Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not snow!

Dandelion fuzz is alive and well on the canal.

Monday, May 25, 2009

100 Miles of Nowhere!

Fatty - aka the Fat Cyclist, aka Elden started this and by golly he got a lot of takers. To raise money for cancer research - through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Elden is constantly coming up with ways to raise money.

I immediately sent in my money for 100 Miles of Nowhere - Please read this and then read what people have been doing all over the world! I have only been on one ride this year - for a whopping 5.5 miles - I am not in shape for a big ride, I've been walking and making sure to work the hills too. I really had a very hard time figuring out what to do. Some people do their miles on rollers and never leave their homes, others did it in parks where there was a circular path ( a couple of guys in England did 90+ laps around a circle), another guy did it in his cul-de-sac. I finally decided that I had to break the 'rules' and actually go somewhere where I could go somewhere - not 'nowhere'.

First thing this morning (6:45) I put my rack on my car. Then as I was shivering I told myself I was nuts and went back inside. I did finally leave at 8:30 after a cup of coffee, reading the paper and making some peanut butter sandwiches to keep me going. I drove down to the Canalway Trail entrance on Genesee Street - near where the old Kittie's on the Canal was (can't remember the name of it now!). Anyway - I managed to ride all the way to Stanwix. 27.73 miles round trip. So while I didn't do 100 miles - I did something I have never done before. 27.73 miles AND I got to talk to the Canal guy in Marcy and watch 3 boats go through the locks AND I met Jim on the trail about 2 miles from Stanwix - he was an angel - he kept me moving, gave me great advice and made me feel good about what I had done so far.

Going into the lock at 404 feet above sea level. Marcy Lock is the highest point on the Erie Canal System.

The gate is shut when the boat goes into the lock, then the water fills in the lock with a gravitational pump system. The water level goes up from 404 feet to 420 feet above sea level in order to then open the upper gates.

Then the boat can let go of the ropes on the side that help it stay steady and move ahead when the gates are completely open. This whole thing only takes about 15 minutes - and that is with one of the pumps working with only 1/3 of it's power.

Almost done with my ride!!!!!!!!! My butt hurts! LOL!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jack in the pulpits

These are the Jack in the Pulpit's that my mom found in our yard. "Jack" is in the little flower part and that is called the "Pulpit", it kind of folds over "Jack" to protect him. They are really kind of cool looking!

plants and flowers

My mom has been having a wonderful time buying annuals at our local grocery store and then I bought a bunch for her at another local store. But yesterday we were on a mission. At the place we used to live we had a bleeding heart bush, we looked at 3 different places yesterday before we finally made it to Greenscapes in Whitesboro. I was going to post a link to it, but they don't have their website up and running right now. Their phone number is 315) 736-8733. The reason I am posting it is that if there is ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING that you are looking for they probably have it! And the nice thing was that they were very friendly and helpful. We had gone to one place first thing and it left a bad taste in our mouths. When we asked the lady if they had bleeding hearts she said "no, we have fuschias" - as far as I know there is no link between the two and it made no sense. Plus we seemed to have interrupted her rant about coffee with her co-worker so she was short with us. But - it could have been an off day for her so I am not even mentioning the company name.

But we had a marvelous day - went from Utica to New Hartford, to the Mennonite store in Kirkland, to Route 26 into Rome (a new road for us), then to Wal-Mart in Rome (after a jig down George street to admire the old houses) and then when we had just about given up hope of finding the Bleeding Heart when we got off of the new 49 to get on the old 49 through Marcy and went up Mohawk street to Greenscapes. There were so many beautiful plants and trees, lots of young men there ready and willing to help even though they were all busy. I'll be posting pictures as we start getting things planted and set up. Our BIG project this year is to tear down our garage (it's sinking into the ground, leaking and just too big for our yard), we don't use it for cars (can't get to it with our fence). So, we are tearing it down one weekend in July and doing a major Clean Sweep of it and our basement and hopefully some time in late July our new shed will be installed - it's 8x12 (much smaller than the garage) and will look more like our house. And the biggest bonus is that mom will plant a veggie garden next year because she have space and sunlight.

I will post pictures of Jack in the Pulpit later today!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's been awhile!

