Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More on the Aftermath of Sandy

Just emptied the rain gauge: 2.47 inches so far. It's still raining some but the winds are down to under 10 mph and the barometer is rising...slowly.

Ran down to the post office and saw a few trees blown down by the winds of yesterday and last night. This included a short row of firs the lined the road in front of a farmhouse. Luckily they were just short enough to miss the house, but the group of six or seven trees will be a total loss. All of them were uprooted in what must have been a chain reaction. Several other trees were snapped off between eight and ten feet above the ground. The roads were cleared of those that fell across the path.

Part of Route 6 had been narrowed to one lane between town and Mansfield due to "drainage concerns," also known as washout.

Our rural electric co-op is dealing with some power outages to the west of us in both Tioga and Potter counties.  From the sounds of it, they may have lost a transformer or two near Coudersport while everything else is tree and limb on the line stuff.

I've not heard from my daughter or mother in law who lost power and phone lines last night. They're in Linden, NJ just a short two blocks from the center of town. Hopefully they are okay but without power the sump pump in the basement would not be working.

The Morning After...

...the day before.
Looks like Sandy (or what's left of her) will swing a little further west than originally forecast. Probably due to how fast she rushed on shore last evening. She was acting like an 8-year old wanting to hit the Boardwalk for the second time in her life. (First time would have been slow and full of awe. Second time, knowing what awaited...not so much.)

Anyway. Rained here all night but the winds did die down somewhat. Lights flickered off just long enough to cause the digital clocks on the alarms and microwave as well as the modem to lose track of what they were doing and require a reset. More rain on the way today into tonight.

Could be worse. Parts of West Virginia are getting 2-3 FEET of snow. THE Jersey Shore (not the town) got battered. NYC has sucked the air right out of the news broadcasts but there's more happening than just NYC. (Heh. When you can just step out the door of your office and make a "news" report, why bother looking elsewhere?)


Monday, October 29, 2012

College Football, Week 10

Lots of movement up and down the charts this week. 

Numbers 1 (Alabama) and 2 (Oregon) remain unchanged at the top. After that, there's plenty of movement: up and down, big and small. Old friends have come back onto the list and a few have departed, perhaps to be seen nevermore.

 Match-ups between ranked teams:
#1 Alabama vs #5 LSU
#2 Oregon vs #18 USC
#16 Texas A&M vs #17 Mississippi State
#24 Arizona vs #25 UCLA
 and, perhaps an upset or two, will ensure we see plenty of movement next week as well.

Six teams remain undefeated. None of them are in the same conference nor are they scheduled to play one another down the road. One (Ohio State) is ineligible for post season play which leaves five. Upsets along the way are all that remain to knock one of them out of a BCS berth and possible play for a National Championship. (Well, except for Louisville. They will never get the chance to play for a National  Championship—even if they are the ONLY undefeated team left. Wrong league dontchya  know.)

Without further preamble let’s cut right to the chase, shall we?

(This week’s rankings from the AP, Coaches’, Harris Interactive, BCS Standings. Rankings given last week appear in parentheses.  NR = Not Rated. Numbers in parentheses after the team’s name are the records.)

1/1/1/1 (1/1/1/1) Alabama (8-0) The Crimson Tide is on the road this week against the #5 LSU Tigers (7-1). The Tide should roll over the Tigers.

2/2/2/4 (2/2/2/4) Oregon (8-0) The Ducks fly south to face #18 Southern California (6-2) Their high-flying offense and surprisingly strong defense should ensure that they come away with another win.

3/3/3/2 (4/4/4/3) Kansas State (8-0) The Wildcats host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2). Look for another Klein led mauling in this one.

4/4/4/3 (5/5/5/5) Notre Dame (8-0) The Irish will host the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4). If I HAD to pick a big upset…well, maybe…possibly…but unlikely.

5/5/5/5 (6/6/6/6) LSU (7-1) The Tigers host the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0). Roll Tide!

6/NR/NR/NR (9/NR/NR/NR) Ohio State (8-0) The Buckeyes have the week off. No. Wait. They play at Illinois (2-6). Close enough. The Illini aren’t really in a fightin’ mood.

7/6/6/6 (12/11/11/11) Georgia (7-1) The Bulldogs host the Mississippi Rebels (5-3). The Dogs will chew them up.

8/8/8/7 (3/3/3/2) Florida (7-1) The Gators host the Missouri Tigers (4-4). Chomp! Chomp!

9/7/7/9 (11/10/10/14) Florida State (8-1) The Seminoles have the week off. Their next game is Nov 8th at Virginia Tech.

10/9/9/13 (14/13/13/18) Clemson (7-1) The Tigers play the Duke Blue Devils (6-3) on the road. Duke has surprised folks with their play. They won’t win this one, however.

11/11/11/8 (17/16/16/16) South Carolina (7-2) The Gamecocks will have the weekend off. They will once more be searching to replace their leading rusher and scorer, Marcus Lattimore.

12/10/10/10 (16/14/14/15) Louisville (8-0) The Cardinals host the Temple Owls (3-4). Did I say “host?” Should have been “roast.”

13/13/13/11 (7/9/8/7) Oregon State (6-1) The Beavers will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3).  It will be close but the Beavers should prevail.

