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Getting Latitude / Longitude from Google Maps

Previously users had to paste custom JavaScript into the URL box of Google Maps to be able to display the latitude and longitude of an address. With the latest version of Google Maps, this is no longer required.

  1. To begin search for your desired location as you normally would.
  2. Next, right click the red “A” pin displayed on the map. Select What’s here?
  3. Once you’ve clicked What’s here?, Google Maps will automatically display the (latitude, longitude) pair in the Address search bar at the top of the Google Maps page.

Conversely, if you have a lat, long combination you can plug that into Google Maps to show a location:  43.27069053158456, -75.28080940246582

Dirty Girls 2013

Kathryn re-joined the Dirty Skirts team for another Dirty Girls run in the Buffalo area.  This time the race was held at the Elegant Builders Raceway Park, a racecourse (i.e. level ground).  The Dirty Girl obstacle course is not timed or competitive so one can go at their own pace.  She ran the 5k mud run in 37 minutes with someone she met at the race, Nina, and then re-joined her team to repeat the last third of the race course.

Dirty Girls Group

Before and after pictures of Kathryn.

Kathryn Before the Race Kathryn After the Race

September Garden

The end of our gardening season is coming.  We have had a couple nights of frost and needed to cover the garden.  Out of view of this scene are acorn squash. Shown in the foreground are yellow wax beans that I planted the yellow wax beans late as replacements for the peas (largely eaten by the dogs).

Then there is a row of brussel sprouts, broccoli and volunteer cherry tomatoes.  The brussel sprouts will continue to grow into snow season; we are trimming small broccoli heads; the cherry tomatoes were a mistake.  I should have pulled them out to keep them from spreading all over the garden.

There are three rows of tomatoes Burpee Early Girl and Roma tomatoes. Finally a row of prolific green beans.


Eric and I built a fire pit in the backyard and held a small bonfire while he and I played badminton over the clothes line.


Canning the Garden

Kathryn has been canning in the wanning days of summer

  • 26 quarts of peaches
  • 29 pounds of blueberries
  • 12 quarts of cherries
  • 29 pints of green and yellow wax berries
  • 3 pints of elderberry jam and 3 pints of elderberry tonic
  • 7 quarts of tomatoes

While we were in Utah the rabbits ate the beans down, but they recovered nicely and we are now drowning in green beans.


If you are at our house this Thanksgiving there is a good chance that green beans will be on the menu.


The cook had some spirits to help her get through the process.


Yummy tomatoes.  Probably there will be more to come.


Soft Maple Water Swing

This past weekend we took our pop-up camper to Soft Maple Campground.  Kathryn and Eric took the camper up on Thursday afternoon and then returned to participate in our Thursday night Sand Fleas volleyball playoffs.  Friday morning Eric played in his scramble golf party.  After golf, Kathryn loaded up the dogs, picked up Jack and they drove up to Soft Maple.  I drove up to Soft Maple on Friday night following the AYSO coaches meeting arriving about 9pm.

Saturday the boys went swimming in both the morning and afternoon.  In the afternoon they heard about a rope swing on the island just out from Soft Maple campground.  Before dinner we launched the canoe and paddled out to the rope swing where another family was enjoying the plunge.  We watched for a moment or two and then the family left and Jack/Eric had the rope swing to themselves.  Below, Eric swings out from the bank.


The following day, Sunday, the boys re-visited the rope swing and they ‘competed’ in making creative jumps called Tarzan, Old lady crossing the street, Superman with his cape on fire, Escape from a burning apartment, largest splash and highest splash.  Below Jack prepares for his jump and completes a nice ‘pencil jump’.

P1010181  P1010187

Eric makes some interesting moves.

P1010186  P1010196

P1010198  P1010178

Fishing in Robert’s Pond

Everyone got into the act fishing for bass, blue gills and “bunkers” in Robert’s Pond.  Eric was fishing for bass.


Barbara and Kathryn did a lot of chatting during Barbara’s fishing stint.


Kim’s daughter and friends were novice fishers and got really excited when they caught a fish.  Instead of fishing for ‘lunkers’ they said they were fishing for ‘bunkers’.


