Saturday, November 25, 2006

Terry and the Kitties

Terry says she can’t get anything done at the cabin. Whenever she sits down, someone occupies her lap. This evening she had all three of the cats climb into the chair with her.
Terry and the Kitties
Julie got nice and comfortable on her right…
Julie gets comfortable on the left.
…while Chester and Shadow (who are growing by leaps and bounds) set up camp smack dab in the middle of Terry’s lap.
Chester and Shadow snuggle in on what's left.

Hey, at least Terry has a nice fuzzy lap warmer(s)! And their purring is just sooooo soothing.

Knights Squeeze Orange 38-7

And it wasn’t that close.

Rutgers R.small

In their final home game of the season, Rutgers honored their seniors players and fifth-year senior Brian Leonard repaid the compliments—in spades.

Rebounding from a dissapointing road loss to Cincinnati, the Scarlet Knights came out today and ran the ball down the throats of the Syracuse Orange. Leonard who has been unspectacular as a ball carrier this year but has shined as a blocker for Ray Rice, final came out of wraps to rush for 106 yards and two TDs while blocking well enough for Rice to gain 107 yards and score one TD of his own.

The two touchdowns give Leonard 266 points for his career a new Rutgers record. The former record was held by kicker Kennan Starzell who played with the 1976-1979 squads.

Meanwhile, Mike Teel completed 10 of 15 passes for 146 yards and two TDs, both to Kenny Britt. It was only the second time this season that Teel had thrown for two touchdowns in a game.

Jeremy Ito completed the scoring with a 32-yard field goal.

On defense, Courtney Greene had an interception and forced a Syracuse fumble. The RU defense managed to keep the Orange off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter.

(Game Story and stats here.)

Rutgers is now 10-1, 5-1 in the Big East, while Syracuse falls to 4-8, 1-5 in Big East play.

Rutgers travels to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers next Saturday.

The No. 7 West Virginia Mountaineers were stunned by South Florida this afternoon 24-19. The loss ended a West Virginia nine game home field winning streak and the WVU squad which fell to 9-2 (4-2 Big East) may have seen their hopes for a BCS bowl game disappear.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cincinnati Bearcats Maul RU 30-11

And it wasn’t that close.

I have hesitated to write anything about the disappointing but well deserved loss to Cincinnati.

Thus ends RU’s perfect season. The RU defense turned short CU passes into very long gains and allowed the Bearcats to get out to a large early lead that forced the Scarlet Knights to come from behind using their passing game. The Bearcats accumulated 402 yards of net offense: 125 yards on the ground and 277 in the air.

Mike Teel’s arm was not up to it. He threw four interceptions; one of which was returned for a TD. They more than made up for the three fumbles the Bearcats lost to the Knights.

With the loss, Rutgers slid from No. 6 to No. 15. Their record is now 9-1 overall, and 4-1 in the Big East.

The Scarlet Knights retain a share of the Big East lead with both Louisville and West Virginia. All three teams have identical records. Louisville has games remaining at Pittsburgh and at home vs. UConn. The WVU Mountaineers have home games against Southern Florida and Rutgers. Rutgers faces Syracuse at home and then goes to Morgantown for the finale against the Mountaineers.

Log Home Update: Part 52
Another slow, short week
Bear hunting and Thanksgiving

It was a slow week in PA.

Bear season started on Monday and Don and Adam spend Monday and Tuesday traipsing through the woods with about 20 other guys. They saw a couple of bears and some of the guys got shots but they only bagged one on Monday (weighed 150+ pounds). They saw none on Tuesday.

I spent the mornings walking the acres around the Aerie. (I saw nothing but got a good fix on the property corners using my GPS.) I did some work in the afternoon preparing the steps (4-inch thick slabs of white pine) that will be installed between the first and second floor.

When I arrived Monday morning I was surprised to see that Adam had managed to install all of the laminate flooring over the weekend. He was aided by his older brother, Troy. The job they did was fantastic.
Floor in place
Laminate floor has been installed in the entire first floor.

They also brought the appliances into the kitchen and put them in place. The range needs to have a 220-V circuit installed (it’s a duel-fuel range and needs electricity for the oven). An electric line has to be run for the dishwasher, too. Otherwise, the kitchen is nearly done.
Appliances almost in place
Appliances almost in place

Wednesday, Don and I spent all day at the house working to get one of the bathrooms working. It’s starting to get too cold to use the porta-john!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 51: We’re getting there!

