New Mobile Theme

We just installed WPTouch which automatically re-themes the website when viewed on a mobile device.  Probably should have done so a long time ago, but it’s a nice touch and makes the site look respectable on your mobile devices rather than miniature unreadable text.

Here’s a brief history of what the site has looked like over time.  Unfortunately it’s only a partial history because I never kept screen shots until now.  The first one I nabbed from archive.org.  In the interest of moving forward we’ll just keep track of it from now on.


Some time in 2007 through some time in 2008



Some time in 2009 through current


February 2010 through current

Snowstorm in Fairport

Took a little walk with my Camera and MonoPod tonight.  It was my first time using a Monopod and it’s alright, but I couldn’t drag the shutter as much as I wanted to so I had to crank the ISO a bit more than I’d like for pictures like these.  Ahh well, turned out ok anyway.  Kinda fun to shoot too.

I love the snow and I love snow storms. They make Fairport so pretty.  Glad I took the time to go out even if it was for only a few minutes.

The Lone Grave of Benj Miller

Ran into a strange site while snowmobiling last weekend.  The Lone Grave of Benj Miller.  At least that’s what I’m calling it…

It’s a single grave surrounded by a chain link fence on the top of a small hill along route 56.  The snowmobile trail goes right by it (2 ft away).  There’s a small GAR flag symbol and grave posted next to the gravestone so we know he was a (cavalry) soldier in the Union army during the Civil War.

I’ve done some digging on the net and the best I’ve been able to locate is some others who found the grave and were interested as well.  According to one of the sites I found there might be some more info in The Story of a Cavalry Regiment but I couldn’t find it.

The gravestone reads:

Benj Miller
Co B 11 NY CAV
Died About 1870
Age About 23 Yrs

I might contact the town to see if there’s any more info.  If it happens to intrigue you, and you find any more info than I have, please leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks!

The Pinecone

The Pinecone is one of those places that is incredibly seasonal. It services mostly boaters and snowmobilers. It’s in Wanakena at the opposite end of Cranberry lake from Cranberry Lake Lodge and there’s only 2 ways to get there on snowmobile: the alice brook trail (a narrow windy mess I don’t recommend) or the river.

This time of year the river is your best bet as long as you’ve got the equipment (a snowmobile and lots of warm wind proof clothing). Just make sure you’re off the lake by dark, and you’re not caught out there in a blizzard. Lots of hazards out there on the ice and it’s a longggggg lake. Just about 10 miles from end to end.  If you can’t see the other end, it’s awfully hard to know where you’re going.

The food at the Pinecone is pretty darn good. They’ve got a 1/2 lb burger that worked wonders for my appetite. Their hot chocolate hit the spot too after being out on the lake for that long, although I’m fairly certain it’s just your standard store bought hot chocolate.

Anyway, not a bad place to visit as long as the ice conditions are good (which they were, best I’ve ever seen) or you have a boat. You can doc your boat and eat there in the summer.

Check it out, if you dare.

Perfect Snow & Perfect Bonfires

Delayed Post: written 2/14/2010

I don’t know what the Inuit word is for this type of snow (yes I know that myth isn’t really true) but I know mine: Perfect. It’s nice and grainy, packs just a little, blows just a little, isn’t wet (until it melts). Just perfect.  We haven’t had a ton of snow up here lately, nothing like what they just got down south. But the stuff we do have is just right.

We ran into a nice couple at the intersection of 81 and the (new?) trail towards Degrasse. A few minutes of discussion informed us of a big bonfire being put on by the Cranberry Lake Snowmobile Club just down the trail from our original destination (the Windfall).  Cheap lunch and supporting the club? Sounds good. We said thanks and headed on out towards the bonfire.

Whoa! Talk about fire! And the hot chocolate and hot dogs were free to boot! Met a nice guy named Randy Paige (sp?) who told us about a new 4-wheeler association which is going to make most of the trails we snowmobile on accessible by 4-wheeler this summer.  Sweet!

They had 2 groomers there open to let people climb in and check them out. About. 100 sleds, tons of raffle tickets for a gun, a 50/50, and the state raffle tickets for new snowmobiles. Was a good time, put some money in for the 50/50 but they were out of gun raffle tickets. Ahh well, one thing we probably don’t need more of anyway.

After the (free) lunch we headed for the open trail and made our way home.

Miles on the sled this season: 336

Rochester’s Broad Street

The plans to rip up Broad Street and reconstruct the original Canal Aqueduct over the river are progressing.  I’ve mentioned the plans before and I’ve always thought it was kind of a neat idea but never thought it would get anywhere.  Now that it seems to be getting some traction it deserves more thought.

I for one think it’s completely ridiculous, and the City has more important things to do with its money.

The following is a letter I sent to:

  • Louise Slaughter
  • Paul.Holahan@cityofrochester.gov
  • info@broadstreetcorridor.com
  • Hackt@cityofrochester.gov
  • info@cityofrochester.gov (The closest I could find to Mayor Bob Duffy)
  • Patricia.malgieri@cityofrochester.gov
  • darryl.porter@cityofrochester.gov

Regardless of how you stand on the issue, I suggest you do the same.

