Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PA Hunting: Day 3

Much cooler (can't say "cold" since Rev. Paul would die laughing) today. The day started at 32 degrees and pretty much stayed there all day long. The sky cleared last night and the wind shifted to come from the west.The shift brought the temperature change along with a cloudy sky. I headed out anyway.

I got to the area of the tree stand as light arrived. I stayed out of the tee stand because some of the rain from yesterday was forming ice on the deck of the Aerie and I thought the same might be true of the steps and platform of the tree stand. No sense taking chances. Instead, I sat on the ground. And waited.

And waited. Around 9 AM the cloudy sky started spitting snow. It would continue to spit snow all day. Nothing accumulated because the temperature was just at or above the freezing mark. More troubling was the steady winds which were blowing right in my face. I had (nearly) dressed appropriately. When the snow began, I put on my rain jacket which served as a wind breaker as well. One more layer on the legs would have been better but I had left that part of the rain suit in the house.

And I waited. It was pretty quiet out there. Very, very few shots were fired anywhere in the area. Not unusual as the bulk of deer are taken on opening day and those that have to take time off from work to go hunting usually are in the field only on the first two days. But my friend the turkey didn't show this morning either. Nor did the pileated woodpecker. Or wood frogs. A couple of gray squirrels wandered by but not much else.

But I waited in the spitting snow and wind. And as I waited I got chilly. And wet. When a snow squall--not just a little spitting--arrived at a little after 3 PM, I decided I had had enough for the day and headed back to the Aerie.

Some hot chocolate and a big helping of shrimp gumbo helped restore my core temperature. But my spirit is struggling. Getting up at 5 AM, out in the woods at 6:15 AM, and sitting in the wet, fresh air--and seeing nothing--is taking its toll. I believe I'll sleep in tomorrow. Or at least as long as the cats--who have gotten used to being fed at 5 AM--will let me.

It will be slightly warmer and lots drier the next few days. I'll be back out either Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning. I'll definitely be out there on Saturday when some of the other unsuccessful hunters will be back in the woods and when it's permissible to shoot does in this area.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PA Hunting: Day 2

Day two was a short one. The forecast was for widely scattered showers in the early AM and then some heavier rains after noon.

I went out at the usual time and climbed into the tree stand at 6:30 AM while it was still dark. The leaves were damp and moving was semi-silent with only the occasional roll of a rock or snap of a twig. While I was tying my rifle and backpack to the haul string I thought I heard something move down the slope below me. It was still too dark to see anything, however.

Once in the tree stand and with the rifle and backpack hauled up, I sat down to await the arrival of light. As the light increased, so did the rain. It started at 6:45 and continued off and on for a couple of hours. By 8 AM I was pretty well damp (not soaked—it wasn’t raining that hard) and hadn’t seen or heard anything except a turkey fresh from its roost looking for its mates. No other birds, squirrels, deer or hunters were making any noise.

The rain was mildly uncomfortable and made me want to kill something. Mostly the weatherman who said we would have much if anything before noon.

I decided to get out of the tree stand when it seemed it was going to continue raining. Of course, it stopped as soon as I hit the ground. So I sat for an hour and then took a walk to the southeast corner of the property. No signs of deer or other hunters. There was one shot over half a mile to the west. After my little walk, I went back to sitting. And eating my lunch.

At quarter to 12, the rain started again. This time it seemed to be serious so I opted out and headed back to the Aerie. Terry had a bowl of turkey and rice soup ready when I walked in the door. While we were eating, the rain did indeed start falling in a serious manner. Glad I decided to come in.


I mentioned that there was a turkey calling this morning shortly after 7 AM as it was getting light (sunrise is listed as around 7:10). It was there yesterday, too. My guess is that it was roosting in the hemlock trees and then foraging in the area where we had logging done a few years ago.

We have had turkeys around the Aerie since before construction began. Even as we worked to raise the walls, we would have a turkey fly in over us and land in the area of our second driveway right behind the construction site. And turkeys DO fly, contrary to what you may have heard on WKRP, Cincinnati. They fly very well and in defiance of gravity and the physics of aerodynamics.

A turkey’s primary means of escape is running but if startled or pushed, they will take to the air. They also fly up to and out of their roosting trees and across deep ravines or road cuts. It can be a shock to be traveling down the road and have a turkey fly across the road just over your head!

From my observation, a turkey prefers to flap its wings just enough to get airborne and then go into a glide. Seeing a turkey glide is reminiscent of watching a C130-Hercules in flight. You look at the size of the thing and say, “THAT can’t possibly be flying!” But it is.


Sitting in the tree yesterday and again this morning I heard a frog calling. Thinking about it, there had to be several in the area since calls came from different locations.

Strange to hear a frog at the end of November. Stranger still since there’s no water nearby except for a small weep 2-300 yards away. When I got out of the tree to sit yesterday, I actually kicked up one of those little frogs. It turned out to be a wood frog. Only about an inch long and maybe a ¼ inch thick, this little frog was a pale tan that blended in with the fallen leaves. I’ve found similar frogs (along with leopard frogs) in the grass both here at the Aerie and up at the Bolt Hole.


In addition to the turkey(s) and wood frog(s) I had the company of a pileated woodpecker. It was hammering away on some nearby trees when I put the tree stand up and I could hear it still working on some dead tree and calling from various positions not far away from where I was set up. Still doesn’t come down to the bird feeder very often, though.

That's about it for now. Got to go renew the ice packs on my aching knees and get the hunting clothes out of the dryer.

College Football 2011, Preweek 14

Preweek 14 Polls and Match-ups

The season is winding down. Many of the Top 25 will be facing one another in championship games. A few will be finishing their regular season. The rest will be sitting at home in front of the TV.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/1/1 LSU (12-0) The Tigers square off against the Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) for the SEC Championship.

2/2/3/2 Alabama (11-1) The Crimson Tide have finished their season.

3/5/2/3 Oklahoma State (10-1) The Cowboys host the Sooners of Oklahoma (9-2)

4/4/6/4 Stanford (11-1) The Cardinal will face UCLA in the PAC 12 Championship.

5/3/10/5 Virginia Tech (11-1) The Hokies hope to avenge their only loss as they face the Clemson Tigers (9-3) in the ACC Championship game.

6/10/14/8 Arkansas (10-2) The Razorbacks’ season has ended.

7/6/5/6 Houston (12-0) The Cougars will host the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (10-2).

8/7/9/9 Oregon (10-2) The Ducks’ season has ended.

9T/NR/11/NR Southern California (10-2) The Trojans season has come to an end.

9T/8/5/7 Boise State (10-1) The Broncos host the New Mexico Lobos (1-10) as they finish the season.

11/9/19/13 Michigan State (10-2) The Spartans host the Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) in the Big Ten Championship game.

12/14/15/14 Georgia (10-2) The Bulldogs face the LSU Tigers (12-0) for the SEC Championship.

13/11/4/10 Oklahoma (9-2) The Sooners are on the road to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1).

14/13/13/12 South Carolina (10-2) The Gamecocks’ season has come to an end.

15/12/16/15 Wisconsin (10-2) The Badgers hit the road to play the Michigan State Spartans (10-2) in the Big Ten Championship game.

16/15/12/11 Kansas State (9-2) The Wildcats will host the Iowa State Cyclones (6-5).

17/16/8/6 Michigan (10-2) The Wolverines’ season is over.

18/17/17/18 TCU (9-2) The Horned Frogs host the UNLV Rebels (2-9) in their season finale.

19/18/18/17 Baylor (8-3) The Bears will be hosting the Texas Longhorns (7-4).

20/19/20/19 Nebraska (9-3) The Cornhuskers’ season has ended.

21/21/25/20 Clemson (9-3) The Tigers will play for the ACC Championship against the Virginia Tech Hokies (11-1).

22/20/NR/23 West Virginia (8-3) The Mountaineers will play at South Florida (5-6) Thursday night.

23/22/24/21 Penn State (9-3) The Nittany Lions’ season is finished.

24/23/23/24 Southern Mississippi (10-2) The Golden Eagles will face Houston (12-0) in the Conference USA Championship.

25/24/NR/NR Florida State (8-4) The Seminoles have ended their season.

NR/NR/21/22 Texas (7-4) The Longhorns finish their season at Baylor (8-3).

NR/NR/22/NR Notre Dame (8-4) The Irish season has come to an end.

NR/NR/NR/25 Missouri (7-5) The Tigers have ended their

Monday, November 28, 2011

PA Hunting: Day 1

Not much to report. The day was unseasonably warm with the temperature reaching 58 degrees in the early afternoon. A steady breeze and overcast skies made it feel cooler but not too much.