14/12/12/12 (8/7/7/8) Oklahoma (5-2) The Sooners are in Ames to play the Iowa State Cyclones (5-3). Oklahoma should win.

15/15/14/14 (19/19/18/17) Stanford (6-2) The Cardinal go to Colorado to play the Buffaloes (1-7). The Cardinal should peck them apart.

16/16/18/16 (22/21/21/23) Texas A&M (6-2) The Aggies play at the #17 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-1). Should be a really good game. Either team could win this one. I’d go with the home team.

17/18/15/15 (13/12/12/10) Mississippi State (7-1) The Bulldogs host the #16 Texas A&M Aggies (6-2). Home field advantage, baby!

18/17/16/17 (10/8/9/9) Southern California (6-2) The Trojans host the #2 Oregon Ducks (8-0). The Ducks are just too much for the boys from USC.

19/14/17/19 (21/18/19/19) Boise State (7-1) The Broncos host the San Diego State Aztecs (6-3). Boise wins convincingly.

20/20/19/18 (15/17/17/12) Texas Tech (6-2) The Red Raiders host the Texas Longhorns (6-2). This one could go either way. Both have had trouble on defense while excelling on offense. I think the red Raiders may have the slightly better D and that will spell the difference.

21/21/21/20 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Nebraska (6-2) The Cornhuskers head out on the road to play the Spartans of Michigan State (5-3). Huskers will struggle in this one and come up short.

22/23/24/25 (24/NR/NR/25) Louisiana Tech (7-1) The Bulldogs will host the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (5-3). They’re the Bulldogs, not Wile E. Coyote. No genius necessary to say sic ‘em Dogs!

23/19/20/21 (25/22/22/20) West Virginia (5-2) The Mountaineers will host the TCU Horned Frogs (5-3). Only one thing I’m sure of: West Virginia will score…often. Whether they can stop TCU? Maybe just often enough to please the home crowd.

24/NR/NR/22 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Arizona (5-3) The Wildcats head to LA to play the #25 UCLA Bruins (6-2). Call this one a toss-up.

25/NR/NR/NR (NR/NR/NR/NR) UCLA (6-2) The Bruins play host to the #24 Arizona Wildcats. Pick-em.

NR/ 22/22/23 (NR/24/24/22) Texas (6-2) The Longhorns head out on the road to play the #20 Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Longhorns will put some points on the board, but not enough.

NR/24/25/24 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Oklahoma State (5-2) The Cowboys head to Kansas State (8-0). There they become the latest victim of Klein and the Wildcats.

NR/25/23/NR (18/15/15/13) Rutgers (7-1) The Scarlet Knights have the weekend off. Hopefully Gary Nova will stop playing like Mark Sanchez. Or vice versa.

Getting There....

Monday Morning At the Aerie

After a couple of days of mizzling, drizzling, more or less windless days, I emptied the rain gauge this morning. It held 0.4 inches of rain. Over time it adds up.

The radio was saying we could expect 3-4 inches form Sandy as she passes through Monday afternoon through Wednesday. Even then we won't be cleared of all the rain as more is forecast for Thursday into Friday.


Made one last run to Wally World to pick up some things I forgot yesterday. Things like Italian Sausage, spaghetti sauce, hot dogs and rolls. And bacon. How could I forget bacon!?! (They didn't have any D-sized batteries, however.) [Heh! Just found a pound of bacon in the freezer! Now I'm really set! Bring it on!]

I get a kick out of looking at license plates in the parking lot. Today there were some fairly common ones like New York and Ontario mixed in with all the PA plates. Then there were the rarer Minnesota and Missouri and Alaska. Sometimes I'll see Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Oklahoma or Mississippi, all of which I attribute to the gas industry. But Alaska? Relatives or pipeline workers?


Waiting for the other shoe to drop as far as Sandy is concerned. We've had our calm-before-the-storm days now it's time for things to get serious.

About right...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sandy Update

A bit of a zig-zagging going on with Sandy as she moves up the coast and heads inland. 

The Aerie is between the two tropical storm circles (2 PM Tue and 2 PM Wed) right near the PA-NY border. While the winds will have dropped from hurricane force to "mere" tropical storm strength, the slow moving nature of the storm in this particular leg, will mean there will be lots of rain and the long duration of the winds also means lots of trees will be uprooted. 

Presidential Rag

Arlo Guthrie wrote this back in 1976 about the Watergate coverup. (He claims that the day after he first performed it in public, Spiro Agnew resigned.)

Sadly, the song's lyrics fit our current President and our situation all to well.

College Football, Week 9 Reults

From last week’s initial listing: “It’s Week 9 and things are really getting interesting. Slowly the number of undefeated teams is dwindling as they either run into a buzz saw underdog or end up facing one another. We also get a better feel for who may have been overrated earlier in the season as weaknesses are exposed.”

It wasn’t a good week for the undefeated teams in the Top 25. #3 Florida lost, #7 Oregon State lost, #13 Mississippi State lost, #18 Rutgers lost, and #23 Ohio lost. Where there were eleven undefeated teams going into the weekend, there are only six still with unblemished records.

In addition, there were several upsets of ranked teams along the way. #10 Southern California, #20 Michigan, Wisconsin and TCU all lost.