It’s been just about 7 Months since we took delivery on the log package (April 19) and we are getting very, very close to completion. While we won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving in our new home (an unrealistic dream back in April) we should definitely be in for Christmas.

This week I worked mostly on my own as Don and Deb went off on their annual cruise for some well earned R & R and Adam and Braun went to Pittsburgh for two days where Adam attended more classes on building codes. Adam plans to take the tests in the next couple of weeks to qualify as a building codes inspector.

Since I left last Thursday, Adam had sanded the pine floors of the master suite and loft area and applied two coats of polyurethane. When he came back on Thursday afternoon (too rainy for bear hunting!) he sanded and applied the third coat. Wow! Do those floors look great!
Loft floor
Finished Loft Floor
Master Bedroom
Grilles in the windows and finished floors. Light is just streaming in!

When I left on Friday he was starting to lay the laminate floor in the dining/living room. I’ll be interested in seeing what that looks like after he and Troy work on it Saturaday and Sunday.

Much of my time was spent painting and/or polyurethaning. The basement bathroom and the garage needed to get their first coats of paint and lots of stained trim boards got their first and second coats of polyurethane.

I also pulled the protective plastic off the Anderson windows and installed nearly all of the decorative grilles in the windows and doors. Boy, does that light up the rooms! And with the drizzling, raining, miserable weather this week, anything that could brighten up the interior was welcome.
French doors
The grilles in the French doors and glass panels make a big difference. The glass on the left has not had the plastic removed. Notice how "milky" the view is. Once the sheetrock was moved, it got the same treatment as its brethren.

I also stained the front door a rich brown that is a perfect match to the kitchen cabinets.

I spent the entire week at Don and Deb’s house while they were away. Terry stayed up in the Adirondack cabin with the cats. I couldn’t be lonely though. Not with Simon and Isaac (cat) and the fish. Schuester (cat) and the horses, who were outside and required their usual feeding. The coal-burning stove required tending. Simon went to work with me every day and kept me company

Saturday, November 11, 2006


We deboned Junior today and I discovered why he stopped to look at me and allow a second shot. I didn't miss with the first shot, I was just a few inches to the left of where I was aiming.

(See The Not So Elusive Adirondack White-tail for the story of Junior's demise.)

Remember, I said he was facing away from me and I waited for him to turn about 15 degrees so I could focus on a spot just behind his right front shoulder. Instead, I hit him in the right rear hip joint shattering the upper part of his leg just below the ball. When he stopped on the other side of the tree and looked back, he was 1)in shock from the impact (probably thought it was the world's largest deer fly!) and 2)dead on his feet. When we gutted him on Thursday, I noticed a large amount of blood in the body cavity but the intestines and stomach were intact as was the liver so I thought the blood had somehow come from the neck hit. There was no sign of a hit on the outside because the bullet entered under the fur. I really didn't look that closely at the hindquarters and the fur lay back down over the entrance wound.

I feel good that I didn't miss on my first shot but we did lose some meat from the haunch because of that.

Anyway, Junior dressed out at 100 pounds hanging weight and we succeeded in putting between 45 and 50 pounds of meat on ice.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

RU Defeats Louisville 28-25
Scarlet Knights are #1 in Big East

Rutgers R.small

The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers used strong defense (and an opportune penalty) to upset the #3/4 Louisville Cardinals at Rutgers Stadium tonight on an 28-yard field goal by Jeremy Ito with 13 seconds remaining. The kick came after Ito missed a 33 yard attempt but Louisville was flagged for being off sides.

Ray Rice rushed for 131 yards and scored two touchdowns while QB Mike Teel passed for 189 yards and one TD in leading the Scarlet Knights to perhaps their most important victory in their long and storied history.

Louisville came into the game undefeated and off an upset of then undefeated West Virginia just one week ago. While the Cardinal squad jumped off to a quick 25-7 lead in the first half, in part due to a 100-yard kickoff return, they could muster no points in the second half as the RU defense came up big.

Rutgers entered the contest ranked 14/15 in the nation.

(Get the full Game Story and stats here.)

The Not So Elusive Adirondack White-tail

This is the story of a somewhat mentally challenged white-tail deer we call Junior.

