Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the AP

One-in-four chance McCain may not survive 2nd term

Except, he's still running for the first term, assholes.

Freakin' ageists! That's what they are.

FYI: We elect for four years at a time, in case you hadn't read any US history books lately.

No need to ask whom they would prefer. Their bias is clearly showing.


Now this might be why Jimbo has an less than positive view of chainsaws.

You may have noticed…

…that I've been posting quite a bit about college football lately and almost nothing about the follies going on in Washington. I know little about economics and have no idea how this "bailout" thing will work.


From what I've been reading, however, it seems that government intervention in the credit market—telling the banks they had to lend money to folks who were very likely not able to repay it—caused both the housing bubble and then it's inevitable collapse. It also seems that those easy credit demands came from the democratic side of the aisle. Further, when trouble was seen to be appearing on the horizon, the Republican President and some Senators made attempts to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only to be thwarted by the Democrats. Perhaps the Republicans should have pushed harder while they had control of Congress, but it was primarily Democrats stepping forward to tut-tut any need for reining in the loose credit.


Finally, when a "bailout" plan has been hammered out by a bipartisan group and touted by one and all as a "crap sandwich", it behooves the leaders on both sides of the aisle to keep a poker face until the damn thing is passed if they feel it is really and truly necessary. That Speaker Nancy Pelosi should make such an outrageous, confrontational speech on the floor prior to the vote when she needs all the votes she can get to have the bastard of a bailout passed while the financial markets are waiting on the window ledges …. To learn afterward that she could not move herself to ensure there were 12-13 more "yeas" from her own party when 15 of the 34 Democratic congressmen from California voted "no" and many in the Black Caucus from very safe democratic districts voted "no" …. And that she had basically given permission to members of her party to vote "no"…. And afterward to blame the Republicans when 95 Democrats voted "no"…. It simply boggles the mind.


(By the way, that was a terrible phrase to hang on the plan if they wanted to sell it to the public. Something like "Rescue" would have been much more appropriate. And that $700 Billion figure they pulled out of their asses? Oh, it got people's attention all right. But I don't think it got the kind of attention they (Pres. Bush and Paulson) wanted.)

Pre Week 6 College Football Report

The only thing displaying more volatility this week than the College Football Polls were Wall Street and Congress. With so many of the Top 25 taking it on the chin, there was movement up and down in abundance. It was a good week not to play as every team that had a bye moved up at least 2 slots. Only one team (Ohio State) is in the same place as it was last week. Several new teams appear at the bottom and four teams are off the radar—for now.

The week’s schedule is also sort of strange. There’s at least one game every night starting tonight when Florida Atlantic travels to Middle Tennessee. Both teams are 1-3 so you better be a True Fan of the teams or the game to bother tuning in. Wednesday night is a little better with Louisiana Tech visiting #17 Boise State. Then Thursday we have three games: Pittsburgh at #10 South Florida, Oregon State at #15 Utah and Memphis at UAB. Friday night it’s Cincinnati at Marshall, and #8 BYU at Utah State.
Let’s take a look at the rankings and opponents for Week 6. (Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 6. The pre-Week 5 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. NR= Not Ranked)
1/1/1 Oklahoma (2/2/2) The Sooners move up to #1 by virtue of their win over TCU and the collapse of Southern Cal. This week they face the Baylor bears on the road.

2/4/2 Alabama (8/10/9) The Crimson Tide makes a six slot jump after defeating Georgia. The Tide hosts the 4-0 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday.

3/2/3 LSU (5/6/5) With three of the top four losing last week, the Tigers slide into the #3 slot. LSU has the week off.

4/3/4 Missouri (6/5/6) Missouri didn’t play and still moves up thanks to the upsets. The Tigers are back in action and on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

5/5/5 Texas (7/7/7) The Longhorns whupped the Razorbacks of Arkansas and move up. Texas is on the road against Colorado.

6/6/7 Penn State (12/12/16) The Nittany Lions beat up on Illinois to jump six spots in the polls. PSU is on the road against the Boilermakers of Perdue.

7/8/9 Texas Tech (10/9/11) The Red Raiders were idle but they still move up 3 places. They are on the road this week against the Kansas State Wildcats.

8/7/6 Brigham Young (11/11/10) Ditto for the Cougars. A 3 place jump while watching TV. BYU is on the road against the Utah State Aggies on Friday night.

9/9/10 Southern California (1/1/1) The mighty have fallen…but they won’t stay here long. Will they? The Trojans host #23 Oregon on Saturday.

10/10T/12 South Florida (13/14/15) The SFU Bulls beat NC State on the road and move up a couple of slots. The Bulls host the Pitt Panthers on Thursday night.

11/10T/13 Georgia (3/3/3) Another team that saw its stock drop thanks to a defeat. (At least this was to a ranked Alabama team. So why the big drop of 8 places?) Time to lick their wounds as the Bulldogs are idle this week.

12/13/14 Florida (4/4/4) The Gators drop 8 places, too. But their defeat was to unranked Ole Miss—at home—which more than warrants such a fall. This week’s opponents are the Razorbacks of Arkansas on the road.

13/14/8 Auburn (15/16/12) The Tigers barely beat Tennessee by 2 points so they move up 2 slots. This week they will be tested by #19 Vanderbilt on the road.

14/12/11 Ohio State (14/13/13) The Buckeyes beat Minnesota but didn’t seem to impress many folks on the judging panel with their style. They are the only team in the same slot as last week. This week they play at the home of the #18 Wisconsin Badgers.

15/15/16 Utah (17/17/18) Another team to take advantage of the weird week. Though idle, Utah moves up 2 slots. The Utes host Oregon State on Thursday night.

16/16/15 Kansas (18/18/17) The Jayhawks, too, were beneficiaries of the changing market and moved up though having the week off. The Jayhawks play at Kansas State (The Cyclones).

17/18/17 Boise State (19/20/19) Ditto for the Broncos—up 2 despite (because of?) not playing. This week they host Louisiana Tech. On Wednesday night.

18/17/18 Wisconsin (9/8/8) Losers to unranked Michigan, the Badgers had the biggest drop of the week—9 slots. It won’t be any easier for the Badgers this week as they host #14 Ohio State.

19/19/23 Vanderbilt (21/25/25) The Commodores didn’t play, so of course they moved up 2 slots. It’s a big game for Vandy as they host #13 Auburn.

20/24/19 Virginia Tech (NR/NR/22) The Hokies beat Nebraska on the road to regain some lost respect. They are up on everyone’s list this week. The Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky come to town Saturday.

21/22/NR Oklahoma State (NR/NR/NR) Who? Oh, the Cowboys! Everybody loves cowboys. Unless they play in the NFL. The Cowboys host the Aggies of Texas A&M.

22/21/22 Fresno State (25/24/24) The Bulldogs beat up on UCLA to earn a raise this week. They are up 3 slots. The Bulldogs face the one team that may have more frequent flyer miles than they do when Hawaii comes to town.

23/20/20 Oregon (NR/22/NR) The Ducks beat up on Washington State 63-14. But then again, everyone seems to do that. Still, it earned them a jump in the polls. They may not last long unless they can topple #9 USC in Los Angeles.

24/23/21 Connecticut (NR/NR/NR) The Huskies beat Louisville 26-21 to improve their record to 5-0 and earn a slot in the Top 25. UConn is on the road to North Carolina on Saturday.

25/25/25 Wake Forest (16/15/14) Another team to take a hit as the Deacons weren’t so Demon-ish in losing to Navy 24-17. They have the week off to ponder their poor play.

NR/NR/24 Michigan State (NR/NR/NR) At 4-1 the Spartans are tied with Ohio St. for the second best record in the Big Ten, behind the 5-0 record of Penn State and Northwestern?! All are 1-0 in conference. They host the Iowa Hawkeyes this week with a chance to move up in the polls.

Gone from this week’s list are Clemson (20/19/21), Illinois (22/21/23), East Carolina (23/NR/20), and TCU (24/23/NR).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Yet more rain at the Aerie

We woke up this morning to the sound of still more rain falling here at the Aerie (soon to be renamed Mount Ararat).

It stopped long enough for me to go out and burn some garbage mail and the cardboard boxes the tomatoes came in, bury the tomato skins in the compost pile and get a reading from the rain gauge. The gauge read a tad over 2 inches (2.05" to be precise). Add the 1.63" from last week and the rain from earlier in the month and we have had well over four inches for the month.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jets 56, Arizona Cardinals 35

Brett Favre threw for 6 (!) touchdowns this afternoon. That's a personal best and ties some guy named Namath for the Jets best.

The Jets scored 34 points in the second quarter. That's a team record.

Laveranues Coles caught three (3) TD passes in that second quarter. That too is a personal best.

The Jets are 2-2 and going into their bye-week. More importantly, Favre and the rest of the team looked to be on the same page today.

Week 5
The Upsets Return

Week 5 brought back memories of the 2007 season in which we seemed to see the #1 or #2 team getting beaten each week. Four of the Top 10 teams fell There could have been more but two were idle and one was playing (and beat) a higher ranked team (see #2 Georgia vs. #8 Alabama).

