Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AGW's Death Knell?

I don't know if this has made the MSM news reports this week, I plumb refuse to watch any of the news shows any more, but the "Mann hockey stick" graph that was being touted as absolute proof of Anthropogenic Global Warming has taken some solid hits. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit finally got his hands on the raw data and discovered that it had been cherry-picked, i.e. only 12 trees of many, many more available were used to produce the graph the authors wanted. That is NOT how real science is supposed to work.

Anyway...the folks at Watts Up With That have been doing a running commentary on McIntyre's trials and tribulations in getting the data in the first place and then the startling (or maybe "predictable" would be a better word) find that the books were cooked, so to speak.

Seems that real science was never settled at all. Seems to be scientific malpractice has been foisted upon the world. Could it have been all that grant money to prove AGW spurred Mann and company to *gasp* CHEAT? Might go a long way toward explaining why it took Steve McIntyre 10 years to finally get the freakin' raw data used in the study. (And that's not how "peer review" is supposed to work, either!)

I would hope that this would cause some in the political sphere to stop screwing around with legislation to fix what isn't broken, but it was never about climate, was it. It's all about control. And the possibility of additional filthy lucre lining the pockets of the connected.

Besides, Kerry and Boxer presented their legislative framework today--a framework with more holes than a fine Swizz cheese--and the EPA believes CO2 is a "pollutant" This juggernaut that will further destroy our economy is going to be a bitch to derail when "top" minds are closed to anything like the real workings of science, not to mention the flaws in the "research" and models that are being used to justify another government grab.

For further reading:

From Watts Up With That

Antony Watts' intro to the exposure: Quote of the week #20 – ding dong the stick is dead

A mirror posting of Steve McIntyre's article: MIRROR POSTING of Climate Audit Article on Yamal a “Divergence” problem

An UPDATE to the above: Update: A zoomed look at the broken hockey stick

A primer of the story in easier to understand language (Go to the Bishop Hill link. The formulas, which can get distracting have been removed.): A must read: The Yamal Hockey Stick Implosion in laymans terms

Why tree rings make lousy indicators of temperatures on a global basis: A look at treemometers and tree ring growth (Hint: Too many stinking variables! It's not just the temperature.)

What? You want corroboration? How about from the American Geophysical Union Conference in 2008. Where "In the hallway poster for their AGU presentation, they have this graph, with the caption saying a “nearly flat temperature trend” for Yamal, especially for the late 20th century period where the “hockey stick” from those 12 trees emerges."

Aerie Report, September 30, 2009

We had a low of 41 degrees this morning at 11 AM and a high of 49 degrees occurred after the sun finally broke through the overcast skies for about 10 minutes this afternoon at 4 PM. In between we had brief, swift and sometimes heavy showers.

I managed to get outside and enjoy(?) some of that cool air as I stacked up the firewood and put a tarp over the stacks. It took me a little over two hours to finish the job and I did so just in time. Thirty minutes after I returned to the living room, to find Chester sound asleep on the couch in front of the fireplace in which I had to build another fire this morning, one very dark, very threatening, very moisture laden cloud passed overhead and produced a deluge. It only lasted about ten minutes but each raindrop must have had a volume of 1 cc or more. If the roof of the Aerie had been metal like that up at the Bolt Hole, it would have been deafening.

The folks down at State College have issued a frost warning for the Northern Tier tonight saying the clouds will thin and allow any heat to escape. This was posted on, yet their "official" low posted on the same page is for 40 degrees. Of course, State College is the home of Accuweather so.... (Accuhunch says nothing about frost on their prediction page either. Not even the weather service warning is mentioned. Hmmmm.)


The cats enjoyed lazing around in the fire-warmed house while I was outside. The also enjoyed their moist meal today. I gave them a can from Friskies called "With Salmon in Sauce." Does not say in the name WHAT is "With Salmon" and I am not about to read the ingredients to find out. Whatever it is, the three of them scarfed it down like they hadn't eaten in a week. (Checking later, I found they had cleaned out their dry food bowl in the basement right down to the last crumb. I forgot to fill it yesterday, so maybe they had been shortchanged in the food department. Sue me.)

Week 5 in the Big East

Only six of the eight teams are playing this week. Both Connecticut and Rutgers are idle.

You’ve got two contest pitting Big East teams against each other on this week’s schedule. Both Louisville (against Pitt) and Syracuse (against South Florida) will be trying to prove they do not belong at the bottom of the Big East. I don’t think either will manage to prove that this week.

#10 Cincinnati should have an easy time even though they are (*ahem*) on the road. WVU should also prove victorious over a mediocre Colorado team.

#10 Cincinnati (4-0) at Miami (Ohio) (0-4)

Connecticut (3-1) is idle.

Pittsburgh (3-1) is at Louisville (1-2) (Friday night)

Rutgers (3-1) is idle.

South Florida (4-0) at Syracuse (2-2)

West Virginia (2-1) hosts Colorado (1-2) (Thursday night)

Week 5 Is Here

Hawaii and Louisiana Tech kick off play in Week 5 on Wednesday night in Louisiana. Then there are a pair of games on Thursday night and another pair on Friday night. The only contest with a Top 25 team is Utah State at #20 Brigham Young on Friday. There are important Big East games on both Thursday (Colorado @ West Virginia) and Friday (in conference: Pittsburgh @ Louisville).

As for the rest....

The Top 25 (more or less) got a bit of a shake up after last week’s play. Upsets and loses within the ranks means the list has been shuffled considerably. Don’t expect the same to happen this week as five of the Top 25 (six if you count the “more or less”) are idle. The idle teams include Numbers 1 & 2, Florida and Texas, respectively.

Still, there are match-ups among the ranks and conference contests that could result in considerable movement up or down.

Here are the rankings and matchups going into week five of the college football season. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are from last week prior to play.

1/1/1 (1/1/1) Florida (4-0) Idle

2/2/2 (2/2/2) Texas (3-0) Idle

3/3/3 (3/3/3) Alabama (4-0) The Tide rolls north to Kentucky (2-1) this week.

4/4/5 (7/7/8) LSU (4-0) The Tigers go east to #18 Georgia (3-1) in a huge SEC match-up.

5/5/4 (8/8/5) Boise State (4-0) The Broncos are back on their infamous Blue Rug to face UC Davis (1-2).

6/6/8 (11/12/14) Virginia Tech (3-1) The Hokies go on the road to play the Duke Blue Devils (2-2).

7/7/10 (12/10/12) Southern California (3-1) The Trojans will play at #24 California (3-1) in a game that has title implications for the Pac 10. (Although, this year, it seems almost every Pac 10 game will have title implications.)

8/8/7 (10/9/10) Oklahoma (2-1) The Sooners travel east to take on the #17 Hurricanes of Miami (Fla.) (2-1).

9/9/6 (13/11/9) Ohio State (3-1) The Buckeyes hop over to Indiana (3-1).

10/11/12 (14/15/16) Cincinnati (4-0) The Bearcats make a short road trip to face Miami (Ohio) (0-4).

11/10/9 (15/14/13) TCU (3-0) hosts Southern Methodist (2-1).

12/15/11 (17/23/15) Houston (3-0) The Cougars play at Texas-El Paso (1-3).

13/17/13 (NA/NA/NA) Iowa (4-0) The Hawkeyes host Arkansas State (1-2).

14/12/17 (16/16/17) Oklahoma State (3-1) Idle

15/13/14 (5/4/4) Penn State (3-1) The Nittany Lions are hoping a trip to Illinois (1-2) will heal their wounds from last week loss to Iowa.

16/25/21 (NA/NA/NA) Oregon (3-1) The Ducks will host Washington State (1-3) hoping to add another Pac 10 scalp to their collection.

17/21/25 (9/13/11) Miami (Fla.) (2-1) The Hurricanes host the #8 Sooners (2-1).

18/16/15 (20/19/19) Kansas (4-0) Idle

18/14/18 (21/17/18) Georgia (3-1) The Bulldogs host #4 LSU (4-0).

20/21/23 (19/20/21) Brigham Young (3-1) squares off at home against Utah State (1-2) on Friday night.

