives of 80 and 70 yards that required just 2:05 and 1:40 respectively and gave the Bulls a 14-10 lead going into the half.

Grothe almost pulled it out for the Bulls when, after a blocked RU field goal attempt with 2:32 remaining in the game, he led his team on a 66-yard scoring drive to make the score 22-20. Unfortunately for him, the two-point conversion attempt failed and the Bulls came up short.

Rutgers dominated the time of possession with a 37:16 to 22:44 edge.

Rice rushed for over 100 yards for the seventh straight game tying “JJ” Jennings mark set in 1972-73.

Brian Leonard and Clarke Harris each caught passes to continue their consecutive game streaks. Leonard has now made at least one reception in 39-straight games (second in Big East history) and Harris’ streak reached 35 games (fourth in Big East history).

Ito’s 53-yard field goal is the longest in his career and second longest in school history. Only John Benestad’s 55-yarder against West Virginia in 1990 is longer. Ito also has 41 career field goals and needs to make just five more to tie the mark of 46 set by Kennan Startzell in 1976-79.

(Game Story and stats here.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006


It’s got a nice ring to it.

Rutgers is ranked in both national polls for the first time since 1976. They are number 23 in both the AP Poll Top 25 and the USA Today/Coaches Poll The 1976 team went undefeated at 11-0 and finished the season ranked No. 17 in the AP Poll.

RU No. 23 in both polls.

With RU appearing in the top 25, the Big East Conference now has three teams that are nationally ranked: No. 4 West Virginia, No. 8 Louisville, and No. 23 Rutgers. All three are undefeated at 4-0. Only RU plays this weekend. Their Big East game against Southern Florida will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Friday night

College Football Firsts

Anyone who is a true college football fan knows that Rutgers played the first officially recognized college football game against Princeton way back in 1869 (Rutgers won that contest by a score of 6-4. RU History)

But how many folks out there know who played in the first night football game?

Mansfield Classical Seminary and Wyoming Seminary—two north central Pennsylvania schools—played the first game under the lights back on September 28, 1892 in Mansfield, PA. For the past 15 years, the University and town celebrate that historic night with The Fabulous 1890’s weekend filled with games, music, entertainment, hot air balloons, food, fireworks and more. It starts this Friday in Mansfield, PA.

“It Happened One Night”: September 28, 1892
The History of Football at Mansfield
Fabulous 1890’s Weekend

It ain't all USC, Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma, etc.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Log Home Update: part 44
Midweek Report

Having received the building inspector’s blessing on the electrical work last Friday, we’ve dived right in on the ceiling.

Adam and Don installed polyurethaned tongue-and-groove boards in the foyer (6” width boards here), the master bedroom and were working on the cathedral ceiling above the dining/living rooms when I left them this afternoon (Wednesday).

Their application speed is far outstripping the speed with which boards can be prepared. Preparation requires four steps: 1- sanding, 2- application of first coat and at least one day of drying, 3- light sanding of dried first coat, and 4- application of a second coat and at least one day of drying. As you can see, it takes at least two days to prepare a board for installation. We can do about 40 boards at a time. Don and Adam can apply 40 boards in about a day. They have almost caught up to the stack of prepared boards. Luckily, they can move over to sheetrocking the walls for a day or two to give those polyurethaning the boards a chance to gain ground.
Ceiling 04
The foyer ceiling. So far, it’s the only ceiling composed of 1x6 boards.

Ceiling 06
Half of the master bedroom ceiling.

Ceiling 09
The other half of the master bedroom ceiling.

Drying rack
A full drying rack. This is only the first coat on these boards. They’ll need a sanding and second coat before they’re ready to be installed.

A stud wall awaits sheetrock.
This is one of several walls that awaits sheetrock. (Also note some ceiling still needs insulation. The pink stuff is the styrafoam eave vent.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rutgers Rumbles over Howard, 56-7

Rutgers R.small
Ray Rice ran for 3 touchdowns and 105 yards—the sixth game in a row he has topped 100 yards and just one game short of the school record—while Brian Leonard and Kordell Young ran for two TDs apiece and Mike Teel connected with Clark Harris on a 45 yard TD pass as the Scarlet Knights improved their record to 4-0 at the expense of 1-AA Bison of Howard University.

