Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Night

It's Halloween!


(He could sing and dance like few others. But, man, was he weird in his personal life!)

Bob, The Hamster


(First seen over at Theo's place.)

Happy Halloween!

Funny Pictures - Basement Cat Wishes You a Happy Halloween
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow Report from the Aerie,
October 28, 2011

We got just shy of 3 inches of snow yesterday. The first snow of the season is often a surprise. This one came while some trees (locusts in particular) were still green. Other trees still had many leaves although they had already turned yellow, brown or red. Temperatures overnight fell to the mid 20s and down in the valley, where there wasn't as much snow, there was a very heavy frost. As the sun warms things up, the leaves that have changed color are finally severing their connection with the branches to which they clung. Snow is melting on the tree branches and the pine limbs (and locusts') are springing back to their previous locations.

It could be worse. There's a winter storm watch out for Saturday. Most of it will be to the east of us but we can still get another 1-3 inches of the white stuff.

That purple? That's the area forecast to receive 6 to 12 inches of snow. In PA that's the area east of I-81. The zone includes the Poconos of PA, the Kittatinny Ridge of NJ, the Catskills of NY, the Berkshires of western CT and MA, and all points in between. (We're in the gray area along the PA-NY border.)

It looks like I'll be hanging birdfeeders sooner than later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The forecast was for some light snow this evening, but Mother Nature sped things up a bit and the flakes started falling in earnest around 2 PM. That might mean we will get considerably more than the light dusting the original forecast from included. In fact, the accumulation maps are now saying we might get 1-3 inches.

Some of the poplars are still holding onto their yellow leaves as are the oaks their brown ones. The locusts are still green, for crying out loud!

Part of the west side lawn and the trail into the back field.

Green locusts getting turned white on the west side of the Arie's lawn.

The snow is sticking on the grass, trees and deck but it has yet to start sticking to the driveway and--I assume--road. As the snow cools those bare earth surfaces and the temperature continues to drop they, too, will soon be white.

The Tundra and Aveo get a coat but not the driveway...yet.

And the forecast now says there's a possibility of more snow west of the I-95 corridor on Saturday. Will it reach this far west? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

College Football 2011, Preweek 9

While the top two teams (LSU and Alabama) are idle this week, there are still plenty of chances for upsets. #4 (Stanford) squares off against #20 (USC), #9 (Michigan State) faces #13 (Nebraska), #10 (Kansas State) hosts #11 (Oklahoma). In addition, there are several games in which an upset is a possibility: #12 Wisconsin at Ohio State, #21 Penn State host Illinois, and (I’m hoping) #25 West Virginia will be at Rutgers.

If not mentioned, all games are on Saturday.

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

1/1/2/1 LSU (8-0) The Tigers are idle this week.

2/2/3/2 Alabama (8-0) The Crimson Tide will be idle this week.
(#1 and #2 WILL meet November 5th.)

3/4/1/3 Oklahoma State (7-0) The Cowboys will host the Baylor Bears (4-2).

4/3/5/6 Stanford (7-0) The Cardinal take on the #20 Trojans of USC (6-1) on the road this weekend. The second consecutive week they have faced a Top 25 team—on the road.

5/5/4/4 Boise State (7-0) The Broncos will be idle this weekend.

6/6/6/5 Clemson (8-0) The Tigers are on the road to face the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech (6-2).

7/7/10/7 Oregon (6-1) The Ducks will host the Cougars of Washington State (3-4).

8/8/17/10 Arkansas (6-1) The Razorbacks visit the Commodores of Vanderbilt (4-3).

9/10/19/11 Michigan State (6-1) The Spartans will visit the #13 Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-1). For the third consecutive week the Spartans face a ranked opponent. So far they are 2-0.

10/12/8/9 Kansas State (7-0) The Wildcats host the #11 Sooners of Oklahoma (6-1).

11/9/7/8 Oklahoma (6-1) The Sooners visit the #10 Wildcats of Kansas State (7-0).

12/11/20/15 Wisconsin (6-1) The Badgers visit the Buckeyes of Ohio State (4-3).

13/13/18/14 Nebraska (6-1) The Cornhuskers host the #9 Michigan State Spartans (6-1).

14/14/12/13 South Carolina (6-1) The Gamecocks visit the Volunteers of Tennessee (3-4).

15/15/11/12 Virginia Tech (7-1) The Hokies will visit the Duke Blue Devils (3-4).

16/16/15/16 Texas A&M (5-2) The Aggies will be hosting the Missouri Tigers (3-4).

17/17/13/18 Michigan (6-1) The Wolverines will host the Boilermakers of Purdue (4-3).

18/18/9/17 Houston (7-0) The Cougars host the Owls of Rice (2-5) on Thursday night.

19/22/25 Texas Tech (5-2) The Red Raiders host the Cyclones of Iowa State (3-4).

20/NR/14/NR Southern California (6-1) The Trojans host the #4 Cardinal of Stanford (7-0).

21/19/16/19 Penn State (7-1) The Nittany Lions host the Fighting Illini (6-2).

22/21/23/23 Georgia (5-2) The Bulldogs will visit the Gators of Florida (4-3).

23/20/24/21 Arizona State (5-2) The Sun Devils host the Colorado Buffaloes (1-7).

24/23/NR/NR Cincinnati (6-1) The Bearcats are idle this week.

25/24/NR/25 West Virginia (5-2) The Mountaineers are on the road again. This week they face the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (5-2).

NR/25/21/NR Southern Mississippi (6-1) The Golden Eagles visit the Miners of UTEP (4-3).

NR/NR/22/22 Texas (4-2) The Longhorns host the Kansas Jayhawks (2-5).

NR/NR/NR/24 Auburn (5-3) The Tigers will host the Mississippi Rebels (2-5).

Aerie Report, October 25, 2011

What we did today:

  • Up early (thanks to the cats), Terry's Aveo for oil change and inspections at Mansfield Exxon (which no longer pumps gas--old pumps couldn't take $4 a gallon and new pumps were too costly, so it's strictly a mechanics' center now).

  • Had breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen (thank goodness for the never empty cup of coffee!).

  • Back home we packed over 100 books for donation to the Green Free Public Library in Wellsboro into the Jeep Compass and took them over.

  • Had lunch at Harland's Family Style Restaurant.

  • Picked up cider at the cider mill (no apple dumplings? Darn it!).

  • Picked up Terry's Aveo (oil done, passed inspection, Ryan says new tires in the spring).

  • Back home--again--we dug the carrots out of the ground, cut off the greens, scrubbed them, sliced the larger ones, blanched them and then froze three large Zip-Loc bags.

That was our day.


Was a nice day, but we've some rain and snow on the way according to With lows down to 28 degrees Thursday night and 30 degrees on Saturday night we may get a little of the white stuff here at 2100 feet. We should get a good frost, even if we don't get any snow. (And AccuHunch, located in State College, PA, is saying "Snow? What snow? We don't see any stinkin' snow in the forecast!")

We could have seen some Northern Lights last night, but didn't know to look for them. *sigh*

Monday Night Football

Did anybody watch Monday Night Football on ESPN this week? I did for no other reason than I wanted to get the taste of the 62-7 shellacking Indianapolis suffered at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night out of my mouth. That and I wanted to see Baltimore's Joe Flacco and Ray Rice tear into Jacksonville. This game accomplished neither goal.

Jacksonville's defense was superb, holding Baltimore off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter and from attaining a first down until sometime in the third quarter. They forced Rice to fumble--twice. And for a guy who hadn't put the ball on the turf in over 500 carries that says a lot. (Rice finished the night with just 8 carries for 28 yards--terrible!)

Sure, the Jaguars' offense was nearly as inept as their defense was excellent, but they managed to eke out the win thanks to four field goals by Josh Scobee from 54, 54, 22, and 51 yards. I hope he got the game ball.

The first half showed three very teams on the field: the Jags' offense, the Ravens' offense and the officials. Both offenses fumbled away chances (Maurice Jones-Drew fumbled twice for the Jags including one on the 1-yard line going in), at one point Flacco put the Ravens in a fourth and 43 situation--fourth and 43!--and the officials had FOUR calls overturned after challenges--two on each side. Now that's something you don't see every week--thank goodness.

Yeah, I watched until I could stomach the comedy of errors and then switched full time to the Rangers-Cards World Series Game 5. There was more scoring and tension in that baseball game than there was in the football game.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

College Football 2011, Week 8 results

Two more teams fell from the ranks of the undefeated this week and teams ranked #3, 4, 11, 20, and 23 were upset. Several other ranked teams also suffered losses—to higher ranked teams (#19 & #22). In most of the remaining games the teams that won, won big.

Expect lots of changes in the poll positions when they come out.

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

1/2/5/1 LSU (8-0) The Tigers romped over the #19 Auburn Tigers (5-3) Saturday 45-10. Rueben Randle caught near identical TD passes from quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. Lee also completed a 10-yard TD to Russell Shepard. Kenny Hillard had two TDs on the ground and Ron Brooks returned an interception 28 yards for a TD.

2/3/4/2 Alabama (8-0) The Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4) were tied 6-6 at the half and the Vol’s fans were probably dreaming. Unfortunately, they play two halves. And ‘Bama owned the second half on their way to a 37-6 victory. Tennessee was held to just 155 net yards while Alabama amassed 437 yards.

3/1/3/3 Oklahoma (6-1) The Sooners and the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (5-2) had to wait out a lightening delay at the start of their game Saturday night. Oklahoma probably wishes it never got started as they fell to the Red Raiders—at home!-- 41-38. Seth Doege completed 33 of 52 for 441 yards and four Tds and ran for another in leading Texas Tech in the upset. It wasn’t as close as the score makes it appear as the Sooners scored the final two TDs. Landry Jones was 30 of 55 for 412 yards and five TDs in a rare losing cause in Norman.