You can bet there will be quite a bit of change in the rankings this weel.

(This week’s rankings from the AP, Coaches’, Harris Interactive, BCS (Projected). Rankings given last week appear in parentheses.  NR = Not Rated. Numbers in parentheses after the team’s name are the records.)

1/1/1/1 (1/1/1/1) Alabama (8-0) The Tide demolished #13/12/12/10 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-1) 38-7. AJ McCarron went 16 of 23 for 208 yards and two TDs before sitting out the fourth quarter with a back strain. Back-up Phillip Ely engineered a scoring drive which ended with a 27 yard pass for a TD (his only pass, BTW) and then Blake Sims lead the team on its final scoring drive which ended with a 3yard run by freshman Robert Johnson. Mississippi State didn’t score until it was 38-0.

2/2/2/4 (2/2/2/2) Oregon (8-0) The Ducks routed the Colorado Buffaloes (1-7) 70-14.  Maybe they should institute a mercy rule in college football. This one was 56-0 at the half and most of the Oregon starters on offense were sitting out in the middle of the second quarter.  By then, Kenjon Barner (9 carries for 104 yards) had scored two TDs on the ground, Macus Mariota had thrown two TD passes (10 of 14 for 136 yards) and scored once on the ground (4 carries for 22 yards), and De’Anthony Thomas(5 carries for 97 yards) had scored on a 9 yard run from scrimmage and a 73 yard punt return. Bryan Bennett (10 carries for 73 yards) scored three rushing touchdowns in relief as Oregon racked up 425 yards on the ground.  Christian Powell (20 carries for 121 yards) scored both Colorado TDs in the third quarter.

3/3/3/2 (3/4/3/3) Florida (7-1) The Gators lost to the Georgia Bulldogs (7-1) 17-9. The Dogs held the Gators to just three field goals and never trailed in this game. A real slugfest, there were nine turnovers and 24 accepted penalties in this one. Florida was flagged 10 times for 95 yards and Georgia 14 for 132 yards. Aaron Murray of Georgia was intercepted three times while Florida’s Jeff Driskel was intercepted twice. The Gators also fumbled six times, losing four of them.

4/4/4/3 (4/3/4/5) Kansas State (8-0) The Wildcats mauled the #15/17/17/12 Red Raiders of Texas Tech (6-2) 55-24.  After a relatively slow start (it was 13-10 KSU at the half) Collin Klein and the Wildcats exploded in the second half. Klein finished the day 19 of 26 for 233 yards and two TDs and rushed 12 times for 83 yards and two more scores. Seth Doege was 35 of 50 for 331 yards and two TDs but he also had one interception which was returned 37 yards by Arthur Brown for a TD.

5/5/5/5 (5/5/5/4) Notre Dame (8-0) The Irish whipped the # 8/7/7/8 Oklahoma Sooners (5-2) 30-13—on the road yet!  “The Irish have been lucky the last two weeks to escape some close games.  This time they are on the road. And they won’t be as lucky. “ Man, was I wrong! “Luck” had nothing to do with this one.  Good old fashioned smash mouth football, however…. The Irish sure looked good in this tough contest.

6/6/6/6 (6/6/6/6) LSU (7-1) The Tigers had the week off to prep for a match-up with Alabama on November 3rd. Will two weeks be enough?

7/9/8/7 (8/11/10/8) Oregon State (6-1) The Beavers were surprised by the Washington Huskies (4-4) 20-17. Washington jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead only to see it disappear, took the lead 17-10 and saw THAT disappear, too.  Still, the Huskies wouldn’t quit and Travis Coons’ 30-yard field goal proved decisive in the fourth quarter. Sean Mannion returned to the helm for the Beavers after minor knee surgery sidelined him earlier this year. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 221 yards and a TD but threw four INTs including two on successive possessions in the fourth quarter. Cody Vaz came in and was 7 of 11 for 97 yards and the tying TD in the fourth period but could not get the Beavers in a position to put the Huskies away.

8/7/7/8 (10/7/9/9) Oklahoma (5-2) The Sooners fell to the Irish of Notre Dame (8-0) 30-13. More above.

9/NR/NR/NR (7/NR/NR/NR) Ohio State (9-0) The Buckeyes beat the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-3) 35-23. Penn State played ‘em tough in the first half as the teams went into the locker room tied at 7-all, but a 17-yard interception return by Ryan Shazier and two Braxton Miller 1-yard TD runs in the third quarter put OSU on top for good. PSU got a blocked punt for a Micahel Yancich score in the first quarter and Matt McGloin was 27 of 45 for 327 yards and two TDs but it wasn’t enough. In addition to his two ground TDs, Miller went 7 of 19 for 143 yards including a 72 yard TD pass to Jake Stoneburner.

10/8/9/9 (11/9/11/10) Southern California (6-2) The Trojans got upset by the Arizona Wildcats (5-3) 39-36. Yeah, Matt Barkley had a big day going 31 of 49 for 493 yards and three TDs—a HUGE chunk of that going to Marqise Lee (16 catches for 345 yards and two TDs), but he also threw two INTs which, along with three lost USC fumbles may have cost USC the game. Matt Scott was 27 of 50 for 369 yards, three TDs and one INT for the Wildcats.