A muffed punt and a bad pitch lead to Leonard’s two short TD runs midway through the first half to make the score 21-0. Rice then got the first of his TDs with just 4:36 left in the second quarter to make it 28-0 at the half.

Rice scored on RU’s first two possessions in the second half to blow it wide open at 42-0 and leave no doubt as to the outcome. Coach Schiano pulled many of the first stringers midway in the third quarter after Rice’s third score.

Thomas Claiborn spoiled the shutout by scooping up a RU fumble and racing 70 yards for a Howard touchdown with 6:28 left in the game.

Unlike the last three games, Rutgers came out in the second half and played well on offense, scoring 28 points in both the first and second halves.

Rutgers improves to 4-0 for their best start since 1980.

The Scarlet Knights play their next game Friday against Southern Florida in Tampa for the Big East opener. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8:00PM.

RU Rah! Rah!
Hoorah! Hoorah!
Rutgers Rah!

Upstream Red Team!
Red Team Upstream!
Rah! Rah! Rutgers Rah!

(Game Story and stats here.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 43: Multitasking

After my wife and I spent a few days settling into our Adirondack cabin, I went back to work on the log home this week. That’s the primary reason I’ve not been posting during the week.

I found lots of progress was being made on a multitude of areas. While I was busy with the move out of NJ, the kitchen cabinets and all the fixtures for the bathrooms were delivered. Several projects, insulation, varnishing ceiling boards, and wiring were begun. Rob brought his bulldozer up and graded the property.

This week:
The propane tank, a thousand pounder, was installed by the heating company. They should be back soon to actually connect that bad boy to the heating system. And that will be welcome news if the weather keeps getting chilly.

Insulation in ceiling 01
Adam insulated the cathedral ceiling…
Insulation in gable walls.
…and the gable walls.
I did the laundry room…but I didn’t take a picture of it.

Adam and the wires
Adam continued to chase the wires for the alarm system, electrical system, phone system and smoke and CO detectors. There is close to a mile of electrical wire alone in the house.

Polyurathane gets applied
Darryl (Don’s brother-in-law) and Braun (Adam’s wife) worked daily to varnish (actually polyurathane) the tongue-and-groove boards that will become the ceiling. A mass production system in the basement made it possible to do forty boards a day. (That includes sanding the raw boards, applying a first coat, a light sanding once that dries and then a final coat. Drying racks and heaters helped speed things up.

Drying rack
Two drying racks like this half-filled one held close to forty boards from 10 to 16 feet long.

Don worked on completing the plumbing and laying out the upstairs bedroom. This bath requires a platform under the shower, tub and toilet since the floorboards also form the ceiling for the first floor.

The week ended with a visit by the building inspector who okayed the rough wiring. Now those boards can be applied to the ceiling and sheetrock can be installed.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Scarlet Knights Improve to 3-0
Down Ohio 24-7 with Strong Defense

Rutgers R.small
The Scarlet Knights’ defensive unit provided field position to the offense and put points on the board as well—all in the first half. Two first half interceptions set RU up on the Ohio’s 31 and 38 yard lines. Brando Renkart fell on an Ohio fumble for a TD to put RU up 23-7 and Jeremy Ito’s extra point ended the scoring with 46 seconds remaining in the first half.

The RU defense then went out in the second half and shut down Ohio University completely.

Ohio was held to just 98 net yards in the game and committed 4 turnovers.

RU had 300 yards net offense and committed 3 turnovers, all interceptions thrown my Mike Teel.

Ray Rice ran for 190 yards and two TDs on 29 carries. It marks the fifth consecutive game Rice has run for over 100 yards.

The Knights’ punter, Joe Radigan had another great game. Called upon to punt four times, he kicked for more than 50 yards twice with the longest going 66 yards. He placed two punts inside the 20 and had a total of 199 yards on his four kicks.

Jeremy Ito succeeded on his three extra point attempts and his only field goal attempt at 29 yards.

Rutgers’ record is now 3-0. They next play at home against Howard University next Saturday at 2:00 PM.

