Diamond Sportsmen’s Club Camp

campI’m not sure how this happened but I don’t believe I’ve mentioned my parents new haven here yet. A few years back we lost our second camp (also not mentioned her as of yet) to a leasing issue and my parents decided they’d had enough. Next time, they’d buy one.  For about two years, my family had been on the market. They hadn’t been actively looking, but things had cropped up here and there without anything very enticing.

Last summer things changed. My father heard about this little camp on a somewhat large privately owned club that was up for sale. I’m not sure what it was exactly but something caught his eye so he high-tailed it up there to check it out and liked it so much that he brought my mother up a few days later.

IMG_2004They had actually seen the ad for the same camp the previous fall but thought it was overpriced.  After a winter of not selling the price fell and after seeing the ad for the second time they are now the proud new owners of their own little slice of the Adirondack Pie.

A little over a year later and the camp has given us many new friends, one nice Buck, a new four-wheeler, a few thousand miles on the snowmobiles, 2 tired puppies, and too many feasts to count.

As the second year of ownership begins, we’re (almost) done with first major camp project.  A nice big Toy Shed to keep everything dry.  Now it’s time to relax, shoot some bucks, enjoy the camp over the winter and prep for next year.

The camp is perfect size for two people, but when you add another two (or three) and some huskies, it gets a little cramped. Next year we plan to more than double the size, two new bed rooms and a larger living space later and we should be all set.

Can’t wait. I love spending time up there almost as much as my father does.

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The Toy Shed

shed-6Rachel and I were gone on an awesome vacation for 3 weeks this summer.  By the time we got back, my father was full-swing into building his new shed for camp.  The rest of my summer was spent at camp (oh no), helping him put it up.  It felt like every weekend but was probably only every other.  Some days we made progress, other days we just relaxed in the mountains.  Either way you look at it though, we were within the blue line so did it really matter?

We call it the shed, but It should probably be called a barn.  It’s not built like the typical plywood thrown-together mess you can buy almost anywhere.  It’s built to last, Adirondack style.  Amish raw cut real 2×4’s and all.  In a lot of ways, it might be over-engineered and over-thought, but it’s good to do things that way sometimes.  My dad did most of the work himself. I helped a bit with the roof, siding and hanging the doors.  My Uncle and my cousin helped a bit with the roof and the siding, and a friend at camp dug out the hillside and leveled out some of our lot with his equipment.  All that’s left is some tin in a few places and some paint!

My dad likes to call it the “Toy Shed” or the “Toy Barn” or the “Toy House,” whichever name fits his fancy at the moment.  We even had a sign made for it.  That’s because it’s intended to house our snowmobiles, 4-wheelers and whatever else we come up with.  Oh, it’s also intended to house the tools and equipment we’ll need for next years project, the camp addition.

We’re gonna need help though.  So if you’re up for some hard work next spring/summer at a beautiful location, let me know.  Remember, the more you help out the more likely we’ll be to invite you up to relax!

A bit of the construction process:

What I’ll Miss (about camp)

In 1989 New York State bought the land the Long Lake Hunting Club had leased for the better part of the century (1200 acres, 8 miles from the nearest road).  They gave us 10 years to get out.  So in 1999 we had to leave the place many of it’s members had grown up in, myself included.  I’m not sure who, but someone wrote this poem and I’ve kept it hidden away in the dark bowels of my computer until now.

What I’ll Miss

As We give this camp a final toast,
I wonder what I’ll miss the most?
My bunk, the couch, that big green chair?
The smell of bacon in the air?

How bout that griddle made of steel?
Mmmm… we never missed a meal.
That big wood stove, it’s sides would glow,
and keep us warm at ten below.

Yes all these things were very nice,
and I’ll think of them once or twice,
But what hurts so much to leave behind
are all the people in my mind.

Harley, Bummer, Bob and Rod…
take care of them almighty God.
Roger, Howard, Loren, Chris;
It’s all you guys I’m gonna miss.

But there’s one thing we’ll always keep,
Within our hearts, way down deep;
Those memories of yesterday,
No one will ever take away.

And even though the camp is gone;
Those memories will linger on.

~Unknown Member of the Long Lake Hunting Club of Harrisville, NY

Every time I read it I feel the heat emanating from the old cast iron stove as we play just ‘one more hand’ of Euchre at the table built for 20 with the giant jar of maraschino cherries in the middle ready for Roger’s Manhatten.