11/10/10/14 (12/10/8/14) Florida State (8-1) The Seminoles romped over the Duke Blue Devils (6-3) 48-7. FSU is too much for the Blue Devils to handle. EJ Manuel went 8 of 16 for 282 yards and two TDs (71 yards to Rahad Greene and 35 yards to Kelvin Benjamin), Tyler Hunter had a 75 yard punt return for a score and Devonta Freeman rushed 12 times for 104 yards and two TDs for the Seminoles.

12/11/11/11 (13/12/12/11) Georgia (7-1) The Bulldogs upset the #3/3/3/2 Florida Gators (7-1) 17-9. More above.

13/12/12/10 (15/16/14/12) Mississippi State (7-1) The Bulldogs fell to the #1/1/1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) 38-7. There’s more above.

14/13/13/18 (14/13/13/18) Clemson (7-1) The Tigers routed the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-4) 42-13 on Thursday night. Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins had a nice little game of pitch-and-catch going on in this one. Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards with five touchdown passes and Watkins had a school record 202 yards receiving. Boyd and Watkins connected on three plays of more than 50 yards including a 61-yard TD pass.

15/17/17/12 (18/20/21/17) Texas Tech (6-2) The Red Raiders fell to the #4/4/4/3 Kansas State Wildcats (8-0) 55-24. More above.

16/14/14/15 (16/14/16/15) Louisville (8-0) The Cardinal edged the Cincinnati Bearcats (5-2) 34-31 in OT on Friday night. Louisville fell behind by 10 points—twice—but managed to take a 7-point lead with less than two minutes to go in regulation on the arm of Teddy Bridgewater (24 of 41 for 416 yards) and two TD catches by DeVante Parker. Cincy tied it on a 26 yard pass from Munchie Legaux to Damon Julian.  Legaux misfired in OT—his third INT, however and that set up a 30-yard field goal by John Wallace for the Cardinals’ win.  George Winn had 26 carries for 125 yards and Ralph Abernathy IV scored twice for Cincy.

17/16/16/16 (9/8/7/7) South Carolina (7-2) The Gamecocks hung on to edge the Tennessee Volunteers (3-5) 38-35. The Gamecocks took a 2814 lead into the half but nearly give it all back after the intermission. Connor Shaw completed 22 of 32 for 356 yards and three TDs and scored another on the ground. He was matched by Tyler Bray who went 27 of 43 for 368 yards and four TDs for the Vols. Marcus Lattimore rushed 11 times for 65 yards and a TD but suffered a season—and possibly career—ending leg injury near the end of the first half.  

18/15/15/13 (19/17/17/16) Rutgers (7-1) The Scarlet Knights fell to the Golden Flashes of Kent State (7-1) 35-23. “The Scarlet Knights had better have learned from Toledo’s beating of Cincinnati last week as well as their own poor first half against Temple and come out chopping. “ The Knights must have had a dull axe. They came into the game the number two rushing defense in the nation but the Rutgers’ D got shredded as Trylon Durham rushed 22 times for 131 yards and a TD as he and his teammates ran up 224 yards on 50 rush attempts. Playing from behind virtually all of the game, RU had to turn to the pass and, while Garry Nova did complete 25 of 46 attmpts for 313 yards and two TDs, he also tossed six (6) INTs. Two of those INTs were made by Kent State defensive end Mark Frackler who returned one 25 yards for a score.

19/19/18/17 (22/23/20/21) Stanford (6-2) The Cardinal held on to beat the Washington State Cougars (2-6) 24-17.  A 1-yard TD run by Ryan Hewitt and an Ed Reynolds INT return of 25 yards proved to be the difference as the Cardinal broke a 10-10 halftime tie to go out in front 24-10.

20/20/20/21 (23/25/NR/NR) Michigan (5-3) The Wolverines got upset by the Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-2) 23-9.  Michigan lost Denard Robinson to an elbow injury in the first half and his replacement, freshman Russell Bellomy threw three interceptions. Ameer Abdullah rushed 24 times for 101 yards and a TD for the Cornhuskers.

21/18/19/19 (24/22/23/22) Boise State (7-1) The Broncos stomped the Wyoming Cowboys (1-7) 45-14. D.J. Harper ran for 105 yards and two TDs on 19 carries and Corey Bell returned a fumble 19 yards for a score for the Broncos.

22/21/21/23 (20/19/19/19) Texas A&M (6-2) The Aggies routed the Auburn Tigers (1-7) 63-21. A&M’s Johnny Manziel accounted for five TDs (three on the ground and two via the air) as the Aggies opened up a 42-7 halftime lead.

23/23/23/24 (25/NR/NR/NR) Ohio (7-1) The Bobcats lost to the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (4-4) 23-20. The Redhawks jumped out to a 2014 halftime lead, saw Ohio tie it up in the fourth, went ahead on a Kaleb Patterson 31 yard field goal (Patterson made three in the game) and then held their breaths as the Bobcats marched down the field in the final minute. With nine seconds to go and the ball on the 7-yard line there was time for one shot at the endzone before attempting a tying field goal and going into overtime. But the Bobcats’ usually dependable quarterback Tyler Tettleton forgot they had no timeouts and failed to throw the ball away when he saw the receivers were covered. The sack ended the game and Ohio’s unbeaten season.