Junior may, or may not, be one of the twins we were see with their momma all last year during the hunting season. Unfortunately, Junior became a little too trusting. He would show up outside Mark’s outhouse door when Mark had to answer a call of nature in the middle of the night. He would sneak up on Mark while he was himself attempting to set up an ambush and peak over his shoulder.

Junior was not a big-racked buck by any stretch of the imagination but he did have horns.

I’m using the past tense because Junior was dumb enough to give me two (albeit difficult) shots this afternoon as I walked into the woods for an afternoon hunt. I was to sit while Mark walked the west side of the property. He never got to walk because I never got to sit. Walking into the spot at which I was to sit I noticed some fresh tracks in the wet leaves. Then I noticed some fresh droppings. Then I noticed Junior.

He was standing broadside about twenty yards away from me but I couldn’t make out if he had any antlers. He turned his back to me but continued to look over his shoulder. Then I saw two pencil thin antlers inside his ears but I had no real shot. I lifted my rifle anyway and waited for him to turn sideways. (He had to turn sooner or later as there were two trees right in front of him!) He did turn, but not by much, so I aimed behind his forward shoulder and squeezed the trigger. He jumped around the two trees and peeked back at me showing no signs of having been hit! Then he leaned a little further forward to see just what all the fuss was about and that was his fatal mistake. My second shot went right through his neck and he dropped where he was standing.

I radioed Mark (who was still trying to get his boots on) to bring the ATV. Ten minutes later he pulled up with a LaBatt’s Blue in hand. And ten minutes after that, Junior was on the back of the ATV heading to the barn to be hung for the night. Tomorrow it’ll be butchering time.
Hey! You can’t eat horns!

Log Home Update: Part 50
Finished tile work, primed walls, deck railing and more!

When I left on Friday of last week we were having issues with the tile work. There was a shortage of tiles for the master bath and no tiles at all for the first floor or basement baths’ floors. Well, those issues have been resolved. The few sheets needed for the master bath came in to the supplier on Monday and the tile I selected on Friday arrived on Tuesday so on Wednesday, the tiling crew came back and did a great job finishing all three bathrooms.
Master Bath
The black bull-nose really identifies the step-up.

1st floor bath
The gray, slate tile I chose has met with everyone’s approval—thank goodness!

Basement bath
The basement bathroom floor.

But I get ahead of myself. Over the weekend, Don and the rest of his family (Debby, Adam and others) installed the outside lights on the entranceway, the garage, and the deck. They also constructed stairs for the entranceway and the deck. And they put up the rail on the deck and half of the entrance. Needless to say, I was really impressed when I got there on Monday.
Main entrance w/lights and railings
Front door had steps, lights and part of the railing when I got there on Monday.

Deck railings
The deck railings look great and give the exterior a finished look even though there is still a lot to do outside.

Outside lights
The exterior lights really dress things up, too.

(By the way, Monday morning I had to haul my travel trailer down to PA so it could get inspected. NJ must be the only area state that doesn’t require trailers be inspected so this was a new one to me. Several days of trying to set up appointments at the two places I was told did inspections proved fruitless. Then Don made a call to get some information and gave me a number to call and I was told, “Sure! Bring it in tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8:00 AM and we’ll get’er done in no time.” So I did and they did and I headed back to the Adirondacks with trailer in tow by 8:30 AM Thursday.)

Tuesday we started staining wood again; this time for trim boards. All the doors, windows and baseboard will require trim boards stained a nice Golden Oak. (Braun was back for the staining part and for Wednesday’s painting.)
Staining trim
Tuesday afternoon and evening we all picked up sanding sponges and went to work on the spackled walls. When we left, all of us looked like either ghosts or snowmen but the walls were ready for painting.

Wednesday was a painting day. Except for the three bathrooms (where the tile men were at work) every sheetrocked wall got a nice coat of white primer. It’s amazing how such a simple act can give a finished look to a formerly speckled and stripped green/gray wall surface.
Primed walls 01
Guest Bedroom
Primed walls 02
Master Bedroom closets

Terry was there for most of Tuesday (lots of white dust on her face and in her hair) and most of Wednesday (remarkably little white paint on her person). She was actually headed back north on Tuesday afternoon when she blew a tire and was forced to return for a day.

Don spent the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday spackling the sheetrock in the garage. When Dan and/or Kyle showed up they too stayed in the garage but spent time putting insulation in the outside walls.
Garage 2
And this is not a low ceiling. Don was up and down the ladder hundreds of times. His knees had to be killing him!

