Friday, September 28, 2012

Closed Up the Cabin

I woke at the Bolt Hole early Thursday morning and, after a quick breakfast and perusal of the internet, began to close the place down for the winter.

The hot water heater and the pump get turned off at the circuit breaker box. All the water is drained from the pipes and RV antifreeze is added to the traps. The fridge gets emptied and any food stuffs packed to come back to PA. Then it and the phone get unplugged.

The most time consuming part in this is draining the water system. I've a 50 gallon hot water heater in the basement that needs to be emptied. Once upon a time I would just open the faucets and then the spigot at base of the heater's tank and let it drain into a pit dug in the earthen floor. Then Mark and I realized this was just adding way too much moisture to the building. Oh, the water would sink into the earth alright, but then it would evaporate back into the basement's air space. Then condense on any and all surfaces (especially metal) during the following months. Now I've a 5-gallon bucket sunk into the ground into which I (slowly) drain all the water and then use a submersible pump and garden hose to lift that water up and out of the basement to spill on the sloped lawn outside. The pump works faster than gravity so I'll fill the bucket 3/4 full and plug the pump in to empty the water. Over and over and over again until all the water is gone. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to get rid of those 50 gallons of warm water. But get rid of it I did.

I had already packed the Tundra with everything except the groceries so when the fridge was empty I was ready to hit the road. It was 11 AM.

Some four and a half hours and 220 miles later I was back at the Aerie in PA after a very uneventful drive.


Closing up the cabin doesn't mean I won't be back up there this winter although with the limited amount of firewood in the shed, I won't be staying long when I go. I'll haul drinking water with me and also some buckets so I can melt snow for washing my face and hands and flushing the toilet. And if there's no snow, there is a spring a few miles away that flows all year long. Potable, too. (If it wasn't so blasted cold in February, the lack of water would be a great reason to dig a pit for an outhouse. But when it can get to minus 10 or minus 20, who wants to voluntarily go sit outside to take a .... er, do your stuff.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Confirmed...'s a whole lot more fun shooting them than cleaning them.

Just spent three hours cleaning the shotgun, rifle and muzzle loader. The bulk of that time was spent with the last. The first two went pretty quickly, actually. The entire process went well using the new Otis Tactical Cleaning System I purchased at Cabela's. The flexible cable that allows you clean from the breech to the muzzle makes so much more sense than using the old ram rod to go the other way. The really hard part of using the Otis Tactical Cleaning System was getting everything back into the little storage case when I was finished.

The three of them are spic and span now and stored in their cases for the trip back to PA tomorrow.

I'm glad I did the shooting yesterday as rain moved in overnight and things were soggy as all get out this morning. The mist and fog we had is finally starting to lift and may clear here by tonight. One good thing about the brought some warmer overnight temperatures. Instead of a low in the high 30s like we had on Monday night, it was in the low 50s when I came downstairs this morning.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home on the Range

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon in the backyard of the Bolt Hole throwing lead.

This morning I took both of the scoped long guns out there and put 10 rounds through the slug gun--a Remington Model 870 Express Magnum in 12 gauge-and another 25 rounds through the Remington Model 700-a bolt action in .270 caliber.

My "range" is 50 yards long and has a pile of old logs as a back stop and miles of forest behind that. The target area was in and out of the shade as the breeze blew the tree tops about but the scopes certainly made things a bit easier. I also do not have a bench rest to work from so I was sitting in a plastic lawn chair and using a 3" diameter apple tree to steady my aim. Talk about real life scenarios!

I hadn't fired either one in a looong time so I was pretty pleased with the results. The .270 needed some adjustments on the scope and the slug gun still needs some fine tuning to get it where I really want it but these aren't too bad.

I shot 12 gauge, 2-3/4", 1-14 oz Lightfield slugs and they can and do pack a wallop-both on your shoulder and the game you're targeting. They also shoot very, very flat for a slug. I haven't had to, but my buddy Joe has killed deer out to 175 yards using the Lightfield Hybred EXP slugs. The box shows a trajectory of +2 inches from the line of sight at 50 yards and 0 inches at 100 yards. (It also says I purchased them back in October of 2008. Shows how little I've been shooting.)

All ten shots of the slug gun. 

As you can see, the shots are a little to the left and almost exactly 2 inches high. It actually looks worse than it was because I hit the copper pipe that was holding the target in place-twice. The first time caused it to lean into the bullseye zone and the second time I cut the pipe in half. Those two shots ricocheted off to the 2 o'clock position and tore up the target just a wee bit. ;-) I also made an adjustment on the scope when it seemed too many hits were to the right of center. But I think I turned the dial the wrong way!

The bolt action Model 700 has been my field weapon for a couple of years now. I just wish I had gotten one with a flat matte finish to the stock instead of the high gloss. The ammo here was Remington's Core-Lokt 130 grain soft point. My notes on the box say I purchased these in "pre'91" days. While Joe has reloaded some for me, these are off the shelf cartridges.

Five shots with the .270. 

I was pretty happy with this final five group as four of the shots were exactly 2" high and on either side of the center. (The fifth shot was 3" high but pretty close to dead center.