24/NR/NR/25 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Louisiana Tech (7-1) Bulldogs headed to New Mexico State (1-7) to play the Aggies. Tech won 28-14.  Held a 7-0 lead at the intermission despite missing three field goals and having no big plays.  Colby Cameron hit Myles White for a 44-yard TD, ran for a 2-yard TD and handed the ball to Ray Holley for an 83-yard score in the second half for a 28-0 lead. Andrew Manley and the Aggies tried to come back he hit Kemonte’ Bateman for a 19-yard TD and Austin Franklin on a 67-yard strike, but it proved too little, too late.

25/22/22/20 (17/15/15/13) West Virginia (5-2) The Mountaineers had the week off to search for 1) some kind of defense and 2) their missing offense.

NR/24/24/22 (NR/NR/25/25) Texas (6-2) The Longhorns headed north to face the Kansas Jayhawks (1-7). It took a bit for Texas’ offense to arrive, but they managed to eke out a win over the hapless Jayhawks, 21-17. Kansas was on the verge of pulling off the upset when Case McCoy hit D.J. Grant with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds to play. That TD capped a 70 yard scoring drive in the last two minutes. Johnathan Gray rushed 18 times for 111 yards for Texas. James Sims carried 28 times for 176 yards for Kansas.

NR/25/NR/NR (NR/NR/NR/NR) Wisconsin (6-3) Badgers lost to the Michigan State Spartans (5-4) 16-13 in OT. The Spartans proved to be just that as they limited the Badgers to just 190 yards of offense—19 on the ground— and 10 first downs. The Badgers were nearly as stingy, yielding just  61 yards rushing but their pass defense gave up 216 yards, the last 12 being a TD from Andrew Maxwell to Bennie Fowler in OT for the win.

NR/NR/25/NR (NR/21/22/23 ) TCU (5-3) The Horned Frogs got squashed by the Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2) 36-14.  The jumped out to a 140 lead in the first quarter thanks to an 11-yard interception return by Elisha Olabode and an 18-yard pass from Trevone Boykin to LaDarius Brown. Unfortunately, that was all the scoring they were going to do. Heck, from then on Oklahoma State place kicker Quinn Sharp hit five field goals (22, 34, 30, 32, and 27 yards) and two PATs for 17 points on his own.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh Fudge!

Just came across this map of Sandy's projected path and It makes me a wee bit concerned.

See that dot for "8PM Wed"? That's about where the Aerie is located. On the NY side of the border are Corning and Elmira. Both were hit very hard by Agnes in 1972 and again last year when Irene swept through the area in the summer of 2011. (At least this time there were numerous levees and dikes in place to protect the towns and cities from flooding. Right! Tell that to those towns and cities that still got three to four feet of raging Susquehanna River roaring down Main Street.) And both got smacked this past summer with tornadoes.

It's going to be one very interesting weekend/Monday.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Miss Kitteh Saw the Doc Today

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, I took Miss Kitteh to the vet's today. She certainly made an impression on me. Unlike the other three cats, she was absolutely quiet in the carry cage as I put her into the back seat of the truck. She remained quiet as we drove down to the vet's. The others would have been howling the entire time--and foaming at the mouth, drooling, throwing up, peeing and/or pooping during the 6 mile ride. She also made an impression at the vet's as she ramped up her little purr box and just loved all the handling, petting, combing she got. While I estimated Miss Kitteh to be at most 4 months of age,Doc says she's more like 5 months of age maybe even 6 based upon her teeth-she's got 'em all. The only puzzling thing is her weight. She's just under 4.5 pounds which is tiny for that 6 month estimate. Miss Kitteh got her first distemper and rabies shots, and was checked for feline leukemia (neg). Since she, like the other three will be an indoor cat and will have limited--if any-contact with other cats, she didn't require a vaccination against feline leukemia. She also got a dose of de-worming medicine. She behaved excellently under the vet's ministrations only objecting to having the de-worming stuff put into her mouth. It looks like--and the vet said it tastes like--butterscotch. I wouldn't know about the taste. Apparently, Miss Kitteh is not into butterscotch, though. She swallowed it, but under some protest. Maybe if it tasted like chicken gravy.... She was good on the way home too. No cleaning of the carry cage was required which was a change. A second visit for some booster shots of those she got today is set up for November 16. I hope she's as cooperative as she was today. Come the New Year, however, she'll be looking at surgery so as to be "fixed" and she might not like that visit so well.

Dinner Company

I had company for dinner tonight. When I returned from the vet with Miss Kitteh, I sat down to surf the web for a bit. Around four-thirty, I got up to fix some dinner. I looked outside and spotted a doe standing just past the burn barrel nibbling on some greens growing out of the earth pile next to the compost heap. I watched her for 10 minutes and then she started moving out onto the lawn. For the next half hour she fed on the grass as she slowly moved closer and closer to the deck.

Muzzle loader season ended last Saturday but the smoke pole was still loaded in the garage. My bow was also in the garage and I was sorely tempted to try to sneak out the front door, but I let that itch pass and just watched. Eventually she worked her way to within 10 feet of the deck and I started thinking of the knives in the drawers.

