Saturday, October 31, 2009

Windmills at the Aerie

The clouds lifted a bit this morning. Probably because the wind has continued to blow strongly out of the southwest. Those winds hit the west end of the ridge which curls slightly to the north and are forced upwards. This tends to push things up and away from the Aerie when the winds come from the southwest. Occasionally this breaks any small storm cell that heads our way. Today, it just lifted the clouds...for a while.

Before the clouds settled down to obscure the view, the crane was busy setting the second piece of each of the three windmills and lifting the generator housings to the tops.

The view before the fog. Two towers are done
and the second housing is going up.

Once the fog set in, the work was hidden from view. You could hear the crane at work, but could only guess at what was happening.

The lifting of the clouds exposed the completed windmills.

Three sets of blades are in place.

During a brief break in the fog yesterday, I could see that the crane, near the middle windmill at the time, had been lowered. I assumed it would be leaving the ridge. Today, it appeared off to the left. Could another windmill be in the offing?

The wind may be blowing, but the windmills aren't set up yet to generate any power. Still, they are turning...very...very...slowly.

Oh, BTW, it's raining again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Aerie Report, October 30, 2009

I attended my third torture therapy session today. Surprising to me is the lack of pain in the knee as we go through the exercises. There's plenty of cramping going on in the quad of my left leg, however. Every exercise seems to require that I tighten that big muscle. And when you're doing four or five different exercises in three sets of 10 each (that's 30 reps of each exercise), heh! I might as well be climbing 15 flights of stairs. Luckily, few of the exercises put any real pressure on the knee joint. The therapists has suggested I do a little more walking about the house without the use of either the cane or the leg brace. I'm cool with that as it means a little more freedom.

I've got three more sessions scheduled for next week and I'm hoping that the progress will continue at the same pace and I'll be able to start walking in the woods again soon.


We had one of those "blah" days here at the Aerie. Our low for the day was just 46 degrees and our high was 50. Blah! It didn't actually rain, but it misted from time to time. The fog of yesterday remained just above us. The ceiling must have been close to 2200 feet. The tops of the new windmills across the way were shrouded in fog much of the day. The presence of fog usually means that things are quiet. Not so! The wind is actually howling. Again, just above the Aerie. Standing on the deck the sound is similar to standing on the cliffs above ocean's edge and hearing the surf crash against the beach. There's a constant roar in the tree tops but here's very little movement at ground level. If the winds blow like this, we'll never hear anything from the windmills. (The company rep said the sound 200-300 yards from one of these machines would be no more than that from a refrigerator across the room. And from visits to other new wind farms, I'd have to agree. They're pretty quiet--one might say eerily so.)

[UPDATE: While watching the West Virginia vs South Florida game on ESPN, the winds have found the Aerie. The occasional gusts make the very substantial log home creak and groan. They have to be in the 30-40 mph range.]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aerie Report, October 29, 2009

The fog lifted--well, it didn't actually lift lift, it sorta just thinned out temporarily--to expose the windmills across the way and that crane must have been busy under the cloak of the clouds. All the blades are in place and I never got to see if they lift all three at once--which I suspect is the modus operandi--or if they do it one at a time. Guess I'll never know unless I hit one of the breakfast spots (or a gin mill) where the crews hang out.


As I mentioned this morning, the folks said we would have a mere 10% chance of rain today and that it would be mostly cloudy. Well, truth be told it hasn't rained, but it's difficult for it to rain when you are either in or above the clouds. Thank goodness the temperature has been hovering between a low of 48 and a high of 52 degrees. If this had happened when the air was around 32 and the surfaces cooler, everything would be coated in ice.

I see that it's supposed to be around 50-55 degrees at Yankee Stadium tonight and no precipitation is expected. Looks like MLB has lucked out for one more night. I look forward to when the Brewers make the World Series and get to play in their new outdoor facility some brisk November evening. Or even for the Rockies to make it into the fall classic. Perhaps they can play it with baseballs colored orange or some other more visible shade. Certainly the fans in the stands will have an abundant supply of blue ones.


That wasn't a backhoe on the flat bed as I suspected, it was a grader. I know this for a fact because it went to work grading the road in front of the Aerie just a short time ago. It was being followed by the sad sack of a flat bed that it came in on. Probably had to repair the damage to the road the flat bed created while it was spinning its wheels.

As long as the grader makes things flat again, the fleet of loaded dump trucks--which continue to move up and down the hill--will have it packed as hard as any steamroller could possibly ever hope to do.


The little birds continue to hit the feeders on the deck hard. They were joined today by some Goldfinches, a couple of Purple Finches and a pair of Downy Woodpeckers. I watched the female Downy give the male a lesson in proper etiquette (ladies first, last and always, sucker! and don't you forget it!) and then settle down to wedge a sunflower seed in the cracks between the deck floorboards where she could comfortably peck it open for the kernel inside.

We even had a couple of gray squirrels come up on the deck for some sunflower seeds. This is a bit of a surprise because there's been one heck of a crop of acorns in the woods and I thought the squirrels would still be busy with that harvest. Perhaps they just wanted some variety.

I think I can. I think I can. I th...

I've mentioned before that the Aerie is situated at 2100 feet. I may have also mentioned that the road up to the Aerie is quite steep-especially the last 100 yards up and the 3-400 yards beyond the driveway--hence the need for Terry to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle for those times when the Aveo can't quite make it.

Well, snow and ice are not the only deterrents to travel on that steep stretch. The road is packed clay and gravel, but mostly clay. And when it gets wet....

Not only does it radically change the color of my dark green Tundra and the bright yellow Aveo, giving each a nice shade of tan along their sides, but it becomes slippery as...well...snow or ice.

The dump trucks (which continue to to carry heavy loads up the hill as I type) have little trouble making the grade since they have that spare third pair of tires on the rear and enough gears to down shift sufficiently to create a rumble that causes the earth to quake. But (and there's always a "but") there are some trucks that just can't cope with the conditions. These are usually cargo containers on 18-wheelers or flat beds. Regardless of whatever load they are hauling, the weight is distributed differently and deflected off the drive axles of which there are usually only two directly behind the cab and ahead of the load.

I've watched several 18-wheelers grind their gears and make it just past the driveway only to run out of low gears and come to a halt a few yards up the hill. They then have to back down the hill and try, try again. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they give up.

I saw one give up and park on the side of the road until a bulldozer came down the hill to haul the flat bed the rest of the way up the hill. That truck's engine must have hemorrhaged for it backed (rolled?) down the hill and remained on the side of the road for days. The driver stayed with it for much of the time until one day it was gone.

Today, a flat bed hauling a large backhoe attempted The Hill several times.Each time it would creep past the Aerie and grind to a halt just above our driveway. It would slowly back down the hill to a somewhat leveler area and have another run at it. Three times it tried. Three times it failed. After the third attempt, it backed down and parked along the side of the road. I heard some wheel chocks being moved about and then the backhoe fired up its diesel engine. Then the backhoe climbed the hill to be followed a short time later by the unburdened flat bed looking totally embarrassed.

It all seems so futile for some of these trucks. There are more gentle slopes to the west and east but none as direct as our road. Still, I have to wonder if the wear and tear on the engines, the time lost in multiple attempts, etc. couldn't be better spent in exploring one of those alternate routes.

A Love Story

For ThreeCollie at Northview Dairy:

I will seek you and find you.

I shall take you to my bed and have my way with you.

I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan.

I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.

I will exhaust you to the point you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.

And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,

The Flu

Now get your mind out of the gutter and go get your flu shot!

(Stolen shamelessly from Theo.)

A Foggy Day at the Aerie

Well, the weather gurus have screwed up again. Sometime after dark, the rain (that wasn't supposed to happen) moved in and fell for a goodly portion of the night. Current statement on is for cloudy skies but just 10% chance of showers and a visibility of 10 miles. Even the temperature readings are off. They say 54 degrees we have 48. That's not uncommon, however, since we are at 2100 feet and Lord knows where the "official" readings are being taken.

Meanwhile we're sitting in a cloud bank. Visibility may be measured in hundreds of yards--if that. I can't see what's happening across the way with the windmills but I can hear the crane at work. Perhaps when the fog lifts off the hillside they will have finished erecting the third windmill.

Dump truck after dump truck of gravel and stone have been going up the hill for the last two days. There were at least twenty loads yesterday and another twenty this morning. I can hear some grading going on in the distance. They are either working on the road along the mountain ridge or the access roads to the windmills and gas drilling sites after the heavy rains. I'm sure all that water must have turned some of those into quagmires.

[UPDATE: A second caravan of trucks went up the road at 11 AM. Makes me wonder how many I missed yesterday! They are moving mountains, I tell you! Mountains!]

One things for certain, if you run a stone quarry or drive a dump truck in this area, you are making out damn well right now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It was raining like the Dickens when I went out to PT (physical therapy...not that other stuff grunts do at basic) this morning. I felt sure there would be no progress on the windmills...and little on my knee.

Boy was I wrong! The therapists headed my knee, bend and twisted my knee and then had me doing the same to it on my own. Then they put me on the stationary bike for 10 minutes to "stretch it out." Surprisingly, that seemed to work! Afterward, it was more bending and twisting as I did more exercises. Then the ice pack and electrical route once more. I won't say I was ready to polka out the door, but after more ice on the joint this afternoon, I feel remarkable better about avoiding any form of surgery than I did a few days ago.

Still, I'll take the Doctor's and therapist's advice and stay off it as much as possible for a few more days. I'll do the exercises the therapist gave me and apply ice when I'm through as he recommended. We'll see how it feels on Friday when I have my next appointment.