21/18/16 (4/5/6) Mississippi (2-1) After stumbling in last Thursday night’s game, the Rebels will visit Vanderbilt (2-2) with hopes of defeating the Commodores soundly.

22/20/19 (23/22/20) Michigan (4-0) The Wolverines play at in-state rival Michigan State (1-3).

23/24/NA (25/24/NL) Nebraska (3-1) Idle

24/19/22 (6/6/7) California (3-1) The Golden Bears will host # 7 Southern California (3-1) in another huge conference game.

25/NA/NA (NA/NA/NA) Georgia Tech (3-1) The Yellow Jackets will be playing Saturday at Mississippi State (2-2).

NA/23/24 (NL/21/NL) Missouri (4-0) Idle

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Family News Flash!!!

Okay, maybe not a "Flash!!!" flash but it is recent. I just forgot to mention it when I got the word on Sunday.

My son emailed that my daughter-in-law got her grades back on the Oregon bar exam ....Sandy passed on her first go round!

So I guess we will have to add "Esq." to her name now.

Aerie Report, September 29, 2009

I checked the rain gauge this morning and it held 1.05 inches of water. That's from Saturday night through today although the rain pretty much stopped by 3 PM Monday. Heck, the sun even came out briefly to drive the temperature up to 60 degrees...right after the fire I built brought the house temp up to 68 degrees.

I may need to build another fire this evening. The winds shifted over night first blowing from the north as opposed to coming from the south like it had been all day, and then from the northwest this afternoon. That brought plenty of cold Canadian air our way and the morning low was just 48 degrees and the high never got above 55 this afternoon.

The weather hacks at say we're in for rain tonight (60%) and tomorrow (60 %) and it has started falling as I type this. That's a cold, raw rain, too. Tomorrow's high, they say, will only e around 55 degrees.


After reading this article: U.S. Northeast May Have Coldest Winter in a Decade (linked to at several of the blogs I visit) this morning, I figured I better get out there and get some wood split. So I did. Wood definitely warms you more than once. Heck, I hardly noticed it was only 55 degrees while I was working.

My goal was to run this:
Cut oak, ash and maple at the ready.

Through this:
Two Ton Yard Machine ready for splitting.

And get it stacked here:
Empty pallet awaits filling.

I pretty much succeeded in the first part. All that wood is split. As for the stacking part, I'm gonna need a bigger pallet. I've almost filled the pallet pictured above, and there's lots more to go. I'd guess I've got maybe three to four face cords (that's two full cords) of wood split today. The stuff under the blue tarp is from last year when I could still bring firewood from the Bolt Hole. No more of that! The ash borer has caused both NY and PA to issue quarantines on firewood. You're not supposed to transport wood more than a few miles from where it was cut. I don't think it would really matter if I brought wood from the Adirondacks. Most of the ash trees up there went into making baseball bats and skis a long time ago, but I'm not going to risk some over zealous LEO or trooper going all nuclear on my ass.

Almost full pallet. A basic cube 4' x 4' x 4'.

And there's more to stack.

Luckily I have two more pallets and there's lots of tree tops still laying out there waiting to be cut and hauled in to the yard.

As for finishing the stacking...manana...or maybe Thursday. The hydraulic splitter may be a Godsend, but you still have to lug those rounds about and my back is sore.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cold, wet, and miserable... no way to go through life, son. (To paraphrase from a favorite movie.)

I drove back to the Aerie in the dark and the rain of early, early Sunday morning. Not much fun but the roads were empty once I crossed the Delaware.

Getting back to the Aerie very early on Sunday I found the low had been 49 degrees. And it felt like it. It never did get above 60 degrees as the rain and drizzle continued all day. It was a good day to sit in front of the TV and watch football.

When I realized the inside of the Aerie was almost as cool as the outside (a mere 62 degrees on the thermostats mounted on the interior walls, 60 degrees on the counter thermometer), I almost decided to turn the heat on but passed on that and just checked to make sure all the windows were closed.

Overnight it continued to shower and the breeze picked up. The temperature did not drop all that much, however, and it was 53 when I got up this morning. It continues to rain (including a T-storm or two) and the wind has increased. Many of the early changing leaves are already being knocked from the trees but the bulk of the foliage hasn't even changed color yet.

The rain and the wind have made it feel raw. So I decided to do something about it and lit the fire in the fireplace. Two of the three cats approve. Julie is stretched out on the carpet directly in front of the hearth and Chester is on the couch right where the insert's blower directs the warm air. Can't say I blame him.
Julie luxuriates in front of the fireplace.

Shadow, who was very disappointed with my choice of turkey and liver as their canned meal today, is prowling around searching for Terry, a can opener, or the dry food bowl. And all the while she keeps giving me dirty looks.

Another Excellent Football Weekend... least as far as I'm concerned. Your mileage may vary.

On Saturday, the Rutgers' Scarlet Knights defeated the Maryland Terrapins 34-13. RU now has a 3-1 record. Their only loss, unfortunately, came in their opening game against Big East rival Cincinnati.

Sunday afternoon saw both the Jets and Giants extend their records to 3-0.

The Jets jumped out to a very early lead (14-0 before Tennessee ran a second play from scrimmage! The first was an interception returned for a TD) and then held on as the Titans attempted a comeback. They failed due to the Jets D and some an offense able to take advantage of forced errors. The final: Jets 24, Titans 17. I can't recall the Jets D looking this strong since the Namath Jets beat Baltimore in Super Bowl III.

The Giants demolished Tampa Bay shutting out the Buccaneers 24-0 in a game that wasn't even that close. (I have to take the word of the reporter and the talking heads on TV for that. I was busy watching the Jets. This was one of the very few times I can recall when you had to make a choice as they usually schedule one NY area team for the 1 o'clock time slot and the other for the 4 o'clock game.)

All three teams now have three-game winning streaks. Rutgers has the week off; next playing at home against Texas Southern (who?) on Oct 10. The Giants should breeze past Kansas City in KC on Sunday at 1 PM. The Jets will have the toughest game at New Orleans against the high scoring Saints in the 4 PM slot.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 4 in the Big East

The Big East is still playing outside the conference. (The only in-conference game to date was the RU/Cincinnati.) That happens when you play 12 games and have only 8 teams in the conference.

#14 Cincinnati was at home for Fresno State. Fresno State had the ball for 43:42 while Cincinnati possessed the pigskin for just 16:18. Fresno State ran 84 plays for a total of 443 yards while Cincinnati ran only 42 plays for 357 yards. So, of course, Cincinnati managed to win 28-20.

Connecticut hosted Rhode Island. Not much of a contest as UConn won 52-10.

Louisville was in Utah. The Utes were up 20-0 at half time and never looked back as they beat the Cardinals 30-14.

Pittsburgh traveled to North Carolina State. NC State QB Russell Wilson was 21-35 for 322 yards and four TDs. (That makes three weeks in a row he’s hit for four TDs in a game.) Oh, and he ran 10 times for 91 yards. Still, the Wolfpack defense had to make a stand when a bad snap was recovered by Pittsburgh to give the Knights 1st and goal on the 8 with 1:18 left in order to preserve a 38-31 victory in this see-saw game.

Rutgers played at Maryland. RU’s true freshman QB, Tom Savage, sat out the game because of head injury sustained last week. His replacement fifth year senior Dom Natale proved ineffective in the rain. So the defense and running game had to step up—but mostly the defense. RU got an interception on the first play from scrimmage and scored on the return. Trailing 13-10 at the half, the Scarlet Knights scored again on a fumble recovery in the end zone early in the second half to regain the lead, 17-13. San-San Te connected on three field goals, and Joe Martinik ran for over 100 yards in the second consecutive week. He finished the day with 148 yards and two rushing TDs, one of 61-yards and the other f 24-yards, both in the fourth quarter. Rutgers outscored the Terrapins 24-0 in the second half to win 34-13.

South Florida played at #18 Florida State. South Florida lost Matt Grothe last week to a season ending injury. It didn’t matter as red-shirt freshman QB B.J. Daniels stepped in to complete 8 of 21 passes for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plus he ran for 126 yards as the Bulls upset the Seminoles 17-7.

Syracuse played at home against Maine. The Orange trailed 17-13 at the half but then scored 28 unanswered points against the Black Bears at the start of the second half before Maine added a meaningless TD to make it 41-24.
West Virginia was idle.

