Always tweaking something!

March Madness


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?




Day 2770

Wow. My Syracuse boys narrowly averted disaster again last night. But that’s what they do – just enough to win. Those Wisconsin kids shot the lights out! 14 three-pointers in one game – are you kidding? Next up is Ohio St. I think. Good thing the Syracuse crowd travels well, they’re gonna need all the help they can muster for that one. For the record it’s about a 5 hour drive from Syracuse to downtown Boston. (If I’m driving. If you’re driving? Probably about 6 hours)

After yesterdays whiny little rant, I went and bowled terrible. I blame triple atomic chicken wings. Well, ok, not really. They had no effect. I missed a shot or two early, made an adjustment based on that then spent the rest of the night trying to convince myself that the move was right. Last half of the last game I moved back to my original line and promptly pronounced myself an idiot. Done it before, will do it again. At least I don’t have to throw a bowling ball again till golf season is over.

Oh, and after bowling, what did I come home to? S.O.S. She’d gotten an update from the contractor that’s going to do our roof & siding and tried to tell me the same thing 3 times. I don’t know if she couldn’t remember that she just told me, didn’t hear my comments acknowledging her statements, didn’t hear my questions for clarification (which she answered) or what – but after she told me the third time I had to rather firmly tell her that I’d gotten it all and she was just repeating herself – again.

That, more than anything, is what drives me to working on those math problems in my head. Can’t have a conversation because she’s drunk & kinda slurring her speech. She’s too drunk to connect thoughts remember what was said and process the information. She’ll complain that we never go out with other couples, but everytime I ask her out with friends, she “needs to stay home to do her sub calls”. (i.e. stay home, get drunk and obsessively check her work voicemail) Not every night, but 3 of 4 so far this week. Not falling down drunk (like a few years ago), but drunk enough that it’s painfully obvious to me and I psychologically disconnect. Hence the math games – what would my budget be? Can I swing the house alone? Would I have to find a roomie? Do I just let her buy me out & leave? Sell it and split the equity? (Even though the mortgage payments always came out of my paycheck)

I know what my two best options are, and both of them involve me getting a new address. They both kinda piss me off, so I’m not fed up enough to actually do anything. Yet. But if there is a next time – I will get legally separated before wading into the dating pool. It’s just a mess doing it in the opposite order. Although it worked out well for the guy across the street. Maybe I need to go chat him up this weekend, hmm?

Splish Splash

Day 2045 S

What a wet weekend! We managed to get one full sized couch moved up from the basement for Eric to take to his apartment. Also moved up a dresser, a dinette table, couple of end tables, a lamp or two, pots & pans and some dinnerware.

Still have another couch, a love seat, a hutch, a 3 piece wall unit (6.5 feet tall, 18 inches deep, at least 6 feet wide, rigged with internal lights, glass shelves, drawer storage, open shelving . . .), a computer hutch, 4 printers and a computer. Was tempted to haul the couch & loveseat out & leave them by the curb. As luck would have it, the drizzle started and eventually morphed into full fledged showers. Wet weather is not awful conducive to getting furniture to give itself away.

We are entering the active planning stages of The Bob’ memorial service. First pass through the extended family yielded 30 or so out of town guests. Most will arrive Friday evening, party for a while, do the service Saturday morning. We’re hosting a luncheon thingy immediately after the service in the church’s social hall (same church where Cindy & I got married 28.5 years ago), than plan on dragging all the out of towners back to our place for the afternoon with a buffet dinner later in the day. We’ll divide the guests up for the evening, (our place, Cindy’s brother’s place, Zach’s place and our nieces place) and a few will have to settle in local hotels. We’re pretty sure we can accommodate 20 or so at everyone’s houses.

We’re doing all this the first weekend of May (right after The Bob’s 78th birthday) and have our fingers crossed that we’ll have some decent weather. The back porch will get a workout good or bad weather (smokers’ haven) and the garage will be pressed into service as well. Oh well. Have a month to work out the details. At least the snow blower is out of the garage. Hope we don’t get walloped by a late snow storm.

Back to more serious stuff.

My NCAA Basketball bracket is hosed. I think most folks had a rough time this year. A local TV station is hosting an on-line bracket tourney. I think currently I’m in like 8th place but I have no hope of winning. All the people above me have pretty much the same teams in the Final Four. If I win, so do they. No catching up to be done, ergo no 55 inch LCD TV for me. Bummer.

This article does a very high level summary of basketball’s final four :

I really like the last paragraph:
“If you want a championship quartet with real underdog flavor — and no million dollars in windfalls for coaches — you might have to check out hockey’s Frozen Four. You think Butler is a long shot? It has nothing on Rochester Institute of Technology, which is vying with Boston College, Miami of Ohio and Wisconsin for the N.C.A.A. title.
What’s not to love?”

