Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions - How Silly!

I find it somewhat strange . . .

We go through our lives, doing what we do, forgetting to do what we should, doing things we shouldn't, and then . . .

It's New Year's Eve.  We Celebrate.  We Reflect.  We Resolve. 

For 24 hours (or 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds) we stop and think about where we are, where we are going, why, how, who . . .

You read the articles essays from the experts about how most resolutions fail.  We suddenly expect to much of ourselves, and then don't seem to find the time to follow through.  Our resolutions fail.

1440 minutes of reflection (or drinking, or talking, or sleeping, or . . .)

That works out to roughly 4 minutes a day.

Maybe . . .

Instead of waiting around until the end of the year to reflect, we should spend 4 minutes a day to focus.on what we need to do.

Just a thought.  What do you think?

Happy New Years . . .

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Told You So...

We have been traveling a lot lately.  At our daughters for Thanksgiving, traveling for work, Christmas in Vermont.  We keep moving.  We found ourselves back at the farm in NY.  We had to plow the driveway, check the fridge, etc. The farmhouse got a new roof (more about that later).  The barn and outbuildings were fine.  All was good.  I went down the cellar to check on some mousetraps I had set a few weeks ago.  As soon as I started to go down the steps, I felt a crunch.

I won't keep you guessing (and no it wasn't an animal) - it was a pine cone.

Yep - they are back.  I sense the red squirrels are repeating their invasion like they did 2 years ago.

I knew this would happen.  A few weeks ago I posted about a lot of spruce boughs collecting in the yard.  I figured that the red squirrels were up to something.  Some of my readers thought I should just leave the poor rodents alone.  Now I have found cones in the cellar, and the mousetraps got roughed-up!  They were knocked around, chewed up, and even moved 20 feet.  Not the work of harmless little field mice.  The red squirrels are up to something.

For any red squirrels that follow this blog - consider yourself warned!  I am for gunning you.  The traps will be coming out.   Non capimus!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I went snowshoeing again today. It was very cold - around 10 degF.  It wasn't too windy, but there was a steady wind from the east.  The day was overcast.  We expect some snow tonight.

I decided to venture out to the Green Mountain National Forest again.  The Robert Frost parking area was open, so I started there.  I decided to go south and follow the Widow's Clearing trail.  It would be around 5 miles in total.

The woods were quiet.  Because of the grey sky it was somewhat somber.  The woods were cloaked in white, and the trees seemed to have grey bark.

That being said, it was still beautiful.  I came across a small tree that seemed to put any man-made Christmas tree to shame.

Though it was very cold outside, there were still places were the ground was exposed due to melting water.  There were little patches of snow in the clear areas.  Beautiful ice crystals had formed on the snow patches.  They looked like ice flowers.

The rivers are starting to ice up.  In places, the ice was thick and almost blue-green.

After a few hours, I returned to my car.  I pulled by windproof layer off, and found I had ice crystals between the windproof layer and my outer fleece layer.  It was good to get home and enjoy a warm drink.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I thought I'd share a few pictures of our tree.  As you may know, my wife and I love glass ornaments.  Here's what our tree looks like.  Enjoy!

The wife and I wish all the world a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season.  Peace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happiness is a Pair of Tired Legs and A Pair of Wet Gloves

Some of us are 'indoor dogs', while others are 'outdoor dogs'.  I'm an outdoor dog - I need to get outside, even in the winter.  I need the sun on my face, the feel of changing terrain underfoot, the smell of the water and the woods.

As I posted yesterday, we've been real busy with work and the holidays.  Today, I took some time to go snowshoeing.  It was great!

I was planning on starting at the Robert Frost trailhead (part of the Green Mountain National Forest).  It's been a while since I've been to that trailhead.  Unfortunately, this area was closed.  As I was going to snowshoe to the Chatfield trailhead, I drove to it instead and then would hike to the Robert Frost trailhead by way of the Water Tower trails..

I got to the Chatfield trailhead, put on my snowshoes and gear, and started out. It was a beautiful morning. All the woods had a light dusting of snow, the temperatures were around 20 degF, and there was no wind.  The sky was a clear blue.  Beautiful.

I headed down Widow's Clearing Trail.  At first, the trail was bordered by conifers, but as the trail  rose, the trees turned to yellow and white birches.  There were some x-country tracks, but the conditions were marginal for skiing (2 inches of snow over 2 inches of ice).  It warmed up yesterday, and tiny streams of water crossed the trail.  I had to make sure I didn't step in any (not because it would make my feet wet, but the water causes ice chucks to form under your snowshoes - very uncomfortable).  Once as I stopped to take in the scenery, my presence must have unnerved a thrush - it bolted by after I was standing in the trail.

As I climbed up the trail, you could see the snow-covered mountains off in the distance.  I got to the junction for the North Star trail, and then headed down the trail.

I got to the trail junction for the Robert Frost trail, and then headed down to it.  As the access was closed, the trails were untouched.  My tracks were the only ones around.

Periodically, I would stop and just listen.  All was quiet.  You would hear an occasional chickadee chirping.  I circled around the Robert Frost area, then proceeded back to the Water Tower trails.

I followed the trails back, but then turned off onto the Afternoon Delight trail.  Like the North Star trail, there were a lot of areas where the snow cover was thin and there was wet, exposed ground.  As I climbed back up the Water Tower mountain, the snow cover got better.

I got to the junction of the Trepidation trail.  Trepidation is a short, but very steep trail.  It has a grade around 25%. I just step-kicked my way to the top (only about a 150 foot ascent).

Once I got to the top (and caught my breath), I then had an easy descent back down the Widow's Clearing trail back to my car.  I came across a bunch of feathers - looks like something caught a wild turkey).  

In time, I found myself back at my car.  My legs wee tired, and I was drenched with sweat.  It was great.  I can't wait for my next trek.

Maybe 'll see Santa out on the trails soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have't been blogging much lately.  Work and travel have been consuming me.  With the holidays, we have decorating, shopping, mailing and cooking to do.  And . . .

I also row 200K meters every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It isn't hard because of the distance (works out to about 7K meters every day), but because time is so precious this time of year.

But I finished it today.  I typically row 10K to 15K a sitting.  Today I just worked through it and did 20K meters.

Now I can devote some exercise time doing other things.  We have snow on the ground at our places in NY and VT.  Maybe I can get some snowshoeing in tomorrow!

Remember, "You rest, you rot!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Bucket List

Laura at Simplifying in the South asked me and others to post our Bucket Lists.  A bucket list is the list of things you want to do before you 'kick the bucket'.  Some things were obvious, but I did have to think about this a little.

Here's my list:

See the Northern Lights
Travel to the Mediterranean with my wife
Dance with my grand-daughter at her wedding
Retire early and spend some years doing what I want when I want
Publish something non-technical
See the Grand Canyon and the desert southwest
Revisit all the places I lived
See Yellowstone
See mankind set foot on another planet again
Leave this world a better place . . . 

What's your list?