The walk up to the tree stand in the dark and then the climb into the stand didn't feel so bad on the knees. The standing/sitting on that little platform for several hours was another story. If driving for two or three hours in a comfortable Jeep or Tundra can cause pain, imagine sitting in a tree for hours. I would stand up for 10-15 minutes every hour or so to get the kinks out, but it didn't help. By 1 PM I had enough and got out of the stand to sit on a small seat I put between two trees last year. Even that wasn't very comfortable on the knees. I'll set the alarm for early AM again, hopefully the knees will feel better when I get out of bed and go downstairs. Then I'll have to decide if I want to climb into that tree again.


Things might have been better if I had succeeded in nailing a buck, but I never even saw one. I did see deer, however. One group of six or seven does trotted by just 20 yards away at 10:20 AM. The wind was right and they never knew I was watching them. Unfortunately, it's bucks only until Saturday.


There were shots fired on some of the surrounding properties--including immediately after the does all went by and from the direction they took. Some of those may have taken down bucks that could have come my way, but I'll never know for sure.

There's always tomorrow.

College Football 2011, Week 13 results

Week 13 Results

After all the upsets of a week ago, there was not a single one this week. In every single game, the higher ranked team won…sometimes by huge margins. Only the size of those margins will trigger changes, if any, in the rankings when they come out early this week.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/1/1 LSU (12-0) The Tigers improved to 12-0 at the expense of the #3 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2) Friday afternoon. And they made it look easy with a 41-17 rout. Arkansas managed to get a 14-0 lead in the second quarter after a scoreless first when Alonzo Highsmith return a LSU fumble 47 yards for a TD. But then Tyrann Mathieu’s 92-yard punt return for LSU opened the flood gates. A 21-14 LSU halftime lead was trimmed to 21-17 before LSU tallied 20 unanswered points. LSU rolled up 286 yards on the ground. Next week, LSU plays Georgia (10-2) for the SEC Championship.

2/2/3/2 Alabama (11-1) The Crimson Tide rolled over the Auburn Tigers (7-5) 42-14. Trent Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards and AJ McCarron threw for three TDs—one of them to Richardson.

3/3/11/3 Arkansas (10-2) The Razorbacks got whipped by the #1 LSU Tigers (12-0) 41-17 on Friday afternoon. More above.

4/5/7/6 Stanford (11-1) The Cardinal beat the #22 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (8-4) 28-14. Andrew Luck threw for 233 yards and four TDs in this one. He now has 80 TD passes for his career (just three years) the most in Stanford history. He eclipsed John Elway’s record of 77 career TD passes. Elway took four years to amass that total. Andrew Hendrix threw for 192 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a second-half as he replaced Tommy Rees who was ineffective for the Irish losing one fumble and tossing an interception before suffering a hard shot to the ribs that kept him on the turf for an extended time.

5/6/2/4 Oklahoma State (10-1) The Cowboys were idle this week. Next week they face Oklahoma.

6/4/9/5 Virginia Tech (11-1) The Hokies shutout the #24 Virginia Cavaliers (8-4) 38-0. The Hokies held Virginia to just 30 yards rushing (they had been averaging 177 yards) and 241 total offense. Logan Thomas threw two TDs and ran for a third for Virginia Tech. David Wilson rushed for two more TDs as he rushed 24 times for 153 yards. Next weekend the Hokies have a rematch with Clemson (their only loss of the season) in the ACC Championship game.

7/8/5/7 Boise State (10-1) The Broncos fell behind 7-0 to the Wyoming Cowboys (7-4) but Kellen Moore his Matt Miller for a 46-yard TD on the last play—in fact the final second—of the first half and the Broncos went on to whip the Cowboys 36-14. The Cowboys’ early score came on a 29-yard interception return by Luke Anderson. Kellen Moore finished the day 24 of 36 for 279 yards and three TDs. The Broncos’ Doug Martin rushed 26 times for 153 yards and two TDs as Boiuse State posted 479 yards of offense.

8/7/10/8 Houston (12-0) The Cougars remained undefeated beating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3) Friday afternoon 48-16. Tulsa led 10-6 after the first quarter as it took time for Case Keenum to warm up. And warm up he did! Keenum completed 33 of 46 for 457 yards and 5 touchdowns. Three of those were caught by Patrick Edwards (two on fourth and one plays) who caught 8 passes for 181 yards including a 14-yard TD pass from back-up QB Cotton Turner who was 2 for 2 for 17 yards and the one TD. (Does Turner ever miss connecting on a pass?) Keenum now has 43 TD passes and just 3 interceptions this season. Houston will play next weekend for the C-USA Championship facing Southern Mississippi (10-2).

9/9/8/10 Oregon (10-2) The Ducks demolished the Oregon State Beavers (3-9) 49-14. LaMichael James rushed for 142 yards and scored the Ducks first TD but was on the sidelines during the fourth quarter due to an apparent injury—albeit a minor one—to his left elbow. He’ll be ready to go next Friday against UCLA for the PAC-10 Championship. Darron Thomas threw for 305 yards and four TDs for the Ducks. De’Antohny Thomas rushed for 71 yards, had 86 more on 10 catches and finished the night with 197 all-purpose yards. Oregon had 365 yards rushing to the Beavers’ 16. Redshirt freshman Sean Mannion completed 27 of 44 tosses for 299 yards and three TDs for Oregon State.

10/NR/13/NR Southern California (10-2) The Trojans shutout the Bruins of UCLA (6-6) 50-0. Banned from playing for the PAC-10 Championship and in any post season game, the Trojans were out to prove something—and they did. Despite the loss, the bruins will be representing the PAC-10 South in the Championship game against Oregon. Meanwhile, Matt Barkley threw for 423 yards and six TDs. Marqise Lee caught two of them one for 42 yards and the other for 52. Robert Woods also caught two, 4 yards and 41 yards. Curtis McNeal had the only rushing TD on a 73-yard sprint. Lee had 224 yards receiving. Woods had 113. McNeal had 124 yards on 12 carries.

11/10/22/14 Michigan State (10-2) The Spartans beat the Northwestern Wildcats (6-6) 31-17. B.J. Cunningham had 6 receptions for 120 yards including 33-yard and 29-yard TD catches from Kirk Cousins and Keshawn Martin returned a punt 57 yards for a score. Next up is a Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin (10-2).

12/11/4/9 Oklahoma (9-2) The Sooners beat the Iowa State Cyclones (6-5) 26-6. The Cyclones only score came in the first quarter when James Winchester's snap sailed over the head of punter Tress Way and the ball was recovered in the end zone. Each team turned the ball over four times as the game was played in 30 mph winds with gusts over 40 mph. The Sooners’ third string QB, Blake Bell, who had four rushing TDs last week, scored twice more on the ground this game. (He was 0 for 1 with an INT throwing the ball which is probably why he’s running the ball when he comes in.) Oklahoma rolled up 509 yards of offense, including 253 on the ground against the Cyclones. The Sooners finish the regular season next weekend against Oklahoma State.

13/14/16/13 Georgia (10-2) The Bulldogs beat the #25 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-4) 31-17. Aaron Murray threw four TD passes on a 19-of-29-for-252-yards day. Next up for the Bulldogs will be #1 LSU (12-0) for the SEC Championship.

14/13/14/12 South Carolina (10-2) The Gamecocks rolled over the #18 Clemson Tigers (9-3) 34-13. Connor Shaw tossed three TD passes and ran for a fourth in leading South Carolina over its instate rival. The defense did its part holding Clemson to just 153 net yards—70 of the m on the ground and 83 via the pass.

15/12/17/16 Wisconsin (10-2) The Badgers creamed the #20 Nittany Lions of Penn State (9-3) 45-7. Montee Ball carried the ball 25 times gaining 156 yards and scoring four TDs. Ball now has 34 TDs for the season. The NCAA record is 39 held by a guy named Barry Sanders for Oklahoma State back in 1988—in 11 games. The Badgers compiled 264 yards rushing. Wisconsin now plays Michigan State for the Big Ten Championship.

16/15/12/11 Kansas State (9-2) The Wildcats were idle this week.

17/16/6/15 Michigan (10-2) The Wolverines outlasted the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-6) 40-34. Denard Robinson tossed three TD passes and ran for two more. Robinson completed 14 of 17 tosses for 167 yards and carried the ball 26 times for 170 yards. Fitzgerald Toussaint carried 20 times for 120 yards as the Wolverines rolled up 277 yards on the ground.

18/17/19/17 Clemson (9-3) The Tigers fell to the #14 Gamecocks of South Carolina (10-2) 34-13. Despite the loss, Clemson will play Virginia Tech next week for the ACC Championship. More on this game above.

19/18/15/20 TCU (9-2) The Horned Frogs were idle this week.

