Sunday, October 18, 2015

And So It Begins...

Woke up to 26 degrees this morning and a dusting of white on the ground. Didn't amount to much, perhaps a 1/4 of an inch, but it IS a harbinger of things to come.

Snow capped Sumac and Goldenrod

Oak leaves with a dusting of snow

Oak, ash, maple and poplar leaves with snow

Deck is coated, too

With so many trees still hanging on to their leaves, it's a good thing there wasn't more snow.
Snow + Leaves = Power outages.

Still, it does look pretty when the edges of the colored leaves stick out from beneath the central coating of snow.

This should all disappear sometime today as the forecast is fro 50+ degrees and plenty of sunshine.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Taste....

Had visitors on the deck again last night. I heard some thumping out there and got up to flick the deck lights on but the bears scurried off before I hit the switch. Sounded like two or three of them as they banged into each other in their haste. Anyway, they got no sunflower seeds from me as I had brought the feeders in before 7 AM. They did leave a mess of muddy footprints on the newly stained deck.

There was a little bit of rain around 10 PM and the temperatures fell steadily overnight reaching 30 degrees this morning. There was a bit of frost on the deck but not on the lawn. I guess the cold air under the deck helped ("Bridge Freezes Before Roadway").

Scudding clouds thinned more as the day went on but at 10 AM it was still just 35 degrees and one gray cloud was spitting snow flakes.

The lows tonight and tomorrow night are forecast to be in the mid 20s so we can expect more frost and perhaps some more snow flurries. Things get a little warmer after Monday with highs around 60 and lows around 40.

We just may get out of October without any measurable snowfall.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

(And a lot of the same old-same-old.)

Spent last week doing a lot of nothing much.

The lawn got cut. The garden has been pretty much retired. (Though the zukes and tomatoes are still producing! In October!) I sorted out lots of stuff in the workshop and am (nearly) ready and able to do some woodworking. Even built a couple of extensions for the hooks that hold the stick bird feeders on the deck and a new tray feeder--although the latter will need some work. And I spent time watching the Mets vs the Dodgers, college football and pro football. Sunday morning I went up to Bath, NY for the Southern Tier Outdoor Show, Did some reading, too.

The Outdoor Show was nice. They had demonstrations of how to train a retriever for duck, goose and upland bird hunting. There were falconers there doing demonstrations of their craft. They had archery games (try skeet shooting with a bow and arrow) and a 3-D contest. There was a .22 rifle range and a hatchet throwing area. The kids had an obstacle course to play on as well as those other things. There were vendors of hunting and fishing equipment. And there was lots of food. I only stayed for maybe two hours but it was enjoyable. Much smaller than the one in February down in Harrisburg, of course--the Southern Tier show didn't have all the outfitters and many fewer vendors--but nice.


Monday I worked on winterizing the Vibe. That required draining the water system and pumping antifreeze into it. And, of course, that required purchasing a proper sized socket to remove the water heater's drain plug and that required a new socket wrench because the socket was a 1/2 inch drive and all my wrenches were 3/8 inch. And I got soaked because I failed to drain the water through the outdoor shower (clearly labeled "low drain point") before I pulled the plug and some six gallons of pressurized water came shooting out. A one hour job took me closer to four, but I got 'er done!


Terry spent a few days down in Valley Forge for an EGA regional convention. She left here on Thursday for a couple of days of business meetings--she's a regional rep--and then enjoyed some classes. She got to see many of her far-flung friends from around the country and came back late Sunday.

She spent Monday over at the hospital in the dermatology ward having a couple of questionable moles on her back removed. She says the doctor didn't seem to be too concerned but a biopsy was ordered as it's standard. She's got a few stitches for each that will have to come out when she's on the road down to San Antonio (SAGA convention) in a week and a half.


Weather has been pretty great with nice cool nights and warm sunny days with highs only getting to the mid 60s. The leaves have hit about 90% color so the hills are beautiful. Only problem has been some real breezy days that have knocked some of those leaves to the ground. It's supposed to be getting even cooler the rest of this week and there's a slight chance of some frost. At least it's not snow.


Even though the knees and back are feeling fine--only moderate pain--I've been a slacker with regards to hunting. Haven't even lifted the bow to check the sights let alone gone out in the woods. Don't feel that I'm missing much as I've seen only a couple of does in the yard in the last two weeks. There's still time, however. AND muzzelloader season starts on Saturday.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunny Sunday. Surprise!

So, since I wrote yesterday afternoon, the NY Mets have suffered a no hitter (Max Scherzer's second of the season in which he tied Nolan Ryan's 17 strikeout record for a no-no) and went 7 + innings without scoring a run on the final regular season game of the year. Lucky for them, the Mets' pitchers were almost as good as Scherzer today. They held Washington hitless into the 7th inning and tossed a shutout punctuated by Granderson's solo home run in the bottom of the 8th.

