Saturday, January 17, 2009


It's minus-2 degrees and sunny.


I hadn't really planned on doing a posting, this morning, but I'm sure that many blog-readers are waiting to read press coverage of yesterday afternoon's Dedication of the Waterville Post Office in memory of John P. Sigsbee. Here are links to articles in the Utica Observer-Dispatch and news items on WKTV Channel2News.



Some - but probably not all - blog-readers know that my husband Dick (a.k.a. Rich) Brown, who passed away in 2007, was first an experienced Air Force pilot and then flew for Mohawk/USAirways for over twenty years. Several people spoke to me, yesterday, wondering what Dick would have thought about the Thursday afternoon emergency landing on the Hudson River made by the pilot of USAirways Flight #1549.

I happened to be in my car, listening to FoxNews, when the accident took place and actually pulled to the side of the road to listen. I knew right away that Dick wouldn’t have been at all surprised at either the cause of the accident - presumably a flock of Canada Geese - the pilot’s choice of the landing strip or the fact that Captain Sullenberger could adjust so rapidly to the plane’s loss of power while still using it’s airborne capabilities.

After all, it’s what pilots know how to do! They study; they practice! How? Long before they log any actual flight time, they spend weeks training in Flight Simulators, where every conceivable weather or mechanical condition can be and is replicated. Much of that training is repeated, without fail, every year.

I don’t know how many thousands of hours Dick logged in the air over his thirty-six year flying career. He certainly never had an “incident” like Thursday’s near-disaster (‘tho his plane was once struck by lightning and lost some “fairly important” systems) but I’m quite sure that had he been in the cockpit of Flight #1549 he’d have known what to do and would have done his darndest to manage it as well as Captain Sullivan and his crew did.

I’ve been surprised that the Copilot and Flight Attendants have not received their share of praise, for they, too - obviously - did their jobs well!

I had lunch, yesterday, with Gail Prentice, who spent many years as a flight attendant aboard USAirways planes. She reiterated everything that I had already known: flight attendants, like flight crews, go through months of training before they begin flying and then spend several weeks, every year, reviewing both normal in-flight and emergency procedures until they can - and probably do - recite routines in their sleep.

I asked her what the cabin crew would have been doing when the incident occurred and she said that, because it happened so soon after take-off, they would still have been strapped into their “jump seats” in the cabin. “The seats are very sturdy and our seat belts are actually total upper-body harnesses that keep you completely immobilized. Life preservers are located within easy reach inside the headrest.”

About Emergency Exit doors: whenever Dick and I traveled he always identified himself to someone at the ticket counter or gate and we were nearly always assigned seats in one of the exit rows. These seats offer the traveler extra legroom, which is nice, but that’s not the real reason he asked - or offered - to be placed there. The reason was that, in case of an emergency, the necessarily rapid opening of the exit doors takes someone with quick wits and a fair amount of strength. (Other people like these seats, too, and Gail and I laughed over occasions when either a young mother with an infant in her lap or an elderly woman had decided that THAT was where they were sitting and they weren’t going to budge for anyone! They insisted that they were quite able to manage the levers, etc., but they were finally shown to other seats, anyway.)

What I had NOT known was that unless a member of the flight crew - or whoever is opening any of the cabin doors - intentionally disengages the mechanism, self-inflating escape slides are automatically deployed. It takes no extra time or effort: it happens right away!

And it is those slides that, once released from the doorway, become floating life rafts. The boats will remain tethered to the aircraft until the tether is cut. “And someone has a knife?” I asked Gail, knowing that knives and scissors aren’t allowed in passengers’ clothing or carry-on luggage. “The boats come equipped with kits that contain everything from flares and first aid materials to mirrors and automatic locator devices," she said.

While I listened to her talk, I thought --- "I wish that everyone that I know who is afraid of flying were here right now." She never actually flew a jetliner, but in everything she said she reflected the same intense appreciation for a crew's practiced teamwork that my husband always did, and the pride that crews take when they have quietly avoided a potential disaster or when, at the end of each "leg," they can tell the passengers, "Welcome to (pick a city) and thank you for flying USAirways!"

I can't find the figures, right now, but news agencies have reported that in the past two years alone there have been something like two-billion airline passengers and in that time there have been no commercial airline fatalities in the United States.

