Friday, October 31, 2008

Mac Virus Discovered

Happy Halloween!

(From Theo's.)

#24 South Florida 10, Cincinnati 24

I'm telling you, you've got to be crazy to play on Thursday night if you are a ranked team.

Banged-up QB Pike throws two TDs as Cincy downs No. 24 USF

"CINCINNATI -- Not bad for a guy with a broken arm."

Yeah, but it wasn't his throwing arm.

It Takes a Worried Man...

More and more I've been reading about how the Obama camp is "worried." They spend upwards of $600 million, have the MSM in their hip pockets, have polls galore saying it's in the bag...and they are worried? I wonder what their internal polling is telling them, eh?

Well, maybe they have something to be worried about.
Confession of an Obama Blogger - by Sarah P from HillBuzz

What you were never intended to know... from RedState
(The RedState link might be a little slow or just overwhelmed. It worked fine earlier but as news spreads.... The gist is an insiders look at the Obama strategy and fears.)

Here's a little Kingston Trio to remind them all that they won't be worried long. November 5th is just a few days away and then they can sit back and try to figure out where in hell they went wrong.

Some birding today

I went over to Hammond Lake and the Ive's Run Recreation area this morning to do a little birding. I was curious as to whether or not there would be rafts of waterfowl on the lake as they make their south-bound migration. I was disapointed in that respect. The Corps of Engineers drew the lake down back in August, possibly to combat some invasive species that have found their way into the waters, and they have yet to begin raising the lake levels. Perhaps they are hoping the cold winter temperatures will play havoc upon the eurasion millfoil and what ever else the lake holds. In any case, the water levels are way, way down and the exposed shallows are now expanses of grass and mud. There were a few dozen Canada Geese who like that sort of thing, a handful of Killdeer, one lonely Common Merganser and a flock of Ring-billed Gulls.

The prize, as far as I was concerned, was the presence of eight (8) Bald Eagles. There were six immature Eagles and two adults perched on the exposed tree trunks and stumps along the edge of the channels. They were a good three to four hundred yards from the nearest approach for observation so my digiscoping equipment was stretched to the max. I used the digital zoom on the Nikon camera too which makes focusing even more difficult. Shooting over such a distance is not a means for obtaining great results.

Having made all my excuses (except for the one about the possibility of needing to clean all the lenses), I present the two best photos I came up with.

Two adult Bald Eagles.

One of the six immature Bald Eagles that were along a short stretch of one of the channels running through the flats of Hammond Lake.

And here is the complete list of birds I saw in the little more than two hours I was there:

Location: Ive's Run-Crooked Creek
Observation date: 10/31/08
Notes: Clear, cold morning with temperatures starting at 34 degrees and rising to near 50.

Six immature Bald Eagles and two adults were perched on exposed logs and tree trunks in the very low waters of Hammond Lake.
Number of species: 20

Canada Goose X
Common Merganser (North American) X
Ring-necked Pheasant X
Bald Eagle X
Red-tailed Hawk X
Killdeer X
Ring-billed Gull X
Mourning Dove X
Blue Jay X
American Crow X
Black-capped Chickadee X
American Robin X
Gray Catbird X
European Starling X
Field Sparrow X
Savannah Sparrow X
White-throated Sparrow X
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) X
Northern Cardinal X
American Goldfinch X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quin Hillyer: "McCain's Best Argument"

Now here's a guy with a way with words who explains exactly why McCain should be the next President of the US. I heartily agree with everything he has written in this piece.

Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator:

McCain's Best Argument

A few excerpts:

This bears repeating: No candidate for president since Barry Goldwater has been as committed to spending discipline across the board as John McCain is. His entire record for 25 years gives evidence of that reality. Reagan came close to the Goldwater/McCain level of commitment, but McCain has kept up that fight, a lonely fight, for a quarter century.
McCain also has the right instincts on the key issue of the judiciary. It may not be at the top of his list of importance, but he does, unambiguously, favor the appointment of judges who carefully construe the actual text of the Constitution and laws and are willing to be bound by those texts no matter what their own policy preferences.
Also, John McCain is an individualist. He believes in private action. He believes that individuals can live their lives responsibly without government acting as nanny and overseer and ultimate decision-maker on virtually every aspect of daily life. McCain trusts people with their own hard-earned money. McCain has never voted for a tax hike.
Finally, there can be no doubt, none whatsoever, that John McCain will brook no corruption in his administration. Woe be to the appointee who would risk sullying McCain's vaunted honor by crooked deals and self-serving actions. It is likely that no administration in history will be so concerned with maintaining high ethical standards as a McCain administration would. And it will be blessed relief to have an administration where not even a hint of scandal will be even whispered by honest observers.

Go on over and read the whole thing.

Such a tolerant group...

From The New York Observer:

"Erica Jong Tells Italians Obama Loss 'Will Spark the Second American Civil War. Blood Will Run in the Streets'"

Before they start, they might want to remember which side is clinging to its guns.

(Full article

Notice that no one says, "If McCain loses there will be blood in the streets."

Global Warming ain’t what it used to be

If this keeps up, London might just have a Dickens of a Christmas.

"Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday - the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922."

(Speaking of GW... Did you see where Al Gore was in Harvard last week to speak about Global Warming and...coldest temperatures for that day on record..all 125 years of record. No, really.)

Phillies win rain/wind/snow delayed WS

Okay, as a Mets fan I really do not like the Phillies...or the Braves...or the Cubs...or, well, just about any other National League team. And I really, really HATE the Yankees.

But, when the World Serious rolls around, I will cheer on the National League team every time. See the NL plays baseball the way it is supposed to be played. Nine guys to a side not ten. Managerial decisions mean something. Strategy on the base paths, pinch hitting, pitcher changes...all important to the game and they certainly mean that you need the better TEAM to win consistently.

That said, and as a fan of the National League, I would like to say congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for their victory in the 2008 World Series.

Now, if we could only get MLB to rethink this bull shit of playing into the end of October when there are snow storms in the air. How about playing some more double headers during the regular season if you insist on keeping 162 games? Or, at least go back to playing the World Series during the day when the sun is shining and the temperatures just might get above 50 effing degrees.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain vs Obama

As a public service for those who may need a cheat sheet for Tuesday's election, I present the following:

(Found over at Theo's.)

Repair Report

I was right but it's going to cost me $450. The clothes washer's pump was the culprit and we need to get a new one.

The repairman showed up this afternoon, listened to my experiment and conclusion and then said something to the effect that he thought I had hit the nail on the head. He then went about the task of cleaning out the trap. This is a simple enough job but it's something that is not even mentioned in the owner's manual but which, even I could see, needs periodic cleaning. He removed the lower front panel (three hex-head screws) and then proceeded to open the screw-out trap in the lower front. As he unscrewed it, water poured out as did lots of cat fur and lint (easily and wad the size of a small orange but smelling a lot worse), a couple of 2" long brads (picture hanging), a pile of coins (57 cents worth), and a half dozen miscellaneous metal parts that are interesting but which whose function we can not ascertain.

All this crap obviously blocked up the plumbing and caused the poor pump to die trying to get water to flow around it. When the tub filled with water and then had to be drained, the pump could not pull/push the water through. Once the obstruction was cleared, we cleaned out the pump in the hopes that it would be able to do its duty. Unfortunately, the several times the machine was left plugged in and full of water, the pump must have burned itself out trying to accomplish the impossible.

Al, the repairman, ordered a new pump ($262) to be delivered here and rescheduled us for next Wednesday so he can install it. (Although, after watching him carefully, I could probably do that job.)

Let us hope that that will be the end of the problem.

At least my "wealth" is being redistributed the way it's supposed to be done and not through some effing government agency.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More on "Redistribution"

Another important article from the Wall Street Journal:

Obama's 95% Illusion
It depends on what the meaning of 'tax cut' is.

The gist of the piece is that under the Obama plan, as much as 44% of the population would pay no taxes and most of those would receive checks from the government (meaning taxpayers).

Then there is the question of what is a "tax cut."

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase "tax credit."


[Most of these] would be "refundable," which is Washington-speak for the fact that you can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability. In other words, they are an income transfer -- a federal check -- from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this "welfare," or in George McGovern's 1972 campaign a "Demogrant." Mr. Obama's genius is to call it a tax cut.

And most of those handouts are phased out as you earn more or are not given to everyone. (No kids? Oops, no child support tax credit for you. No one going to college in your household? Then I guess you won't get that tuition tax credit. You say you don't have a mortgage? Sorry you don't get that credit either.)

There's another catch: Because Mr. Obama's tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, they impose a huge "marginal" tax rate increase on low-income workers. The marginal tax rate refers to the rate on the next dollar of income earned. As the nearby chart illustrates, the marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.

Some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job. As public policy, this is contradictory. The tax credits are sold in the name of "making work pay," but in practice they can be a disincentive to working harder, especially if you're a lower-income couple getting raises of $1,000 or $2,000 a year.

Go read the entire article for the facts of this most dangerous attempt to buy votes. And that is all these tax credits and redistributions are a cold, calculated means to place more and more individuals on the public teat and, therefore, under the politicians' thumbs.

I find the scariest part of the entire article the figure that says 44% of the population will not pay any taxes. To me that means they have no stake in what the government spends it's money on--except as it is funneled back to them. And yet they get to vote. Vote for their self interest and not the nations. In fact, the nation can go to hell as far as many of them are concerned so long as they continue to get their hand out from the federal redistribution center called the IRS.