The last day victory gave the Mets 90 wins for the season, put them 7 games ahead of second place Washington, and sent them into the post season with a wee bit of momentum.

The Mets begin their post season play at Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Friday, October 9th. Jacob deGrom, who started today's game and threw 4 hitless innings while striking out 7, will be on the mound. Noah Syndergaard will start game two. Mat Harvey will start game 3 back in New York.


Oh yeah, the Jets (3-1) and Giants (2-2) won today.


I spent a couple of hours this morning over at the range. It was the Sportsmen's Club's annual work day. Guys were there to repair shooting tables and rails, weedwack around the target pits and do general repair and maintenance. I have been a member for a couple of years but have never taken advantage of the range. It's got rifle targets out to 200 yards as well as a pistol area and a rim fire area. They have sponsored pistol competitions and various types of rifle competitions. (A running deer competition will start on November 1.)

In the past, I would take my rifles up the Bolt Hole and shoot on the 50-yard  lane that I created. Now that we've sold that place, I need to find some other place to shoot. Besides. I couldn't take my pistols up north into New York.


Today's weather was surprisingly nice. The last couple of days were cold, rainy and dreary. We had 0.45 inches of rain in the gauge this morning. Today, contrary to the forecast earlier this week, we had clear, sunny skies with a high going up to 65 degrees. All with Joaquin heading further and further out to sea. I bet there are lots of folks in the journalism community who are very disappointed. Except for the exceptional monsoon-like rainfall in South Carolina, they have no "disaster" to write about.

Sunday's 8 PM prediction fr Joaquin

Saturday, October 03, 2015

That Was The Week That Was

I finished busting my butt and staining the deck on Sunday (September 27) and then retired with my bourbon and pro football. The stain calls for 24-48 hours of curing before walking on the surface. It also says to not apply if there's rain expected within 24 hours. I got through the entire week with no rain and pretty low humidity. In fact, it didn't rain until late Monday night...more than 36 hours after I finished staining. I must say that the deck looks good.

The only part I didn't stain was the top surface of the top rail. I had hit that with a different stain about a month ago and it really would need sanding before it gets stained. That will have to wait until spring. Why? Well, it has rained every day since Monday. (We had 1.95 inches of rain in the gauge on Wednesday morning, October 1.) In addition, the temperature hasn't climbed above 45 degrees these last three days and it may not get much higher for a good long time.


I began to wonder what was up when Adam didn't show up on Monday or Tuesday. (He was supposed to return from Peru late Sunday.) Terry had a meeting with her church ladies on Tuesday and hear the sad news. Adam's dad, Don, died on Friday. He had been battling lung disease that had been destroying his ability to function. While Adam had told us he was showing some improvement, Don passed quietly at home. Don was 66 years old.

Don was the contractor whom we hired to build the Aerie back in 2006. He, Adam and I were the only three on the job from start to finish. He and his wife, Deb, allowed me to stay with them during the building process from April through November. I got to know them and their family quite well.


Terry and I sat down on Sunday afternoon to activate our new iPhones. We had no difficulty setting hers up but when I tried to set mine up, the phone said there was no sim card inside. There was, however, so I had to wait until Monday to head for the Verizon store to find out if the problem was the phone or the card. The very helpful young lady at the store took the sim card out of my old phone and installed it into my new phone. At that point the new phone saw the sim card and I was in business. She then started the set up process and sent me home where my wifi is faster than theirs to finish retrieving stuff from the Cloud. I left the old phone with them as part of their rebate/recycle program. Didn't get as much for it as I was originally promised, but, hey, it had a faulty sim card.

To sum it up, both our phones are iPhone 6ses and both are now activated. Life is good.


I've been watching the progress of Hurricane Joaquin this week. Initially predicted to impact the Atlantic coast somewhere between the Chesapeake and Long Island, it has slowly been shifted further and further off shore. This is due to the presence of a stationary front just off the coast that is steering the storm.
Friday, Oct 2: Stationary front runs from Florida to Nova Scotia

As of 5 PM this evening, the storm will stay well out to sea.
Predicted storm track at 5 PM Saturday.

Even so, the storm is throwing lots and lots of moisture on shore and it has been raining hard from Georgia to Boston for several days. And that will continue for a couple of more days before the storm moves far enough north. I saw a prediction that Columbia, South Carolina may end up with as much as 18 inches of rain before it's all over.


The Mets...*sigh*...gotta love 'em. After clinching the NL East title and a place in the playoffs, they have been...well, horrible. They've dropped three to the Phillies on the road and one to the Nationals at home. (A second game will be played tonight and the final will be on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.) A few players have been dinged up, some of the young pitchers are being sat down and "saved" for the playoffs and, frankly, they have been playing like they've got hangovers from the celebration or something. Snap out of it guys!