Battle at the Bell 3v3 Tournament

Eric, Shane and Manny formed a team to compete in the Battle of the Bell 3v3 Tournament.  We started at Pulaski Park at noon, hung around a couple hours while the girls games got underway and then got rained out.  The games were transferred to Beekman Gym and the boys matches began about 3:30pm amid hot humid conditions and wet slippery floors. The boys started slow and it seemed like a blowout was in the making as the Westmoreland Swim team aggressively drove the lane for layups.  After being slapped alongside the head they rallied, losing by 3 points.  The 2nd game they defeated a much heralded Utica D-Squad by making their outside shots and taking advantage of size mismatches inside.  The 3rd game vs Rome Select followed a similar strategy by making shots and posting up Dale and Drew when possible. The 4th game vs Pushovers got a little chippy as Shane got pushed a few times and retaliated by shoving the player to the floor.  An initial ejection got down graded and the game got cleaned up and  continued as the boys squeezed out another win.  Finally they ran out of energy and lost to swim team again and were eliminated from the tournament.  A good showing and fun basketball.

2016-07-09 Battle of the Bell 3v3

Eric Unloading Hay

This summer Eric has been unloading hay for our neighboring farmer (s) Wesley and Richie. Eric wasn’t sure he wanted to do it initially, but has enjoyed the money.  He bought a smart(er) phone and a set of head phones and cached the rest in the bank for future wishes. He can ride his bike the one mile to/from the farm.  He normally works 3:30 – 7:30 unloading hay wagons.  They do hay the old fashion way – small square bales and run up an elevator into the hay mow.  There is another teen age boy working with him.  Eric had wanted a membership to gym but this is better as he is getting stronger and getting paid!

Picnic at Thacher State Park

While Eric was spending an overnight at camp with his buddy Jack; Kathryn and I took Barb and Joe out for a picnic at Thacher State Park.  Impressive view, perfect weather and a nice relaxed environment to hand around and chat.

2016-07-03 Thacher State Park

Headwaters of the Hudson

Skip, Jim and Matt put in where County 76 crosses the Hudson.  We paddle downstream, battled a stiff breeze blowing north across Sanford Lake.  We encountered very shallow conditions and would probably be unable to complete our trip if there was 1″ less of water flowing.  Upon reaching the confluence of the Opalescent River we went upstream.  The Opalescent was the clearest looking water I have encountered in the Adirondacks.  The stream was shallow, twisty and lined by large sand and gravel bars that are even visible on Google maps.  We only paddled (and poled) a short distance upstream before turning back due to the shallow conditions. Turning back down stream we quickly reached the road crossing identified by the Opalescent Game Club where we left our take out vehicle.  We decided to continue downriver and were impressed by the prettiest stretch of the Hudson River.  Finally, the Hudson came close enough to County 25 that we decided to exit up a steep bank and bushwhack the canoes back to the road. Matt and I extracted canoes and gear while Skip began the trek back to our take-out vehicle.

2016-06-30 Hudson River Collage

Opalescent-map  Upper Hudson Map

Basketball Hall of Fame

Eric invited his buddy Manny to join his end-of-school-year weekend; visiting RambleWild Ropes Course and the Basketball Hall of Fame.  The boys read through the circle of champions, compared their height, wingspan and vertical leap versus NBA players.  They participated in a virtual reality game, dunked on short baskets and shot from the ground floor court.

2016-06-26 Basketball Hall of Fame

The last time we visited the HOF was October 2006 and Eric was 3.  I told Eric we should visit again when he is 23.

2006-10-008

RambleWild Ropes Course

Every year, at the conclusion of the school year, we try to come up with something fun to celebrate.  In past years it has been camping trips at Soft Maple or our trip out west.  This year Eric didn’t want to go camping.  Kathryn discovered a large ropes course north of Pittsfield MA that looked fun.  Eric invited his buddy Manny to join his end-of-school-year weekend; visiting RambleWild Ropes Course and the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The group donned their gear and took a short introductory lesson from a guide before launching themselves from The Hub.  The Hub was a central platform from which eight different courses originated- 2 easy yellows, 2 moderate greens, two blues (which the guide said were a big jump up in difficulty), a black diamond and a double black diamond.

2016-06-25 RambleWild Rope Course2

Below Manny takes his 1st apprehensive step.

