Category Archives: Home

Discussions about activities around my home

Treadmill Desk

For several weeks my wife has been asking me to convert our old Proform treadmill into a treadmill desk. The idea, exercise-wise, is to be on the treadmill for several hours a day at speeds less than 2 mph. This … Continue reading

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Partially rebuilding the kitchen porch

Very long time readers may recall that in 2006 I built a new wooden porch off our kitchen door to replace some small concrete steps. It was a fun project, though it took longer than I expected. The structure of … Continue reading

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10 tips for raking leaves and other things

It’s that time of year again here in the northern parts of New York State when the leaves are starting to fall. At our house we also have the added bonus of many black walnut trees which add to the … Continue reading

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What I did (and didn’t do) on my summer vacation

Now that it’s early September, I suppose I can look back over the last several months and take stock of what happened over the summer season. Technically, summer is not quite over, but in northwest New York where I live … Continue reading

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Photos from the garden, end of June, 2011

Yesterday at lunch I wandering outside to see how the various plants were doing in the gardens around the house. Because of the generally cool and wet weather this spring, we are several weeks behind where we would normally be … Continue reading

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My lilac festival

This last week was the annual Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY. Even though they had several rainouts, the cool and wet weather preserved the shrubs and their flowers. In some springs, early hot temperatures can cause the blooms to peak … Continue reading

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The garden in late spring, 2011

I took a few minutes late in the afternoon yesterday to walk around and check on the state of the gardens. We had a very wet spring and I feel like I am weeks behind in weeding, edging, and planting. … Continue reading

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Visit your local farmers market

There was a very good article today in our local newspaper, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, about farmers markets in the area. The paper listed many of the local markets along with the days they start their seasons, when … Continue reading

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Sauerkraut pie

A traditional food in my family at Easter time is “sauerkraut pie,” coming down from my Slavic ancestors on my father’s side. This is is really not a pie at all, in the sense of an apple or cherry pie, … Continue reading

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Gardening 2011: Getting ready to start the seeds indoors

Two months ago I bought my first vegetable seeds for this summer’s growing season here in northwest New York, climate zone 5b. On that day in February it was 10 degrees F (-12 C), today it is 49 F (9 … Continue reading

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More spring cleanup

Two weeks ago I posted an entry about checking up on the grounds around the house to see what was happening on the first day of spring. Since then I’ve had two business trips (POSSCON and NASA Open Source Summit) … Continue reading

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The outside view on the first day of spring

Today is the first day of spring and since the temperature hit 45 F, I decided to celebrate by going outside and doing some cleanup after the rough winter we just had. The first task is always picking up the … Continue reading

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Photo: Roses five days after Valentine’s Day

Roses in front of a window five days after Valentine’s Day. Though you can’t see through the window, it is snowing out there.

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Photo: The Melting

Today the temperature reached 45 degrees F here in northwest NY but we still have quite a bit of snow on the ground. So while we are getting some melting, I would say that the mounds of snow are more … Continue reading

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Snow in February

For the very few of you who have not seen snow this winter, I post the following four photographs as a public service. These were taken on February 6, 2011, a bit after 7 AM outside my house in northwest … Continue reading

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Tips on scraping painted windows

I spent a few hours this weekend scraping the four windows in our bedoom after I finished painting them. These are older wooden sash windows, with 6 panes over 6 panes. For those of you counting, that’s 12 panes per … Continue reading

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Gardening 2011: First seed purchases

It’s February 3, six to eight inches of snow cover the ground here in northwest New York, climate zone 5b, and it is 10 degrees F. Just to tempt me, our local Wegmans supermarket is now selling gardening seeds at … Continue reading

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First serious snow

Though we had a couple of inches of snow a couple of days ago, the weather got warmer and we started having heavy rain. Unexpectedly, at least to me, that turned to snow and everything got slippery. It is a … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on baking apple pies

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating it today in the US or elsewhere! My first cooking task of the day was to bake an apple pie, something I’ve been doing for many years. There are many recipes for the … Continue reading

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Photo: Tux gets ready for holiday baking

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Saturday slow down

Today was the autumn work day at the club on Lake Ontario where I keep my sailboat but I didn’t make it up there this morning. On Monday evening after work I was putting up a new aluminum storm window … Continue reading

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Basement door project: Part 2

When last we left this project, I had removed the very old screen door, scraped the siding and the main door, and painted both. What was left was to construct a new storm door. I planned to build a new … Continue reading