Fishing Whetstone Reservoir

Eric and I did a little large mouth bass fishing from our canoe at Whetstone Reservoir (,+Lowville,+NY+13367/@43.6896942,-75.4966286,16z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x89d8ee883af2a5d3:0xe85596d7e58bf05a )

Whetstone Reservoir Image

Looking back towards the dam you can see wind turbines in the distance.


The reservoir is shallow with lots of cover in the way of weeds and stumps.  We ended up fishing with weedless plastic rigs.


After fishing upwind for an hour we turned around and headed back to the car hoping to avoid the pending rain.  We ended up fishing about 1/2 back and paddling madly for the rest.  We got loaded up just as the hardest rain hit.  It was a nice fishing trip.

Checking out the Elderberries

This weekend we had consecutive days of dry sunny weather so we waterproof the deck using 5 gallons of an oil based clear waterproofing. All told there was 1,145 square feet of  deck floor and stairs, not counting the railings.


After waterproofing the deck Kathryn, the dogs and I took a short walk around our woods to check out the elderberries.  The dogs are always glad to go for a walk.  Cullen is particularly happy since he found the deer bones 1st.


Kathryn checks out the elderberry bushes along the north trail.  It seems the fruit is sparse and small.


The catnip behind the ear is effective vs. mosquitoes, but not deer flies.


Back home we sat on the porch for a bit while the dogs cooled down.



The last week of our vacation people were sending us text messages and pictures of what was happening back here, which was significant flooding, much of it in the Herkimer/Ilion/Fort Plain region but also some south and west of Utica.  We got home early Tuesday morning and it wasn’t long before Kathryn got called by the Red Cross; except for one day of  work and one day Jen and I had promised to take Eric to Water Safari.   Since we got home the weather has been hot and humid and, fortunately, the rain seems to have moved out of the area for a while.  But it is hot (90) with high humidity (82%).

Eric finished up lacrosse with a bang, playing very well, contributing both assists and some goals.  Now he is going to golf ‘camp’ on Friday  mornings and playing pick-up basketball league on Monday nights.

Kathryn’s long ago and long time neighborhood friend, Judy came to visit with her grandson, Christopher who was visiting her from Georgia.  Kathryn and Eric met Judy and Chris at the train station in Rome on Sunday, took them to lunch and then visited Fort Stanwix.  Monday the boys went swimming at Trenton Town Park and then played pickup basketball. The boys got along very well, which gave Kathryn and Judy time to just visit.  They returned to Rochester via train on Tuesday.

We are back into volleyball with mixed success; we got rained/thunderstormed out of a Wednesday night match which we made up the following week, but that entailed playing 8 games vs. Connie and Dale Postal’s teams.  I think we split our games.  Thursday night we had a single early game vs. Roger’s team and prevailed 2-1 in close games.

Eric is doing swim lessons the last two weeks of July and we are planning to go to Maine with the Helmers in August.  Summer is flying by and we haven’t done any camping, let alone canoe camping.

Thursday Jeanne, Barbara and Nathan arrived in the afternoon.  Jeanne and Barbara took the boys for ice cream while Kathryn and I played an early volleyball game.  Friday Kathryn, Jeanne, Nathan and Eric went tubing down the West Canada Creek.  Bradley Grogan, Hobart and Perry replaced our jet pump with a submersible pump during the heat of the morning.  In the evening we went shopping at Gander Mtn and went to dinner at Outback Steak House enjoying the air conditioning in both places.

We had a violent thunderstorm upon our return to our house, but it lowered the temperatures.  Saturday the boys went fishing and swimming in the pond before returning home.

Sunday I got a truckload of mulch which we put around the house.  We plucked 100+ fishworms from the mulch near the peonies and roadside trees.  We fixed the dock in the pond by sealing the plugs with silicone and re-fastening each barrel separately.  Hopefully the barrels will stay sealed and float the dock.