Then there's the McCain ad:

First Snow of the Season

Today, as I mentioned, we had our first real snowfall of the season here at the Aerie. That's not to say we had snow in huge quantities or even very far down into the valley. But we did have an inch or two fall here at the cabin.

As I've said before, the Aerie is at an elevation of 2100 feet on the northwest side of a long ridge that runs from the east-northeast to the west-southwest. We have a grand view of the valley that is home to US Route 6 to our north and can almost see into New York State--or at least into the gap carved by the Tioga River and along which US Route 15 passes as it heads toward Corning, NY.

As you can see in the photo above, the snow did not accumulate in the valley at all. When I went down to get the mail at the post office (almost straight ahead in the center of the photo) I found the snow actually stopped on the northern most edge of our property--just about 100 feet down the hill. Terry made the same discovery when she came back from Wellsboro at noon. The snow did npt begin until you reached approximately 2000 feet in elevation.

The snow fell until around 2 PM and by then it was mostly blowing sideways as the winds whipped in from the north. If you look at that second photo above, that view is to the north-northwest. You will notice the abundance of wide open space with absolutely nothing to slow the wind down. I was watching the hanging baskets on the deck rock back and forth in the very high gusts. Occasionally it appeared as though the baskets were held for a split second at a 45 degree angle from the perpendicular. The baskets are not empty. They still contain the potting soil for the petunias that grew in them this spring and summer. They aren't super heavy, as they haven't been watered in weeks (the plants got sun burned and died) and the soil is dry as a bone. Still, the strength of the wind, to blow them to a 45 degree angle...impressive.

And cold. The high temperature today was 37 degrees at 12:30 AM. It hovered around 32 degrees all day but it felt much, much colder with the wet snow and very strong winds. Just before we sat down to dinner the temperature had slid down to 30 degrees and I decided it was time to build the first fire of the season in the fireplace.

I even got it lit without having too much smoke drift into the living area. (The secret was to pull the ash shelf and light a half dozen sheets of newspaper to warm the chimney before trying to light the wood fire.) The fire has warmed the box and the circulating fan has kicked in to blow warm air into the living room. I'm surprised one of the cats hasn't staked out the sofa in front of the fireplace...yet.

The snow showers are supposed to continue for the next day or so. I'll have to move some more firewood in from the stack next to the garage tomorrow and put it in the garage where it can dry out a bit more. There's some cherry and oak and maple as well as paper birch out there, some of which was cut two plus years ago. Hopefully it's still in burnable condition.


Well, our clothes washer has decided to stop.

A couple of weeks ago it pulled the same crap but after letting it sit over night, it went back to working normally. But yesterday, nope. Terry managed to do two loads of my laundry from my two plus weeks at the Bolt Hole (this after doing several loads of her own on Saturday from being in Atlanta and South Carolina) and then the machine just stopped in mid cycle. It would fill with water, slosh the clothes around to wash them and then…stop.

The wash load (two sets of sheets) wasn’t overly large for the machine’s capacity but it was definitely wet now and sitting in soapy water. The electronic controls were blinking “Pause” so I would push the button and the machine would go through the initial steps of locking, unlocking and relocking the door, sloshing around what was in the tub and then…stop. Over and over again we played this game.

Eventually, I opened the door during one of the moments it was “Paused” and hauled the wet laundry out into a bucket. (Terry then took them and the rest of the laundry down to Mansfield to wash in the Laundromat.) I then bailed the water out of the tub, cursing the machine all the while.

Once empty I thought I would try an experiment. I set the controls to do a “rinse and spin” cycle and pushed the run button. The machine went through the initial steps of locking, unlocking and then relocking the door. It filled with water and sloshed the water about as if to remove any soap from any clothes that might be in there. And then it stopped.

It went into pause mode and unlocked the door. I opened the door and bailed the water out. Closed the door and pushed the button to resume and …IT DID! It went into the spin cycle as it tried to squeeze moisture out of the non-existent clothes. It then stopped and refilled with water for the second rinse. Sloshed the water about for a few minutes and then…stopped working again! Eventually, I got to open the door and bail the water out.

From the above action, I conclude that there is something wrong with the pump. Either the pump has failed or there is a loose electrical wire that prevents it from turning on. As a result, when water needs to be pumped out of the washer, it doesn’t get pumped out and the sensors in the machine prevent it from going on to the next step.

I’ll find out if my conclusions are correct tomorrow. That is when the repair person is supposed to show up. Terry called Sears Repair early Monday morning and spoke to someone with an Indian accent who took all our info and promised someone would be here on Wednesday between 9 AM and 5 PM.

They will have one shot. If no one shows up, then there is an ad in the Yellow Book for a local who claims to repair all models. (Ours is a GE front loader that’s just 2 years old. Out of warranty and out of luck.)

Damn this is scary!

Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution
The courts are poised for a takeover by the judicial left

In the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal

Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh.

Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats, the seats of two older Clinton appointees who will retire, and most likely the seats of four older Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointees who may retire as well.

The net result is that the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation's most important regulatory court of appeals.

The balance will shift as well on almost all of the 12 other federal appeals courts.
Nine of the 13 will probably swing to the left if Mr. Obama is elected (not counting the Ninth Circuit, which the left solidly controls today). Circuit majorities are likely at stake in this presidential election for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. That includes the federal appeals courts for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and virtually every other major center of finance in the country.

On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.

These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.

Do you like the idea of having the courts being controlled by the left? Especially when the House, Senate and even the White House may also be leaning that way? Where’s the checks and balances then?

Mr. Calabresi speaks of possible future:

If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a
federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food.

Sounds impossible until you remember, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

Many of Roosevelt’s early plans met with resistance from the Supreme Court. That’s why he tried to increase its size so he could stack the votes in his favor.

The big government growth under Johnson spawned many government programs that just won’t go away, destroyed the fabric of the poor family in much of the country, and which have created an sink hole from which many poor either cannot escape or do not want to escape.

Jimmy Carter? His intrusive actions in the world of business (price controls, etc.) created double digit inflation that saw the workers lose value of their income while they were ostensively getting raises in their paycheck.

Me? Superior Scribbler? You're kidding, right?

MorningGlory has seen fit to bestow upon me a blogging award. Why? I don’t know! But looking at the rules, especially the one that says it has to be passed on to someone who hasn’t received it yet, perhaps she just ran out of more worthy recipients for I know, deep down in my sole that I am not worthy.

(Then again, it could be because she is a former NJ resident, like me, and likes to see how things are going when I write about Rutgers.)

She did have me blushing a bit when she wrote: "Next, let me point you in the general direction of Compass Points, “The adventures of a retired couple as they travel the USA–or just build live in a new log home, the Aerie, in the north-central PA.” If you want the latest news on college football, bird watching, or want to pick up some home canning tips, this is the place to go."

Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
• Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
• Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
• Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post , which explains The Award.
• Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
• Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Now I'll have to put on my thinking cap to come up with five bloggers I believe would be most worthy.....mmm, let me see....

Well, for log home love there is Shelley of Building A Log Cabin who has just moved into her Michigan home but loved the process and the company sooo much that she has become a sales rep for Hiawatha Log Homes. She's got lots of pictures of the inside and out of her cabin on the lake. She and her husband are celebrating an anniversary today: their third. (Young whippersnappers!) Shelley's also got a second blog dedicated just to Birding In Michigan. (Personally, I think she's a little loony over loons.)

Then every day I check in to see what Richard of At The Water is up to and find he has usually posted several marvelous pictures of birds from his little patch in Minnesota. He also convinced me to stoke the economy some by purchasing a new digital camera which I'm still learning to use. He's full of photography hints, birding knowledge and more.

Continuing to the west (and north) I like to check in on Rev. Paul Way Up North in Anchorage. I find he provides insight on what folks up there actually think of their Governor. (Besides, I feel slightly warmer after reading some of his weather reports.)

Now, let's head south a bit to warm up.

Moving down the west coast some into California we come across a very weird character named jihadgene or the Great Reader who, on occasion, channels Kim Jong Il but who always has some interesting stories to tell.

There's GuyK and Sweetthing down near Tampa, FL whom I find CHARMING, JUST CHARMING. Now his rants may not be everyone's cup of tea (or Jump Start) but I find myself nodding along as he steps up on that stump to let us know what he thinks. And his gardening and fishing skills make me jealous.

Well, that's my five and I strongly urge you to go over and check them out. I hope they won't mind being on my short list.

Family News

The two in the photo above are my son, Rick and his fiancee, Sandy. They were last seen here after the wedding of Rick's cousin Laura out in California in June.

A couple of months ago they let us know that they were engaged. (They are currently living out in Eugene, OR where Rick is an arborist with a tree company and Sandy is in her third year of law school.) This week they set a date and sent out announcements. Sunday, May 17, 2009 is the date. (Although that's not what they had on the announcement! Rick put the 13th, a Wednesday, on the card in error.) The wedding will be a small one held in the Eugene area. It is their desire to keep it simple and the guest list will be mostly immediate family.

Sandy's sister is also in the Eugene area but her folks live in Chicago, while we are here in PA and Grandma and Rick's sister are in NJ.

If you get into the story of where they met (Armonk, NY) while Rick was going to school at the University of Idaho in Moscow and then how they got back together after several years (and a deployment to Iraq with the Marines out of Spokane, WA) all the way across the country.... It's pretty interesting.

Sandy will be completing her studies this spring and then taking the bar exam in the fall. She wishes to become a child advocate.

Rick will continue to work as a certified arborist and is looking to obtain full certification as a forester the future.

It's snowing.

