Sunday, September 27, 2009

Utica's Finest

I was very fortunate last night to go on a Ride-Along with Officer Joe Dare with the Utica Police Department. The evening started out as I arrived at the station at 3:30pm. I was nervous and excited and really looking forward to this! I walked in with one of the patrolmen and then let the officer at the front desk know that I was there to ride-along with Officer Dare.

Officer Dare came out and introduced himself...I had to wait while he got into uniform and then went to the pre-shift meeting - I know it's not the right word...but I was nervous! Everyone was very nice and welcoming - a tad bit of ball busting went on but I felt so much more at home. These men and women really care about each other and about the career that they have chosen.

The night wasn't crazy busy - but it wasn't dead either. I was able to see the very seedy side of Utica and the very proud and beautiful side as well. We patrolled the east side - met some interesting types. I'm going to refer to some of the calls - but not use real names or physical descriptions. One call was to an apartment building where the victim and her friends were outside waiting for us. V (victim) had a complaint about a boyfriend who had allegedly punched her in the face and pushed her. Through a check on the V and the boyfriend - both had had a long history with the UPD - they weren't strangers to the system in any way shape or form. As aggravating as the V was in her description of the events - her language - her demeanor, Officer Dare was polite and courteous. Even after he got all of the paperwork together for the V to press charges and she declined to sign - he didn't change in his attitude at all. It made me very proud to have met him and know that the police officers in Utica are so professional.

We had a couple of 'loud muffler' vehicle pull overs - it's amazing to me what police officers note when they pull over these people. Call it intuition, observation, whatever - Officer Dare seemed to know when a person had prior contact with the UPD or problems with licenses or something.

At one point we patrolled the parks in east Utica - looking for, wait for it...I kid you not...."Hippety dippety"! I almost slid out of my seat laughing. Officer Dare was trying not to be too graphic - so he said he was looking people in cars doing "Hibbety bibbety" - I loved it and told him that my mom would have said "Diddley dickin around". I tried to use the light on the passenger side - the spot light. I'll admit it, I'm spotlight challenged. I shined it in our eyes, up into the sky and everywhere but where it would be helpful!

Oh - note to all who call the police to complain about noise - or children in the road - or whatever - you aren't helping the police if you refuse to speak to them when they get to the 'scene'. This happened to us twice - the first time we think we spoke to the kids that had been in the middle of the street, but the complainant didn't want to speak with us. And then they called again about 3 hours later - we couldn't even find the 'problem'.

The Saint Cosmo and Damiano festival took place in East Utica this weekend as well. So we made our way through the neighborhood near St. Anthony's church and spoke to some of the people celebrating. The only 'bad' thing that happened (that we were called for) was that a car had the front driver side window 'shot' out with a BB gun. The people were very nice - they really just needed the report for the insurance company - the ability of the police to actually find the person who did this is pretty difficult - and the paperwork involved is nuts! If you ever see a police officer sitting in a parking lot - don't think poorly of him or her - most likely they are filling out the paperwork from their last call.

There were about 180 calls yesterday - in a 24 hour time period. Nuts! And that wasn't a crazy busy day - it was just a day.

The only stop at Dunkin Donuts - was for ME! I needed to use the facilities and have a coffee to stay awake - I'm early to bed and early to rise. So by 9 - I'm in getting ready for bed mode - so coffee was necessary.

There were other stops - the guy who was riding one of those mini motorcycles down the sidewalk going about 35+mph - he had no regard for anything on the sidewalk - crossed side streets without looking. No license, no insurance, no helmet, no registration. The guy made Officer Dare's intuition go nuts! With good reason. The guy was 'honest' about who he was - but he did have a suspended license and a long list of priors. So Officer Dare put him in cuffs and in the back of the patrol car. That was interesting because the kid kept trying to get me to 'help' him talk Officer Dare to not write tickets because it would be a "felony" on him. Well - the kid had to call his cousin to come and get the mini-motorcycle. That was fine - until the cousin kept calling him back and when Officer Dare opened the phone to hand it to the kid, he heard the cousin ask the kid "Are your clothes dirty?" - I could see Officer Dare's face change - we had a dealer - granted he was clean - but still. So we brought him back to the station - Officer Dare wrote up all of the tickets and we went back on patrol.

It was a great night! I hope to do it again! It would be fun to catch some Hibbety bibbeters! :)

Thanks to Officer Dare, Sergeant M. Hauck and everyone else involved in this - I believe it's a great idea in so many ways.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fog bank

I'm heading to Little Falls to ride with a friend and as I was heading
down 5s, the valley was shrouded in fog. I was just high enough to be
in the sunshine and could see the blanket of fog in the valley. It's
going to be a beautiful day.

