October, Finally

Monday it was still summer. Highs in the 80's, A/C running, shorts, the whole deal.

Tuesday it rained. Biblicly. About 50 hours sometimes with rates of 6 inches per hour. My boss got flooded Thursday night. She has 2 feet of water in the basement. Her neighbor's cars are in it to the steering wheel.

Now it is Autumn. Highs in the 60's, heater running, sweaters, the whole deal. My squirrels warned me.

First Storm

The first snow storm of the season is threatening. The company sent us home at noon to cut the risk to employee safety. It started this morning with really small hail. The morning commute was clean and clear but the clouds were looming. By 11 it was coming down fast.

New England is ready for this stuff. The wipers are "up." The plows were already on it when I hit the road. The commute was slow but easy.

Hey, what's outside your window?

Hang the Witch?

From Burning to Hanging, New England has never been kind to witches.

Halloween is upon us in South Sleepy Hollow. The parade was Sunday Night and included a street party with DJ! We were dancing on Main Street. I swear Halloween is bigger than Christmas.

The light posts are decorated with Jack O'Lanterns and ghosts and witches (as above). The air is finally right for October and tomorrow the kids come ringing.


Why the heck would anybody need mirror heaters?

I need them. Without them I would not be able to drive on days like today. My view of the other lanes would be similar to my view out the windshield before that Defroster kicks in.

I enjoyed my ass, errr, ummm, seat heater, too!

The Mythic

Perhaps more often in October, but Tarrytown has it's fantastic side. That is a castle on the hill. This view is from the Tappan Zee bridge on a sunny rush hour. Lyndhurst is down below closer to the Hudson

Our high school is Sleepy Hollow and their mascot is the Horseman.

I have often lived in places where Halloween is "bigger than Christmas" and feel very comfortable here.

Web Site: Lyndhurst
Web Site: Caroll Castle
Web Site: The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
Web Site: Legend Weekends @ Philipsburg Manor

That Thing Got A Hemi?

We caught John Reap and 4 finalists from Last Comic Standing last night. It was good to get out and have some adult fun. We went to the "fancy" Italian place for dinner. We listened to a few hours of comedy. Finished off at the late night bar and wrapped it up. Not bad for a work night!

In case you were counting (Charlie) it was:

1 bottle of Chianti
5 glasses House Red
3 Amstel Lights
2 Franziskaner

for 2 drinkers.

No driving required!


After a transcontinental move and my second Mac PMU meltdown I have returned to blogging. Look for Pictures ala 2 B Da Man.

Mail Box

One of the many things I missed about "home" when living in AZ was "normal" mail service. Arizona, or at least Scottsdale, is crazy about planned communities. It is nearly impossible to buy a house without a:
  • Home Owner's Association
  • lot measured in square feet (< .01 acres)
  • shoe box in the community mail bank
  • limited range of exterior options
  • Closed Loop Driveway they aggrandize to roads
  • perimeter defense systems of walls around the community and each lot
  • Landscaped Advertisement for the management company at each entrance and the corner of the major intersection

I understand the traditional problems the Home Owner's Association was invented to fix. I don't want a neighbor with cars up on block on his front lawn. I don't want the upwardly mobile domestic partners with the lovely corner Victorian to paint a rainbow into the Gingerbreading. I don't want the old lady across the street to let her house tumble down around her. Unfortunately when the HOA becomes a Management Company, the home owner loses the benefits of home ownership and becomes something between a college dorm resident and a condominium "owner."

I love the USPS in this corner of the world. I have a mail box. A real one. It is big enough to hold the reams of junk mail I get. It is on my property (Scottsdale translation: my lot) so I can easily check my mail when I get out of my car and walk to my house. I can put stamped mail in the mail box, raise a flag and the "Delivery Specialist" takes it to the post office when they return. If I get a package that is too big for the mailbox, they place it on my porch.

Scottsdale Post Office would routinely:
  • Jam mail into the tiny box and tear, fold or mangle half of it.
  • Fail to deliver our mail
  • Delivery my neighbor's mail to me
  • Drop a card explaining I had too much mail and required me to pick it up at the Post Office
  • Any package, I had to pick up

The mailbox was in a "bank" of mail boxes like I used to have in my college dormitory. There is no flag to raise for outgoing mail. If I put outgoing mail in the mail box they jammed new mail in the box usually folding and mashing the outgoing mail.