Now, about those windmills. When I got home around noon, the rain had stopped and the crane was lifting the second section of one of the towers into place. Then around 2 PM it lifted the housing for the generator to the top of the tower. I sort of forgot to follow along for a while after that but the next thing I know, there are three blades spinning slowly on the top of that windmill and the crane has moved on to the third on the hillside.

No doubt, if the weather holds tomorrow--and it is supposed to be a beautiful day, they will erect the second section, the generator, and the blades of that third windmill before moving back up the hill to the first which awaits its blades. (I'm guessing they didn't install those blades because the crane has to go past that windmill on its way out. And that may be done before quitting time tomorrow.)

I failed to see if they put the entire blade assembly in place as a unit--which is my guess--or if they put one blade up at a time. Tough to see how they could do the latter. Heck, it's difficult enough to understand how they attach the entire blade assembly except when you see the generator housing on a truck and realize it's about the size of an 8'x10' shed. It looks so damn small perched atop the tower and when in contrast to the 75' long blades.

Cool thing is there was the tiniest of breezes blowing at sundown and those newly installed blades were turning ever so slowly.


Speaking of the weather, Terry emptied the rain gauge last evening and poured out nearly two inches of water. That would be water from last Friday through Monday. The stuff that fell last night was pretty intense and I'm sure must have been well over 3/4 of an inch. (I didn't empty it today, however, so that's just a guess. Tomorrow I'll get to see what is really in there.) Temperatures have been right at, or at least around, the seasonal averages for Aerie. Morning frost on clear nights and afternoons in the upper 50s.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They're baaaackk!

We started putting some sunflower seeds out for the birds when the snow began a couple of weekends ago. While we haven't been putting all the feeders out every day, the ones we do put out are getting hit pretty hard by Blue Jays, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches. The last three birds are in the habit of coming up to the deck, grabbing a seed and then zooming off into the pines to either eat it or tuck it away in a safe place for later. Only the Titmice will actually eat a seed or two before taking one back to their larder.

The Blue Jays? They would stay until there wasn't a crumb on the tray if they weren't pestered by the smaller birds.

Black-capped Chickadee at the feeder.

Red-breasted Nuthatch at the feeder.

The little birds don't much care if we're standing on the deck when they come in, either. The Jay's won't come in if we're outside, but the little guys will sit on the rail a few feet away and tell us to vamoose...or go right on feeding.

Luckily the Agway is having a sale on sunflower seed right now. At $14 a fifty-pound bag, I may have to pick up ten or more bags. The problem will be getting them into the garage with this bum knee.

Wind Central

Windmills are popping up on the ridge line like mushrooms on a warm morning after a soaking rain. They are clearly visible from down in the valley but many of them disappear from view as we approach the Aerie. They are juuusssst over the ridge and down behind the trees. I made Terry stop the Jeep so I could take a couple of pictures.

Two windmills just to the west of the Aerie.

Three more just above and to the east of the Aerie.

Only one of these is at all visible from the Aerie and then only if you know just where to look. Even then all you'll see are one or two of the blades as they lift above the tree line.

When we got back to the Aerie, they were hard at work erecting one of the windmills across from us on the hillside I photographed a few weeks ago when it was full of color. Now it will also have three windmills.

A crane lifts the second section on one of three across the way.

As you can probably deduce, we have no Kennedys living in our neck of the woods to complain about the damage to the environment from fossil fuels AND block construction of windmills or the drilling of gas wells.

Thank goodness!


Well, I've been to the physical therapist and he poked and prodded and twisted and pulled on my left knee eliciting a few little moans and groans from me in the process. And despite swelling and some pain (especially when he pulled AND twisted at the same time!) there is good news as well. It is his opinion that there is no damage to the cruciate ligaments. If either the lateral, anterior or interior cruciate had been torn, he says, 1) I would have experienced far more pain when he twisted and pulled on the joint 2) he would have been able to feel more looseness in the joint than he did. (I told him that if 1) had occurred, he would be seeing an orthodontists this afternoon.) He believes that if there is any damage, it may be to the meniscus--those gristly parts that are supposed to cushion the joint.

The bad news is that even an MRI won't reveal damage in that area. So, we wait and see if it gets better before going to the next stage which would be scoping the knee.

Anyhow, he treated my knee with ice and electrical stimulation, gave me some simple exercises to do, recommended I use crutches instead of the cane to keep weight off the knee as much as possible and we made an appointment for tomorrow at 10 AM to do it all over again. And another for later in the week. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saw the Doc today.

Went to see my doctor today (a GP) and he set me up to have some PT for my knee starting tomorrow. If there's no improvement in a week or two then we talk about MRI and the rest.

Until then, I've my meds for pain and the leg brace and cane for when I'm up and about. (Speaking of the meds, the Hydroco/APAP is actually Vicodin in disguise. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.)


Some interesting base line readings by the nurse/aide who took my vitals while I waited for the Doc to come in:

My BP was 150 over 80 (which seems a bit high to me but raised no flags among the medicos).
My pulse rate was a mere 52.
My temperature was between 95 and 96 degrees.

The numbers were not affected by my meds...which I last took the night before at 10 PM.

The temperature proves that I'm a cold-blooded SOB.
And that pulse rate? Must be time to hibernate, dude.

BCS Standings Post Week 8

BCS Rank, (Last Week's Rank), Team, and BCS Pct.

1 (1) Florida 0.973
2 (2) Alabama 0.945
3 (3) Texas 0.893
4 (6) Iowa 0.825
5 (7) Southern California 0.794
6 (8) TCU 0.789
7 (4) Boise State 0.775
8 (5) Cincinnati 0.774
9 (9) LSU 0.703
10 (11) Oregon 0.646
11 (12) Georgia Tech 0.59
12 (13) Penn State 0.585
13 (14) Virginia Tech 0.492
14 (15) Oklahoma State 0.449
15 (20) Pittsburgh 0.342
16 (18) Utah 0.316
17 (19) Ohio State 0.315
18 (17) Houston 0.315
19 (10) Miami (Fla.) 0.249
20 (22) Arizona 0.224
21 (23) West Virginia 0.196
22 (24) South Carolina 0.189
23 (NA) Notre Dame 0.12
24 (NA) California 0.092
25 (NA) Mississippi 0.091

Week 9 in College Football
Top 25.,,more or less

Week 9’s competition for the Top 25 (more or less) will see almost everyone in action. The key matches this week will be #3 Texas @ #13 Oklahoma State and #4 USC @ #10 Oregon. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are those going into Week 8

1/1/2 (2/1/2) Florida (7-0) The Gators will host The Georgia Bulldogs (4-3).

2/2/1 (1/2/1) Alabama (7-0) The Crimson Tide will be idle this week.

3/3/3 (3/2/2) Texas (7-0) The Longhorns are on the road to face off against #13 Oklahoma State (6-1).

4/4/7 (4/4/6) Southern California (6-1) The Trojans will play at #10 Oregon (6-1).

5/7/5 (5/6/5) Cincinnati (7-0) The Bearcats will play in the Carrier Dome of the Syracuse Orange (3-4).

6/5/8 (6/5/7) Boise State (7-0) The Broncos will host the San Jose St. Spartans (1-5).

7/8/4 (7/8/4) Iowa (8-0) The Hawkeyes will host the Indiana Hoosiers (4-4).

8/6/6 (10/7/9) TCU (7-0) The Horned Frogs host the UNLV Rebels (3-5).

9/9/9 (9/10/10) LSU (6-1) The Tigers will host the Tulane Green Wave (2-5).

10/12/11 (12/14/12) Oregon (6-1) The Ducks will host the #4 USC Trojans (6-1).

11/11/13 (11/13/14) Georgia Tech (7-1) The Yellow Jackets play at Vanderbilt (2-6).

12/10/10 (13/11/11) Penn State (6-1) The Nittany Lions will travel to play against the Northwestern Wildcats (5-3).

13/13/12 (14/12/13) Oklahoma State (6-1) The Cowboys will host the Longhorns of #3 Texas (7-0).

14/14/14 (15/15/15) Virginia Tech (5-2) The Hokies will host North Carolina (4-3) on Thursday night.

15/16/18 (17/18/18) Houston (6-1) The Cougars will host the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (5-3).

16/17/17 (20/19/20) Pittsburgh (7-1) The Panthers will be idle this week.

17/15/15 (18/17/16) Ohio State (6-2) The Buckeyes will be hosting the New Mexico State Aggies (3-5).

18/18/16 (8/9/8) Miami (Fla.) (5-2) The Hurricanes will be playing at Wake Forest, home of the Demon Deacons (4-4).

19/19/19 (19/20/19) Utah (6-1) The Utes play host to the Wyoming Cowboys (4-3).

20/20/20 (22/22/24) West Virginia (6-1) The Mountaineers travel south to face off against the South Florida Bulls (5-2) on Friday night.

21/21/25 (23/23/NA) South Carolina (6-2) The Gamecocks will play at Tennessee (3-3).

22/23/24 (25/NA/NA) Oklahoma (4-3) The Sooners host the Kansas State Wildcats (5-3).

23/24/23 (NA/NA/NA) Arizona (5-2) The Wildcats will be idle this week.

24/22/21 (NA/25/22) Mississippi (6-2) The Rebels will travel to play the Auburn Tigers (5-3).

25/25/NA (NA/NA/NA) Notre Dame (5-2) The Fighting Irish will host Washington State Cougars (1-6)

NA/NA/22 (NA/NA/23) Central Michigan (7-1) The Chippewas will play at Boston College (5-3)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Day with the Pros

So, I've been sittin' on my butt all day watching pro football all afternoon. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and the temperature rising to the mid 60s.