The Kyle/Dan team did a fine job on installing the insulation as well as anything else that needed doing in the few hours after school they were present.

Thursday, Don and Adam sanded the floor in the master bedroom, master bath and loft. The tongue-and-groove 2-inch thick pine in that area is now ready for a coating (actually several) of polyurethane.

Don and Deb are heading off on a cruise vacation this Saturday. Adam has two more classes on building codes scheduled in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday and Wednesday—Braun’s going along—(and a day bear hunting on Thursday). I’ll be working on my own for a good portion of the week while house—and horse, cat and dog—sitting for Don and Deb.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It snewed!

Up at the Bolt Hole (Adirondacks) for the weekend.

We were the beneficiaries (?) of some lake effect snow last night and this morning. The final result was nearly six inches of the stuff on the ground.



I like snow. Walking about the woods this morning in the silence of the freshly fallen stuff proved to be both enjoyable and exhausting. Oh, and frustrating, too, as I saw only a few sets of track and no deer or even a tail. I did kick up a couple of grouse that spooked me when they exploded from cover and knocked clumps of snow off the branches of the firs and hemlocks.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And then there were two

Undefeated teams in the Big East that is.

Working on the PA home and not really having time to check the news on Friday morning, having a very local radio station on all day, and forgetting the game was on ESPN Thursday night, I some how missed the report of No. 5 Louisville ending No. 3 West Virginia’s winning string at 16.

The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense with WVU amassing over 540 yards. But they fumbled away their chances losing by a final score of 44-34. Louisville scored in the air, on the ground and off the foot of place kicker, Art Carmody (three field goals in the first half). They also scored on a fumble recovery and on a punt return. The Cardinal’s QB, Brian Brohm threw for 354 yards and a touchdown.

West Virginia drops to 7-1 and 2-1 in the Big East. The Cardinal improves to 8-0, 3-0.

Now there are just two undefeated teams in the Big East: Louisville and No. 15 Rutgers (8-0, 3-0). And they meet next Thursday night at Rutgers Stadium. (The rankings of both teams are subject to change this Sunday with Louisville likely to move to at least No. 4 and possibly higher. Rutgers is far enough back in the pack it may well remain at No. 15, rise a slot or two or even drop after a lackluster performance against UConn last Sunday night.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Log Home Update: Part 49
Kitchen and Bathrooms

Log Home Update: Part 49
Kitchen and Bathrooms

We have put all the kitchen cabinets in place and the counter top has been installed. About half the light fixtures have been installed, too.

Kitchen 01
The view from the “dining room.” The white slot to the left will be the refrigerator and that to the right is the stove/range and hood.

All appliances are on site and ready to be installed as soon as we get a floor in place.

Some tiling finally got done this week after a series of snafus that would be comedic if not tragic. The tile for the basement and first floor bathrooms was cut in such a way as to not be square. This proved unacceptable and we, therefore, have not floors in those baths. The master bath tile was okay (although we had to wait for the single row of black for the walls) BUT we were short on the floor tiles—by four square feet. This was probably due to the angle-cuts that had to be made in front of the bathtub. Anyway we have one almost completely tiled bathroom. (Add the vagaries of having to depend upon a team of masons/tilers who were coming in from NY state—on their own schedule…well, it was interesting.) Despite all the peculiarities of the tiling, we may (and I stress may) have the tile job finished by the middle of next week.

Tile in the Master 01
Terry chose a rather classic black and white style for the tile features in the master bathroom.(The walls will eventually be painted a shade of red.)

Tile in the Master 02
This is what the tile floor looks like. Small black squares with a pinwheel of white around them. (This is also the tile we were short on. Probably due to the angle cut you see here.)

Don has finished all the sheetrock and has been diligently spackling over al the tape and screws—he’s almost finished.

Terry, Deb and I have been staining and polyurethaning the 9 paneled doors. These have been set up in the basement so we may work from one to another. Kind of reminds me of Monsters, Inc.

This is NOT the set for Monsters, Inc. It just looks that way.

Kyle and Dan have been working to install the insulation over the garage and have made great progress considering they are only working a few hours a day after school.

Adam took two days to go to a class on building codes held over in Clarks Summit. Worse, he took Braun with him.