The muzzle loader had to wait until after lunch. The .50 caliber Knight inline smoke pole is a lot of fun to shoot even though I haven't outfitted it with a scope...yet. And, using 209 shotgun primers as an ignition source, it has never misfired even if I load it on Monday and carry it through the rain for four days. You can ask Mark about that. He doubted it would fire until I proved him wrong. The only problem is that, like most muzzle loaders, it's not really meant to be fired a whole lot without at least a swabbing out. Sit down and put five or six shots through it and you better get the cleaning rod and a patch out. I didn't do so today and shots seven through fourteen were all over the place. On a couple of occasions I'm pretty sure it was because I hadn't seated the 245 grain bullet atop the powder properly--a dangerous situation!--but I escaped and damage to myself or my rifle.

The first six shots with the muzzle loader. 

Not too bad for iron sights. That little 5 inch diameter circle that is the outer orange ring was darn near impossible for me to see as the sun and shade battled to expose and obscure the damn thing. I'm also pretty sure I messed up my sight picture a little as the apple tree kept swaying and the chair sank deeper into the forest floor. Still, it's the first shot that counts! Right? And numbers 1, 3 and 6 were just an inch away from center at 10 and 11 o'clock. At 50 yards, numbers 2 and 5 may have produced a kill, but number 4? Unlikely unless the deer tried to duck in preparation for taking off. 


On a side note...

There is a logger working some lands around here. He's taking hardwoods AND soft woods, something the fella that logged here before did not do. The soft balsam and cedar may be going to Canada to become molding while the birch and maples become saw logs for area mills. Hemlock may go either way depending upon what it looks like once cut. He's also taking pulp wood (balsam and fir and hemlock too small to be used up in Canada).

My shooting was interrupted this afternoon when he and I finally met. I've been wanting to open the woods up a bit for quite some time and this may be a chance to pocket some cash in the deal. I spent an hour and a half walking him and his helper around and showing them the property corners and three of the four lines. (I'm not 100% sure of the location of the fourth corner up here on the jeep road. But I gave him a pretty good feel for where it might be and he felt he could stay away from the line without losing too much timber.)

We discussed places to stage his logs and where he could easily get his machines in and out. I mentioned the sanctity of the rejuvenated apple orchard and how disappointed Mark would be if any of his babies were damaged by anything mechanical. We talked about where he might leave some logs as firewood should they not be suitable for the mill. He promised to take good care of the woods and not tear things up too badly nor leave piles of tops and limbs all over. (Especially since some of those tops can become pulp.)

We also talked price. Essentially, this is a percentage deal. We will go 50-50 on the hardwoods, 40-60 on the soft (I'm the "40" in this split) and a flat $12 per cord for any pulp wood.  Since he and his helper are doing ALL the work from cutting to hauling to finding a market, I thought this a fair deal.



Terry reports that they came to the Aerie to take water samples today. The person who was taking the samples had a little better idea as to where Shell--for it is indeed Shell--will be drilling in the next six months or so.Seems they will be on the top of the hill near the existing windmills. Now, there are windmills on both sides of our road and the intersecting Mountain Ridge Road at the top of the hill and I estimate that there are five or six within a mile of our property, so, while the water sampler's information was nice to have, It didn't really narrow down the location to be drilled terribly much.

College Football, Week 5

Week 5 is here and the number of undefeated teams is dwindling and teams are entering into more conference play. This is when we start to get a better feel for how things actually lay.

Because Jerry Palm is predicting the future and not really looking at the present (“The rankings are not based on today, but how the poll would look at the end of the season. “)  I’m going to drop the CBSSports poll from my lists and confine myself to the AP and Coaches’ polls.  In a week or two I may add the BCS standings to the mix.

Of the teams listed among the Top 25 (and a few more), there are six of them which have the weekend off.  Two games match ranked teams against one another: #9 West Virginia (3-0) plays host to the #24 Baylor (3-0) and #14 Ohio State (4-0) play at #20 Michigan State (3-1). Then the #22 Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1) host the Coaches’ #23 Wisconsin Badgers (3-1).

Thursday nights’ game has #8 Stanford (3-0) at Washington (2-1). Friday night it’s Hawaii (1-2) at BYU (2-2).

(Numbers given this week are the rankings of: AP/Coaches’. NR = Not Rated Those in parentheses are last week’s rankings and include all three: AP/Coaches’/CBSSports)

1/1 (1/1/5) Alabama (4-0) The Tide hosts the Mississippi Rebels (3-1).  It’s Alabama’s fourth home game in this young season. (Their schedule includes just four road games?) They should win this one too. 

2/2 (3/3/7) Oregon (4-0) The Ducks will play at the home of the Washington State Cougars (2-2). Ducks win big.

3/3 (2/2/1) LSU (4-0) The Tigers will host the Towson Tigers (2-1) (and FCS team). Well they aren’t Auburn so LSU should win handily. North Texas, Idaho, and now Towson; it would be nice if they, you know, actually played someone

4/4 (4/4/4) Florida State (4-0) The Seminoles will play “on the road” against the South Florida Bulls. State wins this one but they may need their 55+ point average to do it.