Rah! Rah!
Rutgers Rah!

(Game Story and stats here.)

One disturbing note to this game (and the previous two) is Rutgers’ inability to come out in the second half and be any kind of force offensively. They have scored few points after the intermission and this will hurt them in the future if they can’t get untracked. Also note that Brian Leonard, touted as a Heisman candidate at the start of the season, has not performed to the level expected. Yeah, he’s been doing some great blocking for Ray Rice, opening some holes a Mack truck could move through, but he needs to become more of an alternative weapon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cat Moves

Apparently the stress of moving to the cabin has affected the cats too. I know for a fact they were NOT terribly happy about the four-hour drive from NJ on Monday. Although, I must say that the two little guys, Chester and his sister Shadow, took it much better than Julie. The little guys complained for a few minutes but then went to sleep. Julie yowled and howled for a good hour before she gave up and just stared at me with those evil green eyes of hers.

Anyway, they made it to the cabin and have been exploring what little open space there is inside. (It is a challenge to keep them inside when we are moving stuff in and out! Sometimes it feels like you're playing goalie for the NY Rangers and the cats are little darting pucks!)

Space is at a premium here in the cabin so the little guys have found some interesting napping sites.
Shadow and Chester napping…again.

Actually they have, on occasion found places right out in the open in which to sleep.
Julie and Chester swipe Terry’s seat for the afternoon.

Shadow rests
After the ordeal of moving to a new location (and eating everyone’s dinner!) Shadow decided to nap for a few hours.

Actually, I feel sorry for, and yet look forward to, Shadow and Chester finding a mouse. I can see a tag team activity going on. If the mouse gets away (HA!) from one for just a six-inch escape, the other will pounce. Over and over and over this will happen until the mouse dies of exhaustion or Julie takes it away. (I don’t think she would eat it, but she would want to play too.)

So Long NJ!

Well, it’s done. Terry and I are officially non-residents of New Jersey. The closing on our home occurred without a hitch Tuesday afternoon. Now we just have to figure out how to get ourselves declared residents of PA even though we are not actually living there yet. There’s little sense in declaring NY our home since we will be out of here in a month and a half if Don, Adam and I can get things moving. All the paperwork involved in getting yourself declared a resident of a state is amazing. Just as all sorts of proofs need to be presented to NJ DMV to renew a license, PA requires much the same only their offices are only open two days a week locally. If I want to drive down to Williamsport they are open 6 days a week. But be prepared to stay in line that long! Oh, well. Soon.

Tuesday morning we loaded my pickup truck and Terry’s car with the last of our belongings and dropped a few plants off with the neighbor for adoption or euthinashia as she sees fit. (Then we called my brother-in-law to see if he could pick up some desks and chairs I had no room for—bad planning that.) Terry drove around dropping off the cable company’s box and remotes, telling the post office about our change of address, dropping things off at the church and library, and then she called Verizon to cancel our DSL since that is not cancelled with the phone service. (Think about that for a second. Canceling Verizon phone service does not automatically cancel the DSL service. If you don’t get Verizon phone can you get Verizon DSL?) She finished by contacting PSE&G with our final meter reading. (JCP&L sent someone out to read the meter, but that is exterior. PSE&G and the water meter are inside. Water is supposed to be read via telephone, but they couldn’t provide a final reading at the closing so I don’t know what’s up with that.

We closed at 4PM and then had dinner on our realtor’s dime before setting out for the Adirondacks and our temporary home while PA is being completed. We’ve almost totally unpacked and have barely enough room to walk around inside the cabin, none in the garage and even have stuff in the trailer parked in the barn. It will take us two or three days to sort some of the stuff out and put it away in a more logical manner but, by Saturday or Sunday (my birthday!) we should be well established in our digs.

On the PA front, Don reports that most of the kitchen cabinets were delivered on Wednesday and that he and Adam are making progress with the last bit of work on the utilities and varnishing. (I’m not sure what they are varnishing but, hey, they’re doing it!)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rutgers Shuts Out Illinois, 33-0

Rutgers R.small

The Scarlet Knights’ home opener was nearly perfect. The weather was great and the 41,038 Rutgers’ fans in attendance witnessed the first RU shut out in four years and the first time in six years that a RU football squad started the season 2-0.