One Email message that I received last night, referred to flight crews and read:

"We should thank them all!

God bless them."

The emailer added: " - and if you talk to Dick tonight, would you tell him that?"

Yes: I did. Thank you.


Friday, January 16, 2009


(Sorry that I'm late: I simply overslept!)

It's 1.0 degree, on the nose, and overcast.

First things first:

To Diana Head

from Frances.


From WKTV: "A mix of sun and clouds is expected today with occasional snow showers this morning. High temperatures are expected to reach the upper single digits to perhaps low teens. Winds will pick up this afternoon, creating a sub zero wind chill throughout most of the day. Overnight, skies will average partly to mostly clear, allowing temperatures once again to fall well below zero for some spots. Readings are expected to range from -5 in town to -15 in our traditionally colder spots. Lake effect clouds once again will be the wildcard in terms of how cold we will get."

For those living or traveling across the north country, as we head later into the day and especially tonight, heavy localized lake effect will develop. With generally lighter winds, most of this lake effect will fall in Oswego County, close to the lake shore. Heavy lake effect will fall along the Tug Hill as well, with totals in the range of at least 1 to perhaps 2 feet or more by tomorrow morning. Outside of the Tug Hill, areas like Northern Oneida, Northern Herkimer, Eastern Lewis, lake snows will be on the light end, with a general 1"-3" expected. Isolated higher amounts are possible, especially in areas that see the most persistant bands. This is something we are watching closely and with some uncertainty.
Snow will continue on Saturday across the Tug Hill, with the rest of the area seeing a mix of sun and clouds."


WCS Boys' Varsity Basketball beat Sauquoit Valley

61 - 41, last night.


The temperature may have risen to as high as 6 or 7 degrees, yesterday, but there was little sign of activity on Main Street and ........

.......... and the "eyes" of this home on Madison Street appeared to be looking at the world through icy eyelashes!

The afternoon sun shone on the row of homes on Elmwood ....

and glowed red, behind trees and on a corn field next to Fuess Cleary Road.

"Mack," on his afternoon run, stopped to insist that "It's not cold at all!"




4:30 this afternoon



to the memory of



at the American Legion Post #92

8:00 - 11:00 A.M.


More when it happens!

Bundle up

and Have a Great Weekend, Everyone!


Remember: Monday's a Holiday.

I'll be back on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's Garbage Day!

At 5:30 the temperature is a whopping 5.4 degrees!

At 6:30 -- 4.6 degrees.

(Downright "balmy," compared to the double-digit, sub-zero readings that we were warned to expect.)

From WKTV: "On Thursday, even with sunshine, temperatures won't get up much past 5 degrees for a high. Bitterly cold air will last into tomorrow night. Depending upon the extent of cloud cover, temperatures will likely fall back to -10 to -15 for the Utica/Rome area. Some locations in the Adirondacks may very well wind up at -20 or -30 degrees by Friday Morning if skies remain clear. These would be the coldest readings in about three years. Please take care of children, pets and the elderly during this cold snap.
The bigger question Thursday night and Friday will be regarding lake snow. We expect lake effect to develop in the far western fringe of our viewing area by Thursday evening, and gradually lift north. We suspect most of the Mohawk Valley and points south will be shut out of this lake snow episode. However, northern Oneida and southern Lewis, as well as Northern Herkimer Counties may, for a time, end up in the heavy lake snow. The band will eventually settle in central Lewis County, producing some of the most intense snow of the season. High temperatures on Friday will be hampered by morning lows, and will not get above 5 degrees, and in many places, not even above zero."

A year ago today I was bemoaning the fact that, although it had been snowing, the temperature was about 30 degrees and there had been no significant accumulation!

The Millers Mills Ice Harvest - which usually takes place the first weekend in February - was cancelled due to warm weather and an insufficiency of ice. I don't imagine that that will happen again this year!




will take place tomorrow


at 4:30 P.M. at WCS



At "Red" Mack's on Conger Avenue.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications from homeowners to cut firewood on state forests in Chenango, Madison and Broome counties.

WCS Boys' Varsity Basketball plays Sauquoit Valley at SV tonight at 7:30.

WCS Girls' Varsity Basketball plays Cooperstown (away) tomorrow at 7:30.


An every day exercise for the DPW.

Wintertime on Newberry Road

Loomis Road view.