So far, so good. The Steelers beat the Vikings. (I felt sorta bad about the Steelers ganging up on the "Old Man" like that.

The Jets went to Oakland and beat the snot out of the Raiders. The Jets ran and ran and ran some more. Despite losing their best runner early to an ankle injury, they still gained over 300 yards on the ground. (The Jets had more than 300 last week against Buffalo in a loss. First time in fifty years that a team has had back to back 300-yard games.) It's always good when someone beats the snot out of the Raiders. I was super pleased when the Giants did it earlier in the season, but today was icing on the cake. 38-0 Wahoo!

The Giants are yet to play against Arizona. Eli will have to have a good game to match his older brother. (Eli completed 23-34 for 235 yards and 3 TD while leading the Colts to an easy 42-6 over the Rams.) I may not make it passed the first half tonight, so I hope he gets out the gate quickly.[UPDATE: I did go to bed at the half. As a result, I missed the Giants' offensive collapse in the second half that saw them lose to the Cardinals.]

Miami looked like it was going to trounce the Saints, beating them to death with the Wildcat. At one point the Fish lead 24-3. But then New Orleans saw the light, Drew Brees threw for another gazillion yards, the Saints put 36 points on the board in the second half, and the managed to remain undefeated.

New England played in London. They should stay there. And based upon the way their opponents, Tampa Bay, played, the folks in Tampa may want John McKay back.


Idaho scored 45 points against Nevada...and lost 70-45.

Nevada's (4-3, 3-0) QB Colin Kaepernick was a one man wrecking crew as he ran for 238 yards and four touchdowns and threw for two others. But the longest run for the Wolf Pack belonged to Vai Taua who scampered 89 yards for a TD in the first quarter. Nevada finished the day with 484 rushing yards.

Idaho QB Nathan Enderle passed for 342 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair of 73-yard strikes to Maurice Shaw but it was not nearly enough for the Vandals (6-2, 3-1).

The two teams combined for 1156 net yards.

Nevada hosts Hawaii next week while Idaho hosts Louisiana Tech. Current #6 Boise State (7-0, 2-0) looms in the future for both teams.

Week 8 Results In Top 25
More or Less

Week 8’s competition for the Top 25 (more or less) will see almost everyone in action. Only two real upsets in this week's play: Clemson's beating of #8 Miami and Texas A&M's rout of #21 Texas Tech. Everything else played out pretty much as could be expected. That should mean there will be little change in this weeks rankings. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are those going into week 7.

1/2/1 (2/3/3) Alabama (7-0) The Crimson Tide edged the Vols of Tennessee (3-4) by a score of 12-10 thanks to a blocked field goal as time was running out..

2/1/2 (1/1/1) Florida (7-0) The Gators struggled against Mississippi State (3-5) in the first half, but they made the corrections necessary to come away with a 29-19 victory.

3/3/3 (3/2/2) Texas (7-0) The Longhorns had no problem in defeating Missouri (4-3) 41-7.

4/4/6 (6/5/7) Southern California (6-1) The Trojans got all they could handle against Oregon State (4-3) but they held on in a frenzied 42-36 contest.

5/6/5 (8/9/10) Cincinnati (7-0) The Bearcats dominated the Louisville Cardinals (2-5) 41-10.

6/5/7 (5/6/6) Boise State (7-0) The Broncos enjoyed their trip to Hawaii thumping the Rainbow Warriors (2-5) 54-9.

7/8/4 (11/12/9) Iowa (8-0) The Hawkeyes won at Michigan State (4-4) by just 2 points, 15-13. Four of their seven victories have been by three points or less.

8/9/8 (9/11/11) Miami (Fla.) (5-2) The Hurricanes battled the Clemson Tigers (4-3) into overtime but the Tigers prevailed in the OT to win 40-37.

9/10/10 (10/10/13) LSU (6-1) The LSU Tigers prevailed over the Tigers of Auburn (5-3), 31-10.

10/7/9 (12/8/8) TCU (7-0) The Horned Frogs went on the road and pummeled #16 Brigham Young (6-2) 38-7.

11/13/14 (19/20/20) Georgia Tech (7-1) The Yellow Jackets beat up on the Virginia Cavaliers (3-4) 34-9.

12/14/12 (13/16/16) Oregon (6-1) The Ducks breezed past Washington (3-5) 43-19.

13/11/11 (14/12/14) Penn State (6-1) The Nittany Lions easily handled Michigan (5-3) 35-10.

14/12/13 (16/14/15) Oklahoma State (6-1) The Cowboys drew down on the Baylor Bears (3-4) and came away with a new rug, 34-7.

15/15/15 (4/4/4) Virginia Tech (5-2) The Hokies took the week off.

16/16/17 (18/19/17) Brigham Young (6-2) BYU lost badly to #10 TCU (7-0) 38-7.

17/18/18 (23/23/21) Houston (6-1) The Cougars rolled over Southern Methodist (3-4) 38-15.

18/17/16 (7/7/5) Ohio State (6-2) The Buckeyes’ offense clicked on all cylinders over Minnesota (4-4), 38-7.

19/20/19 (24/NA/NA) Utah (6-1) The Utes needed to go into OT to ground Air Force (4-4), 23-16.

20/19/20 (NA/NA/NA) Pittsburgh (7-1) The Panthers dominated the South Florida Bulls (5-2), 41-14.

21/24/25 (NA/NA/NA) Texas Tech (5-3) Tech’s Red Raiders got embarrassed by Texas A&M’s Aggies (4-3), 52-30.

22/22/24 (NA/NA/NA) West Virginia (6-1) The Mountaineers had all they could handle with a determined Connecticut Huskies team (4-3) in an emotional game that went back and forth but ended with WVU on top 28-24.

23/23/NA (22/22/22) South Carolina (6-2) The Gamecocks prevailed over the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-6) 14-10.

24/21/21 (17/15/13) Kansas (5-2) The Jayhawks got stomped by #25 Oklahoma Sooners (3-4) 35-13.

25/NA/NA (20/18/18) Oklahoma (4-3) The Sooners beat up #24 Kansas (5-2) 35-13.

NA/25/22 (NA/NA/23) Mississippi (6-2) The Rebels beat the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4) 30-17.

NA/NA/23 (NA/NA/NA) Central Michigan (7-1) The Chippewas beat Bowling Green (3-5) 24-10.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aerie Report, October 24, 2009

A fairly restless night. I took the Hydrococo/APAP before hitting the sack and removed the leg brace when I got into bed. As soon as the medication wore off, I woke up. Over and over again. No matter what position I got in, the knee hurt. It didn't help that the wind outside was howling and the rain was beating down on the metal roof.

Terry and I finally got out of bed at 7 AM. After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, we went about the business of packing the Jeep and Tundra with all the stuff that needed to come home in case I should not be able to get back there before the deep cold arrives. We drained all the pipes, added antifreeze to the traps, cleaned up all the trash, packed up the clothes, took the perishables out of the fridge, etc. Then we were on the road by 10 AM.

Getting into and out of the Tundra with the leg brace on is a bit of a task, but once seated behind the wheel, I was fine. Although, I would have liked to have been able to move my left leg from time to time.

Four and a half hours later, we got back to the Aerie and reversed the process. We didn't travel together and didn't even follow the same route. We both stopped for gas (although Terry also stopped for a quick meal while I didn't). And, while I beat Terry back to the Aerie, she pulled in less than ten minutes behind me.

I talking about our rides, I had the better of it. By traveling west on the NYST until I got to the Route 14 exit (mm 327) and then heading south, I had run around the heavy rain. Oh, it was really bad through Syracuse, but soon after I was in the clear. Terry had gone as far as I-481 and then south to I-81, Cortland and Route 13 through Ithaca to Elmira. She was in rain virtually the entire time.


I was surprised to see how much progress has been made in putting up windmills on the ridge. When I left for the Bolt Hole a little over a week ago, there were none visible above us. Sure, parts were stockpiled in the clearings where they would be erected, but they hadn't been put up yet. Today there are five directly above us and between one and three on the hillside to the west. (Terry says there will be only one, but there are three bases standing there. Still, she says, the maps only showed ONE windmill over there. Yeah, but that was over a year ago when they said they were going to put up 76 and now it's 67. Things change.)

I'll see about taking some pictures tomorrow but only the one(s) across the way is/are actually visible from the Aerie.


Mark sent an email asking if there was anything I needed him to do at the Bolt Hole. He also sent me some advice from a friend who worked ortho with the US Ski Team. Essentially it was to keep the brace on, don't take the prescriptions except to sleep, keep off my feet as much as possible, try to keep the foot as high as my eyes. Test the pain level once or twice a day. Be sure to see my doc on Monday, give him the X-rays, and advise him of what has been happening. I was told that an MRI is often not done immediately, but after three or four days IF the pain remains.

So, I'll be sitting here watching football, napping and staying off my feet for the next day or so and then get Terry to taxi me to the doc's on Monday.

Time to hit the sack. .

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh Sh*t!

My NYS muzzle loader season came to an abrupt end this morning. Not with a BANG! but a whimper. No BOOM and flash. No air filled with the smell of burnt powder. (Although I may have turned the air blue with some of my utterings!)

After some heavy rains early last night, I figured the woods would be nice and quiet this morning, but being on my own (Mark had to o help someone with a concrete pour and left at the crack of dawn this morning) I didn't want to go far. I decided I would take a short, slow walk behind the cabin and never leave my property. I got about 300 yards into my walk (about one third to my goal) when one of those turtle rocks reached up and grabbed me. My left foot slipped on the moss covered stone and I went down wrenching my left knee. If that had been all, I would have been okay, but there was a crunching sound from the knee as it gave way and when I tried to stand up it was as if someone poked me with a red hot iron straight from the fire. I was toast.

