Monday, August 31, 2009

Guy Fieri

A favorite Food Network show is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. I always dream of visiting one of those places, and last night we did! We stopped by a favorite diner in Buffalo after we packed up our show, and while waiting to order spotted the above on the wall behind the counter. When I asked when Guy had been there, we were told - "a couple of weeks ago". August 17th to be exact, and the show has not yet aired! So, my wish has been granted. I've had potato pancakes and a side of bacon at a place soon to be featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! Cheryl had a fried chicken dinner.

The Lake Effect Diner features locally grown food, prepared like your Mom used to if she was a great cook!
Thank you to the food gods for granting my wish. Some web searching indicates that Guy visited several places in the Buffalo, NY area, and possibly not all will make the cut, but still - I'm happy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My fight with the hedgeclippers!

The doctoring folks wanted to be sure I hadn't nicked the bone at the end of my index finger when I ran the hedge clippers into it and the middle finger - right hand...... something about increased risk of infection if the inside of the bone is exposed to bad stuff? Looks like I missed that part, but I did need 7 stitches to close up the holes in my skin! I thought it was kind of cool to see my bones. I got to see pretty much all of them during the bone scan for cancer 2 years ago, but I did not get to bring any pics home that time.

A big thank you again to the folks at Highland Hospital. They are a consistently great bunch of folks! Even (especially) Val, who stitched me up after first teaching me that there are worse things to attack your fingers with than hedge clippers -- Lidocaine needles do a lot less damage, but hurt a heck of a lot more!

Just for the record, it does not hurt too bad now. I get to take off the bandages and look this afternoon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Maya Wednesday!

Maya and her new friend Gabriella. Gabriella is about a year older, and thus doing a lot of things Maya hasn't tried yet...... thus Maya tried and succeeded at several new skills at the playground.... including going UP the medium sized slide. See videos below... one shows Maya just going down the slide in the normal manner. The other shows Maya making her way up the slide, while carefully observing Gabriella for clues on how to operate in this new world?


How do you go up this thing?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I just posted my first picture to Failblog - a favorite site of Wyatt and Maeve!

A return to the same spot the next day revealed that the sign had been corrected!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Not the usual craft fair shot!

Who is that frolicking with the geese out behind the booth?

If I hide quietly under the canopy of that big tree ---- ? Yup! I got it!

Click the pic to make it bigger - it really is a pretty good shot!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Haven't had a Maya picture in a while?

Maya playing "peek-a-boo" with Gumpa and his camera at cousin Maeve's birthday party!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My 1938 Plymouth - Guest Blogger Mel Olney


My 1938 Plymouth “Business coup” reflects a lot of my life during and after World War II.

I purchased it from people selling it after their son had not returned from the war. I believe it was three hundred fifty dollars.

At that time I was still working for Price Evans, his farm south of Utica NY near State Route 20, the main route across state prior to the Thruway.

I only qualified for an “A” gas ration card which meant not a lot of driving. Later on it meant no good tires as well.

I had moved from Mr. Evan's farm to a farm owned by an attorney in North Tonawanda, NY. So little driving, I had opted not even to get antifreeze, filling up the radiator from a hose near the milk house, and draining the radiator and engine block just before driving on into the shed where I had a place to keep it inside.

Unfortunately, after one such episode sediment had blocked the petcock on the side of the engine and when it froze a quite large crack occurred on the outside of the engine!

I forced fine steel wool into the crack, spread some sort of metallic putty over it all, then put some sort of liquid “radiator sealer” in, started it up and after some slight seeps showed up it held!!

Held long enough that we drove it till the standard request at the gas pump was “put in a dollars worth and a quart of oil!”

Unable to afford a better one, and not many good used cars available at any reasonable price we opted to have a new 1946 Dodge engine installed. The original Plymouth engine had been rated at thirty eight horsepower. The new Dodge had fifty! So we had a “hot-rod” to play with!! And still that beat up right front fender.

Quite a while later the 1946 engine developed a quirk. It would start perfectly when cold, but would not start when warm. The only way to be sure of getting back home was to leave the engine idling and hope it didn't stall.

The car spent quite a bit of time in the Dodge / Plymouth dealer's service area as they were trying to “fix” it but could not find the problem. That same mechanic later on bought it from us (the dealer didn't even want it as a trade in on a newer model Dodge). He told us later on he never did “cure it” of the problem!