20/19/18/19 Penn State (9-3) The Nittany Lions were whipped 47-7 by the #15 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2). More above.

21/20/20/18 Baylor (8-3) The Bears outscored the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (5-7) in a 66-42 shootout. And they did it with Robert Griffin III sitting on the sideline for the second half after an elbow to the head lead to concussion-like symptoms. Before leaving the game, Griffin had one TD pass and two rushing TDs. His replacement, Nick Florence, a junior who hadn't thrown a pass all season and was possibly going to be redshirted, filled in aptly. Florence completed 9 of 12 passes for 151 yards with a pair of long touchdowns—a 46-yarder to Kendall Wright and a 40-yarder to Terrance Williams. Joe Williams returned an interception 90 yards to put Baylor ahead 52-28. Terrance Ganaway rushed 42 times for 246 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears amassed 617 yards of net offense. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders had 444 yards net offense behind Seth Doege’s 41 of 55 passes for 355 yards and three TDs. But the Raiders turned the ball over four times including the long INT return while the Bears lost two of five fumbles. Baylor closes out its regular season next weekend against Texas.

22T/22/25/21 Nebraska (9-3) The Cornhuskers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) 20-7 behind the running of Rex Burkhead. Burkhead carried 38 times for 160 yards and a TD. Keeping the ball on the ground gave the Cornhuskers a huge margin in time of possession—more than 15 minutes extra. The Hawkeyes didn’t score until there were just 3:26 left in the game.

22T/24/21/22 Notre Dame (8-4) The Irish fell to the #4 Stanford Cardinal (11-1) 28-14. See above for more.

24/25/NR/NR Virginia (8-4) The Cavaliers were shut out by the #6 Virginia Tech Hokies (11-1) 38-0. More above.

25/21/NR/23 Georgia Tech (8-4) The Yellow Jackets host the #13 Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) 31-17. See above fro more.

NR/NR/23/NR Southern Mississippi (10-2) The Golden Eagles demolished the Memphis Tigers (2-10) 44-7. Austin Davis completed 14 of 26 passes for 277 yards and two TDs and ran for a third in leading the Golden Eagles over the Tigers. The Southern Miss defense forced three turnovers and returned a pair of interceptions for TDs. Deron Wilson returned one 35 yards and Kendrick Presley returned the second 100 yards. Memphis had just 21 yards rushing on 23 attempts. The Tigers only score came when Mitch Huelsing recovered a Southern Miss fumble in the end zone for a touchdown with just 6:54 left in the fourth quarter. Southern Miss will be playing Houston for the C-USA Championship next weekend.

NR/NR/24/NR Tulsa (8-4) The Golden Hurricane lost to the #8 Houston Cougars (12-0) 48-16 Friday afternoon. See above for more.

NR/NR/NR/24 Auburn (7-5) The Tigers were routed by the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) 42-14. See above for more.

NR/NR/NR/25 Texas (7-4) The Longhorns edged the Aggies of Texas A&M (6-6) 27-25 on Thursday night when Justin Tucker kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired. The Aggies’ Ryan Tannehill had connected with Jeff Fuller on a 16-yard TD pass with just 1:48 remaining in the game, but the 2-point conversion failed leaving A&M ahead just 25-24. Earlier, Tannehill was intercepted three times. The third of those set up a 1-yard TD run by Cody Johnson. A&M was also stung on a trick play that saw receiver Jaxon Shipley throw a 41-yard TD pass in the first half when the Longhorns were trailing 13-0.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

PA Rifle Deer Season Starts

We finally finished the bulk of the turkey leftovers yesterday. Thank goodness we had a small bird to feed six people on Thursday. All that's left is the little bit of turkey in the pot of soup.


After taking Terry out to assist with the erection of a climbing ladder to install my tree stand on Friday--something I nixed when the ladder felt unsafe to me--I went out to the woods yesterday to use some screw in steps to put my stand up. (The ladder--one that straps onto the tree in four-foot sections that are bolted together--looked like a good idea in the catalog but in practice, it didn't pan out. After putting two sections up, I realized there wasn't enough space beyond the rungs for my toes. And that third section was impossible to put in place. Even putting the three together on the ground and then trying to strap it to the tree wasn't comfortable.)

The screw-into-the-tree-trunk steps were easier to deal with as they do not depend upon the bends and twists of the tree. I succeeded in putting enough steps in to put my stand about 16 feet above the ground. From there, I'll be able to see up the hill to a flat area as well as down and across. Looking down the slope from the tree stand can make you rethink your sanity.

Although I really like the view from the Aerie, next time I've got to think about purchasing land on the flats. The slope here is between 30 and 45 degrees in spots. Good for cardiac exercise, but a bit tough on the knees. Climbing those tree steps isn't any easier on the knees either. I'm beginning to understand why I see so many stands that look like one room apartments on stilts with fancy steps (not ladders!) leading up to the door. With the number of hunters at the various camps around here looking older than me, their knees and hips have to be arthritic as well. Maybe next year, I'll pic a spot early in the summer and build myself one of these penthouse blinds.


The last few days, we could hear guys sighting in their rifles or just shooting for fun. Lots of guys. From lots of camps. (Bill from over near Hunter Mountain, NY would refer to them as "the Italian army" when you would hear such nose the day before the season. near him, many of the folks occupying the camps came up from The City. Some may have even been "connected," if yez knows what I means. A lot of the guys around me come from down near Lancaster. I keep forgetting. Is that the White Rose or Red? In any case, they aren't EYE-talian. German or Dutch? Maybe. Then there are a few guys from New Jersey in the area. Not many as Jersey guys usually hunt a little closer to the Delaware River.


In any event, I'm ready to head out tomorrow before dawn to walk the grueling 150 yards or so (/sarc) to the tree in which I've placed my stand. There are several game trails that criss-cross on the slope in that area it's my hope that when the other hunters start to move about, a buck or two will come through my little neck of the woods and I'll be able to put a stop to his trespass.

The weather is a bit iffy being warm--mid 50s--with a 30-50% chance of showers in the morning. If it is raining, I'll be staying on the ground for a while.

Unless I put a buck on the ground (and here, in this section of PA, it's got to be a minimum of 3 points on one side) I'll not be checking the nets until after dark.


Sunrise is 7:12 tomorrow. Opening is slightly before that. With 15 minutes to get up to the stand, I'll be out of the house no later than 6:15 AM so as to be sitting and quite when the action starts. Now if I can just get to sleep tonight. No visions of sugar plums but of Dasher and Dancer, et. al.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The house is cleaned, the pies are baked, the turkey is soaking in the brine, and we are awaiting arrival of our Thanksgiving company.

We'll be enjoying a great day and I hope you and yours will also have a great day.

Happy Thanksgiving, to you all.

College Football 2011, Preweek 13

Polls and Match-ups.

Happy Thanksgiving!

After last week's upsets, there are many changes in the postions of teams in the pools.

This is an unusual week in that there are many games being played on Thursday and Friday as well as Saturday. In addition, being a holiday weekend, we have some games with lots of tradition behind them. AND, with the season winding down, teams are looking to solidify their position as division or conference champions.

Some key games this week include these Top 25 Plus match-ups: #1 LSU vs #3 Arkansas; #2 Alabama vs Auburn (one of the “Plus” teams); #4 Stanford vs#22 Notre Dame; #6 Virginia Tech vs #24 Virginia; #8 Houston vs Tulsa (another “Plus” team); #13 Georgia vs #25 Georgia Tech; #14 South Carolina vs #18 Clemson; and #15 Wisconsin vs #20 Penn State.

So, if you get tired of watching the same old teams playing on Thursday and, if you’ve no desire to go shopping on Black Friday, you’ve got plenty of exciting options.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/1/1 LSU (11-0) The Tigers host the #3 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1) Friday afternoon.

2/2/3/2 Alabama (10-1) The Crimson Tide goes on the road to play the Auburn Tigers (7-4).

3/3/11/3 Arkansas (10-1) The Razorbacks are on the road to Baton Rouge to play the #1 LSU Tigers (11-0) on Friday afternoon.

4/5/7/6 Stanford (10-1) The Cardinal host the #22 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (8-3).

5/6/2/4 Oklahoma State (10-1) The Cowboys are idle this week.

6/4/9/5 Virginia Tech (10-1) The Hokies hit the road to play the #24 Virginia Cavaliers (8-3).

7/8/5/7 Boise State (9-1) The Broncos host the Wyoming Cowboys (7-3).

8/7/10/8 Houston (11-0) The Cougars travel to Tulsa to play the Golden Hurricane (8-3) Friday afternoon.

9/9/8/10 Oregon (9-2) The Ducks host the Oregon State Beavers (3-8).