4/4/14/6 Wisconsin (6-1) The Badgers were knocked out of the ranks of the unbeaten by the #15 Michigan State Spartans (6-1) as they were upset Saturday night 37-31. Wisconsin jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but trailed 23-14 at the half. They struggled back to lead 31-30; a lead they held until the final play of the game. On that play, Kirk Cousins threw a Hail Mary caught by Keith Nickol who then struggled into the endzone for a 44 yard TD and a Spartan win. In their last three games, Michigan State has beaten Ohio State (10-7), Michigan (28-14) and now Wisconsin (37-31). The latter two were undefeated at the time. Next up for MSU is Nebraska (6-1).

5/7/2/5 Boise State (7-0) The Broncos led the entire game but could not put the Air Force Falcons (3-4) away Saturday afternoon. Kellen Moore completed 23 of 29 for 281 yards and 3 TDs and Doug Martin had 125 yards and a TD on 21 rushes. Considering the Broncos netted 423 yards offense on only 55 plays from scrimmage in 23 minutes 42 seconds, that’s not bad production. Air Force had 66 plays and controlled the ball for 36 minutes 18 seconds, netting 408 yards.

6/6/1/4 Oklahoma State (7-0) The Cowboys drubbed the Missouri Tigers (3-4) 45-24 Saturday. Joseph Randle rushed 14 times gaining 138 yards and scoring three TDs. He also caught one pass which went for a fourth TD. QB Brandon Weeden completed 33 of 49 for 338 yards and 3 TDs for the Cowboys.

7/5/6/8 Stanford (7-0) The Cardinal routed the #22 Washington Huskies (5-2) Saturday night 65-21. And they did much of the damage on the ground. The Cardinal rushed for 446 yards led by Stepfan Taylor (10 carries for 138 yards and 1 TD), Tyler Gaffney (9 carries for 117 and 1 TD), and Anthony Wilkerson (14 carries for 93 and 2 TDs). Oh yeah, Andrew Luck was 16 of 21 for 169 yards and 2 TDs.

8/8T/7/7 Clemson (8-0) The Tigers defense may not be able to keep folks from scoring lots of points, but their offense more than makes up for it. This week they drubbed the North Carolina Tar Heels (5-2) 59-38. Tajh Boyd tossed five TD passes (tying a school record) on a 27 of 46 for 367 yards afternoon. The Clemson defense proved it could score too. Defensive end Kourtnei Brown returned an interception 20 yards for a TD and a fumble recovery 26 yards for another.

9/8T/13/10 Oregon (6-1) The Ducks routed the Colorado Buffaloes (1-7) 45-2. And the 2 points came after it was 45-0 on a bad punt reception. Repeat after me: “Never try to field a punt between the 10-yard line and the goal line.”

10/10/19/9 Arkansas (6-1) The Razorbacks needed to rally from behind to edge the Ole Miss Rebels (2-5) 29-24. The Rebels held a 17-0 lead late in the second quarter. The Razorbacks then scored 19 unanswered points and held on for the win.

11/14T/21/15 West Virginia (5-2) The Mountaineers got crushed by the Syracuse Orange (5-2) Friday night 49-23. Ryann Nassib tossed 3TDs to tight end Nick Provo, connected on another to David Stevens and ran for yet one more for the Orange. ‘Cuse’s Antwon Bailey carried the ball 22 times for 125 yards and a TD and Dorian Graham returned a kickoff 98 yards for a TD. .

12/16/8/11 Kansas State (7-0) The Wildcats routed the Kansas Jayhawks (2-6) 59-21. Collin Klein ran for four TDs and tossed for one with a 19 yard completion to Tyler Lockett who also returned a kick 97 yards for a TD.

13/11/16/13 Nebraska (6-1) The Cornhuskers routed the Golden Gophers of Minnesota (1-6) 41-14 Nebraska gained 346 yards on the ground with Rex Burkhead got 117 of them on 23 carries.

14/12/11/14 South Carolina (6-1) The Gamecocks had the weekend off.

15/13/25/16 Michigan State (6-1) The Spartans upset the #4 Wisconsin Badgers (6-1) 37-31. See above for more.

16/14T/12/12 Virginia Tech (7-1) The Hokies fell behind the Eagles of Boston College (1-6) 7-6 by the half. That didn’t last as Virginia Tech outscored BC 24-7 in the second half for a 30-14 victory. David Wilson had 134 yards and a TD on 17 carries for the Hokies.

17/18/18/17 Texas A&M (5-2) The Aggies beat the Iowa State Cyclones (3-4) Saturday afternoon 33-17. Christine Michael rushed for 142 yards and one TD on 18 carries. Randy Bullock connected on field goals of 25, 47, 47 and 20 yards for the Aggies.

18/17/9/18 Michigan (6-1) The Wolverines were idle this week.

19/23/NR/20 Auburn (5-3) the Tigers lost the #1 LSU Tigers (8-0) Saturday afternoon.

20/19/20/22 Georgia Tech (6-2) The Yellow Jackets were upset for the second consecutive week. This time it was 24-7 when the Hurricane of Miami (Fla.) (4-3) held them to a net 211 yards and just 7 points, well below their season’s average of 517 yards

21/20/10/19 Houston (7-0) The Cougars dominated the Thundering Herd of Marshall (3-5) Saturday afternoon 63-28. Case Keenum was 24 of 28 for 376 yards and six TDs. Coupled with 12 yards gained on the ground, Keenum eclipsed the FBS record for total offense set by Hawaii’s Tim Chang from 2000-04. Cotton Turner, mopping up in the fourth quarter, completed 5 of 9 for 103 yards and a TD.

22/24/NR/25 Washington (5-2) The Huskies were whipped into submission by the #7 Cardinal of Stanford (7-0) Saturday night 65-21.

23/21/NR/23 Illinois (6-2) The Fighting Illini fell behind the Purdue Boilermakers (4-3) 21-0 by half time and never managed to recover losing 21-14. The Illini fell for the second consecutive week to a Big Ten opponent.

24T/25/NR/NR Arizona State (5-2) The Sun Devils had the weekend off.

24T/NR/23/NR Georgia (5-2) The Bulldogs were idle this week.

NR/22/17/21 Penn State (7-1) The Nittany Lions and the Northwestern Wildcats (2-5) went head to head and matched scores in the first half. PSU held a 27-24 lead at the half. Only Penn State scored in the second half coming away with a 34-24 victory. Matt McGloin started at QB for PSU and finished the day with 17 completions on 26 attempts for 192 yards and two TDs. PSU is now 4-0 in the Big Ten

NR/NR/15/24 Texas (4-2) The Longhorns had the weekend off.

NR/NR/22/NR Notre Dame (4-3) The Fighting Irish fell prey to the Trojans of Southern California (6-1) Saturday night 31-17. George Atkinson’s 96-yard kick return for a TD gave the Irish hope. Jawanza Starling’s 80-yard fumble return for a TD took it away. Matt Barkley had three TDs in a 24 of 35, 224 yard performance.

NR/NR/24/NR Southern California (6-1) The Trojans beat the Irish of Notre Dame (4-3) on the road Saturday night 31-17. See above for more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Me? Behave?

A second cousin of mine posted this on her Facebook page.

Explains a lot.

Bats and Windmills, not so perfect together.

I was going through some posts over at Watts Up With That and came across one (Holy irony, Batman!) about how the death of one Indiana bat (an endangered species) has caused a small wind farm (36 turbines) east of Pittsburgh to be shut down at night.

That, in turn led to a blog post about a Canadian project on Wolfe Island in the St. Lawrence River and a proposed New York project in the same area. (Cape Vincent, NY and Wolfe Island are located at the drainage of Lake Ontario in to the St. Lawrence.) The Indiana bat has a documented territory that overlaps some of the proposed wind farm.

(The latter also points out the personal involvement of Darrel Aubertine, New York's Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner. Seems he owns some of the land involved in the development of the New York wind farm project. But that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.)

Meanwhile, alternative sources of energy just do not seem to be as "green" as their backers claim them to be.

Aerie Report, October 20, 2011

Last night's Tiadaghton Audubon Society meeting was an interesting one with Bob and Diane presenting a slide show of their trip to the Peruvian Amazon with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours.

They flew from LA to Lima, Peru and then northeast over the Andes into the Amazon basin. There they boarded a cruise ship and traveled up and down two large tributaries of the Amazon River leaving the ship only to use smaller skiffs to explore the even smaller rivers and streams in search of the myriad bird species the area had to offer. During the two weeks, they added over 350 birds to their life lists.

The entire time they were just a few degrees latitude south of the equator where they had 90 degree temperatures and near equal relative humidity with daily early afternoon heavy rains. While the birding may have been great, those weather conditions alone are a huge turnoff for me! They were not permitted to make any landings for fear of snakes, ants, spiders, scorpions and other venomous creatures. That too is a big turnoff. Then there's the cost. It ain't cheap!


On the way home from Wellsboro, the sky to our south would occasionally light up indicating there was some heavy weather on the way. It had drizzled and misted all day, but it looked like we were in for some natural pyrotechnics along with heavy rain.

It didn't take long and by 10 PM there was sufficient lightening and thunder to have the cats going bonkers. Luckily the worst of it would pass just to the Aerie's west back toward Wellsboro and beyond through the Pine Creek gorge. Even so, we received 1.08 inches of rain.

While we are currently enjoying a bit of a lull in the rain department, the winds are now coming out of the west-southwest and we are, according to the radar, likely to see more showers later today or this evening. There's a massive circulation centered over Lake Erie just about where Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario meet. Last night we got a taste of the eastern edge but the western side of that circulation is a huge mass of rain covering all of Lake Michigan, eastern Wisconsin, much of Michigan, all of Indiana, and western Ohio. And it's slowly heading this way. The forecasters must know something the map isn't showing, however, as they say we have only a 30% chance of rain over the next 36 hours.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aerie Report, October 19, 2011

Stepping out on the deck yesterday morning I spied two large does bedding down on the trail about 40-50 yards from the house. The wind was in my favor and they didn't seem to mind the sounds of the sliding door opening and closing or my being on the deck. We watched each other for over half an hour before I got bored. Ten minutes after I came in side, they disappeared.