Results of Week 4 in College Football

More than autumn was in the air as there were many upsets (seven of them in the Top 25) again this week among The Top 25 (more or less). Upsets and loses within the ranks means the polls will be shuffled considerably.

Here are the of week 4 of the college football season. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120.

1/1/1 Florida (4-0) The Gators humbled Kentucky (2-1). It was 31-0 after the first quarter and 31-7 at the half. But Tim Tebow was injured/ill in the third quarter and on his way to the hospital during the fourth. Luckily, the Gators will be idle next week.

2/2/2 Texas (3-0) The Longhorns trounced Texas-El Paso (1-3) 64-7. Colt McCoy threw an early interception for a TD but also completed three TD passes to his own teammates—in the first half.

3/3/3 Alabama (4-0) The Tide shut down Arkansas’ (1-2) running game on their way to a 35-7 victory.

4/5/6 Mississippi (2-1) The Rebels were upset by South Carolina (3-1) 16-10 on Thursday night.

5/4/4 Penn State (3-1) lost to Iowa (4-0). The Hawkeyes spotted the Nittany Lions 7 early points but went on to return a blocked punt for a TD, score a safety and forced 4 turnovers resulting in an Iowa victory 21-10 for the seventh time in the last eight meeting between these two teams.

6/6/7 California (3-1) The Golden Bears and Oregon (3-1) were 3-3 at the end of the first quarter but it was all Ducks 42-3 after that.

7/7/8 LSU (4-0) snuck past Mississippi State (2-2) 30-26 when the Tigers’ defense stopped a final play at the 6-inch line after the Bulldogs had the ball first and goal on the 2 with less than two minutes to play.

8/8/5 Boise State (4-0) scored 29 points in the second quarter at Bowling Green (1-3) as the Broncos won 49-14.

9/13/11 Miami (Fla.) (2-1) The Hurricanes were upset by #11 Virginia Tech (3-1) in the rain 31-7. Hurricanes and rain usually go together. Not today.

10/9/10 Oklahoma (2-1) did not play this weekend.

11/12/14 Virginia Tech (3-1) beat #9 Miami (Fla.) (2-1) 31-7.

12/10/12 Southern California (3-1) The Trojans rebounded from last week’s loss with a 27-6 win at Washington State (1-3).

13/11/9 Ohio State (3-1) The Buckeyes shut out Illinois (1-2) by a score of 30-0.

14/15/16 Cincinnati (4-0) The Bearcats beat Fresno State (1-3) 28-20.

15/14/13 TCU (3-0) beat Clemson (2-4) 14-10 in a game that saw both offenses struggle.

16/16/17 Oklahoma State (3-1) The Cowboys trounced Grambling (2-2) 56-6.

17/23/15 Houston QB Case Keenum scored on a 4-yard keeper with 49 seconds left to beat Texas Tech (2-1) 29-28. Keenum also completed 38 of 58 passes for 435 yards and one TD.

18/25/25 Florida State (2-2) The Seminoles got beat by the South Florida Bulls (4-0) despite the absence of Bulls’ QB Matt Grothe who suffered a season ending injury last week. His replacement, red-shirt freshman QB B.J. Daniels stepped in to complete 8 of 21 passes for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plus he ran for 126 yards.

19/20/21 Brigham Young (3-1) scored 21 points in the first quarter thanks to two INT and a blocked punt on their way to defeating Colorado State (3-1) 42-23.

20/19/19 Kansas (4-0) The Jayhawks managed to beat Southern Mississippi (3-1) 35-28 after the defense, porous for the first three quarters tightened things up in the fourth.

21/17/18 Georgia (3-1) with the score tied at 17 against Arizona State (2-1), the Bulldogs had to first block a field goal attempt with less than five minutes left and then make a 37-yard FG as time ran out to win 20-17.

22/18/22 North Carolina (3-1) The Tarheels got beat by Georgia Tech (3-1) 24-7.

23/22/20 Michigan (4-0) A Wolverines 26-yard TD pass with 2:29 remaining put Michigan ahead for good 36-33 in this see-saw game against Indiana (3-1).

24/NL/NL Washington (2-2) The Huskies were outplayed by Stanford (3-1)34-10.

25/24/NL Nebraska (3-1) The Cornhuskers shut out Louisiana-Lafayette (2-2) 55-0.

NL/21/NL Missouri (4-0) defeated Nevada (0-3) 31-21 on Friday night.

NL/NL/23 Auburn (4-0) The Tigers beat Ball State (0-4) in a high scoring affair 54-30.

NL/NL/24 Utah (3-1) The Utes beat Louisville (1-2) 30-14.

A Good Time!

Jen dances with Dad (Joe) and Mom (Pat)

The dance floor was always full when the band played.

The hunters' wives. Just like in high school: the guys sat and talked
while the girls went out and danced.
From left to right: Doug's wife, Nick's wife, Mark's wife, and My wife (Terry).

Electrical innovation allowed the band members and singers
to get out on the dance floor while they performed.

Jenifer's brother David with his girlfriend. David did the readings at the church.

Jen's brother Joseph and his wife. They produced the flower girl, Madeline.

Madeline, the flower girl outside the church.

At the Reception.

The reception was a blast! The food was excellent and plentiful. The band was tremendous and played songs from the '50s to the present, thus appealing to a very mixed aged crowd. (Although, the size of the room--large, but not large enough--meant that they were a wee bit too loud for comfort.)

They did the traditional introductions, toasts, first dance and father-daughter and mother-son dances.

Jen and Matt dance the first dance as man and wife.

When Dad (Joe) danced with his daughter, neither finished with dry eyes.
Joe dances with his daughter.

Joe starts to tear up, but Jen has a tissue handy.

Then it's Jen's turn to wipe away a tear--or two.

Once the formalities were concluded, it was time for the rest of us to get into the act and party and eat for the next few hours. A good time was had by all!

Jenifer and Matt get married!

Jenifer and Matt met in elementary school. They dated a little in high school. She went off to college at Ithaca while he went off to Delaware. If anything, distance made the hearts grow fonder. So much so, that they spent a lot of time on the north south highways. After graduation, she started to hike the Appalachian Trail. (She'll finish next summer after spending the better part of three summers on her trek.) They spent part of last summer on a road trip to California. Along the way, Matt proposed and Jen said yes.

Yesterday they were wed at St. Teresa's church in Summit, NJ with the reception held just a couple of blocks away.

I attempted to take pictures of the bridesmaids as they moved down the aisle but they were moving so fast that, without using the flash, every single one of those shots was blurred.

So we go directly to the altar and the exchange of vows:

Jenifer and Matt exchange vows.

The bride and groom await the priest's blessing.

"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Off to start a new life together.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Off to NJ

I'm heading off to NJ for to attend the nuptials of Jenifer and Matt. (Yeah, that's how it's spelled. Mom goofed on the birth certificate. Okay?)

Get to see family and friends eat and drink and cheer the new couple on their way. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share with you when I get back Sunday afternoon.

Little Feats- Old Folks Boogie

I do believe I have a new theme song!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Feats Don't Fail Me Now!

So, the Peggy Lee video in the earlier post sent me to YouTube and through a weird, strange and eerie Kevin-Bacon-connection method that no one really understands but anyone who has been to YouTube experiences, I kept clicking around and listening and got to Little Feat.

And man does this one ROCK!

A very nice day, indeed.

As I said, it was a nice day at the Aerie.

This morning's view to the northwest from the deck.

View to the west from the deck as the sun sets.

All alone am I...except for 3 cats (again)

We woke up to 49 degrees at 6 AM this morning with lots of fog down in the valleys by the rivers and lakes. A breeze kicked up soon after sunrise, however, and the fog quickly dispersed. Still, it marely made it to 70 degrees this afternoon before dropping quickly back down to 65 within a half hour around 3 PM. The drop was a bit of a surprise since the wind actually died off and the sun was still shining brightly. A real pretty day.

Doug and Lou headed out for NJ soon after breakfast but before they did, I had to take them for a bit of a walk-about on the property. We did spot some deer tracks and I saw some raccoon scat but nothing else. We walked a little of the skidway beyond where I had been cutting firewood and I suddenly realized that there's an awful lot of tree tops still out there on the slope. I certainly get several cords of firewood from even the easily reached ones.