5/5 (5/6/11) Georgia (4-0) The Bulldogs will host the Tennessee Volunteers (3-1) Saturday afternoon. This could be closer than you might expect. In fact, this could be THE upset of the week.

6/6 (7/8/16) South Carolina (4-0) The Gamecocks head west to play the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3) on Saturday night. Wildcats win big on the road.

7/8 (15/13/23) Kansas State (4-0) The Wildcats have the weekend off.

8/9 (9/11/25) Stanford (3-0) The Cardinal head north to Seattle to play the Washington Huskies (2-1) on Thursday night at 9 PM. Stanford wins by a little bit.

9/7 (8/7/12) West Virginia (3-0) The Mountaineers host the #24 Baylor Bears (3-0) Saturday afternoon. This could be a high scoring affair as both teams have powerful offenses. Winner will make the fewest mistakes.

10/11 (11/15/10) Notre Dame (4-0) The Fighting Irish have the weekend off.

11/12 (14/14/17) Florida (4-0) The Gators have the weekend off.

12/10 (12/10/19) Texas (3-0) The Longhorns will play at the home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-1) Saturday night. Could be close but the Longhorns win this one.

13/13 (13/12/2) Southern California (3-1) The Trojans have the weekend off.

14/NR (16/NR/6) Ohio State (4-0) The Buckeyes will play at the home of the #20 Michigan State Spartans (3-1) in a big Big Ten contest.

15/14 (17/16/NR) TCU (3-0) The Horned Frogs will play the SMU Mustangs (1-2) on the road. TCU should win with a comfortable margin.

16/15 (6/5/3) Oklahoma (2-1) The Sooners have the weekend off.

17/16 (10/9/8) Clemson (3-1) The Tigers played at Florida State last week, this week they head north to play Boston College (1-2). Should get a win this time.

18/21 (NR/NR/NR) Oregon State (2-0) The Beavers head to Arizona to face the 3-1 Wildcats Saturday night.

19/17 (20/18/9) Louisville (4-0) The Cardinals will go on the road to play the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (0-3) Saturday night. Louisville should win this easily.

20/18 (21/20/18) Michigan State (3-1) The Spartans host the #14 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0) Saturday afternoon.

21/19 (23/23/NR) Mississippi State (4-0) The Bulldogs have the weekend off.

22/20 (25/22/NR) Nebraska (3-1) The Cornhuskers host the Wisconsin Badgers (3-1) Saturday night. A lot depends upon whether or not Montee Ball of the Badgers can play.

23/25T (NR/NR/NR) Rutgers (4-0) After playing three of their first four games on the road—and winning them all—the Scarlet Knights have the week off before playing two home games against UConn and Syracuse.

24/NR (24/NR/NR) Boise State (2-1) The Broncos head south to play the New Mexico Lobos (2-2). They should come home with a victory.

25/24 (NR/NR/NR) Baylor (3-0) The Bears head to Morgantown, WV to face the #9 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0). First team to 45 points MAY win.

NR/23 (NR/24/NR) Wisconsin (3-1) The Badgers will head south to play the #22 Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1) in a game vital to both teams dreams.

NR/25T (NR/NR/NR) Virginia Tech (3-1) The Hokies hit the road to play the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0) who have had two weeks to prepare.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Up North for a bit

Up north at the Bolt Hole for the first time in a long time.

I don't hear any mice rummaging about but that's probably because they ate all the soap in the bathroom.

The temperature will be in the upper 30s here in the southwestern Adirondacks tonight. It was 50 when I arrived at 6 PM. Luckily I was able to start a fire in the wood stove.It's supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow but that will bring some showers on Wednesday. Or so they say.

I plan on closing the place up (draining the water lines and emptying the fridge) for the winter. Usually I spend some time hunting here, but my buddy Mark reports there have been virtually no pictures of deer on the game cameras for a month. Bear have left the area, too. Yet, this evening at about 7 PM I went out to the truck ans spooked at least 4 deer from the road in front of the cabin where they must have been looking for dropped apples. I couldn't see any horns on those I got a chance to get a peek at. They weren't in any hurry to leave, either.

I brought up a couple of rifles and a shotgun (slug gun) I haven't shot in more than a year. (I did point the .270 at a couple of deer in PA last fall, but they didn't have the requisite horns needed to become legal targets.) I'll set up a target in the back tomorrow and check to see if the scopes on two of them (the bolt action .270 and the slug gun) are still okay. The lever action .30-.30 has iron sights as does the muzzle loader, so I'll be firing them just for fun.

I seldom have a shot over 50 yards in the woods I hunt in PA so my concern is just how accurate I am at that distance. If I want to stretch things out, I'll have to go to the range in Mansfield where they have distances to 200 yards laid out. I keep telling myself I have to go over there anyway to get a better feel for the M&P .40 and the Super Redhawk in .45 magnum. (But, damn!, that ammunition is expensive!) I couldn't bring the pistol and revolver up because, as a PA resident, that would be a major no-no in NY State.

In any event, I'll be here until Thursday when I head back to the Aerie. (The Tundra goes in for an oil change and inspection on Friday afternoon.)