Broad St Closure – A Concerned Citizen

The closing of the broad street bridge this week has me frustrated.  It’s something I cross on the bus at least once a day and has increased my bus commute time by about 5-10 minutes in each direction. In the morning due to the detour, and in the afternoon due to the additional build up of traffic on Exchange st.  Even in the past two days, the inconvenience this has created has been significant.  This has also been during a week of school closures and lighter than usual traffic.  I’m concerned how the effects would be during events at the Convention Center and War Memorial.

Why is the bridge closed anyway? Are we really going to tear out the bridge and flood the original aqueduct to create a POND over the RIVER?  Or are we just going to blow millions of dollars planning it and studying the effects of possibly doing it and then do nothing?

Rochester citizens have watched many other big projects fail and cost them millions of dollars with no gain.  Sure we got a new port building from the Fast Ferry debacle, but now it sits mostly unused and unoccupied.  One of the few ideas (The Casino) which stood to bring in direct revenue for the city was even voted down.  Now we plan on sinking millions into a plan to create another Manhatten square Park or another Genesee Crossroads with a manmade water feature in the middle instead of a river.

Rochester has proven time and time again that it can’t deliver on ideas like this.  Therefor we need to spend the money on things like better public transportation systems, Better education, maintaining (or improving) the parks we do have.

We don’t need another money pit, we need something with some real return on investment.

Stop wasting our money and end the study of the Broad St bridge closure early.

A Concerned Citizen,
Randy Aldrich

Snowpocolypse – or How I’ll Enjoy the Weekend

63.5″ is a lot of snow. I don’t care where you are or where you’re from.  It’s not unheard of in the north country but for the southern areas which are getting slammed right now, it’s a ton.  Some of these cities only see 12″ of snow for a whole season, others only see a few inches occasionally.  to get almost 70″ in one week… wow.   The biggest problem is their lack of equipment.

Take a look at the satellite aftermath of the storm:

Looks like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow.

Either way, I’m headed right into the middle of snow country this weekend.  Spending a long weekend at camp snowmobiling and otherwise enjoying the winter weather and beautiful scenery.

60″ sounds like nothing but fun to me.  If you live in this area of the country, you need to have outdoor winter hobbies.

I’ll see you from the top of littl blue!

The Coolest Thing Since… The Last Ultrasound

Wow!

Technology is amazing.

I know Ultrasounds aren’t really all that new but they can show you some really cool stuff! Seriously, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

Our little baby is gonna be an acrobat or something, she sure is active and flexible!  You can almost make out her face if you watch closely.

I just wish the offices would catch up with their technology.  We’re forced to record the Ultrasounds on VHS.  Seriously… VHS.  We even bought a 4 pack of them (smallest available) from Target for the first one and it was like $8!  All we do with them is convert them from VHS->DVD for archival storage and then rip the DVD->Computer for your enjoyment and our viewing purposes (we’re all digital).

House Officially Refinanced

We’re a fan of big wins, and refinancing our Mortgage has probably been one of our biggest.  It’ll take about 4 years to recoup the costs of refinancing by what we’re saving monthly but overall the savings are huge.  We’ll be saving over $60k in interest over the course of the loan.

It was a bumpy ride but we learned a lot along the way.  Mostly, that NY sucks and banks are thieves.

  • A Refinance is no different than an original mortgage.  It’s treated exactly the same.  Almost as if your buying the house from yourself and you have to pay all the fees.
  • Monroe County charges a totally unreasonable Mortgage Tax
  • Title insurance doesn’t make any sense.  It’s good for the life of the property but you have to pay it again when you refinance.  No refund, no discount.
  • Banks charge outrageous fees.
    • Loan Origination Fees
    • Commitment Fees
    • Application Fees
  • Bank require you to pay their lawyer fees on top of all the fees they charge you to begin with.

Lots of fun huh?  Good thing it’ll be worth it in the end.

The Legend of The lightning Eagle

I’m a published author, didn’t you know? Apparently in 1991 I wrote some goofy story about an Eagle and they published it into a little bound book.  Just found it in a pile of stuff from my mother.  Kinda funny.  I was 8 so be gentle…

The Legend of the Lightning Eagle
by: Randy A Aldrich
Published in the Marion Elementary Publishing Center 1991

A long time ago, there was an Eagle who lived in a huge nest.  He loved to fly above a big open field.

One day when he was flying he decided to go into town.  When he did, people saw him and tried shooting him.  Then he flew back to the field.

The next week he went back, but during that period he learned to fly very, very fast.

When they tried shooting him, he flew as fast as the wind.

When he went back to his nest during the night, people thought of a name for him.  “It is done then.  His name is Lightning Eagle,” said the counselor.

They told everybody in the town.  The very next day some kids started a club.  It was called the Lightning Eagle Club.

That day he flew into town.  He was very surprised because no one shot at him.  “Why aren’t they shooting?” he thought.

The people in the Town yelled, “We’re not going to shoot you.  We even made a name for you — Lighting Eagle.”

About the author: I am 8 years old.  I like to play baseball during summer vacation.  I like to go for rides on our boat and go to the thousand islands.

It is done then.