Special teams and defense each posted touchdowns in the first quarter on a blocked punt and an interception return. Punter Joe Radigan set a school record with a 78-yard beauty on the fourth play of the game that backed the Illini up on their own four. The punt return team then blocked the Illini’s attempt, recovering in the end zone. Redshirt freshman Devin McCourty returned his first career interception 38 yards for a TD.

Ray Rice rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game with a 108-yard day and a TD. Unfortunately, his performance was marred by a fumble at the goal line late in the first half that kept even more points off the board.

Jeremy Ito connected on two field goals from 38 and 39 yards. Ito has now made 12 consecutive field goals.

Both senior FB Brian Leonard and senior TE Clark Harris made catches to extend their consecutive game streaks. Leonard has now caught a pass in 36 consecutive games while Harris’ streak is now at 32 games.

Mike Teel led the Knights offense with calm and precision marred only by an interception in the end zone that also kept points off the board.

The defense continued to stifle the Fighting Illini preventing them from converting on third down situations the entire game. Illinois was 0-for-12 on third down.

Next up is a Homecoming game against Ohio.

Up stream Red Team
Red Team up stream

(Game Story and stats here.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mets Drub Bums 7-0

I listened to the Mets game as I was driving back to NJ this evening. The Mets beat the Dodgers 7-0. Jose Reyes had an inside the park homerun in the 6th inning. The announcer’s call made it sound like Reyes flew around the bases. I just watched the replay on ESPN. Jose actually was slowing down as he rounded first and headed to second. When he saw the ball rebound off the wall he kicked it into gear and it was like a dragster hitting the nitro button. He beat the throw home by two body lengths! Yet he dove in just for the heck of it. Like a kid on a slip-n-slide he enjoyed himself immensely.

The Mets' magic number is now 7.

Dodger starter Brad Penny (the National League's only 15 game winner so far) lost the 8th game of his career in Shea Stadium. Shea is a noted pitchers' park, yet Penny is just 1-8 there. The Mets' radio announcer said Penny would probably love to push the plunger when they demolish the stadium.

Thoughts from the Road

Change of plans….After loading the U-Haul van with the aid of Terry’s cousin and my fishing/hunting buddy Joe, we also loaded my pickup. At 1 o’clock, I took the pickup to the Adirondacks…and drove back, arriving home by 10 PM. Tomorrow morning we, Terry and I, head out to PA with the U-Haul full of furniture.

Since April I’ve put about 16,000 miles on the pickup. Enough to go from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California to Miami, Florida and back to Bar Harbor…three times. And I’m not done yet.

During the summer I’ve seen gas prices as high as $3.25 and now down to $2.65…at the same gas station.

This fall (I know, I know, “Fall” doesn’t start for two weeks), I’ve seen more Monarch butterflies making their migratory flights south than I saw last year. That’s good news considering the decimation of their wintering grounds by fire two years ago. And they have lots of food resources in the form of goldenrod growing in abandoned pasture and along field and road edges.

Baseball is better than football on the radio.

There are way too few oldies radio stations.

While I like country music, hearing the same songs over and over again on what are essentially Top 40 stations is driving me crazy.

If you travel at the speed limit (65) on either I-80 or the NY Thruway, some one is going to run up your butt!

Some folks out there have to remember to stay to the right except when they are passing.

The U-Haul online reservation system is very, very convenient.

If the gent at the U-Haul rental place in Parsippany, NJ is to be believed, there are a lot of New Jersey folks heading to North Carolina, Tennessee and Arizona. (He said he rented out 100 trucks to each of those destinations in August alone.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 42
On the road again still

I've made three trips already this week (Adirondacks on Sunday and Wednesday, PA on Tuesday) and will make yet another trip to PA on either Thursday afternoon or, more likely, Friday morning.

I stopped to talk with Don and Adam on Tuesday. They continue to work on the electric, plumbing and, now, the phone lines. The phone lines are CAT-5 lines and will also carry the TV and computer services.