I opened last week’s listing of matchups with this line: “With many of the larger conferences getting into their conference schedule, the time is ripe for some upsets to begin appearing in the Sunday papers’ scoreboards.” Whoo-boy-howdy! Was it ever a week for upsets! Because of bye weeks (6) only 19 of the Top 25 played this week. Seven (7) of them lost to unranked or lower ranked teams. Three games matched two Top 25 teams against one another. (One resulted in an upset while the other two had the higher ranking team win.)

(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 5. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Southern California The Trojans traveled up the coast to Corvallis, OR to play at Oregon State Thursday night and for the second time three years, they lost to the Beavers. The final was 27-21.

2/2/2 Oklahoma The Sooners hosted the Horned Frogs of #24 TCU. They beat them up 35-10.

3/3/3 Georgia The Bulldogs hosted the #8 Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday night. All the Georgia fans wore black. At the end of the game it was for mourning as the Tide rolled all over the Bulldogs by a score of 41-30. Believe me, it was not that close.

4/4/4 Florida The Gators hosted Ole Miss Saturday afternoon. By virtue of a blocked extra point, the Gators lost 31-30.

5/6/5 LSU The LSU Tigers hosted Mississippi State and won 34-24.

6/5/6 Missouri The Missouri Tigers (4-0) have the weekend off.

7/7/7 Texas The Longhorns played host to Arkansas Razorbacks. The Longhorns proved too much for Arkansas and came away 52-10 victors.

8/10/9 Alabama The Tide went down to #3 Georgia . They went home with a win (41-30).

9/8/8 Wisconsin The Badgers were on the road to play Michigan. They went home unhappy as they got beat 27-25.

10/9/11 Texas Tech The Red Raiders (4-0) had the weekend to relax.

11/11/10 Brigham Young The 4-0 Cougars had the weekend off.

12/12/16 Penn State The Nittany Lions played host to #22 Illinois. The Illini did not find Happy Valley so happy as they were beat by PSU 38-24.

13/14/15 South Florida The Bulls traveled up the coast to NC State where they improved to 5-0 with a 26-13 victory over NCSU.

14/13/13 Ohio State The Buckeyes hosted the undefeated Minnesota Gophers. (And doesn’t that sound weird!) OSU skinned ‘em 34-21. Now both teams are 4-1.

15/16/12 Auburn The Auburn Tigers hosted Tennessee. The Tigers beat the Volunteers 14-12.

16/15/14 Wake Forest The Demon Deacons hosted Navy. The Midshipmen were not intimidated and came away with the upset win 24-17.

17/17/18 Utah The Utes hosted Weber State this weekend. Utah won 37-21.

18/18/17 Kansas They Jayhawks (3-1) enjoyed an idle weekend.

19/20/19 Boise State The Broncos (3-0) had the weekend off.

20/19/21 Clemson The Tigers hosted Maryland. The Terps pulled off the upset 2017.

21/25/25 Vanderbilt The 4-0 Commodores had the week off.

22/21/23 Illinois The Illini travelled to Happy Valley to play #12 Penn State. It was rainy and sad. PSU won 38-24.

23/NR/20 East Carolina The Pirates hosted Houston and proved much to kind to the Cougars who went back to Texas with a 41-24 win.

24/23/NR TCU The Horned Frogs travelled to #2 Oklahoma. The Sooners won 35-10.

25/24/24 Fresno State The Bulldogs made a short hop over to LA to face UCLA. The Bulldogs beat the Bruins 36-31.

NR/22/NR Oregon The Ducks travelled to Pullman, WA to face Washington State. Wazzu proved to be no competition as the Ducks won 63-14.

NR/NR/22 Virginia Tech The Hokies travel west to square off against Nebraska. VT won by a score of 35-30.

The Mets are toast.

Well, the Mets' season is over. They lost to the Fish 4-2 today while Milwaukee beat the Cubs 3-1.

Time for the front office to start putting together a plan for one hell of a lot better bullpen.

Congratulations to Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Delgado for they're great offensive seasons. (Although it would have helped more if Reyes and Delgado had started having that good year in April instead of May or June.)

More rain

It's a dreary morning here at the Aerie. It started raining again during the night and we woke to pretty heavy rain this morning with lots and lots of fog. There's little breeze to go with the rain and in checking the weather.com radar maps it seems as though the system is centered right over us. The clouds and rain are swirling counter-clockwise with Mansfield/Elmira as the center. The forecast calls for rain all morning with a chance of thunderstorms and accumulations from this bout running up to one inch or more.

I know we need the rain, but damn! There is such a thing as too much.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weigh in Saturday (3)

Still kinda blah.

I didn't lose and I didn't gain anything over last week. The scale still read 217 pounds.

I'm going to blame that on lack of exercise. Again. I really need to get off my butt and start a regular activity program to burn off the calories.

About the Mets...

..I do not wish to speak.

Rain on 1890s Weekend

We got over an inch and a half of rain last week but could always use more...just not this particular weekend.

This weekend is the Fabulous 1890s Weekend in Mansfield. The town and University is celebrating the first night football game ever played. All kinds of activities were planned for yesterday and today so of course it rained.

There was to be a pep rally, bonfire and fireworks as well as a street fair last evening. Today the street fair continues and the University is making its debut in Sprint Football (players must be under 172 pounds) against Cornell. (The school dropped regular football after the 2006 season. Too costly and they were not terribly competitive. That is, they got their butt kicked on a regular basis.)

This evening is a reenactment of the first night game. The story is that they didn't even know it was the first when it occurred. There was a fair and the new fangled electric lights were on display so a bunch of college kids decided to showcase their new sport--football--by playing a game under the lights.

Now there's no doubting that we could use the rain and there were probably folks who have been hoping for rain, but just like any woman, Mother Nature works in some mighty mysterious ways. She has delivered the rain at a most inopportune time. A couple of days earlier or later would have been fine.

UPDATE: The may have lucked out a bit down in the valley. The rain showers stopped up here around noon and the sun even peeked between the clouds for a bit. Still, that's no guarantee that it's not pouring down at the University. When we go 1.6 inches of rain last week, the folks on the other side of Mansfield (just 8 miles away as the crow flies) got nothing at all.

Boiling Down the Tomato Puree

We finished up last night after processing all 2+ bushels of tomatoes and actually getting 7 quarts of thickened tomato sauce canned. That left two huge stock pots (16 and 20 quarts)of processed tomato puree yet to be boiled down to the desired thickness and canned.

I put the 16 quart pot on the stove this morning and promptly scorched the bottom layers into charcoal. Note to self: Stainless steel stock pots are great holding tanks but should NOT be used for boiling/thickening any sauce. That's what the copper bottomed Revereware pots are for. After carefully ladling the sauce from the stock pot into the two 8 quart Revereware pots, I've been skimming out the little charcoal bits. It's like panning for gold.

This should get us 7 more quarts of canned tomato sauce. And then we will move on to the 20 quart stock pot for the final batch.

Why the desire to have so many jars of tomato sauce? Because Terry makes the best spaghetti sauce I've ever tasted. Two quarts of this tomato sauce will be used to make a batch of spaghetti sauce with garlic, onions, ground venison and/or sausage, and a mix of herbs and spices that can be used for half a dozen meals. That's straight spaghetti, lasagna or any number of other dishes. That's good eats! (Now all I have to do is get myself a deer or three.)

UPDATE: We ended up with 28 quarts of tomato sauce plus enough for Terry to make a big batch of spaghetti sauce. Seven jars are already boxed while 21 are sitting on the counter cooling down. Every single one of them sealed like they're supposed to. Tomorrow they too will get boxed and put into storage in the basement.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Food Canning

We got a real good deal on some plumb tomatoes at a local center today. Terry and I had been looking for someone who might be selling bushel baskets of tomatoes for canning purposes but we were having no luck until she happened to spy a small, not very reputable looking stand on old Route 15 south of Covington. She didn't stop but mentioned it to me and I thought I'd see what the guy had in stock.

Well, inside a shed with tarps as sides, he had a couple dozen boxes of plumb tomatoes but they had no price. I asked what he wanted for the 1/2-bushel box and he said $3.00 since it was getting late and there were some damaged tomatoes in each box. Well that sounded pretty good to me so I picked up two.

When I got home and started to rinse them off, I found there wasn't a bad tomato in the bunch. A few were bruised but that could be cut out. I suggested to Terry that she go back and pick up two more boxes when she went down for the church dinner. (I would stay home and start working on these.)

She came back with 2 and 1/2 boxes. The seller told her one of the boxes she picked out "looked a little low so here, take this half box too."

We've (by "We've" I mean mostly "I've") been boiling water and making tomato sauce like crazy. There's enough to make over 24 quarts easy. I won't finish all of it tonight (heck, I'll have to get some more quart jars out of the basement and wash them before I'm done), but I'll let you know how we make out tomorrow.

Wild west! PAC 10/National Ranks shaken up

While I was following the Mets-Cubs game (and then the Pirates-Brewers) on the internet, there was a football game played in Corvallis, Oregon.

No. 1 USC came to town and squared off against the unranked Ducks of Oregon State.

The final score was 27-21 in favor of the Ducks who went into the game 25-point underdogs. I'd say it was a major upset, except the same thing happened two years ago when the Ducks ended USCs long undefeated string. Granted, back in 2006 the Trojans were only ranked #3, but....