After they left, I took Terry's Jeep Compass down to the car wash to get the grime and clay off it from our driving around the construction sites at the top of the mountain. The clay actually matches the color of the vehicle pretty well but it was a matte finish as opposed to the shiny new luster one would expect from a car having only 1000 miles on it. She'll be travelling major highways out to Indianapolis and back to Pittsburgh so the Compass should stay clean for a little while. We packed it full of all the things she needed to take to the SAGA convention plus her suitcases for two weeks on the lam road. Then, after lunch, she hit the road for NJ, too.

So, here I am all alone doing the laundry, running the dishwasher, entertaining the cats and packing my overnight bag for when I head to NJ tomorrow morning to attend Jenifer and Matt's wedding. (I'll be coming back to the Aerie on Sunday after breakfast. The cats can entertain themselves for 30 hours or so.)

The above video is from when singers had to, you know, actually sing. Not prance around on the stage in swimsuits (or less) doing a dance that would normally require a pole to "entertain" the audience. I mean, I was okay with Elvis and Jerry Lee doing their thing...but they still could sing, man!

#4 Mississippi 10 South Carolina 16

Need I say it? Yeah, they played on Thursday Nite.

The Rebels of Ole Miss went to Columbia, South Carolina and learned that if you have a high ranking in the polls you had better bring your A-game. They didn't and drop to 2-1 (0-1 in conference). The Gamecocks got the 16-10 victory and are now 3-1 (1-1).

I say again: "Beware the Thursday Nite Monster!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another full day of touring

Today we went to Wellsboro for a walk about the town doing some window shopping and browsing.

After lunch we drove out to Leonard Harris State Park for a look-see of the Grand Canyon of PA, aka the Pine Creek Gorge.

Some color is starting to appear on the hillsides but not much. (We did see more as we went west into Potter County. Lots of purples.)

View to the North from Leonard Harris State Park overlook.

View to the South from Leonard Harris State Park overlook.

Historic plaque for George Washington Sears
aka Nessmunk at Leonard Harris State Park

After that it was out to the Potter County and the Lumber Museum which doubles as a museum for the CCCs of 1933-1942. (Did you know Pennsylvania had more CCC camps than any other state?)
The Lumbermen

Since much of Pennsylvania had been heavily logged by 1933, the CCCs were charged with, among other things, replanting many of the hills and valleys of north-central PA.

An Enrollee's view on Trees.

Looking over the CCC exhibit, one comes to realize that, while it may not have pulled the US out of the Great Depression, at least this program prepared boys and men for life in the military during WWII. Work life in the camps was very much organized in a military way with reveille, roll calls, messes, sick calls, etc. Training in the operation of heavy equipment, truck driving, radio technology, first aid, etc. certainly helped prepare young men for military service.

Then we went off to the Log Cabin Inn for dinner. Along the way we spotted several cars on the west-bound side that were pulled over and another on ahead of us on the east-bound side also stopped. Thinking there might be an accident or someone in need of assistance, I slowed down. That's when we spotted the immature Bald Eagle standing on the side of the road. It wasn't a person in need of was the eagle. It probably came down to feed on roadkill and got rocked by either a car or truck. Hopefully the folks who were on the scene were able to contact DCNR and get the young bird to a vet/rehab center.

After dinner we went back to the Aerie for the night.

Tomorrow Lucille and Doug will head for NJ before lunch. Terry will leave after she has packed her car with all the stuff she'll need for the two (2!) conventions she'll be heading fro after the wedding on Saturday. Me? I'll leave here early Saturday morning also for NJ and Jenifer and Matt's wedding. Then Sunday it's going to be a riot as Lou & Doug catch a plane for Missouri, Terry heads for Indianapolis and the SAGA national convention, and I head back to the Aerie to babysit the cats, split the firewood, and do some PA bow hunting


I had to shake my head (and bite my tongue) when I overheard a conversation about all the energy activity going on in the area while waiting to get my Tundra reshod the other day.

Seems this older couple were complaining that with all the windmills, gas wells, and pipelines being constructed all the electricity and gas would be going out of state and "we aren't going to get any benefit at all" from the changes being made.

All I could think of was the influx of cash from leases/sales being signed by landowners for the mineral rights and land for all the well sites and windmill sites (including to the state, since some of these sites are on and beneath state forest land), the money being paid to laborers and construction crews in the area, the money being dropped by those specialists who have come from out of state and rented up every hotel/motel/spare apartment, etc. Yet these folks could see "no benefit" to the state or local economy? How narrow minded can you be?

And let us not even speak of the fact that, at least as far as the natural gas is concerned, more supply means lower cost across the board.(Windmills are a different kettle of fish because of the government subsidies on their construction and operation.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A day of culture

We had a pretty good day at the Corning Glass museum. Unfortunately, in many of the art exhibits, not only did they not permit flash photos, they prohibited ALL photography so I didn't take out the camera even in those areas where I could. I did, however snap this shot of an old Chevy pickip with two huge glass pumpkins in a bed of straw.

Glass pumpkins.

We sat in the Hot Glass Show and watch an artisan with 25+ years of experience take a couple of blobs of molten glass and turn them into a fluted candy dish in less than ten minutes and with virtually no effort at all. And unlike many of their demonstrations, this one went into the cooling oven at the end instead of being shattered.

While they had several new exhibits, I usually find the old ones to be the most interesting. I'm always seeing something new. But today, aside from the new art exhibits, there was a new (at least for me) display on fiber optics in the Innovation Center that I found fascinating.

After a good three hours in the Glass Museum, we headed down to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. But first we stopped for some tex-mex in the cafe next door.

The Rockwell is a small museum compared to such places as the Fredrick Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY or the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, but it is quite good.

In addition to pieces by both Remington and Russell, the Rockwell Museum has works by artists who predate those two and artists who followed in their footsteps.

Just a few of my favorites:

Prayer to the Spirit of the Buffalo by Joseph Henry Sharp(1859-1953)

Buffalo Mount

The Buffalo Hunt (My name as I forgot to write down
or snap a picture of the artist's card! Doh!)

Two Moose (Again, my name as I forgot...yada, yada, yada.)

Tommorrow we head west on Route 6 to visit Wellsboro, stop at the Pine Creek Gorge and Leonard Harris State Park, then into Potter County to visit the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum.

We'll end the day with dinner at The Log Cabin Inn.

Good grief!

I wax poetic on the coming cold of winter and this is what happens? Not only did the overnight low not fall below 64 degrees, but today's high will be in the area of 80 degrees. The breeze continues blowing out of the southwest which has produced this fine mess. If it was sunny, it would be welcome. If it were dry it would be fine. However, it is neither. It is overcast and humid. Blah!


We're taking Terry's sister and her husband up to Corning today to visit the Glass Museum and then the Rockwell Museum of Western Art.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox

Today we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. Today the Sun passes directly over the Equator as it leaves the Northern Hemisphere and heads south. Today we have exactly twelve hours of sun light and twelve hours of darkness...more or less.

The sunlit portions of the day will continue to get shorter for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere until December 21st when the Sun will be at its lowest in the southern sky. As to be expected, these shorter sunlit days will also mean cooler temperatures. Already up north the Arctic ice is growing in its vastness and snow is appearing on the mountains of Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia. It's just a matter of time before that snow heads further down the slopes and further south.

Here at the Aerie we have not yet had a killing frost nor has one occurred at the Bolt Hole slightly further north. But it will happen. And fairly soon, I'm sure. The deciduous trees have already started to change color and lose leaves. Not in any great abundance, mind you, just a few hickory, cherry and maples dotting the hillsides, but the rest will follow.

The hay farmers have been working hard to get their final cutting in for the year. Soon they will be looking to harvest the corn that still stands green in their fields.

The men working on the gas wells and pipelines are rushing to get their work done, too. As are the men erecting the windmills on top of the mountain and the road crews making improvements and repairs to bridges and highways. All must be done before the frost and ice fiends stalk the land.

Once we are in the grip of winter, most outside activities will cease. Cows that once went to pasture will stay in and around the barn. Construction equipment will be set aside for road plowing and salting trucks.