It's snowing to beat the band at the Aerie. We woke up to an inch on the grass and deck (not so much on the stone driveway where it has been melting) and it has been really coming down for the last hour or so. The site shows a snow line of approximately 2000 feet and the Aerie is at 2100 feet. Terry has to go over to Wellsboro this morning so it will be interesting to see if there is any thing on the roads.

Meanwhile, the Bolt Hole is getting socked. The same folks show a snow line there of 2000 feet with mixed precip between 1000 and 2000 feet. The Bolt Hole is at 1600 feet and the maps show mostly snow. A little further north into the Tug Hill Plateau across to the High Peaks and they are talking up to 16 inches of snow. There's also mention of wind gust out of the northwest at 50+ miles per hour.

I've mixed feelings about this. I would have liked to have been hunting as this first-of-the-season snow occurred. Immediately after there would be some good opportunities to still hunt as the tracks are visible and fresh and the deer's brown bodies stand out against the white. Also, being the first of the season, the deer act like third graders; they get silly. The older deer forgot that it can snow and what that means. The younger ones are just confused.

On the other hand, I would probably have to get the snowblower out if we had more than six inches. Even if it would all melt in a couple of days.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pre Week 10 College Football Report

Time to take a look at the team rankings going into Week 10 of the College Football season. And, while we're at it, let's look at who is playing whom this weekend, too.

There was little movement in the upper reaches of the Top 25 teams this week. Numbers 1-6 were essentially unchanged while USC won but lost ground slipping from #6 to #7. Number 8 Texas Tech moved up to #6. Georgia climbed one rung from #9 to #8. Oklahoma State slipped down two from #7 to #9. And then things get interesting.

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 10. The numbers on parentheses after the teams’ names are their rankings after Week 9. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked You will note that when I refer to a team by its rank, I use the Writers’ Poll position. I mean, they are journalists and totally unbiased in their assessment. Right!)

1/1/1 Texas (1/1/1) The 8-0 Longhorns face yet another undefeated team in the form of #6 Texas Tech who are also 8-0. This time it’s on the road. As with the immortals in The Highlander, so it goes with undefeated in the Big 12: There can be only one! (Or fewer.) And this weekend will decide who has the opportunity to be that one.

2/2/2 Alabama (2/2/2) Arkansas State comes in to face the Crimson Tide. Arkansas State Red Wolves…mmmm. The Red Wolf is an extinct animal (possibly never even existed). I see this as an omen of sorts.

3/3/3 Penn State (3/3/3) The 9-0 Nittany Lions have the week off.

4/4/4 Oklahoma (4/5/4) The Nebraska Cornhuskers are coming to town. The Sooners will be waiting.

5/7/6 Florida (5/7/7) The Gators are going up to Georgia to face the #8 Bulldogs.

6/5/5 Texas Tech (8/6/6) The Red Raiders will lay in wait for the #1 Longhorns.

7/6/7 Southern California (6/4/5) The Trojans will host the winless Washington Huskies. (The only other winless team in the nation is North Texas. And the (not so) Mean Green play the 2-6 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Washington Huskies could stand alone come Sunday.)

8/8/8 Georgia (9/9/9) The Bulldogs are hoping to have a Gator sandwich as they host #5 Florida.

9/10/11 Oklahoma State (7/8/8) The Cowboys try to regroup at home against Iowa State.

10/9/9 Utah (12/12/12) Da Utes will be playing at New Mexico where the Lobos will hope to shred their 8-0 record.

11/11/10 Boise State (13/13/13) The 7-0 Broncos are on the road to New Mexico State.

12/12/12 TCU (15/15/15) The Horned Frogs square off against the Rebels of UNLV in Vegas.

13/13/13 Ohio State (10/10/10) The Buckeyes will be licking their wounds this week. (And probably wondering why the Big 10 has no playoff game.) They have a BYE this week.

14/14/14 Missouri (16/16/18) The Tigers will be at the home of the Baylor Bears.

15/15/16 LSU (11/11/11) The Tigers will host their instate rivals, the Green Wave of Tulane.

16/16/19 Florida State (24/23/NR) The Seminoles are going up the road to face Georgia Tech.

17/17/15 Brigham Young (18/17/17) The Cougars of BYU will be on the road to face off against Colorado State.

18/19/17 Ball State (20/22/19) The Cardinals are 8-0 and are enjoying another week off—sort of. They play Wednesday November 5th against Northern Illinois.

19/18/18 Tulsa (22/19/20) The Golden Hurricane (8-0) travels to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks.

20/20/21 Minnesota (25/25/24) The 7-1 Gophers host the 6-2 Northwestern Wildcats.

21/22/20 North Carolina (NR/NR/NR) The Tar Heels have the week off to contemplate their good fortune. I mean, they’re only third in the Coastal Division of the ACC for crying out loud! And neither first nor second appear on this list.

22/21/22 Michigan State (NR/NR/NR) The Spartans are at home against the wilting Wisconsin Badgers.

23/24/23 Oregon (NR/NR/NR) The Ducks are headed south to face the Golden Bears of California.

24/23/25 South Florida (14/14/14) The battered Bulls will hope to regain their mojo on the road at Cincinnati.

25/25/24 Maryland (NR/NR/NR) The 6-2 Terps have the weekend off as they prepare to play on Thursday November 6th at Blacksburg against the VT Hokies.

Gone from last week’s Top 25: #17 Pittsburgh (L to Rutgers), #19 Kansas (Capital L to Texas Tech, 63-21), #21 Georgia Tech (L to Virginia), #23 Boston College (L to North Carolina), and Northwestern (NR/24/25) (L to Indiana).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week 9 Results

With four games matching Top 25 teams there were bound to be some good contests this weekend. There certainly were some very high scoring events. Here’s the wrap-up of the weeks action. (Except for #22 Tulsa which doesn’t play until Sunday night. [UPDATE: Tulsa won 49-19. More below.)

Incidentally, one of the bad things about being at the Bolt Hole is the lack of cable or dish TV. It's mere rabbit ears for me. That restricts my channel selection--and choice of games--considerably. And if I don't go and get me one of those digital converters...well, I won't have any TV.

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 9. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Texas The Longhorns faced off against the #7 Cowboys of Oklahoma State in Austin and had all they could handle. Despite controlling the ball for much of the game and scoring touchdowns on four drives that were 80 yards or more (two started inside the 10), the Longhorns managed to hang on in the second half for a 28-24 victory. Next up for Texas is undefeated Texas Tech. Sheesh!

2/2/2 Alabama The Crimson Tide defeated the Tennessee Volunteers by 29-9.

3/3/3 Penn State The Nittany Lions hadn’t won in Columbus, Ohio in 30 years. While they didn’t score a ton of points, they did score enough to defeat the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes 13-6 and improve to 9-0.

4/5/4 Oklahoma The Sooners squared off against Kansas State on the road. The final score was 58-35, Sooners.

5/7/7 Florida The Gators hosted roasted Kentucky by a score of 63-5.

6/4/5 Southern California USC found the dry heat at Arizona a bit of a challenge. The Trojans did come away with a 17-10 victory, however.

7/8/8 Oklahoma State The Cowboys played tough but eventually got thrown by the #1 Longhorns and Colt McCoy, 28-24.

8/6/6 Texas Tech The Aggies traveled north to play #19 Kansas. The Jayhawks probably wished they hadn’t. Texas Tech improved to 9-0 with a 63-21 romp. Next week they get to play #1 Texas at home.

9/9/9 Georgia The Bulldogs beat the #11 LSU Tigers, 52-38.

10/10/10 Ohio State The Buckeyes played host to #3 Penn State and both defenses were dominant. PSU came away with a 13-6 win.

11/11/11 LSU The Tigers played host to #9 Georgia and were gracious hosts indeed. The Bulldogs won 52-38.

12/12/12 Utah The Utes had the week off.

13/13/13 Boise State The Broncos were off the blue carpet as they played at San Jose State. They went home with a33-16 win and a 7-0 record.

14/14/14 South Florida The Bulls went up to Louisville where they lost a close one 24-20.

15/15/15 TCU The Horned Frogs toyed with their guests from Wyoming as they won 54-7.

16/16/18 Missouri The Tigers beat Colorado 38-0. A shutout is quite the rarity these days.

17/20/16 Pittsburgh The Panthers hosted Rutgers. They probably wish they hadn’t. RU QB Mike Teel finally showed the arm everyone was expecting to see. He completed 14 of 21 attempts for 361 yards, 6 touchdowns and just one interception. The Scarlet Knights still need a running attack but Kordell Young did rush 20 times for 83 yards (mostly in the second half when RU was well ahead) and scored 2 touchdowns on the ground. RU also could use some D-E-F-E-N-S-E. The final: 54-34, RU.

18/17/17 Brigham Young The Cougars hosted UNLV in another high scoring affair but came away 42-35.

19/18/22 Kansas The Jayhawks lost to #8 Texas Tech—big. 63-21 was the final score.

20/22/19 Ball State The Cardinals improved their record to 8-0 with a 38-16 victory at home against Eastern Michigan.

21/21/21 Georgia Tech (NR/NR/NR) GT showed up in the Top 25 for the first time last weekend. They won’t be here next week. They dropped a close one to Virginia, 24-17.

22/19/20 Tulsa If you watched just the first half of Tulsa vs UCF before switching over to the World Series game, you're probably wondering how the Golden Hurrican ever got to be undefeated and #22 in the polls. Tulsa trailed UCF 19-14 at the half and looked completely inept on offense and defense. After the break--not so much. Tulsa scored 35 points in the second half while allowing the UCF Knights nothing. The final was 49-19.