Eventually I walked away and so did she.

More Ramblings From the Aerie

Emptied the rain gauge--again--on Thursday morning and found 0.73 inches of water contained therein. So in the last week alone we had approximately 2 inches of rainfall. Needless to say, the ground is pretty well saturated. And there's a stalled front and a hurricane/tropical storm/nor'easter heading this way. Oh. Joy.

Could be worse. Some of the forecasters are saying up to half a foot of snow may fall in the southwest corner of the state down through the panhandle of Maryland into West Virginia. WE will only see some flurries to an inch or two.

The good news is that--at least around here--nearly all the leaves have fallen. 


I went out and raked leaves yesterday thinking 1) most of them had fallen and 2) they were about as dry as they were going to get considering the forecast.

It was 70+ degrees out there and the sun was shining so the job was not unpleasant. Today, although the forecast was for sun, it's been almost completely overcast. May be that way for a week.


Raking leaves, I turned out half a dozen wooly bear caterpillars. Ever single one had a wide brown central band and small black ends. Those I've seen around town and the yard previously also had wide brown bands. Folklore has it that this predicts a mild winter. (You can check the link for more from the Old Farmer's Almanac about that.) That would be fine with me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Morning Ramblings
on a Personal Note

Saturday morning I emptied the rain gauge here at the Aerie. It had rained pretty hard all Thursday night and again, although somewhat more briefly, Friday night. I estimate we had 0.7 inches of rain from the Thursday-Friday rains and another 0.2 inches in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Those, however, were what I would call Camelot rains, that is, they occurred over night when we (the cats and I) were safe and snug in our home.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were lovely fall days with bright sunshine and cool temperatures topping out around 60 degrees. There was plenty of wind to go along with that, however, and leaves were falling line crazy. I would estimate that 80% of the leaves have fallen from the trees. Only a few of the oaks and aspens continue to hold on to their reddish-brown and yellow foliage. The locusts on the edge of the yard are still green but they are slow to emerge in the spring and late to give way in the fall, and when they do drop, the leaves are often still green.

The rain returned on Tuesday morning just before daylight and it's been falling off and on since with varying degrees of intensity.It won't be a surprise to find close to another inch of rain in the gauge when it finally stops later today. (At least that's what the weather gurus are saying--that it should end this afternoon.)


Terry has left on the second half of her fall tour of sewing conventions. She got back on Sunday from going to New Jersey to visit her Mom and daughter Jessica. This after she had been down to South Carolina (family) and Atlanta (SAGA). She spent Monday doing her laundry and packing her bags and the Aveo for her trip to Hattiesburg, MS (military reunion of her Dad's old unit) and Santa Fe, NM (EGA). Early Tuesday morning she headed south in a slight drizzle, hit a few pockets of heavier rain in southern PA, but then saw the sun come out as she crossed Virginia. She stopped in northern Tennessee just off I-81 for the night. That's about half way to her destination so she should make Hattiesburg this evening.

The military reunion used to be for the remaining members of the Polar Bears who served under Gen. Omar Bradley during WWII. As time and age have reduced their numbers, the offspring of those soldiers have continued to meet more or less as a commemorative of their parents' sacrifice and service. Hattiesburg, MS was the place most of them did their basic training before heading over seas and so marks the beginning of  their involvement in the war. With so few left, it may also mark the end of the original members' involvement in the reunions. (I think, at last count, those able and willing to travel to these events was down to half a dozen as most are now in their nineties.)

A few days in Mississippi and then Terry will be heading west to the Embroiderers Guild of America convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico for hours of classes, interspersed with banquets, barter, and sight seeing.


Yesterday I went to the local Agway to purchase a new collar for Miss Kitteh. She had slipped out of the fancy red rhinestone job--again--and I couldn't located it. That red number was just like any belt with a series of holes through which a metal bar would go, but it was too lose on her little neck. Not only could she get her front leg through it to wear it like a bandolier, but she could, through vigorous scratching, undo the catch mechanism.

So I got her a bright pink job with a click catch instead...and a metal food bowl of her own...and a Tick Twister tick remover. The Tick Twister worked great in removing the large, swollen tick that was on her neck just behind her right ear. It  looks like the claw end of a hammer and is used almost the same way as that claw hammer would be used to remove nails with one important difference: instead of pulling the tick out, you twist it out. It took me about two minutes to get the thing out but that was more because Miss Kitteh has some very fine, long fur. And the Vasoline I had applied the day before was still gunking that fur up a bit even though it had little affect on the tick. Any way, tick is now toast.

Kitteh has a new collar. I had to put a bell on it but when she gets her shots, the tag will replace the bell. I did find the old one stuffed along side the cushion  of a chair in the basement where she has been known to nap the afternoon away. The collar was unhooked and not merely squirmed out of. The chair is convenient to the litter boxes, the dry food, and the water dispenser. She may be young, but she ain't stupid! It took her one day to figure out that when the other cats make a racket outside our bedroom door in the morning it means someone is going to show up in the kitchen and put food in the bowls for her to eat! And, now, she has her very own stainless steel bowl.


