Politician pay raises…..

Posted January 5, 2016 By Ruth

Onondaga County NY (where I used to live) politicians have decided to give themselves a raise.  27% for the County Executive, and 15% for most of the rest of the county politicians.

The excuse?  Its been 8yrs since the last raise and:

even kids working at McDonald’s have had raises in that time.

There’s just one teensy little problem with that comparison……

Nobody, not nobody, in store level retail or food service, receives a 15-27% raise for staying in the same position.  Not in today’s economy!  And not for the past several years.  Certainly the largest raise I’ve ever gotten, with an Excellent yearly review, while staying in the same position, was barely 2%.  It was, btw, a whole $0.25 increase in hourly wage.  I guess, if you want to assume 2% times 8yrs I MIGHT see a 15-16% raise.  But in all honesty?  Not really…..

The County Exec will be receiving an additional $33,000 a year.

I don’t have a problem with the concept that someone who’s been in the same position for an extended period, who you feel has done the job well, deserves a raise.  But 15-27%??  No fucking way……

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Broccoli

Posted January 3, 2016 By Ruth

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When I went out early afternoon and checked the thermometer it said the temp had been holding nicely at 20degrees over air temp.  So barring anything drastic the broccoli should be fine.  Cross your fingers!

That’s a double layer of fabric frost protection cloth, with a layer of plastic sheeting over that (I don’t remember what mils, it was what we had around the house), and a single strand of non-LED C9 christmas lights string on hooks on the underside of the A-frame supports (1×6 pressure treated boards left over from building the front steps, the boards aren’t IN the tire-beds, but braced outside it, so the chemicals from the boards shouldn’t be a problem).  Once this weather is past I’ll pull off the plastic and unplug the lights, but leave the frames and cloth in place.  That way if the weather swings again all I have to do is plug back in the lights and re-drape the plastic.

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Dear Mother Nature…..

Posted January 3, 2016 By Ruth

…..I wasn’t actually COMPLAINING about the warm winter, I really wasn’t!

If you scroll down a little to the end of my last post you’ll find a screenshot from Weather Underground with the weather prediction for the (then) coming 10 days.

Take note of the weather predictions for the 3rd and 4th.

Then come back here and compare to the same days on this one:

weather

I’m not sure when it changed, but it was Thursday evening when I noticed it.  Spent a couple hours on Friday scrambling to arrange freeze protection for the Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli in the garden.  Its supposed to be tolerant down to 10 Fahrenheit, but Monday’s low would be pushing it regardless.  So its now covered in a makeshift tent of fabric frost cover, plastic sheeting, and old style Christmas lights in an attempt to keep it from freezing tonight and tomorrow.  I’ll try to get a picture of it later today.  I did toss a digital thermometer into the setup, one that records the high and low for the last 24hrs, so we’ll see what it actually hits in there.

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Christmas and tracks and more weather

Posted December 28, 2015 By Ruth

This isn’t the first year we’ve not had a white Christmas.  But usually it’s because we had a thaw a few days before, not because it hasn’t snowed at all.

This year it was mud and more mud and green grass.  Seriously green grass.  Which is a little disconcerting to look at when it’s Christmas and you’re headed to dinner with the family.  Christmas Eve it hit 68 degrees out.

Over all though it was a good Christmas.  Dinner was great.  And not even ruined by the fact that my (Husband’s) niece is 12 going on 17 and managed to push her dad into an epic argument in the middle of it all.  Knowing the two of them I doubt it was the first time its happened, and it sure won’t be the last.

Before we headed to my Inlaw’s for dinner we took the time to do a proper round of the property lines.  We’ve been lazy about it recently.  In the process discovered some interesting wildlife tracks.

(Ok, this first one was actually taken a few days earlier and I forgot to post) This must have been a BIG White-tail checking out the fruit trees.  Rumor has it that a big 16 pointer has been seen in the area (always in non-hunt-able areas), makes me wonder if this is him:

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If you look close there’s a (comparatively) tiny print in the top left corner.

Then right along the back line I found these:

Racoon:

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Coyote:

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But then I also found these, and I’m a bit baffled:

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Not significantly bigger than the coyote tracks, but wider, the pad marks are wider and slightly differently shaped, and there’s no claw marks.  In mud that soft there ought to be claw marks if it was a canine, even if they were well worn claws.  The NY DEC insists that we don’t have big cat here, but I’m almost wondering if thats what these are from.  I moved our one surviving trail camera from the trail by the stream to a spot where it can watch this trail.  Hopefully my scent all over as I muddled over the tracks won’t scare off the wildlife……

Speaking of the weather, it looks like mother nature is going to try for a winter after all:

weather

Tuesday morning’s work commute ought to be “interesting”……

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Oh Holy Night

Posted December 24, 2015 By Ruth

I don’t do alot of traditional Christmas music these days.  Not because I don’t appreciate it, but because after working retail for most of my life I’ve heard more horrid versions of it than I can count.  And trying to sort out the good from the bad to listen to just isn’t something I want to go through.