Having no one to call for assistance, I gathered my one and a half legs beneath me and hobbled back to the cabin doing a great imitation of Walter Brennan.Once there, I immediately applied an ice pack to the knee and called Terry to let her know what had happened. She suggested the emergency room in Utica.

Two hours later, when the ice pack was body temperature and the knee was still sore as hell, I agreed and hobbled into the Tundra and drove down to St. Lukes, arriving at noon. Only one other person was in the walk-in waiting room so I figured I had beat the Friday Insanity Crowd that usually shows up at ERs every week.

Well, maybe I did and maybe the hospital scheduled everyone to show up for the expected rush. It was 2:30 PM before I was shown into one of the examination rooms and another thirty minutes before the doctor took a look at me. (By that time I had called Terry again and told her to come and help me pack up to get back to PA tomorrow.) The doc said it sounded like no more than a severely sprained knee but he wanted X-rays to confirm nothing was broken or dislocated. Since I hadn't really fallen on the knee and the lower part of my leg wasn't dangling, I felt that was over protection but, hey!, he's got the degree.

Twenty minutes later I'm still waiting to get taken to the X-ray room that's 100 feet down the hall...maybe, when the doc peeks in at me again and asks if they've done them yet. I say "no" and off he goes to get the ball rolling. Five minutes later a guy shows up to take me to X-ray and asks if I'd like a wheel chair. By now the knee hurts like the seventh level of hell and I can put virtually no weight on it at all so I say "yes." He disappears in search of a wheel chair...for twenty minutes! It's finally 4 PM when he returns with a chair but I've already got one thanks to a helpful nurse who asked what was up.

So, I get X-rayed and return to my room. At 4:30 PM the doc returns to say the X-rays showed no breaks or dislocations. It's nice to have your diagnosis confirmed by a pro! He gets me a knee immobilizer (think removable cast from the crotch to the ankle) and prescribes Ibuprofen (800 mg which is the prescription strength stuff) and Hydroco/Apap5-- a federally controlled substance, it says on the bottle. I get a warning about the drugs, drinking and driving. I'm told to see my regular physician on Monday AM and tell him what happened. I get a warning that if it doesn't feel better I might have done some ligament damage (which the X-rays won't show). And I get a CD of the four X-rays to take to my doc.

I'm finally on my way back to the Bolt Hole after spending nearly 5 hours in the ER. But first, I have to go to Wally World to get the scrips filled. It takes them nearly 45 minutes to get my prescriptions filled because of the number of cases ahead of me.

Back at the Bolt Hole, finally, at 6:15 PM. The heavy rains that are forecast to fall all night and much of tomorrow, begin at 6:30 PM. It's now 7:30 and Terry should be arriving any minute.

We'll pack the truck and her jeep in the rain tomorrow morning, drain the pipes and put antifreeze in the traps in case I don't get back up again until after the freeze, and then head back to PA.

I'll take one pill tonight so I can sleep and then suffer through the day since I'll be driving. But once I'm home....

Man, it sucks getting old!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, October 22, 2009

Yet another day in fruitless pursuit of a white-tail. And a warm day it was, too! I slow walked a circuit in the woods to the south of the old jeep road. Most was on state property but some was on property we (Mark and I) have permission to hunt. The going was complicated by the number of blow-downs I had to either go around or climb over and the "turtle" rocks beneath sphagnum moss that had me slipping and sliding in the flat wet spots.

While I didn't see anything to shoot at (deer, bear, coyote, etc.) I did gather information and see a large owl being chased by a raucous blue jay.

I had stopped on the edge of a relatively clear are to catch my breath and try to cool down when the jay set up a racket off to the north. At first I thought it might have spotted a land critter and so went on high alert. I've had them do that before and been rewarded with a shot at a deer and the sighting of a fox traipsing through the woods. But this jay moved too swiftly for it to be a land based creature it was alarmed about. I therefore turned my attention to the sky expecting to see a hawk come into sight. Instead, a large owl (probably a barred owl as it's the most common around these parts) came gliding over the tree tops heading south toward some hemlocks on the far side of the hollow.

The owl flight is remarkable in that it is totally silent. A raven's or even a hawk's wings will make a noticeable flapping sound that can be heard for some distance, but not the owl. While sitting in a tree stand one bow season I once had a barred owl land above me. It had approached from my rear and I wouldn't have even known it was there except the tree actually shook with its landing. It sat for some minutes scanning the ground about us before taking off. Again the tree shook with its launch into space and its great wings could be seen flapping but there wasn't a sound.

So that sighting was my excitement for the morning. Well, that and the discovery of a rub line--a series of small trees along the trail that a buck had used to rub the velvet off its antlers. I found four altogether, but they were at least several weeks old. No fresh bark lay atop the leaves that had gathered at the base of the trees. Interestingly, one was a small cedar tree but the others were all stripped maples. This despite an abundance of small beech trees in the area.


This afternoon was more of the same. I went into an area I had visited several times over the last few years only to be foiled by the presence of new blow-downs that blocked the trail and my vision. Them and the beech leaves which are just now turning yellow. I walked about 3/4 of a mile (the same as this morning) and saw nothing. I didn't even bother to sit in the spot for which I headed. I couldn't see more than 20-30 yards anywhere. So after two hours I was back in the Bolt Hole just as the showers--and colder temperatures--blew in from Canada.


Speaking of beech trees...I know that Tolkien seemed to have a love of those smooth barked lovelies. It was a beech forest that the elves lived and Tolkien's description of their grand city in the air speaks of his fondness for the beech tree. Well, as far as I'm concerned, they could all burn!

Beech trees seem to be the most fickle of all seed producers. Like Goldilocks, they demand that things be "just right" before they will produce their nourishing nuts. Unfortunately, things are seldom perfect. This is the second consecutive year in which the beech nut crop has been a failure and that hurts squirrels, birds, deer and bear. When the nuts are plentiful, the critters will gorge themselves in the deep woods and seldom move far from a thick stand of beech trees. When they aren't around...then neither are the critters. Or, at least, the critters need to wonder more in search of food.

While the beech apparently needs perfect conditions to produce fruit, they seem to create their own conditions for living. Get one beech tree growing and have it produce just one good corp of mast and pretty soon you'll have a thicket of beech trees. And thicket is the proper term for they will be so close together that it will be tough to get through them. And they are sloppy trees, to boot. The lower branches seem to wear out and die after just a few years and then break off at the trunk of the tree. The broken branches dangle from their mates or litter the forest floor. Some of them are up to an inch or more in diameter at the base and several yards long. While they can't be considered "widow makers" getting bonked on the head by one when you brush against it enough to dislodge it from its perch can generate respect.

And the leaves! I can truthfully say that I have never seen a beech leaf with any insect damage. Oh, there may be some that are broken and torn from falling branches (self inflicted wounds) but for the most part they are intact. And persistent. While nearly all the trees have lost their leaves, the beech is just now turning from green to bright yellow. Eventually they will turn brown. But even then, many--perhaps 50%--will remain on the tree all winter long. In the winter, while the snow covers the ground, the rattling of dry, brown leaves of the beech may be the only sound in the woods. Trying to hunt in an area populated by beech trees that are still clinging to their leaves is a challenge. Your line of sight is reduced considerably.

The forest ranger from whom we got our burn permit for the brush piles in the apple orchard wistfully spoke of the possibility of forest fire. He actually said the area "needed" one. I haven't checked on this, but the leaves of the beech may contain some oil or chemical that protects them from insects but also from decay. Their buildup on the forest floor may hinder other species from taking root and surviving. I do know that when wet they are as slick as a pool of hydrolic oil on smooth concrete. (Don't ask. It's a long story in which a rainy night, a spinning forklift, and a very angry foreman play parts.)

I've come to the conclusion that the elves must have worked awfully hard to keep their beech woods neat and tidy.

All in all, between the plethora of beech trees and blow-downs in the "forever wild" lands here about, perhaps a forest fire isn't such a bad idea. Certainly the forest could use a little rejuvenation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, October 21, 2009

I still haven't sighted a deer other than the three that visited the yard after dark the other night. Even if those three had showed up during the day, I wouldn't have shot at them--no horns to be seen. Although it's legal to shoot a doe with the bow or muzzleloader, I have promised not to do so. The "herd" in the area is severely depleted due to coyote depredations and lack of mast (for the second consecutive year, the beechs have not produced any nuts) and possibly due to the presence of some critters that aren't supposed to be in the Adirondacks. Mark swears he and a local saw two cougars cross the road less than three miles from where we are.

Still, I had a nice day out in the woods. We had a tiny bit of rain overnight and the jump in humidity made walking in the woods a bit less noisy so I took a slow stroll along the state boundary line this morning. Most of the paint marking the line has worn off making finding the line a little tough, but I've marked the section that abuts my property on the GPS and that gave me a straight line to follow. I recorded points along the way as I found them so I've now got a continuous line on the GPS from my northwest corner to where the state line crosses the jeep trail to the east. Along the way, I did spot some tracks but nothing else.

This afternoon I went to the northwest corner and sat until dark. There's a fairly large creek over there with some grass on the banks and islands that I thought might tempt a deer or two, but, if it does, they weren't partaking during the daylight hours. Except for the sound of the water flowing over the stones in the creek bed and a couple of curious red squirrels there wasn't a sound to be heard. Even the small birds weren't moving about much. I'll confess I fell asleep for a few minutes listening to the gently sounds of that creek. But, at least one red squirrel was having none of that! It chattered as loudly as it could from just feet away from me. Perhaps I do snore after all.