Terry stayed home with the pussycats. We've got someone coming tomorrow afternoon to take water samples from our well. Seems there may be some gas drilling (Shell) within 3/4 of a mile from or property  and they wish to establish a baseline on the water quality before they start.

We've got the name of the property owner on whose land the drilling is to occur but it doesn't help us much in figuring out exactly where. The land belongs to a hunting club that has many, many acres on the top of the hill. Some of those acres abut our property and some already have clearings where the wind farm folks did some testing prior to installing windmills. And there are windmills on some of the clubs property, too.

Anyway, should they sink a well and it produces, we may end up collecting some royalties. Not as much as Jed Clampett--or even some of the other folks around the area, but some. And that thought makes me 8-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Collge Football, Week 4 Results

Week 4 is over and there’s some shaking up in the polls coming our way thanks to a couple of big wins, a few closer than expected wins and a few surprises.

There several games paired ranked teams this week #3 Oregon vs #22 Arizona, #4 Florida State vs #10 Clemson, #6 Oklahoma vs #15 Kansas State, and #11 Notre Dame vs #18 Michigan. #15 Kansas State pulled off the only upset in the group as it downed #6 Oklahoma 24-19 in Norman.  It’s not unlikely that the two will flip-flop in this week’s polls. 

(Numbers given are the rankings of: AP/Coaches’/CBSSports. NR = Not Rated Those in parentheses are last week’s rankings.)

1/1/5 (1/1/6) Alabama (4-0) The Tide coasted to a 40-7 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-3). AJ McCarron completed 15 of 25 passes for 212 yards and three TDs and Eddie Lacy rushed 15 times for 105 yards before both came out of the game in the second half as Alabama held a 30-0 halftime advantage. The Owls’ score late in the fourth quarter ended the Tide’s string of 12 scoreless quarters.

2/2/1 (3/2/1) LSU (4-0) The Tigers just managed to edge the Auburn Tigers (1-3) 12-10. The margin of victory was provided when Sam Montgomery talked Tre Mason for a safety in the first quarter.  

3/3/7 (4/4/8) Oregon (4-0) The Ducks shut out the #22 Arizona Wildcats (3-1) 49-0. The Ducks’ defense not only intercepted Matt Scott three times, they got backup QB B. J. Denker once, too. AND they returned two of those INTs for TDs.

4/4/4 (5T/6/7) Florida State (4-0) The Seminoles outscored the #10 Clemson Tigers (3-1) 49-37 in a wild game. Clemson held a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter before the Seminoles went on a 35-3 run in a 20 minute span. With a combined 1,093 yards offense, you might wonder what happened to the defenses. Florida State HAD the nation’s number one defense coming into the game but put up 426 yards on them. EJ Manuel completed 27 of 35 attempts for 380 yards and two TDs for the Seminoles. He added 102 yards rushing on 12 carries. Tajh Boyd was 20 of 36 for 237 yards and three TDs while wide receiver Sammy Watkins tosses a 52 yard TD pass to Andre Ellington for Clemson.

5/6/11 (7/7/12) Georgia (4-0) The Bulldogs sank the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3) 48-3. Aaron Murray tossed two TD passes and snuck in for a third. Keith Marshall had two rushing TDs (one a 52 yarder) and Todd Gurley carried the ball 16 times for 130 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs.

6/5/3 (5T/5/3) Oklahoma (2-1) The Sooners fell at home to the #15 Kansas State Wildcats (4-0) 24-19. John Hubert ran 23 times for 130 yards and a touchdown, Jarell Childs returned a fumble for a score and the Wildcats

7/8/16 (8/9/15) South Carolina (4-0) The Gamecocks beat the Missouri Tigers (2-2) 31-10. Connor Shaw missed on his first pass attempt. It was his last incompletion for the game. Shaw finished 20 of 21 for 249 yards and two TDs while teammate Marcus Lattimore rushed 21 times for 85 yards and two TDs.

8/7/12 (9/8/18) West Virginia (3-0) The Mountaineers beat the Maryland Terps (2-3) 31-21. Tavon Austin caught 13 passes for 179 yards setting a school record for career receptions—he’s got 208. Three of those receptions went for TDs Saturday in an otherwise lackluster performance. Geno Smith was “just” 30 of 43 (he only had 9 incompletions coming into the game) for 338 yards and the three TDs to Austin. Perry Hills completed 20 of 29 passes for 305 yards and three TDs for the Terrapins.

9/11/25 (21/16/NR) Stanford (3-0) The Cardinal go on the road to play the Washington Huskies (2-1).  Oops. That’s next week.

10/9/8 (11/11/10) Clemson (3-1) The Tigers fell on the road to the #4 Florida State Seminoles (4-0) 49-37. See above for details.

11/15/10 (20/19/17) Notre Dame (4-0) The Fighting Irish completed the sweep of Michigan teams as  they held on to beat the #18 Michigan Wolverines (2-2) 13-6. The Irish forced six Michigan turnovers (five INTs and a fumble) and they held Denard Robinson to just 138 yards passing on a 13 of 24 day. He did get 9o yards on 26 rushes.  Tommy Rees came for starter Everett Golson (3 completions in 8 attempts for 30 yards and two INTs) midway through the second quarter and did just enough (8 completions in 11 attempts for 115 yards with one TD and 0 INTs) to lead the Irish to victory.