It was the Rodgers bothers that made the difference. Older, bigger brother James, caught two TD passes while younger, smaller brother Jacquizz hid behind the lineman and bounced off tacklers to rush for 185 yards and two TDs of his own.

The Ducks opened up a 21-0 halftime lead, allowed USC to score 14 points before Greg Laybourn intercepted a USC pass to set up a Duck's drive that ended in the final Jacquizz Rodgers 2-yard, TD run to make the score 27-14.

For the full story, go here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Whew-hee! Baseball ain't dull!

Well the Metsies pulled one out of their a$$es tonight.

They scored once in the seventh, twice in the eighth, and once more in the ninth to win 7-6. Carlos Beltran got the walk-off single to drive in the winning run.

The victory moves the Mets to within 1 game of the idle Phillies in the race for the NL East title with each team having three games to play.

In the Wild Card race where the Mets and Brewers were tied going into tonight, well...the Pirates and brewers were tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the 10th inning. The Brewers got something going and loaded the bases with two outs when Ryan Braun hit a grand slam walk-off home run for a Milwaukee 5-1 victory. That victory allows the Brewers to keep pace with the Mets. Both teams are tied with three games to play.

This weekend:

The Phils play three against the Nationals in Philly.

The Mets play thee at Shea against the Marlins.

The Brewers play three against the Cubs in Milwaukee.

Mother Nature plans rain for the two cities on the east coast that do not have roofs on their stadiums like Milwaukee's.

One game playoff day is Monday. (And maybe Tuesday if things are really, really weird.)

Some Political Thoughts and Rambles

As I read several conservative blogs that allow comments, I've noticed that there are one or two, sometimes three, commenters who are there only to seemingly monitor the web site and leave comments defending Obama (seldom Biden) and attacking McCain and Palin. They usually do so only on the posts by the blogger(s) that bring up something Obama has said or done or has said he will do.

Often, commenters will use very similar language on different sites. When the comments carry a name it's possible to tell if they are different people. Often they are the ubiquitous Anonymous. These folks are either well versed in the Obama talking points or are getting direction from somewhere.

Sometimes these comments are amusing to read in the "I can't believe he said that" kind of way. Sometimes you just want to reach out and touch someone...if you know what I mean. At the very, very least you want to grab the person by the shoulders and shake them so as to break the trance they are obviously under.


I've received emails from birding friends that obviously originated from either Huffpo (the Huffington Post) or the Obama camp (or both as they are sometimes indistinguishable). As the person(s) doing the forwarding have also been volunteering for Obama at the county fair and even at the local Obama office, I would not be surprised to learn they are on the mailing list for action alerts.

I found it embarrassing when this person forwarded a screed about Sarah Palin that was penned by the author of The Vagina Monologues. You may have seen it, it's the letter about having nightmares and how Palin has personally killed 40 caribou at a clip and shot 100 wolves from the air and will cause women to lose everything they have worked so hard to gain. I read it and had to read it again because I couldn't believe what it purported to say.

I wanted to ask by friend if she was that effing stupid to forward such a piece of obvious trash. I didn't. But I should have. I assumed she just didn't read the piece before clicking forward and adding her personal little message at the top. (Which may have not been so personal as I've seen the same little note as the intro to someone else's email. This women was an elementary school principal in California (which may be where the problem originates). She has a degree and certification to teach Spanish. I thought she wasn't stupid. Now I'm not sure.

Aerie Bulb Planting (& Guests drop in)

Terry and I spent the afternoon planting bulbs from Burpee's that I ordered. This was the Woodland Wildflower mix that included some tulips (which Terry planted in a sunnier spot), daffodils, grape hyacinths and others. I raked away the leaf litter on the hillside behind the bird feeders and moved some of the surface rocks out of the way. Then Terry tried to dig down a few inches to deposit clusters of bulbs here and there. After a time, I went to digging some of the holes using a garden spade. Lots and lots of roots and small stones to contend with but we got all 150 bulbs in the ground. Now all we have to do is wait for some fall rains to get the roots started, the tree leaves to fall to act as an insulating cover blanket and then the warm days of early spring to see if we are successful in getting a bit more color on the hill in the spring.

After dinner I was sitting in the living room when I saw a positively huge bird fly past the window and crash land in the right of way. I jumped up and went to the porch door to see if I could spot it and just then a second and third turkey glided into the trees on the other side of the power line. One made a most ungraceful landing and crashed down almost halfway before it caught onto a branch and steadied itself. These are the first wild turkeys we've seen since the week before the spring season. They'll probably tease me by coming to the feeders for the next two weeks and then disappear again when the fall season (either sex) rolls around.

Waaa! Make them stop!

Ma, they're doing bad things again! Make them stop!

No, I'm not talking politics. It's the farookin' Mets.

Last night the Mets started Oliver Perez (a worrisome enough tidbit). After Perez gave up a solo homerun (one of his specialties) the Mets "stormed" back in the third inning with 5 runs on 2 (!) hits including a Carlos Delgado grand slam. But Perez couldn't hold a 4 run lead if his life depended upon it. He gave it back and the bull pen tacked on another to put the Mets down 6-5.

New York stranded seven runners in the seventh through ninth innings. The Mets failed to score after putting runners at the corners with no outs in the seventh, then got only one run -- on Jeff Samardzija's bases-loaded walk to Ramon Martinez -- after putting runners at the corners with no outs in the eighth. The ninth was even worse.

By worse, they mean WORSE! As in harikari worse. With the score tied at 6-all, the Mets got a lead off triple by Dan Murphy in the bottom of the ninth...and did not score. The bull pen followed that by giving up three runs in the top of the 10th inning and the Mets lost 9-6.

Heck, you can read about hit here: Mets fail to close out Cubs, lose game.

Why does this feel like freakin' Groundhog Day?

The Phillies lost but the Brewers won. The Brewers and Mets are now tied in the Wild Card chase. The Mets remain 1 1/2 games back of Philadelphia. The odd game will be erased after today as the Phils have the day off while the Cubs and Mets go at it again tonight--weather permitting.

I wonder how Willie Randolph feels right about now?

If Jerry Manuel (who said after the game: "When tomorrow comes, hopefully the sun comes up. It might not." ) is offered the managerial post full time, he should first ask what's happening with the pitching. Especially the bull pen. Pedro should be released and Perez should be allowed to walk on his free agent year. (Good luck, don't let the door hit you in the a$$, etc., etc.) There are a few guys (el Duque) that are still lingering on the DL who need to be pink slipped. As for the bull pen... Explosives should be used. Personally, I think they should all be used to set improve the soil in the tomato garden in Citi Park. Remember the garden they used to have out there? Makes me wonder what John Franco is doing.

Oh, and send Castillo and Alou packing. Murphy seems to be the real thing. Not a lot of home run power but that will come. A. Reyes may not be able to hit but his defense and attitude are 150% better than L. Castillo at second base.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Yesterday I picked up a half bushel of Cortland apples. They are great to eat on their own but they also can be used in cakes and pies and applesauce. I don't have any pictures of the apple cake that Terry made yesterday, we ate it.

I can provide you with pictures of the applesauce I made this evening. The most difficult--and boring part of the job is coring and cutting up the apples so as to cook them. I did a little at a time because of the limited number of pints (7) the canning pot can handle.

I put one cup of water in the pot for each quart of apple slices and then cooked them until nice and soft. You'll notice that the apples still have their skins. Once they were nice and soft, I used this food mill to process the soft apples the sauce comes out one side after being forced through a screen and the skins come out on another.

Leaving the skins on produces a nice pink color. I asked Terry to taste and add sugar if she saw fit before I warmed the sauce again and then put it in sterilized pint jars. The final product is some delicious applesauce. I completed 18 pints of applesauce.

And Julie spent some of the time in her little basket on top of the counter watching me work.

Week 5 approaches.

Week 5 begins Thursday night with #1 USC vs. Oregon State. With many of the larger conferences getting into their conference schedule, the time is ripe for some upsets to begin appearing in the Sunday papers’ scoreboards. Let’s take a look at the rankings and opponents for Week 5.
(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 5. The pre-Week 4 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Southern California (1/1/1) The Trojans travel up the coast to play at Oregon State Beavers Thursday night.

2/2/2 Oklahoma (2/2/2) The Sooners host #24 TCU.

3/3/3 Georgia (3/3/3) The Bulldogs host #8 Alabama Saturday night in what should be an excellent game.

4/4/4 Florida (4/4/4) The Gators host Ole Miss.

5/6/5 LSU (6/6/6) The LSU Tigers host Mississippi State.

6/5/6 Missouri (5/5/5) The Missouri Tigers (4-0) have the weekend off.

7/7/7 Texas (7/7/8) The Longhorns play host to Arkansas.

8/10/9 Alabama (9/13/13) The Tide rolls into #3 Georgia .

9/8/8 Wisconsin (8/8/9) The Badgers are on the road to play Michigan.

10/9/11 Texas Tech (11/10/11) The Red Raiders (4-0) have the weekend to relax.

11/11/10 Brigham Young (14/11/10) The 4-0 Cougars have the weekend off.

12/12/16 Penn State (16/15/18) The Nittany Lions play host to #22 Illinois.

13/14/15 South Florida (12/16/17) The Bulls are on the road to NC State.