But some songs just belong, especially on Christmas Eve.

Course, then you have to find someone singing it who doesn’t murder it.  Turns out more than half the folks who’ve done this song professionally have “played” with it.  Made it fancy.  Added vocal trills.

Simple is good folks.  This is a simple song.

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The Sound of Silence

Posted December 22, 2015 By Ruth

If you’re on social media you may have already seen this.  But I’m sharing it anyway.

While it doesn’t beat out the original, its a damn good re-make.

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Dog theft in northern NY

Posted December 20, 2015 By Ruth

15 to 17 dogs have gone missing recently in Saint Lawrence County NY.  Plus another two theft attempts have been thwarted by owners who paid attention.

For those of us in the upstate NY region please keep a close eye on your dogs!  Even if your yard is fenced, even if you believe the dog won’t stray out of the yard.

For those of you in the surrounding areas and states, please keep an eye out for someone selling large  numbers of dogs!

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Buffalo tacos

Posted December 15, 2015 By Ruth

If you ever get the chance, ground buffalo meat makes awesome tacos.  One of these days I’ll get around to making up my own seasoning mix!

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Frustration

Posted December 15, 2015 By Ruth

Frustration is calling the doctor’s office.  In mid-Oct.  And being told the first available appointment with the doctor himself is mid-Dec.  Which does me lots of good when I’m having reasonably normal days that are ending in me barely able to walk cause ankles and knees have stiffened to the point of significant pain.  I could have seen a PA earlier, but is it worth trying to explain it all over again to another person?

Frustration is going in for that mid-Dec appointment and it being the one day that week that I didn’t hurt, wasn’t stiff, and wasn’t swollen.

Frustration is telling the above problems to the doctor.  And being told that if I need to take anything on top of the meloxicam to take tylenol.  Cause obviously if I wasn’t stiff that day, then I don’t actually need anything else I guess.

I almost missed his statement about not adding anything “else” to my drug regimen because it’s not worth lowering my immune system any further……except there’s nothing to add too.  He’d talked previously about prescribing me something to try to stop or slow the bone erosion in my hands, but that never happened.  Didn’t even realize he’d said that till I was home.  What did I miss??

Yes, finding the right pair of shoes helped my ankles.  It only took three pairs to find the right ones.  And yes, adding magnesium to my daily intake helped too.  But neither is a miracle cure.  Of course the next day, after the appointment, I spent the day at work in noticeable pain.

I felt like a druggie asking him for pain meds.  I hate this.  I don’t want codeine, or vicodin, or whatever the one is that’s the big one now.  If I ever get to the point where I have to take those on a daily basis just to function just put me out of my misery please.  But there’s got to be something in between the meloxicam and those drugs that I can take when I’m having a bad day?  I wasn’t even having this pain a year ago!  A year ago my ankles were fine!

Frustration is trying to find out what other rheumatology offices there are in the general area and coming up almost blank.  Basically I could ask to change to a different doctor within the practice and that’s it for my choice of doctors.  If they’d let me switch.  They might not.  Apparently they had problems with people “opinion shopping” so now all such requests to change doctors require all sorts of approvals.

And to top it off.  This screwed up weather is making my hands hurt.

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Weather

Posted December 14, 2015 By Ruth

Its been an incredibly mild fall and winter so far.  Scarily so.  We had a couple nights dip towards 20 degrees (F) but thats the coldest its gotten so far.  The ground isn’t frozen.  We had the barest dusting of snow, once.

Which has me a little worried about what January and February are going to bring.  Even if it stays comparatively warm out.  All this warm means that the Great Lakes aren’t freezing over.  This means that storms coming over them are still picking up massive amounts of water that is then dropped on us folks here in Upstate NY.  So far that’s all come down as rain.  Which isn’t my idea of fun, especially with the mud it creates, but it could be ever so much worse.

If the “right” storm comes over, it could all drop as snow.  And that would be bad.  Anyone remember the storm that hit Buffalo NY last year in Nov?  The one that dropped 6ft of snow in about 24hrs?  Yah, thats what happens when the “right” storm hits the Great Lakes before they freeze.  But at this rate they’re not going to freeze at all this year…..

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