12/10/19 (14/12/19) Texas (3-0) The Longhorns were off this week.

13/12/2 (2/3/2) Southern California (3-1) The Trojans slew the California Golden Bears (1-3) 27-9. Silas Redd carried the ball 21 times for 158 yards including a nifty 33-yard TD on USC’s first drive, Curtis McNeil had 115 yards on 10 carries and Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee connected for two TDs in the Trojans’ win.

14/14/17 (18/17/16) Florida (4-0) The Gators shut out the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3) 38-0. After a 3-0 first quarter, the Gators posted 21 points in the second and never looked back.  Jeff Driskel completed 18 of 27 for 203 yards and one TD. He also scored one on the ground.  Jaylen Watkins returned an interception 26 yards for a TD.

15/13/23 (15/14/20) Kansas State (4-0) The Wildcats edged the #6 Oklahoma Sooners (2-1) 24-19. In Norman!  See above for more details.

16/NR/6 (12/NR/5) Ohio State (4-0) The Buckeyes beat the UAB Blazers (0-3) 29-15. The Blazers blocked a punt in the first quarter returning it for a TD (the extra point was then blocked by the Buckeyes) and a 47-yard field goal by the appropriately named Ty Long made it 9-0 UAB. After a Rod Smith TD for Ohio State made it 9-7, another Ty Long field goal (54 yards) had the Blazers leading 12-7. Things were looking scary in Columbus. Then Zach Brown scored once and Baxton Miller scored twice AND converted a two point conversion. The Blazers would only get a 34-yard field goal from Long.

17/16/NR (16/15/NR) TCU (3-0) The Horned Frogs beat the Virginia Cavaliers (2-2) 27-7 as TCu extended its FBS-best winning streak to 11 games.  Casey Pachall tossed three TD passes as he completed 21 of 32 for 305 yards. On defense, linebacker Kenny Cain had two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

18/17/14 (17/18/22) Michigan (2-2) The Wolverines fell on the road to the #11 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (4-0) 13-6. See above for more.

19/19/NR (22/23/NR) UCLA (3-1) The Bruins got beat by the Oregon State Beavers (2-0) 27-20. Sean Mannion connected on a 75-yard TD to Brandon Cooks and a 42yarder to Markus Wheaton as the Beavers upset the Bruins. Cooks had six catches for 175 yards and Wheaton hauled in nine for 150 yards. Mannion completed 24 of 35 attempts for 379 yards. Brett Hundley was 27 of 42 for 372 yards and one TD for the Bruins.

20/18/9 (19/20/9) Teddy Bridgewater completed 19 of 35 for 194 yards and two TDs while also rushing for another score as the Louisville Cardinals (4-0) beat the Florida International Golden Panthers (1-3) 28-21.

21/20/18 (10/10/4) Michigan State (3-1) The Spartans had to come from behind to beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-4) 23-7. Le'Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries for the Spartans.

22/21/NR (25/NR/NR) Arizona (3-1) The Wildcats headed north to face the #3 Ducks of Oregon (4-0) but their offense must have stayed home as the Ducks won 49-0. See above for more.

23/23/NR (NR/NR/NR) Mississippi State (4-0) The Bulldogs beat the South Alabama Jaguars (1-3) 30-10.

24/NR/NR (NR/NR/13) Boise State (2-1) The Broncos edged the Brigham Young Cougars (2-2) 7-6 on Thursday night. Mike Atkinson, nose tackle, returned an interception(!) 36 yards for Boise’s only TD and BYU’s attempt at a 2-point conversion after their fourth quarter TD failed when the pass was deflected by linebacker J.C. Percy. The result was a Bronco victory by the slimmest of margins.

25/22/NR (NR/24/14) Nebraska (3-1) The Cornhuskers routed the Idaho State Bengals (1-2) (and FCS school) 73-7. Nebraska scored 35 points in the first quarter as the Cornhuskers rolled over the Bengals. Rex Burkhead scored the first on a 61 yards run (he had another on a 2-yard run in the second quarter). Burkhead finished with eight carries for 119 yards and one pass catch for 25 yards. Taylor Martinez completed 9 of 13 passes for 165 yards and two TDs before sitting down to give Ron Kellogg (3 of 5 for 19 yards, one TD, one INT) some experience handing the ball off. Nebraska also got TDs on an interception return (29 yards by Ciante Evans) and a punt return (81 yards by Ameer Abdullah who also scored on an eight yard run).

NR/24/NR (NR/22/23) Wisconsin (3-1) The Badgers outlasted the UTEP Miners (1-3) 37-26. Montee Ball had to leave the game early with a head injury. Ball had just nine carries for 40 yards and one TD, but the Badgers got more than competent help from James White and Melvin Gordon. White rushed for two TDs and Gordon put the icing on the cake with a 26-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter. Jared Abbrederis, coming back from his own concussion,  added a 47-yard TD reception.

NR/25/NR (NR/NR/NR) Oklahoma State (2-1) The Cowboys had the week off.