14/13/13 Ohio State (13/14/12) The Buckeyes host Minnesota.

15/16/12 Auburn (10/9/7) The Auburn Tigers host Tennesee.

16/15/14 Wake Forest (18/18/14) The Demon Deacons host Navy.

17/17/18 Utah (20/20/20) The Utes host Weber State this weekend.

18/18/17 Kansas (19/19/19) They Jayhawks (3-1) have an idle weekend ahead.

19/20/19 Boise State (NR/NR/NR) The Broncos (3-0) have the week off.

20/19/21 Clemson (23/21/22) Clemson hosts Maryland.

21/25/25 Vanderbilt (NR/NR/NR) The 4-0 Commodores have the week off.

22/21/23 Illinois (22/23/23) The Illini travel to Happy Valley to play #12 Penn State.

23/NR/20 East Carolina (15/17/16) The Pirates host Houston.

24/23/NR TCU (NR/NR/NR) The Horned Frogs (is there a better nickname than that?) travel to #2 Oklahoma.

25/24/24 Fresno State (25/NR/24) The Bulldogs make a short hop over to LA to face UCLA.

NR/22/NR Oregon (17/12/15) The Ducks travel to Pullman, WA to face Washington State.

NR/NR/22 Virginia Tech (NR/NR/25) The Hokies travel west to face Nebraska.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Atlanta 3
Philadelphia 2

Chicago Cubs 2
NY Mets 6

The Phils lead in the NL East has dropped to 1 1/2 games.

Meanwhile, the Pirates lead the Brewers in Milwaukee 3-2 in the seventh. If that holds, the Mets will open a 2 game lead over the Brewers in the Wild Card race

UPDATE: The Brewers rallied twice and Prince Fielder hit a 2-run, walk-off homer int he bottom of the ninth to pull out a win 7-5 as Milwaukee keeps pace with the Mets in the Wild Card race.

Yep, seems about right

(Seen at and stolen from Theo Spark's: Last of the Few)


Well, Palin's driving Naomi Wolf crazy, anyhow. Of course, Wolf was already close enough to walk . . . .

posted at 08:31 AM by Glenn Reynolds

Not a good weekend

Mets drop two to the Braves on Saturday and Sunday then lose to the Cubs 9-5 to fall 2 1/2 games back of the Phils in the NL East with just six games int he regular season to go. (At least they are still ahead of the Brewers for the Wild Card. So far.)

The Jets lose to San Diego 48-29 on Monday night to fall to 1-2.

I'm thinking of other four letter words for both teams right now and they aren't good. More along the lines of "f*ck" and "s*ck".

And let us not even talk about 0-3 Rutgers! Please.

Thank goodness the Giants pulled it out in OT.


According to the Birmingham Post, The One has contracted to have 300 commemorative coins of his Presidential run minted with his likeness on them. The cost is 100,000 pounds. That’s right, “pounds.” Not only does he or his campaign have the hubris to have these commoratives made, but they outsource the job to England rather than have it done in the USA!

Oh, well, they’ll be worth quite a bit when they become the only ones minted.

Maybe that’s the plan. The One will stash these away in his vault and twelve years from now when President Palin is leaving after her second term, he can auction some off to pay for his girls’ college. Or twenty years from now, when President Jindal is leaving after his second term, he can auction them off for their weddings.

(h/t: Don Surber who comes up with the most unusual stuff sometimes.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Birds return

After several days of almost no bird activity around the Aerie, this morning saw plenty. I sat looking out the window and drinking my first cup of coffee when I noticed lots of little birds in the tree tops as the sun came over the mountain. I grabbed the binoculars and saw numerous Magnolia Warblers along with several Chipping Sparrows. Then I looked over at the feeders and there were Mourning Doves walking the ground, Blue Jays on the tray, Goldfinches on the stick feeder, a White-breasted Nuthatch climbing down the telephone pole as he snuck up on the feeders, a Downy Woodpecker on the tree while he waited for a Hairy Woodpecker to vacate the larger hanging feeder, Black-capped Chickadees flitting down for a sunflower seed then carrying it back into the trees to eat. I didn't see him, but a Tufted Titmouse called from the cover of the trees.

Later in the day Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, Crows and Canada Geese flew over the hill.

This, the first full day of Autumn, turned out to be one of the busier days in the last two weeks.

One bird that has apparently taken off is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They were here last week but after several days over the weekend of fairly good winds from the north...pffft...they're gone. (Checking last year's reports, this date, September 22, was when the Hummers disappeared. I guess they have a pretty regular schedule.)

Rain report from the Aerie

The clouds came back during the night and we did get a few more showers. The total rainfall measured int he rain gauge since yesterday afternoon was 1.63 inches with most of that falling during the T-storms in just over an hour around 5 PM Sunday. No more rain is forecast for the week.

The heavy rain pinpointed a problem with the newest planting bed. It's located at the bottom of a slope and with the downpour we had water accumulated within the bed creating a temporary pool. I'll have to construct a diversion of some kind--either a shallow ditch or a couple of landscape timbers--to shunt that water off to the sides of the bed. If I leave it the way it is I might as well plant water lilies and rice instead of beans and squash.

The cloud cover prevented any real low temperatures overnight. It was just 50 degrees at 7 AM this morning but the forecast is fro clearing skies and a low over night into the upper 30s. Autumn is definitely on its way.

The hillsides are becoming speckled with orange and red colors as tree after tree gets the message of shorter days and longer nights.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Big East weekend

The Big East....

Most everything this weekend was positive. Most.

Six of the eight teams were victorious in their out of conference games.

Pittsburgh edged Iowa 21-20.

Louisville beat Kansas State 38-20.

Cincinnati downed Miami of Ohio 45-20.

Southern Florida beat Florida International 17-9.

And even Syracuse got a victory 30-21 over Northeastern.

Unfortunately, two teams came up croppers this week:

Rutgers lost their third in a row to Navy on a late field goal 23-21.

West Virginia lost in overtime to Colorado 17-14.

Week 4 Results

Week 4 has ended with few surprises. It’s not until you get down to #15 East Carolina that we find an upset.

Here is a look at the Top 25 (plus or minus) in Week 4 and the results of their games.
(Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 4. The pre-Week 3 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/1 Southern California. The Trojans had the weekend off. They face Oregon State on Thursday, September 25.

2/2/2 Oklahoma. Another team enjoying the role of spectator this week.

3/3/3 Georgia. The Bulldogs played at Arizona State and came away a 27-10 victor.

4/4/4 Florida. The Gators seemed right at home on the mountain tops of Tennessee as they won 30-6.

5/5/5 Missouri. The Missouri Tigers hosted the Buffalo Bulls. And they weren’t terribly hospitable. The Tigers beat the Bulls 42-21.

6/6/6 LSU. The Tigers defeated #10 Auburn 26-21.

7/7/8 Texas. The Longhorns beat up on the Rice Owls 52-10.

8/8/9 Wisconsin. The Badgers were another Top 10 team that was idle this week.

9/13/13 Alabama. The Tide rolled into Arkansas and over the Razorbacks 49-14.

10/9/7 Auburn. The Auburn Tigers lost to the #6 LSU Tigers 26-21.

11/10/11 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders defeated the UMass Minutemen 56-14.

12/16/17 South Florida. The Bulls beat Florida International in Miami by a score of 17-9.

13/14/12 Ohio State. The Buckeyes beat Troy 28-10.

14/11/10 Brigham Young. The Cougars shutout Wyoming 44-0.

15/17/16 East Carolina. The Pirates dropped a close one to the North Carolina State Wolfpack in overtime 30-24.

16/15/18 Penn State. The Nittany Lions beat up on Temple 45-3.

17/12/15 Oregon. The Ducks lost to Boise State 37-32. Boise State scored 21 in the second quarter and 13 more in the third and then held on when Oregon stormed back in the fourth.

18/18/14 Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons beat #24 Florida State 12-3 in a game featuring nothing but field goals (Swank of WF made four but missed three others), turnovers (WF lost two fumbles but FSU lost two fumbles AND gave up 5 interceptions), and penalties (WF had 16 for 120 yards and FSU had 24 for 278 yards). Most of the penalties occurred on the offensive side of the ball. That’s the main reason there were no TDs in this game.

19/19/19 Kansas. The Jayhawks beat Sam Houston State 38-14.

20/20/20 Utah. The Utes square off against Air Force in Colorado Springs.

21/22/21 West Virginia. The Mountaineers dropped another Thursday night at Colorado. This one ended 17-14 in overtime.

22/23/23 Illinois. The Illini were the fourth idle Top 25 this week.

23/21/22 Clemson. The Tigers hosted South Carolina State and beat them up 54-0.

24/25/NR Florida State. The Seminoles hosted #18 Wake Forest and lost 12-3. (See above for more.)

25/NR/24 Fresno State. The Bulldogs’ road show stopped at Toledo this week. They picked up a souvenir W by a score of 55-54. But it wasn't easy. They went to a second overtime and Toledo attempted a 2-point conversion for the win. They failed.

NR/24/NR Arizona State. The Sun Devils played host to #3 Georgia and lost 27-10.

NR/NR/25 Virginia Tech. The Hokies outscored the North Carolina Tar Heels 10-0 in the fourth to pullout a 20-17 victory.

