Always tweaking something!



Good ol’ Winter Storm Stella seemed to start a little slowly.  Or maybe just late.  But that gal had some staying power.  Our area had just recovered (almost) from a one day windstorm where the measured peak gust topped out at 82mph.  Here in western NY.  Over 100,000 customers without power.  That’s about 1/3 of out county.  We were spared  from that and actually hosted our son and his clan for a day before their power was restored.

Spent Saturday morning at their house cleaning up some ash trees that fell.  The largest took out a swing set we had just built last summer.  Clearing out the rest of the ash trees is high on this springs to-do list.  The Emerald Ash Borer is wreaking havoc here.  After that, the swing set will be re-built.

Then came Stella.  Slow, steady and with the endurance of a marathon runner.  Tuesday morning, not so bad.  Tuesday night?  Less than great.  Got home to 12″ in the driveway (I love my 4WD truck, yessir!).  Got the driveway cleared out, came in and collapsed.

Wednesday morning got up early so I could clear another 10 inches out of the driveway.  If you’re keeping score, that’s 22 inches in about 30 hours.  Made it to work fine.  Schools closed, many businesses closed.  Traffic was wonderfully light and our road crews here kick some serious butt.  Sure, there was some snow in the road, but for the most part you could find clear wheel tracks to ride in.

I’ve been providing rides to a colleague at work who is up visiting from Florida.  She’s helping me clean up some work that got delayed by another client flexing some muscle and re-arranging my schedule.  She got a front wheel drive car but hasn’t driven in snow for years.  Her hotel is also having trouble keeping the snow from drifting in over their driveway.  My truck gets in & out fine, no way her car would make it.

So.  Wednesday night I drop colleague off at her hotel.  Drive home – house is cold-ish.  Dropped to 60 or so.  Turns out the furnace vent got drifted in and the controller won’t run the furnace with a clogged vent.  Went around the side of the house, cleared out a 4 foot tall snow drift from around the vent.  Furnace is fine & we were back up to a toasty 68 in a couple of hours.

There are another 4 or 5 inches of snow waiting for me in the driveway – I’ll get that in the morning.  That makes our total snowfall from Stella 26 inches in about 42 hours.  Not a record for here by a long shot, but it was nearly double the forecast.  Oops.

Thursday?  Back to normal.  Roads were actually pretty clear coming home tonight, morning rush ought to be back to usual.  That’s too bad,  I was actually enjoying driving on the nearly deserted roads during our local travel advisory.   Guess normal is all relative, eh?


New favorite dish for my top 10+

Tried a new to us dish recently that got added to the list of favorites.  Probably get added to the regular rotation too.

The recipe I started with is here:

Smitten Kitchen


It is a Puttanesca style Eggs in Purgatory that is suitable for anything from breakfast to dinner.

I doubled the amount of tomatoes & sauce ingredients and use the extra sauce the next day on what ever leftover pasta is laying around in the fridge.  Couple of nights ago we did Linguine & white clam sauce.   Had some clams & linguine left over after that, so today I’m having linguine & clam sauce a la Puttanesca.  Pretty fancy name for something being eaten out of a re-cycled lunch meat container while sitting at my desk typing this.  Another time?  Bangers & spaghetti.  Oh – don’t get me going on Bangers & sauteed cabbage.  That’s some good eats!

Now for the bad news.  While eating my second forkful of this lovely fusion feast, I thought perhaps I bit down on a piece of clam shell.  It happens in this kind of dish.    Alas, that was one expensive clam shell.  Turned out to be a crown.  Didn’t swallow it, but I need to find a little miniature baggie to hold it in.  The only good news out of this is that there doesn’t appear to be any extra sensitivity on that tooth (yet).  Gotta call the dentist and see when I can get in – but he’s not messing with bowling tonight.  I am out of here at 4:10 and headed straight to beautiful AMF Gates Lanes for me weekly thrashing of the pins.

2 years ago we set a record for the month of February.  That month had the coldest average temperature on record EVER for our city.  That month we averaged something like 12.3 degrees.  Fahrenheit.  I had on old FB post pop up about sitting at the gate at work @ 8am.  Gate refused to work and it was -6 degrees.  That kinda number right there is going to pull down your average.

This month?  Our average temp is 31.7 degrees.  The record high for February is 33.2.  The last few days we’ve had highs in the 60’s (it’s 64 now at lunchtime) and it looks like we’ll get barely below freezing at night.  That record may be in danger!