I noticed a lot of little birds flitting through the trees and assume they are migrants heading south. Some may be Gold Finches but in their winter plumage, they are terribly olive drab in appearance. They all disappeared later in the day as if they had places to go and things to do off to the south.

I then went out and ran some errands.

My first stop was at the orthopedist's up in Corning to report in on my progress post surgery and get some answers about my arthritic knees. The knees are doing as well as can be expected considering the lack of cushioning cartilage. Ms. Ryan, the PA (physician's assistant) to whom I report, is a personable young woman who provided plenty of information as to what I can expect in the coming years. She is the one who would be giving me cortisone shots (insurers want patients to go that route first because it's cheaper, she says) and, if they should fail to provide relief, Synvisc shots (much more expensive but more effective, she says). She seems somewhat disconcertingly enthusiastic about administering shots but is willing to hold off until they become necessary (it's just a matter of time, she says). Good thing she's so easy to talk to--and cute as well--or she might be scary.

Anyway, Ms. Ryan did answer all my questions, including under what circumstances I should be calling her again to get those shots. (Short answer: When the pain--and there will be pain--won't go away after taking some Tylenol for a day or two.) Knowing how I will likely push myself (the Bolt Hole roof still needs to be finished and firewood needs cutting, splitting and hauling), I expect I'll be calling her sometime in the next year or two.

BTW As usual when visiting a doctors office they take your vitals. BP reading: 111 over 81 with a pulse of 51.


My next stop was at the propane supplier to find out when I could expect my next delivery. If you remember, I had to call them several times at the end of last winter to get them to come up because we were running low on fuel and their new method of determining delivery dates was still being tweaked. The gall at the desk told me that the delivery ticket would be printed the last week in October (That's next week? Time does indeed fly!) and we should get delivery no later than the end of the first week in November. As long as we don't have a hard frost yet, that's an acceptable time frame since we've just recently gone below 20% on the tank's gauge. I'm not looking forward to that bill.


Then I went next door to Agway. I picked up a nice sized pumpkin for the front steps to go along with the mum that Terry purchased last week. It's not Halloween/Autumn if you don't have mums and pumpkins on your steps...even if no one ever visits.

I also asked about the price of black oil sunflower seeds. Talk about sticker shock! Last year we paid in the neighborhood of $16-17 for a 40 pound bag. This year seed is up to $27-28 for the same size bag. Ouch! The clerk said, being Tuesday, there was a 10% discount. Oh well, it's only money.

Last year we went through 10 bags of seed (plus about 50 pounds of thistle and many, many blocks of suet) and I was of a mind to purchase that amount but needed to check with Terry and clear out a space in the garage to stack the bags. After doing both, I went back and picked up my 10 bags of sunflower seeds. Now I've just got to get the feeders cleaned up/built and I'm ready to go.

We get too much entertainment from watching the birds, squirrels and chipmunks NOT to put feed out. And the bears that occasionally visit make life...interesting.


This morning we're back to overcast and cloudy with a bit of mist in the air. The forecast had been for rain overnight and through much of the day--up to an inch according to AccuHunch--but, so far, that's been incorrect.

Never got above 60 degrees yesterday and probably won't today either. yesterday, Terry slow cooked some ribs in the oven and then baked brownies for a church function today. That helped keep the house warm. Today we'll be burning up some of that propane we still have since the sun's not likely to make an appearance.


We've an Tiadaghton Audubon Society meeting tonight. Two of our club members went on a river cruise in Peru last winter and they will be reporting on that. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cellar Dwellers

Okay, we’ve looked at the Top 25--and then some. (See the previous post.) Now let’s take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum: The Bottom 10

Three teams have yet to win a game and currently have 0-6 records. Two of the ten have the week off. Two of this week’s games involve teams in this group facing one another (#112 Tulane against #118 Memphis, and #115 Middle Tennessee State against #116 Florida Atlantic). Will a win help any of these an opportunity to move up and out? Probably not. But should Minnesota defeat Nebraska, or Western Kentucky beat La.-Lafayette, UAB beat UCF, or New Mexico beat TCU, then the winner of that game has a chance to get out from under—temporarily.

As listed by CBSSPorts120 these are the teams ranked #111 through 120 out of 120 teams playing in the FBS.

111 The UNLV Rebels (1-5) have an extra week to prepare to face the Colorado State Rams (3-3) on Oct. 29.

112 The Tulane Green Wave (2-5) host the Memphis Tigers (1-6) Saturday afternoon.

113 The Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-5) host the #13(AP) Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1) Saturday afternoon.

114 The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (2-4) are on the road against the La.-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (6-1) Saturday afternoon.

115 The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (1-4) Oct. 22 @Florida Atlantic Owls (0-6) Saturday afternoon.

116 The Florida Atlantic Owls (0-6) host the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (1-4) Saturday afternoon. The Owls have a chance to get their first victory.

117 The Idaho Vandals (1-6) are idle this week. Their next game is at home against the Hawaii Warriors Oct. 29.

118 The Memphis Tigers (1-6) head to Tulane to play the Green Wave (2-5) Saturday afternoon.

119 The UAB Blazers (0-6) play Thursday night against the UCF Knights (3-3).

120 The New Mexico Lobos (0-6) head to TCU to play the Horned Frogs (4-2) Saturday afternoon.

College Football 2011, Preweek 8

Week 8

There are four polls for consideration this week. Two of them use computer programs. The CBSSprts120 ranks are calculated using a computer the BCS uses the Harris Poll, the Coaches’ Poll and a computer. Both computer polls use “strength of schedule” as a component. This is based upon the teams all ready played and how they have measured up against their opponents. Teams not yet played are not taken into consideration. As a result, it is a very volatile value that will result in these two polls showing considerable changes from week to week.

Ten undefeated teams are left and all of them are playing this week. Most notably we have three games in which two ranked teams face off: #1 LSU (7-0) against #19 Auburn (5-2), #4 Wisconsin (6-0) vs #15 Michigan State (5-1), and #7 Stanford (6-0) vs #22 Washington (5-1).

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

1/2/5/1 LSU (7-0) The Tigers are playing at home against the #19 Auburn Tigers (5-2) Saturday afternoon.

2/3/4/2 Alabama (7-0) The Tide are at home against the Tennessee Volunteers (3-3) Saturday night.

3/1/3/3 Oklahoma (6-0) The Sooners host the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (4-2) Saturday night.

4/4/14/6 Wisconsin (6-0) The Badgers head out on the road to play the #15 Michigan State Spartans (5-1) Saturday night.

5/7/2/5 Boise State (6-0) The Broncos play host to the Air Force Falcons (3-3) Saturday afternoon.

6/6/1/4 Oklahoma State (6-0) The Cowboys will be on the road to face the Missouri Tigers (3-3) at noon Saturday.

7/5/6/8 Stanford (6-0) The Cardinal play at home against the #22 Washington Huskies (5-1) Saturday night.

8/8T/7/7 Clemson (7-0) The Tigers host the North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1) Saturday at noon.

9/8T/13/10 Oregon (5-1) The Ducks head to Colorado to play the Buffaloes (1-6) Saturday afternoon.

10/10/19/9 Arkansas (5-1) The Razorbacks go on the road to play the Ole Miss Rebels (2-4) Saturday afternoon.

11/14T/21/15 West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers head north to play the Syracuse Orange (4-2) Friday night at 8 on ESPN.

12/16/8/11 Kansas State (6-0) The Wildcats entertain the Kansas Jayhawks (2-4) Saturday at noon.

13/11/16/13 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers head to Minnesota to play the Golden Gophers (1-5) Saturday afternoon.

14/12/11/14 South Carolina (6-1) The Gamecocks have the weekend off.

15/13/25/16 Michigan State (5-1) The Spartans host the #4 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0) Saturday night.

16/14T/12/12 Virginia Tech (6-1) The Hokies host the Eagles of Boston College (1-5) Saturday afternoon.

17/18/18/17 Texas A&M (4-2) The Aggies head to Ames to play the Iowa State Cyclones (3-3) Saturday afternoon.

18/17/9/18 Michigan (6-1) The Wolverines are idle this week.

19/23/NR/20 Auburn (5-2) the Tigers host the #1 LSU Tigers (7-0) Saturday afternoon.

20/19/20/22 Georgia Tech (6-1) The Yellow Jackets are on the road playing the Hurricane of Miami (Fla.) (3-3) Saturday afternoon.

21/20/10/19 Houston (6-0) The Cougars host the Thundering Herd of Marshall (3-4) Saturday afternoon.

22/24/NR/25 Washington (5-1) The Huskies head south to face the #7 Cardinal of Stanford (6-0) Saturday night.

23/21/NR/23 Illinois (6-1) The Fighting Illini play on the road against the Purdue Boilermakers (3-3) at noon Saturday.

24T/25/NR/NR Arizona State (5-2) The Sun Devils have the weekend off.

24T/NR/23/NR Georgia (5-2) The Bulldogs are idle this week.

NR/22/17/21 Penn State (6-1) The Nittany Lions face the Northwestern Wildcats (2-4) on the road Saturday night.

NR/NR/15/24 Texas (4-2) The Longhorns have the weekend off.

NR/NR/22/NR Notre Dame (4-2) The Fighting Irish host the Trojans of Southern California (5-1) Saturday night.

NR/NR/24/NR Southern California (5-1) The Trojans play on the road against the Irish of Notre Dame (4-2) Saturday night.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Morning at the Aerie, October 17, 2011

Another 0.22 inches of rain fell overnight. It started sometime around 4 PM on Sunday and stopped during the dark hours after midnight. This morning dawned clear as a bell with not a cloud in the sky with crisp cool temperatures somewhere around 40 degrees. Only a faint odor of a wandering skunk marred the beginning of a glorious day.