**Update - it is a beautiful day - we had a good - fast ride - 41 miles in 3.5 hours. Our average speed was 12mph - I was at 10.7 when I rode last time - so I'm getting stronger. My friend always pushes me to work harder and that is a good thing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Elial Glen and LuLu Weir were my Mom's Grandparents on her father's side, they had 9 sons and 3 daughters: Kenneth Langsford (Doc), Ruben, Dorrance (Haunch), Keith Douglas (Douglas), Dannie James (Boone - My Grandfather), Elial Glen Jr. (Hi) , Carl Jackson (Carl) , Donald Elias (Don), Les (Tad), Doris, Violet (Buster) and Helen.

Okay - that was a lot wasn't it? I've always loved the stories that my mom used to tell me about my grandfather and his brothers. All of the boys, except Tad, served in the Armed Forces during WWII at the same time. In fact Haunch said that it was where the nickname Tad came from - he was too young - just a Tadpole to serve. My grandfather was Dannie "Boone" - he was killed in a car accident in May of 1963. My mom turned 16 later that summer. My grandfather and I share the same birthday. I tend to grasp at straws - to find connections in the smallest of things.

If anyone out there knows anything about the Weir's in Cooperstown, "Cat Town", Oaksville or Fly Creek, it would be wonderful to hear about them.

Anyway - the reason I started thinking about all of this (again - for the 90th time) is that mom and I went to Cat Town on Oaks Creek to see how my great grandfather's barn was faring. My mom just set me straight - he didn't build this barn but he lived on this property and it was his barn as well as the house in front of it. I don't take pictures of the house only because people live there. I've put pictures on here before from previous visits - but bear with me, I have more.

This barn always amazes me as it's held up at that corner by a pile of rocks - it's the lower left corner when you look at the picture. A couple of years ago when they had the floods so bad - you could only see that pile of stone and water under the barn. I believe one of my second-third or shirtail cousins owns the property.

This was just a pretty shot of some of the leaves changing colors on Oaks Creek.

This is a shot of the backside of the barn - it's starting to sag. But it's a beautiful barn. I'm guesstimating that it's about 70 years old.

I just loved how this tree looked and how the 'crick' reflects it and the other plants.
It was a beautiful day - we went to Hartwick Cemetary in Hartwick Seminary, my grandfather, great uncle Ruben, great-grandfather Elial and great-grandmother LuLu are buried there and I believe that there are some other family members there as well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

62 miles = Metric Century *Updated

I can't believe I did it! I'll write more later. Need a shower NOW!

It's been 24 hours since I finished and I am exhausted. I don't hurt as much as I thought, but I was working out in the sun earlier and realized it was just way too hot. I forgot the sunscreen and my chin and nose are burnt!

I've found some new places that I want to explore - hiking may be my next avenue of adventure. Any takers? Jill Homer has been quite an inspiration to me and when I ride I always think of her and the things she has accomplished, tried and enjoyed.

Taking a break

Well I've actually taken quite a few but I'm actually sitting down
this time. I'm back in Fort Plain having a discussion with my butt
about the next 19 miles. I hope I win!

Little Nose *Updated

I'll have to add more to this post later. But look near the top of the
white cliff, do you see it? Unbelievable.

When you are driving on 5, 5S or the Thruway it is impossible not to see the "Noses" Big Nose and Little Nose, I did take a picture of it between Canajoharie and Sprakers, but the iPhone just didn't do it justice. So - I went searching on the Internet to find a good picture of the Noses and for a little bit of history. I found a great site - where a man and his daughter actually climbed both noses and share it in story and images. It's pretty cool - and makes me want to find someone to go climbing up there. I know exactly where they started out to climb Little Nose. Not sure about Big Nose though.

@ 31 miles

Still not in Fonda but I'm turning around. My Buttometer is cranky and
I have 31 miles to go.

Randall NY

Town of Florida. I never would have known about either without riding
the canal trail. I love NY.

Fallen rock zone

For whatever reason this cracked me up. Almost in Fonda!

Canajoharie *Updated

This is Canajoharie Academy. Susan B. Anthony taught at the here in 1846, where she rose to become headmistress of the Female Department. From what I was told by a very nice lady at the Visitors center in Canajoharie. The Academy property was purchased about 3 or four years ago and the man who purchased it had to agree not to tear it down. The problem is that he completely gutted it, removing windows and everything. This past year he purchased a couple of houses to the left of the building (well, left in the picture) and tore them down and that property is getting cleaned up. Who knows what he's doing, but I hope it's something good. It's a beautiful building - my picture doesn't do it justice.

20 miles down!

Utterly perfect day

It's warmed up enough for me to take off a layer. It's stunning out
here. Sky is so blue it's just awesome. And I'm going to keep on riding!

Montgomery County

I am on the road for this section. The deep gravel on the trail is

Beautiful trail

Im about five miles into the ride. It's gorgeous but still cold.

The start in Little Falls

Ok, it's cold and foggy right now bit it's supposed to warm up and be
sunny! I'll be on the trail at about 8:10 am.