2016-06-25 RambleWild Rope Course1

2016-06-25 RambleWild Rope Course3

2016-06-25 RambleWild Rope Course4

Cedar River Flow

Cedar River Flow is a three-mile-long impoundment in the central Adirondacks. Matt and his friend Vinnie met me in Indian Lake Village at 9am. We drove west on NY 28. A few miles outside town, just after crossing the Cedar River, we turned left onto Cedar River Road.  We drove 12.3 miles to a large field near Wakely Dam and the put-in.  We were on the water at 10am.Cedar River Flow Map

We saw a bald eagle, Bitterns and a painted turtle.  We heard an unusual bird (for us) which another canoeist identified as a Pie Billed Grebe. Grebes are small brown birds have unusually thick bills that turn silver and black in summer. They inhabit sluggish rivers, freshwater marshes, lakes, and estuaries. They use their chunky bills to kill and eat large crustaceans along with a great variety of fish, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Rarely seen in flight and often hidden amid vegetation, Pied-billed Grebes announce their presence with loud, far-reaching calls. We never saw one, but heard it’s calls repeatedly – a bizarre whinnying, gobbling, cooing noise.

Pied-billed_Grebe

There are several mountains just east of the flow – Blue Ridge, Cellar, Lewey, Snowy, Buell and Panther and to the northwest lies 3,760-foot Wakely Mountain.

The weather was perfect with few clouds and temperatures in the low 80s with minimal wind.  We paddled up the flow to the Cedar River and up the Cedar River to the lean-to on the Northville-Lake Placid trail.  We found the lean-to occupied and a father and son fishing so we turned around at that point.

2016-06-18 Cedar River Flow

We took two breaks to stretch our legs and eat lunch.  We returned to our cars without incident by 2:30pm.

Goodbye Building 240

The structure once known as Air Force Research Laboratory Building 240 during the days of Griffiss Air Force Base, is in the midst of being demolished at the corner of Floyd Avenue and Hill Road. Ancillary buildings have already come down and asbestos abatement has begun at the site, with the main building expected to be completely cleared by June. Construction of a Stewart’s Shop on two acres at the corner of Floyd Avenue and Hill Road, is slated to begin toward the end of the year and expected be completed some time in 2017 in conjunction with the State Route 825 project.

I worked on Bldg 240 projects from 1981 – 2004 when the building was closed.  With the demolition moving at a fast pace there was a call for another reunion.

Bldg 240

IMG_2187

goodbye 240 flyer

 

June 2-5

Thursday I took Stone to Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (VP-TECH) convocation.   Students who will be ninth-graders in September 2015 are eligible to be part of the first class of VP-TECH. VP-TECH enables students to begin their college and professional lives more quickly and with more support than the typical school-to-work pathway. Graduates of VP-TECH earn an associate degree in quality assurance and leave the school with the skills and knowledge in the advanced manufacturing industry.

P1060369

Eric went to the Middle School dance on Friday night. Saturday we mostly did chores: cleaning out the wood box, the garage, and then finish mowing the pastures.  Saturday evening we had Cranes over for dinner.  It rained Sunday morning then we had a brief hiatus before the skies opened and it rained and rained and rained.  Eric had a soccer game in Hamilton and it rained hard.  At least it was warm.  HP got crushed, score-wise.  But afterwards we went out with some others for dinner and that was fun.

Memorial Day Weekend

On my way home from work I picked up a truck load of mulch (2 cubic yards) which we spread around the landscaping early Friday morning before it got too hot.  Kathryn found an old kitchen broom and a roller and we waterproofed the south deck and two stairways.  There wasn’t enough left over to treat the north porch, but that has a roof over it anyway and we waterproofed it last summer.

I planted Kale, yellow wax beans, 13 tomato plants, peas, cucumbers, 15 eggplant, brussel sprouts, and three type of potatoes.  Saturday we picked up Eric from an overnight with his friends Andrew and Dakota.  We stopped and got flowers for Kathryn which she planted on Sunday.  I completed the garden by planting pumpkin, acorn squash, and zucchini squash.

I retrieved an 8′ telephone post from our new property and hooked up the brush hog – removing the draw bar for the 1st time ever.  I mowed trails including our two new trails, which need a little more maintenance – removing a couple of stumps from the angle trail and making a turn around on the Kincaid trail.  I took a shot at mowing most of the new property before calling it quits at noon.  In the evening we went to a picnic at Chris and Jack Skelly’s.

Monday I sprayed Round-up along the fence line, cut willows around the pond and Eric and I re-seated the steps by the pond.  The pigeon that was nesting under the lean-to appears to be trying to start a 2nd brood, so I cleaned out the next – it was pretty nasty, but fortunately dry. I got almost all of the new property mowed – cleaning up a lot of wild rose bushes.  I also mowed around Kirkland’s field trying to keep the brush from infringing on the field.