Today's weather could not be beat. The temperatures were in the upper 50s--maybe even the 60s--and although it was overcast all day, we got now rain and virtually no breeze. The trees normally make a hushed rustling sound in the tiniest of breezes but they were silent today.

Some showers are supposed to make their way into the area tonight but tomorrow may be an even better day with a high in the mid 60s. That will end, according to the weather guys, on Friday. Rain arrives in earnest Friday night and will continue all day Saturday with some heavy, heavy precipitation. Over 1 1/2 inches of rain is forecast. Of course! Saturday is the opening day of the rifle season here in the north zone. Not that it matters much if there aren't any deer to shoot. Still, there might be more hunters afield and that could get some deer that have been in hiding out and about.

BTW, those temperatures I mentioned earlier...The average high for the day is 55, the low: 35. Those are just about what we had today. Tomorrow will be warmer than the average, but the overnight low (upper 20s) will be below average. And once we get passed tomorrows warmer than average high, we'll be below average for the next ten days. Although we won't be as far below as we were last week! The highs will be above freezing and in the mid to upper 40s.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, October 20, 2009

Not much to report on today. I didn't go out into the woods and just took the day off. After all the running around since last Wednesday--to the Bolt Hole, down to NJ, back to the Bolt Hole, etc.--and two disappointing days in the field, I felt the need to just sit back, read, and relax. Besides, it was damn warm out there.

I dressed in my hunting clothes--including long johns--after breakfast but before looking at the thermometer. Mistake. It was already in the forties at 7 AM. Not a breeze moved, either. Needless to say, there was no crunching of frost when I walked over to see if Mark was up and about. He was, but he was also packing to go back to his apartment for the day. I decided to try and walk up the jeep road to the old beaver dam and back through the woods. I made it about four hundred yards before realizing 1) I was way over dressed and 2) the little bit of rain we may have gotten over night had done nothing to soften the leaf litter and it was like walking on corn flakes strewn upon a layer or two of bubble wrap. No way was I going to be able to still hunt under those conditions. If I had been sitting in a tree stand it would have been great for I would have heard anything that moved within a hundred yards. So I turned back to the cabin, changed into lighter clothing and put my feet up. There's always tomorrow. And, even if it's going to be another warm day, I'll dress properly this time and go and sit somewhere instead of trying to walk.


I mentioned that I didn't see any deer while in the woods neither Sunday afternoon nor all day on Monday. But when I went to bed last night around 9:45, I flipped on the outdoor light to peek at the thermometer on the deck and spotted three antlerless deer in the yard behind the house. From their size and behavior I surmised that it was Mom and the Twins. The Twins are nearly full grown but decidedly smaller than Mom. That they are so large and traveling with an experienced doe may be the reason they have managed to survive any marauding from the fairly large coyote population--some of which I heard yapping and barking off in the distance this morning when I left Mark's place on my abbreviated walk.


Terry called today to report that she had some visitors at the Aerie. Her cousin had given me a package of Cajun flavored peanuts which I was not going to eat (I prefer to have mine just salted, thank you), so she had put them out on the bird feeder. Well, did you know raccoons like Cajun flavored peanuts? He'd probably enjoy ettufe (or however it's spelled) as well, but he ain't getting that from me! I like my Cajun crawfish. He cleaned up what the birds had left in the tray on the deck overnight leaving just his paw prints to tell the tale. And this morning, Terry says, there was a turkey in the yard. Of course there was. Fall turkey season it ain't!

Week 8 Top 25 and Opponents

Week 8’s competition for the Top 25 (more or less) will see almost everyone in action. Only #15 Virginia Tech is idle this week and only two contests pit Top 25 teams against one another (#10 TCU @ #16 BYU and #24 Kansas vs#25 Oklahoma). The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are those going into week 7.

1/2/1 (2/3/3) Alabama (6-0) The Crimson Tide hosts the Vols of Tennessee (3-3).

2/1/2 (1/1/1) Florida (6-0) The Gators are on the road to play Mississippi State (3-4).

3/3/3 (3/2/2) Texas (6-0) The Longhorns play at Missouri (4-2).

4/4/6 (6/5/7) Southern California (5-1) The Trojans will host Oregon State (4-2).

5/6/5 (8/9/10) Cincinnati (6-0) The Bearcats host Louisville (2-4).

6/5/7 (5/6/6) Boise State (6-0) The Broncos travel to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors (2-4).

7/8/4 (11/12/9) Iowa (7-0) The Hawkeyes will play at Michigan State (4-3).

8/9/8 (9/11/11) Miami (Fla.) (5-1) The Hurricanes host the Clemson Tigers (3-3).

9/10/10 (10/10/13) LSU (5-1) The Tigers host, well, the Tigers of Auburn (5-2).

10/7/9 (12/8/8) TCU (6-0) The Horned Frogs will play at #16 Brigham Young (6-1).

11/13/14 (19/20/20) Georgia Tech (6-1) The Yellow Jackets will play at Virginia (3-3).

12/14/12 (13/16/16) Oregon (5-1) The Ducks will play at Washington (3-4).

13/11/11 (14/12/14) Penn State (5-1) The Nittany Lions play at Michigan (5-2).

14/12/13 (16/14/15) Oklahoma State (5-1) The Cowboys play at Baylor (3-3).

15/15/15 (4/4/4) Virginia Tech (5-2) The Hokies will take the week off.

16/16/17 (18/19/17) Brigham Young (6-1) BYU will host #10 TCU (6-0).

17/18/18 (23/23/21) Houston (5-1) The Cougars will host Southern Methodist (3-3).

18/17/16 (7/7/5) Ohio State (5-2) The Buckeyes host Minnesota (4-3).

19/20/19 (24/NA/NA) Utah (5-1) The Utes will host Air Force(4-3).

20/19/20 (NA/NA/NA) Pittsburgh (6-1) The Panthers will host South Florida (5-1).

21/24/25 (NA/NA/NA) Texas Tech (5-2) Tech hosts Texas A&M (3-3).

22/22/24 (NA/NA/NA) West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers will host Connecticut (4-2).

23/23/NA (22/22/22) South Carolina (5-2) The Gamecocks will host the Commodores of Vanderbilt (2-5).

24/21/21 (17/15/13) Kansas (5-1) The Jayhawks host #25 Oklahoma (3-3).

25/NA/NA (20/18/18) Oklahoma (3-3) The Sooners play at #24 Kansas (5-1).

NA/25/22 (NA/NA/23) Mississippi (5-2) The Rebels will host Arkansas (3-3).

NA/NA/23 (NA/NA/NA) Central Michigan (6-1) The Chippewas will play at Bowling Green (3-4).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Afternoon: October 19, 2009

Great weather to sit and watch. The temperature was in the upper 40s and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. There still weren't any clouds when I came in at a little after 6 PM. If it's going to shower tonight, that will have to change soon.

It was so comfortable sitting there that I dozed off a couple times. each time, my chin hitting my chest woke me up. Perhaps if I had started to snore, it would have drawn a deer within range. It's happened before.

One year Mark fell asleep in his recliner next to an open window. He woke to find a fork-horned young buck staring in the window. he crabbed his brand new muzzle loader out of the box, loaded it and pocketed a spare charge before going out the door to follow the deer down his driveway and into my yard. When the deer went behind the garage, Mark climbed onto the roof using a ladder we had leaning against the wall, and shot the deer with the spare load after missing the first shot. The deer had no idea where the first shot came from and stood there looking around instead of bolting for deeper cover.

Another time he fell asleep while sitting on a five-gallon bucket behind his place and woke up to find a group of seven deer, including a nice six-pointer coming at him. The six didn't make it passed Mark. But the bigger eight-pointer that was trailing that bunch did.


I sat on a little knoll overlooking a depression on the west side of the property. No deer but there were the usual red squirrels and one wandering ruffed grouse that came by. At first, I thought the grouse was just a red squirrel out collecting some dried leaves to insulate its home but the sound kept getting closer and closer until the head of the grouse popped up over a log fifteen feet away from me. It was chattering and clucking to itself in a fair imitation of a squirrel as it looked around and then wandered on off to the east.

A brown creeper landed on a small tree not more than a few feet away from me and explored the bark for spiders and insect eggs. When it had climbed about twenty feet, it flew down to a second nearby tree and started its search all over again. eventually, it flew off to look elsewhere.

Several ravens flew about in the trees not far away. Besides their crow-like caw, they have some of the most liquid notes of any bird I've ever heard. It sounds like water dripping into a fountain only glassy, if you can imagine that.

BCS Rankings: The first of the year

From the wonderful world of the BCS Computer we have the first “meaningful” rankings of the year. (They are “meaningful” only in that they will eventually determine who plays in the “most prestigious” bowl games.) They use, among other things, the Harris Poll and the Coaches’ Poll to come up with this thing that was supposed to make arguments about who is Number 1 obsolete. Of course, it didn’t.

1 Florida 0.989

2 Alabama 0.959

3 Texas 0.891

4 Boise State 0.808

5 Cincinnati 0.787

6 Iowa 0.787

7 Southern California 0.77

8 TCU 0.714

9 LSU 0.708

10 Miami (Fla.) 0.627

11 Oregon 0.585

12 Georgia Tech 0.57

13 Penn State 0.498

14 Virginia Tech 0.495

15 Oklahoma State 0.404

16 Brigham Young 0.299

17 Houston 0.266

18 Utah 0.251

19 Ohio State 0.222

20 Pittsburgh 0.201

21 Wisconsin 0.118

22 Arizona 0.114

23 West Virginia 0.111

24 South Carolina 0.104

25 Kansas 0.097

The morning afield, October 19, 2009

It got down to 22 degrees overnight here at the Bolt Hole. The result was quite a bit of frost on the ground making the leaves like corn flakes to walk on. Nevertheless, I was out before 7 AM and on my way for a short (distance) walk in the woods carrying my muzzle loader.

