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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"It doesn't change..."


I tend post to this blog a lot more in late spring and summer.  The rest of the year, I try to do at least one per week.  This week, I'm a bit low on ideas so I've decided to rip off a post from my good buddy Dave's Bleecker Mountain Life blog.  I think it's perfect for Thanksgiving.

Dave and I grew up three doors from each other in Waterford.  We built forts and explored frog ponds together.  We endured four years of Miss Filer's math classes together.  We ran cross-country together.  We went to Plattsburgh State together, where everyone was convinced we were brothers.  Now, we both have beards and wear baseball caps because, as Dave says, "Show me a guy with a hat and a beard and I'll show you a bald guy."  Then... like so many guys do, we had virtually no contact with each other for almost forty years.  Now we've reconnected.  We're Facebook friends and enjoy each other's blog.  We have similar views on most things, to the point where it's scary.  We're both liberals living in conservative rural areas.  Anyway, I digress.  Dave recently posted about Jack English and I loved it.  From Dave's blog:

"Jack English, 93 years old, lives in an off grid cabin that he built himself, hewing the lumber from his land in central California’s Santa Lucia Mountains. He's five miles from the nearest road.

Favorite quote- "It's not that I don't like people.  I do.  But I don't like swarms of 'em."

Second favorite- "She told me you go down there and live there now if you want to, and that's what I done."

Third favorite - “I’m just different than most people. I’d rather go back than go ahead.”

Jack English is a curiosity and and oddity to most people.  He seems pretty normal to me.  I don't get it."

He seems very normal to me Dave, he knows what it's all about -- thanks for sharing!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Shed Man Delivers!

Well... it was tight!  Fortunately, Colby and Tristan from The Shed Man's New Lebanon, New York facility were highly skilled and up to the challenge of getting our new Elite A-Frame Dormer shed through some rather tight turns, low hemlock branches and antenna coaxial cable.

The shed is quite large at 10'x16'.  We went with dark brown and forest green shingles, the optional work bench, the door upgrade and transome window.  Delivery was one month from order.  I'm very pleased with the quality and value of the shed and extremely impressed with the installation skill of the crew (Colby and Tristan).  The shed blends right in with the environment.  The color and shingles match a historic Taconic Lake Association building.  The forest green shingles are also a perfect match to those on our house.

Duane Goodermote Excavation prepared this stone base.
Duane Goodermote and his assistant, Jarod Bouchard, did a fabulous job constructing the base.  I was delighted with the wall he created from the boulders dug out while preparing the base (how did the Manor of Rensselaerwyck renters ever farm up here?).  We had been very impressed with the work Duane and Jarod did on our raised bed septic system last year.  We also had them put in a base for a new garage that will go in next Spring.  I highly recommend Duane. 

Shed Man headed for the driveway.  Just under the phone line...

Coming down the driveway.  Some pruning required!

Cab adjustment for driveway "L"...

Tristan: "It's gonna be a tight fit Colby!"
 
"Get her under the hemlocks!"
 
"Raise that cable!"
 
"Comin' in for a landing!"

The trailer is amazing: up and down, back and forth....

"Perfect!  Let her down!!"
 
I'm glad we went with the optional transome window.  Beautiful view of the lake from the workbench!

 
Give those guys a nice tip, they earned it!
 

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's Not Dark Yet.... but it's gettin' there...

What's up with changing the time twice yearly?  Twice a year I have to reset my biological clocks.  And they're starting to get rusty!

The idea of daylight saving time was dreamed up by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.  Old Ben wrote an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” that proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier to make use of the morning sunlight.  Thank you very much Ben.  And ah... how many of you readers are burning candles for anything but your fancy dining pleasure?  I don't think 'ol Ben had a backlit iPad or Kindle.  Then, Daylight Savings Time was first adopted to replace artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I.  Great Britain and the United States thought this was a "super" idea and quickly followed suit.

Let's get over it.  Please join the "End Time Change Nonsense" movement.  Last time I checked,  changing the time didn't change the amount of time in a day or the amount of sunlight in a day.  Kind of like a mathematical equation.  Why are we continuing to do it?

Click here to read the full history of this cruel joke. 

Hmmm.... maybe I'll write to Congressman Chris Gibson requesting his support of the nascent "End Time Change Nonsense" movement.  He'll at least be happy to read it isn't another one of my rants on gun control or what to do about Ted Cruz.  And, who knows, maybe it'll be the bipartisan issue that turns the corner on dysfunctional Washington politics. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Birch Tree Down!


I awoke at 4 a.m. to the sound, outside in the distance, of our emergency generator and a howling wind.  I instinctively reached for my cell phone and notified National Grid of the power outage.  This is the first power line slaughter of the season.  What kind of joke is that?  The photo above was taken at 5:52 a.m. on the dirt road about a hundred yards from our driveway.  Oh well, I've been through this before.  It's "fate on the lake," I told told myself in my pre-coffee stupor.  No reason to get excited, there must be someway out of here so I can get myself to work, the hour is getting late.  And, indeed, I found relief from all this early morning confusion.

I knew we were in for trouble when I received a storm alert notice from National Grid in my e-mail last night.  Click here if you're a National Grid customer and would like to subscribe to their storm notification feed.  Rensselaer County also has an RSS feed that is helpful for things like storm and highway closing notifications (Click here).