T-storms! Lightening! Hail!

We are currently in the midst of a hell of a thunderstorm. Beginning just after 4 PM the winds out of the northwest blew from Mansfield to the Aerie. As the air was pushed up the slope, it grew a thunderstorm. And that storm as spawned others throughout southeast Tioga County. The lightening has been striking the hillside nearby. Pea-sized hail has rattled off the roof and accumulated on the ground were it has overshot the cutters (or bounced over them). Rain has been falling by the bucketful.

None of this was predicted by the weather gurus when I checked this morning. They did say we might get a T-storm late this evening and possibly into the wee hours of Monday. But we were not supposed to get anything today.

Doesn't matter. We really needed the rain. There hasn't been any since last weekend. I just wish it would come in a more gentle but extended fashion.

UPDATE: As 6:30 PM approaches, there's still a bank of dark clouds off to the northwest accompanied by some thunder way off in the distance. There will be more rain. As of right now, however, there's more than an inch-and-a-quarter in the rain gauge. Steam is rising from the valley in smokey streams.

Attic Project, part 3

I put the final 8 linear feed of flooring in the attic this morning. There's another 8 feet tat could be done but 1) it's currently behind the hutch and anything stored there would be more or less inaccessible and 2) would require everything be cut to 24 inch squares with notches cut for upright 2"x4" supports in the trusses.

I still have the 1 1/2 sheets of OSB intended for this area but I could use some of that for a work bench.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Autumnal Equinox is on hand

We've been experiencing some glorious fall weather at the Aerie the last few days. It's been cloudless and warm during the afternoons with the temperature hitting 70 degrees. At night, those cloudless skies allow the daytime heat to escape very quickly--you can almost watch the thermometer registering the cooling soon after 6 PM when the sun approaches the western horizon. The lows have been into the 30s. Since cold air is denser and sinks, the valley has had the colder temperatures and even a frost or two. We haven't had temperatures that cold yet. We had a pretty stiff breeze last night and into the early hours of the morning but that ended by noon and only an occasional light breeze.

The Equinox is soon upon us with it's equal day light hours and night time hours. The Equinox marks the first official day of Autumn and usually falls between September 20th and 23rd. This year, the Autumnal Equinox occurs at 15:44 UTC on September 22.

Weigh in Saturday...Bah!

Well, the more or less forced inactivity of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday due to the actions of Ike's remnant rains and wind, plus the celebratory birthday dinner out on Wednesday at a new restaurant in Mansfield (Lamb's Creek Food and Spirits is highly recommended!) has caused the yo-yo of my weight to climb the string again.

I was very disappointed to see that the scale reported 217 this morning. Despite the construction project that has me climbing the stairs from garage to attic multiple times each day while carrying half a sheet of 3/4" OSB each time. Despite the warm temperatures under the roof as I crawl around between the trusses. Despite the very, very sore and aching muscles from doing this and moving storage box after storage box from point A to point B (and often on to point C an hour later). Despite all that, the original 3 pounds I lost in Week 1 of this challenge have made their way home.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Attic Project, part 2

Between yesterday late afternoon and today, I've managed to cover 24-linear feet by 6-feet on one side of the attic and another 16-linear feet by 6-feet on the other.

As I said earlier, the goal is to be able to move as much of the accumulated stuff off to the sides and organize it so an individual item can be more easily found.

The photo above shows what I want to happen. Almost everything behind the 2"x4"s is Xmas decorations of one kind or another. We could probably decorate five or six Christmas trees with each one having its own theme. Put us right up there with Rockefeller Plaza, that would. We have Hallmark ornaments and Danbury Mint ornaments up the wazzoo. Then there are the hand made ornaments in wood (mine) and in cloth (Terry's). Of course, using uniform boxes to store everything in would make this sorting thing a wee bit easier but so much less colorful.

And let us not mention the need to label what is in each box...hmmm. Where's the joy in that. This way it's like having two Christmas mornings. One when you want to decorate is just a s full of surprises as the one on December 25.

Tomorrow I'll be putting down another 8'x6' section of flooring and working to get still more stuff off to the sides. That may require moving the base of the hutch...and my back is already protesting having to climb in and out among the trusses. Oh well, that's why they make Tylenol.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Attic Project

Whilst Terry was planting bulbs and mums, I was cutting sheets of 3/4" thick OSB.

Twelve sheets to be exact. I ripped them all down from 4-foot wide and 9-foot long to 2-foot wide. (This wasn't as easy as it seems. I struggled with the first four sheets and could not hold the line despite using an aluminum guide clamped to the boards. Turns out my blade was dull, dull, dull! A new blade and--presto-chango!--everything was hunky-dory!)

I slid the sheets out of the bed of the truck and onto this make-shift platform. A couple of screws to hold the sheet in place and I would clamp the guide bar and--z-z-z-zip! I would have two 2-foot wide boards.

The reason for all this was to put a floor in the area under the slanting roof in the attic. Our attic is a 36-foot long, huge room over the foyer, laundry room, and garage. I purposely asked for H-trusses that would allow for an 8-foot wide open space in the center without the usual W-shaped lumber getting in the way. Don and I built a lovely entry way door to the place off the loft. But there was still this unused space off to the sides.

And all this clutter in the center aisle.

Now, some things are just too large to go off to the sides. There's a full sized pine hutch from way back when that Terry just doesn't wish to get rid of. (It was part and parcel of our first furniture purchase back in 1972.) There's a round oak table that served us well in Morristown. There's a pine tea cart and a few other pieces. But most of what's out in the center aisle (Xmas decorations, bins of fabric and yarn, Rick's stuff and Jessica's stuff, and lots of books and magazines) could and will go off to the sides.

Mr. Bruin comes a callin'

We just had another visit from the local bear. I think it's the same one that's been here several times last year and again this spring.

We've been bringing in the bird feeders since he came by last weekend and he found sparse pickings out on the feeder line. However, he did knock over the roofed tray feeder and came up on the deck to help himself to one of the hummingbird feeders we left out.

I hope he doesn't damage it too badly. There really wasn't that much sugar water in it. I still can't find the suet feeder he made off with last time.

Terry does some gardening.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was starting work on the attic (mopre about that later) Terry started planting bulbs and mums.

Here she's counting out the speckled lilies for the holes she already dug.

These mums went in the spot once occupied by four zucchini plants. (Next year's zukes will go in one of the other beds I built this summer.)

The two white mums also went into the front bed but they flank a small shrub.

Terry also planted some daffodils in the beds to the right of where she is sitting. (Your right, not hers.)


One thing is certain, every planting bed, be it flowers or vegetables, will have a border of marigolds next summer. They last long and provide color, but they also emit an odor that is, apparently, repellent to rabbits and deer. I may even plant some around the roses.

Ahoy, ya llily livered pukes of a bilge rat!


I nearly forgot that today was Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys. I would have been keel hauled if I had let the day go by without a hearty, "Avast!" or "Shiver me timbers!"

Another Aerie Project 2

I put Terry to work today also. We had ordered about 200 bulbs from Burpee and they came via UPS yesterday. I handed her a trowel and a shovel (short handle version, actually a spade cause at 4'11" that's about all she could handle) and told her to put them where she wanted in the flower beds. Some were checkered lilies and others were daffodils. She also had six mums that needed to be put in the soil.

The mums went in the bed where the zukes were and the checkered lilies went in the shaded area up by the front door.

The daffodils also went in the bed near the front door but further out where they will get more sun.

We still have two bags of mixed wild flower bulbs that will be planted among the trees behind the bird feeders. I've been slowly removing some of the pencil thin saplings that have been crowding that area so there's a bit more sun shining on it and more visibility too. With any luck, there won't be scads of stone just beneath the surface and these small bulbs will pop up in a multitude of color in the spring.

Another Aerie Project

I started another project today.

We have this huge attic upstairs that has a multitude of storage possibilities. Until today, however, the only floor space available was right down the center. The sides, beneath the roof and out to the eaves, had no plywood/particle board flooring. I had finished insulating that area two weeks ago when I took a rain day from working on the garden bed but it wasn't until today that I decided to go get the 3/4" OSB sheets needed to put down the floor. I calculated I would need 12 sheets for the job and easily hauled them up to the Aerie in the bed of the Tundra.

To get these sheets in and around the trusses of the roof, I needed to rip each sheet to a 2-foot width and a 2-foot length. Then to get them to fit the first row had to have notches cut to fit around the 2" wide truss supports.

I started ripping each sheet as it came off the back of the pickup and had a heck of a time holding a straight line. I had to run back down to the store to get a new blade as mine was too dull to do the job. (At first I thought it was the saw and I picked up a new DeWalt. Which was good. But I picked up a new combination blade and tried that on my Ryobi before breaking the DeWalt out of its box. The blade made the difference so the DeWalt went back to the store. *sigh* and I so wanted a new toy for my birthday.) Then I used the jig saw to cut the notches. Well, the metal plates used in making the connections on the trusses meant that the supports I would be going around weren't really 1 1/2 inches wide as I had cut but rather closer to 2" which called for a second cut. (Of course, all these cuts were being done in the driveway necessitating my carrying the OSB boards up and down the stairs. Several times.) Anyway, I've got the first two feet of flooring in on half of one half of the attic and now that I know what the heck I'm doing I should be able to get the rest done lickety-split tomorrow.