10/NR/13/NR Southern California (9-2) The Trojans host the Bruins of UCLA (6-5).

11/10/22/14 Michigan State (9-2) The Spartans are on the road to play the Northwestern Wildcats (6-5).

12/11/4/9 Oklahoma (8-2) The Sooners will host the Iowa State Cyclones (6-4).

13/14/16/13 Georgia (9-2) The Bulldogs are on the road to play the #25 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-3).

14/13/14/12 South Carolina (9-2) The Gamecocks will host the #18 Clemson Tigers (9-2).

15/12/17/16 Wisconsin (9-2) The Badgers host the #20 Nittany Lions of Penn State (9-2).

16/15/12/11 Kansas State (9-2) The Wildcats are idle this week.

17/16/6/15 Michigan (9-2) The Wolverines host the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5).

18/17/19/17 Clemson (9-2) The Tigers will be on the road to face the #14 Gamecocks of South Carolina (9-2).

19/18/15/20 TCU (9-2) The Horned Frogs are idle this week.

20/19/18/19 Penn State (9-2) The Nittany Lions are on the road to play the #15 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2).

21/20/20/18 Baylor (7-3) The Bears will host the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (5-6).

22T/22/25/21 Nebraska (8-3) The Cornhuskers host the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4).

22T/24/21/22 Notre Dame (8-3) The Irish head west to play the #4 Stanford Cardinal (10-1).

24/25/NR/NR Virginia (8-3) The Cavaliers host the #6 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1).

25/21/NR/23 Georgia Tech (8-3) The Yellow Jackets host the #13 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2).

NR/NR/23/NR Southern Mississippi (9-2) The Golden Eagles will host the Memphis Tigers (2-9).

NR/NR/24/NR Tulsa (8-3) The Golden Hurricane host the #8 Houston Cougars (11-0) Friday afternoon.

NR/NR/NR/24 Auburn (7-4) The Tigers are hosting the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1).

NR/NR/NR/25 Texas (6-4) The Longhorns play on the road against the Aggies of Texas A&M (6-5) on Thursday night.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kristen and Rich got married!

Saturday morning Terry and I drove into New Jersey to help celebrate the wedding of our niece, Kristen to her long time boyfriend, Rich. They had tied the knot on 11-11-11 but held the "reception" on the 19th.

Blue Ice Sculpture

Table Centerpiece

Rich & Kristen

Rich & His Mom, Kristen & Her Dad, Al

Mrs. Seraphine and her husband

Ruthann with Sandy (Kristen's Mom and sister)

The food was great, the bar was open, and folks had a fantastic time on the dance floor.



A traditional three tier cake...

Rich is a volunteer fireman.

...with a special decoration.

The crowd was actually pretty tame for having numerous volunteer firemen! (And Ryan, Sandy's husband.) Ruthann must have intimidated them!

A good time was had by all!

College Football 2011, Week 12 results

Week 12 Results

I miss watching football for one weekend and there are upsets galore! At least I could have watched the #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys fall to the Iowa State Cyclones…if I had watched the second half.

Additionally, #4 Oregon lost to #18 Southern California; #5 Oklahoma lost to #25 Baylor; #7 Clemson lost to North Carolina State; #17 Nebraska lost to #20 Michigan; #22 Southern Mississippi lost to UAB; and #23 Florida State lost to the Virginia Cavaliers.

That’s seven (7) upsets this week with numbers 2, 4, 5, 7 in the top ten losing. That’s going to play havoc with the BCS rankings! And the loses by numbers 17, 22, and 23 could cost them any Top 25 position.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/2/1 LSU (11-0) The Tigers routed the Mississippi Rebels (2-9) 52-3. Ron Brooks returned an interception 46 yards for a TD 28 seconds into the game and LSU rushed for 353 yards. Kevin Minter recovered a fumble in the end zone for a TD. Jordon Jefferson started at QB and was 7 for 7 including a TD. Jarrett Lee completed his only pass as LSU threw only eight times. Next Friday, LSU hosts 10-1 Arkansas.

2/2/1/2 Oklahoma State (10-1) The Cowboys got beat in double OT by the Iowa State Cyclones (6-4) on Friday night. The Cyclones trailed 24-7 before mounting a comeback to tie the game at 24 all in regulation. With the Cyclones scoring a TD in the first overtime, Oklahoma State managed to tie it on a 6 yard pass from Josh Weeden to Josh Cooper. OK State started the second overtime but Weeden was intercepted. Then it was Iowa State’s turn and they marched it down and scored on a 4-yard run by Jeff Woody. Weeden completed 42 of 58 attempts for 476 yards and three TDs and three INTs. Jared Barnett was 31 of 58 for 376 yards and three TDs and two INTs. Barnett was intercepted in the first quarter and saw it returned by Shaun Lewis for a TD. Weeden was intercepted in the second overtime and watched the game disappear. The Cowboys also lost two fumbles while Iowa State lost one. OKS ran 76 plays for 536 net yards. Iowa State ran 101 plays for a net of 568 yards.

3/3/4/3 Alabama (10-1) The Tide rolled over the Georgia Southern Eagles (9-2) 45-21. AJ McCarron completed 14 of 19 pass attempts for 190 yards and three TDs and Trent Richardson rushed 32 times for 175 yards and two TDs (he also caught one of McCarron’s TD passes) for the Tide. Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick returned a blocked field goal 55 yards for a TD. Dominique Swope carried 18 times for 1532 yards including an 82-yard TD and Laron Scott had a 95-yard kick return for a TD for the Eagles.

4/4/5/4 Oregon (9-2) The Ducks fell to the #18 Trojans of Southern California (9-2) 38-35 despite scoring the final 21 points of the game. It was a case of running out of time. Matt Barkley was 26 of 34 for 323 yards and four TDs and Marqise Lee caught 8 of them for 187 yards (and one of the TDs) for the Trojans. De’Anthony Thomas scored one TD on a 29-yard Darron Thomas pass and another on a 96-yard kick return and Kenjon Barner rushed 15 times for 123 yards and two TDs for the Ducks.

5/5/3/5 Oklahoma (8-2) The Sooners were beaten by the #25 Baylor Bears (7-3) 45-38. Blake Bell’s fourth TD run tied the score at 38 in the fourth quarter but Robert Griffin led the Bears 80 yards on the ensuing drive hitting Terrance Williams for a 34-yard TD for the final score. It was Griffin’s fourth TD pass including a 69 catch and run to Tevin Reese and an 87 yarder to Kendall Wright. Wright had 8 catches for 208 yards. Oklahoma ran 87 plays for a net 605 yards while Baylor ran 73 plays for 616 yards. Oklahoma also had committed three turnovers (one INT and two fumbles). Landry Jones finished the day 36 of 51 for 447 yards but NO TDs and one INT. Bell had just five carries for 16 yards but scored four TDs. Griffin was 21 of 34 for 479 yards and the four TDs. It was the first time Baylor ever beat Oklahoma.

6/6/10/6 Arkansas (10-1) The Razorbacks whipped the Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-6) 44-17. Tyler Wilson had 32 completions (a school record) for 365 yards and three TDs for Arkansas. Zach Hocker, in addition to five extra points, connected on three field goals (44, 48 and 27 yards) for the Razorbacks. Next up for Arkansas is #1 LSU at Baton Rouge on Friday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams.

7/8/12/7 Clemson (9-2) The Tigers were upset by the North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-5) 37-13. NC State scored 27 points in the second quarter when Mike Glennon tossed two TD passes (he had three for the game) Niklas Sade kicked a 21 FG (he had to more in the second half) and Tony Creecy scored on a 4-yard run.

8/9/7/9 Stanford (10-1) The Cardinal survived a fourth-quarter scare by the California Golden Bears (6-5) in a rain-soaked contest to emerge with a 31-28 victory. Andrew Luck was 20 of 30 for 257 yards and two TDs while his counterpart, Zach Maynard was also 20 for 30 for 280 yards and also two TDs.

9/7/8/8 Virginia Tech (10-1) The Hokies held off the Tarheels of North Carolina (6-5) on Thursday night for a 24-21 victory. Logan Thomas tossed two TDs and ran for a third to give the Hokies a 24-7 lead after three quarters. They then needed to hang on as the Tarheels came storming back

10/11/6/10 Boise State (9-1) The Broncos romped over the San Diego State Aztecs (6-4) 52-35 despite the Aztecs scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. Kellen Moore completed 28 of 40 pass attempts for 366 yards and four TDs. Tyler Shoemaker caught three of them. Ryan Lindley was 30 of 51 for 350 yards and three TDs and Adam Muema carried the ball 13 times for 119 yards and three TDs-including an 81-yard TD run--for the Aztecs.