23/NR/23 Boston College (NR/NR/NR) BC debuted on the Top 25 list this week for the first time. Then they traveled to North Carolina. They will be leaving both behind after losing 45-24.

24/23/NR Florida State The Seminoles beat the Virginia Tech Hokies, 30-20.

25/25/24 Minnesota The Gophers topped the Purdue Boilermakers, 17-6.

NR/24/25 Northwestern (NR/NR/NR) Northwestern will be leaving the Top 25 after losing a close one 21-19 at Indiana.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Health News

From the Instapundit:

A PROMISING NEW OBESITY DRUG: If it works, the market will be huge.

posted at 08:35 AM by Glenn Reynolds

Possibly, but if it works, I see the market as a shrinking one.

Weigh in Saturday (5?)

I admit it, I've lost track of the number of weeks the weight challenge has been going on. I am, however, happy with the report of the scale this morning. The thing said I weighed 214 at 6 AM, if it can be trusted. This is a digital scale but it's not the Weight Watchers' scale of the Aerie. I believe it came from a CVS store. It reads low (God bless it!) but I've made something of a conversion factor to bring it in line. The estimated difference is added to the actual reading for these reports when I'm here at the Aerie.

The last three readings (including today's) have been done on this scale. They were 219, 217, and 214. If they are accurate, I've dropped 3 pounds since last Saturday and the same from the beginning of the Challenge. And considering I was up to 237-240 back in May....

It's still a long way from where I would like to be by the end of the year (200 or less) but at least the last two weeks have been in the right direction. Of course, the tough part will be going back to Terry's cooking and Thanksgiving Dinner.

Jumping Jehoshaphat!

When I arrived here in the north country I filled up the gas tank of the Tundra on October 10th. The price of gasoline (10% ethanol) at the local Stewart's was $3.41.9 a gallon. This morning (October 25th) I drove town to top off the tank for the ride home tomorrow and paid $2.85.9 a gallon. That's a drop of 56 cents in 15 days. And that's the NYS price I'm talking about. I wonder what it has fallen to down near the Aerie where the tab is usually 20 cents (or more) less. And to think, I was surprised last weekend when it was $3.03.

Why was I filling the gas tank instead of hunting? It's pouring outside and even though there were a slew of vehicles coming up to the hunting camps on the road I sincerely doubt anyone is out in the woods. There's no radio transmissions being made at any rate and there usually is if there are parties of hunters abroad. Besides, if I'm heading back to the aerie tomorrow with the three cats in their carry cases, I want to make as few stops as possible to get them home swiftly.

Another thing I considered was the high wind warnings that have been issued for the area. NOAA weather has said we could see gusts in the 50 mph range this afternoon coming from the southeast as a cold front, with possible thunderstorms, sweeps in from the west. Most of our strong winds have been from the west or southwest during the past year. The shift in direction could mean trees down and power outages. I'd rather have a full tank now and be here with the kitties than have to worry about not making it back to the Bolt Hole if I ran down to fill the tank later in the day.

The Bolt Hole itself is on the west-northwest side of a hill and the strongest winds could/might just blow overhead. Also, there's a bit of an open field to the south and that too should provide protection against any trees falling on the buildings.

As I said yesterday, it's a good day to be packing up and then watching some college football/World Series action--if the power stays on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hunting Report from the Bolt Hole, more--or less

I wish I had something positive to report vis-a-vis hunting success, but....

It finally stopped raining around 2 PM on Tuesday but that didn't improve my luck any during the evening. I sat out back hoping to catch sight of a wandering deer but only spotted a doe and her two fawns. No bucks.

Wednesday morning I took a slow walk through the woods searching not only for deer but signs of the impending rut: ground scrapes and tree rubs. I found neither and after spending three hours came back to the cabin for lunch. Wednesday evening found me sitting in the woods again but I was alone. The bucks were elsewhere, apparently.

Thursday morning I went and sat in the woods where I could look over a fairly wide expanse. The view was nice but it was just me and the chickadees. I returned to the cabin for lunch and moved some wood around. I also moved some old wood stoves from the bedroom of the cabin into the garage and rearranged the "tools" in the garage. The brush hog and lawn mower were put in the rear while the snowblower got moved to the front...just in case.

Then this morning I went and sat in the woods yet again. It's like playing the lottery: you can't win it if you're not in it. Once again, it was a lovely morning, just not terribly eventful.

The northern rut has not started. Last year it didn't start until mid-November. When it does, the bachelor groups break up and they start fighting amongst themselves for breeding rights. They'll start searching for and chasing any doe that might be receptive to their advances. The bucks act stupid and lose some of their wariness. Kinda like a bunch of frat guys.

The weather has been typical Indian Summer. The temperatures drop below freezing at night but then shoot up to the high 40s and low 50s during the sun drenched days.

Tomorrow promises to be a washout according to the forecast. We'll have showers in the morning and some serious rain in the afternoon. I'll probably spend the day packing up to head back to the Aerie on Sunday.

I plan on returning to the Bolt Hole for one more round of hunting "action" after the election. That will be for a two week stint since I'll have to get back to the Aerie to take Terry to the Rutgers vs Army football game on November 22. We'll pick her mom up to bring her to the Aerie for Thanksgiving. Once the holiday is over, it will be time for the start of PA's firearms season, so I'll be staying home for a long while.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Food for thought.

From over at Hot Air; The comprehensive argument against Barack Obama


Wet, Wet Weather at the Bolt Hole

It's raining pretty good this morning and the temperatures started in the high 30s/low 40s at 8:30 AM.

Why 8:30 AM? That's when I finally got out of bed. There was no 3 AM critter working int he wall/floor but there was a crash of material from a stack beneath the normal mouse corridor. Perhaps my 3 AM critter opted for a new commuting route to its workplace and got spied by one or more of the watch kitties. Perhaps they put the fear of Ceiling Cat in him and he decided to go elsewhere. (There was no sign that the cats actually caught the little bugger, however. Even if they had, they would have played with it til death overcame it. The last one they did catch, in the fall of 2006 I believe, was left at the bottom of the stairs as a gift and didn't have a mark on the body.)

When the alarm went off at 5:45 AM it was raining so I shut it off and rolled over. Chester protested feebly and then shut up and allowed me to sleep until 8:30. He's a good boy...most of the time.

I do believe that today will be another day to do some cleaning up of burnable trash (papers, cardboard, etc.) that will also help to keep the cabin warm and dry. Unless something drastic happens and the spigot of Mother Nature is shut off soon, it's far too wet to be traipsing about in the woods.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hunting Report from the Bolt Hole: Rifle, issue 2

After taking yesterday off from hunting to go do some shopping and then settle in front of the tube and watch the Giants (yea!) and the Jets (BOOOOO!) it was time to venture out on the hunting trail again this morning.

The mouse in the wall must not have gotten the notice about Daylight Savings Time ending a couple weeks later this year. Instead of its usual 3 AM work, it started at 2 AM. Like I said, it missed the notice and turned its clock back two weeks early. I managed to convince the critter to go away and went back to sleep to awake to the alarm at 5:45 AM.

Feed the cats, make some coffee, eat some hot oatmeal, and then get dressed for the 17-20 degree temperatures. All that and I was out the door at 6:30 AM with my folding stool, rifle and backpack. I walked down an old skidway under the light of the now near third quarter moon and was able to miss almost all of the puddles along the way to a spot where I hoped to ambush a deer heading northeast.

As I neared the point where I wanted to find a seat, at 7:05 AM (before legal shooting hours or sufficient light to shoot under any circumstances), it happened. Fifteen or twenty yards ahead of me in some very thick beech saplings and the slash (tree tops) left from last winters logging, a deer snorted, jumped deeper into the woods, snorted a half dozen more times and then trotted back to the southwest from whence I assume it came.

I have no way of knowing if this was a buck or a doe. Does will sometimes snort like that to communicate with their fawns I am told and we have one doe in the area that is still nursing two fawns she birthed in late July. There is another that is still hanging around with her daughter from last year. A buck will snort like this as an alarm call or just to say he is pissed that something he can't quite identify is walking about in his woods. It sounded like it was just one deer but, hey, you never know.

I stood frozen in my tracks for five minutes hoping it would be as curious as the deer I played tag with on Friday, but it didn't return. Even if it did come back, the growth was so thick that even in the early, brightening, light of dawn, a shot would have been very difficult.

When the deer did not return after nearly 10 minutes, I moved on down the skidway to a small knoll where I found an area that was relatively open and offered a hundred-yard view for about 270 degrees. I picked out a tree to set up against, unfolded my little stool and shucked my backpack, and sat.

And sat some more.

And sat even more.

I sat from around 7:20 AM until 10 AM and then decided to pack it in as I watched clouds start to roll in. There was still some wood out in the open that needed stacking (I took almost all of Sunday off) and the latest forecast I had heard on Sunday night was calling for rain showers late Monday and through much of Tuesday.

I found Mark still hanging around his place when I returned. The creep never even went out. Nor had he answered my radio calls at 9 and 10 AM. He was outside his place doing chores--he says. To be fair, he's been complaining about a cold coming on and downed nearly a full bottle of night time cold medicine that had him conked out in the middle of the Sunday Night Football game. I'm not sure I would have wanted him in the woods with a rifle under those conditions.