I'd walk for ten or fifteen yards and then stop, look and listen for 10-15 minutes. I scanned the tree trunks for rubs and the ground for droppings and tracks. I only covered about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile in the 3 1/2 hours I was out. I tried to cover areas where we had spotted activity in the past but there was nothing to see today other than a few old piles of droppings, a few red squirrels, and birds--mostly chickadees and small woodpeckers.

I'll head out again a little later this afternoon and pick a spot to sit for the evening hours. Without any sign and very, very few (like none) other hunters in the woods, however, things do not look promising.

It did warm up a bit while I was out. It was 41 degrees when I got back to the cabin and is now over 43 degrees at 12:15 PM. The sun is shining brightly and there isn't a cloud in the sky. A slight breeze is blowing from the west, however, and that may bring some light showers late tonight when the temperature is supposed to drop into the low 30s.

Vandals Won Again!

The Vandals of Idaho U. continued their winning ways this weekend by knocking off the Warriors of Hawaii by a score of 35-23. Idaho now has a record of 6-1...which is more games than they won the entire five years Rick was in attendance at IU. (A year with the Marines including six months in Iraq slowed his progress toward his degree.)

I believe their six wins makes them bowl eligible. If not, they have amble opportunity to become so. They are currently at #38 on the rankings and climbing weekly. As I said before, the only team on remaining on their schedule with a winning record is Boise State. And, right now, I'm not so sure they couldn't take the Broncos.

Results of Week 7 in College Football

I’m at the Bolt Hole where there’s only the dial-up connection so things are a bit more compact in this week’s recap. (Takes too long to check out what happened in the games.) Add the trip to NJ and the Saturday wedding of my niece and I didn’t even get to watch much football. So, without much to do, here’s the results of Week 7’s competition for the Top 25 (more or less). The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are those going into week 6.

Only #10 LSU and #13 Oregon were off this week and with lots of conference play as well as matches between ranked teams, there’s bound to be a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on based upon the results below. Add that the first BCS rankings will appear and there will be plenty to discuss at the local watering hole.

1/1/1 (1/1/1) Florida (6-0) The Gators edged the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3) with a late field goal, 23-20.

2/3/3 (3/3/3) Alabama (6-0) The Crimson Tide controlled #22 South Carolina (5-2) 20-6.

3/2/2 (2/2/2) Texas (6-0) The Longhorns knocked out Sam Bradford—again—but just managed to overcome the stubborn #20 Oklahoma (3-3) defense 16-13.

4/4/4 (5/5/7) Virginia Tech (5-2) The Hokies got stung by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1) 28-23

5/6/6 (6/6/5) Boise State (6-0) The Broncos got all they could handle from Tulsa (4-2) on Wednesday night but managed to escape with a 28-21 win.

6/5/7 (7/7/8) Southern California (5-1) The Trojans managed to fend off a last moment push by #25 Notre Dame (4-2) and held on for a 34-27 victory.

7/7/5 (9/8/6) Ohio State (5-2) The Buckeyes lost to Purdue (2-5) 26-18.

8/9/10 (8/10/10) Cincinnati (6-0) The Bearcats enjoyed their trip to #21 South Florida (5-1) despite having their quarterback injured late in the first half. The final score: 34-17, Cincinnati.

9/11/11 (11/11/11) Miami (Fla.) (5-1) The Hurricanes blew into Orlando to face the UCF Knights (3-3) and came away with a 27-7 win.

10/10/13 (4/4/4) LSU (5-1) The Tigers are idle this week.

11/12/9 12/14/12) Iowa (7-0) The Hawkeyes doubled up on Wisconsin (5-2) 20-10.

12/8/8 (10/9/9) TCU (6-0) The Horned Frogs manhandled Colorado State (3-4) 44-6.

13/16/16 (13/17/18) Oregon (5-1) The Ducks have the weekend off.

14/13/14 (14/12/14) Penn State (5-1) The Lions had snow but it didn’t matter as the shutout Minnesota (4-2) in Happy Valley on Saturday, 20-0.

15/17/19 (21/22/23) Nebraska (4-2) The Cornhuskers got beat up by Texas Tech (5-2) 35-15.

16/14/15 (15/13/17) Oklahoma State (5-1) The Cowboys corralled the Missouri (4-2) Tigers, 33-17.

17/15/12 (16/15/13) Kansas (5-1) The Jayhawks were knocked out of the ranks of the unbeaten by Colorado (2-4), 34-30.

18/19/17 (18/20/19) Brigham Young (6-1) The Cougars beat the San Diego State Aztecs (2-4) 38-28.

19/20/20 (22/23/25) Georgia Tech (6-1) The Yellow Jackets stung #4 Virginia Tech (5-2), 28-23.

20/18/18 (19/21/21) Oklahoma (3-3) The Sooners dropped a close one—closer than it should have been, thanks to their defense--to #3 Texas (6-0) 16-13.

21/21/25 (23/24/NA) South Florida (5-1) The Bulls got beat by #8 Cincinnati (6-0) 34-17.

22/22/22 (25/NA/NA) South Carolina (5-2) The Gamecocks lost to #2 Alabama (7-0) 20-6.

23/23/21 (NA/NA/24) Houston (5-1) The Cougars beat up Tulane (2-4), 44-16.

24/NA/NA (NA/NA/NA) Utah (5-1) The Utes played with house money in Las Vegas as they beat UNLV (2-5) 35-15.

25/25/NA (NA/NA/NA) Notre Dame (4-2) The Irish scored frequently in the fourth quarter—just not enough—as they lost to #6 Southern California (5-1) 34-27.

NA/24 /NA (24/18/22) Missouri (4-2) The Tigers lost to #16 Oklahoma State (5-1) 33-17.

NA/NA/23 (20/16/15) Mississippi (5-2) The Rebels romped over the UAB Blazers (2-4), 48-13.

NA/NA/24 (17/19/16) Auburn (5-2) The Tigers lost to the Kentucky Wildcats (3-3) 21-14.

Saturday, October 17, 2009 gowns...Hey, They're both white!

The view from the front windows of the Aerie on the morning of October 16th.

First snow of the year: October 16.

Three to four inches of snow accumulated on the deck and the grassy areas. The driveway had about one inch. All snow was of the heavy wet variety that clung to the leaves on the trees and threatened to bring them down.


I drove down the thruway yesterday and, although there had been reports of snow in the Catskills, I saw nothing on the hills. Of course, by the time I was driving through that area it was well past 3 PM and the temperature was above 50 degrees.

Today's Newark Star Ledger has a front page photo of a teen in Sparta building a snowman from the 1-2 inches of snow they got in the northwest corner of New Jersey.


I arrived at the church in Dumont at 5:30 and Terry, coming from PA, arrived five minutes later. Even then, we were the first ones on the scene and the rehearsal would not be started until 7 PM.

When it did start, everything went smoothly. The Priest, Father Bob, was pleasant and gave directions clearly and plainly. Everything should go well today.

Afterward, we all went to a nice Italian restaurant on River Road for an excellent dinner.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just for laughs

These came in an email from my younger sister. Not sure why she sent them to me, I'll have to ask her tonight. I thought I'd share them with you while I still remember to do so. Enjoy.

The Elderly:

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, 'Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.'

The gentleman replied, 'Oh, I haven't told my family yet.

I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!'


Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: 'Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?'

Slim says, 'I feel just like a newborn baby.'

'Really!? Like a newborn baby!?'

'Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.'


An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.

The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, 'Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great.. I would recommend it very highly.'

The other man said, 'What is the name of the restaurant?'

The first man thought and thought and finally said, 'What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love?

You know..... The one that's red and has thorns.'

'Do you mean a rose?'

'Yes, that's the one,' replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, 'Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?'


Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.

On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

'I don't know,' he said. 'She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.'


Couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember ..

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. 'Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?' he asks.

'Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?'


'Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?' she asks.

'No, I can remember it.'

'Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too.. Maybe you should write it down, so as not to forget it?'

He says, 'I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.'

'I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down?' she asks.

Irritated, he says, 'I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream - I got it, for goodness sake!'

Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, The old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.. She stares at the plate for a moment.

'Where's my toast ?'


A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy:

'So I hear you're getting married?'


'Do I know her?'


'This woman, is she good looking?'

'Not really.'

'Is she a good cook?'

'Naw, she can't cook too well.'

'Does she have lots of money?'

'Nope! Poor as a church mouse.'

'Well, then, is she good in bed?'

'I don't know.'

'Why in the world do you want to marry her then?'

'Because she can still drive!'


Three old guys are out walking.

First one says, 'Windy, isn't it?'

Second one says, 'No, it's Thursday!'

Third one says, 'So am I. Let's go get a beer.'


A man was telling his neighbor, 'I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art.. It's perfect.'

'Really,' answered the neighbor . 'What kind is it?'

' Twelve thirty ..'


Morris , an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.

A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, 'You're really doing great, aren't you?'

Morris replied, 'Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.''

The doctor said, 'I didn't say that.. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.'


A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool.. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.

The waitress asked kindly, 'Crushed nuts?'

'No,' he replied, 'Arthritis.'