After my visit last week, the white trailer that had been our on site storage unit was hauled away. It's really amazing how that really opens up the front yard. There will definitely be a sunny area for Terry's tomatoes and flowers. And being on the side of the hill, any cold air should cascade away from the plants so frosts shouldn't be a problem.

After Friday's trip with all the larger pieces of furniture, I'll have just one more solo trip to the Adirondacks (either Saturday or Sunday) with some odds and ends.

Saturday the kittens (actually they have grown considerably in the month they have been here and should be called cattens, that is miniature cats) get their boosters and papers from the vet before they have to hit the road with us.

The NJ property closing is scheduled for Tuesday and we will then be outta here!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

RU Downs Tarheels, 21-16

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Ray Rice carried the ball 35 times for 201 yards and three TDs. Meanwhile, Manny Collins made two interceptions—the last with 1:52 left in the game—to lead the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to a 21-16 victory over the Tarheels of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mike Teel was 14 for 20 for 145 yards. Brian Leonard carried the ball just 6 times for 25 yards and he caught 4 passes for 20 yards. Leonard has now caught a pass in every game in which he has played—35 of them. It was his blocking, however, that opened some of the gaping holes Rice ran through.

If teams didn't know from last year's play that the RU backfield held TWO superb backs, they certainly know now.

Next up for the Scarlet Knights is Illinois. Last year the Illini eked out a come from behind victory over the Knights and spoiled a very promising start to the season. Rutgers is sure to remember and will be out for revenge.

Hoo Rah! Hoo Rah!
Rutgers Rah!

(Game Story and stats here.)

Yay!! It's Football Season!

Rutgers R.small

College football season is underway and the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are looking good. Unfortunately, the Big East in general is far from the patsy league it appeared destined to become five years ago. Today’s Big East has once again become a strong, strong conference. West Virginia is a preseason #5 and Louisville a #13 in the AP Poll.

Every team in the Big East (except Syracuse and maybe Pittsburgh) will be competitive this year. To be bowl eligible RU will have to win 6 or 7 games.

The Knights are starting the season with four non-conference games. Today’s opponent is North Carolina. They then play Illinois, Ohio and Howard before starting Big East play against South Florida on September 29th. The Knights then face Navy (non-conference) to end the first half of the season. Their final six games will be against Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, Syracuse and West Virginia.

The Scarlet Knights’ offense is in the hands of Mike Teel, Ray Rice and Brian Leonard. The latter is being mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Leonard has scored 40 TDs in his career prior to today’s action. That’s more than any active player.

RU Rah! Rah!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 41
Yet More Electrical and Plumbing Progress

Another slow week at the Aerie. Adam returned, but Kyle had to attend school, and I was on the road hauling stuff hither and yon. As a result, there were only two people on the job all week: Don and Adam.

They completed 95% of the electrical wiring and about the same amount of the plumbing. They also emptied the tractortrailer that had been storing our building materials so it can be removed and grading of the landscape can be done.

In just a few more days, a week at most, the walls should be ready for insulation and sheetrock. The ceiling will get its insulation and tongue and groove cover.

Although things have been slow—it takes time to snake wires and tubing through the walls and floors, especially when outlet boxes have to go into the log walls—the time is soon coming for tasks that will make dramatic changes in appearance. We’ve hit the doldrums of the construction process, but there’s a breeze on the horizon and the sails are fluttering to life.

Terry and I have just a little over a week to finish moving all our belongings out of our NJ home. In that respect, it’s crunch time. I see a lot of miles in my near future. This week alone I made day trips to PA and the Adirondacks. Each is about 500 miles round trip from our NJ home. Only the prediction of rain (remnants of Ernesto) and the Labor Day weekend traffic prevented me from making a third trip. But I’ll be back on the road Tuesday and Wednesday with the pickup truck. Thursday we have a U-Haul reserved and Friday we will be driving that to PA.


Mostly Cajun passes on some insights into the engineer’s psyche. Among them is this gem:
Q: When does a person decide to become an engineer?
A: When he realizes he doesn’t have the charisma to be an undertaker.

Go on over and check out the rest.