The real cold won't hit until well into January for it takes time for the Earth to give up what heat it has stored. But when it comes out of the north, it will come with a vengeance. The Bolt Hole will see low temperatures in the minus 10 to minus 20 degree range. The Aerie will see a day or two when it will get below zero and possibly as low as minus 10 degrees. The latter portions of January and most of February will be the coldest. Then the sun will be noticeably back on its way and even if it is cold, the promise of Spring will be seen in the longer day light.


Come October 1 I'll have to see about stockpiling some seed for our feathered friends. The feeders haven't been out since mid-June when we had a bear come up on the deck looking for a midnight snack. It won't take long for the birds to find the feed--nor to empty the feeders once they do. Right now they are scattered through the countryside enjoying their own harvest of natural seeds, fruits and insects. The first frost will change that.


Today has been a rather gloomy but mild at the Aerie. The sun did break through the scudding clouds from time to time but for the most part they held sway. The low this morning was around 50 degrees and the high only 65. There was a bit of a spritz of rain over night and a drop or two fell this morning as well. There's been a steady strong breeze out of the southwest and we may still get a drop of rain before midnight.

Sorrow and loss.

I lost a cousin-in-law over the weekend. Gary Cofield of the Tampa, FL area passed away at age 68 from stomach and esophageal cancer. He was at home under hospice care with a morphine drip at the time of his death.

I hadn't seen Gary in years, nor have I visited the relatives in Florida in far too long a period of time. I'll always remember him as a soft spoken, gentle man with one hell of a collection of Native American arrow heads and spear points. As an electrical lineman for the power company, he was always on the lookout for freshly plowed farm fields where he might find something to add to his collection.

He was diagnosed with the Big C just a few short months ago when, unfortunately, it was too late for surgical intervention. Progression was swift and the pain was great at the end.

Due to a family event of a more positive nature (a wedding) in NJ this weekend, Terry and I will not be able to attend the memorial service to be held on Friday, but our thoughts and prayers will be with my cousin, Linda, upon the loss of her loving husband.

God speed, Gary.

Craftsman Joiner parts Q & A

I got a comment this morning on a long ago post about my getting replacement cutting edges (they aren't called "blades") for my Craftsman Joiner from someone called 1Elsie. I had to go back and do a little research to get the information again but here it is:

The model joiner I have is 113-206932

That's a 6-1/8" joiner for which the engineers at work have gone and retooled almost all the head assembly parts. (See here for the diagram.) If you're searching for the cutters, they would be under the bed assembly subcomponents.

I haven't ordered any of the parts that I would need yet. The problem I have is only a tiny little nick in the cutter which leaves a very small raised bead when I use it. (Which isn't often.) Fine grain sandpaper is more than sufficient to remove this "defect" and costs a good deal less than the replacement cutters (part #54) or, need I say it, the entire cutting assembly (#53) which would require contacting a technician just to order.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good weekend.

A good weekend all around in the football world as far as I'm concerned.

First, my alma mater Rutgers defeated Florida International 23-15. Yeah, it should have been a bigger margin of victory, but 1) baby steps for an offense that is very, very young in the skill positions and 2) It was a "W" baby! and that's what counts.

Then Sunday afternoon the Jets over came some questionable calls (no way was that a fumble!) to down the New England Patriots 16-9. (Ditto my comments on the RU victory.)

And finally on Sunday night in Dallas, the Giants got a last second field goal to beat the Cowboys, 33-31.

RU is now 2-1, the Jets are 2-0, and the Giants are also 2-0. Sweet!


Terry and I went to dinner at the Penn Wells Hotel in Wellsboro yesterday. We could have had the Sunday Brunch but chose to order off the menu instead. I had a delicious crab casserole and Terry had a chicken Marsiella dish. Both came with a bowl of New England style clam chowder and a tossed salad. (They usually have a salad bar but that area was still set up for the brunch.) I had a mixed berry pie for desert while Terry skipped the apple pie, cherry pie, and about three different chocolate cakes that were also on the desert tray. The food was great, the atmosphere and service better, and the price was very, very reasonable.


I went and got a set of Cooper ATR tires installed on the Tundra this morning. I had ordered them before heading up to the Bolt Hole and, as promised, Ryan, had them waiting for me when I showed up. They aren't cheap, but the Cooper's have a great warranty plus there's a mail-in rebate of $75 which will cover the mounting, balancing, and sales tax.


We've been going around the house cleaning up because company is arriving tomorrow. Terry's sister (Lucille) and her husband (Doug) are coming in from Half Moon Bay, CA to attend the wedding of a cousin's daughter (Joe and Pat's daughter Jenifer) next Saturday and they've decided to come out to the Aerie for a look-see. It will be good to see them again as we usually don't get together too often. This past year was unusual in that we were out there for their daughter's (Laura) wedding in June of '08 and we all ended up at my son's (Rick) wedding in Eugene in May of '09 so, in a span of about 16 months, we've got to see each other three times. When they finally get out of California (they're trying, but with the housing market...) and back to Missouri/Kansas I will be sure to visit more often as Doug like to fish as much as I do.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Here comes Week 4: Rank and Opponents

The Top 25 (more or less) got a bit of a shake up after last week’s play. Upsets and loses within the ranks means the list has been shuffled considerably. At least from slot #3 on down they were. We get some more conference play this week. Pac-10, Big Ten and the ACC, and SEC are getting things into gear.

Here are the rankings and matchups going into week three of the college football season. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are from last week prior to play.

1/1/1 (1/1/1) Florida (3-0) The Gators will play at Kentucky (2-0).

2/2/2 (2/2/2) Texas (2-0) The Longhorns will be home to Texas-El Paso (1-2).

3/3/3 (4/4/4) Alabama (3-0) The Tide will host Arkansas (1-1).

4/5/6 (5/6/8) Mississippi (2-0) Ole Miss will play at South Carolina (2-1) on Thursday night.

5/4/4 (5/5/6) Penn State (3-0) will host Iowa (3-0) this weekend.

6/6/7 (8/7/11) California (3-0) The Golden Bears ravel up the coast to play Oregon (2-1).

7/7/8 (9/7/10) LSU (3-0) plays at Mississippi State (2-1).

8/8/5 (10/10/9) Boise State (3-0) will be on the road to Bowling Green (1-2).

9/13/11 (20/22/24) Miami (Fla.) (2-0) The Hurricanes are on the road to #11 Virginia Tech (2-1).

10/9/10 (12/12/12) Oklahoma (2-1) does not play this weekend.

11/12/14 (13/14/15) Virginia Tech (2-1) host #9 Miami (Fla.) (2-0).

12/10/12 (3/3/3) Southern California (2-1) The Trojans will be home to play Washington State (1-2).

13/11/9 (11/11/7) Ohio State (2-1) The Buckeyes host Illinois (1-1).

14/15/16 (17/21/25) Cincinnati (3-0) The Bearcats will host Fresno State (1-2) Saturday.

15/14/13 (15/15/14) TCU (2-0) travels to Clemson (2-1).

16/16/17 (16/17/18) Oklahoma State (2-1) The Cowboys will be hosting Grambling (2-1).

17/23/15 (21/NL/17) Houston will be home to play Texas Tech (2-1).

18/25/25 (NL/NL/NL) Florida State (2-1) The Seminioles host the South Florida Bulls (3-0).

19/20/21 (7/9/5) Brigham Young (2-1) will play at home against Colorado State (3-0).

20/19/19 (22/23/20) Kansas (3-0) he Jayhawks will host Southern Mississippi (3-0).

21/17/18 (23/20/19) Georgia (2-1) will be home against Arizona State (2-0).

22/18/22 (24/19/23) North Carolina (3-0) The Tarheels will be playing at Georgia Tech (2-1).

23/22/20 (25/NL/22) Michigan (3-0) The Wolverines will host Indiana (3-0).

24/NL/NL (NL/NL/NL) Washington (2-1) The Huskies will play at Stanford (2-1).

25/24/NL (19/18/21) Nebraska (2-1) The Cornhuskers will host Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1).

NL/21/NL (NL/25/NL) Missouri (3-0) will be at Nevada (0-2) on Friday night.