Welp, that’s about it from here.  Got to go find a container for my crown!


1373 days till Donnie is a lame duck president.  Unless he gets impeached first  (fingers crossed!)

645 days till the mid-term elections.  Maybe we’ll see a shift away from the right in both houses of Congress.

One can only hope.  Already tired of the ill considered, half-baked, knee jerk reaction “executive orders” that have been spewing out of the white house.  I really, really fear for the environment.

In other news, the spousal unit and I had a fun Saturday night.  Decided to do a few laps in the hot tub before dinner. Felt wonderful, all that nice hot water and the (very) cool winter air.  Came in, changed into dry clothes and went back out to grill pork steaks for dinner.

Cindy went out for a butt, I was collecting tax forms on line.  I heard a big “Thud” come from the back porch.  By the sound, I knew it wasn’t good.  got up, went through the kitchen to the back door and saw her sitting on the porch floor holding her head, blood dripping down onto her shirt.  I pulled her hand away and found a LOVELY split on her forehead.  Started about an inch above her left eye and went straight up into her hairline.  She was asking if I could just put a band aid on it.  Hah.  I grabbed a handful of napkins, that lasted for about a minute.  Loaded her up with another handful and took off to get my act together. Changed out of my flannel pants in to some real clothes, brought the steaks in off the grill (AND remembered to shut it down), turned off the oven with the acorn squash roasted to perfection and off we went to the ER.  Amazingly enough, on a Saturday night we got in and out of the ER in 3.5 hours.  Even wedged in a CT scan looking for internal bleeds (Xarelto, you know).

Bottom line?  11 stitches, sadly against the grain of the skin.  Going to leave a killer scar, might rival the one on my arm from my biceps tendon repair.  No concussion, no cracked skull.  Looks like she slipped on a patch of ice and caught the handle of the sliding door with her forehead on the way down.  Going to put a bigger rug in front of the door, that will cover more of the wood planks and offer better traction.

What a fun Saturday night.



Joyeux Noel


From my family to yours, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Found this in New Orleans 6 years ago, corner of Dumaine and Royal in the French Quarter.

Well, that’s over . . .

Day 4663

I don’t generally wander into politics or religion here.  Everyone has their own opinions and we are not likely to change each others minds on either topic.  That being said, ‘let me say this about that’ . . . – At least the sun came up this morning.  I went to bed around 11 with the general notion that Trumps lead was likely insurmountable unless HRC benefited from some late reporting urban counties – and a LOT of them.

I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Trump was in fact declared the president Elect in the wee hours of the morning.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Seems that Trumps major following was the non-college educated white male.  Trump did say he loved the uneducated, and now we know why.  He bullshitted enough of them to get his ass elected.  Now what?

I will also confess here that I really didn’t care for either Trump or HRC, but figured that the country could likely weather 4 years of Clinton better then 4 years of Trump.  No political experience, no experience serving anybody, bankrupt several times, and hasn’t paid income taxes in how long?  Not to mention that he just doesn’t have the disposition or demeanor to work and play well with others.  And good ol’ Hillary has had shady dealings going back to the Rose Law firm in Arkansas some 30+ years ago.  Too many times caught skirting the edge of the law, but as first lady, senator and Secretary of State at least she had political experience.

I really saw her as the defensive vote – the lesser of two evils.  But in my home state it mattered little, HRC would have won without my vote.  Florida & Pennsylvania were the real swing states this time and Trump apparently appealed to enough non-college educated white males in each state to carry the win.

What’s going to be painful is watching Trump struggle as he learns just how much he can’t do as president.  I’m also curious about just what his plans for change are because none of them were made apparent in any of the “debates”.

Ah well, like I said-  the sun came up again today, we’ll just march on.

Three word update

Measurable snow today.

Catching up in a list. With Explanations.

So it’s been a while.  Again.  Weelllll, the network at work is down (at least the work side of it), so I can stop in and try to catch up with a list.