11/10/9/11 Houston (11-0) The Cougars started slowly against the Southern Methodist Mustangs (6-5), but like an avalanche, the results were inevitable: Cougars 37-7. Case Keenum completed 30 of 45 attempts but connected for just one TD (he did run for a second) before being relieved by Cotton Turner who was 2 for 2 for 47 yards including a 43-yard TD. Matt Hogan connected on field goals of 28, 21, and 22 yards as well as four extra points for Houston. Hogan is a perfect 78-for-78 on extra points this season, a FBS record.

12/12/22/15 Michigan State (9-2) The Spartans crushed Indiana Hoosiers (1-10) 55-3. Kirk Cousins played just a little more than a half, yet threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns. Edwin Baker had two TDs rushing and Johnny Adams returned an interception 86 yards and a TD for the Spartans.

13/15/17/14 Georgia (9-2) The Bulldogs edged the Kentucky Wildcats (4-7) 19-10. The victory clinched a slot in the SEC title game for Georgia. The Bulldogs lost their leading rusher Isaiah Crowell to a left ankle injury after just two carries but the tow of Blair Walsh (four field goals of 39, 39, 25, and 39 yards) and a stifling defense (Kentucky got just 2 net yards in the third quarter, 23 yards rushing on 21 carries and 165 total yards) more than made up for the lack of offense. Brandon Harton did carry the ball 23 times for 101 yards for Georgia.

14/14/14/12 South Carolina (9-2) The Gamecocks routed The Citadel Bulldogs (4-7) 41-20. Connor Shaw threw for 217 yards and three TDs. He also had 90 yards rushing, including a 60-yard TD run. Tailback Brandon Wilds ran for two touchdowns and 109 yards, his third 100-yard game in four starts since replacing the injured Marcus Lattimore.

15/13/24/17 Wisconsin (9-2) The Badgers trailed the Fighting Illini of Illinois (6-5) 17-7 at the half but went on to tally three unanswered TDs in the second half to win 28-17. Montee Ball rushed for 224 yards and two TDs on 38 carries. He scored another TD on a Russell Wilson pass. He now has scored 30 TDs this season. Donovonn Young scored twice for the Illini in the first half. Next Saturday, the Badgers host Penn State as they play for the Legends Division title.

16/17/13/13 Kansas State (9-2) The Wildcats edged the Texas Longhorns (6-4) 17-13 despite being held to just 121 net yards. Collin Klein threw for one TD and ran for one for the Wildcats.

17/16/19/16 Nebraska (8-3) The Cornhuskers were routed by the #20 Michigan Wolverines (9-2) 45-17. Denard Robinson tossed two TDs and ran for two more and Fitzgerlad Toussaint rushed for 138 yards and two TDs to lead the Wolverines offense. Michigan’s defense did their part, holding Nebraska to just 260 net yards and 11 first downs.

18/NR/16/NR Southern California (9-2) The Trojans edged the #4 Oregon Ducks (9-2) 38-35 in Eugene. See above for more.

19/19/18/19 TCU (9-2) The Horned Frogs beat the Colorado State Rams (3-7) 34-10 despite a slow first half start during which the Frogs were out gained on offense. TCU’s Antoine Hicks, Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker ran for TDs and Tank Carder returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown. (Love that name for a linebacker!)

20/18/11/18 Michigan (9-2) The Wolverines beat the #17 Cornhuskers of Nebraska (8-3) 45-17. See above for more.

21/21/23/21 Penn State (9-2) The Nittany Lions beat the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5) 20-14. Stephon Green scored TDs in each of the first two quarters and Anthony Fera kicked a 43-yard field goal in the first and a 46-yard field goal in the second for the Nittany Lions. The defense did the rest as they held Ohio State scoreless in the second half. Next Saturday, the Nittany Lions head to Wisconsin to play the Badgers for the Legends Division title.

22/20/15/20 Southern Mississippi (9-2) The Golden Eagles were upset by the UAB Blazzers (3-8) 31-34. Austin Davis tossed two TDs and ran for a third for the Golden Eagles in a losing cause. Jonathan Perry tossed for one and ran for one while Ty Long connected on a 38-yard field goal with 3:04 left.

23/22/NR/25 Florida State (7-4) The Seminoles were edged by the Virginia Cavaliers (8-3) 14-13 when Florida State's Dustin Hopkins missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with three seconds left.

24/25/20/NR Notre Dame (8-3) The Irish edged the Eagles of Boston College (3-8) 16-14 behind three field goals by David Ruffer (40, 41, and 27 yards).

25/NR/NR/22 Baylor (7-3) The Bears beat the #5 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2) 45-38. See above for more.

NR/24/NR/NR West Virginia (7-3) The Mountaineers were idle this week.

NR/NR/21/23 Texas (6-4) The Longhorns were edged by the #16 Kansas State Wildcats (9-2) 17-13. See above for more.

NR/NR/25/NR Tulsa (8-3) The Golden Hurricane creamed the UTEP Miners (5-6) 57-28. And it wasn’t that close as it was 50-12 after three quarters. G.J. Kinne threw for three TDs and ran for another for Tulsa. Trey Watts –who had already caught a 53-yard TD pass from Kinne—returned a kick 94 yards for a TD and Shawn Jackson returned an interception 34 yards for TD for a dominating Golden Hurricane.

NR/NR/NR/24 Auburn (7-4) The Tigers beat the Samford Bulldogs (6-5) 35-16. Auburn lead just 21-16 early in the fourth quarter but a 22-yard run for a TD by QB Clint Moseley (he also threw for a TD) and a 10-yard TD run by Onterio McCalebb (he also scored on an earlier 10-yard run but the Tigers safely ahead.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prepping for Thanksgiving.

Got an start early after all the food and drink on Saturday.

funny pictures - Practicing for the post Thanksgiving recovery
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aerie Report, November 17, 2011

Monday evening we had a period of rain that the weather service thought sever enough to issue warnings. We were lucky enough to avoid the hail, lightning and thunder but did get some torrential down pours. Tuesday morning when I emptied the rain gauge it held 1.7 inches of water, most of it from Monday evening/night. With colder weather on the way, I decided to bring the plastic gauge inside where I washed it and stored it until spring. Of course, we got a little more rain Wednesday afternoon and evening.

I'm glad I brought the gauge inside, though. See, the temperatures, which hadn't dipped below 40 degrees lately, suddenly plummeted to 28 degrees last night. Would it have frozen any water in the gauge? Unknown, but there was ice on the deck. Looks like today we will not see the upward side of 35 degrees and the overcast skies are promising some snow flurry action latter this afternoon and early evening. is saying there will be no accumulation, however, and I'm hoping they are correct.

Meanwhile, I've built another fire in the fireplace and the house will soon be toasty warm without having to jack the thermostats up.


The birds and squirrels are pleased that I've resumed putting the feeders out. We've been getting the regular horde of chickadees, mourning doves, and tufted titmice with a few goldfinches and juncos thrown in for good measure.

The squirrel numbers have grown slowly from the solitary visitor to five at one time. These are just the scouts, however. I'm sure that as winter sets in we'll be seeing 10 or 12 tree rats looking for a handout as they #Occupy the feeders.


Last night's Audubon Society dinner was not well attended but the speaker, an expert on mountain lions, was quite good. Kerry Gyekis is a former Tioga County Planning Director who began investigating cougar sightings as a hobby but now pursues the big cats as a second career. His story was featured in the area's leading free magazine Mountain Home back in November 2007. He's been trained out west and knows signs of cougars when he sees them. He's also been all over the northeast investigating reports of cat sightings and, while admitting there have been and are some legit reports, says 99.9% of them are of critters which have escaped from captivity. That final 0.1% are immature males kicked out of their momma's care and out searching for a home and mate. But mostly a mate. (Females are more homebodies and don't travel too far from their birth places.) These poor lost souls made a wrong turn in their travels and headed east only to discover that there just aren't any girls around.

Gyekis' presence brought his replacement, the current Tioga County Planning Director, Jim Weaver, to our little party. Jim spoke briefly of Pennsylvania DNCR's plan to develop a huge area just to the west and southwest of here as a High Conservation Value Forest, or HCVF for short. While not strictly a "wilderness" designation, a HCVF does provide protection for critical habitat for flora and fauna alike. Areas of Potter, Tioga, Clinton, and Lycoming counties are being considered for inclusion. Much of the land is already state forest, parks or game lands.


Speaking with Kerry before dinner I discovered his son was flying in Iraq out of Al Asad Air Base when my son was over there providing ground security in 2004-2005. It's a very small world sometimes.