Utah Vacation

First of all, welcome. You are about to embark on a wonderful journey, one that 96.4% of first-timers repeat again and again. We want you to feel that you will have a trusted advisor leading you on this journey. If we get you on the right ship, you will discover a new kind of vacation experience that will take you to new worlds with very little hassle in unsurpassed comfort.


Perhaps no portion of travel is as prone to exaggeration and misleading pricing information as the cruise industry. Look around the Internet and you will find scores of sites claiming to offer the “best deals”, “deepest discounts”, and “fantastic savings”. The cruise lines own advertising often features an incomplete price offered on the lowest possible category of accommodation.

Our cruise section is designed to help you steer a straight course through all of the phony hyperbole and come-on-pricing, we are here to help you find the best Sunset Dinner Cruises.

For all but a handful of niche lines, all cruise lines offer discounts based on projected yield per sailing. For instance, repositioning sailing’s at the beginning or end of a season carry far higher discounts than prime season space.

Any smart marketer who wants to assume that the public is naive can play the Internet price game, promising a one-week cruise for $699. Or less.

The fact is that all of the top quality lines try to assure that all of their top agents receive the same pricing benefits.

Where travel firms tend to differ is in the quality of their consulting and the benefits and amenities they provide.

We hope that the information that follows will help you make an informed decision when it comes to the planning of your first, or next cruise vacation.


Last year, 11.3 million North Americans took a cruise vacation, a 6% increase over the previous year. Despite unparalleled growth, only about 9% of adult Americans have sailed on a cruise ship. Today, we would like to talk to those of you who are considering your first cruise, and, perhaps, to a few of you who have cruised once or twice before but would like to know more about the industry.

Cruise ship photoThe reservations process can be daunting. How do you pick a ship, a cabin, or an insurance policy? This brief guide is intended to help you navigate the cruise-selection process. Whatever process you use to select your cruise, be content with the knowledge that there is a 96.4% chance that once you return from your first cruise, you will sail again within thirty-six months. This represents the highest satisfaction level, by a wide margin, of any type of vacation experience and it is the core reason for the growth of the industry. But lets make certain that you get it right the first time. Here are some of the questions we are asked most often by consumers considering their first cruise:

How Do I Start?

Some of the best and least subjective information about cruising can be found in books such as The Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Fielding’s Guide to Cruising. We find the information in these books to be far more accurate than information gathered from the Internet. Friends may offer opinions based on their own experiences, but it is doubtful that they have the range of cruise experience sufficient to guide you toward exactly the right vessel. And there is only one best cruise line and vessel for you – the ships really are that different. All of your friends likely to insist that their doctor is “tops” in his or her field. It is much the same with cruises. Unless you have sampled dozens of ships and are aware of the striking differences between products, it will be difficult to make a decision on your own. Marketing departments at the largest lines aim to keep you confused. Every ship is described in glowing terms.

How Do I Select An Agent?

There are a number of cruise specialized travel firms in the United States that enjoy excellent reputations. But ultimately, it is the relationship you will share with your particular consultant that will have the most influence on your overall cruise vacation experience. Quite often, firms that sell the most cruises get preferred rates. As a general rule, you are best off working with a member of the “By-Invitation-Only” Virtuoso Network. These are the top-producing agencies in the nation. Last year the network members sold $5.1 billion worth of leisure travel. They are the top-producing agency group for virtually every one of the top-ten rated cruise lines. Conde Nast Traveler Magazine rates the best cruise consultants in the nation on a yearly basis. The ratings are published every August.

(For the complete ratings of the top ten lines, click on Cruise Line Ratings on our home page).

Planning a cruise ought to be a three-step process. First, contact a knowledgeable cruise expert to discuss possible options. It is important that your consultant tries to learn about your likes and dislikes. Do not give in to sales pressure during this first discussion. Take the time to study the brochures you will be given, looking carefully at accommodation choices and itineraries. During the second discussion with your consultant you will make the actual reservation. The third and final step in the process is a comprehensive trip review, which is usually done two or three weeks prior to your departure.