Marls a bit discouraged by the lack of sign and pattern by the bucks right now. He says he wants to see signs that the deer have gone into the rut. Currently, the bucks are still hanging out in bachelor packs and there are no scrapes or tree rubs to be found. (Except in the apple orchard right behind my garage and barn where several maple saplings and small apple trees got themselves rubbed quite badly the end of September. One small poplar in the bunch got rubbed for a second time in two years and has been knocked over. That's a 15 foot tall and 3-4 inch thick tree at waist height I'm talking about.) Rubs and, especially, scrapes made on the ground are signs of territorial behavior by the bucks. With any luck, the rut should be beginning this week as the moon wanes toward the new.

Also, with a little luck, we might have some tracking snow on Wednesday morning. The weather gurus are forecasting showers tomorrow, as I mentioned. That's a cold front moving through that will drag the night time lows even lower. Tuesday's showers will become snow flurries and may accumulate 1-3 inches by Wednesday morning.

I may pass on going out Tuesday morning if the showers are around. I've got sufficient rain gear but my rifle doesn't. Scopes and such do not care for water. besides, with the promise of snow for Wednesday morning I'll want all my energy to try walking up a deer.

This afternoon was spent putting the rest of the wood in the barn and into the woodshed. All that is left out now is stuff that will go back to the Aerie and that is under a cover of several sheets of tin roofing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pre Week 9 College Football Report

Okay, so where do the teams stand heading into Week 9 and who is playing whom this weekend?

Only a few upsets in Week 8. BYU was the only Top 10 to fall. They were joined by North Carolina and California in losing to unranked opponents. Several other ranked teams lost to higher ranked teams which resulted in their moving down in, and sometimes out of, the polls for Week 9. There are lots of new teams at the bottom of the list that were not there last week.

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 9. The numbers on parentheses after the teams’ names are their rankings after Week 8. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Texas (1/1/1) The Longhorns will face the #7 Cowboys of Oklahoma State at home.

2/2/2 Alabama (2/2/2) The Crimson Tide will be on the road to face the Tennessee Volunteers.

3/3/3 Penn State (3/3/3) The Nittany Lions will be squaring off with the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio.

4/5/4 Oklahoma (4/6/4) The Sooners are on the road against Kansas State.

5/7/7 Florida (5/7/8) The Gators host Kentucky.

6/4/5 Southern California (6/4/6) USC will be at Arizona.

7/8/8 Oklahoma State (8/10/10) The Cowboys will try to rope the #1 Longhorns in Texas.

8/6/6 Texas Tech (7/5/5) The Aggies will be on the road to play #19 Kansas.

9/9/9 Georgia (10/9/9) The Bulldogs will be at #11 LSU.

10/10/10 Ohio State (12/11/11) The Buckeyes host #3 Penn State.

11/11/11 LSU (13/14/14) The Tigers play host to #9 Georgia.

12/12/12 Utah (14/13/13) The Utes have the week off.

13/13/13 Boise State (15/16/115) The Broncos are off to play at San Jose State.

14/14/14 South Florida (19/20/18) The Bulls will be at Louisville.

15/15/15 TCU (NR/24/NR) The Horned Frogs will host Wyoming.

16/16/18 Missouri (11/12/12) The Tigers host Colorado.

17/20/16 Pittsburgh (23/NR/21) The Panthers will host Rutgers.

18/17/17 Brigham Young (9/8/7) The Cougars host UNLV.

19/18/22 Kansas (16/15/16) The Jayhawks host #8 Texas Tech.

20/22/19 Ball State (24/25/25) The Cardinals are back in action at home against Eastern Michigan.

21/21/21 Georgia Tech (NR/NR/NR) Yes, GT will be hosting Virginia.

22/19/20 Tulsa (NR/NR/24) Tulsa will host UCF on Sunday.

23/NR/23 Boston College (NR/NR/NR) BC travels to North Carolina.

24/23/NR Florida State (NR/NR/NR) The Seminoles host the Virginia Tech Hokies.

25/25/24 Minnesota (NR/NR/NR) The Gophers will be at Purdue.

NR/24/25 Northwestern (NR/NR/NR) Northwestern will play at Indiana.

The First BCS Standings of 2008

This time of the season is when the BCS rankings begin to appear. Because the BCS is based upon the Harris Poll and the Coaches Poll but not the AP Writers’ Poll, they agree with the major polls but occasionally there is a discrepancy or two. This week, however, there is no question of the first four teams.

I tend to ignore the BCS rankings until the final weeks because the computer formulation (which is difficult to grasp) plays such a big part. It can be blamed for some of the lopsided scores that you see such as the SC/ Washington State 69-0 blowout this week.

1 Texas
2 Alabama
3 Penn State
4 Oklahoma
5 Southern California
6 Oklahoma State
7 Georgia
8 Texas Tech
9 Ohio State
10 Florida
11 Utah
12 Boise State
13 LSU
14 TCU
15 Missouri
16 South Florida
17 Pittsburgh
18 Georgia Tech
19 Tulsa
20 Ball State
21 Brigham Young
22 Northwestern
23 Kansas
24 Minnesota
25 Florida State

Week 8 Results

Time to get back to college football for a bit.

The reshuffled polls are out and there are several teams that made huge jumps up and a few that have been dropped off the polls.

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 8. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Texas The Longhorns embarrassed the #11 Missouri team Saturday night by a score of 56-31. It was 35-3 at halftime only because the Tigers converted for a FG as time ran out.

2/2/2 Alabama The Crimson Tide struggled against Ole Miss but came out with a 24-20 victory..

3/3/3 Penn State The Nittany Lions started slowly against Michigan but then stepped on the gas for a 46-17 win.

4/6/4 Oklahoma The Sooners prevailed over #16 Kansas 45-31.

5/7/8 Florida The Gators had the week off.

6/4/6 Southern California The Trojans demolished the hapless Washington State team 69-0.

7/5/5 Texas Tech The Red Raiders were victorious over Texas A&M 43-25.

8/10/10 Oklahoma State The Cowboys beat Baylor 34-6.

9/8/7 Brigham Young The Cougars played at TCU on Thursday night, a bad night for the ranked team. TCU’s Horned Frogs and their #1 defense (7 sacks in this game), took the Cougars apart by a score of 32-7.

10/9/9 Georgia The Bulldogs played well enough to overcome #22 Vanderbilt 24-14.

11/12/12 Missouri The Tigers lost to #1 Texas 56-31.

12/11/11 Ohio State The Buckeyes had no trouble with #20 Michigan State 45-7.

13/14/14 LSU The Tigers of LSU managed to pull out the win over South Carolina 24-17.

14/13/13 Utah The Utes proved to be too much Colorado State 49-16.

15/16/15 Boise State The Broncos defeated Hawaii 27-7.

16/15/16 Kansas The Jayhawks were overmatched by #4 Oklahoma 45-31.

17/18/17 Virginia Tech The Hokies were upset by Boston College 28-23.

18/21/19 North Carolina The Tar Heels dropped a 16-13 decision in overtime to Virginia.

19/20/18 South Florida The Bulls romped over the Syracuse Orange 45-13.

20/17/22 Michigan State The Spartans were overwhelmed by #12 Ohio State 45-7.

21/19/20 Wake Forest The Demon Deacons were shutout by Maryland 26-0.

22/23/NR Vanderbilt The Commodores lost to #10 Georgia 24-14.

23/NR/21 Pittsburgh The Panthers doubled up over Navy 42-21.

24/25/25 Ball State The Cardinals had the week off.

25/22/NR California The Golden Bears lost to Arizona 42-27.

NR/24/ NR TCU TCU handily defeated #9 BYU on Thursday night 32-7.

NR/NR/24 Tulsa Tulsa’s offense piled up 791 total yards on their way to defeating Texas-El Paso 77-35. It was actually tied 28-28 at the end of the first quarter.

Observations at the Bolt Hole

It's cold! At 8:30 AM the folks at say it's 26 degrees, the nearest weatherunderground station says 22 degrees, and the Bolt Hole thermometer says it's 17 degrees. By anyone's reckoning it's cold.

Everything is covered with a thick layer of frost and I'm sure that as the sun begins to warm the tree tops that a lot more leaves will be falling off the beeches and red maples in the forest. I noticed this morning the big sugar maple outside my door has dropped the last of its leaves. I had raked what was on the ground last week but it looks like I hadn't touched it so that will be one of my jobs later this day.

I'll have to make a run down to Wal-Mart later this morning for some supplies. Three kitties can really make a dent in the kitty litter even when one of them (Shadow) has turned her nose up at every moist food choice I put down for them. Chester and Julie have had no such compunction and are taking up the slack in the food department. Shadow does get her share of the dry food in the ever-filling bowl. And I need to get some groceries for myself, too.

The damn mouse in the wall is far more predictable than the deer. Three AM is the start of its work day. That's when it starts gnawing on whatever it is gnawing on and wakes me up. If only I could predict when and where the deer would be during the day. (I have a good idea of where they are at 2 AM but that's not exactly legal shooting time!)

I slept in this morning as much as Chester would allow me. He started howling at the bedroom door around 6 AM and kept at it for nearly an hour. He woke me but I refused to give in and dozed off and on until he gave up only to have my bladder take up the argument. It won.

Another task for the day will be to get the rest of the split wood into the barn and/or wood shed attached to the house. The forecast is for some showers on Tuesday and that wood will have to be under cover by then. Some of the split birch will be heading to PA when I leave next weekend. It's dry, seasoned and split perfectly for the fireplaces down there.

Walking in the woods today would be futile. The leaves are so crisp that every step sounds like a cannon filled with grape shot has been fired into the forest. Talk of snap, crackle and pop!