The wind and the rain have knocked 90% of the fall colors off the hillsides beginning the transformation to the gray/brown of winter colors. Only the deep greens of the pines and hemlocks remain. The larch have yet to make their transformations to the golden stage that precede their loss of needles.

I felt compelled to build a fire in the fireplace yesterday morning. The winds that were howling through the area all day and night on Saturday, coupled with the overcast, drizzling and finally rainy skies had dropped the inside temperatures to the point where the furnace was kicking on but even that didn't knock the rawness out of the air. The fire brought the temperature up to 70 dry degrees and that did the trick.

Terry's sojourn to the sunny and hot climes of southern California has ended. Her flight home took her to New Jersey's Newark airport last night and she should be driving back to the Aerie this afternoon. We (the cats and I) will be here to welcome her home.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Things Seen on the Road

Driving around the other day I spotted a Nissan Cube.

It's one fug uckly box of a car but the one I saw made me smile just the same. The vanity plate read: "Rubiks"


This morning a truck parked in Mansfield had one of these on the rear bumper:

All I could think was, "No. Haven't got any in the freezer...yet,"

College Football 2011, Week 7 results

Week 7 resulted in several upsets among the Top 25. The number of undefeated teams is slowly swindling as the season progresses. In the Big Ten, #11 Michigan lost to #23 Michigan State, #12 Georgia Tech fell to unranked Virginia, #16 Illinois lost to an unranked Ohio State. #21 Baylor lost to #22 Texas A&M.

Three teams lost their undefeated standing this week: Michigan, Illinois and Baylor. That leaves just 10.

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

1/2/4 LSU (7-0) The Tigers beat the Volunteers of Tennessee (3-3) 38-7. The game was 0-0 at the end of one quarter but the Tigers took a 17-7 lead into the half thanks to two Jarrett Lee TD passes and shut out the Vols in the second half.

2/3/1 Alabama (7-0) The Tide spotted the Mississippi Rebels (2-4) a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a Jeff score TD, but that was all the Rebels would managed as the Tide rolled to a 52-1 victory. Trent Richardson ran 17 times for 183 yards and four TDs. One was a 76 yard ramble.

3/1/3 Oklahoma (6-0) The Sooners beat the Kansas Jayhawks (2-4) 47-17. The Jayhawks kept it close in the first half and trailed by just 27-17, but the Sooners’ defense shut them down in the second half. Oklahoma had 610 yards of offense to Kansas’ 252 yards. Landry Jones completed 29 of 48 for 363 yards and three TDs. Michael Hunnicutt kicked four field goals for the Sooners.

4/4/13 Wisconsin (6-0) The Badgers routed the Indiana Hoosiers (1-6) 59-7. Russell Wilson caught a 25 yard TD pass from running back Montee Ball for the Badgers. Ball scored three TDs of his own on runs of 5, 35 and 54 yards. Jarod Abbreseris returned a punt 60 yards for a TD and Derek Landisch recovered a fumble in the end zone for another as the Badgers proved dominant in all phases of the game.

5/6/2 Boise State (6-0) The Broncos romped over the Rams of Colorado State (3-3) 63-13. The Broncos scored 21 in the first, 14 in the second and 28 in the third quarter. Kellen Moore was 26-of-30 passing for 338 yards and four touchdowns , Doug Martin ran 20 times for 200 yards and three scores (26, 65, and 14 yards) and TylerShoemaker caught nine passes for 180 yards and two TDs and added a 36-yard run on a fake punt that led to another score. And they did all that in 2 ½ quarters before being replaced by their backups. Which explains the 0-0 in the fourth quarter. I thought they might have had to call the game due to snow or something. Boise ran 83 plays for a net 742 yards. Bet they could have made it to 1K if all the starters stayed in.

6/7/5 Oklahoma State (6-0) The Cowboys beat the #22 Texas Longhorns (4-2) 38-26. Sooners’ Jeremy Smith carried the ball just 7 times but he had 140 yards thanks to two long TD runs 30 and 74 yards. With the score 21-10 at halftime, the Cowboys’ Justin Gilbert returned the second half kickoff 100 yards for a TD. It was the fourth kickoff return for a TD in his career. His feat was matched on the ensuing kickoff when the Longhorns’ Foswhitt Whittaker also returned the kick 100 yards for a TD—his second in two weeks.

7/5/7 Stanford (6-0) The Cardinal beat the Washington State Cougars (3-3) 44-14. The Cardinal started slow but they had Luck on their side. Andrew Luck may have been intercepted on his first pass of the game, but he finished 23-36 for 337 yards and four TDs. All four came in the second half. Ty Montgomery finished the Cardinal scoring with a 96 yard kick return which was the answer to the Cougars second TD and final of the game.

8/8/8 Clemson (7-0) The Tigers beat the Maryland Terrapins (2-4) 56-45. They’ll probably have a similar score in basketball in a few weeks. The Tigers fell behind 14-10 after the first quarter and trailed 28-17 at the half. Then they got even. They outscored the Terps 18-10 in the third for a 35-34 lead. Fell behind 45-42 in the fourth and then scored twice--once on an 89 yard kickoff return by Sammy Watkins, the other a 44 yard run by Andre Ellington--to salt the game away. As I said…Basketball. (Watkins also caught two TD passes from Tajh Boyd. Ellington also had a 3 yard TD run early on.) Tajh Boyd completed 26 of 38 for 270 and four TDs. The Terps’ Davin Meggett had two TD runs. C.J. Brown carried the ball 22 times for 162 yards.

9/9/20 Oregon (5-1) The Ducks proved to be too much for the #18 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2) as they dropped the Sun Devils 41-27. With LaMichael James on the sidelines with a dislocated elbow, and even though starting QB Darron Thomas had to come out of the game in the second half due to a leg injury, there were lots of smiles in Eugene. James’ replacement, Kenjon Barner, ran for 171 yards and a touchdown, and freshman De'Anthony Thomas ran for 73 yards and two TDs. Darron Thomas completed 13 of 17 passes for 187 yards (he also ran 4 times for 16 yards) before being replaced by Bryan Bennett who was just 2 of 5 for 22 yards but ran for 5 times for 65 yards.

10/11/18 Arkansas (5-1) The Razorbacks had the week of.

11/10/6 Michigan (6-1) The Wolverines fell from the ranks of the undefeated at the hands of the #23 Michigan State Spartans (5-1) 28-14. The Wolverines haven't beaten the Spartans since 2007. Michigan’s Denard Robinson had a rough time he managed just 42 yards on 18 carries (one TD) and completed just 9 of 24 passes for 124 yards (one TD) with one interception (returned for a TD by Isaiah Lewis) before leaving the game after a hard hit in the fourth quarter.

12/12/11 Georgia Tech (6-1) The Yellow Jackets high octane offense was smothered by the Virginia Cavaliers (4-2) as the Cavaliers pulled off the 24-21 upset. Virginia jumped out to a 14-0 lead and saw it disappear. Then they lead 24-14 and held on for dear life. The Cavaliers amassed 407 yards of net offense to the Yellow Jackets’ 296. Both teams had 272 yards on the ground but the Cavaliers had a huge advantage in the passing game: 135 yards to just 24. Rod Sweeting returned an interception 32 yards for a Georgia Tech TD to tie the game at 14 all in the second quarter.

13/16/25 West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers were idle this weekend.

14/14/21 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers had the weekend off.

15/13/15 South Carolina (6-1) The Gamecocks won their game against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State (3-4) 14-12 but may have lost their season. Connor Shaw struggled all game but managed to find Alshon Jeffery for a go ahead TD with 3:50 remaining in the game. South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore also struggled. Lattimore came into the game averaging an SEC-best 129.8 rushing yards per game, but managed only 39 yards on 17 carries. He did score the other Gamecock’s touchdown, however. He left the game in the fourth quarter when he suffered a knee injury while blocking. Initially diagnosed as a sprain, an MRI revealed a torn ligament and some cartilage damage. Meaning Lattimore’s season is over.

16/15/9 Illinois (6-1) The Fighting Illini fell to the Buckeyes of Ohio State (4-3) 17-7. Each team fumbled three times but the Illini lost one of those and were intercepted twice. Those three turnovers were all the Buckeye’s needed as Ohio kept the ball on the ground rushing 51 times--in 55 plays from scrimmage—for 211 yards—of a net 228.

17/18/14 Kansas State (6-0) The Wildcats remain undefeated beating the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (4-2)41-34. They had to come from behind to do it. The Wildcats trailed 28-29 at the half but their defense stiffened and the offense clicked in the second half as they outscored Tech 21-6 to pull away. Collin Klein ran for 110 yards and three TDs on 23 carries for K-State. Klein also threw for one TD. Seth Doege completed 43 passes on 63 attempts for 461 yards and one TD for the Red Raiders. He also ran for a score. But he threw three INTs, one of which was returned 24 yards by Nigel Malone for a Wildcat TD.

18/20/17 Arizona State (5-2) The Sun Devils fell to the #9 Oregon Ducks (5-1) 41-27. See above for more.

19/17/NR Virginia Tech (6-1) The Hokies beat the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (4-2) 38-17. The Deacons jumped out to a 10-0 lead after one, but the Hokies put 21 on the board in the second quarter and never looked back. Logan Thomas threw for two TDs on 17 of 32 for 280 yards and ran for two more on runs of one and three yards. Thomas carried 11 times for 30 yards. David Wilson also carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and a TD for the Hokies.

20/24/22 Baylor (4-2) The Bears lost to the #21 Aggies of Texas A&M (4-2) 55-28. Ryan Tannehill completed 25 of 37 for 415 yards and a career-high six touchdown passes and Ryan Swope caught four of them, also a career-best. Two of those were for 68 yards.

21/23/NR Texas A&M (4-2) The Aggies beat the #20 Baylor Bears (4-2) 55-28. See above for more.