When it['s all done, I'll be able to put some of the boxes that have Xmas decorations off to one side, those that have my son's belongings in off to another side, those that have all the kitchen stuff for Jessica (who is living with Grandma and therefore has no need for them at the moment) off to another, and all of Terry's romance paperbacks in yet another area. Maybe then I can use the area to actually store the window AC unit (which will be coming out soon) and other vital stuff while still being able to walk in there and actually turn around.

The next project after that will be the workshop. I need a real workbench and a better layout for my large tools. But that will have to wait until after Thanksgiving or a deer or two in the freezer...whichever comes last.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 4 Rankings and Opponents

Week 4 is upon us with the first game of the week slated for Thursday night (#21 West Virginia at Colorado).

Here is a look at the Top 25 (plus or minus) following Week 3 and their opponents in Week 4. (Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 4. The pre-Week 3 rankings are after the team’s name. Rankings are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. NR= Not Ranked)
1/1/1 Southern California (1/1/4). The Trojans have the weekend off. They face Oregon State on Thursday, September 25.

2/2/2 Oklahoma (3/3/1). After scoring 57, 52 and 55 points, the Sooners’ offense will enjoy an idle week.

3/3/3 Georgia (2/2/3). The Bulldogs go across the country to play at Arizona State.

4/4/4 Florida (4/4/5). The Gators play at Tennessee.

5/5/5 Missouri (6/6/6). The Missouri Tigers host the Buffalo Bulls. Having scored 52, 52, and 69 points, I wonder what the over/under is on this one? (I just checked vegas.com and there is no over/under listed. Missouri is favored by 34, however.)

6/6/6 LSU (7/7/7). The Tigers travel to play at #10 Auburn.

7/7/8 Texas (8/8/9). The Longhorns play host to the Rice Owls.

8/8/9 Wisconsin (10/10/11). The Badgers are idle this week.

9/13/13 Alabama (11/16/16). The Tide rolls into Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks.

10/9/7 Auburn (9/9/8). The Auburn Tigers host the #6 LSU Tigers. (There are way too many tigers out there.)

11/10/11 Texas Tech (12/12/12). The Red Raiders host the UMass Minutemen on Saturday.

12/16/17 South Florida (19/18/20). The Bulls play Florida International in Miami.

13/14/12 Ohio State (5/5/2). The Buckeyes host Troy.

14/11/10 Brigham Young (18/15/13). The Cougars host Wyoming.

15/17/16 East Carolina (14/20/18). The Pirates play at North Carolina State.

16/15/18 Penn State (17/17/21). The Nittany Lions host Temple.

17/12/15 Oregon (16/14/17). The Ducks host Boise State on Saturday.

18/18/14 Wake Forest (20/19/15). The Demon Deacons travel to #24 Florida State.

19/19/19 Kansas (13/11/10). The Jayhawks host Sam Houston State this week.

20/20/20 Utah (22/22/23). The Utes square off against Air Force in Colorado Springs.

21/22/21 West Virginia (25/24/22). The Mountaineers play Thursday night at Colorado.

22/23/23 Illinois (24/NR/24). The Illini are idle this week.

23/21/22 Clemson (NR/23/NR). The Tigers host South Carolina State.

24/25/NR Florida State (NR/NR/NR). The Seminoles host #18 Wake Forest.

25/NR/24 Fresno State (21/21/19). The Bulldogs are at Toledo this week. Heck of a travel schedule they have!

NR/24/NR Arizona State (NR/NR/NR). The Sun Devils will play host to #3 Georgia.

NR/NR/25 Virginia Tech (NR/NR/NR). The Hokies play at North Carolina this week.

Week 3 Results.

I'm a tad late getting this up. I was going to do it on Sunday but put it off until Monday. Then the Bolt Hole Blackout of 2008 and.... The best laid plans and all that.

Week 3 is over and most teams have now played three games. A few have only two under their belt. In either case, we are getting a better feel for just how some of these teams stack up.

I present the results of Week 3. (Poll numbers are those of the teams entering Week 3 and are from the AP Writers’ Poll/the Coaches Poll/CBSSports.com in that order. The numbers following the team’s name reflect their position prior to Week 2 games. NR= Not Ranked)

1/1/4 Southern California vs #5 Ohio State. USC dominated the Buckeyes 35-3.

2/2/3 Georgia at South Carolina. The Bulldogs eked out a victory over SC 14-7

3/3/1 Oklahoma at Washington. Demolished Washington 55-14.

4/4/5 Florida was idle this week.

5/5/2 Ohio State at #1 USC. See above. All Trojans all the time.

6/6/6 Missouri vs. Nevada. Missouri surpassed the 52 point level which it had reached in each of its first two games with the most points scored by any team this week wiping out Nevada 69-17

7/7/7 LSU vs. North Texas. The Tigers easily defeated North Texas 41-3.

8/8/9 Texas vs. Arkansas. PPT Ike put a damper on this one. They will play later in the season.

9/9/8 Auburn at Mississippi State. 3-2? Did they play baseball or football? In any event, Auburn gets the W.

10/10/11 Wisconsin at #21 Fresno State. The Badgers edged out FSU 13-10.

11/16/16 Alabama vs. Western Kentucky. The Tide rolled over Western Kentucky 41-7.

12/12/12 Texas Tech vs. SMU. Texas Tech tamed the Mustangs 43-7.

13/11/10 Kansas at #19 South Florida. USF wins 37-34 on last second field goal after trailing 20-3 in first half and 20-10 at half time.

14/20/18 East Carolina at Tulane. The Pirates edged Tulane 28-24 to go 3-0 in the early season.

15/13/14 Arizona State vs. UNLV. UNLV upset ASU in overtime, 23-20.

16/14/17 Oregon at Purdue. In another overtime game, this one a double OT, the Ducks downed the Boilermakers, 32-26.

17/17/21 Penn State at Syracuse. No overtime needed here as the Lions mauled the Orange, 55-13.

18/15/13 Brigham Young vs. UCLA. All BYU over the Bruins 59-0.

19/18/20 South Florida vs. #13 Kansas. Bulls win 37-34.

20/19/15 Wake Forest was idle. (I mistakenly had them playing at Florida State. That’s week 4.)

21/21/19 Fresno State vs. #10 Wisconsin. See above Badgers 13-10.

22/22/23 Utah at Utah State. Utah romped over USU, 58-10.

23/25/NR California at Maryland. The Terps emerged victors 35-27.

24/NR/24 Illinois vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. The Illini barely edged La-Lafayette 20-17.

25/24/22 West Virginia idle.

NR/23/NR Clemson vs. North Carolina State. The Tigers of Clemson won 27-9.

NR/NR/25 UCLA at #18 BYU. See above. BYU 59-0. Not a good week for California teams whose mascots are of the ursine variety. Bye-bye UCLA and #23 California. It’s going to take a few upsets for them to climb back into the Top 25.

Bolt Hole Blackout of 2008: Update

So...I'm sitting here looking at the posts I've put up this week and they're all about the weather and the Bolt Hole Blackout of 2008 with no mention of the college football results or the new, post-week 3 polls. I'll attempt to rectify that in the next two posts.

First, however, I have this: The Bolt Hole Blackout may well continue through the day. There was a problem with a transformer on the pole down the road where a large maple had pulled the wires down, jerking the transformer from its customary position of being bolted to the pole so it was resting atop the wires. You might say it was hanging on by a thread. When the National Grid crew checked it out before attempting to remount it to the pole they found it had suffered internal damage and needed to be replaced. (That may explain the five minutes of flickering light I had the other Monday. When they tested the conductivity of the transformer I got juice for those five minutes before they said, "Un-huh, Ain't gonna work. Shut 'er down.")

Unfortunately, word has it, that there were so many lines down and transformers damaged, there were none on hand locally for them to use. That and the transformer installation crews are running around like crazy. Perhaps they will have service restored by this evening. Then again, perhaps not. In either event, I'm glad I came back to PA.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

(Well almost...)

I'll be celebrating my 59th Anniversary of my Birthday tomorrow. I have no special plans. Terry wants to go to dinner.

As for gifts.... Well, there are plenty of toys I would like, but I've probably used up my quota for birthdays and Christmases for many, many years to come.

No Power...back to PA

Back at the Aerie...*sigh*.

There was no power all last evening despite a little five minute tease at around 5 PM in which the lights powered up for a little--just long enough for the fluorescent bulb over the kitchen sink to come on--and then pfft! Nothing!

When there were still no lights this morning I called National Grid again (not enough power on the computer's battery to check the web site) said the magic words needed to speak to a real human and found out that they hoped to get power back to my neck of the woods by 6 or 7 PM tonight.

Now, I can camp. I like to camp. I can live at the Bolt Hole in the middle of winter with no operational plumbing but lots of snow outside. I could even put up with no refrigerator in February. (Lots of snow outside, remember.) But being there for three days without power to run the water pump and limited sources of water for flushing the toilet, being there when the freezer is slowly thawing out on me, these are things I do not like.