With no predictable trails (they are everywhere!) for the deer to follow and with the deer just starting to show some signs of going into the rut when the males get a little stupid in their pursuit of a doe in heat, it's tough to figure where to sit in ambush. In a day or two (when the bucks get really excited) setting out a few scent bombs may make them come to you, but I've tried a couple of times with Tinks Trophy Buck scent and they weren't buying it. Mark and I have the week to try and figure them out before he returns to work and I head back to the Aerie. With any luck....

Oh, well, Time to do some house cleaning and then off to Wally World. Later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Better Half makes good.

I wan to take a moment away from my hunting reports to mention that Terry is down in Atlanta this week attending the national convention of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA). If everything has been going according to plan at she will have been installed as the President of that organization at the closing banquet this evening.

She has warned me that if I ever call her "Madame President" I can expect to get kicked in the shins. So I won't.

Hunting Report from the Bolt Hole: Rifle

I woke up to the coldest morning of the fall to date. At 5:30 AM it was a mere 20 degrees but, as is usual, the temperature continued to fall right through sunrise. It was down to around 17 or 18 degrees. If freshly fallen leaves sound like walking on cornflakes, what does walking on frozen leaves sound like?

I made my way to a ridge to the south making enough noise to wake the dead despite my best efforts. I did this in the dark under the bright waning gibbous moon. I also managed to avoid most of the puddles in the skid way that were filed by the rains earlier in the week. Most, but not all. Some of the damn things lurked in the shadows and were carpeted with floating leaves so my feet got a little wet. Setting up in the dark (or near dark) was easy enough and then I just waited. Mark was going to a spot about 300 yards west of where I was and there were other hunters at the camps whom we hoped would be out and about.

There wasn't a breath of a breeze in the early morning and as the sun came out, the leaves that still clung to the trees gave up and began to fall. Like big, brown snowflakes they fell, only not as quietly as snowflakes. They rattled against their fellow leaves as the fell and made audible crunches when they landed. Some started little leaf avalanches on their way down. One would collide with another and then the two would collide with more until 20 or 30 leaves would be rattling to the ground in one fell swoop.

As this was happening you could also see the sunlight glinting off the frost that was scraped from the leaves. At first I thought it was just dust but then realized that my boots had a thin layer of frost on them as did the leaves on the saplings about me.

The whole forest was shedding leaves for two hours without a breeze to assist it. Then a light breeze stirred even more leaves into falling and the noise became almost deafening. Certainly the noise took away one of the senses a deer hunter depends upon. A herd of deer could have been traipsing through the forest but if you didn't actually happen to be looking at them you would not have known they were there.

After sitting until 11:30 AM without a sight of another hunter or a deer, I packed it in only to discover Mark had done so an hour earlier. He had the log splitter out of the garage and was working his way through our final stack of round logs. I stripped off my hunting clothes and joined him. As he split, I built another pallet in the barn on which to stack the split firewood. Then I used the wheel barrow to haul the split wood into the barn and started building the stack. We now have (or will have once the last bit is in the barn) a stack of wood 6' tall and 22' long--twice over.

A face cord is 8' long by 4' tall. We've approximately 10 face cords in the barn, two in my woodshed and four more in his. Plus there's a face cord of split birch that is earmarked for the Aerie. And, aside of cutting up storm damage, we didn't put in any time felling any trees this summer. We may not have to drop any trees to the ground next summer either. Mother Nature played quite the lumberjack in September 2007 and again this past summer. She thoughtfully brought down many large maples, birches and cherries and left the root ball intact enough that many of these trees not only held their leaves, some even leafed out again this spring. The only difficulty will be in cutting them to length and hauling them out of the woods. The latter will be a chore because even the old skidways are full of large rocks and holes that a log skidder, working in winter when the snow may be three or four feet deep, and with a very high clearance just does not find an obstacle but which will mean cutting trails around them for my little ATV.

At 3 PM we stopped work on the wood pile, donned our hunting clothes and headed north off my property into the state lands. I was to sit and Mark was going to make a circuit passing to the west of me, around to the north and then back to a point a few hundred yards to my east. (He calls these his "Rambo Mode Walks".) Two hours later, he was at the end point having seen nothing. I was still sitting and had seen nothing. The wind was kicking leaves off the limbs and the sun was heading home. There was still a half hour of hunting time when I radioed him I was heading in. He stayed and finally followed. My leaving hadn't stirred any deer up.

I was eating dinner when he arrived. (A Beef Stew MRE left over from when I worked at a Boy Scout Camp four years ago. Hey! It was hot. It was easy. It was filling. AND it was free!) WE talked of what we were going to do tomorrow. It's supposed to be even colder in the morning. We agreed we'd both sleep in and decide whether we wanted to go out late in the day or just take the day off. I think I'll vote for the "day off" option. I mean Jets and Giants both are playing, right?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hunting Report from the Bolt Hole

Well, I blew my chance at a nice buck this morning. No, I didn't miss. I never even got the shot off.

I was walking up the jeep/snowmobile trail with the intent of stepping off to the north since that would put the wind in my face when I rounded a small curve just be fore the last hunter's camp and saw a big-assed deer bound away from the apple tree in the front of the cabin and head in to the woods.

I froze and the deer returned to see what the heck I was. At this point I reached up to adjust my glasses so I could use my x-ray vision better (HA!) and the deer spooked again. This time it took two or three leaps and then stopped to snort at me and then walked behind the cabin.

I moved forward to position myself behind a big maple tree on the corner of the property and the deer stepped out of the woods about 60-75 yards away taking two steps onto the grass where it stopped on the other side of the maple! I couldn't see it and it couldn't see me. I waited for it to take another step with the safety off on my muzzleloader. And I waited. Then I made a HUGE mistake. I inched my head to the left to peek around the tree trunk. That's when I noticed two things: 1) this deer had antlers! Six, seven or eight--I'm not sure how many points and 2) HE was looking right at me. Shit!

That's all she (or he, in this case) wrote. The buck took one look at my ugly mug and headed back into the woods with all due speed. Three or four leaps and he stopped, snorted in derision and then walked deeper into the woods.

I tried to figure out where he went but the leaves held their secret well. A walking deer will leave virtually no impression on the thick carpet of wet leaves littering the forest floor.

After kicking myself in the butt for forty-five minutes, I continued with my plan and walked the woods for three hours with not another sight of a tail let alone any more antlers.


There's always tomorrow. Which happens to be the start of the rifle season. And there are many, many more hunters in the camps for that. Perhaps they will kick something my way.

Let's just hope there are as many returning to their camps as there are going out tomorrow morning. That hasn't been the case the last two opening days. Each of the last two we've had a hunter perish due to a heart attack. Two yeas ago it took two days, a load of professionals and volunteers, and a helicopter to find the poor bastard. Last year he died on the jeep/snowmobile trail and was found by his buddies who were starting out about 15 minutes after he did.

I hates meeses to pieces!

With three cats in this relatively small cabin, you would think that a mouse wouldn't stand a chance. WRONG!

Especially since the damn rodent is between the floors and appears to be smart enough not to risk its little furry tail by venturing out into the open.

Three nights in a row the little bastard has been creating a racket by gnawing on a piece of wood or something between the floor of the bedroom and living room--at 3 AM. It sounds like he has a full compliment of drums like those played by the Japanese. Deep, vibrating and oh so penetrating. I can usually shut the creep up by stamping on the floor a bit but not this night. He was very persistent.

As a result I surrendered and came down stairs at 4 AM. Fed the cats, stoked the fire and checked the temperature: 30 degrees. Then I fed myself.

In an hour or so, I'll be heading out the door in another attempt to see a deer before it sees me. At the least, I'll find my self a nice sunny hillside and take a nap.

Weather and Sports

Rev. Paul says it's snowing in Alaska. Hey, it's mid-October. What did you expect?

Here in the Adirondacks, the night time temperatures will be slipping into the 20's this week and the daytime highs will reach around 50 degrees--barely.

It promises to be sunny for the next few days, however, and that means some great fall weather. Showers will move back into the region by mid-week. Whether that means some snow flurries are possible remains to be seen.

In sports:

As I've said before, if you're a Top Ten team, DO NOT play football on Thursday nights!

TCU's Horned Frogs' defense (#1 in the nation) gobbled up the BYU Cougars chance at a BCS bid by a score of 32-7 as they hopped all over QB Max Hall for seven (7!) sacks.

The loss ended BYU's 16 game unbeaten streak that was the longest in the country.

In other sports, the Boston Red Sox came from back from a 7-0 deficit with just seven outs to go to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7. David Ortiz (Big Papi) had the big blow with a three run, two out home run.

The teams return to Tampa Bay with the Rays leading the ALCS series 3-2. The winners will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. If it's Boston and Philly, stock up on cocoa and parkas. Playing all night games may have been great for TV time but it makes little sense for the fans who actually attend or the players who have to contend with the cold nights.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dial-up sucks!

I've mentioned before how I have to use dial-up service while at the Bolt Hole. (I'm not looking to get satellite for the one or two months I'm up here during the year and the phone line is not fiber-optic and so DSL is out.)

Using dial-up means curtailing my usual surfing activity. It takes soooo long to load a page that it can be frustrating. And forget YouTube or picture or ad heavy sites! I therefore apologize to those of you who's sitemeter readings have taken a stock market like nose dive.

I use AOL as my access point but, once signed on, can use Firefox as a browser and it's weird. If I try to access some pages using AOL's browser, it takes forever and a day for them to load. Yet, when I try using Firefox--which has to go through AOL as far as I know--the same page will load in a fraction of the time. It's still slow, but at least I can visit some of the sites I am accustomed to visiting.