22/21/10 Texas (4-2) The Longhorns fell to the # 6 Cowboys of Oklahoma State (6-0) 38-26. See above for more.

23/19/NR Michigan State (5-1) The Spartans knocked the #11 Wolverines of Michigan (6-1) from the ranks of the undefeated, 28-14. See above for more.

24/NR/NR Auburn (5-2) The Tigers beat the Florida Gators (4-3) 17-6. Florida turned the ball over three times in a sloppy game in which neither team could get their offense going.

25/22/12 Houston (6-0) The Cougars had the weekend off.

NR/25/23 Penn State (6-1) The Nittany Lions beat the Purdue Boilermakers (3-3) 23-18. While not anemic, neither teams offense could do much in the air. Penn State was just 10 of 23 with one INT. Purdue was 14 of 30 with three INTs, but they did get one TD on a Caleb TerBush to O.J. Ross completion. Anthony Fera had two field goals of 29 yards and another form 40 yards out for the Nittany Lions.

NR/NR/16 Notre Dame (4-2) The Irish were idle this weekend.

NR/NR/24 Rutgers (5-1) The Scarlet Knights edged the Midshipmen of Navy (2-4) 21-20. The Knights’ defense limited the nation leading ground game (the Midshipmen were averaging 366 yards per game) to just 162 yards on 46 carries. Rutgers’ true freshman quarterback, Gary Nova, completed 23 of 31 passes for 271 yards and two TDs. He did throw two interceptions, however, one of which was returned by Navy’s Chris Ferguson 16 yards for a TD in the second quarter. Jawan Jamison ran for 101 yards on 22 carries and a TD for the Knights. Mohamed Sanu had 10 catches for 100 yards. Kriss Proctor completed 5 of 12 for 106 yards but also had two INTs against a Rutgers defense that ranks among the best in the nation in take-aways. In addition to the two interceptions by Nova, Rutgers fumbled three times, losing one—at the goal line by Savon Huggins—in the first quarter.

Rutgers 21, Navy 20

It should have been a larger margin, but RU got stopped inside the 10 yard line--twice--in the first half, once when Savon Huggins fumbled the ball on the one yard line and once when they failed to convert a field goal.

On offense, the Scarlet Knight's redshirt freshman Jawan Jamison carried the ball 22 times and gained 101 yards and one touchdown as the Knights finally produced a running attack with 152 yards on the ground. True freshman quarterback Gary Nova completed 23 of 31 tosses for 271 and two TDs. Sure, he also threw two INTs--one getting returned for a Navy touchdown--but he gained some invaluable experience.

On defense, the Knights continued to produce turnovers getting two interceptions against Navy. Considering that Navy only threw the ball 13 times, completing six, that's quite an achievement. They also stifled the Navy running attack. Navy came into the game leading the nation with an average 366 yards a game on the ground. They only managed 162 yards on 42 carries against Rutgers' stingy defense led by Junior LB Khaseem Greene and junior DT Scott Vallone who achieved career-highs with 14 and 12 tackles, respectively. Junior CB Brandon Jones blocked a 31-yard field goal attempt that would have put Navy ahead with 4:43 to go in the game.

Stories here and here.

Rutgers is now 5-1, 2-0 in Big East play, and will face Louisville in Kentucky on Friday night. Then it's at home against West Virginia on Oct 29 and South Florida Nov 5. The Knights play Army in Yankee Stadium on Nov 12 and Cincinnati at home on Nov 19 before closing out the season at Connecticut on November 26th.

Random thoughts from the Aerie, October 16, 2011

Driving down to Mansfield this morning to get the Sunday papers and gas up the Tundra, I heard an ad for the newest place opening in town: A Perkins Restaurant.

While Mansfield has its share of fast food chains (Taco Bell/KFC, Arby's, McDonald's, Wendy's) it hasn't had a more "upscale" chain eatery. There are several mom-and-pop places that serve breakfast as well as other meals (Grandma's Kitchen, The Black Swan Cafe, Eddie's Restaurant) and a few that are open for lunch and dinner (The Wren's Nest, Cast and Crew, Lamb's Creek Food & Spirits, etc.), but adding a Perkins has quite a few local resident's all aflutter--at least those that didn't prefer that it be a Cracker Barrel.

It's not like there aren't scores of places to eat within a short drive of here. "Short" being a relative term. Could be anywhere from 15 miles (Wellsboro) to 75 miles (Williamsport, Corning, Elmira, Watkins Glen, Binghamton, etc. ). Surprisingly, for such a rural area, there are folks who consider the latter just "way too far!"

And should you opt for more home cooked fare, there are church dinners every single weekend. They rotate the locations so as not to step on one another's toes, so to speak. Then there are the Saturday or Sunday breakfasts at the local firehouse. Some to support the volunteer firefighters, some for the Scouts, some for whoever might need help this month. Or the barbecue chickens at the VFW.

I tell, ya, the area runs on it's stomachs.


Why are we here?

We built the Aerie in north-central Pennsylvania because:

1) PA has a much, much lower tax burden than either NJ (our original home) or NY (where we have the Bolt Hole).

2) Mansfield is a college town/ (Little did I know they would stop playing regular football as soon as we moved in! Or that they didn't really make any sort of effort for continuing education classes--poor homework on my part!)

3) It was still convenient to the Bolt Hole at nearly the same 250 miles door to door we had when living in NJ.

4) It was sufficiently rural for my hermitic tendencies yet close enough to "civilization" for Terry.

5) Neither Terry nor I would like living in the southern heat of Florida, or the muggy summers of the Carolinas or southern Missouri. Winters in Alaska might cause me to hibernate--for real!

6) The Northern Tier of PA is cool enough in the summer, colorful enough in the fall, invigorating enough in the spring, and enjoyable enough in the winter despite all the bitching I do about snow. We like seasons, damn it!

7) Montana and Idaho, early candidates, were too far away...we thought...from family. Now with Rick and Sandy in Portland, Oregon that has become a moot point.

8) While I also considered doing some full-timing (living on the road in an RV traveling wherever we wished), I realized that would be impractical for several reasons. Both Terry and I need a base for our hobbies: stitching and woodworking, hunting require lots of "stuff" that takes up space.

Bridge to Jail

Remember that bridge that was stolen in western Pennsylvania? Well, they caught the two guys who pulled off the heist.

Surprisingly, the paper out of Elmira has a more complete story than the one linked above from Pittsburgh which is much nearer Beaver County.
Police allege that Benjamin Arthur Jones, 24, and Alexander William Jones, 25, of New Castle, used a blowtorch to break up the 50-foot long by 20-foot wide Covert's Crossing Bridge between Sept. 27 and Oct. 5.

They face felony charges of criminal mischief, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

Authorities allege in the criminal complaint that the brothers sold 31,000 pounds of steel grate and I-beams and received $5,179 for the scrap, or approximately 16.5 cents per pound.

They were arrested after the recycling company contacted police.

Ya gotta love this line:
"It's something you don't expect to lose," New Castle Development Co. spokesman Gary Bruce told the New Castle News.
Jeez! Ya think!

The Pittsburgh paper does include this little Halloweenish tidbit, however:
Some people in Lawrence County believe Covert's Crossing might have been haunted. The historical society, in a video about haunted spots in the county, says some residents claim that a beautifully dressed woman haunts the bridge on prom night.

Men Teaching Classes for Women

This just came via email from Bruce. Obviously one of those adult school sensitivity things they have in Massachusetts. ;-)

Men Teaching Classes for Women at

By Sun, October 30, 2011


Class 1
Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat

Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Bitching About It for 3 Hours?

Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Drive Past a Wal-Mart Without Stopping?
Group Debate.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between a Purse and a Suitcase
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Curling Irons--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6
How to Ask Questions During Commercials and Be Quiet During the Program
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos?
Open Forum.
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
I Was Wrong and He Was Right!

Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim.
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield.

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to Shop by Yourself.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aerie Report, October 15, 2011

Another 0.92 inches in the rain gauge this morning. More probably on the way. With 40 mph gusts. Every hour I can see further and further into the woods as the leaves are getting battered to the ground. There's still color on the hillsides, but it's rapidly disappearing.

Oh, and the temperature dropped to 40 degrees last night. Thanks a lot Canada!


I watched a young deer apparently traveling alone as it fed just on the other side of the powerline yesterday afternoon. In the pouring rain. I felt sorry for the poor thing as I could see the water running off its fur. It walked slowly down hill plucking an occasional leaf from the low growth unaware of my presence on the deck since the wind was rattling the leaves and blowing towards me. Finally, however, a swirl of air must have carried my scent in that direction as its head came up and it bounded off downhill and into the protection of the thicket. Or, maybe, it was a straggling youngster who's ma had already passed beyond my sight and she (ma) gave a snort telling it to get a move on. It was too noisy for me to hear from my vantage point, but that young deer's ears are far better than mine.


I think I'll bake some chocolate chip cookies today. The heat from the oven will be welcome.

Two problems with baking 5 dozen cookies:
1) Clean up. I hate washing the tools needed to produce the cookies.
2) Baking cookies leads to eating cookies. And with plenty of football on the tube over the next three days, probably ALL of the cookies will be eaten. (Which is why I picked up more milk this morning.)


Speaking of football.... My Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are currently 4-1 and 2-0 in the Big East and facing Navy at Rutgers today with a good chance to be 5-1. (They could be undefeated IF 1) they had kicked a field goal at North Carolina instead of trying to score from the one--twice, and 2) the replay official had bothered to look at either of those one-yard scoring attempts as some say the runner was over the goal line BOTH times.)

Last year they were 4-2 (1-0) after this weekend, having just beaten Army. It would be the last game they won all season. They lost Eric LeGrand in that game. Paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle on a kick return. Eric was a star defensive player and the heart and soul of that RU team. His current attitude toward his injury may well be what has RU playing so well this year. He believes he will one day be able to return to the Meadowlands, where he was injured, lay down on the field and be able to get up and walk off under his own power. He is working hard to make that happen and who is to say he won't do it someday. Believe!