NL/NL/23 (NL/NL/NL) Auburn (3-0) The Tigers host Ball State (0-3).

NL/NL/24 (18/16/16) Utah (2-1) The Utes are home to square off against Louisville (1-1).

College results from Week 3

After week two I wrote: “The elite teams in the top 5 have firmed up their positions and, barring a major surprise, should continue to do so this week.” Well then: Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! And it wasn't just the top 5 that got kicked around this weekend. Numbers 3, 7, 14, 18, and 19 all took it on the chin.

Having escaped the Thursday Night Curse a week ago due to the play of their place kicker, Scott Blair, #14 Georgia Tech was crushed by a Hurricane(#20 Miami (Fla.)).

The #3 Trojans couldn’t stop the Huskies from kicking a winning FG in the final seconds.

#7 BYU lost to Florida State.

#18 Utah lost to Oregon.

#19 Nebraska (2-1) dropped a close one to #13 Virginia Tech (2-1).

In short, expect a whole lot of shaking and baking in the next polls.

Here are the rankings going into week three and results of the games as the wacky world of college football continues.

The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are from last week prior to play.

1/1/1 Florida (3-0) hosted Tennessee (1-2). Florida prevailed over the Volunteers 23-13.

2/2/2 Texas (2-0) hosted Texas Tech (2-0). The Longhorns got revenge for last year’s last second loss with a 34-24 victory over the Red Raiders.

3/3/3 Southern California (2-1) played at Washington (2-1). The Huskies kicked a last second field goal to down the Trojans 16-13. Not bad for a team that went 0-12 last year.

4/4/4 Alabama (3-0) hosted North Texas (1-2). The Tide overwhelmed the Mean(?) Green 53-7.

5/5/6 Penn State (3-0) hosted Temple (0-2). A slow start for the Nittany Lions but a solid 31-6 victory over the Owls.

5/6/8 Mississippi (2-0) hosted Southeastern Louisiana (2-1). Mississippi routed Southeastern Louisiana 52-6 as they amassed 758 yards of offense. But the defense caused five turnovers (including a 58 yd interception return for a TD by D.T. Schakelford) and held SL to 0-14 on third down conversions.

7/9/5 Brigham Young (2-1) hosted Florida State (2-1). The Seminoles nearly doubled up on the Cougars with a 54-28 victory. FSU converted 12 times on 15 third down tries, amassed 512 yards of offense with 313 on the ground and 199 in the air, and got a 63-yard interception return for good measure.

8/7/11 California (3-0) played at Minnesota (2-1). Bears vs. Gophers? No contest. It was 21 all heading into the fourth quarter. Then the Bears got hungry for some Gopher. Two fourth quarter TDs resulted in a Cal victory of 35-21.

9/7/10 LSU (3-0) hosted Louisiana-Lafayette (2-1). A rather predictable 31-3 victory for the Tigers of LSU.

10/10/9 Boise State (3-0) played at Fresno State (1-2) Friday night. Ho-hum. The Broncos won 51-34.

11/11/7 Ohio State (2-1) played at Toledo (1-2). Buckeyes rolled 38-0.

12/12/12 Oklahoma (2-1) hosted Tulsa (2-1). The Sooners shutout Tulsa 45-0

13/14/15 Virginia Tech (2-1) hosted #19 Nebraska (2-1). The Hokies escaped with a 16-15 victory over the Cornhuskers.

14/13/13 Georgia Tech (2-1) played on Thursday night again. This time at #20 Miami (Fla.) (2-0). “Beware the Thursday Night Curse!” I said. The ‘Canes beat the snot out of the Yellow Jackets on Thursday night 33-17.

15/15/14 TCU (2-0) hosted Texas State-San Marcos (1-1). TCU romped over TS-SM 56-21.

16/17/18 Oklahoma State (2-1) hosted Rice (0-3). Zac Robinson rushed for one TD and threw or two more as the Cowboys beat the Owls 41-24.

17/21/25 Cincinnati (3-0) played at Oregon State (2-1) Bearcats beat the Beavers 28-18 as Tony Pike posted a 31-49-332-1 line while throwing two TD passes and rushing for another.

18/16/16 Utah (2-1) played at Oregon (2-1). The Ducks upset #18 Utah, 31-24.

19/18/21 Nebraska (2-1) played at #13 Virginia Tech (2-1). Nebraska dropped a tough one to VT dropping this contest 16-15.

20/22/24 Miami (Fla.) (2-0) hosted #14 Georgia Tech (2-1) on Thursday night. Miami beat Georgia Tech 33-17.

21/NL/17 Houston did not play this week.

22/23/20 Kansas (3-0) hosted Duke (1-2). They played even in the first quarter but it was all Jayhawks after that as Kansas triumphed 44-16.

23/20/19 Georgia (2-1) played at Arkansas (1-1). GA QB Joe Cox tossed a school record tying 5 td passes as he went 18-26 for 375 yards. But he wasn’t the best QB on the field. The Razorback’s Ryan Mallet threw for 408 yards on a 21-39 evening and he also threw for 5 touchdowns. Neither should have had to lose. But GA got an 80 yard run from Richard Samuel and three FG from Blair Walsh (35, 37, and 31 yards) while AR managed no rushing TDs and only two field goals by Alex Tejada (both 23-yarders). Bulldogs won 52-41

24/19/23 North Carolina (3-0) hosted East Carolina (1-2). Despite it being “Speak like a Pirate Day”, the NC Tarheels prevailed 31-17

25/NL/22 Michigan (3-0) hosted Eastern Michigan (0-3). It was close at the half but the Wolverines pitched a shutout in the final two quarters to romp 45-17.

NL/24/NL Oregon State (2-1) hosted #17 Cincinnati (3-0). Cincinnati prevailed 28-18.

NL/25/NL Missouri (3-0) hosted Furman (2-1). Missouri triumphed 52-12.

Big East results from Week 3

17/21/25 Cincinnati (3-0) plays at Oregon State (2-1). The Bearcats beat the Beavers 28-18 as Tony Pike posted a 31-49-332-1 line while throwing two TD passes and rushing for another.

Connecticut (2-1) prevailed over Baylor (1-1) 30-22 as both Andre Dixon (149 yards, three TDs) and Jordan Todman (103 yards) ran wild.

Louisville(1-1) lost to Kentucky (2-0)31-27 in a game that resembled a basketball game more than football. Back and forth they went in the final quarter before the smoke settled.

Pittsburgh(3-0) beat Navy (1-2) 27-14. The Panthers held the Midshipmen to just 129 yards on the ground and 218 yards total offense.

Rutgers got the W over Florida International 23-15 after leading 23-0 with less than seven minutes remaining. RU’s Freshman QB Tom Savage did not impress in this one and sat out the last 12 minutes after getting his bell rung.

South Florida (3-0) romped over Charleston Southern (0-3) by a score of 59-0. Matt Grothe lead the Bulls on three scoring drives but then came out of the game with a left knee sprain. At the time he came out, he had already complete 11 of 14 for 149 yards and two TDs, including a 50 yards TD strike to Carlton Mitchell. Grothe’s replacement, redshirt freshman B.J. Daniels did fine as he also tossed a 50-yard TD pass to Dontavia Bogan while running for two others.

Syracuse (1-2) triumphed over Northwestern (2-1)37-34 when Ryan Lichtenstein kicked a 41-yard field goal on the final play of the game. Greg Paulus ran for one TD and was 24-for-34 with two TDs. On the negative side, he threw for one interception and lost a fumble that could have cost the Orange the game. Only an interception of Northwestern’s Mike Kafka late in the fourth quarter to set up the winning field goal saved the day.

West Virginia (2-1) roared out of the gates after a thunderstorm delayed the start of their game at Auburn (3-0). Noel Devine rushed for 128 yards on 15 carries and scored the first two TDs of the game (one a 71 yard sprint up the middle) and added a third TD in the second half. The Mountaineers had a total of 509 yards of offense (207 on the ground and 302 in the air). Should be a cake walk, right?
Auburn answered with 400 yards of offense and kept grinding away. Auburn was second in the nation behind Navy in rushing offense coming into the game. So, of course, it was QB Chris Todd’s arm that resulted in four TDs—three on passes to Darvin Adams and the fourth an 82 yard bomb to Mario Fannin.