I got a call from up north Tuesday morning from the logger. He and his assistant moved some equipment over to my place on Monday and marked the state line a bit better in preparation of removing some trees. They will be taking firs for molding and pulp wood as well as hardwood. I just hope they take enough of the firs to open things up a bit. I was going to just cut the damn things down and let them rot in the hope that sunlight might dry up some of the marshy areas that have been created by the dense trees. With luck, any tire ruts he makes will also help drain the area. There are no marsh flora or fauna involved here, it's just plain wet with cedar and fir trees. Some drier areas have hemlock too. Al of these keep the sun from reaching the forest floor and prevent any sort of understory from developing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Head Games

My cats like to play head games with me as their target.

One or more will sit at the sliding door staring out past the covered porch to the yard and forest beyond. They will have all the rapt attention of a pointer. Eventually, I will notice their focused stare and sidle over to peer into the void myself while asking, "What's out there? What are you looking at?"

The answer, of course, is usually nothing, nothing at all. Sometimes there's a breeze causing the aspen leaves to quake or the goldenrod to sway j-u-s-t enough. Sometimes there's a squirrel or a bird hopping about. Sometimes there's a deer or turkey. Once there was a bear just on the other side of the screen; nose-to-nose with Chester who just wanted to play.

Then there's the times that a "stray" cat (meaning one not belonging to US) comes walking through the yard looking to take advantage of the buffet of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, mice and voles hitting the sunflower seeds. That's when OUR cats get vocal and animated as they race from window to window hissing and howling. Perhaps they (OUR cats) think that we have enough mouths to feed as it is and even if they (OUR cats) never, ever intend to go outdoors to do a little hunting of their own, they certainly do not want any poachers about.

But most often, there is absolutely nothing visible going on out in the yard. There are no creatures about and the air is still so not even the aspen leaves are shaking.

I'll stand there peering into the yard looking with all my might for what may have attracted the cats' attention. Then, with what I swear is a smirk on their face, the cat will get up and stalk off in the opposite direction leaving me still looking out into the yard. I can sometimes see the little bugger chuckling as it walks away.

That's when I feel had. Just like the guy on the busy city street looking up at nothing at all will get others walking by to stare up into the sky for no reason at all, my cats will have played their little practical joke on me. And succeeded in getting me to come over and stare into the yard at nothing at all.

Nothing but head games.


Little Miss Kitteh slipped out of her beautiful red collar with the rhinestones on it this afternoon. It was a tad too large for her anyway. Twice I've had to pull one of her front legs out of it as she had managed to wear her collar like it was a bandoleer over one shoulder and across her chest. We looked for that collar for half an hour (I even shoveled out the kitty litter--just in case) but we can not find it anywhere.

We did find a swollen tick on her neck, however. That was probably irritating her into scratching that collar and making it go round and round and jingle, jingle, jingle. Might also explain why she preferred to have it slung over her shoulder.

We smeared some Vasoline on the tick in hope that it would suffocate enough to detach itself. Works on a human but they tend to be a bit 1) less furry and 2) more stationary.  When next I catch Miss Kitteh, I will have to see if the tick is still there. If not I'll have another thing to worry about.

Made an appointment with the vet to have Miss Kitteh given a check-up on Friday afternoon. Find out if she needs shots, how much and when she should be "fixed," and, if it's still there, have the tick removed.

Meanwhile she's eating more than her fair share. She'll finish her bowl and then go on to the others. Julie is the only one that can keep up with her in that department. The other two, Chester--nearly 20 pounds and Shadow--somewhere north of 15 pounds, give way as Miss Kitteh approaches and yield their food rights to the little (less than 3 pounds) cat. Miss Kitteh then cleans BOTH their bowls and starts eyeing Julie's. She may not have a lot of muscle on her yet, but she's got a firm, round belly. I hope that tick is the only parasite she's harboring.
One of my daughter's friends suggested Miss Kitteh might be a Maine Coon Cat and I have to say that Googling that particular breed produces several pictures that look just like Miss Kitteh. Such as this one or this one.

College Football, Week 9

It’s Week 9 and things are really getting interesting. Slowly the number of undefeated teams is dwindling as they either run into a buzz saw underdog or end up facing one another. We also get a better feel for who may have been overrated earlier in the season as weaknesses are exposed.

This week we see several contests pitting Top 25 teams against one another:
1/1/1/1 Alabama (7-0) vs 13/12/12/10 Mississippi State (7-0)
3/3/3/2 Florida (7-0) @ 12/11/11/11 Georgia (6-1)
4/4/4/3 Kansas State (7-0) vs the #15/17/17/12 Red Raiders of Texas Tech (6-1). 
5/5/5/5 Notre Dame (7-0) @ # 8/7/7/8 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1)

It starts Thursday night with #
14/13/13/18 Clemson (6-1)at Wake Forest (4-3). Then

#16/14/14/15  Louisville (7-0)  hosts Cincinnati (5-1)on Friday night.

(This week’s rankings from the AP, Coaches’, Harris Interactive, BCS (Projected). Rankings given last week appear in parentheses.  NR = Not Rated. Numbers in parentheses after the team’s name are the records.)

1/1/1/1 (1/1/1/1) Alabama (7-0) The Tide will host #13/12/12/10 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-0). This could be an entertaining game. If the Bulldogs are not intimidated by the setting, they could make the Tide faithful sweat.

