Tag Archive: photography


Powerless

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Well, it’s official my brother and sister readers;  I am powerless.  The electric has been out for well over 36 hours and it doesn’t seem like it will come on any time soon, but before I get into that I would like to tell you, my faithful followers, of the events preceeding it.

I spent the three days before the coming of Irene in a state of near bliss in upstate New York.

On Thursday my whole family and I took a trip to the beautiful (and amazingly tasty) Tug Hill Winery.  The children picked several pounds of white and red raspberries, along with more then a handfull of blueberries from the fields of the winery whilst the adults enjoyed a variety of local wines and assorted local cheeses (including chocolate cheddar).  Also, on our trip into the Lewis County seat we stopped and looked at the giant windmills, that produce power for the surrounding areas, being fabricated and repaired (a slight bit of irony there considering wind is why I lack power now.)

On Friday we explored the NY State Fair.  We saw the sand sculpture (a tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11) the butter sculpture (a tribute to school food service workers) various booths, animals, a 3 Dog Night concert, a Gym Class Heros concert, and several different shows and exibitions.  We also sampled the local fares at the fair, including several different local wine slushies and wine sangria slushies.  To answer your question, yes it is as awesome as it sounds.

We spent the majority of Saturday on a patio boat in the middle of Delta lake.  Playing, swimming, drinking more wine and eating more cheese. 

All three days were sunny and around 80 degrees.

Then we came home.

Early Sunday morning (Saturday Night Live time) we unpacked the car into our house here in Jersey.  I checked the pump for signs of water.  There were none. 

Satisfied that the world was not coming to an end, I went to bed.  Less than an hour later I was awoken. 

My wife was yelling about the floor being wet.  I wearily dragged myself from the bed, assured that she was mistaken.

She was not.

In about 45 minutes we went from no water 24 inches below the floor to 2 inches above the floor.  The pump wasn’t running.  The power was out.  Awake and in panic mode I threw on pants (backwards I later learned) and my work boots.  I dragged the generator from the niche it was stowed away in several years ago (after removing several years of other assorted piled-on crap) on flat tires out the door.  In the pitch blackness I fought against years of “yeah I’ll clean out the garage later” crap, I once thought invaluable, tossing aside tools, stockpiles of soda, and paint cans while attempting to make a 3.5 foot wide generator fit out of a 2.5 foot wide of “yeah hun, I straightened out the garage” pathway.

It wasn’t until my wife shined her cell phone on the newly vacated space that I noticed the oil that had leaked out of the generator.

In the total darkness I searched the garage, now torn asunder, for oil.  More tools tossed about, the sounds of metal clanging against concrete filling my nearly paniced skull.

Finally, oil found, I was about to attempt to make the generator, that was left untouched for years, spring to life.  Three pulls of the cord and she did just that.

The pump kicking, my wife and I worked tirelessly against the incoming deluge of downpour.  For six hours we moped, vacuumed, and wiped the floors.  Our shop vac alone sucked over 36 gallons out of our house aside from the countless gallons pumped from the pump and the carpet cleaner. 

Finally, we watched the sun begin to rise over our sweat and flood water soaked bodies, raveged by work without rest, fully knowing that our lack of sleep and hard labor did nothing to save our wood floor.

That’s when we saw it.  In our haze of sweat and panic we heard a loud bang and saw the world turn blue, but we quickly dismissed it (seeing the roof was in one piece and we had more pressing matters at hand.)  In front of our house, in the middle of the street (you know you just sang that in your mind!) was lying the remnants of the transformer and pole strewn about.  The oils from it staining the road, the wires hanging three to four feet above the ground with the shattered remains of the metal ties that keep them together dangling uselessly above the center line.  Behind is a giant tree that fell, broke several other poles, and flattened the guardrail.

At this point, Tuesday night, it looks exactly the same as when I first saw it.  Fire, police, county workers, power company workers, ect have all come to view the destruction, some have posed for pictures, none have done anything about it.  The only reason there is even a “Road Closed” sign by our road it because a neighbor made one!  (We are sick of people turning around on our lawns!)

At this point we are being told it will be Friday before they can begin the clean-up, another day or two before a contractor can set new poles, and a day after that before the lines can be reinstalled and the power returned.

So please, my dearest readers, give me room for errors in grammer, spelling, ect in this post.  I am writing on my cell phone, exhausted, depressed, dispared, and powerless.

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Our Short Easter Hike

Rocky Trail

The Rocky Trail

My family and I took our first hike of the season today.  The weather has been horrid these last few weeks and this has been our first opportunity to go out hiking since last fall.

We don’t go hiking all the time to be in touch with nature, or to commune with the trees or other such nonsense nor are we making some belabored metaphorical point of traversing rocky terrain and the perseverance of the human conditioning over the soul, blah, blah, blah.

I do it for the exercise.  My wife does it for exercise.  The boys do it for fun- to learn about the world around them.  We do it to spend time together as a family.

We like going to places such as Hacklebarney park here in New Jersey, or off Tug Hill in the Adirondacks, but because of the festive timing and our need to be home for dinner, we simply went to one of the Appalachian inlets that leads to the near fire-tower.

A quick look off the trail

A quick look off the trail

The hike is short (under 2 miles one-way,) incredibly rocky, and has a very steep climb to it.  This hike is best done at a quicker pace to make-up for the short distance, health wise,  but if you race to the top, you will miss some of the nice sites on the way- as well as miss out on some good quality family time.

The start of the trial.

At the mouth of the trail

We stayed on the main trail as little as possible, preferring the rockier, steeper and narrower side trails and tributaries.

The mouth of a side trail

The mouth of a side trail

A little further up

A little further up

Taking the path less traveled and harder to traverse helps in not only burning calories and toning muscle, but it helps to teach the kids the value of team work and helping each other to overcome obstacles.   More importantly– it’s also a lot of fun.

Once the land starts to flatten-out again you know that you are about to reach the pinnacle of your ascent. You may not think you came far, nor climbed high, but once you look over your shoulder were the hike began you can begin to realize how far you have traveled.

Nearing the top

Nearing the top of the trail's inlet

Another view

Another view of where we started.

Although I may have done so in the past, my children are still too young and small to scale the fire tower (and we did not have permission.)  So instead of seeing the whole county from a breath-taking height, we settled instead for a sip of water and a laugh at the picnic table just on the main trail.

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

In closing, let me just say that we had a lot of fun on our first hike of the season.  We are looking forward to many more in the future, and I wish to apologize for the poor quality of the pictures, but I only had my phone on me.

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