Fall musings…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, sorry for the lag!  The fall has heralded the beginning of a new school year for the boys, travels to old familiar places for me along withsome time to write, and Bridget has been ripping it up in the world of finance!  After a really dry summer, the rains have returned this fall, but a bit too late for our usual burst of bright colors.  The foliage is pretty subdued, and falling FAST these days.

Deer's Leap

Cross Country has made it’s debut on Tink’s schedule, including meets at SPAC…

Off to the new Yankee Stadium with my “adopted” daughter Corey…

Out on Lake George with Chet and Karen…

Homecoming Dances,…

Off to the Storytelling Festival in Fredonia,…

And a scenic ride home visiting my old friend, former duo partner, and roomate Denny,…

Even saw a couple of Amish girls out for a “Joy Ride”,…

All in all, it’s been a great fall so far, and the signs all point to more of the same…

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Summer pick for “Best Restaurant”

2128 Doubleday Avenue
Rt. 50, Ballston Spa


OK,… I know what you’re thinking, “This place isn’t in the Adirondacks!”  And you’re right, of course.  But it IS on the way to, and on the way back from your Adirondack adventures.  These folks have the whole package, the food, the service, the ambiance, AND the price!  No small part of choosing this restaurant as the #1 summer pick was owner/chef Kim Klopstock’s penchant for using local ingredients, truly being a “sustainable restauranteur”.  I’ve been to places where that amounts to a culinary trainwreck, but not here!   Cast your eyes on this,…

Chef Randy Cruse plates his work

Owner/Chef Kim Klopstock paying attention to detail...

My advise to you is “Get there, and get there quick!”, it’s a little off the beaten path for the summer Saratoga track scene, but word is getting out and when it does, you’ll be needing reservations a week in advance!  And don’t worry gang, it’s “kid friendly” too, Silas left nothing but a scorched hole where his entree used to be!!!!!!!

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T minus two and counting…

With a little more than two weeks before the boys go back to school, their Dad sits here wondering where the summer went!  It seems like about 3 weeks ago I picked them up from school (I was just six weeks off…), filled the jeep with fishing and camping gear, and headed north for our traditional “School’s Out- Outdoor Adventure”.

We’ve been back and forth to the Adirondacks like we were tied to a yo-yo, fishing and doing shows!

Tink has been training for a Triathalon, Silas has traveled with friends from Maine to Las Vegas!!!!!

All in all it’s been QUITE a summer,…

Two plus weeks left,… but don’t look now!  Uh oh….

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Ah,… summertime!

The meadows approaching Paul Smiths

John and Len solve the problems of the universe

Silas sends one for a ride

Tink goes long for a big one

The boys phone home to Mom

Pat experiences wild blueberry overload

Chet and Rob,… it’s a long story

MB proves once and for all there’s no sport she can’t excell at

Full moon in a buttermilk sky

Tip of the week:

The Cellar Restaurant

Long Lake, NY

Location: Just as you leave town headed for Tupper Lake at the intersection of Rt. 30 and Kickervill Rd.(the road to Cedarlands Boy Scout Camp) on your right.

REAL good food, a surprisingly large and diverse menu, beautifully presented and served with a smile!


Rating: ****

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Important summertime information,… take a moment here

A repost from Capt. Mario Vittone’s blog.  Thank you, Captain!

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.,  is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water.  And it does not look like most people expect.  There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.  To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).  Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue.  They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are n the water:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

So if a crew member falls overboard and every looks O.K. – don’t be too sure.  Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.  They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.  One  way to be sure?  Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are.  If they return  a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.  And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.


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A day at the museum,…a photo essay

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The start of a new season,…

It’s a bit past this point today, but it’s still early on in the season.  Up north things aren’t as far along, in terms of the leaves, and that “summer look”, as they are down in the Hudson Valley.  That’s always the way though, my Grandfather used to say, “The woods are slow this year.”  That meant summer wasn’t coming as fast as Grandpa would have liked, when your livelihood depends on getting people up in the mountains for summer vacation, it never does.

There were some signs of it breaking out into summer though. A few blooms pushing hard to get out to an early start, and a few other telltale signs of what’s to come,…

Some old familiar friends seem to have come back for another visit.  Won’t be long before they’ll be followed around by a half dozen little fluff balls,…

And even when the relatives show up on their doorstep from the city, they can still find a place or two for some real peace and quiet,…

Sometimes, it’s just around the bend,…


The secret is, to take time to enjoy the “little things”!  Life can’t make you crazy if you don’t let it!!!!!!

Find someplace where you can breathe, put you feet up, and get ready for the summer of your life!

One of the things I look forward to the most about summer is getting back to my BBQ grill!  Everybody has their favorite grilled delight.  For some it’s just the noble tube steak, or a well grilled burger.  We go the whole gamete  here at the Shaw Ranch, from steaks, and ribs, to trout, and veggies!  This year I’m going to give some of my grilling recipes some “air time” here, along with whatever things I come across that I think might strike your fancy.  The first up will be a tip on seasoning that came from an old friend, Tom LaChapelle, and his son Marc, accomplished chefs, connoisseurs, and founders of the entrepeauneural spice company, Kitchen Kickin’!

I’ve been putting these spice mixes on everything except my coffee!  When I told Tom that earlier he said, “I’ve got Maple Sprinkles that would be good in your coffee!!!!”  You know what, I believe him!  Tom and I go back longer than either of us want’s to admit, back to the days I was just starting to play out in the taverns and pubs in the Capital District.  If we’d known he was going to come up with something this good, we’d have treated him with a little more respect,…aw, no we wouldn’t have!  ; >)

I’m not going to go into all the different varieties of spice mixes he has here, I’m just going to suggest that you go to http://www.kitchenkickn.com , and get grillin’!  I’m going to get him to give us a recipe or two here over the grilling season, so stay tuned!!  And remember guys, if you click on the pictures here, they get bigger!!!!!

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