I buttonholed Jim after the meeting to talk about wells being drilled or permitted to be drilled. He said that now that Shell has bought out EAST, they've been going at it hammer and tong. There are a dozen or so rigs in the area and Shell expects to double that soon. Where EAST had a 7-10 year plan, Shell has compressed things to 5 years. With many of the leases set to expire in two years time, and the retention of their rights dependent upon Shell's at least beginning to drill ("spading" it's called) the more rapid approach is understandable. (In "spading" they go down but not necessarily out. They can come back later and begin to horizontally expand their reach.)

Today, Jim sent me a link to the process being used to designate the HCVF and also a map of current and proposed wells nearest the Aerie. Vis-a-vis the latter, we are outside the blue line I take to be the reach of Shell's current wells, by t-h-i-s much and therefore should expect no $$$ from the gas beneath us. That could change however as there's at least one permitted site nearer to our location. Heh. If it happens it happens. We'll know more around the year 2014 when our current gas/mineral lease expires.

CAFE Standards. Can you say: "unrealistic?"

The EPA has issued new CAFE standards for US auto makers. geared toward increasing fuel efficiency to 55.4 mpg by 2025, these rules are expensive pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams.

Obama’s new fuel standards to add $2,000 to car prices, cost $157B, agencies say
The Obama administration’s new proposal to double the fuel efficiency of cars by 2025 may cost up to $157 billion and add $2,000 to the price of passenger automobiles, according to two federal agencies.
The proposed rule would go into effect in 2017 and requires annual fuel-economy increases of five percent for cars. Ultimately, the rule would require automakers to reach an average of 55.4 miles per gallon for passenger cars by 2025. The current CAFE standard for 2011 is 30.2 mpg.

EPA: By 2025, Pigs Will Fly
But for harder numbers, how are the automakers doing on the more immediate EPA mandate of 35.5 mpg by 2015? They’re not even close.

Take, for example, the best-selling car in America: the brand-new, totally redesigned, state-of-the-art, four-cylinder, base model 2012 Toyota Camry (255,000 units sold far this year) that will still be Toyota’s standard-bearer three years from now. Its fuel economy is just 28 mpg. That’s the average American car.

Indeed, 15 years ago, the Camry got 23 mpg, meaning that its fuel economy has improved at 1.5 percent each year. Now the high priests of the EPA are requiring that it improve 5 percent per year over the next 15 years.

What happens if/when the automakers fail to meet these ridiculous goals? Will the government fine them? Will the government put them out of business? Will the government take over the companies? Oh, wait....


Related: Our tax dollars at work:
U.S. boosts estimate of auto bailout losses to $23.6BThe Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.'s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.

The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.


Fossil Fuels Fueling the Economy

As I may have mentioned from time to time, our corner of PA is smack dab in the middle of a gas boom of a good kind. Numerous wells have been drilled, are being drilled, or will shortly be drilled. The result is a scramble for workers of all sorts from roughnecks to truck drivers to...well...just about everything to support the drilling/pipeline industry. Motels, restaurants, mechanics to care for trucks of all types, stone quarries, excavators, name it, they are either building, expanding, or hiring. Anyone needing, but still without, a job just isn't trying very hard. On any trip to Lowe's or WalMart you can see license plates from all over the country.

Shale Gas Brings Energy Independence, Drilling Supports 140,000 Jobs in Pa.

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- In just five years the United States has gone from importing natural gas to meet its industrial needs to sitting on the edge of being a net exporter, geologist James M. Funk told the 26th annual meeting of Penn-Northwest Development Corp. Tuesday.
"The United States now has a 100-year supply of natural gas and that's growing," Funk related. With Funk was Matt Pitzarella, who said afterward that Funk's projection is "incredibly conservative." Pitzarella, director of corporate communications and public affairs for Range, thinks a 200-year supply to meet all of this country's needs (and for the United States to export its surplus) is more realistic.

The quantities of gas exported, combined with less reliance on foreign oil, could substantially affect the United States balance of trade, Pitzarella stated, thereby reducing our imports as well as what the United States owes abroad.

"Today industrial users are paying half what they did five years ago," he said, "and demand is 40% higher."
Since the shale has been unlocked, Funk said, Pennsylvania benefited in 2010 by having $11.2 billion in economic activity it otherwise would not have enjoyed. And state tax coffers held $1.1 billion related to Marcellus activity.

Drilling supports 140,000 jobs in the commonwealth directly and indirectly, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, which also credits the energy companies with hiring 27,000 employees last year whose average wage exceeded $76,000.
A spinoff industry is water purification, Funk said, with technicians needed to purify the water used in extracting the gas and drivers and trucks needed to haul the water to purification sites.

The issue of how safe fracking is -- the method used to extract the natural gas -- and the danger to the environment was raised.

Pennsylvania's regulations of natural gas drilling are a model for the United States, Pitzarella said, noting that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is looking closely at those of the Keystone State.

Of the materials forced deep below the ground to release the gas consists of into the shale, "99.92% is water and sand," Pitzarella said. The other three substances consist of an anti-microbial agent -- "the same stuff in hand soap but much diluted" -- a scaling inhibitor to keep the pipe from clogging -- "the same that water utilities use that deliver water to your home" -- and extremely dilute hydrochloric acid. The acid cleans the well bores.

"All the chemicals we use are biodegradable," Pitzarella said.

Ours is not the only place experiencing a boom in natural gas/oil production. The North Dakota boom has been well documented (here, here, and here), but even as off shore drilling continues to be put on the slow track, there's plenty going on in the states adjacent to the Gulf.

BHP Billiton to Spend $4.5B On US Shale This Year
BHP Billiton plans to invest roughly US $4.5 billion developing the shale oil and gas assets it bought in the U.S. this financial year as it ramps up production, the head of the mining company's petroleum division said Monday.

BHP expects capital spending to jump to almost US $6 billion in the 2015 fiscal year and roughly US $6.5 billion by 2020 as the company ramps up the number of rigs on its four project areas, Michael Yeager said in a conference call from Melbourne.

BHP spent almost US $17 billion this year buying Petrohawk Energy Corp. along with its assets in Texas and Louisiana and Chesapeake's Fayetteville shale assets in Arkansas.

Meanwhile, New York State is sitting on its hands doing little but holding hearing after hearing and thinking of new taxes to impose to relieve their fiscal problems.

And, you know, let’s not build the Keystone XL pipeline or do any oil drilling along our shores. Wouldn’t do a thing to help the economy anyway.

Besides, Americans are a lazy people. The President says so.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Larry Niven is prescient!

Or omniscient or omnipotent or something.

Perhaps Sci-Fi author Larry Niven simply has a time machine in his basement.

He wrote a short story--in 1972!--that so accurately depicts what has happened in every single occupy camp across the world over the last two months that that is the only possible explanation. That or he is a god.

(Of course, Niven's Law* precludes the possibility that he has a time machine, therefore....)

The story is called "Cloak of Anarchy" and you can read it here and judge for yourself.

The sad thing is that IF (and it's a big one) any of the loonies participating in the OWS movement had even a small knowledge of human nature and behavior--or Larry Niven's writings--they could have avoided the whole idiotic, destructive, calamitous, doomed and, for some, fatal happening. With the number of sociology and X-studies participants one would have somehow expected more.

Niven's Law
If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe.

Hans Moravec glosses this version of Niven's Law as follows:

There is a spookier possibility. Suppose it is easy to send messages to the past, but that forward causality also holds (i.e. past events determine the future). In one way of reasoning about it, a message sent to the past will "alter" the entire history following its receipt, including the event that sent it, and thus the message itself. Thus altered, the message will change the past in a different way, and so on, until some "equilibrium" is reached--the simplest being the situation where no message at all is sent. Time travel may thus act to erase itself (an idea Larry Niven fans will recognize as "Niven's Law").
(From Wikipedia)

(I saw a reference to this story by Niven on the sidebar at Ace of Spades HQ earlier today. It has since moved into the Netherworld.)

College Football 2011, Preweek 12

Week 12 Polls and Match-ups.

Everyone in the Top 25 is in action this week. Only West Virginia, on the Plus Four list, is idle.

A couple of teams are facing FCS opponents with the Alabama Georgia Southern match being the best of that group.

There are a few interesting pairings among the ranked teams: #4 Oregon vs #18 Southern California; #5 Oklahoma vs #25 Baylor; and #17 Nebraska vs #20 Michigan

The Mid-American Conference and Conference USA own the mid-week period this time of year with games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. One, sometimes two of the Thursday games and Friday games, however, feature one or more of the Top 25 teams. This week #9 Virginia Tech hosts North Carolina on Thursday and #2 Oklahoma State plays at Iowa State on Friday. Makes for a long, long weekend if you're a football fan. Especially with the NFL playing all day and night Sunday, Monday night and Thursday night, too.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/2/1 LSU (10-0) The Tigers hit the road to play the Mississippi Rebels (2-8).