NR/NR/20 (NR/NR/NR) Ohio (4-0) The Bobcats routed the Norfolk State Spartans (2-2) (an FCS school) 44-10. Making his first start at QB for Ohio, Derrius Vick completed 14 of 20 pass attempts for 199 yards and four TDs. Beau Blankenship had 25 carries for 109 yards and one rushing TD and made one catch for a 24-yard TD. It was 44-0 before the Spartans got on the board.

NR/NR/21 (NR/NR/NR) Georgia Tech (2-2) The Yellow Jackets lost in overtime to the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes (3-1) 42-36. Miami opened a 19-0 lead after the first quarter. Georgia Tech scored 22 unanswered in the second quarter to lead 22-19 at the half and then had two more TDs in the third to lead 36-19 before Miami scored again-and again—and again to tie it in regulation. The Yellow Jackets failed to score in OT and Mike James scored from 25 yards out on Miami’s first touch in their turn. 

NR/NR/22 (NR/NR/NR) Louisiana-Monroe (1-2) The Warhawks fell to the Baylor Bears (3-0) 47-42 on Friday night. Leading 35-34 in the fourth quarter, the Warhawks could not hold off the Bears and Nick Florence. Earlier, two Florence INTs resulted in Warhawk TDs (Tavarese Maye hit Kolton Browning for a 22-yard scoring pass, and Monterrell Washington made a 9-yard TD run), but a 14 play, 73-yard drive resulting in a Levi Norwood 9-yard TD run and a 22-yard scoring pass to Terrance Williams put the Bears ahead for good. The two teams combined for over 1100 yards of offense in a game featuring just three punts.

NR/NR/24 (NR/21/24) Arkansas (1-3) The Razorbacks lost to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-0) 35-26. The Razorbacks jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead…then the Knights started to click. Sophomore Gary Nova was 25 of 35 for 397 yards and five TDs and Jawan Jamison had 33 carries for 118 yards for Rutgers. It was Jamison’s fifth consecutive 100-yard game. He also had two catches for 23 yards and a TD.  Brandon Coleman caught 6 passes for 89 yards and two TDs. Cobi Hamilton and Tyler Wilson staged a comeback in the fourth quarter that was deflated by a two-play Rutgers drive that ended with an 80yard TD pass from Nova to Mark Harrison. Hamilton had 10 catches for 303 yards and three TDs (10, 57 and 80 yards). Tyler Wilson was 20 of 39 for 419 yards, and the three TDs to Hamilton, but tossed two INTs. The teams combined for 1017 yards net offense.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interesting Week End (That's not an error.)

Terry and I had an...interesting short trip over the last few days.

Thursday we left the Aerie in two vehicles. Terry drove the Aveo and I had the Winnie Access as we headed to Camping World in Bath to have the shower caddy replaced (part of our purchase agreement) and to pick up a dolly to haul the Aveo behind the Winnie. We also asked that they repair the power cord that hooks the Winnie to either the campground's power or to the generator. (The plug on that cord was separated from the heavy duty insulating portion of the cord exposing the smaller wires.)

We sat for nearly three hours while they fixed the cord and the shower and wired the dolly to be connected to the Winnie. We finally got things hooked up in the Camping World lot, put the Aveo on the dolly and headed down the road toward Corning and the Watkins Glen KOA. The wiring connecting the Winnie and the dolly seemed a little strange to me, but I let it go.

We never got to the KOA. As I pulled off Route 17 in Corning, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw smoke pouring out of the left tire of the dolly. I jumped out of the cab of the Winnie as the driver of the semi behind me did the same. We met at the dolly and the trucker said he thought the bearings or the brake had seized up based upon the smell. I agreed. We had gone only 25 miles. Terry and I went another eighth of a mile on Route 414 to a place that was safe to pull over and called Camping World. They sent someone out with a trailer to take the dolly back to the shop and try to figure out what was wrong.

While we waited for them to arrive--something that took almost two hours--Terry and I took the Aveo off the dolly. (The hubs of the dolly were still hot to the touch.) That's when I really noticed how screwed up the wiring was. Instead of cutting the wires to a reasonably short length, the installer had left them very, very long and used zip ties to attach them to the undercarriage of the Winnie. I thought I might have to cut the wires to unhook the dolly. So I left them for the guys from Camping World to see what had been done. The lead man on the rescue squad was an assistant manager in the service department and his jaw dropped when he looked at the wiring. Then he crawled under the Winnie and cut the zip ties hauling the ball of wires out from underneath. Now we could simply unplug the dolly and leave it with them.

Terry and I went on to the Watkins Glen KOA Camping Resort--in two vehicles. We checked in and set up the Winnie. Then headed up to Watkins Glen to have  a scrumptious dinner at Seneca Station (Captain Bill's) in town. Nice steaks, seafood and strong alcoholic beverages...which I needed. The rest of Thursday night was uneventful. (Although we just can not get the bloody TV to work properly despite following the directions in the owner's manual. All I get is an "unusable signal" message.) The campground was quiet and peaceful and we slept well.

