Monday, January 31, 2011

Calm Before the Storm

Our first light temperature was a mere 5.9 F degrees but it warmed to a comfortable 21 under clear still skies. That will change sometime after midnight as another huge storm is barreling our way. There are conflicting forecasts as to how much snow we will get and whether or not there will be ice atop the snow before it all ends sometime on Wednesday. I'm hoping it will remain all snow as that will be much easier to clean up and will mean less chance of losing power.

Something between 6 and 12 inches of snow seems to be the range being reported but the line between 12 and 20--as well as the snow/ice line--is (literally) a stones throw to the north of here at the PA-NY state border.

In anticipation of this storm, Jessica and Jake headed back to New Jersey shortly after our noon meal. They should be getting pretty close to home as I wrote this.


The winds have been swirling around all afternoon coming first from the north and then north-northeast, north-northwest, west and now the south-southeast. In short there is definitely something afoot. But the winds have seldom gotten above 5 mph if the spinning of the windmills is any indication. In fact, there have been hours at a time when the windmills--or at least the three that are very visible from the deck--have stood perfectly still even while facing in three different directions. It only takes a breeze of 2 mph to get them spinning.


If the groundhog "sees" his shadow out at Punxsutawney on Wednesday morning you will know that the entire pageant is rigged. Legend has it, if he sees his shadow he'll go back to sleep and we'll have 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see it, spring will come early. Well, this year, he should NOT see the bloody shadow because of the snow that will be falling but you can bloody well believe we will STILL have six more weeks of winter. Gaia like to play hardball.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More, more, more....

Terry and I shoveled off the driveway in about an hour and a quarter this morning before we all went down to the fire hall in Mansfield for Sunday breakfast.

There's a promise of blue sky today. And tomorrow! Then we will be back to the S.O.S. (Same Old Sh*t.) AccuHunch says we'll get 10+ inches of snow starting after midnight Monday and running through Wednesday. And, they say, there might be a quarter inch or more of ice on top.

In light of this forecast, Jessica and Jake will be heading back to NJ Monday after lunch. And just when Jake was starting to feel more comfortable with the other three cats. (Jake has been the 98-pound weakling on muscle beach. Julie and Chester have been tolerant. But Shadow.... She hisses and growls at poor Jake.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Snow Update

Didn't stop snowing here until around 6 PM. It was, of course, dark by then and I've no desire to get out there for two hours of shoveling in the dark. It appears we got somewhere around 3 inches of snow. *sigh* If all the snow that has fallen in the last three days had arrived at once, I could have/would have used the snow thrower since it has piled up 7-9 inches. Instead we got 2, 3, 4 inches at a time with half a day or more between clippers. We intend to go to breakfast at the firehouse Sunday morning--which we will do AFTER the shoveling is done.

Good news is that the clipper set up seems to have worn itself out. Unfortunately, there are two possible storms on tap for next week that are bigger and which--at this time--appear to be heading our way. One will arrive on Wednesday the other closer to Saturday. If the forecasters are correct, we'll get enough to last for a time.

More Snow at the Aerie

Jessica made it to the Aerie yesterday. Almost. She managed to drive her little Yaris (Bob. As in Dread Pirate Roberts. Yaaarrr!) all the way to within the last 100 yards of The Hill. There it refused to go any further for her. Terry and I went down in the Jeep and I managed to get the little guy up The Hill and into the driveway. (And that is why Terry has a 4-wheel drive Jeep for winter and her little yellow Aveo for summer.)


Jake is having none of this camaraderie stuff vis-a-vis the other three cats. Yet. He may eventually warm up to their presence but there's still a lot of hissing and growling going on. So far, however, it's all for show. No real cat fights have broken out. (Chester is the one taking it all in stride. I believe he thinks of Jake as Mini-Me to his Dr. Evil.)


Crom! More snow is falling and a winter weather advisory is predicting four inches or so will fall before it's finished late this afternoon/early this evening. Looks like I'll get another workout shoveling. The good news is that we're supposed to have mostly sunny skies Sunday and Monday before the flurries return Tuesday and a possible heavier snow fall on Wednesday (Groundhog Day). Bitter cold shows up Wednesday with a low in the negative numbers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh, heck!

Woke up this morning to 22 degrees and an unexpected new 2 inches of snow on the ground. I say it was "unexpected" because the forecast didn't show anything until late tonight and when I went outside at 8 PM last night there were only a few scattered clouds along with a very visible Jupiter over in the western sky. Still, here it is. According to the radar on, it slid in from the southwest as part of a very patchy cover from the most recent Alberta Clipper. The one that was supposed to stay too far to the south of us to have any effect. HA!

I guess I'll be getting some more exercise today. Oh well, I need the workout anyway. Just so long as my back and/or knees don't rebel. My daughter, Jessica, is supposed to be coming out from NJ for a few days so the driveway must be cleaned. Terry's got a club meeting this morning so I'll be working solo. Think I'll give it until 9 or 9:30 AM before I get out there. Maybe it will stop snowing by then. AccuHunch says the sun will come out...Sunday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unfortunate(?) turn of a phrase

During the SOTU, President Obama used the phrase "Winning The Future" in a slogan sorta way. Not only is that the title of a Newt Gingrich (R) book, but it results in a rather unfortunate shortening into an acronym that, in this internet/texting age has a whole different meaning! LOL!

(from American Glob)

This may not have been what they meant it to mean, but it sure seems appropriate to me.

Just one more unforced error by the smart set. (At least by their on records.)

Reading is fun...da...mental

I enjoy reading. Most of my reading is for entertainment purposes only as, except for some science or historical tomes, I get bored or befuddled. Or depressed.

Monday, Terry and I went up to Horseheads to go to Staples. Both of our printers were sore in need of spare ink cartridges. Right next door to Staples is a Barnes & Noble so, of course, we went in to browse. We had already gone to to make a wish list the night before, but there were Simon & Schuster Crossword Puzzle books on the shelves as well as a copy of Sir Terry Prachett's I Shall Wear Midnight, a stitching magazine, and a romance novel that Terry wanted. I still have a B & N card so a discount was involved but the price was still much higher than Amazon where there's no brick and mortar or sales staff to pay for. Sometimes, however, you just have to have an item right now and not 7 to 14 shipping days later. (No I do not have Amazon Prime for free shipping but the discount on the books is still enough.)