So I packed up and drove home. I'll be staying here for a week or so before heading back up on September 27.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Power outage at the Bolt Hole

Power is out at the Bolt Hole. Not surprising since the winds started howling around 11 PM last night and there were gusts that I would guess registered in the 40 mph range. They've abated a bit as dawn arrived.

The phone lines are obviously still working, however.

It used to be this sort of problem would be solved quite quickly when we had more working dairy farms in the region bu tin the last few years I know of at least two that have stopped operations. One switched over to growing crops--soy beans, corn, wheat and rye. It's an easier operation for an aging farmer and now his son who has an outside job. Another went purely residential. (No, it didn't get carved up as a development, but it was sold and no longer is a working farm. In fact, it is now on the market again.) With the loss of those two larger dairy herds, there's not the same pressure to get electricity back for milking and refrigeration.

Add the fact that this is likely a very wide spread problem (if you watched the game from Cleveland last night you would know that) and repairs might take some time.

Not a day to be walking in the woods where falling branches and widow makers abound.

I'll be back when they get power back.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bolt Hole Weather, Sept. 14

Rain moved through the region of the Bolt Hole again last night and this morning. It looks like I'll be spending the day in and around the cabin, especially since the temperatures are supposed to go up to the low 80s. The temperature rise may be due to the movement of the remnants of Ike well to the west of us. The counter-clockwise circulation around the storm drags some of that warm air up from the south. The real winds from the storm will move through tonight and tomorrow.

Things will get back to relative normalcy come Tuesday and the high temps will be back in the 60s for the remainder of the week according to weather.com.

Oh, well, it's a good day to turn the TV on and watch some pro football. Let's go Jets!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A walk in the woods

Around 9:30 AM things started to look a little brighter outside so I decided to pack a lunch, load the rifle and take a hike. I wasn't sure how long I was going to be out or if any showers would return so in addition to a lunch and a water bottle I had my poncho in the backpack. With a map and compass in my bag and my GPS clipped to my belt, I was ready to go.

I walked down the west edge of the property line and crossed over into state land. As expected after a couple of days of heavy rain, the creeks were running pretty high and the marshy areas sucked at my boots. The trees dripped and so did I in the high humidity despite walking very, very slowly. At least the wet made walking pretty quiet.

Chickadees and red squirrels chattered at my passing. Off in the distance I could hear the raucous call of a pilleated woodpecker and the occasional call of a raven or blue jay. Once or twice a wood thrush lifted off the forest floor and perched on a branch to get a better look at me but they were silent as they usually are at this time of year.

Visibility in the forest was next to nil. With all the beeches and maples still holding their leaves, it was only in the deepest part of the woods where the young saplings struggled for a growing spot and the forest understory thinned that I could see more than a few hundred feet in any direction.

I walked slowly in the hopes of seeing either deer or bear but also because of all the trees that have been blown down from the storms of late August 2007 and this past summer. Cherries, beeches and red maples ranging in size from eight to twenty inches in diameter at chest height had been pushed over. Many still had soil around their root ball and still had green leaves. Around several of the maples I could see where deer had come in to nibble the leaves. Tracks and droppings were abundant but I saw no deer. Nor did I see any rubs or scrapes where bucks were marking their territory. Perhaps it's still too early for them to be doing that. They have just shed the velvet from their antlers and started to don their winter coats of gray/brown and the does aren't even close to going into heat.

I walked for two hours and by then I was dripping with perspiration. Instead of continuing, I decided to head back to the cabin to eat my lunch and shuck my own warm clothes. In two hours I had covered just over one mile. Perhaps tomorrow, I'll simply pick a spot and sit for a couple of hours. Meanwhile the loaded rifle is sitting next to the door...just in case.

T-t-t-that's all folks!

If you grew up in the late 50s/early 60s watching the Bugs Bunny Road Runner hour every Saturday morning as I did, you’ll get a kick out ofTEXT IOWAHAWK’s take on the Press vs. Palin. Let’s just say that it’s not much of a contest.

(h/t Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.)

Saturday morning and it's wet

It rained much of the night and this morning every leaf, every blade of grass, every twig is glistening with drops of water. This literally dampens my desire to go out and scout the woods for deer sign and bears.

If I were up in Quebec to go fishing I would have no problem going out. I'd just don my rain gear and go. There would, after all, be no dripping from over hanging branches or water from brushing against a shrub. Here, however, with the leaves still on the trees, I'd be soaked after half an hour. Maybe later today things will improve. Right now though it's somewhat foggy and very, very overcast. The weatherman on the TV said not to worry if it looks threatening as the showers would be few and far between.

Terry just called from the Aerie to say I]m in the wrong place. Seems she had a visitor last night. Mr. Bruin showed up to raid the bird feeders at around 9 PM and, while he didn't do any serious damage, he managed to empty two feeders, knock over the tray, knock down the bird bath/water bulb and make off with the suet feeder. I got a little lax about bringing in the feeders because he hadn't been around while I was there. But the blackberries are gone now so I guess he's looking for a new source of food.

Weigh in Time

One of the perks of moving into the Bolt Hole is that I automatically lose 7 pounds. Not literally of course, that would require surgery. No, the loss is due to the difference in scales. The one up here is a morale boosting digital picked up in CVS. The scale at the Aerie is a stern taskmaster purchased from Weight Watchers. It matches the doctor’s scale quite accurately and even displays the tenths. Bastard!

Now, like all scales, there is a zeroing mechanism on the Bolt Hole scale and I could adjust it to read the same number as the Aerie scale but that would eliminate the feel good mind games. Just standing on that scale in the morning and seeing the “0” in the middle of the three digits is worth several people asking if I’ve lost weight. And anyone who has tried to lose weight knows how uplifting those kinds of questions can be. I will, therefore, leave it just as it is and do the arithmetic to add the 7 when it comes time to report to Excel and the world what my weight is.

Knowing the there was a difference, I weighed myself at the Aerie Friday morning and again at the Bolt Hole once I arrived to determine the difference so I could continue to gather semi –accurate data. That’s how I know the difference is 7 pounds, plus or minus a pound. This morning’s corrected reading is 214 pounds. That’s a loss of 3 pounds from last Sunday and reflects the work I did in moving soil about the new raised bed at the Aerie as well as a somewhat stricter adherence to my lower caloric intake (diet, if you will).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lawn Signs

After lunch today I took the Tundra up to the Bolt Hole with the intention of doing some scouting around for deer and, if the opportunity arises, perhaps shooting myself a black bear. The game cameras Mark and I have had out have documented plenty of bear in the area including a couple of decent sized males to go along with two Mamas and their sets of cubs. The Mamas and cubs are, of course off limits, but should I stumble upon one of the larger males....

It rained the entire time I was driving up here, is still raining now and may even be raining when I get up in the morning. If that's the case, all bets are off.

On the drive up I noticed something interesting. My route takes me through the town of Ithaca, NY on Route 13. I may have mentioned the little bumper sticker that caught my attention a few months back that read "Ithaca: 10 square mile of beauty surrounded by reality." I assumed it was referring to the well know liberal/leftist bent of the college town's politics. (Ithaca is home to not only Ithaca College but Cornell University.) There's one home on the west side of town that sports a lawn sign calling for President Bush's impeachment. That sign has been up for over a year.

Well, as I drove along Route 13 today I noticed more lawn signs. Not surprising given the election is less than 50 days away. What did surprise me was that the vast majority of those signs were for the McCain ticket. These signs were from west of Ithaca through Cortland, where I picked up I-81. They weren't all on the lawns of homes either, some were in front of businesses. A rough estimate would put the mix at about 10-2 McCain vs. Obama. And this was in New York. Granted this is truly upstate New York, not the "upstate" that the NY Times talks about, but the real rural regions of upstate. This is indicative of little, I know, but with the Obama campaign starting to crumble and exhibit signs of panic....

When your No.1 is dissing the other sides' No.2 it is not a good sign. I wonder what the internal polling is saying? External polling seems to be showing huge gains for the McCain/Palin team.

Oy! What a disaster! NCU 44---RU 12

For the second time this season RU was on a nationally televised game. They have succeeded in making stars out of their guests.

This time it was a North Carolina team that had never scored a point in the state of New Jersey, that had lost I don't know how many games outside the state of Carolina, and that was known for its futility in the ACC during the last few seasons.

But that was before. This is now. In their first game, the Tarheels' Brandon Tate had plays over 50 yards in four different ways, returns, runs, passes.... All he did last night was score on a 69 yard pass play and a relatively short end around.

Rutgers, playing without running back Kordell Young, once again showed some spark between the twenties but couldn't seal the deal in the first half. That Mike Teel's passing seems to be going hot and cold in alternate series hasn't helped either. he's had the time needed in the pocket but hasn't connected with the wide receivers often enough and they, in turn, haven't broken free at all. Britt and Underwood haven't been taking on the yards-after-catch that they were able to do last season. They are also not getting open as often. Teel threw three interceptions.Two of them went off the hands of the receivers including the one that was returned for a touchdown.

Rutgers had more first downs than UNC (23-18), more net yards (383-378), more plays (72-61), more passing yards (243-221) yet lost by an overwhelming score of 44-12. Go figure.
(RU vs. North Carolina)

Rutgers is 0-2 now. They play Navy a week from Saturday on the road. It will be broadcast by CBS. I hope it's a regional feed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ah, baseball!