It is the first, consultive meeting/discussion that is critical. A great consultant will try to get to learn as much as possible about you and your goals for your upcoming cruise vacation. You will not be pressured to purchase. In fact, if you try to purchase, you will be asked to take the time to do some research to check the validity of the advice you are being given, you just need to make sure to pick the best option for you, try to pick an option that offers port canaveral transportation, this way you don’t have to worry about it later.

Will I get a better rate if I book with one of those 800 numbers or the Internet?

It is true that there are cruise agencies that work out of large rooms in out-of- state booking centers. And it is true that they may have a lower price than you will find in your own community. This usually has more to do with the fact that they are rebating a portion of their commission than with any special deal they have with the cruise lines. In fact, cruise lines frown on rebaters, much as the medical or legal professions frown on practitioners who would kick back a portion of their fees to attract business. A travel firm that sells on price rather than service, runs the risk of loosing the right to sell a cruise line’s product. Cruise lines cannot set the price but they can set standards and they can refuse to pay commission to those who rebate a percentage of the cost of their product.

How Should I Go About Selecting The Best Cruise for Me?

That will be determined by the skill and knowledge of your consultant combined with the research that you have been willing to do on your own. Here are some questions you will need to answer to get pointed in the right direction:

What is your budget? Be candid with your consultant. Any of the top-ten cruise lines are going to cost from $500-$800 Per Person Per Day. There will, however, be special sailings and promotions that could lower the cost by as much as $200 Per Person Per Day. Always discuss cruise costs on a per person, per day basis. Do not include airfare or insurance but do include all port charges and taxes. This will enable you and your consultant to discuss apples-to-apples without confusion.

How long can you get away? Ten to twelve days is the ideal length of time to cruise. Are you really locked into seven? One of the biggest mistakes made by first-time cruisers is the selection of a cruise that is shorter than what they need or can afford. Never book a three or four night cruise. They are not at all typical of the overall cruise experience nor are your fellow guests.

What do you expect to get from your cruise experience? Your agent will want to know this so you can be matched with the perfect ship.

How important is the age of the ship? Booking you on a new, glitzy mega-ship with two or three thousand fellow guests is no problem – but is that what you really want? Would you consider an older, more mature cruise ship? Be cautious. Wine and people seem to get better with age but we feel that does not apply to cruise ships?

Do you like the Mirage and Caesar’s Palace? We ask that question, because some of the new ships being launched closely resemble floating Vegas resorts with huge casinos, several dining options, and numerous onboard options. But there are alternatives for those of you who don’t want a glamorous, high-energy cruise experience. One cruise line employs Oxford and Cambridge lecturers on voyages that concentrate on the antiquities. There are small, comfortable ships where you never have to don a tie, sailing ships that cruise the French Riviera, 100-passenger ships that ply the rivers of the Colonial South with visit to antebellum mansions along the way, and small ships that sail with just six couples to Alaska. The point is that there are numerous options for those who want to do other than mainstream cruising. The top-three rated cruise lines are all ships with fewer then 700 guests with an “inclusive” policy, meaning gratuities and drinks are included. Most of the larger, mass market ships, feature long lines and institutional cooking.

How Do I Find the Best Cruise Line for Kids? That one is easy. Most cruise lines offer rather superficial children’s programs led by part-time instructors. The best current children’s programs will be found aboard Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line and Princess Cruises. The highest-rated children’s programs overall and by a wide margin, are offered by Disney. These are the only three lines we would consider if you are looking for the very best onboard kids programs. Holland America and Celebrity Cruises also have good onboard children’s programs.

What Will My Fellow Passengers Be Like? This is the least-asked, most critical question to consider. When you are traveling you are relatively careful about the hotel and the restaurants you select. You are concerned with health and your personal safety. But you are also concerned with something we call, for want of a better term, “the jerk factor.” A deal on a ship with a group of rampaging drinkers who are going to keep you up till the wee hours is not a deal. It’s money down the drain. Your vacation is an expression of who and what you are.

The fact is that the more expensive the cruise product the more refined an audience it will tend to attract. Of course, refinement is not for everyone. Comfort is also important. But the “jerk factor” on various cruise lines is definitely worth discussing with your agent. Cruise line brochures do not, unfortunately, offer “jerk factor” ratings