Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seasonal Changes.

The frost is literally on the pumpkin this morning.

I love the changing of the seasons even if it means getting chilly. Here in southern NJ the change is so highly predictable, you could almost bet cash money when the first frost will be. You win if you had today.

Colder air also means the local wildlife are searching for a warm cozy place to settle in and here that means mice. I noticed some telltale signs around the kitchen earlier but when they went after my Pepperidge Farms Pumpkin Cheesecake soft cookies, this meant war.

I found the bright orange cookie bag chewed through one work morning in the corner carousel cabinet in the kitchen. They also chewed through a old packet of Pat O'Brien's Hurricane mix the Oldest Son's old girl friend gave us after an internship in New Orleans.  Imagine the little creature's disappointment when they couldn't find rum.

How did they even get in there? There were no holes in the brand new cabinets and the mix and cookies were on the second shelf, a 5 story climb or jump in mice scale.

When you have to have a cookie, a guess you can perform super-mouse like type actions.

There is only one way to take care of this. Wet work. so I left everything as is and set one of those simple mouse traps on a paper plate. (Gee Mr Giotti why is there a plastic tarp back here in the back seat?)

Sure enough, the lure of Pumpkin Cheese cake cookies was too much and he returned.

The trap was mercifully quick but left his little face looking up at me with those big eyes staring blankly. I will never forget.

It had to be done.
This also means the sure end of garden tomato season. They've been growing through September and October but they have looked cracked and split so no one ate them.

Stupid mouse. There were plenty of tomatoes out there, why didn't you go after those? No, you had to reach for the top shelf and the Hurrricanes and Cookies. Well, I hope you partied like Katrina was baring down on you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

McGyver in the Catskills.


It was getting dark as I fumbled in my pocket for the single key to our remote cabin. We had spent the day on zip lines at Hunter Mountain and now were returning after a hamburger, a beer and a 40 minute drive home.

Nervousness set in as I emptied my pockets and couldn't find the key.

I updated The Chancellor  to this latest bit of news. Not Good. We searched everywhere for the key but it was not being found. Not tonight.

No Cell coverage, No phone number of the sweet cabin owner, darkness setting in and now no key!

First things first, I set about contacting the owner. Luckily we did have WiFi that was turned on inside the cabin so I emailed him of our predicament.  There was no immediate response. Next would have been to call of course but I didn't have his number. Well, not readily available anyway. The number was up on the refrigerator inside the cabin of course and I could see the laminated info-paper from the back door but there was no way to read it.

I took the SLR camera, stuck the telephoto lens on it and auto-focused on the info-paper and snapped a picture. Unbelievably, I had the number on the first shot by zooming the picture in the LCD display on the camera.

Now all I needed was a phone.

Then I recalled how earlier in the day the Chancellor answered a phone call to our home number using the Xfinity-Connect app. I honestly didn't know you could do that but there she was answering a call to our home number via the App on WiFi. It was an aha! moment.

I took her phone and dialed the owners number I found on the camera picture that was zoomed while standing outside the wall where the WiFi signal was strongest and used the Xfinity app on our homeIP phone.

It worked, but I got answering machine! As I left our home number on the machine, the Chancellor piped up "Not our home number, give them my cell number"

It was at this point we went into deep technical discussion about Cell service versus WiFi coverage. We had no Cell service but we did have WiFi internet service. The discussion kept looping back to "but why can't they call my cell number?" This was a discussion akin to time-travel and was not getting solved without Visio and a White board. Finally It came down to "you are just going to have to trust me". After all who just made a phone call with no cell service?

At this point the Chancellor was resigned to sleeping in the car. I was not.

I felt like we needed to pray and was upset with myself for not having done so to this point. So we got in the car and prayed.

Afterwards, she settled in and reclined in the drivers seat with a blanket. It was a warm night for October in the Catskills but still, I wasn't sleeping outside.

I was restless and my mind was moving a mile a minute. Then it occurred to me to try sliding a credit card along the back door jamb like McGyver would have done.

That was fruitless but I did see another way while back there. I'm not going to post exactly how I got in but no damage was done the Cabin and we were safely inside.

And so we spent the night safely inside the cabin instead of outside with the bears.

Folly Beach 2013 - By the numbers.

23 - Devices connected to WiFi for 9 people.
1 - Time the circuit breaker need to be recycled to reset said Wifi.
620 - Pictures taken by me (90 iPhone, 530 SLR)
1418 - Miles put on the RAV4
92 - Miles put on the bicycle.
2 - Nationally Televised Philadelphia Eagles Games during the week - 2 of which were losses.
1 - Time I was told "That ain't Folly, man" by a surfer dude wandering through our beach access.
79 - Mom's Birtthday
80 - Dad would have turned this age on Thursday.
12 - High Tides
2 - Dinners at the Crab Shack - one in the pouring rain
6 - Mayors that spoke about "renourishment"
0 - Pastry Brushes