Lessee –

  1.  Still haven’t replaced the bionic ear on my right side.  It’s upwards of $1K to do it, so I may have to save for a while.
  2. Coulda paid for the bionics, but we decided to go back to New Orleans next April and really finish the French Quarter Fest.  That whole having to fly off to Columbus to get to my mom in the hospital there put a damper on things.  Did I write about that?  I’ll have to check.
  3. Lost a cat.  Not like misplaced – more like UTI so bad the poor thing couldn’t pee.  RIP 20151106_214041.jpg
    Diesel.  He had his quirks, but he never climbed on the counters or tables and he was very tidy with his litter box.  Could only be petted on his terms, but they were pretty good terms.
  4. Got new cats.  Surprised that Diesel was replaced, or that he was replaced by 2? 20160911_100518.jpg
    This would be Tucker on the right with the frosted ears and Otis on the left with the white nose.  Brothers, litter-mates.  Tucker is a little bigger, somewhat dominant.  Otis is the quintessential little brother, takes a licking, counter-attacks well and is usually the instigator in the “hey – what’s in here?” game.  In this shot they’re about 10 weeks old – all of 2.5 pounds each.  They’re off to the vet today for their last round of vaccines and hopefully some suggestions on how to calm down Tuckers squirts.  Had them both checked for worms, none detected.  We’re trying different dry food, starting to wonder if it’s lactose intolerance (they are both flatulent little shits).  Anyone with cats and ideas, leave a comment!
  5. Looks like our summer heatwave/drought is coming to an end.  Temps have decidedly moderated lately, although it did get into the 80’s yesterday – rare for October in these parts.  For the year we are 6+inches behind on rainfall, but the next 2 days looks like it will take a couple inches off that total.  Again, for us, that’s rare to get 2+ inches of rain out of a single system.  A foot of snow?  Not so rare.
  6. Speaking of which, they actually used the “s” word in the forecast this morning.  Possibility of snow flurries in the higher elevations.  at hoome, we’re about 540 feet above sea level – NOT higher elevations.  They’re talking Allegheny’s, Catskills and Adirondacks.
  7. Our State Parks and DEC Parks have a 9 month window for making camping reservations.  In order to get campsites on the water, you have to have your mouse ready to click the “reserve” button at 9am on the day 9 months before you intend to camp.  The kids figured out their schedule (cop & a nurse – talk about weird schedules).  We clicked in abject horror as our first two selections got snagged right out from under us, then finally were able to lock in our Plan C.  Cranberry Lake State Park, sites 48 & 49.  Come stop by next July!
    This is Cecily learning how to climb rocks at our site last July.  She’s a great camper! Looks like the other half of our clan is seriously considering joining us this year.  Our son is a long time camper, his wife is less sure about it all.  We’re trying to get her to embrace the whole “take a bath in the lake, forget the make-up, your hair doesn’t have to be perfect” attitude that goes with camping.  She’s a great gal, not at all high maintenance, she’s just neat & clean (she’s a dental hygienist – of COURSE she’s neat & clean!).  Not something to strive for when you’re camping.  We’ll break her.
  8. Remind me to call my mom.  I have a part to fix her garage door opener.
  9. Got to stop flying to Charlottesville, VA.  Been there twice for work. Like the company and people I work  with there.  Great folks, super product. But both times the trip home was a large scale pain in the ass.  First trips problem was due to thunderstorms in Charlotte, NC where I had to swap planes.  Second trip we got hung up leaving Atlanta by some really weird electrical problems that cropped up every time they tried to push the plane back from the gate.  Ended up switching planes and getting home 3 hours late.  At 2:30 am.  Plus the drive home.  Worked the next day too.
  10. While in Charlottesville last time I tried this “Lump crab and asparagus macaroni & cheese” dish for dinner.  I know!  I was really excited to try it.  Sadly, they fell way short on the cheese sauce.  It’s like the sauce broke and there were bits of cheese curd and some oil, but no real sauce.  Or maybe we’re spoiled at home, I don’t know.  At least the local craft brew was good.
  11. Golf has wrapped up and bowling has started.  Our golf season here is so short, I just get really into the groove of things, get my drives dialed in, work out some of my iron issues (I can still hook an 8-iron like a 3 dollar crack whore), gain back some touch with the wedges around the greens and really start putting well and it’s time to quit.  Ah well.
  12. My brother in law has 3 kids – 2 boys and a girl.  All married.  The gal in each couple is preggers.  Their due dates are in January, February and April.  He’ll go from 2 grandkids to 5 in a matter of months.  We’re at 3 and holding.  Expect to have #4 one of these years, but we aren’t hanging over them constantly asking when they’re going to try.  Poor girls last (only) delivery was pretty rugged, she’ll be ready when she’s ready.   I just hope she isn’t pregnant NOW and it throws a wrench into our camping plans next year!
  13. no 13.  Bad luck.
  14. 4,442 days since I quit smoking and started a blog somewhere. (8/22/2004)  Wow.
  15. no 15.  Outta news.