Monthly Archives: November 2009

Going all modern on ya

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Well it only took about two years longer than I had hoped, but now there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. The old template is gone, the new one is nearly working, and for the first time all the pieces of my many personal websites are all running from the same location – meaning of course that when this server goes down, everything goes down. C’est la vie.

I’d wanted to make this real snazzy, with abbreviated posts and my very latest posting on Flickr showing up, and maybe someday I’ll get that code to work but today wasn’t the day. I do have all my family history pages linked up here now, plus some cool local history pages, including a new gallery of Hampton Manor-related newspaper articles (link below). More of that sort of thing to come, now that I finally have an atomic-speed computer that rips web galleries in the blink of an eye (debugging the code, however, still goes at the speed of me). If you had any of my old stuff bookmarked, time to update those because I’m not keeping it in two places. I think I have the archives working again, and comments are showing up right, too, so take it all in while it’s still functioning because I’m in way over my head.

Also, if you’re the RSS type, grab the RSS feed, which includes not only this blog but all my latest Flickr posts. What more could you want?

Oh, was that November?

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This extended absence from the blogging world (I am so 2002) was brought to you by Work – Work®, Keeping Families Solvent Since The Industrial Revolution. And, more miraculously, it has suddenly been actual work, where something gets done, rather than the kind of work that is actually just looking for, bidding for, and trying to get work, which is the bane of the consultant’s existence. Doing it’s the easy part, getting it is miserable.
The absence was also brought to you by Sudden Breakthroughs in Family History®, occasioned by some deep searches of an odd little site that inexplicably has thousands upon thousands of perfectly searchable scans of quite old upstate newspapers; it’s odd because it purports to be a history site for Fulton, NY, but somehow it has resources that the major library networks don’t have. I’m not asking questions, I’m just searching while the searching’s good, and finding all kinds of birth, death and marriage announcements I never had before, as well as the true story of why great grandpa was sent up the river for a while (which is coincident with the true story of how casually the residents of Amsterdam treated attempted murder in those days).
And mixed in with all that has been the usual rush of Nutcracker rehearsals, fundraisers for this and that, and a number of utterly splendid fall rides, and I’ve been up to my ears. Today would be another day for a late ride, but for a freak accident with my achilles’ tendon – and don’t think I’m happy that my figurative achilles’ heel is also my literal achilles’ heel. Much hobbling will be done for the next few days as I try to quiet it down. Tomorrow, after the family tradition of watching the parade on TV while making applesauce, we’ll be enjoying a fabulous outdoor Thanksgiving on the farm of some friends – it’s not quite a reenactment, but I may still throw in some genuine cursing of the Dutch, just for good measure.

The last best ride of the season

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Listen, 67 degrees and brilliantly sunny don’t often happen on November 9 (especially when we were close to that on the 8th), so despite the pulled hamstring and general tiredness from yesterday’s yardwork extravaganza, hell yes I was getting out on the bike today. 50K on Saturday and 50K again today, some of the nicest rides I’ve had all season. The promise of sun and warm is hard to believe in November, and the blustery wind was oddly warm, so I found myself ridiculously overdressed for the task, shedding legwarmers and sleeves inside of 10K as the sun just beat down on me. It was glorious. I’m loopy on endorphins and I ain’t mad at nobody. A few final random ride thoughts from what may be the last best ride of the season (though trust me, I will make a few more miserable slogs, too):

  • Drivers – I know that slowing down as you pass me is a mark of weakness, and I’m grateful for any little bit of breathing room you allow me, but don’t endanger us both by swinging entirely into the opposite lane. You can be too courteous.
  • I’ve been afraid to say this, but I haven’t had a flat in months. These new tires seem much less susceptible to glass.
  • Things I used to think were hills simply aren’t. So I’ve made some improvement over the past couple of years.
  • Over 8176 km (more than 5000 miles) on my Specialized Roubaix in three seasons. Never as much as I’d like, but not shoddy. Rides were fewer and shorter this summer, partly from the awful weather and some other commitments.
  • My poor Nike shoes have done all of those 8000K, and probably another 8000 on top of that. I go through a pair of pedals every season (lots of stop/start on the urban rides really wears out the left pedal and cleat), but these shoes seem to be indestructible.
  • Since the rabies hit it seems like roadkill raccoons are not only rare but runty, but man I saw a big one today. Still, the roadkill of the year was definitely possum, and plenty of it.
  • Once the leaves are off the trees, there’s hardly a place for a natural break, as Phil and Paul call it. Even the cemeteries feel a little too exposed at this time of year.
  • Millions of insects were born on this sunny day in November. Long-term, probably not the best plan, but insects really play the numbers game well.
  • Sometimes I see an abandoned styrofoam cooler along the side of the road, just the normal detritus of summer, and wonder if maybe it’s somebody’s kidney that didn’t get to the operating room in time.

Support Your Local Orchestra!

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Our high school orchestra is involved in a very cool project to bring Mark Wood, late of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, for a two-day seminar to “electrify your strings.” We’re raising funds left and right to try to make this happen, and the best opportunity to help is through a great fund-raiser at the Colonie Center Barnes & Noble on Nov. 13 — if you buy anything in-store that day and present our voucher or tell them you’re supporting the Columbia High School Orchestra, a generous chunk of the proceeds goes to the Orchestra.

They’re also selling Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes, great gifts for the holidays. All the information on the Mark Wood program and all the informational flyers are here at the Electrify Your Strings homepage. Help us out!