The only mail box I could find was 1.2 miles away on the corner of North Thompson Peak Parkway and McDowell Mountain Ranch Road. This is a busy intersection with no parking lots. You needed to pull into the bus stop and hop out before the bus came through. A convenient post box in a grocery store parking lot or a mail box in the community was not to be found. Hey, why not dedicate one of the shoe boxes to outgoing mail?

The community mail bank was only at the end of the block and around the corner. It was just out of the way. It was purposely hidden so as not to detract from the aesthetics of the community. This accomplished 2 things for me. The first was to put it out of mind on my way home so I would routinely fail to check the mailbox. The second was to sanitize my community of any working facility that might indicate actual people lived there. (Heaven and the Management Company forfend!)


Undelivered Mail: I understand that some of my mail did not get delivered because my wife's last name is Oxenford-Melcher. This means her name is not Melcher and can't be delivered to the Melcher mailbox. At least according to the Patriach of the Airpark who explained WHY his people could not seem to deliver the mail. In Tarrytown they READ the address. They understand that Oxenford-Melcher is a Melcher, too. In fact they delivery mail for James Oxenford, knowing what the sender intended. They delivery mail intended for the current occupant even though it may still bear the name of the prior occupant. The route sort code indicates this is the intent of the mailing. They simply cross out the wrong name and write OCCUPANT.

Translation for the New England set: You may think I am exaggerating the Perimeter defense network. I am not joking. They build 60 -75 inch high walls around the entire development. Often they will add a moat they call a wash. Each lot is also surrounded by the same or similar high walls. I am not talking about the quaint farm lot walls of tumble down rocks that surround those country estates in Connecticut. Nor am I confusing fence with wall. These walls are block and mortar covered in stucco. Often they are painted and tiled. Every entrance has a little landscaping and a curved wall featuring a tiled fresco or bronze plaque proclaiming the name of the development and the management company.

Road Name Rage: Another thing, who names a road Thompson Peak Parkway? What was wrong with 94th Street? Do you need to top it off with NORTH? Of course it's north! It is 5 degrees cooler up there! Ever try fitting that in the space provided on most forms? Let's not forget that the numbers out there are in the 15000 range. Who does that? Is it really the intent of the Phoenix Post Master to renumber the United States using Central Avenue as the Prime Meridian? I think Postmaster Francisco Franco needs to consider the value of the ZIP code and restart the numbering every fifth Rancho or so.

Crime: For a city that claims low crime rates, Scottsdale services used crime as the excuse for everything. The dedicated shoebox for outgoing mail? "We can't because the thin aluminum construction of these mailboxes invites thieves to break in to steal mail with checks inside." I am sure it is perfectly safe for my mail, though.

Well, that should draw some comments

Mist Mountain

This is not a scene from Independence Day, this is New England living! The highway follows a river and this morning the sun had started "burning off" the morning dew. The river is always the last to give up the dew, so there it is, a hill apparently floating on the mist.

I know Charlie* likes his sunsets, but even he has some river shots. I just can't stray too far from a river. Something in me need to know the water is there.
* A link to Charlie’s 2bdaman.com sunset page was here, but the site has met its final sunset since this posting.

Home (for Now)

Built in 1898, the quaint accommodations for this year are just off the municipal parking lot. The address is Washington Street, but I am behind another (newer) home. Downtown is across the parking lot. Stumbling home after a great night on the town will not involve driving!


In an effort to maintain the posting habits of Mr. Charles Cornish, I took this photograph of my new home in Tarrytown, NY Charlie Style! That is Tarrytown on the Eastern shore of the Hudson River. The river is 3 miles wide here and was considered an inland sea by the Dutch settlers.

That is three lanes of traffic in my mirror. The blur in the Jersey barriers should indicate ~ 65 miles per hour. While taking a photograph.

Winter Stock

Someone did well for themselves. That's 3 deer all with nice racks! OK All my Arizona readers just vomited in near vegan reaction. The more "country bred" reader will appreciate the amount of food that just drove by me.

Fall Foliage

I really missed trees in the desert. I enjoyed and photographed several trees in full leaf drop.

Photo Album: Fall Foliage New England November 2007