BCS rankings are out now as well as the other polls. ESPN will make a big thing of them tomorrow (Sunday) night. In the meantime, here are the BCS Top Ten:

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Oklahoma
4. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
6. Wisconsin
7. Clemson
8. Stanford
9. Michigan
10. Georgia Tech

Every single one of these teams is currently undefeated, but that won't last. Down the line, during the course of their regular season, Alabama faces LSU, Oklahoma goes against Oklahoma State, and Georgia Tech must play Clemson. Should Wisconsin and Michigan make it through their regular season unbeaten, they would face each other in the Big Ten Championship game. Stanford has Washington, USC, Oregon, and Notre Dame yet to play. Only Boise State has what appears to be an easy road to an undefeated season.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wet. Wetter. Wettest.

I took advantage of a break in the rain this morning at 9 AM when I went out to get the mail and emptied the rain gauge of 1.42 inches of water. It looks as though we will have another above average month--the third consecutive month of above average precipitation. Let's hope this does not continue through the snow months ahead! (I'm not much for skiing or snowboarding, sorry.)

It was actually quite nice when I went out. There were even a few breaks in the clouds allowing sunlight to stream down and illuminate the fields in the valley to the northwest. It was a promise--fleeting and ephemeral, perhaps, but a promise just the same--of better weather ahead. Just not immediately. The clouds have closed ranks and thickened, and it looks like there might be more shower activity to come. *sigh*

[UPDATE: 12:40 PM Well that promise didn't last long. By noon it was pouring cats and dogs. It has now settled down to a drenching rain that the hourly report says will continue all afternoon and into the night.]

BELIEVE! has a heartwarming and beautiful story about Rutgers' ex-football player Eric LeGrand.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, it will be one year since the 21-year-old LeGrand played his last football game, made his last tackle. Rutgers had just scored, and kicked off to Army late in a game at the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. LeGrand, then a 270-pound defensive lineman for the Scarlet Knights, made a hit on Army kick returner Malcolm Brown and fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae. LeGrand remembers going down and being dazed, but didn't understand at the time how severely he was hurt.

Eric was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He hasn't let that stop his spirit, however.
The amazing thing now is, for a guy who still can't scratch his nose, LeGrand will tell you with a smile -- always with a smile -- why he has so many reasons to be grateful.

He survived an injury that not everyone survives.

He's breathing without a ventilator, something doctors had told his mother would be unlikely.

He spent five months as a patient at Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., where he saw people with spinal cord injuries who could not even eat. Now he's an outpatient there, rehabbing three days a week.

After missing most of his junior year, he's back to working on his degree at Rutgers. He takes classes three nights a week, using an online video conference to watch the lectures from home.

He greets his former teammates in the locker room before each Rutgers home game, then he goes to his new job.

Like most athletes do when they are done playing, LeGrand is now a sportscaster. He does analysis during pregame, postgame and halftime of Rutgers radio broadcasts. He's already done his first TV spot, too.

This is an amazing young man who speaks of when (never IF) he walks again. As Coach Schiano and Rutgers keep preaching he just keeps chopping. Doing what he has to do so someday he will be able to do what he wants to do: Get up and walk off the field under his own power.

I've heard Eric on the pregame, half time and post game shows of the Rutgers' football radio broadcasts. (Saturday's Home Coming Game against Navy is set to kickoff at 2 PM. You can hear Eric and the rest of the broadcast staff on WCTC if you tune in about an hour before that.) He has a wonderful radio personality and is very knowledgeable of the game. Go on over to read the entire story.

One thing missing is a link to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund. If you can help in any way please do so.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Aerie Report, October 12, 2011

Bleh! We're back to the wet, dreary days. is saying there's a good chance of showers during six of the next eight days. Looks like mushroom season is back.

Today was a showery day. That's pretty disappointing as we were just getting to peak color in the fall foliage. Now a lot of leaves have been knocked down by the rain and the colors are all subdued by the darkening overcast skies.

The hills had been bathed in various yellow hues from birch, beech, poplar, sugar maple, and ash; multiple shades of brown from the different oaks and even greens from the locusts (which are always well behind in color and spring leaving) and different fir trees. Now, some of the early bird color bearers have lost many of their leaves. I don't doubt that those early trees were in some way stressed by insect damage and disease (particularly the ash trees) or the copious amounts of water accumulating around their root systems from the heavy, heavy rains we had in August and September.

I'm glad I got the yard work done on Monday and Tuesday while we still had somewhat dry conditions. It will be a week or more before I could cut the grass again. And now that it's under cover, there's at least a chance for the wood to dry a bit more before I have to start burning it. I was a bit upset to see quite a few of the split pieces already sprouting fungus from sitting in the rain. Upset, but not surprised. This wood was from trees felled in the summer of '09. It had already been on the forest floor for two winters before I cut it for firewood. I had hoped by leaving it in full length logs it would have been a bit more protected from the various forms of fungus that are out there, but that may not have been the case. That or my leaving it in a loose heap for two months in the rain after I split it didn't do it any favors. Oh well, even punky wood will burn and give off some heat. And the price was good: nothing but a little fuel and sweat equity, baby!

I spent the day relaxing and reading. I've two novels underway (Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia and Changes by Jim Butcher) that I need to finish as I pre-ordered Terry Pratchett's latest Snuff and Amazon says it's been shipped so I've got to get cracking!

College Football 2011, Preweek 7

Week 7: The number of undefeated teams is slowly swindling as the season progresses. This week, there are 13 such teams in the AP Top 25. None of them are playing one another, however, so it’s possible that all will maintain their unblemished record. (#25 Houston is guaranteed to remain unbeaten at 6-0 since they do not play.)

All the ranked teams playing this week are playing on Saturday. Four of the Top 25--five if you count Notre Dame--are not playing at all. There are games of unranked teams scheduled for Thursday (San Diego State at Air Force at 8 PM EDT and USC at Cal at 9 PM EDT) and Friday (Hawaii at San Jose State at 9 PM EDT). Four games pit ranked teams against one another: #6 Oklahoma State (5-0) vs #22 Texas Longhorns (4-1), #9 Oregon (4-1) vs #18 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1), #11 Michigan (6-0) vs #23 Michigan State Spartans (4-1), and #20 Baylor (4-1) vs #21 Texas A&M Aggies (3-2). The lower ranked team (and even #21 Baylor) may see themselves off the list should they lose.

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

1/2/4 LSU (6-0) The Tigers will be on the road this weekend facing the Volunteers of Tennessee (3-2).

2/3/1 Alabama (6-0) The Tide will be playing at the home of the Mississippi Rebels (2-3).

3/1/3 Oklahoma (5-0) The Sooners pay a visit to the home of the Kansas Jayhawks (2-3).

4/4/13 Wisconsin (5-0) The Badgers host the Indiana Hoosiers (1-5).

5/6/2 Boise State (5-0) The Broncos go on the road to play the Rams of Colorado State (3-2).

6/7/5 Oklahoma State (5-0) The Cowboys are hitting the road to play the #22 Texas Longhorns (4-1).

7/5/7 Stanford (5-0) The Cardinal will head north to face the Washington State Cougars (3-2).

8/8/8 Clemson (6-0) The Tigers hit the road to play the Maryland Terrapins. (2-3).

9/9/20 Oregon (4-1) The Ducks are at home to face the #18 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1).

10/11/18 Arkansas (5-1) The Razorbacks will have the week of.

11/10/6 Michigan (6-0) The Wolverines will play at the home of the #23 Michigan State Spartans (4-1).

12/12/11 Georgia Tech (6-0) The Yellow Jackets will play on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers (3-2).

13/16/25 West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers will be idle this weekend.

14/14/21 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers will have the weekend off.

15/13/15 South Carolina (5-1) The Gamecocks are on the road facing the Bulldogs of Mississippi State (3-3).

16/15/9 Illinois (6-0) The Fighting Illini will host the Buckeyes of Ohio State (3-3).

17/18/14 Kansas State (5-0) The Wildcats are on the road against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (4-1).

18/20/17 Arizona State (5-1) The Sun Devils will be traveling north to face the #9 Oregon Ducks (4-1)

19/17/NR Virginia Tech (5-1) The Hokies are hitting the road to face the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (4-1).

20/24/22 Baylor (4-1) The Bears will play at the home of the #21 Aggies of Texas A&M (3-2).

21/23/NR Texas A&M (3-2) The Aggies will host the #20 Baylor Bears (4-1).

22/21/10 Texas (4-1) The Longhorns will host the # 6 Cowboys of Oklahoma State (5-0).

23/19/NR Michigan State (4-1) The Spartans host the #11 Wolverines of Michigan (6-0).

24/NR/NR Auburn (4-2) The Tigers host the Florida Gators (4-2).

25/22/12 Houston (6-0) The Cougars have the weekend off.

NR/25/23 Penn State (5-1) The Nittany Lions will host the Purdue Boilermakers (3-2).

NR/NR/16 Notre Dame (4-2) The Irish are idle this weekend.

NR/NR/24 Rutgers (4-1) The Scarlet Knights will host the Midshipmen of Navy (2-3).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Aerie Report, October 11, 2011

I woke up before 6 AM this morning and saw the full moon about to set. A beautiful, bright orange jack-o-lantern moon. The adage about red sky in the morning is meant to apply to the sun rising, but the moon setting may be just as good an indicator. Clouds moved in during the day and we are supposed to get showers late tonight an much of Wednesday. Wednesday's showers may be heavy at times, too. At least the clouds kept the temperature below 70 degrees today. ideal temperature for working outdoors.


I spent three hours in the dentist's chair this morning getting fitted for a temporary bridge. It took her an hour just to get the old bridge off so she could get to the teeth beneath that were 1) anchoring the 6 tooth bridge and 2) in need of work because of decay. Luckily(?) she didn't see a need for a root canal ("at this time") on the one really bad tooth. Impressions were taken for the final product, the temp was installed and everything else went swimmingly. I practiced lots of meditation while sitting there. So much, in fact, that I nearly fell asleep while she was working!