The Sangerfield River at Loomis Road
was as frozen-over as I have ever seen it.



The Madison Historical Society is sponsoring a round and square dance on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, from 8 p.m. until midnight, at the Madison Historical Museum on South Street.
The band “Good Ole Boy” will provide the music. There will be a donation of $6 per person.
Food will be available including home made pies.
The public is invited to attend this event.


at the American Legion Post #92
8:00 - 11:00 A.M.


Waterville Village Board Meeting
will take place at 7:00 P.M.
on Wednesday, January 21.


Coming to Rochester in March!
(Click image for information.)


Keep Warm

and have a fine day, everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009



It's Recyclables Day

7.2 degrees at 5:30 A.M.

6.1 degrees and clear at 6 o'clock.

5.7 degrees at 6:30.

From WKTV as of Tuesday evening: "We won't recover much Wednesday, with highs only in the upper single digits at best. A weak storm system will pass to our south Wednesday night and Thursday morning. If we avoid the clouds, temperatures will plummet Wednesday evening. Snow amounts will be light heading through Thursday afternoon. Temperatures may recover a bit above zero Thursday, but then quickly drop downward Thursday afternoon."


Both The Waterville Times and today's Observer-Dispatch have articles regarding the Friday Dedication of the Waterville Post Office to Cpl. John Sigsbee, killed in action in Iraq a year ago on the 16th.

Snowmobiles were on the trails and on the move, yesterday.

On Main Street, there was something different:

the DPW was taking down the Christmas wreaths and garlands .....

...... leaving Main Street looking almost bare!


Judge Bob McNamara

It snowed, off and on throughout the day, but the regular walkers, joggers and runners were out.

America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk on March 7.

At the Buschor Farm on Route 315 a dozen or more wild turkeys were feeding right next to the road - but they're skittish (or shy!) and only the greediest stayed where they were.

I drove past the Grant Hill Pond, in the afternoon, but there weren't any ducks there. I think I found them a few minutes later, however, and rousted them from a cornfield at the top of the hill!


A bit of an add-on re: the Book Discussion Group's upcoming meeting - it will take place at NOON on Wednesday, the 21st.

From Ron Bornick, in Clinton, this reminder: "The Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society will begin the new year with a review of 2008. Wednesday's ( 01-14-09) illustrated program will be presented by Kurt Wiehenstroer and is titled: "Space in 2008: A Year in Review". Meeting time is 7:30pm at the Town of Kirkland Senior Center, Mill St, Clarke Mills, NY"

It's time to


(Click image for more information!)


Bundle up; remember the wind chill factor, and

Have a Good Day, Everyone!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It's 20 degrees; overcast.

From WKTV: "Our models are hinting that some steady snow will develop by Noon due east of Lake Ontario, across Northeast Oneida, North-Central Herkimer and Hamilton Counties. Elsewhere, periods of snow will develop as well. By evening, the Arctic cold front you've been hearing so much about will finally cross. It will be accompanied by a period of intense snow. It may only last 5-10 minutes, but it could drop a half inch to an inch of snow, along with whiteout conditions, and blustery winds. Behind this front, temperatures will plummet and blowing and drifting snow will continue.
Here's our snowfall forecast for Tuesday:

"Temperatures will drop from near the freezing mark Tuesday evening to zero or below zero by Wednesday morning. In fact, the Adirondacks could see a steep drop well below zero. With that, will be wind chill values perhaps as low as -20 to -30 degrees by Wednesday morning. We won't recover much Wednesday, with highs only in the upper single digits at best. Clouds will move in Wednesday night, before another clipper type system on Thursday, with more light snows. By Thursday evening, a reinforcing, stronger shot of Arctic air will dive in. This will send temperatures plummeting once again Thursday afternoon. We may briefly warm up early, but we'll be back below zero by evening."

I'm not trying to start a panic - although I'm quite sure that Foodking will be busy, today, with villagers stocking up on the usual "necessities" - but just to suggest that the young man pictured below look to see if he has a cool-weather coat and hint that this might not be the best time for local "46'rs" to plan a "winter camp" trip to the Adirondacks!


Everything was back to normal at Morgan's, yesterday, and the sidewalk showroom was bright!

There are still a few good tall snowbanks ........

........... and the Foodking parking lot has a good-sized mountain of snow ..........