Anywho. I bought the Prachett novel because I wanted it now. Dammit! Anything to get my mind off the weather and/or politics. And it worked. For a day. That's how long it took me to read this fourth--and supposedly final--story of Tiffany Aching--now a teenage witch of 16--and the Nac Mac Feegles (aka The Wee Free Men).

This is has been classified as a teen book and that's where the clerk found it for me after I couldn't locate it with the other Prachett novels, but it's a pleasant enough read for any age and especially so if you're a Prachett fan. The action isn't as fast and furious as it is with the stories of the Night Watch or Rincewind the Wizzard. (That's not a misspelling, BTW.)(Wiki entry here.) It comes closest to the cerebral games played with the Witches novels. Which, come to think of it, is appropriate since Tiffany Aching is now a 16 year-old witch with all the duties and encumbrances that entails.

Having finished this latest of Sir Prachett's novels I now have a choice. I can either go back and re-reread all 38 Discworld novels or move on to something else. I've the first two book from Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series sitting here unread. Perhaps I had best get to them since the next four are on their way via Amazon (shipped today) as are books 11-13 of the Dresden Files (also by Butcher) and three or four Marcus Didius Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis. (Yeah, I've fallen behind in my leisure reading.)

Winter exercise

Well, I got my exercise in this afternoon. Took me approximately two hours to clear the driveway of two inches of light fluffy global warming. Built up quite a sweat twisting and pivoting, pushing and lifting the shovel.

Got to listen to the garbage man struggle to get his truck turned around at the end of the drive while I was at it. It's more a baby garbage truck than a real one. It has a compacter mounted on the rear and an enclosed dumping hauler and is bigger than the old pick-up he used to use, but it still has just a single set of tires on the rear axle and is rear wheel drive only. Apparently he didn't stay high on the hill enough when he backed in to the driveway and when he attempted to go forward to turn back down the hill had his rear tires slide sideways so as to remain even with the nose instead of getting behind the nose of the truck. Skid marks in the snow indicate he must have gone down the road sideways for a bit before he eventually got things straightened out and went on his way. Made Terry feel good that she was able to get up that slope and into the driveway without a problem in her Jeep Compass.

As we near the end of January and with less than a week until Phil makes his annual prediction, I sincerely hope that Joe Bastardi of AccuHunch was wrong when he said there would be lots more winter weather ahead--at least until mid March. The short range forecasts (15 days) seem to lean his way, however.

Wait a minute.... Mid March.... Mmmmm, that would be about six weeks after Phil makes his prediction on February 2nd based on whether he sees his shadow or not. You don't think Phil and Joe Bastardi are, say, communicating, do you? They are both down there in southwest PA. AccuWeather is out of State College. Phil is in Punxatawney just one county to the west. Coincidence?

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.
...somewhere else.

While the Aerie was well west of the major blow that struck the coastal areas, we are experiencing some snowfall this day and likely int he days to follow. Our snow is the product of both lake effect snow off Lake Ontario and a series of swiftly moving clippers coming in from the Great Lakes region and points to the northwest (Saskatchewan and Manitoba--thanks Canada!). Each will produce only an inch or two of the white stuff but that in itself is little consolation as it means sloppy roads, limited visibility and several bouts of shovel work on my part.

This morning we have already received close to two inches of light powder on the deck. There's a heavy truck stuck on the road just below us that appears to have slid off into the side ditch and is having trouble getting back on the packed gravel road. Terry has gone down the hill to get the mail, go to Curves (if it's open) and do some shopping at Wally World. Her four-wheel drive Jeep Compass would normally be able to get her home but this truck blocking the road could produce a delay.

At least we haven't had the kind of snow that her Mom and Jess have had to contend with. Newark, NJ,--located only one town away from Mom's home--had over 20 inches of the stuff. [Mom says she had 17-18 inches.] That's at least the third storm since Christmas of that caliber. And there have been three or four others this winter that produced more than six inches.

TigerHawk has some nice pictures of Princeton this morning after the snow.

Maggie's Farm has posted some pictures from a little further north in the land of Taxachusettes that also document the latest snowfall.

It is lovely to look at, but I'm glad I'm not there.

UPDATE: Terry got home A-OK. She says the truck was there when she went down. They were putting snow tires on it. Idiots abound.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Thoughts of the Day

A couple of quiet days here at the Aerie. It never did get up to the mid 30s yesterday but it did get near to the 32 degree mark this afternoon. That caused the little dusting of snow on the deck to almost completely melt--almost--before we got a wee bit more around sun down.


The extra whole-house humidifier I purchased on Sunday has succeeded in raising the humidity levels in the house to near 50% which is a blessing. It doesn't do quite as well when the fireplace is sending out its warm dry air but even then it stays around 40% and that's good for the nasal passages and the logs. Without that extra humidity things start cracking and checking--especially when the outside humidity plummets with the temperature.


I managed to switch out the two 512 MB memory chips in my laptop for two 2 GB chips and have seen some improvement in the behavior and speed of my computer. Now I can make mistakes at least twice as fast.


I didn't watch the SOTU address last night or either of the follow-ups. From what I've read today I didn't miss much in skipping the President's speech. Even his supporters seem to agree that it was not one of his finest productions.


I tuned in to Harry's Law the last two Monday nights--mostly because I wanted to see Kathy Bates in action. I followed the first episode through to the end but switched off the second with 15 minutes to go because the liberal leaning, right bashing, rhetoric got to be too much. It airs at 10 PM on NBC and is a product of the Law and Order folks. For awhile there during the second week I thought I was watching MSNBC and that the head writer was Keith Olbermann. I will not be watching any more.

From the sound of this review after week 1, I won't be the only one not watching anymore.
Harry’s Law is, first and foremost, a colossal waste of Bates’ talent.

There’s no reason it can’t be a shoe store and a law firm, Jenna says to Harry. In Kelley’s world, that is true. In the real world. it’s not. It’s just stupid. Not whimsical, not quirky, just stupid.

Beyond that, Harry’s Law is littered with bogus courtroom rambling on soap boxes so tall they are an insurance claim waiting to happen. Let’s legalize drugs, Harry goes off, and the next thing you know she’s talking about stupid Republicans and Rush Limbaugh. It’s all cheap, easy, predictable and not very clever.