She kept telling me to relax my lips so she could put those little cotton pillows in to keep the flesh away from where she was using the cutter/drill. I had to laugh because my upper lip was so numb from the shots she administered that I couldn't get it much more relaxed than it was. As for the little cotton pillows, I'm sure I've seen chipmunks with less in their cheek pouches. I think there were six of those things in there at one time.


When I got done with the dentist, I sauntered over to Yorkholo Brewery for a glass of Pine Creek Lager and a meal of fish and chips. I'm sure it was quite good but I was concerned I might dribble all over the place since my upper lip was still very, very numb.

I did complain that they post their meal specials on Facebook too late for them to be useful for either lunch or dinner planning. Every day they seem to post their specials just one hour before that meal's time. They put the lunch special up around 11 AM and the dinner between 4 and 5 PM. By then Terry's already got meal prep pretty much underway and it's usually too late to alter our plans. The bartender listened, nodded his head and told me that they were just talking about that at a meeting on Monday. They know it's a problem and they are working with the folks in the kitchen for a little more lead time.


Back home I stacked all the firewood and covered it with tarps. That little job took me two-and-a-half hours to complete by which time by lip was no longer numb but I was wishing my knees were. Both of them were complaining something awful. I'll be taking some pain killers after a light dinner and will skip the photography club meeting over in Wellsboro. Maybe I'll make it all the way through NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles before I turn into a pumpkin.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aerie Report, October 10, 2011

I trust you had a nice Columbus Day. Mine was very relaxing, thank you.

One more beautiful day at the Aerie. It never got below 50 degrees overnight and rose to just about 80 this afternoon. Some cloud cover did roll in after the 2 o'clock hour and provided some welcome shade from the very bright sun. That cloud cover broke up as we approached sunset however and the result was a lovely orange-to-pink-to-purple-to-blue pastel work framed in dark gray of the remaining clouds off in the western direction.


I got the grass cut today using the rear catcher and did it in pretty good time--just under 2 hours despite having to stop frequently to empty the bag. The knees didn't complain at all and that allowed me to mow without moaning--or slowing down much.

I also got some of the black locust sprouts that threaten to cover the propane tank and prick the deliveryman to death clipped back. I was a little concerned that the thorns on the branches might actually puncture the gas line if they fell in that direction. As a result, I got hit in the head, shoulders and, of course, the arms and hands. Dang thorns are nearly 3/4 on an inch long and sharp!

When I get back from the dentist's tomorrow, I'll start stacking firewood.


Terry made it to Anaheim without a hitch yesterday. She did have to show the TSA agent what her pleater was all about, though, apparently they hadn't seen one before. (It's a little hand cranked thing that scrunches up material and sews it at the same time so you can smock upon the multi-folded results. Looks something like this or this. I think Terry's is more like the second one.)

Terry's only complaint about the flight was that it left at around 8 AM, took 5-6 hours and did not include a meal or snack. Beverage was included but any food was pay-as-you-go unless you were in first class. I guess it's one way they can keep the price down as fuel cost are bouncing all over the place.

Anyway, she's there with her friends and fellow enthusiasts and having a good time.

College Football 2011, Week 6 results

Week 6 is over and the results are in. Only one ranked team lost to a lower/unranked team this week. As a result, there shouldn’t be many changes at the top of the polls when they come out prior to week 7. Only the margin in some of the games was surprising.
(Polls are the AP, Coaches’ and CBSSports. NR= Not Ranked)

1/2/6 LSU (6-0) The Tigers trounced the #17 Florida Gators (4-2) 41-11. LSU scored on its second play from scrimmage and went up 24-0 before Florida finally got on the board.

2/3/1 Alabama (6-0) The Crimson Tide shut out the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-2). Tide keeps rollin’ 34-0.

3/1/7 Oklahoma (5-0) The Sooners romped over the #11 Texas Longhorns (4-1) 55-17. Landry Jones completed 31 of 50 passes for 367 yards and 3 TDs for the Sooners but it the defense scored just as many points with an interception return (55 yards by Demontre Hurst) and two fumble returns (19 yards by David King and 56 yards by Jamell Fleming) as seven different Sooners scored TDs.

4/5/12 Wisconsin (5-0) The Badgers have the week off.

5/6/3 Boise State (5-0) The Broncos were on the road to play the Fresno State Bulldogs (2-4) on Friday night. Home, away, these are meaningless terms to the Broncos. Kellen Moore had a so-so evening as he was “just” 23 of 31 for 254 yards and 3 TDs. Geraldo Boldewijn, in his first game back from suspension caught two of those. Just what the Broncos need: another big play maker.

6/7/2 Oklahoma State (5-0) The Cowboys demolished the Kansas Jayhawks (2-3) 70-28. Cowboys scored 35 in the first and another 21 in the second quarter for a 56-7 half time lead helped along by 4 turnovers. Brandon Weeden threw for 288 yards and five touchdowns before being removed—in the second quarter. Back-up Clint Chelf completed 14 of 21 for 206 yards and two TDs.

7/4/8 Stanford (5-0) The Cardinal feasted on the Colorado Buffaloes (1-5). Max Bergen blocked a field goal and returned it 75 yards for the first Cardinal score and Andrew Luck completed 26 of 33 attempts for a season high 370 yards and three TDs.

8/8/9 Clemson (6-0) The Tigers rolled over the Boston College Eagles (1-5) 36-14. The Tigers are now 3-0 in the ACC. Tajh Boyd completed 16 of 26 attempts for 283 yards and a TD. He also ran for a TD from 14 yards out before a hard hit to his hop ended his day early. Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro had five field goals or 38, 42, 18, 20 and 47 yards in addition to three extra points for a total of 18 points.

9/9/NR Oregon (4-1) The Ducks beat the California Bruins (3-2) badly on Thursday night. Trailing 15-14 at the half, the Ducks proceeded to shut out the Golden Bears in the second half while scoring 22 points in the third and another 7 in the fourth. Star running back LaMichael James suffered a dislocated elbow, however and that could prove costly.

10/12/NR Arkansas (5-1) The Razorbacks beat the #15 Auburn Tigers (4-2) 38-14. The Tigers lead 14-7 after one quarter but that was all the Razorbacks would allow.

11/10/5 Texas (4-1) The Longhorns got dominated 55-17 by the #3 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0). See above for details.

12/11/4 Michigan (6-0) The Wolverines came back in the second half to defeat the Northwestern Wildcats (2-3). With Denard Robinsons throwing three interceptions in the first half and the Wildcats ahead 24-14 at that point, you might be excused to think there was an upset in the making. But the Michigan defense shut down the Wildcats and the offense scored 28 unanswered points in the second half. Robinson finished with 14 completions (to his teammates) on 23 attempts for 290 yards and 2 TDs. He also ran for two.

13/13/10 Georgia Tech (6-0) The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 21-3 lead at the end of three quarters and then had to hold off the surging Maryland Terps (2-3) to earn a 21-16 victory.

14/15/17 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers host the Buckeyes of Ohio State (3-3). Trailing 27-6 in the third quarter, Nebraska was in danger of losing its second Big 10 game on national TV. That’s when they steeled themselves. The defense shut down the Buckeyes and the offense finally got untracked as the ‘Huskers scored 28 unanswered points on their way to a 34-27 victory.

15/23/16 Auburn (4-2) The Tigers fell to the #10Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1) 38-14.

16/19/25 West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers scored 23 points in the third quarter on their way to routing the Connecticut Huskies (2-4) 43-16. The Mountaineers held a slim one-point lead at the half, 10-9 but that swiftly ended when WVA scored 23 points in a 7: 35 span in the third. Geno Smith threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns. Paul Millard replaced Smith in the fourth quarter and promptly threw an interception that the Huskies’ Ty-Meer Brown returned 48 yards for a score. It was the only TD UConn scored.

17/18/21 Florida (4-2) The Gators got ripped by the #1 LSU Tigers (6-0) 41-11.

18/14/14 South Carolina (5-1) The Gamecocks routed the Kentucky Wildcats (2-4) Saturday. Craig McIntosh kicked a 28 yard field goal in the first period to give Kentucky a 3-0 lead over the Gamecocks. Those would be the only points scored by Kentucky, however, as South Carolina had 639 yards in net offense and scored 51 unanswered points to win 51-3. USC will try a new QB this week. He should have an easy time against Kentucky. Conner Shaw got the start over a somewhat erratic fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia. Shaw tossed four touchdowns, going 26 of 39 for 311 yards.

19/16/11 Illinois (6-0) The Fighting Illini beat the Indiana Hoosiers (1-5) 41-20 in a game rife with big plays. Indiana’s true freshman Shane Wynn returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD. Nathan Scheelhaase hooked up with A.J. Jenkins on TD passes of 77 yards and 67 yards and Tavon Wilson returned a fumble 66 yards for the Illini.

20/21/15 Kansas State (5-0) The Wildcats remain undefeated with a win over the Missouri Tigers (2-3) 24-17.

21/17/24 Virginia Tech (5-1) The Hokies eked out a victory over the Hurricane of Miami (Fla.) (2-3) 38-35. Miami scored three times in the fourth quarter and even took the lead 35-31. Logan Thomas would have none of it, however. Having already scored one TD on the ground and thrown for three more, Thomas would lead the Hokies on a final drive that would culminate in his 19 yard TD run putting VT up at the end.

22/24/NR Arizona State (5-1) The Sun Devils beat the Utah Utes (2-3) 35-14. It was close until the turnovers finally caught up to the Utes. (Utah committed five of them for the second consecutive week.)

23/22/NR Florida State (2-3) The Seminoles suffered the only real upset of the week as they lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1) 35-30. Wake Forest is now 3-0 in the ACC.

24/25/NR Texas A&M (3-2) The Aggies held on in the fourth quarter to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1) 45-40.