Thanks Dad! Great story. I picked the pictures from the web, so if they are wrong, it is my fault. There was a picture showing the original, with the damaged fender story a couple of days ago ..... here.

Family portrait

A visit with Mom last week - Wyatt, Don, Mom, Dad!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

4 Generations

That's me on the left! I figure that this picture was taken sometime the winter of 1946/47 - maybe Thanksgiving '46? That's my Mom, Violet, holding me. Next to Mom is her mom - my grandmother - Florence Babcock Drake. Next to her is Herman Babcock - her father, my mom's grandfather, and my great grandfather! At that time, Herman was living with Glenn Babcock - Florence's brother - and his wife Katie. The picture was taken by my Dad outside their home. The car in the background is a 1938 Plymouth Coupe.

Note the damaged fender on the car. Dad had been in an accident at an icy intersection, and the right front fender was destroyed, but the collision shop could not get a fender - it was war time, and metal stuff was in short supply. He tried driving the car without a fender, but so much mud and stuff was thrown up on the windshield that he could not see to drive. He went around to junk yards till he found the right fender - not in good shape though! Still, it would catch the flying mud! The junk yard guy told Dad he could have it for free if he wanted to take if off the wreck himself. Dad went to work, and got a fender -- or at least most of a fender! Not pretty, but no more mud on the windshield!

Thanks to Anne for finding the picture in some of my brother's old stuff. Thanks again to Anne for knowing I would want that picture! Thanks to Dad for taking that picture 62 years ago, and thanks to Dad for another of his classic stories! And thanks to Herman, Florence, and Violet for passing on the heritage!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eighteen and a new voter!

A lot of kids think of other things on their first day as adults, but Maeve has been planing for registering to vote since she was about 10? With her friends Jess and Danielle as witnesses and photographers - taking pictures all the way, they walked down to the local government offices to do the deed. It was a bit of a let down, as the clerk just handed her a form to fill out and mail in? Not to be deterred, Maeve filled out the form right there in the office, and mailed it on the way back home. Someday she will have these pictures ready for her campaign posters when she runs for Senator, Town Council, or President?
Where do politicians get those pictures from the early formative years?

Remember you saw Maeve here first!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Not every day that you can get an education from a SUV in a parking lot! No poetry or literature, but the woman who runs Iglesia Educational Centers is an engineer!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

One of those moments!

"Not a bad place to be if you've got to be somewhere you don't want to be"

My Mom

reflecting on being in Wesley Gardens nursing home!

Monday, August 03, 2009

More of that wonderful Friday!

Pretty much all little kids love to watch big machines work. Maya loves school buses and trucks. I am still a little kid in many ways, so when I was driving from Wayland to Naples last Friday, I noticed that some of the wind turbines of the Cohocton Wind Farm were missing their blades. On a previous visit, all the blades had been in place, so I was curious, and started counting towers with no blades. From where I was, I could see 4, along with two monster cranes on two different hills. Then I noticed a set of blades rising slowly, and captured these images. It was a quite hazy day, and I was not too close, but these are still pretty cool shots. I would imagine several days worth of hauling in the parts for the crane, assembling the parts, etc. The actual lifting of the blades into place took about 10 minutes! For scale, the height of that tower where the hub of the blades attaches is about 285 feet off the ground. Each of those 3 blades is 135 feet long. The tip of a blade travels about 850 feet for each rotation. About 1 mile for every 6 rotations.
Reminder - click pictures for a closer view!

How do you thread a needle 285 feet off the ground?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nature Inside!

I recently finally got to visit the Violet Barn on the big hill over Naples, NY. This wonderful place has been on my list to visit for years, but, even though I drive by often, it is usually not at a time they are open, or when I have time to stop by. Friday was the day, and I highly recommend it! Thousands of African Violets, along with lots of other house plants, give this place a very spiritual aura! A small box of plants came home with me, but not to worry. Canandaigua Lake, and the sea of plants at the Violet Barn, are still there!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Another Top Show

I did my top show again yesterday. Anne and Maeve have been teaching a summer writing course for kids about 8 years old. The plan was for them to write autobiographies, with various assigned chapters including one about collections they might have. My spinning top collection show was sort of a final reward for them. My reward was sharing my love of tops with a great bunch of kids, and hearing several of the autobiographies presented! Several of the students who had already presented their writing before I got there even shared their autobiographies with me after class! I just want to say to Anne and Maeve --- "You are great teachers", and to the kids in that class ----- "You certainly wrote some very nice stories". Thanks for sharing with me!