Layered upon the lectures are gobs of sap, as two African-American clients (one a drug addict going to college but facing a third-strike charge, the other a lovable goon who leans on merchants for protection money -- but they love him dearly!) desperately need Harry’s help. And she does help them, although the treacly piano music meant to pull your heartstrings will have you vomiting in the nearest bed-side or couch-side cylindrical object, so you may not be able to figure out how she pulled it off.

Do you want to know a feel-good story that would help television immensely? If Harry’s Law failed miserably -- now bring up the piano and strings in this part -- and Kelley went home, reconsidered his strengths, then came back with something completely different next time. No crutches, no quirks, no lawyers, no stupidity. Just a show that allows him to reconnect with his talent. Fade to black. Kill the saccharine music. And, redemption.


Another TV show I've started watching is The Cape. It too appears on NBC on Mondays (in the hour preceeding Harry's Law) but is more comic book super hero action oriented. With story lines, heroes and villains in a fictional city that are all just a bit beyond reality. Pure escapism reminiscent of the weekly visits with my cousins when we would get together with our stash of comic books and trade/read for a couple of hours while the adults played penny ante poker. I like it. Besides, the heroes sidekick (and bad guys estranged daughter) is played by Summer Glau of Firefly and Serenity fame.

I've watched it for four weeks now and I'll be tuning into this one for as long as they continue to air it. Unless they let things really fall apart. This review from after week one gives and indication of why. The author went in figuring to be disappointed and let down--much as I did.
In execution I found myself reluctantly, completely charmed by it.

The deft flips between SERIOUS vigilante BUSINESS and jokes about stage voices; between a corporate security firm conspiracy that would be just a tiny bit over the top for 24 and a presentation of sideshow life that would seem right at home in an episode of Doctor Who; reminded me of nothing so much as the DC Animated universe. That is, the shows that taught me that in order to make the Joker really scary, you’ve first got to make him really funny, and there’s no reason why characters can’t make sardonic jokes about how weird and mentally hazardous their crime fighting lives are.

Glad I'm not over there on the east coast. Especially in the Rhode Island, Cape Cod area. Another humdinger of a snow storm over there. here? Not so much. Hardly anything at all. AccuHunch is saying we'll get some snow flurries and showers that may amount to an inch.

We stared down the barrel of Mother Nature's gun and she proved to be a bit cross-eyed. Missed us by t-h-a-t much! (Or do you really think she was aiming at all those Democrat controlled cities/states to begin with?)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Downs and Ups (Weight and Temps)

Dropped 3.6 pounds this week making for a total loss in three weeks of 6.7 pounds to 225.5 pounds. It may not sound like much but for a nearly sedentary time of year (I really should get the snowshoes out), I think that's pretty good. As long as the numbers on the scale continue to go down week-to-week I'll be happy.


Monday's afternoon temperature topped off at just 16 the sun. It started to drop as soon as the sun went down behind the mountains but then a funny thing happened. The winds picked up out of the west-southwest and it was like it came all the way from the Gulf of Mexico carrying with it the warmth (but not the moisture--that would stay to the east) and the temperature started to rise. This morning the thermometer read 20 degrees. That's a gain of 26 degrees over yesterday morning and "warm" enough to make one want to forego the hot toddies and bring out the margarita makin's. Well, maybe not that warm...But it is supposed to get to the mid to upper 30s today!

As for the snow...stayed to the east of us. East of the Delaware River, actually. We had just the lightest of dusting overnight which the wind has whipped away. Good.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold! Cold! Cold!

It's clear, calm and minus 6 here at the Aerie this morning. Our first foray into the negative numbers and by far the coldest yet this season at the homestead. And it's colder in the valley. It's supposed to get into the upper teens later today and I see AccuHunch has 1.5 inches of snow on its agenda for late in the day into tonight.

And they are still wondering what will happen Tuesday through Wednesday. While they haven't made an official prediction for it, all their blogs, maps and discussions behind the main page, seem to indicate we're in for a doozy.

But, even should we get a foot of snow, at least it will be warming up! That snow will be fueled by warm moist air from the Gulf.

Steelers 24, Jets 19

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers for winning their respective Conference Championships yesterday. Two of the most storied teams in the history of the Super Bowl will meet on February 6th down in Arlington, TX.

I would have preferred my Jets but they had no answer to the Steelers in the first half on either side of the ball. The Jets' defense may not have allowed the quick scoring strikes, but it yielded yards and first downs like water passing through a sieve. Time passed inexorably while that was going on and the Jets' offense could only watch from the sidelines. The Jets O didn't get the ball until 10 minutes had run off the clock. It was 24-3 at half only because the Jets got a field goal with 9 seconds left.

The second half was what I had wanted to see from the National Anthem. The Jets managed to march up and down the field, completed a couple of beautiful long passes, and crossed the goal line twice. On defense they scored a safety and, contained and sacked Roethlisberger and shut down Pittsburgh's scoring attack. In short, the Jets came up with answers, but it was too late. They lost the first half 24-3, won the second half 16-0. The Jets either gave up too much too soon, or had too little too late. In either case, it spells the end of the season for the Green and White.

From a comment on the CBS story thread:
Our Father, Who Art in Pittsburgh,
Football Be Thy Game.
Thy Kingdom Come, Six Super Bowls Won,
On Earth as it is in Heinz Field.
Give us this Day a Playoff Victory,
And Forgive Us our Penalties,
As We Defeat those who Play Against Us.
But Lead Us into a Victory, And Deliver Us to Texas!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How good are you on a bandsaw?

I am amazed by what some people can do with their power tools.

Take this guy for instance:


In case you were wondering...'s an explanation of Continental Drift and much more. Thanks to Scrat.

2012 seems so far away. But, perfection can not be rushed.

Oh, baby, it's cold outside...

Just 1.5 degrees this morning at 6:30 AM at the Aerie. Of course our hillside location usually provides us with slightly warmer temps than those done in the valley. (Cold air sinks, don't cha know.) Elmira reports MINUS 8. By far this is the coldest to date this season.

We--and the eastern seaboard--are staring down the barrel at another HUGE snow storm for the middle of next week. Could be as big as the Christmas storm. Could reach further inland so as to impact the Aerie. We shall see.