2/2/2/4 (2/2/2/2) Oregon (7-0) The Ducks host the Colorado Buffaloes (1-6).  The Ducks second and third stringers better be prepared to play some.

3/3/3/2 (3/4/3/3) Florida (7-0) The Gators head north to play the Georgia Bulldogs (6-1). This is another interesting game between pretty evenly matched teams.  The Dogs have been playing tough and could pull off the upset.

4/4/4/3 (4/3/4/5) Kansas State (7-0) The Wildcats host the Red Raiders of the #15/17/17/12 Texas Tech (6-1).  Will we have another game in which there will be 100 points put on the board?

5/5/5/5 (5/5/5/4) Notre Dame (7-0) The Irish will be on the road to play the # 8/7/7/8 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1).  The Irish have been lucky the last two weeks to escape some close games.  This time they are on the road. And they won’t be as lucky.

6/6/6/6 (6/6/6/6) LSU (7-1) The Tigers have the week off as they prep for a match-up with Alabama on November 3rd.

7/9/8/7 (8/11/10/8) Oregon State (6-0) The Beavers will play at the home of the Washington Huskies (3-4). The Beavers should win this one handily.

8/7/7/8 (10/7/9/9) Oklahoma (5-1) The Sooners host the Irish of Notre Dame (7-0). They’ll call this an upset, but the Sooners have gotten stronger and stronger and should dominate this game.

9/NR/NR/NR (7/NR/NR/NR) Ohio State (8-0) The Buckeyes will play in Happy Valley against the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-2). Penn State has played well above expectations this year and will give the Buckeyes all they can handle. The game could go either way.

10/8/9/9 (11/9/11/10) Southern California (6-1) The Trojans play at the home of the Arizona Wildcats (4-3). Barkley has reemerged in the last two games. He should have another big day in this one.

11/10/10/14 (12/10/8/14) Florida State (7-1) The Seminoles host the Duke Blue Devils (6-2). FSU is too much for the Blue Devils to handle.

12/11/11/11 (13/12/12/11) Georgia (6-1) The Bulldogs host the #3/3/3/2 Florida Gators (7-0). This one could go either way.

13/12/12/10 (15/16/14/12) Mississippi State (7-0) The Bulldogs are on the road to face the #1/1/1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0). One of them will lose. It will probably be Mississippi State.

14/13/13/18 (14/13/13/18) Clemson (6-1) The Tigers are on the road to play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3) on Thursday night. The Tigers should roll over Wake.

15/17/17/12 (18/20/21/17) Texas Tech (6-1) The Red Raiders are on the road to play the #4/4/4/3 Kansas State Wildcats (7-0). Lots and lots of points in this one but KSU should win.

16/14/14/15 (16/14/16/15) Louisville (7-0) The Cardinal host the Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1) on Friday night. Louisville has been sluggish the last couple of weeks. The Bearcats got beat last week by Toledo and have something to prove. This has upset written all over it.

17/16/16/16 (9/8/7/7) South Carolina (6-2) The Gamecocks will host the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4). Tennessee will play it tough but the Gamecocks will win it in the second half.

18/15/15/13 (19/17/17/16) Rutgers (7-0) The Scarlet Knights host the Golden Flashes of Kent State (6-1). The Scarlet Knights had better have learned from Toledo’s beating of Cincinnati last week as well as their own poor first half against Temple and come out chopping.

19/19/18/17 (22/23/20/21) Stanford (5-2) The Cardinal will host the Washington State Cougars (2-5).  The Cardinal should have an easy time with the Cougars.

20/20/20/21 (23/25/NR/NR) Michigan (5-2) The Wolverines are on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-2).  Michigan eked out a win over Michigan State. Not this week.

21/18/19/19 (24/22/23/22) Boise State (6-1) The Broncos are on the road against the Wyoming Cowboys (1-6). This is one rodeo ride in which the Cowboys will not succeed.  The only question is by how much will the Broncos win.

22/21/21/23 (20/19/19/19) Texas A&M (5-2) The Aggies hit the road to play the Auburn Tigers (1-6). A&M should have a good trip and bring home a win.

23/23/23/24 (25/NR/NR/NR) Ohio (7-0) The Bobcats hit the road to play the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (3-4). Go with the visitors on this one.

24/NR/NR/25 (NR/NR/NR/NR) Louisiana Tech (6-1) Bulldogs head to New Mexico State (1-6) to play the Aggies. Tech had 839 yards of offense last week while defeating Idaho (1-7) 70-28. Could be more of the same this week.

25/22/22/20 (17/15/15/13) West Virginia (5-2) The Mountaineers have the week off to search for 1) some kind of defense and 2) their missing offense.

NR/24/24/22 (NR/NR/25/25) Texas (5-2) The Longhorns head north to face the Kansas Jayhawks (1-6). Texas should win.

NR/25/NR/NR (NR/NR/NR/NR) Wisconsin (6-2) Badgers host the Michigan State Spartans (4-4). Badgers win at home.
NR/NR/25/NR (NR/21/22/23 ) TCU (5-2) The Horned Frogs will play at Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-2).  The Frogs will rebound from their triple overtime loss to Texas Tech last week. This one will be another high scoring affair.