........... but the DPW was out all day clearing space around fire hydrants .......

.... and making sure visibility was improved, here and there.

Out on Daytonville and Lewis Roads, Marshall Township has pushed back snowbanks, making room for more snow.


Some creatures come outfitted for this sort of weather.

(Jeff Reynolds sent me this photograph, yesterday, calling it "Sipping Wild Turkey(s)" and noting that, "these birds found a seep in my neighbor's orchard and slaked their thirst!" Thanks, Jeff!)

Others - like Andy and Vicky - put on a couple more layers and enjoy it!


I drove past the Car Wash, yesterday afternoon, just as Tom was putting up a new sign:

Hey: what are friends for?!


I received an Email from Karen Cook, yesterday, in which she wrote:

" The Benefit for Pam Howard Camp was a huge success! I’ve always known how blessed I am to live in such a great little town, but things like what I saw yesterday never stop amazing me; just how wonderful the people here are."


Here's a reminder to Book Discussion Group members from Doris Stephan:

"We have changed the meeting time for this month to 12 Noon.
Bring your brown bag lunch and we'll supply tea, coffee, and dessert.

There's still time to reserve a copy of 'North River' by Pete Hamill.
Call the library at 841 4651.


Also from the Library, Jill Getman writes:

"As we plan for our 'Snowfest' on February 14th we are looking for some donations of old tires, orange cones, or similar items that can be used for an obstacle course; plastic spray bottles for snow sculptures; any other fun snow items, hot cocoa, or goodies.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate with us to have a lot of snowy activities for the whole family outside, and stories, crafts, and goodies inside."



Down 3 cents.


Have a good day, everyone!

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's Garbage Day!
15.6 degrees; no precipitation.

According to an article in this morning's Observer-Dispatch, we're heading for a "cold snap!"

The meteorologist at WKTV writes: " -- flurries and snow showers will drop southward during the day tomorrow as the wind flow becomes northwesterly. Perhaps a coating to an inch of snow may fall in spots, but with dry air building in from the west and aloft, we don't expect widespread amounts to be much more than that. Monday's high will be in the upper 20's.
The notorious Arctic cold front will arrive by Tuesday afternoon with some squalls, perhaps a quick inch or two of snow accumulation and gusty winds. Much colder air will filter into CNY by dinnertime Tuesday with some lake effect possible Tuesday night.

"We will be in the deep freeze with periods of snow for the rest of the workweek. Highs will struggle to reach 0-10 above. Overnight readings will be below zero. In areas where skies clear and winds go calm, readings of -10 to -30 degrees will be possible. This is a dangerously cold air mass. Be sure to dress in layers when going outside later in the workweek."

Last Friday, with a huge full moon in the afternoon sky ...............

........ snow buntings rose from corn fields in Hanover and wild turkeys browsed in a field next to Route 315 in "Dicksville."

At the foot of Grant Hill, on Saturday morning, there were several Mallard Ducks in the tiny little bit of pond that remained unfrozen.


According to Brothertown Music Boosters President, Dale Meszler, the organization's Saturday morning Pancake Breakfast was a fine success!

Pancakes seem to be winners, all the time, and everyone knows it:

there will be another such event at
the American Legion on the 18th

and a third on the 24th at Sanger Lodge!


One of the Community's favorite annual "happenings,"

the Great "Give-away"

at St. Bernard's Catholic Church,

will take place Friday January 30th and Saturday January 31st.

Dropoffs of gently used, useable, clean clothing,
household items, toys and books begins Monday January 19th.


On Sunday afternoon, West Main Street was jammed: half the community must have been at the Pam Howard Camp Benefit at Stinkers!

The other half were out on their snomobiles!

I watched a group come to a stop and cautiously cross Route 20 ............

........... before speeding happily off across a field bound for ???

Here, a family rode a trail leading westward from Brothertown Road ..........

............ perhaps heading for Solsville, where the parking lot at the Hotel was filled with bright-colored "sleds."


I received a very nice Email from Byron Stuhlman, yesterday morning, reporting that it was snowing at Round Pond, Maine! He wrote, "Though Maine gets less snow than CNY,
plowing isn't as good, and both Hester and I got studded snow tires for our cars for the first time."

I hope that it snowed in New York City on Saturday afternoon: Jim Vivyan was waiting .... and waiting .... and waiting!