Grandpa had a ritual he looked forward to every Sunday morning.
He would take his 7-year old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time - Just he and his little granddaughter.

On one particular Sunday, however, he had a very bad cold and didn't feel like getting out of bed at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out. Upon their return, the little girl anxiously ran up stairs to see her grandfather. 'Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?' 'Oh, yes, Grandpa,' the girl replied, 'and do you know what? We didn't see one dumb bastard or stupid shithead anywhere we went today!'

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Bolt Hole Report, October 16, 2009

I spent part of yesterday afternoon refamilarizing myself with my muzzle loader and .30-.30 carbine. Both have iron sights and getting the sight picture correct and ingrained into my thought process is a necessity before carrying either into the field. Suffice to say that I'm now comfortable with both and confident that I can hit anything I can see in the thick woods--which usually limits my view to 100 yards or less.

I've two more weapons I need to get out of their cases and onto the bench: the 12-gauge slug gun and the .270. Both of those have scopes and past experience tells me that neither shifts over time-especially since I'm the only one that's handled the cases. Shouldn't take more than a shot or three to ensure that they are still true.


Another part of yesterday was spent moving firewood from the open barn into the wood shed attached to the cabin. We've had some jerks stealing wood from the barn in the last couple of weeks and I need to protect it from further five finger reduction if I'm going to be here through the middle of November or come up at any time during the winter.

Someone also sabotaged two of our game cameras breaking the sensors on both. They were located on Mark's side of the road and one was a short iron shot from his cabin. Another camera was stolen off the tree on my side of the road.

I've got posted signs along the road but will be looking to get some to do the other three boundaries of the property. There have been too many instances where people are wandering through thinking they are on state land or coming in from the 400 acres piece to the west that's up for sale. (Apparently the realtor has been giving people permission to hunt that parcel.)


Terry reports that the Aerie received 3-4 inches of snow but the roads and driveways (packed clay and gravel in the immediate area) only had about 1 inch on them this morning. She's going to shovel off what snow is on the deck and put some more bird seed in the tray that's out there before packing the Jeep to head for NJ.

Here at the Bolt Hole, the temperature never got below 30 degrees overnight and, despite a falling barometer, we got nothing but frost. The sun is out now but that may change as it so often does here in the southern 'Dacks. We seem to be at the crossroads of many a weather system, some from the south, some from the north, some from the west, some from the east. We're at the southeastern limit of the snow belt from Lake Ontario (if the wind comes steadily out of the northwest we can really get socked!) and the innermost reaches of the nor'easters. Makes life interesting.


I've got to get myself packed up after lunch and head down to NJ for my niece's wedding. The rehearsal is tonight at 7 PM in Dumont. That's east of I-287...heck, it's east of the Parkway!... which is beyond my normal stomping ground. In fact, it's in the quadrant of the state that I view as my least favorite to visit so I'm not exactly looking forward to the trip. But I was asked to do a reading and agreed so I'll suck it up and head into those mean streets.

Tonight, I'll stay at my MIL's in Linden with Terry and we'll all go to the wedding on Saturday then the reception Saturday night. Sunday AM I'll be running back up the NYS Thruway to the Bolt Hole again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And so it begins.

The official start of winter is December 21. Today is just the 15th of October. Still...

Have I mentioned that the Aerie is at 2100 feet?

With all the trees still having some leaves, if not all of them, this could wreak havoc in the Northern Tier. The forecast does seem to indicate the worst will be to the western side of Tioga County (the Aerie is on the east) and into the Allegheny National Forest.


Here at the Bolt Hole we saw the temperature go down to 25 degrees last night. Not nearly as bad as I thought it might get but even so, well below freezing. The snow will, it appears stay well to the south of the NYS Thruway so that's a plus.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bolt Hole Report, October 14, 2009

I made the trip to the Bolt Hole without a problem. There were only a few sprinkles as I drove along the shores of Seneca Lake. I did not that many of the vineyards appear to have been hit by a hard frost. The leaves of the grape vines were blackened and withered. Hopefully, they were able to harvest the grapes before that happened. Other vineyards seemed not to have been hit at all so perhaps it was a matter of location or grape variety.

Mark left a nice roaring fire going before he headed off to work this morning and the cabin was almost too hot inside. He also had turned the water pump and water heater on, as well as put temporary blocks over the basement windows to cut off the air circulation. Tomorrow I'll put some more permanent foam panels in the openings and try to figure a way to block off the opening under the north sill which leads into the unheated wood shed. If there's a large piece of foam in the barn, I may be able to cut one to fit the irregularly shaped space.

The large sugar maple in front of the house has nearly shed all its leaves so I spent an hour raking most of them up and moving them into the field across the street. Only those leaves under the truck remain to be raked up. I cold have moved the truck and gotten them too, but I succumbed to laziness. Sue me.

I stopped at Wally World on the way up and picked up some groceries, enough to get me through the next few days and some for the larder. I'll pick up more when I come back from New Jersey on Sunday. I'm already making a list and at the very top is "coffee" and "bacon."

I also picked up a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer so as to take the guess work out of the morning readings. I put the outdoor sensor on the north side of the sugar maple which is about 10 yards away from the house. It's out of the direct sunlight and should not be affected by the house or the truck which is parked between it and the house. At 6 PM the sun is setting in the west and the thermometer already reads 33.9 degrees. It's overcast and threatening. The weather quacks are saying tonight will be into the 20s (probably the low 20s here) and tomorrow should be nice albeit chill but then things take a turn for the worse. There's a chance of snow showers for Thursday night and again on Friday. *sigh*

Well, that's about all for now.

Winds of November come early

Bringing an early winter...What the hell happened to Fall?

And with these recent winds, this comes to mind:

Cha- cha- cha- changes!

Man, I hate it when plan falls apart.

My niece is getting married on New Jersey. She asked me to do a reading at the wedding and I agreed. That means I need to be there for the rehearsal on Friday night. Terry got back from her sojourns to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh on Saturday and I, who had been babysitting the cats, was just starting to enjoy some meals cooked by her. I planned on traveling with her to NJ for the wedding and then back to PA and on up to the Bolt Hole for deer season. (NY muzzleloader starts this Saturday and rifle season is the Saturday after that.)

Then I got a phone call from my buddy Mark. Seems that the cold temperatures are hitting hard at the Bolt Hole. It was down to the high teens Monday night/Tuesday morning. He was going up and wanted to know if I wanted him to build a fire in the woodstove.

Now, when I left, I thought the temperatures would be a bit warmer in early October than they have been so I didn't drain the pipes. The place does seem to stay warmer than you'd expect but still, 16 or 17 degrees outside is going to cool things off considerably. I told him to go for it. Build that fire.

And then I looked at the weather forecast for the next couple of days and saw that the night time lows were going to be, if anything, even lower. That got me a bit worried as Mark's only going to be there for the one night. Soooo....

I packed my bags, rifles, ammo and all the rest of my hunting gear and will be putting it in the Tundra early this morning and heading north.

Just to keep the place warm.

It means I go back to eating my own cooking. Which is dull in comparison to what Terry does.

It also means I will be traveling down to NJ from the Bolt Hole on Friday while Terry drives in from PA. She'll be in the Jeep Compass because of a forecast for possible snow and sleet in the higher elevations on Friday. (Not north of the Catskills, however.)

I hate it when a plan just flat out falls apart.

I'm blaming Al Gore for this inconvenience.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ups and Downs in College Football

Before this season started, CBSSports ranked all 120 FBS college football teams. Idaho University was ranked number 114 out of 120. Not terribly surprising as the Vandals have not had a winning season in forever. In 2008 they went 2 and 10.

But that was then.

With six games under their belt this year, the Vandals are 5-1 and lead the Western Athletic Conference with a 2-0 record—ahead of Boise State’s 1-0 record. The CBSSports 120 Poll currently lists them as #49.

They need just one more victory to ensure that they will NOT have another losing year. Two wins and it’s a winning year regardless of what the rest of the year is like. Can they get those wins? Hell yeah! Everyone remaining on their schedule has a losing record at the moment except Boise State (5-0). The Vandals could win their next four games and be 9-1 when they go down to Boise to play on the blue carpet against what should be a 9-0 Broncos team in a game that could determine the WAC champion.

Heady stuff for the Vandals, who have been flying beneath the radar so far. That won't last long if they keep winning.


Moving in the opposite direction is Ball State. They ended last year ranked #30, which was down from #21 after a 45-13 loss to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl. The Cardinals are currently 0-6 and going nowhere fast. CBSSPorts ranks them at #117 this week, ahead of only Miami (Ohio), Eastern Michigan, and Western Kentucky. This is a team that was 12-0 in the regular season in 2008. Then they lost the MAC Championship game and the bowl game and all six games they’ve played this year. Talk about imploding!

Week 7 In the Big East

Three intra-conference match-ups this week including one between Top 25 teams means there’s going to be some hard, hard football being played. The winners will move on up the ladder toward bowl eligibility and the Big East title.

8/9/10 (8/10/10) Cincinnati (5-0) The Bearcats travel south to face #21 South Florida…on—da-da-da-daaa-- Thursday night. I can't believe I'll be rooting for the Bulls in this one.

The Louisville Cardinals (2-3) play at Connecticut (3-2) on Saturday. Mush, Huskies! Mush!

The Pittsburgh Panthers (5-1) play at Rutgers (4-1) on Friday night. It's at Rutgers and the Panthers looked a tad vulnerable--and lucky--last week against UConn. I'm rooting for my Scarlet Knights. (R U Rah! Rah!) For me the question is who will rush for 100 yards this week?