Terry says a guy on the Today Show puts thins in perspective: We still have 60% of the snow season to go. *sigh*

Now don't get me wrong. I like snow. I enjoy the clean, crisp cold air. I am immersed in the soft silence that descends upon the world as the flakes fall. The blanket of white looks so pristine and soft as it lays upon the landscape. I thrill to the squeak as the icy snow is crunched beneath the soles of my boots. I marvel at the beautifully sculpted curves of the wind blown drifts. i enjoy attempting to read the night moves of the local fauna in the tracks they leave behind on the fresh slate each night.

It's the having to move the stuff out of the way so we can get out that troubles me. That and the monotony that eventually comes into play. When the white on the ground, the white of the birch bark, the gray of the other tree trunks, and, on days when the clouds roll in, the leaden sky fuses land and sky into shades of gray. When the lack of real color save from the green of the pines and firs and the occasional red of a male cardinal makes you wonder if you've lost part of your ability to see. That's what begins to bug me about winter.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Ever wonder how they make the footballs for the NFL games? Well wonder no more!

Fresh snow at the Aerie

Hey Rev. Paul! We gotcher snow right cheer, pal!

Woke up this morning to find that the snow fairy had visited again. THIS time the little imp dropped a fresh blanket of 4-5 inches on the ground. Now that's not much, I know, but it is an annoyance. The temperature had also dropped overnight and a reading of 13 degrees appeared on the digital screen. Even though the sun would come out, that temperature would not get out of the teens all day and a strong wind (18-20 mph) with even stronger gusts (28-30 mph) would put a little nip in the air. Add the occasional snow flurry/squall and you've got fireplace weather.

But first I had to clear the driveway. Do I shovel or do I use the snow thrower? Usually I opt for the shovel for anything under 4 inches and the thrower for anything over 6 inches. This snowfall was a tweener.

I chose the snow thrower since getting that much snow the 30-40 feet from the center of the parking area in front of the garage to the sides would be a task by shovel. Luckily the snow was dry and light so even though it got tossed on top of itself in an overlapping manner before getting to the edge, it never really packed down enough to force the thrower to complain.

The job of cleaning the driveway took just about one hour.

We've now had 3-4 shoveling snowfalls and 2 snow thrower snowfalls in the last two+ weeks and it's finally caught up with me. I've been trying to get the drive cleared as close to the ground as possible but today I threw my hands in the air and said enough is enough. Rather than go back over the entire expanse with a shovel after the snow thrower had done its thing, I chose to leave a half inch to an inch of snow on the drive. Yeah, it'll get packed down by vehicles and feet. And, yeah, it's likely to turn into a layer of ice. But tough! Perhaps it will actually help when the next snowfall arrives later this week. The shovel and the runners on the thrower will have a packed surface to glide over instead of jutting gravel stones on which to get snagged.

At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.


I see that the chief Long Term Forecaster at AccuHunch, Joe Bastardi, is saying that the weather patterns we've been experiencing (some snow every couple of days and cold temperatures) are probably going to continue through February into early March.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Computer Rage

I mentioned that I suffered a computer malfunction last night while making a presentation at the Audubon Society meeting. My reaction was much more controlled than this fellow. Perhaps I held back because I had an audience. Perhaps I held back because I realized I might be partially at fault for having a low amount of RAM in my computer. Perhaps. But deep down inside I sure wanted to.

(Found over at Denny's)

It's done....
The slideshow presentation, that is.

The presentation of our 2010 road trip to Alaska went pretty well last night. NOT!

Murphy was in attendance.

Extension cords (which I forgot to bring with me) were all two-prong affairs but the projector had three prongs. And extension cords were needed since the wire from the projector was only 4' long and would not reach the outlet from the optimum set-up position. Someone from the photo club happened to live a block away from the library and she took Terry home to get an adapter so everything could work together.

The slideshow, which ran without a hitch at home, froze several times on my computer once the computer got hooked up to the projector. This, of course, caused several delays before we simply switched over to a friend's laptop using a copy I had stored on a memory stick for just such a situation.

The half hour lost due to this frustration inducing SNAFU produced an outbreak of nerves on my part and a much longer than anticipated program running time, causing people to start squirming in their seats. I ended up halting the show as we were returning to the lower forty-eight in Portland, OR. Folks never got to see our birding in Utah, the visit to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, or hot air ballooning in Colorado Springs.

We did get to discuss portions of our trip with several folks who had been to Alaska either by ship or plane. It was interesting to see them nodding their heads as we showed slides of places they had visited and hear them agree with some of my comments about those places.

This morning, when I ran the slideshow at home, it worked perfectly. It could be that while I merely clicked through the slides rapidly at home (1,2,3,4...etc.) I was pausing to discuss a few of the slides during the performance last night. This gave the computer an opportunity to cogitate in the background and access the RAM--of which I have only the minimum 1 GB--causing the computer to seize up.

To prevent that from happening in the future, I just ordered some memory chips from Crucial to boost my RAM to 4 GB. Should help with the running of a sometimes balky Photoshop program as well. In any event, more RAM for the old computer is cheaper than a new computer--which would probably come with either the basic package or an exorbitant boost in price for the larger RAM package.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh, the weather outside is....

We enjoyed (?) a windless night with temperatures hovering at 32-33 degrees from 10 PM through 7 AM. Sometime during the night, however, a mild bit of snow and fog moved in and every branch and twig bore a white coat this morning while the deck and the driveway had about an inch and a half of new accumulation.

The white draped trees and fog give the Aerie an eerie aura. I half expect to see Shangri-La when this lifts. Heh! If only!

The snow in the driveway did force my hand. I positively HAD to go out and shovel since the weekend--at this point--looks hazardous. AccuHunch is calling for to get colder tonight (low of 9 degrees) with snow on Thursday night into Friday followed by some of the coldest temperatures of the winter (overnight lows near 0 degrees and daytime highs in the teens).

Shoveling--and shoveling was the only option since the snow depth was just 1-1/2 inches or thereabouts--was not an easy task as this was NOT the light fluffy snow we have been getting. This stuff more resembled a combination of granular sugar and oatmeal. Instead of one and a half hours, today it took me closer to two hours of steady moving, twisting, lifting and tossing.

The good? 1) It's done--for today. 2) The plow came up the hill just as I got near the end of the driveway. Great timing!

The bad? 1) As I finished up, snow started falling. Not much, mind you. Just enough to be worrisome.

(And AccuHunch is saying something about 3 inches on the way? says "occasional snow flurries" and less than an inch. Now, where did I put that lucky coin of mine?)

Holy Cow!

Ya think he had brown underwear after this?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Think you're pretty good with that nail gun?

