Housesitter

I figure I’d use this time to get back into the swing of things here on this blog. I have been so preoccupied with stuff the last few weeks that I haven’t really been up to date on the blog as much as I should be but since I am on my first vacation from work for the year, this couldn’t be at a better time. So here we go.

For starters, even as I post this, I just want to let you know that I am not in H-town this weekend. I left Thursday night because I have to housesit for my folks for the weekend and they live in an area where there are no cell phone towers (which renders my phone useless so I can’t call or text or use the mobile web) and the Internet at their house is a dial-up connection which is pretty slow and not compatible with most sites, including YouTube and unfortunately Twitter. However, I can still check email, go on Facebook, answer questions on Formspring and of course do this blog.

Basically, all I had to do this weekend was take care of their animals, specifically dogs, cats, and horses. But other than that, there isn’t really too much I can do except watch movies and go for a walk down the road. My only problem is that it’s too quiet around here. I don’t think that I could ever live in an isolated area like this because it would be like solitary confinement. I’d go completely nuts. I miss H-town, I miss high-speed Internet, I miss my phone.

And as I write this, today is my last full day of housesitting before I return to civilization tomorrow afternoon. However, I am still on vacation from work until July 17 and I have already set my next vacation for the fourth week in August (the 19th through the 27th) because that week is the week that I start college at HCCC. It was probably a good idea that I decided to take off that week so that way in addition to adjusting to life as a college student, I would not be burdened with going to work that week as well. I have just added HCCC as my college on Facebook even though I don’t start for another month.

But anyway, since I am on vacation this week, I figure I’d start doing a little catching up on this blog because I have been a little behind, especially with the fact that I’m still operating at the library and I have had a whole slew of outside distractions. I also haven’t been able to do YouTube videos in a month because of the fact that the computer I use to edit my videos lost its sound. I was barely able to get the last episode of TAOB up from the Boxing Hall of Fame ceremony. Here is where I am going to start to get things back in order.

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And All The Leaves Must Fall

Some of the fall scenery that Central New York is famous for.

Here we are. I am now heading into week 2 of my vacation from work. And so far things have been uneventful, except for the fact that the weather over the weekend has been really beautiful. So beautiful that I finally managed to go outside and see some of the beautiful fall scenery that Central New York is famous for. I even managed to film some footage for the new episode of The Adventures of Blackcatloner this week on blip.tv.

Sunday afternoon (which was known as 10/10/10), I managed to hike on a trail alongside the Erie Canal on the Mohawk side of the canal. The trail actually starts at the old Fort Herkimer Church and goes all the way to the Movac Ambulance Dispatch Center in Mohawk near the canal bridge. I saw people attempting to draw hearts on the gravel portion of the trail and I saw a canal tour boat go by. One of the things I wanted to do ever since I started doing YouTube videos was to go on a boat ride on the Erie Canal to film a video. However just like the previous years, things fell through and I ended up not going. Hopefully next summer, I will be able to follow through on that.

Riggies, VP’s and Home Improvement

I couldn’t do any filming yesterday because something else came up. I had to replace my thermostat last night because somehow it got broken and my place was kind of chilly yesterday. It was pretty cold yesterday too, especially when I went out to mow for the Historical Society. My whole place is falling apart. So I got stuck doing some home improvement yesterday. There’s always something.

Last Thursday just as I was preparing to go to work and while I was online, I got to watch a little bit of the Vice Presidential debate. Of course the next day I found that C-SPAN put the whole thing on YouTube so I watched that just as I came home from work. I fell asleep during most of it but from what I saw, it definitely looks like Joe Biden won the debate. I just can’t stand Sarah Palin. Basically all she did was ramble on and on about the same old thing and what was the deal with the “aw, shucks” attitude and the winking and the “Hey, you mind if I can call you Joe?” mannerism. What was that all about? God, I just can’t listen to her without getting mad.

Anyway, on to a lighter subject. Last night, I finally had the privilege of having for dinner the Mohawk Valley’s most famous dish: Chicken Riggies. They’re good but they’re really hot. Usually once a year, Utica hosts an event called “Riggiefest” in which the area’s chefs descend on the festival to showcase their interpretation of this famous dish. I think they usually hold it during the summer so that’s an idea for next year.