West Virginia (4-1) will host Marshall’s Thundering Herd (4-2) on Saturday. Look for the Mountaineers to dominate their instate rival from Conference USA.

Syracuse (2-4) will have the weekend off. They need it.

Week 7 Top 25 and their Opponents

After six weeks of play, there’s getting to be a pretty good feel for who’s got it and who hasn’t. The greatest amount of movement—as always—takes place near the bottom of the list where teams come and go or come in low and then shoot up the ranks after a successful week or two. Here’s this week’s rankings of the Top 25 (more or less) along with their opponents in Week 7 of competition. The rankings are from the AP/Coaches Poll/CBSSports 120. Those in parentheses are those going into week 6.

Only #10 LSU and #13 Oregon are off this week and with lots of conference play as well as matches between ranked teams, there’s bound to be a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.

1/1/1 (1/1/1) Florida (5-0) The Gators host the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-2)

2/3/3 (3/3/3) Alabama (6-0) The Crimson Tide host #22 South Carolina (5-1)

3/2/2 (2/2/2) Texas (5-0) The Longhorns host #20 Oklahoma (3-2)

4/4/4 (5/5/7) Virginia Tech (5-1) The Hokies travel south to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1)

5/6/6 (6/6/5) Boise State (5-0) The Broncos play at Tulsa (4-1) on Wednesday night.

6/5/7 (7/7/8) Southern California (4-1) The Trojans travel to #25 Notre Dame (4-1) on Saturday.

7/7/5 (9/8/6) Ohio State (5-1) The Buckeyes travel to West Lafayette to face a Purdue (1-5) team in search of some wins.

8/9/10 (8/10/10) Cincinnati (5-0) The Bearcats travel south to face Big East rival #21 South Florida…on—da-da-da-daaa-- Thursday night.

9/11/11 (11/11/11) Miami (Fla.) (4-1) The Hurricanes travel a very short distance up to Orlando to face the UCF Knights (3-2)

10/10/13 (4/4/4) LSU (5-1) The Tigers are idle this week.

11/12/9 12/14/12) Iowa (6-0) The Hawkeyes square off against Big Ten foe Wisconsin (5-1) in Madison.

12/8/8 (10/9/9) TCU (5-0) The Horned Frogs square off against Colorado State (3-3)

13/16/16 (13/17/18) Oregon (5-1) The Ducks have the weekend off.

14/13/14 (14/12/14) Penn State (5-1) The Lions welcome Big Ten foe Minnesota (4-2) into Happy Valley on Saturday.

15/17/19 (21/22/23) Nebraska (4-1) The Cornhuskers are at home for Texas Tech (4-2)

16/14/15 (15/13/17) Oklahoma State (4-1) The Cowboys will host Missouri (4-1)

17/15/12 (16/15/13) Kansas (5-0) The Jayhawks travel to Colorado (1-4).

18/19/17 (18/20/19) Brigham Young (5-1) The Cougars will face the San Diego State Aztecs (2-3)

19/20/20 (22/23/25) Georgia Tech (5-1) The Yellow Jackets will host #4 Virginia Tech (5-1).

20/18/18 (19/21/21) Oklahoma (3-2) The Sooners are at #3 Texas (5-0)

21/21/25 (23/24/NA) South Florida (5-0) The Bulls will host #8 Cincinnati (5-0)

22/22/22 (25/NA/NA) South Carolina (5-1) The Gamecocks play at #2 Alabama (6-0)

23/23/21 (NA/NA/24) Houston (4-1) The Cougars play at Tulane (2-3).

24/NA/NA (NA/NA/NA) Utah (4-1) The Utes will play at UNLV (2-4)

25/25/NA (NA/NA/NA) Notre Dame (4-1) The Irish will be hosting #6 Southern California (4-1) this weekend

NA/24 /NA (24/18/22) Missouri (4-1) The Tigers play at #16 Oklahoma State (4-1)

NA/NA/23 (20/16/15) Mississippi (4-2) The Rebels will play host to the UAB Blazers (2-3)

NA/NA/24 (17/19/16) Auburn (5-1) The Tigers host the Kentucky Wildcats (2-3)

Biting off more than you can chew?

Terry and I are planning a cross country trip next summer. We plan on taking the travel trailer out to Alaska with a group from the Good Sam Club.

I'm sure the Tundra will not have the difficulties demonstrated in the clip below despite having to haul a 27-foot long, 7,000 pound trailer over the Canadian Rockies and north to Alaska.

At least I hope it doesn't.

More weather reports from this weekend

Western MT cold breaks records

Missoula's official low temperature of 10 degrees Saturday broke a 36-year record. Kalispell was just 5 degrees, well below the previous record of 16 degrees set in October of 1987.
The winds are expected to blow up to 25 miles per hour, creating wind chill of up to 20 below for the Flathead and Mission valleys, and around 10 below in the Missoula Valley.

Cold temperatures threaten seed potato crop

Record-low temperatures in southwestern Idaho are threatening to destroy at least a portion of this season's crop of seed potatoes.

Spuds still in the ground could be saved by a layer of snow; a dusting had fallen on Bozeman and the surrounding region by Sunday.
Temperatures on Saturday evening dipped to 17 degrees; the last time it was this cold, this early, in southwestern Idaho was more than two decades ago, in 1985.

Going 'cold turkey' on Columbus Day

Sunday's very chilly 44-degree high was more typical of Thanksgiving than just before Columbus Day, and it followed fall's first widespread hard freeze that dropped Sunday morning lows into the middle and upper 20s except for areas very close to the lake. O'Hare International Airport's 29 degrees was the coldest since April 2, when it dropped to 28, and Rockford's 25-degree low broke a record dating back to 1987, when it was 26. The Chicago area, along with much of the Midwest and Plains, has been locked in a chilly pattern since late September with little prospect for warming in the short term. Snow covers much of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, and up to 5 more inches are expected Monday.

Rockies, fans feel the chill at Coors Field
Nearly four hours into the game, the weather had frosted even the most hot-blooded of fans. From the middle innings on, a steady stream of human icicles headed out through the exits.
All this bravado, though, does not mean Rockies fans took the cold lightly. This was, after all, a game with a first-pitch temperature of 35 degrees. A game so cold — it beat out the previous coldest postseason baseball game by at least 3 degrees, depending on whose reading you believe — it turned everyone, even the most die-hard Philadelphia Phillies fan, a little purple.


And this Columbus Day morning it's just 32 degrees at 7 AM here at the Aerie. Of course, it's colder down in the valley (cold air sinks) than it is here at 2100 feet. There is a light frost on the Tundra's and Jeep's windshields, however, and the house's heating system is pumping hot water through the pipes. says we should get up to around 53 today. The average high is 63 degrees.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Aerie Report, October 11, 2009

Terry came home yesterday from her travels to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh for the SAGA and EGA conventions. She came home with a much emptier Jeep. Boxes of magazines and other stuff belonging to SAGA went with her and stayed in Indianapolis or was sold to convention participants.

She had a great time at both conventions and passed the presidential gavel to the next in line. She says the feeling of relief was palpable. Currently, she has no official position in any capacity in the Smocking Arts Guild of America, not so in the Embroiderers' Guild of America. She's been asked to become the president of one of the local chapters (Treasured Stitchery) in December and is another chapter's (Corning) representative to the mid-east region for which she will become secretary next April. And to think, one of her cabinet asked her in Indianapolis if, now that she is no longer national president, she would be bored!

On a side note, she reports the Jeep Compass was exceptionally comfortable and got around 28 mpg when it was carrying a load of magazines and scissors. Once those were gone, it improved to 30+ mpg.


It was just 39 degrees at the Aerie this morning when we got up. Terry says she saw frost in the valley when she went to church. There's not much of a breeze blowing and the sky is mostly clear. The weather quacks say we are in for a very cold night and the temperatures may even drop into the 20s by Monday morning.


We took a ride this afternoon out west of Wellsboro for lunch and then to PA's Grand Canyon at Leonard Harris SP for a little leaf peeping.

My Lord! The park was packed! I guess we should have expected it. After all, it's a three day weekend, the weather is great--if chilly, and the leave color is closing in on the absolute peak.

We managed to find a parking space for the Tundra and walked in to the observation area. There were tables selling maple products (fried dough, ice cream, syrup, etc.) and hot dogs and hamburgers (a Girl Scout fund raiser) set up on either side of the entry.

The Pine Creek Gorge (The Grand Canyon of PA) looking north
from the observation area at Leonard Harris SP

I was a little disappointed with the colors. Many trees down in the gorge had already lost their leaves in the winds and heavy rains last week and the pines and hemlocks are so abundant that there was an awful lot of green still present on the hills.

The view west from the observation area.

Perhaps I was disappointed because on the way over, we had seen some hills with much more color. Heck, those hills I can view from the Aerie's deck seem to have more color.

The view to the west from the Aerie's deck.


We got back to the Aerie around 3:30 PM and I tuned in the Giants vs Oakland football game--if you can call a 44-7 shellacking a game. Eli played less than one half and left having helped the G-men put 28 points on the board and to a 5-0 record. It's good to see he was able to play with the bad foot. But then again, it was Oakland.

I was also able to pick up the end of the Dallas vs KC game. It was 13-13 when I tuned in but then it was 20-13 Dallas with just 2:12 left. Then 20-20 with just seconds on the clock. In OT it went back and forth until some guy named Miles Austin made a catch on the sidelines and sprinted 60 yards for a Dallas TD. (Heck of a name for a WR playing for Dallas, BTW...Miles Austin.) Austin had 10 catches for 250 yards. Not a bad afternoon. But I was hoping the Chiefs could have pulled this one out.