That’s a good link (as of 3/29) to the local paper’s article on the team after beating New Hampshire Saturday. This is the first time this town has had anything lose to a ‘major’ sports championship. Ummm – except the time the local soccer team won the Americas Cup. And the indoor Lacrosse team won a title or two. But pro baseball, basketball & hockey? All top tier minor league franchises.
I should add that RIT has only been a Division I program for 5 years. They won their league championship last year or the year before, but were denied a bid to the Division I tournament because they were too new to Division I. Or there was a footnote added to their league championship because they were so new. What ever. No tournament. Only 2 words to add: “We’re Baaaaack!”

Seriously shopping around for a new road bike. Been drooling over Trek’s for years. Have recently found out that Cannondale is also a “Made in America” bicycle at the middle grade & up road bike – NOT your average $90 WalMart Huffy Road Master. I need to do more research. I would like to stick with American built products, but I also don’t want to miss out on good quality-for-my-dollar opportunities. Need to be mindful that good weather is coming and I wanna riiiiiiide!!!

F-F-F-PHrozen F-F-Phour

Day 2043

Well. Just to make a miserable NC2A bracket worse, Syracuse (kinda sorta Zach’s Alma Mater) had to go and lose to Butler. That game pretty much finished me off in the west bracket. At least Butler made the final four. So did West Virginia, actually one of my picks. Got a few points for that one.

The big news this week though is that MY Alma Mater, RIT, has made the Frozen Four – NC2A Div I Hockey’s version of basketball’s Final Four. That’s Rochester Institute of Technology, NOT Rochester Tech. Damn lazy announcers.

This didn’t hurt for the Super Bowl, so I’ll try it now too.

Geaux Tigers!!

Updated 3/31/11 to try and minimize oddball stray traffic interested in college sports played on solid water.


Day 2038

1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly?

Since the scale only allows numbers as low as 1, that’s where I’ll rate myself. As an aside, I’ll add that I believe it (superstition) to be a bunch of old-wives tale style bunk.

2. Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Which circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe?

The bike ride that sets a new personal best for either speed or distance.

3. If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at what time would I most likely find you blogging?

I tend to type most of my drive during lunch. Later in the day, at home, I’ll edit and/or add a bit and post from home. Big Brother has a thing about the WP application.

4. Re springing forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you’ve ever been really early or really late for?

Church once. When we went – before the kids started playing hockey back in the 90’s.

5. What are you most looking forward to concerning Spring?

Running outside. Biking outside. Working outside. Late nite romps on the porch.

6. Shamrocks are the national flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick’s Day and worn on the lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty’s Day?

I wore blue jeans with a red, black & white plaid shirt. That is representative of how much Irish I have in me. And no, the plaid wasn’t a clan colors type of thing. Far as I know, Germans don’t do that.

7. One of Caesar’s assassins, Casca, said, “But, for my own part, it was Greek to me,” which of course means he didn’t understand something. Probably his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is “Greek to you,” something incomprehensible or indecipherable?

I was going to use a lot of words to craft a politically correct response for this:

How a woman’s mind works.

But I had to give up. Being a guy, my mind is very linear. Yes, I can manage several tasks at once, tolerate interruptions and even allow for a creative burst every now & then. But once engaged, my mind travel in a fairly straight line. I don’t get the zigs & zags, the leaps or lapses or logic. Oddly enough, I’m having little difficulty following the “Lost” story line. I think.

8. Is March behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live?

Lamb today. We’ve had a VERY mild week with temps in the 50’s an 60’s. I’m planning a couple OUTDOOR bike rides this weekend. I hear all hell is going to break loose Sunday night & Monday and we will be slammed from the 60’s into the 20’s in very short order. Gotta love Spring in the northeast.

9. “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.” -Winston Churchill. If you had one extra hour per day every day, what would you do with it?

I’d use that extra hour for exercise or sex. Wait. A whole hour for sex? Who am I kidding? Bet I could use 45 of those minutes for sleeping. (Then there’s that whole who’s the partner going to be issue . . .)

10. Legend says that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside from real gold or money, what material item would be in your dream pot of gold?

A letter from my mortgage lender stamped “Paid in Full”. Only 13 years to go.

11. “The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.” Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very near you that you take for granted every day.

In my office at work? It’s gotta be the exit door.

12. Just for a bit o’ fun, click here ( and then report your Irish name.

Your Irish Name Is: Fursey Sheridan

“What butter or whiskey does not cure cannot be cured.”

Hmmmm – might have a bone to pick with that tidbit of wisdom at the end there.

Bracket news – I lost 3 of the first 4 games that finished this afternoon. Picked an upset that didn’t pan out, lost on another upset (luck o’ the Irish my ass!) and missed one other one I didn’t even pay attention to. Guess my million dollar bracket buster is busted.