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Photos: The garden on the first day of Autumn

A couple of days ago I snuck out for a few minutes at lunch to check the status of the plants and flowers. The trees are starting to turn and the vegetable garden is definitely in decline. Here’s a visual … Continue reading

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Basement door project: Part 1

We’ve now lived in our 1820 Federal-style house in western New York for 10 years, and in this blog I’ve documented some of the projects I’ve worked on. (A fence, a porch, another porch, yet another porch, some shelves.) We … Continue reading

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The summer garden moves toward the end game

There are two days left in August and though we’re not yet at the end of summer here in northwestern New York State, we starting to be able to see it. The garden is not looking as neat and tidy … Continue reading

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Flowers in the summer heat

We’re fully in the middle of summer here in northwest New York State, climate zone 5b. In another month the nights will start getting quite cool, though we’ll still have some very warm days into September. A month ago I … Continue reading

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Mementos (photo)

Some objects from my travels and experiences, mixed in with some scifi books.

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Almost summer in the garden

We have less than a week to go before summer here in northwest New York, climate zone 5b. A lot has happened bloom-wise since my last update at the end of May, and here is some of what I saw … Continue reading

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Weekend images, before the work

Before my son and I started working in the backyard on Saturday I took a few photos related to the work to be done. One of my first errands in the morning was to go to the farm market and … Continue reading

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Life in the garden, end of May

There are two days left to May, but it feels like Summer here in northwest New York State. I will be planting the vegetable garden tomorrow, but there are plenty of plants in bloom or making good showings before Spring … Continue reading

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End of April flower status

It’s been three weeks since I last did an update on the state of flowering things in my yard, and I did manage to sneak out yesterday to survey where things were. We’re at the end of the daffodil season … Continue reading

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DMV bliss: life in a small town

I have lived in various towns and cities in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. With the exception of Massachusetts and where I live now, every interaction with the Department of Motor Vehicles (or whatever they called it … Continue reading

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Sprouts!

Two weeks ago tomorrow I planted some seeds for this summer’s vegetable garden and put them under grow lights in the basement. (“Starting the seeds for the Summer vegetable garden”) Dissatisfied after 10 days with having no growth evident, I moved the … Continue reading

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Spring 2010 is well underway

Every week or so I’ve been documenting the flowers and flowering shrubs that have been making progress over our long winter here in northwestern New York (climate zone 5b). This last week has shown the great activity so far because … Continue reading

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Starting the seeds for the Summer vegetable garden

I had targeted April 1 to start the seeds indoors for my vegetable garden for this Summer, and I only missed by one day. Last year I bought plants and started seeds in the ground, but did not begin any … Continue reading

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March showers bring April flowers

It’s the 2nd of April here in northwest New York State and the weather forecast calls for a high of 80 degrees F (27 C) today. This is very unusual, but I’ll take it. Last night we were able to … Continue reading

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Winter ends as Spring tries to arrive

A week and a half ago I posted some photos of early flowering plants here in northwest New York State. Though I was away much of this week on a business trip, the weather evidently was warm, sunny, and evidently … Continue reading

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2010 photos of late winter / early spring flora

Every year I find it hard to resist slipping out of the house on warm sunny days in late winter and photographing the first flowers that break through the ground and snow. Here’s this year’s batch: Here’s what things looked … Continue reading

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Two photos on the inevitability of Spring

Though official Spring is still two weeks away, and “meteorological Spring” is several weeks ater than that here in northwest New York State, it’s possible to find some signs that Winter really is coming to an end. Here are a … Continue reading

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Daily links for 02/28/2010 – Gardening Edition

Build a healthy garden from the ground up – San Francisco Chronicle “To adapt the old real estate maxim, the three most important elements to a successful garden are soil, soil, soil. Plant health begins with creating rich, fertile earth … Continue reading

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Post mortem on the 2009 vegetable garden

Last year I blogged about the vegetable garden I put in and my trials and tribulations in protecting it from critters. Today my garden looks like what’s shown in the photo on the right. I live and garden in the … Continue reading

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Almost Spring, in my dreams

Late yesterday afternoon I trudged from the car through the snow to a Home Depot to pick up a few things for a home project. After getting inside and shaking off the snow, I was met with a wonderful display … Continue reading

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Getting ready for Spring gardening in upstate NY

Ok, it’s after New Year’s so I can officially start thinking about gardening again in about three months. I live in the northwest corner of New York State in the USA, so that very much affects what plants I can … Continue reading

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