2/2/1/2 Oklahoma State (10-0) The Cowboys play in Ames against the Iowa State Cyclones (5-4) on Friday night.

3/3/4/3 Alabama (9-1) The Tide will host the Georgia Southern Eagles (9-1).

4/4/5/4 Oregon (9-1) The Ducks host the #18 Trojans of Southern California (8-2).

5/5/3/5 Oklahoma (8-1) The Sooners will be on the road against the #25 Baylor Bears (6-3).

6/6/10/6 Arkansas (9-1) The Razorbacks host the #22 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-5).

7/8/12/7 Clemson (9-1) The Tigers are on the road to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-5).

8/9/7/9 Stanford (9-1) The Cardinal host the California Golden Bears (6-4).

9/7/8/8 Virginia Tech (9-1) The Hokies will host the Tarheels of North Carolina (6-4) on Thursday night.

10/11/6/10 Boise State (8-1) The Broncos are on the west coast playing the San Diego State Aztecs (6-3).

11/10/9/11 Houston (10-0) The Cougars will host the Southern Methodist Mustangs (6-4)

12/12/22/15 Michigan State (8-2) The Spartans will host the Indiana Hoosiers (1-9).

13/15/17/14 Georgia (8-2) The Bulldogs host the Kentucky Wildcats (4-6).

14/14/14/12 South Carolina (8-2) The Gamecocks will be hosting The Citadel Bulldogs (4-6).

15/13/24/17 Wisconsin (8-2) The Badgers will play on the road against the Fighting Illini of Illinois (6-4).

16/17/13/13 Kansas State (8-2) The Wildcats are on the road to face the Texas Longhorns (6-3).

17/16/19/16 Nebraska (8-2) The Cornhuskers are on the road to play the #20 Michigan Wolverines (8-2).

18/NR/16/NR Southern California (8-2) The Trojans play the #4 Oregon Ducks (9-1) in Eugene.

19/19/18/19 TCU (8-2) The Horned Frogs host the Colorado State Rams (3-6).

20/18/11/18 Michigan (8-2) The Wolverines will host the #17 Cornhuskers of Nebraska (8-2).

21/21/23/21 Penn State (8-2) The Nittany Lions will on the road to face the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-4).

22/20/15/20 Southern Mississippi (9-1) The Bulldogs will be on the road against the #6 Arkansas Razorbacks (9-1).

23/22/NR/25 Florida State (7-3) The Seminoles will host the Virginia Cavaliers (7-3).

24/25/20/NR Notre Dame (7-3) The Irish will host the Eagles of Boston College (3-7).

25/NR/NR/22 Baylor (6-3) The Bears host the #5 Oklahoma Sooners (8-1).

NR/24/NR/NR West Virginia (7-3) The Mountaineers are idle this week.

NR/NR/21/23 Texas (6-3) The Longhorns will host the #16 Kansas State Wildcats (8-2).

NR/NR/25/NR Tulsa (7-3) The Golden Hurricane will be on the road against the UTEP Miners (5-5).

NR/NR/NR/24 Auburn (6-4) The Tigers will host the Samford Bulldogs (6-4).

Monday, November 14, 2011

What the heck! It's not like it's real money.

First we had a $535-million loan guarantee to now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra, a loan in which a top fundraiser for President Obama was heavily involved.

And now we get news of a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work, a drug, by the way, produced by a company whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

(For those who are not aware...smallpox is extinct in the wild. Has been since 1979. It only exists in research laboratories. That means existing methods of vaccination must have worked just fine and raises the question of why a new vaccine is even needed.)

Either story is as likely to appear on the evening news as stories of Attorney General Holder's congressional testimony on Fast and Furious. A demonstration of lawlessness, incompetence, and...well...not much else, if there ever was one.

No, the above stories won't appear because the news folks are too busy talking about Penn State, Cain's accusers, and Perry's brain freeze. Important stuff, ya know.

November 2012 can not get here fast enough.

President "Present" Screws US Again

By deciding to postpone a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast by essentially voting "Present", Obama has succeed in sending more than jobs to China. He may have now sent oil as well. Canadian PM eyes China after US pipeline delay

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper would much rather trade oil for US dollars rather than yaun from a country much more likely to be a competitor than a partner.

The Harper government has pressed Obama to approve the 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) pipeline extension, which would stretch through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma before ending up in Texas.

Canada, the pipeline's lead company TransCanada, and Obama's Republican opponents say the $7 billion project would provide the United States with a stable source of energy from an ally and create thousands of jobs.

"I remain optimistic that the project will eventually go ahead because it makes eminent sense," Harper said.

"This project is obviously what's in the best interest not just of the Canadian economy but also of the American economy," he said.

But with the 2012 election around the corner Obama can't afford to piss off the environmentalists who would rather we all stop using oil and all fossil fuels. They say they are concerned with contamination of aquifers in Nebraska and that burning tar sands oil will release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Guess they'd rather see the oil shipped via tanker over the Pacific (nope, no chance of spills there!) to be refined/burned in China. I'm sure the Chinese equivalent of the EPA has even stricter monitoring regulations than the USEPA so all those nasty, dirty pollutants and greenhouse gases will be scrubbed from the smokestacks of the Chinese factories.

Representatives of the Sierra Club were super pleased with the delay and are still calling for a complete abandonment of the Keystone XL pipeline project. They and their World Wildlife Federation and Green Peace friends are idiots.

The many thousands of US pipeline workers, refinery workers support personnel, etc.--some say upwards of 20,000--who now will have to wait until at least 2013 to find out whether the pipeline gets built and they get a paycheck for their labors, were not available fro comment.

College Football 2011, Week 11 results

Week 11 Results

WOW! What a week for upsets and close, close games!

There are several games that match ranked teams against one another: #3 Stanford fell to #6 Oregon, #5 Boise State lost to TCU—at home!, #10 Virginia Tech beat #20 Georgia Tech (Thursday night), #12 Penn State dropped a close one to #19 Nebraska, and #14 Georgia routed #24 Auburn. Number 9 Clemson survived on a last second field goal and #17 Kansas State won in the fourth overtime period. Number 21 Texas lost as did #23 Cincinnati.

All that means many teams will have to change their season ending goals and there will be a lot of reshuffling when the polls come out.

(Polls are AP, Coaches’, the CBSSports120 and the BCS. NR = not ranked)

1/1/2/1 LSU (10-0) The Tigers played a surprisingly staunch Western Kentucky Hilltoppers team (5-5).The Hilltoppers, coming in with a five game win streak, trailed the Tigers 14-7 at the half before LSU got their bearings and pulled away to a 42-9 victory. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue each scored two TDs for LSU.

2/3/1/2 Oklahoma State (10-0) The Cowboys routed the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (5-5) 66-6—the most lopsided loss the Red Raiders have ever sustained. The Cowboys converted all three turnovers committed by Texas Tech into fist half touchdowns. Brandon Weeden completed 31 of 37 passes for 423 yards and five TDs for Oklahoma State two each to josh Stewart and Justin Blackmon. Joseph Randle added three TDs on the ground. The Raiders lone TD came on a 37-yard fumble recovery by Cornelius Douglas. The Cowboys’ Josh Stewart returned a fumble three yards for a TD on a kickoff.

3/2/6/4 Stanford (9-1) The Cardinal got blown out by the #6 Oregon Ducks (9-1) 53-30. LaMichael James rushed for 146 yards and three TDs on 20 carries for the Ducks. Andrew Luck completed 27 of 41 pass attempts for 271 yards and three TDs. Griff Whalen scored on two of those passes. Whalen finished the night with nine catches for 107 yards. Luck threw two interceptions, one of which was returned 40 yards by Boseko Lokombo for a Ducks’ TD.

4/4/5/3 Alabama (9-1) The Crimson Tide didn’t so much roll as ooze into Mississippi State to play the Bulldogs (5-5). The Tide got off to a slow start but, like the incoming tide, eventually overwhelmed another SEC opponent 24-7. Missing two field goals didn’t help. Trent Richardson rushed for 127 yards and a TD on 32 carries and Eddie Lacy added 96 yards and two TDs on 11 carries for ‘Bama.