Friday I was expecting a call from Camping World all day. Something that would tell me what was going on with the dolly. But I wasn't going to hang around in the campground waiting for it. They had my cell number. Terry and I had planned to hit a couple of places on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

We ended up going to just one winery--3 Brothers' -- and the Finger Lakes' Distillery. We've been to the 3 Brothers' before. The Brothers were not able to agree on the type of winery they wanted to operate--so they have three wineries at the one site. One is somewhat formal (Stony Lonesome), one used to be a somewhat risque 1920's (Passion Feet)--although they've opened up the shop area more with a loss of ambiance, and the third is Bagg Dare which is modeled after a Louisiana Bayou hangout. The last two have rather humorous names for their vintages. All three have very, very good wines. Apparently the brothers can agree on one thing for they also have a micro brewery on site--The War Horse--modeled in 1940s WWII style with several beers and ales available as well as root beer. We ended up buying three and a half cases of wine and some beer.

We stopped for lunch at Ginny Lee's at the Wagner Winery on Route 414 before driving to the Finger Lakes Distilling. They make some wonderful vodkas, liqueurs and whiskeys. We got a couple of bottles of liqueurs and a bottle of bourbon.

Then we went to walk a bit in Watkins Glen before heading back to the campground. I made a couple of calls to Camping World but my calls were dropped by weak signals and/or directed to answering machines. As the end of the working day arrived I had learned nothing about the condition of the dolly.

Friday night, the campground was more crowded, but our area was still quiet...until someone's car alarm went off at 2 AM. It took them several minutes to realize that it was their car, find the keys and then get outside and get it shut off. Having several hours of solid sleep, I had some difficulty getting back to  sleep.

Saturday morning dawned with on and off showers. After breakfast we broke camp draining the black and grey water tanks, unhooking the water and power. That's when I found out that the plug attached to the power cord was incompatible with the generator's outlet. Another thing that needed to be corrected ASAP.

When we headed out, I was going to Camping World to see about the dolly and get the plug fixed, Terry was going to go home. We got as far as Route 17 in Corning and were heading west toward Route 15 when I got a phone call from Camping World. "We've figured out what went wrong and got your dolly repaired but need you to bring your camper in so we can check one more thing out." "Not a problem," I said. "I'll be there in less than 30 minutes." Then I called Terry to tell her to head to Camping World.

At Camping World, they checked the wiring on the Winnie and confirmed that the problem was with the job done on the dolly. They had replaced the brakes AND the bearings. The service manager apologized profusely and wanted to know what he could do to make it right. We ended up getting an auxiliary brake controller installed. This little project took a little time so Terry and I went to lunch.

Once again, we had everything hooked up in the Camping World lot and we headed home to the Aerie. For some reason, the stupid Aveo's alarm kept going off as we drove along. (It hadn't done that on Thursday.) Terry kept her keys in hand and repeatedly pushed the buttons to kill the alarm. We got to the dirt road on which we live and the alarm didn't go off once despite all the jouncing and bouncing along the way. I pulled up to the driveway and parked on the road so Terry could take the Aveo off the dolly and park it. I backed the dolly and Winnie into the driveway, separated them and parked the Winnie so we could unpack.

With the dolly and auxiliary brake, we're ready to go on our next adventure. Hopefully it will not include any mechanical failures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

College Football, Week 4

Week 4 is upon us and more and more teams are getting into their conference schedules. This is also the time of year when the polls start to mean something. Except for the CBSSPorts poll, that is. That one purports to be an indication of how teams will finish the year and not how they are right now. 

From the CBSSPorts web site:

The 124 rankings are produced by Jerry Palm's personal computer formula. Each week Palm will update his rankings 1-124 based on a projection on how the season would end. The rankings are not based on today, but how the poll would look at the end of the season.

Must be nice to have a time machine that can predict the future so well, hey Jerry? Still, he and his computer are the only ones who rank all 124 teams. And I'll still use the AP poll numbers when referring to a team's ranking.

There are several games that pair ranked teams this week #3 Oregon vs #22 Arizona, #4 Florida State vs #10 Clemson, #6 Oklahoma vs #15 Kansas State, and #11 Notre Dame vs #18 Michigan. Since one of each of those pairs must lose, expect some reshuffling of the rankings come next week.

(Numbers given are the rankings of: AP/Coaches’/CBSSports. NR = Not Rated Those in parentheses are last week’s rankings.)

1/1/5 (1/1/6) Alabama (3-0) The Tide host their next victim, the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-2).

2/2/1 (3/2/1) LSU (3-0) The Tigers play at Auburn Tigers (1-2). And by “play” I mean maul.

3/3/7 (4/4/8) Oregon (3-0) The Ducks host the #22 Arizona Wildcats (3-0). These Ducks are not sitting ones.

4/4/4 (5T/6/7) Florida State (3-0) The Seminoles host the #10 Clemson Tigers (3-0) in what looks to be one of the more evenly matched and entertaining games of the week.

5/6/11 (7/7/12) Georgia (3-0) The Bulldogs host Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2). Like captains, the Commodores will go down with their ship.