Get a load of this guy!

Road Trip 2010 Presentaion Progressing

Terry and I continue to put together our presentation on our Alaskan Road Trip for our Audubon group. I've tentatively named the PowerPoint slide show: North! To Alaska by Road or There and back again . Seemed pretty catchy and nerdy to me.

Still have 629 photos to illustrate our talk so we'll have to pare things down but, having looked at it several times, I can't quite decide what should go but can think of all sorts of things that should be added--like maps. *sigh*

I did draw up some large maps to put on a presentation easel so folks can get an idea of the distances we covered, place locations relative to one another and the immense portion of the state of Alaska to which you absolutely can not drive. There's a reason there are so many privately owned small aircraft capable of landing just about anywhere within the state's borders.

There's only a few "problems" with putting this presentation together:
1- I realize how many photo opportunities I missed
2- We have come to realize how many places we didn't get to because of flood and fire (Top of the World Highway got flooded out so we missed Dawson in the Yukon and Highway 37--the Cassier Highway--was closed to us due to forest fires so we missed Stewart and the whole of northwest BC)
3- There are places accessible only via air or water that we would like to visit (Nome, Ketchican, Juneau, Petersburg, Kodiak, etc.)
4- There are many places we would go back to in a minute to spend a week or two instead of a day or two
5- Heck, we just want to go back

But then I read from Rev. Paul that it's a nippy minus 10 to minus 20 at Casa del Pablo in Anchorage and realize it's much, much colder in Fairbanks. One might say that sort of reportage puts a chill on the old travel plans. Cassie might have the right idea as she and Pat have headed from northernmost Idaho back to Arizona for a bit of sunshine.

Speaking of sunshine...The days are growing a wee bit longer now that we are a month past the Winter solstice, but it still tips way too much in favor of the dark side it the dark-to-light scale of things. Perhaps that's another reason I am doomed to be nothing more than a crass cheechako. (Anchorage today: Sunrise: 9:52 am Sunset: 4:29 pm. Just a little over 6 hours of sunlight. *shudder* I liked it much better when we had closer to 20 hours in July.)

Tuesday Weigh In

Currently 29 degrees outside...up from 6 degrees yesterday. The ice/snow/rain remains--for the most part--to our east with only a teensy bit of snow having fallen overnight. Just a dusting on the deck but, with the high humidity and warmer temperatures, is great packing snow if you wanted to make a snowman or have a snowball fight. There is considerable fog down in the valley and the occasional fog cloud rolls in over the ridge to our south enveloping the Aerie in cotton candy whiteness.


Week two of the weight loss program saw my numbers bouncing all over again so I was prepared for Mr. Scale to render bad news when I stepped on it this morning. Instead, I got the second lowest reading in two weeks: 229.1 pounds. That's down from a starting weight of 232.2 for a loss of 3.1 pounds in two weeks. Not much, but at least it is heading in the right direction while I've not been particularly careful about my exercise or food intake. Well, they do say that slow and steady is the best way to win this particular race.

Monday, January 17, 2011

And the award ...

...for the most oxymoronic (with a stress on the "moron" portion) headline and sub headline of the week goes to one Simon Jenkins of the His entry?
Free speech can't exist unchained. US politics needs the tonic of order

If America is to speak in a way that heals, as Obama wishes, it needs the curbs and regulations that make freedom of expression real

I hastily get the impression that the concept of free speech is well above this jerk's pay grade. I mean, come on man! "Free speech can't exist unchained"? Really? What definition of "free" are you using?

No need to fisk this one but if you care to read what he has to say, you can do so here.

My favorite comment comes early and indicates that at least some of those we call inhabitants of our ancestral home get it:

13 January 2011 8:10PM

Irrespective of questions of American free speech, one thing is certain - they have a lot more of it than we do.

Yeah. And most of us like it that way even though we realize that true free speech affords our foes as well as our friends to express their thoughts and expose their minds.

The current problem is not with "free speech" but with the vitriol, the lack of substance, and the dearth of truth in the expressed thoughts. Even then, however, it is helpful to allow each and every one of us to freely spew forth upon any and all topics. How else will we know who the real fools are?


Bruce Springsteen sang about "The Glory Days" and, like the guys in that song, my athletic days are behind me. Football and baseball are beyond my physical abilities now. Basketball was never my forte. I was never the speediest at track. (I would lose to the tortoise, too, but for different reasons than the hare.) Even jogging leaves me cold. (Ever see a jogger smiling?)

That said, I do believe that there's one contest I could get into even at my age.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jets 28, Patriots 21

back in Week 2 of the NFL season--that would be September 19th--the Jets defeated the New England Patriots 28-14 in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. Then in the thirteenth week of the season, the Patriots thumped the Jets in Foxboro, 45-3. It was that game that all the sports analysts were thinking about as today's game approached.

During the week of preparation, there was a lot of talk by Rex Ryan and the Jets' defensive backs. Ryan kept talking about how HE was going to be the best coach on the field on Sunday and how his beef with Bill Belichick was personal. The defensive backs more-or-less dared Pats' quarterback to throw in their direction.

The New England coach and his players were quiet. (Except for Wes Welker who made some veiled remarks about feet and Rex Ryan. Comments that caused Coach Belichick to sit Welker down for the first Patriot possession.)

This difference in attitude and comportment had the analysts fawning over the professional approach of the Patriots. Combined with the ease with which the Pats handled the Jets in the Week 13 (45-3) the experts fell all over themselves handing the Patriots today's game.

You do have to play them, however.

Jets 28, Patriots 21

Brady threw an interception to end the first Patriot possession. It was his first interception since Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens. And, although it didn't result in any points for the Jets (a missed field goal) that interception and return set the tone for the Jets' defense. The Jets' defense kept Brady hopping all game. There were four sacks and many, many hurries.

On offense, Mark Sanchez tossed three TD passes to as many different receivers. Shonn Greene ran for another to put the Jets up 28-14 with about a minute and a half left.

Brady did complete 29 of 44 for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a losing cause.

The Jets now head to western PA to face the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC title. The Jets had never beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh when they squared off on December 19th. The Jets started that game with a 97 yard kickoff return by Brad Smith and ended the scoring with a Jason Taylor safety. The final was 22-17 J-E-T-S.