I've been thinking about what to write. The weather has been incredible, my yard looks better than it has in a long time because my mom is spending so much time out there planting, moving, and cleaning up. She found a couple of Jack in the Pulpit plants - now I had never seen one so I didn't get it at all. She told me that they are endangered and a protected plant and lady who used to own our house was very good about planting and gardening - so she must have put these guys in years ago. Mom says they are the oldest ones she has ever seen - they are quite large. Now I just read about them in the wiki and they look like they are dangerous too if handled incorrectly. LOL!

My cat has it all figured out...

He is out all night with his 'kitty friend' Sweetie from the next street over. She is very pretty and sweet - and has Mr. Sissy pants Einstein completely cowed. For a few days he wouldn't go out when she was on the porch, now he will and they do the whole nose to nose thing. Einstein has to tow the line or she swats him. I digress, he comes in after prowling all night and while I read the paper he curls up next to me but when I get up to go upstairs to get ready for work he goes to the bench in the dining room and curls up. This is his new favorite place.

Wildlife in the weirdest places...

I had to go to Rome to attend a wake on Wednesday. When I left there I headed to Walmart in Rome - I usually only go to the North Utica and New Hartford ones so I figured I would go somewhere new. I parked my car and there was Momma and Poppa goose and their babies...Poppa goose was very protective, thank goodness I didn't seem to ruffle his feathers but there were a couple of other geese that got a tad too close and he was not putting up with that at all...

This is how my spring has been so far - scattered... I have ADD - the adult variety - I start one thing and that leads to another and another and another and it never ends and I NEVER finish anything!

There are some great things coming up. July Fourth celebrations in Utica are in a new place. I won't actually be here - going camping on Seneca Lake! Woo Hooo!

I'll be posting more tomorrow as I'm going to try my hand at 100 Miles of Nowhere! Not sure that I'll be going too far but it should be fun! Plus I have the t-shirt!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

H.R. Jones and Hughes Elementary Schools

The Genesis group and the Hugh R. Jones Elementary and John F. Hughes Elementary schools had a Career Exploration Program for the 5th graders. They put this on at Jones Elementary - and bussed over the 5th graders from Hughes. There were 130 (approximately) students involved - my main thought about this whole thing would be that I would have an incredible headache and lots of stories (not good ones) to tell my co-workers.

Not so... These children were FANTASTIC! They were interested, they asked questions, they didn't interrupt, they wanted to know more. My group was made up of 5 professionals - we had about 5 minutes each to tell the kids what we do and how we got to where we are, etc. There was me - the computer geek, Kara - a licensed dietitian from the NYS Beef Council, Joe B - a retired teacher, mortician, truck driver, author, etc. Mr. J (can't remember his first name) - a prosthetist and orthotist, and Mike K - an editor from the OD. We all had different stories, but I think that we were able to get the kids to understand that you have to learn, work and never quit to do what you love.

So - Utica Elementary Schools are doing something right. The kids were interested, well behaved, and the teachers were fantastic. For someone who gets stressed out with too many kids running around - I didn't have any issues! Woo Hoo!

Thank you to Genesis Group and Ray D'Urso for all that you do for the Mohawk Valley.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My favorite app in the whole world!

That's my MacBook sitting in front of my iMac on my very messy desk. I have some things that I work on exclusively on my laptop - and so I like to put it on my desk in front like in the picture. Here is where I was going insane. I would try and use the mouse on the laptop to control the iMac - or worse yet I'd try and use the keyboard to control the iMac - can't do it! NOT! My co-worker was in here last week and said "There is an app for that!"

I was stunned, "No way!" - well Ladies and Gentlemen there is an app for that! Woo Hoo! It's called Teleport, it's so easy to use and free! Of course it's a Mac application so to all you Windows users - Get a Mac! (or two or three!).

I set up my laptop as the 'controller' and 'shared' my iMac - so I just use both computers from my laptop and have so much fun! Even while working! Can you believe it?!
Okay - too much coffee today. We got a Keurig and drinking coffee has become addicting!

Oh - you probably want to know how it works! Not the Keurig - the Teleport.

After installing, you set up one of your computers to share and the other to be the controller. In this case - my laptop, the smaller of the two is the controller and I just move my mouse out to the upper right corner and it goes into my iMac - the one I set up to be shared. I could feasibly do this to my coworkers computers and drive them insane when their mice start moving in other directions - LOL - but I would need a camera or something so I could control the mouse better. :)

Ok - so this post isn't about Utica - exactly. But I guess it is, because I am lucky enough to work at a company that allows me to play with new apps - learn new things and let me 'play' and have fun sometimes.