PS I really, really hate dial-up!

Bolt Hole Report

After having several hours of dampening rain showers Tuesday night, I went for a walk yesterday morning. The leaves on the ground at sunrise were nice and soft and didn't crinkle with every step. I planned to do a circuit to the southeast of me; one that would allow me to walk with my face into the ever so slight breeze that was pushing northeast up the slope and east toward the sun.

Once I got off the jeep/snowmobile trail and through the first 200 feet of small conifers, things opened up in a beech cherry forest that, surprisingly had only a few blow downs. I could actually see out to almost 100 yards. It was state land so some of the trees were huge! One old sugar maple that was partially uprooted had to be nearly three feet across at chest height and easily 75 feet tall. It was caught at the top by a slightly smaller but equally impressive sister.

Walking slowly and stopping often to scan the horizon all around me, I made my way southward until I reached a downslope heading to a swampy area and a creek. I found an log on which to sit and stopped to rest for fifteen minutes while I ate an apple and searched the exposed areas for deer. Nada. I did get up close and personal with a red squirrel which hopped on the end of the log three feet from me and didn't realize I was there until I said. "Booo!" It scampered on to the tree against which I was leaning and peered around the bole to see what the hell I was and if I was dangerous. I guess I passed some sort of test because the squirrel sounded no alarm and went on it's unhurried way.

I headed down the slope. At the bottom of the slope, I turned to the west eventually crossing the state boundary and back onto private land. I knew exactly where I was by the gold paint on the trees marking the border, the remnants of logged cherry trees littering the forest floor, an easily discernible skidway and my GPS unit.

Movement became a bit more difficult with all the tops of logged trees scattered about and the few blowdowns across the skidway. I was just making my way through a thick patch where I had to negotiate two tree tops and had limited visibility because of many young beech trees that are still yellow-green with leaves, when the slope above me exploded in activity. Apparently the noise I made stepping on a branch and my odor wafting up the slope had spooked three or four deer I never saw.

I froze for several minutes listening to the sounds of the deer going up the hill away from me and cursed my luck. I waited, hoping one or more might get curious and do something stupid like the squirrel, but it didn't happen. I made my way over to the point from which the sounds seemed to originate to get a clue as to whether they were just passing through or had been bedded down on the slope waiting for the morning sun. This was very near where I had sat on Tuesday morning and an area Mark had walked through trying to stir up deer.

I couldn't even find any signs in the leaves that there had been deer in the area. I found no beds (matted down leaves of a roughly oval shape), droppings, or even stirred up leaves indicating the sudden hoof activity I had heard. After a brief search, I gave it up and continued along a skidway that lead right to where I had sat the day before. It was along this skidway that I did find fresh scat (that's deer shit for those that don't talk so polite).

So ended my three and a half hour walk in the woods. Distance was probably only a mile and a half. The experience was worth it--frustrating, but worth it.

I spent the afternoon moving some firewood into the barn for the winter. Rain was forecast for Wednesday night into Thursday (and they were right--for a change) and I wanted to get the split wood under cover before it got wet. I moved about a cord and a half using the wheelbarrow. There's still another two cords that need to me moved and about the same that needs splitting, but that will wait for another day.

Today will be spent stoking the fire and keeping dry inside.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cats! (not the musical.)

Julie, the seven year-old, has been seeking attention--when she wants it. She also demands a portion of my dinner (except for last night's liver and onions).

Shadow can disappear for hours in the three rooms available for them to roam. On occasion, I have searched for her and have had to give up. Eventually she shows up again and I'm none the wiser as to where she was hiding.

I also think she may be part raccoon. When we moved into the Aerie, she had a stuffed mouse as a toy. She would do all the normal cat things about batting it about,chasing it, pouncing on it when we threw it for her, etc. But then she would pick it up and carry it to the water bowl and drop it in the water and walk away. Tonight she did the same thing with a cricket she found somewhere. She walked to the water bowl, dropped it in and then proceeded to bat at it as it floated in the water until it stopped moving. Then she walked away.

Chester has been sleeping most of the day. He'll curl up on the chair and won't move for hours and hours. After I fished the cricket out of the water bowl, and refilled it with fresh water, he ambled over and drank and drank and drank. Then he walked into the other room and proceeded to heave up all the water he had gulped down. In three different locations. At least he didn't do it on the rug which made it slightly easier to clean up.

Pre Week 8 College Football Report

The reshuffled polls are out and there are several teams that made huge jumps up and a few that have leapt off the polls.
(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 8 after their wins/losses in Week 67. The Week 7 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

There are several key matchups between Top 25 teams this week: Missouri at Texas, Kansas at Oklahoma, Vanderbilt at Georgia, and Michigan State at Ohio State. Those games alone mean there will be further changes in the rankings come next Sunday. These polls are almost as volatile as those for the presidential race.

1/1/1 Texas (5/5/5) The Longhorns host the #11 Missouri team on Saturday.

2/2/2 Alabama (2/4/2) The Crimson Tide hosts Ole Miss.

3/3/3 Penn State (6/6/6) The Nittany Lions host Michigan.

4/6/4 Oklahoma (1/1/1) The Sooners host #16 Kansas.

5/7/8 Florida (11/12/12) The Gators have the week off.

6/4/6 Southern California (8/9/8) The Trojans are on the road against Washington State.

7/5/5 Texas Tech (7/7/9) The Red Raiders play at Texas A&M.

8/10/10 Oklahoma State (17/17/18) The Cowboys host Baylor.

9/8/7 Brigham Young (9/8/7) The Cougars play at TCU on Thursday night.

10/9/9 Georgia (10/10/11) The Bulldogs host #22 Vanderbilt.

11/12/12 Missouri (3/2/3) The Tigers play at #1 Texas.

12/11/11 Ohio State (12/11/10) The Buckeyes play at #20 Michigan State.

13/14/14 LSU (4/3/4) The Tigers are at South Carolina.

14/13/13 Utah (14/13/13) The Utes host Colorado State.

15/16/15 Boise State (15/16/16) The Broncos host the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii.

16/15/16 Kansas (16/15/15) The Jayhawks play at #4 Oklahoma.

17/18/17 Virginia Tech (18/18/17) The Hokies are at Boston College.

18/21/19 North Carolina (22/NR/21) The Tar Heels are at Virginia.

19/20/18 South Florida (19/20/19) The Bulls host the Syracuse Orange.

20/17/22 Michigan State (23/19/24) The Spartans host #12 Ohio State.

21/19/20 Wake Forest (21/21/23) The Demon Deacons are at Maryland.

22/23/NR Vanderbilt (13/14/14) The Commodores are at #10 Georgia.

23/NR/21 Pittsburgh (24/NR/22) The Panthers are at Navy.

24/25/25 Ball State (25/NR/NR) The Cardinals have the week off.

25/22/NR California (NR/25/NR) The Golden Bears play at Arizona.

NR/24/ NR TCU TCU plays host to #9 BYU on Thur.

NR/NR/24 Tulsa Tulsa plays at Texas-El Paso.

Gone from the list this week: Auburn, Northwestern, and Wisconsin.

Hunting and Weather Report: saturday through Monday

It’s been extremely quiet here at the Bolt Hole—and warm. I expected the three-day weekend to bring lots of hunting pressure for the first few days of the northern zone muzzleloader season and it has done anything but.

Saturday dawned nice and chilly with the temperature hovering just around 30 degrees. Friday Mark and I did see quite a few cars and trucks at the camps further down the road and with that promise activity I sat all day in one spot hoping that there would be hunters out walking in the woods. The Plan was for them to stir up the deer (who have become nocturnal in the pre-rut weeks) into moving about and seeking what I thought would be a safe haven near where I was sitting. It didn’t happen. There were no hunters in the four powerless camps up the hill to my east and those that were present in the camps to the south and west stayed well south and west of where I was, although a few strolled behind Mark’s cabin just after 7 AM on Saturday. I didn’t even hear much in the way of shooting during the day. There were a few rifle reports well off to the southwest from where I was and Mark intercepted some radio chatter from groups a mile or so to our south but that was about it.

Sunday and Monday’s temperatures were also unusually warm. The mornings started out with the low only around 40 degrees which was around 10 degrees above the normal low. Again, I sat in just one spot on Sunday morning and there was even less activity with no shots or even radio transmissions. I could hear chainsaws and other activity at some camps but driving down the road showed some of the Saturday crowd had already departed. When noon rolled around and the temperatures had climbed to the upper 60s, I decided to call it a day and went back to the cabin to watch some football. Monday Mark circled the private property behind his place and I sat with the hope that he might kick something up. Once again, it was a futile effort and by noon we decided to call it a day as the temperatures soared into the 70s.

Tomorrow doesn’t look much better. The southern Adirondacks will again see high temps around the 70 degree mark but then we’ll see a front come through and the rest of the week will be more seasonal with highs in the low 60’s on Wednesday and then the 50s through next weekend with the lows getting back down into the 30s. Hopefully, that will translate in more deer movement. Certainly, it will make my movement a little more likely.

The red maples have passed their prime fall colors and many are dropping leaves with every breeze. The taller beeches have followed suit, but the understory trees are still predominantly green. The number of those understory trees clearly indicate that deer do not find the beeches a preferred food source. In many areas these still green saplings severely limit your vision lines. If you can see beyond 50 yards, it’s a rarity.