But despite all the offense, it was defense that won the game. Auburn’s Craig Stevens returned an interception of a WVU pass 15 yards for a TD with 3:41 left in the game. It was one of five interceptions suffered by WVU on the night. The conversion made the score 41-30

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is in the air!

Clear, chilly morning with a low of just 40 degrees on the porch of the Aerie. Several degrees cooler down in the valley and Elmira reported just 37 degrees as its low. Standing on the deck and looking northwest I could see the morning mist rising from Tioga and Hammond Lakes and drifting up the mountain west of Route 15 like smoke from a forest fire. Surprisingly, that was all the "fog" that was visible despite the very light breeze. Usually the entire valley would be wreathed in thick grayness in these conditions.

Bills are paid and in the mail, the sun is warming up the air (slightly), and between the sun and the breeze the heavy dew on the lawn has almost dissipated. I guess it's time to take the mower for a walk about the yard.

After that workout and lunch, I'll be ready to answer that weekly question: "Are you ready for some football?" Hell, yeah!

I could even go watch the Mansfield Mounties take on the Princeton Tigers in a sprint football contest featuring a 200 member marching band at half time if I wanted to. Kickoff is scheduled for one o'clock. (Next weekend is the Fabulous 1890s weekend in Mansfield at which they celebrate the first college football game played under the lights. We'll miss that event being in NJ for a wedding.)

Or I could become a couch potato and follow the Mounties game on radio/computer along with half a dozen other games while watching several games on TV and sitting in the comfort of the Aerie with beer, chips and pretzels on hand.

Decisions, decisions.

But the lawn will not mow itself. (At least not until I purchase one of those robot lawn mowers.) Off to work. Later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back at the Aerie, September 18, 2009

I did my clean-up at the Bolt Hole Reconstruction Site this morning, sorted through the tools and toys that had to come home for the next month, packed my bag, changed the sheets, and washed the dishes. Then I packed the Tundra, hooked up the utility trailer, loaded up the log splitter, and headed back to PA.

I had to stop at the beginning of the trip for fuel, at Lowe's to return some unused material, and at Wally-World to cash in some cans but after that it was smooth cruising on the NYS Thruway and Route 14. I checked the tie-downs on the splitter at every stop mentioned and again when I stopped to stretch my legs at a rest area on the Thru-way. No sense having that heavy thing either bounce off the sides or crash into the back of the truck!

The weather was pretty good with only an occasional sprtiz dampening my windshield. The temperature, which started at 55 degrees at 11 AM as I left the Bolt Hole, never got above 65 degrees on the dashboard computer as the afternoon wore on and I headed south into PA.


So I'm home at the Aerie and the first thing I notice is that the effin' grass needs cutting. Again. Except for those spots where I sprayed Roundup on the thistles. They won't be needing cutting until sometime next summer.

And the beans need to be pulled out before we get completely and majorly swamped by green string beans. The freezer is starting to over flow.

It's chilly here too. The local radio station even used the "F" word in its forecast as a possibility tonight and tomorrow night in some localized areas. Low temperatures will flirt with the upper 30s in the rest of the area. Cold air sinks, though, and being 700 feet above the valley floor, we, and our string beans, will probably not get a visit by Jack for a couple of weeks. Probably.

Which is why I must go out in broad daylight tomorrow and murder those damn string beans; tossing their still lush, green carcasses onto the compost heap. It's really self defense. Me or them. If I have to eat all those string beans past, present, and (gasp) future, I'll be standing astride the garden in a leafy green loin cloth next spring shouting, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, September 17, 2009

Well, I got 'er done.

Finished Porch

The weather shields are in place and I even managed to attach the old steps as a temporary access to the porch. They will definitely have to be worked on since they now slope away from the house just a tad and are not level. Then again, nothing in this old house seems to be square or level except for the new porch. I found that out when trying to attach the weather shields to the facia boards and roof beam that run off the old house. The screened porch was square and level when I built it more than five years ago but it too has gone oblique.
The West end of the porch.

The East end of the porch.

I will say that the Tuftex PolyCarb is great stuff to work with. Cuts like butter with a pair of tin snips and you can predrill the holes with out a problem. It doesn't shatter the way plexiglass does at times.

Constructing the frames for the weather shields was a snap, too. Especially since I made liberal use of metal T-braces to create the corners. I also used T-braces to attache the shields to the facia board. and beam, and used L-brackets to connect the frames to the rail of the porch. It will take one heck of a wind to rattle those babies! I didn't enclose the entire front porch because of the need during the summer for some ventilation from that quarter.

T-braces used on corners and to attach frames to facia and beams.

L-brackets to attach frames to porch rail.

The screened porch was even easier to protect. I installed a couple of furring strips as braces across the screen and then simply screwed two sheets of the PolyCarb to the screen's frame, the braces and the porch's end joist. That should keep the water from splashing onto the porch from the first floor roof.
The Screened Porch corner.

The splash maker. Water off the top roof hits
the corner of the lower roof.


When I finished with the porch, I grabbed a sandwich and then went to do battle with the lawn. First I had to get the lawn mower started. Damn ethanol! I had filled the gas tank the last time I was here about a month ago. At that time the mower had been working just fine. Today it didn't want to start. Or if it started, it ran for a few seconds and then died. I checked the fuel line and guess what I found...oh, you peeked! Yeah, water. Rather than try to drain just the water, I drained the whole thing. I have to tell you that what came out of that tank didn't even smell like gasoline. Heck, it didn't even taste like gasoline.

Luckily, Mark had left that can of real gasoline (the non-ethanol kind), so I refilled the mower with that and started priming and pulling the cord. It took a while to get the water out of the carburetor, but it eventually caught and continued to run. Then it was time for me and the mower to walk...and walk...and walk. One snake and one toad later I had finished the west side, the east side and part of the north side when the tank ran dry and I decided to quit. I refiled the tank to the brim with the good stuff and put it in my shed where it seems to fare much better than the garage.


The day started out looking rather gloomy. It appeared it wanted to rain at any moment but just couldn't make up its mind as to how much or when if at all. The overcast all disappeared by 2 PM and the sun was shining brightly as I took the mower for its walk about the yard. The temperature never got much above 60 though the brisk walking did cause me to perspire a bit. The light breeze that is blowing is coming from the west northwest so I expect it to get pretty chilly tonight if the clouds stay away.

Tomorrow I'll do a little more clean-up, pack the truck, hitch up the utility trailer, steal my log splitter back from Mark and head home to the Aerie.

Tonight, I'll light a couple of fires in the wood stoves (because it will be getting pretty damn cold, okay) pour myself a couple of fingers of Dewar's (because it's all I've got up here, okay) and settle back to finish another of Jim Butcher's Dresden stories. (I'm reading Proven Guilty at the moment.)

Well, Happy Birthday to me!

I really do not understand some people's need to glorify (?) mile stone birthdays. Today will be just another day in a long line of days even if it starts my 60th year on this mortal coil.

Weather shield today. Clean up of the work area in the front of the house to include the movement of left over wood into the barn and shed where it may serve at some future date for emergency repairs. Maybe a final mowing of the lawn...or at least part of it. In short a full, normal day. Although it's more overcast and slightly warmer (made 50 before 8 AM!) than predicted/expected.

For the second night in the last three, I had a deer snorting outside my window at 9 PM before I heard some crashing around the apple tree across the street. Deer tracks in the soil in front of my parked truck yesterday. So there are deer in the area...just after dark. Not much help in the hunting plans.

I'll be heading back to the Aerie tomorrow (Friday) with the log splitter on the utility trailer. Company from California is coming on Tuesday. We've a wedding in NJ a week from Saturday and then Terry starts her convention tour going to Indianapolis for SAGA and then Pittsburgh for EGA. I'll be in PA with the Kittehs and the log splitter. I'll get a week with the string and stick trying to connect with a deer there before coming back up to the Bolt Hole for a bit when Terry returns. Then another wedding in NJ at which I've been asked to do a reading from the Gospel, before I can again hit the Adirondack woods.