Random Thoughts

A message to those on the left who have attempted t link the Tuscan shootings by a nut case to 1) the Tea Party, 2) talk radio hosts, 3) Sarah Palin 4) the gun used, 5) anything but the shooter...

Enough already!

funny pictures - I've had it up to here  with your otter nonsense
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

And if you "Progressives" (what a heck of a misnomer!) really, really think inflammatory rhetoric was the cause of this incident, then it's time for you to start practicing what you're preaching. Over the course of the last 10+ years the greatest amount of such speech has come from the left and the supportive Lame Stream Media, most notably the New York Times, MSNBC and CNN.

Football Thoughts

The college bowl games are over and we're in the midst of the NFL Playoffs. Perhaps it's time to say thanks to the folks who make these games possible: The Referees.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


funny pictures - Teh "mehs".
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Yeah. It's been like that. Especially with such dry, dry air in the house (32% RH) and a couple of cats who think it's cool to wake us up at 2 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM....

Aerie Report, January 15, 2011

Several quiet but cold days here at the Aerie. Last Thursday we saw 8 degrees at about 8 in the morning. That's the coldest so far this season. It was a nice sunny day, however, so when I went out to shovel the inch and a half of snow that fell Wednesday night, I was able to work up a sweat despite the barely 20 degree high. The house was toasty as well since I had build a large fire in the fire place as soon as I finished feeding the cats.

Friday was slightly warmer but still a mostly sunny day. We say the temperatures actually get up to the mid 20s after starting at 13 degrees.

Saturday Started with winds shifting around so as to come out of the southwest. They also brought some snow flurries into the area. The wind made it feel colder than the 25 degree dawn temperature or the 24 degree sunset reading. Even though those readings were higher than the last two days, I still built another fire in the fireplace to make the living quarters nice and toast. And the light snow that fell all afternoon didn't amount to much on the deck or the driveway except for where it blew off the roof and drifted in front of the garage doors. There it was easily 608 inches deep and will probably require some small amount of shoveling Sunday morning.


Terry had a Pampered Chef Party this afternoon on the north side of the valley. Between here and there, she says, the snow didn't amount to much at all. Only where the wind had the ability to blow across open fields did it get drifted out onto the road.

As for the Pampered Chef products, we really make use of several of their products. In the past she's bought a pizza stone and a stoneware meatloaf pan that we use often. We also have some of their utensils and cutlery. All of it's quality stuff if a little expensive.


I've finally finished going through the photos from our road trip. I managed to pare the stack down to a "mere" 630 for the one hour presentation at the Tiadaghton Audubon Society meeting on Wednesday. In many instances we will be able to push through them at 5 seconds or less each for a string of half a dozen or more at a time. If we can keep the narration to a minimum, we should be able to show them all without too much more paring down.

Let's see...60 minutes each having 60 seconds...that's 3600 seconds.
Six hundred slides...that's 6 seconds each....
Hoo boy! It's gonna be tight!
But then, how long does it take to pop a slide on the screen and say identify what it shows?

Now I'll have to see about drawing a map or two to show our route.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How do you get to Carnagie Hall?

Practice. Practice. Practice.

And be the best damn harmonica player you can be!

Buddy Greene is a master on that little mouth organ! Amazing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Grief!

Okay. So, Terry and I were sitting at the dining room table having our midday meal when I noticed that the snow had stopped. I checked the page and looked at the radar map. Seeing nothing in the immediate area (except for "The Blob" which is almost always present) I decided to get outside and start moving snow.

The wind had picked up and there was some difficulty getting the snow thrown in such a way that it did not blow back on me but, with constant adjustments to the discharging chute, I managed to get the job done. I also had trouble with stones in the gravel drive catching the runners and jerking the machine one way or the other. Stones also got picked up by the snow thrower and rattled their way up the chute before getting tossed-often two or three times further than the snow. This required constant adjustments to the chute so as not to hit the truck or house. (At least the wind wasn't strong enough to blow the stones back at me!)

Finished with the thrower, I discovered I had snapped on of the cotter pins on the auger. It must have been near the very end of the job for I had checked several times while tossing stones--just in case. I replaced that pin before dusting off the thrower and putting it back into the garage. Then Terry and I swept the snow off the truck and her Aveo (the Jeep is in the garage) before I used the shovel to clean up around the vehicles. As I finished it started snowing--again.

Wrapping my hands around a hot cup of cocoa, I checked the radar maps again and saw some bands of snow off to our northeast streaming to the southeast. Even when put into motion, these plumes of clouds did not pass over us. All that was over us was the ever present Blob. I say "ever present" because it seems to be just that. While everything else in the interactive radar map streams from the northwest to southeast, the Blob merely jiggles and quivers a little but remains over Armenia Mountain.

Heck, The Blob is probably still there. And I don't give a hoot when you read this. Could be January. Could be July. The Blob. Will. Still. Be. There. It's a natural phenomena. If you don't believe me check it out:
1-Go to the Mansfield, PA page for using the link
2- Scroll down to the radar map near the bottom of the page
3- Notice The Blob located to the southeast of Mansfield? It's a little south-southeast of Mainesburg and probably over the name "Summit". (Of course, if we're in the midst of a LARGE storm, then the entire area will be covered in clouds and you'll have to come back later.)
4- Double click on the map to make it interactive and then click on "PAST" and then click "PLAY". If there are other clouds on the map, you will see them move but The Blob will only quiver like a Jello mold--or Santa's tummy. Trust me on this.

I'm not sure what's causing it but Terry and I have noticed it since last winter...right after the windmills went into operation. It was not there the first summer after we built the Aerie. I know because we were still finishing the chimney and I would check the radar for passing thunderstorms so Don would not get caught unawares up there on that high point.

PS It's 3:30 PM and it's snowing like crazy but only The Blob is overhead according to the map. And the sun is trying to shine under it from the west!

Snowy Wednesday

We woke up this morning to approximately 5 inches of fresh snow on the ground. And it continues to fall as I type. The temperatures have barely moved from the 16 degrees at 7 AM but the winds--out of the northwest--have increased making it feel colder.

Terry had a doctor's appointment this morning at 10:30 (operative word "had") but, upon taking the snow thrower out to the road and finding it hadn't been plowed, I advised her to cancel. Only two ruts went up and down the hill where trucks had gone up earlier. I'm assuming these were headed to one of the gas drilling sights up there and would have been largish tankers carrying necessary fracking fluids.