The temperature is falling. The leaves are changing. Folks are playing football. But the most important time of the baseball season is fast approaching: Playoffs and World Series.

The Anaheim Angels became the first team to clinch a playoff spot yesterday as the lay claim to the American League West yesterday with a 4-2 victory of the NY Yankees combined with a Texas Rangers loss to the Mariners. And they still have 17 games to play.

Meanwhile Boston was closing in on the stumbling Tampa Bay in the AL East—until they lost their last two games—to the Devil Rays. The Rays have reopened a 2 ½ game edge again.

The White Sox hold a one game lead over the Twins in the AL Central race.

Over in the NL, the Mets have established a 3 ½ game lead over the Phillies in the East, the Cubs hold a 4 ½ game lead over Milwaukee in the Central, and the Dodgers are 3 ½ ahead of the Diamondbacks in the West.

In the Wild Card races, it looks like the Brewers hold a slight edge over the Phillies and Astros with the Cardinals an eyelash back in the NL. Boston leads Minnesota in the AL (although Toronto may still edge their way into the picture).

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago today, my son was in his final weeks of Marine Corps basic training at Parris Island.

Seven years ago today, my daughter was at the University of Massachusetts studying to be a Music Educator.

Seven years ago today, I was in my classroom at a middle school in Morris County, New Jersey teaching sixth graders how to use the computer. I was within ear shot of Interstate 80 and US Highway 46.

Seven years ago today, Terry went to work at the US EPA offices in the federal building a few blocks north of the World Trade Center.

Early that morning she was called into another's office to look at the unbelievable accident that had just occurred. What she saw was one of the Twin Towers emitting smoke and flame. As they watched, a second plane crashed into the other tower. As she and her coworkers looked on in disbelief, an announcement came over the PA to evacuate the building and it was then they realized they might be within a target rich environment.

As I taught my sixth graders, with the windows open for some fresh air on that sunny September morning, I heard the sound of sirens out on the highway. This wasn't an unusual occurrence for there were always accidents to which emergency personnel needed to respond. But it soon became apparent to me that this was not a normal highway accident or fire. The sound of sirens continued for much to long and there were far too many for this to be normal. Near the end of the class, one of the office persons came to my room and told me that there had been an attack on the World Trade Center and that I should expect individual students to be called out of class and, indeed, school in the next hour or so as news spread. When class ended, I immediately went to the internet to get more information.

Terry and her coworkers didn't need the PA to tell them to leave. Some were heading fro the doors as the announcement was being made. When she go to the street, she realized there was no way she could make her normal way home via the Path system which ran under the Trade Center so she started northward on Broadway with thousands and thousands of others heading for Penn Station with the hope of getting a train back to New Jersey. Behind them smoke and flame billowed from the Twin Towers. She had gone perhaps ten blocks when everyone around her stopped and she looked back to see the first tower collapse.

I watched the news unfold on the internet as reports on the news sites were updated minute by minute. I learned of the collapse of the towers and the soot, ash and dust that swept the southern tip of Manhattan and wondered where Terry was, hoping she was safe. I learned of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon and another that went down in a field in Pennsylvania before it could reach its target in Washington, DC. I learned that all air traffic had been grounded. That the sirens I had heard of were of fire trucks and ambulances heading to New York from all across northern New Jersey and that there were more from throughout the state heading to Manhattan. I saw video clips of the crashes and of people falling/jumping from windows of the Towers. Like everyone that morning I was shocked and angered that someone would/could do this to my homeland.

Terry did make it to Grand Central Station and caught one of if not the last train to New Jersey. It happened to take her to her parents' home town. She managed to call her Dad and tell him she was okay and on her way to their home and she managed to call the school at which I worked to let me know she was fine and where she was heading.

For weeks after we all walked on eggshells waiting to see if there were further attacks on the horizon.

A day or so later we got a call from Rick down in Parris Island. he wanted to know if we were alright and if his Mom had been anywhere near Ground Zero. The Marines, in an unprecedented act, had actually pulled all the guys and gals who came from the NYC metro area out of their final week of training--The Crucible--to let them make this call. Graduation was scheduled for 21 September but it was still unclear as to whether civilians (including parents) would be allowed on base to witness this, the first post 9/11 class become Marines in a very different world. (They did permit immediate family on the base but every vehicle was given a thorough inspection at a checkpoint far removed from any where. With air traffic still an uncertainty, Terry and I drove down but my daughter was able to get a flight to Savannah and join us in seeing her brother become a Marine reservist.)

The roll of those missing in the tower collapse shrank steadily as folks got in touch with their relatives, friends and employers but the final tally was/is still much too high. There were several persons from the towns in which I lived and in which I taught who lost their lives that day. There were one or two former students of mine who never made it out of the Towers. I think of them from time to time. I think of all of those who lost their lives that day.

And it angers me.

It also angers me that some here in this country seem to have forgotten what happened that day and are willing to shrug it off. Or worse blame the US for the actions of the jihadists.

Never forget. Never forgive.

I was directed to this excellent essay by Jim Lileks about 9/11 while perusing Glenn Reynolds’site. It’s a great read and provides amble food for thought. It was written, as far as I can tell on the second anniversary of 9/11/01 but the content is timeless.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yep, seems about right

Song Chart Memes
more music charts

Of course if they ever really discussed the issues and the costs of some of the proposals from the Democrats in a manner, the contest would be over.

Energy, defense, taxes, school choice, free speech, gun rights, hell, the entire Constitution, are all pluses for the Republicans.

When you look at the Democratic side you see they want to snatch defeat from victory in Iraq; "talk" to those who would gladly spit in their eye and behead them while dismantling the military that currently keeps the peace; redistribute wealth from those that earn it to those that don't; shred the Constitution to institute a "fairness doctrine" (that was not when last we saw it) and to take away the true rights as delineated in the document (see specifically the Second Amendment) while ensuring "rights" that are not there at all (see abortion, illegal aliens, etc.); institute a health care system that has failed in Great Britain, Canada, and everywhere else it has been tried; create a massive bureaucracy to run a mandatory volunteer program (now that's double speak!); and turn the UN loose to run the world (or at least the US).

Time for that coffee.

Chilly morning

It was 45 degrees outside when I came down at 7 AM. heavy, heavy fog down in the valleys again. That fog makes it appear as if I'm looking out upon a vast gray lake that has tiny islands (the hilltops) all over. That fog will burn off as the sun rises but the temperatures will only get into the 60s again today. Tonight will be a real test. With clear skies the temperature will be into the upper to mid 30s and a frost in some of those deep valleys is possible.

Dude, whatever happened to "global warming"?

I need another cup of HOT coffee.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Autumn is arriving.

Last Saturday we when the remnants of Hannah moved up the east coast, we here in north-central PA were on the back side of the blow and heavy rains. What that means is we didn't get the heavy rains the folks east of us did (I recorded a mere 0.3 inches in the rain gauge) but the winds came pretty strongly out of the north. The 80 degree temperatures were blown well to our south and we were left with highs in the low 70s during the day and lows in the low 50s at night.

This morning was a bit warmer with a low of only 60 but that was because we got a little more rain around 3-4 AM. It never did get very warm today and only reached 67 degrees. When I had to go down the hill for the mail I heard on the radio there may be light frost in some areas tomorrow night. Checking weather.com, they say a low of 40-41 is possible Wednesday night.

Oh, it will get slightly warmer from Thursday on. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 60 range. Even so, I'm going to have to think about closing up some windows.

And Old Mr. Sol is still blemish free. It's going to be a cold, cold winter.

Idaho ends 11-game losing streak

Idaho University had an excellent week.

Their alumna (Gov. Sarah Palin) has brought new life to the campaign of Senator John McCain as his VP pick and their football team won a game.

The Vandals defeated Idaho State 42-27. Yeah, yeah, I know IS is only a Championship Series school and not in the league of the "Big Boys" but it was a win nonetheless and Idaho can use all it can get. This one happened to end an 11-game losing streak that had the hapless Vandals tied for the longest futility streak in the country.

They started the day out on the right foot too as Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle connected with Maurice Shaw for a 77-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game.

Way to go guys!

Can they make it two in a row by defeating Western Michigan?

Rutgers vs North Carolina

North Carolina and Rutgers kickoff the college football slate on TV this week. The ESPN Thursday night game is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM from Rutgers Stadium on the Banks of the Old Raritan.

North Carolina's Tarheels come in with a 1-0 record having defeated McNeese State 35-27 back in Week 1. Reciever/returner Brandon Tate lead the Tarheels in that game with an 82-yard return for a TD and a 57-yard catch for a score.

Rutgers enters the contest 0-1 having dropped their opener to Fresno State 24-7. The Scarlet Knights played tough in the 0-0 first half, but could not push the ball across. In fact, seven times Knights' drives started on the Fresno State side of the 50-yard line and the RU squad failed to score on any of them. Life without Ray Rice or Brian Leonard is proving difficult.

RU will bring its A-game to this one. The offensive line will improve in it's run blocking and Kordell Young will have a much better day than his 94 yards on 26 carries. Look for the defense to play more consistently. They were on the field much too long in the second half against Fresno State. That shouldn't be a problem this week. RU wins 31-10.