25/NR/NR Baylor (4-1) The Bears beat the Iowa State Cyclones (3-2) 49-26 despite trailing 7-0 after the first quarter. Terrance Ganaway rushed 23 times gaining 200 yards and three TDs for the Bears.

NR/NR/13 Houston (6-0) the Cougars trounced the East Carolina Pirates (1-4) 56-3. Case Keenum completed 30 of 37 attempts for 304 yards and three TDs. With 15,895 yards he is now second on the all time list for passing yards. And his 124 TD tosses are third. Man is slipping though. His incompletes this year now outnumber his TD passes.

NR/NR/18 Notre Dame (3-3) The Fighting Irish beat up the Falcons of Air Force (3-2) 59-33. Tommy Rees completed 23 of 32 for 261 yards and four TDs to four different receivers. All together 7 different Irish found the end zone. The Falcons had 565 yards in net offense to ND’s 560.

NR/NR/19 North Carolina (5-1) The Tarheels edged the Louisville Cardinals (2-3) 14-7. Nothing terrible exciting about his one.

NR/NR/22 South Florida (4-1) The Bulls have the week off.

NR/NR/23 Washington (4-1) The Huskies have the weekend off.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Aerie Report, October 9, 2011

I haven't had much to say over the last few days. I'm just enjoying the dry weather with the days going up to the 80 degree mark and the nights dropping down in tho the 30s and 40s. That and football. Lots of football. (Some of which I'm enjoying: Go Rutgers! Booooo! Giants! Common Jets! Get it going, already.

There's no rain in the forecast until very late Wednesday and Thursday...maybe..when a cool front moves in with lower daytime temps.


Terry left yesterday to stop over at her Mom's before catching a flight out of Newark heading to Anaheim for her Smocking Arts Guild Convention. She'll be out west until next weekend before flying back east and home on Sunday the 16th. Until then it's just me, the cats and the sun.


Monday will be spent outside doing yard work. The lawn needs cutting again. Some more plants need pulling from the garden. And there are a few locust saplings that need cutting down.

Tuesday I've a dentist appointment. The Grand Canyon Photography Club will meet that evening.

I'll probably spend the rest of the week in the workshop doing some scrollsawing.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Say what?

Scrap metal is at a premium right now. The price is high and people who are out of work are willing to do some crazy things to cash in. Copper wires and pipes have been stolen from buildings under construction. Manhole covers have been taken off sewers in the road. Farm equipment has been take from around fields and even barnyards. LIVE electric wires have been stolen--or at least attempts have been made to steal them.

But an entire bridge? And not a little one either. Twenty feet wide by 50 feet long.

Bold thieves steal bridge in North Beaver

But one group of thieves might have set the standard last week by stealing a 50-foot-long bridge. State police said the bridge was stolen between Sept. 27 and Wednesday in North Beaver Township. The theft was discovered shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

North Beaver is in western PA near the Ohio border between Pittsburgh and Youngstown.

So if you're out there in western PA or eastern OH and someone says he's got a bridge to sell you...He just might!

One more winterization chore complete

So, I made the run up to the Bolt Hole and back yesterday. Some 220 miles one way, 440 round trip. I purposely made no stops in either direction and, as a result, was in the Tundra, driving, for 4+ hours steadily--each way. Upon arriving at my destinations, the only complaint came from having been sitting in one position so long. My legs sorta buckled upon emerging from the cab of the truck. No pain in the knees at all! YAHOO!

Draining the pipes took a little longer than expected. I would run the water from the lowest point--the bottom of the hot water heater--into a 5 gallon bucket buried in the basement floor and then use a submersible pump to get it outside via a hose. I'd fill the bucket slightly over half full and turn on the pump. The pump would suck the water up and heave it out in less than a minute. This would have to be repeated--often. The tank holds upwards of 50 gallons of water and drains fairly slowly if I want to keep it under control.

Once the pipes and hot water tank were emptied, I poured antifreeze in all the traps and the toilet. The cabin is now prepped for anything Ma Nature can throw at it in the way of subfreezing temperatures. Last year it got as low as minus 20 degrees. With no heat it was nearly as cold inside as out. Did you know beer in the can will freeze at minus 20 degrees?

The entire round trip and duties performed took from 8:30 AM until 6:30 PM. Heh, what can I say. It was a nice day for a ride.


It's that time of year. Although the daytime highs are forecast to be in the 60s, night time lows are int he freezing range. Frost/freeze warnings were posted for both the environs of the Bolt Hole and the Aerie for last night and tonight. Terry found here little yellow Aveo's windshield covered with frost as she went out this morning. The deck railing at the Aerie also had a thin film of frost on it. The zucchini and beans look like they were just touched but they are going to get pulled out today or tomorrow anyway.

Looks like there will be plenty of sunshine for a few days as this Canadian high with it's cold nighttime temperatures settles in for a week or so.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

King of the road--for the day.

Heading out in just a few minutes to go to the Bolt Hole. The pipes need draining and the place needs buttoning up. No hunting there this year.

It will be 220 miles up--call it 4+ hours--and, if my knee allows, the same back. Maybe 1-1/2 hours to get the few chores done that need doing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

College Football 2011, Preweek 6

Week 6 begins on Thursday night and this week we have three polls to consider as CBSSports has decided to enter the fray. They’re selections and placements are, well, curious. CBSSports’ list has five teams neither the AP nor Coaches have put in the Top 25. And the top of the list is strange. Now, some differences are to be expected, but this is sort of weird.

Three games pit two Top 25 teams against one another: 1 LSU (5-0) vs #17 Florida (4-1), 3 Oklahoma (4-0) vs #11 Texas (4-0), and 10 Arkansas (4-1) vs #15 Auburn (4-1). Only the #4 Wisconsin Badgers have the week off among those listed by the AP and/or Coaches.

Here are the polls (AP/Coaches/CBSSports) and the Week 6 match-ups.

1/2/6 LSU (5-0) The Tigers host the #17 Florida Gators (4-1). The Tigers will remain undefeated.

2/3/1 Alabama (5-0) The Crimson Tide host the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-1). Tide keeps rollin’.

3/1/7 Oklahoma (4-0) The Sooners are on the road to play the #11 Texas Longhorns (4-0). Someone loses this week, probably from Texas.

4/5/12 Wisconsin (5-0) The Badgers have the week off.

5/6/3 Boise State (4-0) The Broncos go on the road to play the Fresno State Bulldogs (2-3) on Friday night. The Broncos should enjoy their trip to California.

6/7/2 Oklahoma State (4-0) The Cowboys will host the Kansas Jayhawks (2-2). Cowboys win by 14.

7/4/8 Stanford (4-0) The Cardinal play host to Colorado Buffaloes (1-4). The Luck is with the Cardinal.

8/8/9 Clemson (5-0) The Tigers play host to the Boston College Eagles (1-4). The Tigers solidify their position in the ACC with a big win.

9/9/NR Oregon (3-1) The Ducks host the California Bruins (3-1) on Thursday night. The Ducks will score big.

10/12/NR Arkansas (4-1) The Razorbacks host the #15 Auburn Tigers (4-1). Close game with the Razorbacks winning.

11/10/5 Texas (4-0) The Longhorns host the #3 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0). Sooners come away with the win.

12/11/4 Michigan (5-0) The Wolverines play at the home of the Northwestern Wildcats (2-2). Michigan will win by 10.

13/13/10 Georgia Tech (5-0) The Yellow Jackets play host to the Maryland Terps (2-2). Maryland’s got fancy uniforms, but they won’t help against the Jackets high powered offense.

14/15/17 Nebraska (4-1) The Cornhuskers host the Buckeyes of Ohio State (3-2). Nebraska got punished last week on national TV. They are angry. OSU is confused. Nebraska by a bunch.

15/23/16 Auburn (4-1) The Tigers play on the road against the #10Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1). Home field advantage gives the Razorbacks the edge.

16/19/25 West Virginia (4-1) The Mountaineers play host to the Connecticut Huskies (2-3). The Mountaineers will tame the pooches.

17/18/21 Florida (4-1) The Gators hit the road to play the #1 LSU Tigers (5-0) and will take it on the chin.

18/14/14 South Carolina (4-1) The Gamecocks will host the Kentucky Wildcats (2-3). USC will try a new QB this week. He should have an easy time against Kentucky.

19/16/11 Illinois (5-0) The Fighting Illini will play on the road against the Indiana Hoosiers (1-4). Illini win big.

20/21/15 Kansas State (4-0) The Wildcats host the Missouri Tigers (2-2). Wildcats win.

21/17/24 Virginia Tech (4-1) The Hokies host the Hurricane of Miami (Fla.) (2-2). The Hokies will rebound after last week’s loss.

22/24/NR Arizona State (4-1) The Sun Devils will play on the road against the Utah Utes (2-2) and will come home with a win.

23/22/NR Florida State (2-2) The Seminoles head north to play at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1). The Seminoles are battered and beaten up, but they will still handle Wake.

24/25/NR Texas A&M (2-2) The Aggies are playing on the road against unbeaten Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-0). This one could be a close one.

25/NR/NR Baylor (3-1) The Bears host the Iowa State Cyclones (3-1). Another possible close one. Cyclones have been playing well and the Bears have a hell of an offense.

NR/NR/13 Houston (5-0) the Cougars host the East Carolina Pirates (1-3). Cougars will maul the Pirates.

NR/NR/18 Notre Dame (2-3) The Fighting Irish host the Falcons of Air Force (3-1). Could be close, but Rees been doing well as leader of the Irish and, at home, the Irish should pull it out.

NR/NR/19 North Carolina (4-1) The Tarheels host the Louisville Cardinals (2-2). NC has been lucky. Fairly good but lucky. Against Louisville, they will be more than good enough.

NR/NR/22 South Florida (4-1) The Bulls have the week off.

NR/NR/23 Washington (4-1) The Huskies have the weekend off.