After making one pass with the thrower, hearing that Terry's appointment had been changed, seeing the snow still coming down--heavily at times--and getting a stone wedged in the rotter causing the machine to stall until I could pry the dang thing out, I opted to call it quits until the snow diminishes or 3 PM rolls around--whichever comes first.

We won't get near as much as the I-95 corridor is getting--thank God--but this is the heaviest snow fall thus far this season. I see that some of those places in the Green and White Mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont will be getting 2 feet or more of fresh powder.

Can't imagine what two feet of snow looks like? How about this:

(The image comes from the cousins in Columbia, South Carolina where they got 6 inches of snow the other day. I've no idea where they got it from.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This and That, January 11, 2011

Last Tuesday I stepped on the scale and it read 232.2. That was the beginning of a new diet...or the end of the old one. While I've not been following any particular regimen except to push the day's large meal to noon or there about and to push myself away from the table more forcefully, I managed some loss this week. Weighing myself daily produced some yo-yo activity, of course, as so much depended upon such as the level of outdoor activity (two snows needed to be shoveled), how much liquid I drank (and retained), and if I had had a BM. Still, this morning's weigh-in produced some positive results in a 1.8 pound weight loss down to 230.6 pounds.


Congratulations to Auburn for their 22-19 victory over the Oregon Ducks in last night's BCS Championship Game. I actually turned it off in the closing seconds when it looked like the Tigers had scored a TD to go ahead 26-19 so imagine my surprise to find out this morning that I (and Brent Musburger) were wrong and that it took a last second field goal to seal the deal. As for Michael Dyer's 37-yard run on that final drive.... How many times are players told to play until the whistle? Only the referees can end a play. And, in today's world of instant replay and challenges, they aren't going to do so if it's questionable. Good thing neither Dyer's knee nor forearm hit the turf...for both the refs and the Tigers.


I was impressed with the story of how they had resodded the field after last weeks bowl game. Looked real nice for the Big Game. Then they kicked off and players on both sides started to slip and slide on every play. Certainly detracted a little from the performance of both teams' offenses AND defenses.


On the weather front: The temperatures were up slightly this morning (17 degrees) but that hasn't precluded the moisture in the air from freezing to twigs and branches of trees. The hoar frost gives everything a nice glistening...or it would if the sun could peek out from behind the cloud cover that has moved in ahead of the snow that's coming. And that snow seems to be hurrying our way. The forecast now says it will be here around 5 this afternoon instead of 7 tonight. Should it start at that time (5 PM) I will once more have to forgo participation in the Grand Canyon Photography Club's meeting over in Wellsboro. The meeting usually ends around 9:30 PM so even if it starts snowing around 7 things could be dicey. No way I want to voluntarily be on the roads for some 25 miles of driving in a snow storm.

[UPDATE: Oooo-kay. Started snowing at 3 in the afternoon. Could be good--gets done sooner tomorrow morning, or it could be bad--gonna be more of the stuff than they at first predicted. We shall see. In any event, I guess I'll stay home to watch NCIS tonight.]

Monday, January 10, 2011

Aerie Report, January 10, 2011

We enjoyed bright sunshine today. Which is good since it started out at just 10 degrees at 7 AM. And even with the sunshine, it never got above freezing on the porch although it did get to 30.6 degrees.

The bulk of tomorrow may be a carbon copy--but tomorrow night? A we'll be getting snow. Again. How much depends upon the track of the storm. If it chooses to smack the east end of Long Island instead of the west end, we'll get "only" three to six inches or so. A shift a hundred miles west and things will be way different. Maybe different enough to make Mayor Mike Bloomberg wish he hadn't run for a third term.

From AccuHunch:


BCS Championship

We're just hours away from the much ballyhooed BCS Championship Game between the Ducks of Oregon and the Tigers of Auburn.

Both teams are undefeated this year and carry their perfect records into the contest. Current #1 Auburn is 13-0 (due to the SEC Championship Game) while #2 Oregon is 12-0.

Both teams have remarkable offenses although Auburn depends more heavily upon its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Cam Newton. The Ducks' Darron Thomas perhaps has a better cast surrounding him and makes split second decisions with a speed that would make a fighter pilot jealous. That he is usually correct is astounding.

The Ducks typically spend less time on offense than their opponents...because they run their plays and score so quickly. Watching them on the go is like watching a series of sprint races...with no time between heats. This leaves little time for the opponents defense to make substitutions and frequently catches them off guard. That's not likely to happen tonight, although the Tigers may need oxygen when the get off the field.

This game will depend upon the defenses and special teams. Can the defense stop the high powered offense of the opposition? Can the defense create turnovers? Can the special teams--particularly the return teams--give the offense a short field with which to work?

As much as I would like to see the Oregon Ducks come out on top, I think the size of Auburn's defense could spell the difference. They won't be able to completely shut down the Ducks, but they should be able to do enough.

Auburn wins tonight. Tigers 41, Ducks 35.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Aerie Report, January 9, 2011

While watching the football games yesterday the Aerie was under attack. Slowly but insidiously, the snow was falling and by this morning we had another three inches on the ground. While Terry went off to church, I got closer to nature and got my winter workout shoveling the driveway. This time it only took 1-1/2 hours of non-stop shoveling to get the job done. All the movement rendered the 14-16 degree temperatures a moot point. I was sweating by the time I finished.

The entire time I worked the sky became more and more overcast. Not long after I finished, a few flakes began to fall from the clouds that have pushed down from the northwest. Darn lake effect snow!


We got a new visitor to the bird feeders this morning. The Redpolls that have been reported elsewhere have finally found our sunflower seeds. A dozen of them were at the stick feeders on the west side of the house when I came in from shoveling the driveway. They have since disappeared again but there's hope that they will be back.

I also saw three moderately sized skeins of geese flying in a southerly direction while I was shoveling. From their loose V formation and vocalizations I guess they they were snow geese heading south to find more open water.

The regular visitors to the feeders continue to come in as soon as the gray squirrels let them. That would include the huge number of chickadees, tufted titmice, red and white breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, downy and hairy woodpeckers, blue jays, and the occasional cardinal. We've had a sharp shinned hawk come by once in a while to check out the avian menu, but I haven't seen him pull off a kill...yet. Crows and ravens can be spotted playing in the wind along the ridge along with the infrequent hawk. A couple of evenings ago I heard the first hoot of what I believe to have been a barred owl on the back end of the property.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


I didn't realize that, "Early to bed, early to rise," was a curse. I hit the hay early last night and found myself wide awake (sorta) at 5 AM this morning. It was a shock to the kitties that I came down stairs at 5:30. They enjoyed their tuna breakfast just the same.


