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Monday, August 27, 2012

Tropical Storm Irene

August 28, 2011
Looking Out My Back Door

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Eastern Garter Snake

Thamnophis sertalis
In my youth, I had pet garter snakes, rabbits, bull-frogs. You name it.  I enjoyed sandlot baseball, exploring in the woods, and playing hockey in the canal.  I consider myself quite information technology literate, yet I think the youth of today are spending far too much time warping their brains through an addiction to computer games.  Moms and Dads of the Plateau, I urge you to boot 'em out the door!  It'll do them good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Motion Detector Madness

This posting is paen to a technology I have been using in a big way: motion detectors. There are two floodlights in a tree at the end of our driveway connected to a motion detector so we can drive up in pitch dark, park the car and find our way to the house....

There are two separate floodlights connected to motion detectors on the deck that wraps around our house, so that once you've navigated from the driveway in the pitch dark you can find your way inside....

There's a First Alert SensorPlug Motion Sensor Outlet Plug  in our loft so that a light turns on as you enter the stairs leading to the loft.  And a Zen Light LED Motion Detector  for the hallway that leads to that loft is on order.

And, of course, there's a Mr. Beams Wireless LED Spotlight with Motion Detector  in the outdoor shed.  This one uses 3 "D" batteries (and LEDs have a very low current drain, so they'll last a long time) and can thus be used where there's no A/C power (like my shed).

Motion detector madness yes, but cheaper and easier than wiring and drilling.  And... using a flashlight to find my way from the car to the house in the pitch dark here in the deep woods of the Rensselaer Plateau!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Take a Hike! (at GLSP)

Click to Enlarge (as with all photos on this blog)

The runners in Sunday's "Run for the Roses" at Grafton Lakes State Park, were given a bag full of goodies. One of items was this Grafton Lakes State Park map. Even though I drive by there every day, it's easy to forget the wealth of recreational activities GLSP makes available -- including a good number of beautiful hiking trails. Until studying this map this morning, I didn't realize that Dunham Reservoir is a part of the park and that there is a trail leading to, and around it, it from Route 2.

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 "Run for the Roses" 5K Race in Grafton

I ran in the 27th annual Run for the Roses at Grafton Lakes State Park yesterday. Lots of fun even though the last half of the course is uphill! I only trained haphazardly, but it got me in gear to get more serious about getting in shape. The nice thing about this run is that the proceeds go to the Grafton Community Library and the Courtney Carelli Foundation for Literacy for students at Berlin High School.  All runners are given a book and a beautiful long-stemmed rose at the finish line.

Funny things can happen at events like this. After the race, I was looking at the posted results and noticed a name (and corresponding age) of a guy I went to college with 40 years ago. I tracked him down by the assigned number on his shirt and we had fun reconnecting.

Troy Record article on the race (including comments from yours truly).

Race results on the Grafton Community Library blog. Note it looks like no one from Grafton ran in the race. Not so -- many of the folks listed as Petersburgh and Cropseyville are from Grafton because the organizers listed their mailing addresses.  I suggest they ask for both the town of residence and mailing address in the application form next year and list town of residence in the results.  (Like the Beach Boys tune "Be True to Your Town" or was it "Be True to Your School?"). However, I must say the organizers and volunteers did a truly outstanding job.  Running an event like this is hard work.

Next year, I'll try to remember to publicize the race in advance
Here's a scan of the course. It starts at the lake parking lot, proceeds to Route 2, goes up Route 2 and Dumbleton Road, back into the park and finishes up at the lake parking lot again.