6/5/3 (5T/5/3) Oklahoma (2-0) The Sooners are back in action at home against the #15 Kansas State Wildcats (3-0). The well rested Sooners will tame the Wildcats.

7/8/16 (8/9/15) South Carolina (3-0) The Gamecocks host the Missouri Tigers (2-1) and will come out winners in this one.

8/7/12 (9/8/18) West Virginia (2-0) The Mountaineers will host the Maryland Terps (2-1). WVU will win in a rout.

9/11/25 (21/16/NR) Stanford (3-0) The Cardinal go on the road to play the Washington Huskies (2-1). Based upon what I saw last Saturday, Stanford should win big if they can complete their drives. (25th Jerry? Really? I think your computer may have a virus.)

10/9/8 (11/11/10) Clemson (3-0) The Tigers play on the road against the #4 Florida State Seminoles (3-0). As I said above, this one could go either way.

11/15/10 (20/19/17) Notre Dame (3-0) The Fighting Irish host the #18 Michigan Wolverines (2-1). Having beaten Michigan State, the Irish are looking for a sweep here…and they should get it.

12/10/19 (14/12/19) Texas (3-0) The Longhorns are off this week.

13/12/2 (2/3/2) Southern California (2-1) The Trojans host the California Golden Bears (1-2). USC will get back on track but may struggle to do so.

14/14/17 (18/17/16) Florida (3-0) The Gators host the Kentucky Wildcats (1-2). Florida will chomp, chomp their way through Kentucky.

15/13/23 (15/14/20) Kansas State (3-0) The Wildcats are at the #6 Oklahoma Sooners. Too bad for them that the Sooners were off last week.

16/NR/6 (12/NR/5) Ohio State (3-0) The Buckeyes host the UAB Blazers (0-2). Hope the Blazers got a good paycheck for this game, ‘cause that’s all they will be going home with.

17/16/NR (16/15/NR) TCU (2-0) The Horned Frogs host the Virginia Cavaliers (2-1). Proof that the Frog is mightier than the sword.

18/17/14 (17/18/22) Michigan (2-1) The Wolverines play the #11 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (3-0) on the road. The shillelagh will thump them good.

19/19/NR (22/23/NR) UCLA (3-0) The Bruins host Oregon State Beavers (1-0). Bruins beat Beavers by a bit.

20/18/9 (19/20/9) Louisville (3-0) The Cardinals play at the home of the Florida International Golden Panthers (1-2). Teddy Bridgewater’s crew will take care of business.

21/20/18 (10/10/4) Michigan State (2-1) The Spartans host the Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-3). This is one way for the Spartans to salve their wounds from last week.

22/21/NR (25/NR/NR) Arizona (3-0) The Wildcats head north to face the #3 Ducks of Oregon (3-0). The cooler climate of Eugene will not be advantageous to the Wildcats.

23/23/NR (NR/NR/NR) Mississippi State (3-0) The Bulldogs will host—and beat—the South Alabama Jaguars (1-2).

24/NR/NR (NR/NR/13) Boise State (1-1) The Broncos host the Brigham Young Cougars (2-1) on Thursday night. Okay, this might be a bit closer than in years past, but it is on the blue carpet so look for the Broncos to prevail.

25/22/NR (NR/24/14) Nebraska (2-1) The Cornhuskers play host to Idaho State Bengals (1-1) (and FCS school). Another game with 60+ points for the victor? Looks like it—and it won’t be the Bengals scoring that much.

NR/24/NR (NR/22/23) Wisconsin (2-1) The Badgers host the UTEP Miners (1-2). The Badgers will win this one by running, running, running over the Miners.

NR/25/NR (NR/NR/NR) Oklahoma State (2-1) The Cowboys have the week off.

NR/NR/20 (NR/NR/NR) Ohio (3-0) The Bobcats host the Norfolk State Spartans (2-1) (an FCS school) and should boost their record to 4-0.

NR/NR/21 (NR/NR/NR) Georgia Tech (2-1) The Yellow Jackets host the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes (2-1). The Hurricanes have been more tropical storm lately. Look for the Yellow Jackets to weather this storm and find a welcome win in the end.

NR/NR/22 (NR/NR/NR) Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) The Warhawks host the Baylor Bears (2-0) on Friday night. After the last two weeks in which they played into overtime (a 34-31 win over Arkansas and a 28-31 loss to Auburn) the Warhawks move on to the Bs. They are still underdogs, however, and this one could come down to whether or not they can stop the Baylor potent offense.  Could be another close one that can go either way. Tune in to ESPN on Friday night to find out who wins…and if the Warhawks play a third overtime game in as many games.

NR/NR/24 (NR/21/24) Arkansas (1-2) The Razorbacks host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0). You know who I’m rooting for in this one. The Razorbacks got the snot kicked out of them last week by #1 Alabama without their starting QB, Tyler Wilson (concussion) who was not happy with his teammates’ play. He’s likely to be back to play against the Knights but for how long? Rutgers has one heck of a defense (33rd against the pass, and 8th against the run). The can put a lot of pressure on a QB through both their blitzing and pass coverage.  This is a big game for both teams but, perhaps, a win will mean a great deal more for the boys from Rutgers and I think they just might be able to pull this one off.