Busy, busy times ahead. Who can spend it celebrating/worrying about just another day on the calendar.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, September 16, 2009

I managed to get the painting done today. It took until nearly 10 AM before the temperature got to 50 degrees, though, and it was still under 60 as noon rolled around. Luckily the porch is on the south side of the house so every little bit of sunlight worked in my favor by warming the surface being painted.

The painted porch.

The color is Velvet Brown from Valspar at Lowe's and matches the old Charleston Brown that the rest of the house is painted with pretty well. The wing to the left is a slightly lighter shade than the CB. It's closer to what I have on the barn. So the house has about three or four shades of brown. Sue me.

I would have had the weather shield on the west end in place but was diverted by problems with the brush hog. I couldn't get it started last time I was here so, when Mark showed up to pick up some of his tools, I asked him to give it a try. He had no better luck than I did so we putzed around with it a little and found out 1) the spark plug wasn't sparking and 2) the gas was contaminated with water (effin' ethanol mix! and greenhouse garage!). When Mark left, I ran out to get a replacement spark plug and then spent an hour emptying the gas tank and pulling the starter cord while spraying starter fluid into the air intake to clear the water from the carburetor. It finally kicked over and kept running on non-ethanol gas that Mark had left. (There are three or four gas stations near his apartment in Amsterdam, NY that are selling non-ethanol gas. And he says all the town's fire trucks are there on a regular basis along with the other municipal vehicles.) After 10 minutes of running fine, I shut it down and filled the gas tank to the brim so condensation would not happen (I hope).

Then I was able to get back to the weather shield. I cut the boards for the frame and then cut the Tuftex PolyCarb sheets into four-foot lengths. It will take three of these pieces to cover the 64" wide end of the porch. Another two will be needed for the section of the porch near the front door. And two more for the end of the screened porch. In both of those last two places, water splashes into the porch from the roof due to the drip from the second story hitting the roof on the first level. I should be able to finish the weather shields tomorrow morning.

Morning wait at the Bolt Hole

I'm cooling my jets (literally) here at the Bolt Hole as I wait for the temperature to rise above 50 degrees. Can't really paint until it does. The mercury currently sits at 45 degrees UP from a low somewhere in the 38-40 range. But the sky is clear and the sun is bright so I shouldn't have to wait too long.

They've adjusted the forecast and essentially removed any shower activity from the outlook for today and tomorrow. (They set the odds at 10% and I hope they stay that way.) Today's high will be just around 60 degrees while tomorrow it may reach 65. Ideal for painting...not that I need two days. Two hours will more than suffice.

Once the painting is done, it will be time to build a Tuftex PolyCarb shield on the west end of the porch and a smaller one on the east end where the power meter is located. This stuff is supposed to be flexible enough to cut with snips yet able to withstand anything Mother Nature can throw at it. UV protection is built in, it's supposed to be able to handle snow loads (although, hanging it vertically, I shouldn't have to worry about that) and it is clear so light can come through. And it was only $20 for a 26" wide by 8' long sheet. What's not to like?

Time to finish my second mug of coffee and get my act together. Later.

Big East play in Week 3

This week in the Big East we will see the following contests:

#17 Cincinnati (2-0 visits Oregon State (2-0). The Bearcats are off to an excellent start. Now we find out how they can play against a big conference school. Their explosive offense should give the Beavers fits. Jet lag could make it closer than it should be.

Connecticut (1-1) plays at Baylor (1-0). Heh? Who knows? The Huskies could be 2-0 except for that freaky holding call that lead to a safety. Are they tough enough to handle the Bears? We’ll find out on Saturday.

Louisville (1-0) plays at Kentucky (1-0). Big intrastate rivalry here. They are usually difficult to predict, but this is not the Cardinals’ year.

Pittsburgh (2-0) hosts Navy (1-1). Navy could easily be 2-0 right now. Could be a good chance to see what Pittsburgh is made of. This will be a close game either way it turns.

Rutgers (1-1) hosts Florida International (0-1). Frosh QB Tom Savage should get more experience under his belt for RU. Will he stay in long enough to throw for 300 yards this week? (Savage played only one series in the second half against Howard and still amassed 223 yards in passing. And RU didn't pass at all in the second half.) Troubling is the statistic that shows RU was only 3 for 10 on third down conversions. Of course they had FOUR TD drives of TWO plays or less.... Tough to get a third down conversion on those.

South Florida (2-0) hosts Charleston Southern (0-2). The Bulls should roll in this one.

Syracuse (0-2) hosts Northwestern (2-0). Orange QB Greg Paulus may wish he had stayed with basketball.

West Virginia (2-0) plays at Auburn (2-0). Like Cincinnati, the Mountaineers get a real test this week. So far things haven’t been…well…Devine, yet WVU has managed to post two Ws. They will need their premier running back to step it up a notch this week.

Week 3 Polls and Opponents

Week two concluded with a couple of upsets that resulted in teams sliding down in the polls (or off them altogether: note that Notre Dame is gone form the list this week). The elite teams in the top 5 have firmed up their positions and, barring a major surprise, should continue to do so this week.

Having escaped the Thursday Night Curse due to the play of their place kicker, Scott Blair (threw for a TD, kicked tying and winning field goals in the final minutes, etc.), #14 Georgia Tech puts it to the test once more against #20 Miami (Fla.). The Hurricanes should watch for a fake punt or, maybe, an end around flea flicker this week. ;-)

Only one other contest pits Top 25 teams against each other: #1 Virginia Tech (1-1) hosts #19 Nebraska (2-0).

Here are the rankings and matchups of the Top 25 (more or less) going into week three of the college football season. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are from last week prior to play.

1/1/1 (1/1/1) Florida (2-0) hosts Tennessee (1-1).

2/2/2 (2/2/2) Texas (2-0) hosts Texas Tech (2-0).

3/3/3 (3/3/4) Southern California (2-0) plays at Washington (1-1).

4/4/4 (4/4/3) Alabama (2-0) hosts North Texas (1-1).

5/5/6 (7/5/8) Penn State (2-0) hosts Temple (0-1).

5/6/8 (6/8/9) Mississippi (1-0) hosts Southeastern Louisiana (2-0).

7/9/5 (9/12/7) Brigham Young (2-0) hosts Florida State (1-1).

8/7/11 (10/10/12) California (2-0) plays at Minnesota (2-0) Saturday. Bears vs. Gophers? No contest.

9/7/10 (11/9/11) LSU (2-0) hosts Louisiana-Lafayette (2-0).

10/10/9 (12/11/10) Boise State plays at Fresno State on Friday night.

11/11/7 (8/7/5) Ohio State (1-1) at Toledo (1-1).

12/12/12 (13/14/13) Oklahoma (1-1) hosts Tulsa (2-0).

13/14/15 (14/15/16) Virginia Tech (1-1) hosts #19 Nebraska (2-0).

14/13/13 (15/13/14) Georgia Tech (2-0) plays on Thursday night again. This time at #20 Miami (Fla.) (1-0). Beware the Thursday Night Curse!

15/15/14 (16/16/15) TCU (1-0) hosts Texas State-San Marcos (1-0).

16/17/18 (5/6/6) Oklahoma State (1-1) hosts Rice (0-2).

17/21/25 (13/13/NL) Cincinnati (2-0) plays at Oregon State (2-0). Hmm…Bearcats vs Beavers. If it doesn’t rain the ‘Cats should win. No?

18/16/16 (17/17/18) Utah (2-0) plays at Oregon (1-1).

19/18/21 (22/18/20) Nebraska (2-0) plays at #13 Virginia Tech (1-1).

20/22/24 (20/22/23) Miami (Fla.) (1-0) hosts Georgia Tech (2-0) on Thursday night.

21/NL/17 (NL/NL/NL) Houston does not play this week.

22/23/20 (24/25/19) Kansas (2-0) hosts Duke (1-1).

23/20/19 (21/21/17) Georgia (1-1) plays at Arkansas (1-0).

24/19/23 (19/19/22) North Carolina (2-0) hosts East Carolina (1-1).

25/NL/22 (NL/NL/NL) Michigan (2-0) hosts Eastern Michigan (0-2).

NL/24/NL (NL/24/NL) Oregon State (2-0) hosts #17 Cincinnati (2-0).

NL/25/NL (25/NL/NL) Missouri (2-0) hosts Furman (2-0).