And that’s pretty much it for now. Hopefully I will continue to be in touch.

The Lake

South Bay, Big Moose Lake. This photo was taken by the Herkimer County Historical Society in 2006.

Another vacation has come and gone and now I am back to work again. Well, anyway, allow me to bring you up to speed on what happened during the last few days of my vacation.

On Saturday, I finally went up to Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. It was really beautiful up there. We ate lunch at Big Moose Inn which was right on the lake so we got a good view of the lake. Of course, the main reason for me going up to the lake was mainly because of my ongoing work with the Gillette Case and my book. I even went out on the lake and viewed the spot where Grace Brown died over a hundred years ago as well as Covewood Lodge, where her ghost was sighted that led to the famous Unsolved Mysteries episode that dealt with the story. And in case you guys were asking this question, I’ll just say for the record that I did not see Grace’s ghost while I was up there. I was only up there for the day.

Grace Brown.

Grace Brown.

By the time I went up to the lake, I knew that it was almost one year to the day when I went down to visit Grace in South Otselic, her hometown, which is about an hour and a half from Herkimer. I still haven’t forgotten that trip, mainly because of an event that had occurred while I was on the property of her old farm house. As I was passing an apple tree, I began to feel as though Grace was nearby. As soon as the feeling started to hit me, I immediately remembered a photo I saw in Craig Brandon’s book, Murder in the Adirondacks, which had a teenaged Grace standing in front of an apple tree.

While I was in the tour boat, which was appropriately named the Grace, I spent some of the tour looking to see if I could see her ghost up there, but I did not see her probably because it was either still daylight out or it was the fact that I was not alone. My folks were up there with me. Maybe she is waiting until I go up there alone.

In a way, the Adirondacks were more or less unchanged especially on the car ride up. The view was pretty much the same as it might have been when Grace traveled up through the Adirondacks by way of train with Chester Gillette by her side. Of course the only real difference is that Route 28 now goes through the woods. And as you go through Old Forge, it looks more like the county fair than a typical Adirondack town.

Now I normally have a site that is devoted to Grace that I could have put this on, but since this tied in with my regular life, I figured that I would put this story in here. After all, she has been a pretty big part of my life for the last two years and still is. Grace’s death is truly “the murder that will never die.”

Hot Times In Herkimer

So far the first four days of my vacation have been going pretty good. I spent most of the time cleaning and working on my book both at home and at the Historical Society. I have also been going up to HCCC as well, doing my Myspace thing as well as checking my Cupid.com account to see if anyone is interested in me. So far, no luck.

Last weekend was the Boilermaker marathon that they have every year in Utica. Someone had thought that I ran the Boilermaker this year and I told them that I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. I’m in shape, but not in shape enough to run that. Running and me just don’t mix.

The thing is that it has been really hot the last few days. It was like being roasted like a pig on a spit. I couldn’t really do too much walking around. And of course, we also got some pretty good thunderstorms during the last couple of days. It was really hot in the library when I was trying to use Myspace. Yesterday morning while I was trying to fix my profile on Myspace, I noticed that the system went down, partly due to construction that was going on downstairs. I was able to spend some more time trying to fix my profile so that people could access it in case anyone wanted to send me a friend request. So far, I have had no luck.

Over the weekend, I got a new toy. I bought an old video camera from a guy who works at the Historical Society. He is planning to move back to South America next month and he is having a moving sale. It is from the good ol’ days when VCRs were king. There’s just one little problem with it: It needs a new microphone. The images come up pretty good, it’s just that there is no sound when I play it back on a VCR. As soon as I get the problem solved, it’s a sure bet that you will see me on YouTube pretty soon.

Right now, I am writing this from the Basloe Library. I figured that I could cut back on my emails on Yahoo by going later for today and tomorrow since I am on vacation from Wally World. Last Friday morning when I went to the library, I was frustrated when I couldn’t access Yahoo, which meant when I went to HCCC yesterday morning, I was backlogged with emails on Yahoo so I had to go through that. I had a whole slew of emails and a lot of them were junk emails anyway.

So anyway, that’s what’s been happening from the Herkimer front.