5/5/4/5 Boise State (8-1) The Broncos lost their first home game in like forever (actually 35 games) when the Horned Frogs of TCU (8-2) successfully converted a 2-point conversion—twice in the second half. The second put the Frogs ahead 36-35. TCU then held on as Boise freshman kicker Dan Goodale missed wide right on a 39-yard field goal attempt as time ran out. TCU amassed 506 net yards offense and Boise 446. Casey Pachall completed 24 of 37 for 473 yards and five TDs but it was his short dive to score that final two points that made the difference. Kellen Moore completed 28 of 38 for 320 yards and two TDs and D.J. Harper rushed 24 times for 125 yards and two TDs for the Broncos. Tyrone Crawford returned a fumble 32 yards for a Bronco TD.

6/6/7/7 Oregon (9-1) The Ducks defense held the #3 Stanford Cardinal (9-1) to a minimum and the offense shifted into high gear as the Ducks upset the Cardinal 53-30. More above.

7/7/3/6 Oklahoma (8-1) The Sooners have the weekend off.

8/8/12/8 Arkansas (9-1) The Razorbacks gored the hapless Volunteers of Tennessee (4-6) 49-7. Joe Adams scored on a 60-yard punt return and a 40-yard TD pass from Tyler Wilson (16 of 26 for 224 yards and three TDs) while Dennis Johnson led the Razorbacks on the ground with 97 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.

9/10/9/9 Clemson (9-1) The Tigers needed a 43-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro on the final play of the game to defeat the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-5) 31-28. The victory clinched the Atlantic Division for Clemson and ensures a trip to the ACC title game. Wake lead 28-14 in the third quarter but Tajh Boyd tossed two TD passes to tie the score and set up Catanzaro’s heroics. Andre Ellington rushed for two TDs fro the Tigers as did Brandon Pendergrass for the Deacons.

10/9/13/10 Virginia Tech (9-1) The Hokies Logan Thomas completed just seven passes but three of them went for TDs against the #20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-3). Thomas also ran for two TDs as Virginia Tech improved to 5-1 in ACC competition with a 37-26 win. Tevin Washington ran for three TDs for the Yellow Jackets who were eliminated from the ACC’s Coastal Division race.

11/11/8/11 Houston (11-0) The Cougars played on the road Thursday night against the Green Wave of Tulane (2-9). At the end of the first quarter it was still 0-0 which probably surprised everyone. It was the first quarter this season that Houston did NOT put points on the board. Not to worry, the Cougars outscored Tulane 35-10—in the second quarter—on their way to a 73-17 romp. In that second quarter, Bryce Beall would score on an 11-yard run; Patrick Edwards would return a punt 70 yards for a TD AND catch a 23-yard pass from Keenum for another; and Charles Sims would score on runs of 52 and 72 yards. Keenum did not finish the third quarter, coming out after tossing two more TD passes to Patrick Edwards (8 and 66 yards). Cotton Turner came in and tossed for one TD and ran for another. Damian Payne finished the Houston scoring with a 76-yard punt return for a TD. Houston had 735 net yards on offense and three punt returns for 124 yards—and the two TDs.

12/12/16/12 Penn State (8-2) The Nittany Lions fell behind 17-0 to the #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-2) Saturday afternoon. After the week’s activities few could blame them. But then the Lions started to fight back. The defense got stingier and the offense put some points on the board. With moments left it was 17-14 and Penn State had the ball. Unfortunately, they would not be able to move it against and equally tough Cornhusker defense and the game ended with a PSU 17-14 defeat.

13/13/NR/17 Michigan State (8-2) The Spartans beat the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4) 37-21. The Spartans jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead and held off a Hawkeye charge in the second half. Kirk Cousins completed 18 of 31 attempts for 260 yards and three TDs.

14/16/19/15 Georgia (8-2) The Bulldogs routed the #24 Auburn Tigers (6-4) 45-7. Aaron Murray completed 14 of 18 passes for 224 yards and four TDs while teammate Isaiah Crowell rushed for one TD and 132 yards on 24 carries.

15/15/14/13 South Carolina (8-2) The Gamecocks edged the Florida Gators (5-5) 17-12. Brandon Wilds rushed 29 times for 120 yards and Connor Shaw added 88 yards and two TDs on 16 carries for South Carolina. Chris Rainey carried 17 times for 132 yards for the Gators.

16/14/25/18 Wisconsin (8-2) The Badgers easily beat the Golden Gophers of Minnesota (2-8) 42-13. The Badgers outgained the Gophers in total yards 461 to 156 and had 29 first downs to Minnesota’s nine. Russell Wilson had four TD passes with Nick Toon grabbing two of them. Montee Ball scored one TD on a Wilson Pass and two more on the ground. Duane Bennett returned a kickoff 96 yards for a Minnesota TD.

17/22/15/14 Kansas State (8-2) The Wildcats and the Aggies of Texas A&M (5-5) played to four OTs before the Wildcats gathered in the victory 53-50. Not bad for a game that was scoreless after one period. Collin Klein scored five times on the ground—35 carries for 103 yard—and tossed a 53-yard TD pass—17 of 27 for 281 yards— to Chris Harper—four catches for 134 yards. Cyrus Gray rushed 30 times for A&M for 218 yards and two TDs.

18/NR/18/NR Southern California (8-2) The Trojans creamed the Huskies of Washington (6-4) 40-17. Curtis McNeal rushed 18 times for 148 yards including a 79 yard TD run. Marqise Lee caught a TD pass from Matt Barkley and returned the second half opening kickoff 88 yards for another.

19/17/21/19 Nebraska (8-2) The Cornhuskers edged the #12 Nittany Lions of Penn State (8-2) 17-14. More above.

20/19/NR/21 Georgia Tech (7-3) The Yellow Jackets lost to the #10 Hokies of Virginia Tech (9-1) 37-26 on Thursday night. The loss eliminates Georgia Tech from the ACC’s Coastal Division race. More above.

21/20/NR/16 Texas (6-3) The Longhorns were beaten by the Missouri Tigers (5-5) 17-5, but the Tigers lost star running back Henry Josie to a knee injury. The good news for Missouri was that Josie’s replacement, Kendial Lawrence rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a TD.

22/21/17/24 Michigan (8-2) The Wolverines drubbed the Fighting Illini (6-4) 31-14. The Wolverines held the Illini to a mere 37 yards rushing and 177 yards passing. Illinois didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald Toussaint gained 192 yards on 27 carries and scored one td while Denard Robinson scored two TDs on the ground.

23/18/20/23 Cincinnati (7-2) The Bearcats lost starting QB Zach Collaros in the second quarter to a serious ankle injury. Sophomore back-up, Munchie Legaux, stepped in and got the Bearcats ahead 21—17 in the fourth, but Geno Smith lead the Mountaineers of West Virginia (7-3) back for a 24-21 victory that was cemented when the potential tying field goal was blocked on the closing seconds.

24/25/NR/20 Auburn (6-4) The Tigers were whipped by the #14 Georgia Bulldogs (8-2) 45-7. More above.

25/23/11/22 Southern Mississippi (9-1) The Golden Eagles edged the UCF Knights (4-6) 30-29. Austin Davis completed 26 of 48 for 364 yards and two TDs and Danny Hrapmann converted field goals of 28, 22, 44, 46, and 48 yards for the Golden Eagles. Blake Bortles completed 24 of 34 attempts for 248 yards and two fourth quarter TDs and Latavius Murray returned a punt 69 yards for a score for the Knights.

NR/24/24/NR TCU (8-2) The Horned Frogs did the near impossible of beating #5 Boise State Broncos (8-1) on the Blue Carpet of Boise 36-35. See above.

NR/NR/22/NR Texas A&M (5-5) The Aggies and the #17 Kansas State Wildcats (8-2) played four overtimes before KS pulled it out 53-50. More above.

NR/NR/23/NR Notre Dame (7-3) The Irish beat the Maryland Terrapins (2-8) 45-21, but it wasn’t that close. The Irish went with a no-huddle offense and ran an astonishing 84 plays. Jonas Gray ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns, Tommy Rees completed 30 of 38 passes, including 14 of 15 after halftime as he threw for 296 yards and two scores. Notre Dame amassed 508 yards in offense. In addition, Lo Wood returned an interception 57 yards for a TD.

NR/NR/NR/25 Baylor (6-3) The Bears edged the Kansas Jayhawks (2-8) 31-30 in overtime. Trailing 24-3 after three quarters, the Bears rallied behind Robert Griffin for three fourth quarter TDs to tie. Griffin scored on a 49 yard run and then connected with Terrance Williams (36 yards) and Tevin Reese (67 yards) for two more in the fourth quarter. In overtime, Griffin and Reese again connected for a 14-yard TD. The Jayhawks scored on their possession on a 25-yard TD pass Jordan Webb to Tim Biere. Kansas then attempted a 2-point conversion and failed. Griffin finished the game with 312 yards and three TDs passing and 103 yards and one TD running. Darian Miller had 147 yards rushing for Kansas.