I shoulda held off on the shoveling yesterday afternoon. There's another inch or more on the ground so far this morning and it's still snowing.

And my back is complaining.


Made it to Anchorage in my photo safari so far. That's only about a third of our trip and I've already selected 300+ photos for our presentation. Gonna have to do a lot of pruning to fit into a one hour time slot!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Aerie Report, January 7, 2011

We received 3-4 inches of snow last night and this morning. I cleared the deck once this morning during what looked like the end of the snow, while Terry went out to Curves and Wal-Mart. After I had finished and just before Terry returned home, the snow ramped up again and dropped two more inches on the ground and newly cleared deck.

When we were sure it had finally stopped for real--sometime after our noon day meal--Terry cleared the deck while I went to shovel the driveway of the total amount from this "storm." It took me close to two hours to get everything cleared. All that was done while temperatures remained in the 20s. Still, bright sunshine made it warm enough to cause me to perspire profusely.

Shoveling also caused my back to start aching and the Ibuprofen I've taken have helped only a little. I know I said I wanted to up my exercise level some, but, given my druthers, I'd sooner walk behind the snow thrower for an hour. Can't really utilize that tool, however, unless we get 6+ inches of the white stuff. And even then, I'd still have to use the shovel to clean up the 3/4 to 1 inch of snow that would the blower would skim over. (Gotta keep the lower edge of the thing up that high or it will scoop rocks out of the gravel driveway and toss them all over. One careless turn or mismanagement of the discharge chute and I could have to contend with a broken window.)

I believe I'll grab a hot shower and call it an early night.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Aerie Report, January 6, 2011

I've been a bit quiet lately. Some of that's due to the annual feeling of ennui that envelopes me after the holidays have past but a good part of it has to due with an assignment I've been given by our local Audubon Chapter.

Terry and I have been tagged with making a presentation on our Alaskan trip. While many locals and members of our group have made trips to Alaska, most have done so either by flying to their appointed destination or by taking a cruise that has limited their access to the largest state in the union. Very few (and none of our acquaintance) have made the trip via the overland route. That makes us and our experience a little unique. (Gary, our webmaster, has called our presentation: "Mainesburg to the Arctic Circle or Bust!" I would have preferred, "There And Back Again!" but that's just me.)

In preparation for our big night, I've been going through all the blog posts and pictures from that 78 day Road Trip and it's been keeping me busy as I select and resize my photos. So far I've not even reached the half way point in our trek and I've already got more than enough material for a monumental travelogue let alone one that's to last a mere hour. We're going to have to do a good deal of pruning to fit our time slot but I just can't think of where that's going to happen!

On the plus side, this is the first time someone has actually asked to be bored to slumber by viewing my home slide shows.

On the negative (?) side, viewing all those pictures and thinking about the great time Terry and I had has me wanting to hit the road and do it all over again. We experienced and saw so much that we would want to do again...and there's so much we had to skip due to forest fires and road washouts, not too mention and so much we would want to explore in greater depth...that, given sufficient time and money, we could spend several summers (and maybe a winter or two) on the roads of British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska.


Watching the bowl games on TV I've come to dislike the Pacific Life commercials. You know the ones. They have great footage of breaching whales. Every time I see one of those ads, I'm reminded of the many short cruises we took in Alaskan waters and the excitement of viewing humpback whales rolling alongside the vessel. Or groups of sea otters, Stellar's sea lions, puffins, murrelets and more swimming in the water nearby. Like the photos I'm editing, those ads make me want to hit the road to the (far) northwest

Winter has returned to the Aerie. After experiencing a couple of days of well above average warmth to ring out the old year and welcome the new, we're again in the deep freeze. This morning it dropped to just 10 degrees on the porch. It was a few degrees lower in the valley. The winds out of the west northwest have brought some lake effect snow as far south as our mountain home but that's only been an inch or two. Just enough to turn the ground white again without requiring any shovel work except on the deck. I can live with that. The snow that AccuHunch is forecasting for Friday and Saturday will--according to them--miss us as the heavy accumulations will be to our east and northeast.

The Bolt Hole hasn't been as lucky. The lake effect off of Lake Ontario has stretched as far east as that little section of the southwest Adirondack Park and this weekend's storm may bring several more inches to the area. Mark's not been around to give a first hand report, but I'm assuming there's a foot or more on the ground as I write and another six inches or so on the immediate horizon.


Taking a clue from Wyatt at Support Your Local Gunfighter, I'm going to attempt to shed some of the weight I've been carrying around. While I was pretty good while we were on the road and gained only a pound or two, since the leaves fell my weight has gone up to 233 as of last Monday morning versus a pretrip total of around 215. Just too much inactivity and good holiday food. Now, 233 isn't a bad weight if you're a 6'2" middle linebacker ot a running back in the NFL, but for a 5'10" 61-year old retiree? Not so much. My goal is to at least return to the 215 pound level by April 1st. Then, as springtime arrives and outdoor activity can increase further, I'd like to get down to around 200 by my birthday in mid September.

I'll not be following any formal diet program but will instead just try to cut back on the snacks and portions and attempt to incorporate a bit more walking into my weekly schedule. If I was to follow a plan, it would be Weight Watchers as theirs makes the most sense.

As a start, I've eliminated ice cream from the freezer. (It never stayed there too long anyway as the 1.75 quart containers made just 3 or 4 servings.) Meal portions will be reduced. (Which makes Terry happy as the left overs will mean less cooking.) We will also move our "main meal" to the noon hour the better to not have it in our stomach as we sleep.


Well, time to go back to the photos and get some more ready to use in our slide show.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

A bad bowl year for the Big 10

And today was the worst of all.

Wisconsin, Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan State all lost. The last two were routs.

Heck, even incoming Nebraska got their a$$ kicked earlier in the week.

That leaves just Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas to put one in the W column for the Big 10.

No pressure in the Buckeyes, however. No pressure at all.

[UPDATE: Anonymous reminds me that the Iowa Hawkeyes did post a W on December 28th in a 27-24 victory over Missouri in the Insight Bowl. Second consecutive year Iowa came through for the Big 10.]