Leaves that have fallen are very dry because of the lack of rain and the warm temperatures. Walking after 10 in the morning is like walking on dry cornflakes—very noisy. While this might help hear a deer walking through the woods if you are sitting, it does not make still hunting (when the hunter does the slow walk through the woods stopping frequently to scan the woods about him) as stealthy as it should be. If we get any showers Tuesday night (unlikely according to the weatherman on TV) or on Thursday night (more likely), they would soften the sound in the woods considerably. A gentle, soaking rain would be most welcome but the forecast for the next week or so holds no promise of such an event.

Back at the cabin, I spent some time servicing my chainsaw. When we had some blown down trees during the September storm, it refused to start. After pulling the air filter and cleaning it of sawdust, it started right up. Like most machines, it seems to have a mind of its own. When it wants to work, it works. When I want it to work, it might not.

If the weather remains too warm to do any serious hunting, I may just put it to use on some of the small pines growing right behind the house. The pines are really crapping ones that I would have to classify as scrub pines. The only critters that find them appealing are the red squirrels that love the many cones each tree produces. The pines are mixed in with the small apple trees were trying to expose to the sun. They (the pines) may protect the apples from icy winds but they also shade the apples forcing them into a spindly growth that produces few if any apples. We’ve already removed much of the undergrowth that was producing a very wet environment at the roots of the apple trees.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week 7 Results

Several big upsets this week: Oklahoma fell, as did Missouri and LSU. That means the poll positions will be shuffled again.

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 7 after their wins/losses in Week 6. The pre-Week 6 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/ in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Oklahoma A High Noon showdown/shootout with undefeated #5 Texas, indeed! I said, “With the way these two can score at will, defense will be the deciding factor.” The Longhorns managed to “hold” the Sooners to a mere 35 points and that was enough as Texas came away with a 45-35 victory.

2/4/2 Alabama was idle.

3/2/3 Missouri The 5-0 Tigers squared off against the 5-0 #17 Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday night and the Cowboys came away with the upset win at 28-23. By far, the biggest upset of the weekend.

4/3/4 LSU The 4-0 Tigers got swamped by the #11 Florida Gators 51-21 to fall from the undefeated ranks.

5/5/5 Texas The Longhorns improved their record to 6-0 while dealing the Oklahoma Sooners their first defeat, 45-35.

6/6/6 Penn State The Nittany Lions are now 7-0 after skinning the Wisconsin Badgers 48-7.

7/7/9 Texas Tech The Red Raiders needed to go into overtime to defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 37-31. The Raiders are now 6-0.

8/9/8 Southern California USC pitched a shutout against the Arizona State Sun Devils 28-0.

9/8/7 Brigham Young The BYU Cougars beat New Mexico 21-3 and are now 6-0 for the season.

10/10/11 Georgia The Bulldogs beat the Tennessee Volunteers by a score of 26-14.

11/12/12 Florida The Gators drubbed the #4 LSU Tigers 51-21 in the Swamp on Saturday night.

12/11/10 Ohio State The Buckeyes defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 16-3 and are now 6-1.

13/14/14 Vanderbilt The Commodores carried their 5-0 record on the road to Mississippi State and came away with a 5-1 record as Mississippi State got the upset, 17-14.

14/13/13 Utah The Utah Utes are now 7-0 as they beat Wyoming like a drum, 40-7.

15/16/16 Boise State The Broncos improved to 5-0 by manhandling Southern Miss 24-7.

16/15/15 Kansas The Jayhawks beat Colorado 30-14 to improve to 5-1.

17/17/18 Oklahoma State I said, “The Cowboys are 5-0 but that and a buck-fifty will get you a cup of coffee in the Big 12. This week’s challenge will be #3 Missouri. GULP! Looks like the range will be fenced in by the Sooners. It’s tough to win them all.” OOPS! The Cowboys like the open range and are now 6-0 with a 28-23 victory over the Missouri Tigers.

18/18/17 Virginia Tech The 5-1 Hokies were idle this week.

19/20/19 South Florida The 5-1 Bulls were also idle this week.

20/23/20 Auburn Another one I got wrong as the Arkansas Razorbacks took it to the Auburn Tigers 25-22.

21/21/23 Wake Forest The Demon Deacons hosted the unranked Clemson Tigers on Thursday night and managed to avoid the Thursday Night jinx with a 12-7 victory.

22/NR/21 North Carolina The Tar Heels knocked off Notre Dame 29-24 when the defense came out to pressure Clausen in the second half.

23/19/24 Michigan State The Spartans have now won 6 in a row after dropping Northwestern from the realm of the undefeated, 37-20.

24/NR/22 Pittsburgh The Panthers had the week off to prepare for the rush attack of Navy.

25/NR/NR Ball State The Cardinals are now 7-0 after beating the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 24-7.

NR/22/25 Northwestern The Wildcats got tamed by #23 Michigan State 37-20.

NR/24/NR Wisconsin After starting 3-0, the Badgers lost to Michigan and Ohio State. This week they hosted Penn State and got schooled, 48-7.

NR/25/NR California The 4-1 Golden Bears were idle this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And so it starts.
Plus a weight report

Opening day of muzzle loader in northern New York. It's 6:30 AM and in a half hour I'll be stepping out the door and heading for the woods. The current temperature is around 30 degrees outside but clear skies means it will get up to the 60s again. My plan is to park my butt on a slight rise to the west of the cabin and sit until sundown. I'll put out some scent bombs and hope there's a curious buck or two out there willing to come investigate or that other hunters from camps near by will stir the bucks from their daytime havens.

I stepped on the scale this morning and was disappointed to see I had gained some 2 pounds over last week to 219 pounds. That's also a gain from the start of this current regime. Not to surprising, I guess considering the lack of any real diet and exercise plan.

Yeah, sitting still all day won't elevate my exercise (except, perhaps as I shiver in the early morning hours), but it will cut back on the availability of snacking in front of the TV. There's no cable here in the Bolt Hole so my choice of football or baseball games would be limited anyway.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bolt Hole Report

We (me and the three cats) survived the night. I left a light on in the living room so they wouldn't crash into anything should a mouse be foolish enough to run the gauntlet. Then closed the door to the upstairs bedroom so I could sleep in peace.

During the night there was some hubbub that woke me up but there were no bodies to be found this morning. A couple of little piles of puke, but no bodies. It's possible that one of the cats gorged upon dry nibbles and then drank some water and, as the dry food swelled in their tummy, purged themselves. They've done it before, the little gluttons. Or, maybe, someone ate a bug or spider that didn't agree with them.

Julie and Chester came readily to the food bowls as I dished up breakfast but Shadow is still in a snit. She'll slink in on occasion to grab a nibble but not while the other two are there. And Julie doesn't like having to eat on the floor with Chester who usually has to try and stick his nose in all the bowls to be sure they are all the same.

This morning Julie allowed me to pet her while she lay upon the couch like a pasha's princess. But just a little. Shadow actually permitted me to stroke her as she walked by without shooting up the nearest curtain or under the chest of drawers.

Speaking of under the furniture.... There are spots getting dusted with cat tails that I haven't been able to reach with the dust mop or vacuum. Every now and then one or the other of the trio shows up with a cobweb wrapped about their tail.

Taking a quick look around, I can see three or four screens that need repair. The worst is the big one on the sliding door in the living room. It's a nylon screen that has quite a bit of age to it and, being exposed to direct sunlight, it's faded and weak. Apparently so weak that a bird crashed into it and ripped a good 8" hole i the damn thing. I know it was a bird because there were feathers inside between the screen and the glass door. They looked like robin breast feathers with their red tinged edges. No sign of the bird outside so nature's cleanup crew took care of that for me.

There are also several smaller window screens that have been damaged in winters past from snow and ice falling off the roof and piling up along the walls that I've been meaning to repair. With the cats here, I can't do it on the floor of the living area without a lot of curiosity getting in my way so these will likely have to wait until I am here alone. Lord knows, I will not try to confine the cats to a separate, small room together while I work to make the repairs. It would be like a cage match. Three cats enter, one cat emerges.

I got stung by a wasp last evening when I came back from shooting across the street at Mark's. I reached for the door knob to let myself into the cabin when the wasp dropped from the door onto my right hand and before I could shake it off it stung me right at the big knuckle of my ring finger. This time of year, wasps, ladybugs, and cluster flies are looking to find any warm nook or cranny they can for the winter. The door is in the afternoon sunlight and this winged terror chose yesterday afternoon to squeeze into the crack around the door. I disturbed it and had to pay the price.

Thankfully, I'm no longer allergic to the stings of bees and wasps since I underwent desensitization shots years ago so there's only a little pain and swelling of the joint. Still, it was a reminder to be alert.

It was a glorious night with temperatures in the low 40s and a clear sky lit up by the waxing gibbous moon. I had a fire in the wood stove to warm the house and left the upstairs door cracked open slightly to keep the bedroom cool. It did allow some of the cluster flies that were in the door jamb to infiltrate the house and they buzzed around the bedside lamp while I read for an hour. Once the light went out, however, they settled down. I heard no sounds from outside during the night. Just the cats downstairs running around occasionally. I set the alarm for 6:30 AM and was surprised that it woke me up and not Chester. He didn't start making any noise until after the first snooze session.

Today promises to be a gorgeous day with the thermometer rising into the upper 60s. I'll be making a quick trip down the road to Gander Mountain and to pick up some groceries I'll need. I'll also be able to get a feel for how many camps are occupied this weekend. Then this afternoon will be spent doing some chores around the yard. Tomorrow will be spent hunting. Probably just sitting in one corner of the property to see if the other hunters will be moving deer around to their "comfort zones" in my area. And if no movement, or shooting occurs, it will at least give me an idea of where both hunters and deer are.