I’ve seen very few of the members since the club folded. Some created a new club a few miles down the road from the old one, and we’ve visited with them a few times. Unfortunately, most moved on to places unknown.

I miss it. A lot.

I miss my uncle Loren (mentioned in the poem) the most.

Protest in Rochester NY Erupts in Violence

Those who make peaceful revolution protest impossible, make violent revolution protest inevitable ~JFK

I’m not sure how I missed this but it seems last Wednesday October 7th there was a protest by the Students for a Democratic Society in Downtown Rochester NY that ended in a lot of violence and brutality.

If you read section 240.20 of the New York State Penal Code it’s pretty clear that the protesters broke the law. To me it’s also pretty clear that the police overstepped their bounds.

Although it’s pretty hard to tell exactly what happened, it’s pretty easy to see the police were excessively violent.  Two protesters were even sent to the hospital and 12 were arrested by brutal means like throwing them to the ground.  The video clearly shows several officers pushing and shoving, yelling, screaming and pulling out their billy clubs.

Frankly, I don’t see how this type of blatant power trip can be tolerated.  They should all be fired.

The following is a press conference the SDS gave after the protest.  There’s tons more interviews and articles about the SDS protest online if you’re interested in reading more.

http://blip.tv/play/AYGmpAYC

Seattle Wall of Gum

What?
Seattle has a giant wall covered in so much used gum that it has become famous? You’re kidding me right? I’m disgusted, and yet intrigued kind of like the feeling I get when seeing a glorious Joe dirt style mullet.

I’m completely shocked that we didn’t hear about this while we were in Seattle. Wait, maybe we did and just thought it was so revolting that we repressed it from memory.

gumwall

Now we’ve immortalized it on our website for all to see forever.

New project idea: Start a blog who’s sole purpose is to reunite old pieces of gum with their owners ala Found Camera. I’ve even thought of a great fitting name for it: http://www.wefoundyourgumyoudisgustinglitteringpig.com/rightwhereyouSTUCKit

Genealogy and the Power of Social Media

It’s (semi) official. I share a bloodline with George W Bush. He’s my 19th cousin once removed. So. Very. Strange.

I’ve been using Geni for quite a while now after becoming slightly interested in Genealogy. I’m not sure what piked my interest to begin with, but I know what solidified it and it’s probably no news to you. Seems I might be descendant of royalty (ie: King Edward II aka LongShanks). I still haven’t found the direct link (just some woman named Mary listed as a ‘Descendent of’) to King Edward II but although unproven as of yet, I can trace back to the Aldrich Immigrant George Aldrich with a certain level of certainty.

Geni has been running a promotion recently for a 14 day free Pro account trial. About 2 weeks ago I figured what the heck, why not? I went for it and HOLY COW! The power of social media has truly been revealed to me.

family-statsOne of the key features of a Pro account is the ability to find similar profiles to those in your tree. I figured the best way to go about this is to go back as far as I can and see if there are any matches. Naturally I used the immigrant George Aldrich (born 1605) whom I also happened to recently find the last will and testament of. Wow did I find matches. Over 20 of them in fact, and after requesting merges with those that appeared to be identical matches, my tree began to grow at an astounding rate. You see, once you merge with someone else who is active, they begin requesting merges with others, who request merges with others and eventually you’ll likely know how you’re connected to everyone. Geni‘s own slogan is after all “Everyone’s Related”.

After two weeks of this (I’m now lacking a Pro account since the trial is up) my tree is ginormous. To be specific I’m now connected to over 26 million people (living and deceased) with over 5 thousand direct ancestors alone. It’s insane and the number keeps going up and up and up.

Sometimes all this connectedness and user driven content does have its downsides though. I just found out that George W Bush is my 19th Cousin Once Removed. We share blood. ugh. Unfortunately now that I lost my Pro Account I can no longer view the ‘path’ between us since he’s too distant and not a direct ancestor. They usually look a little something like this though:

william-raby

This is all very cool and I’ve learned a ton about my family’s history. What’s really neat is you find other people out there that are more interested and have more information than you do. This is certainly one area that Social Media excels at.

If you even have a tiny interest in this stuff at all I highly recommend using Geni.com to get started, even if it’s just to get your immediate family into the site so others can find you. You never know, you might just inherit England.