Sunday, January 31, 2010

A little quiz, amazingly difficult

This is a quiz for people who know everything!

I found out in a hurry that I didn't.. These are not trick questions. They
are straight questions with straight answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants
know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for
several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year.
What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear
inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it
hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters 'dw' and
they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at
least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned,
processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the
letter 'S.'

Answers are way down the page........

Answers To Quiz:

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know
the score or the leader until the contest ends:


2. North American landmark constantly moving backward. Niagara Falls -
The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the
millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several
growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside:Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the
bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are
wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire
growing season When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle.

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar. Period, comma, colon,
semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point,
quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed,
cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S':
Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes,
stockings, stilts.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Groundhog Day Tuesday

February 2, 2009 - around 7:30 am ET - Punxsutawney, PA

Phil saw his shadow and thus we are headed for 6 more weeks of winter!


The legend of Groundhog Day is based on an old Scottish couplet: "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."

Every February 2, people gather at Gobbler's Knob, a wooded knoll just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Residents contend that the groundhog has never been wrong.

The ceremony in Punxsutawney was held in secret until 1966, and only Phil's prediction was revealed to the public. Since then, Phil's fearless forecast has been a national media event.

The groundhog comes out of his electrically heated burrow, looks for his shadow and utters his prediction to a Groundhog Club representative in "groundhogese." The representative then translates the prediction for the general public.

If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner.

Approximately 90% of the time, Phil sees his shadow.

Phil started making predictions in 1887 and has become an American institution.

Tonight's Wolf Moon

Why Is the Moon Looking Unusually Large?
Updated: Saturday, January 30, 2010 7:54 AM

The full moon through this Saturday will be the largest and brightest of the year. This is also called the Wolf Moon, which will be 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than a typical full moon.

The moon's orbit around Earth is not a circle, but an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. The point of closest approach is called the "perigee," and that is where the moon will be Friday night through Saturday morning.

Forecast by Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Brings in Bitter Cold

Well, the snow yesterday ushered in a bitter outbreak of Arctic cold as the temp is 10 degrees right now with a biting WNW wind gusting up to 30 mph. Here are a few scenes from around Woonsocket yesterday during the first of two burst of snow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

May be slick driving later today

The next Arctic cold front will blast through this evening with the potential for heavy snow squalls with high winds. This will cause the relatively mild pavement to melt and freeze withing a short time span causing icing conditions. So be aware of this potential on your commute home this evening. Still, this will be nothing compared to the the major storm out in OK and TX where our friends and relatives will be eyewitness to anything from blizzard conditions to icing up to 1" in OK City.
Stay Safe Everyone !!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Close to Flood Stage: The Blackstone River at Woonsocket, RI

The mighty Blackstone was racing through the City this AM at crest, just about 8', not a flooding issue here, but power of water not in doubt from the "thundering" Falls today !!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wind and Rain Today

Quick weather update: Mild this AM at 50 degrees with very light rain. Looking for rain to pick up and become heavy at times today with upwards of 3" possible with an isiolated thunderstorm. Wind will also be an issue with gusts possible up to 60 mph.
Flash Flood and Wind Advisory has been issued for the Rhode Island area.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Keep Your Car Keys With You IN THE HOUSE !!!

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your
Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across.
Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your
house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set
off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off
or the car battery dies.
This tip came from a neighborhood
watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start
to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system
that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it.
It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will
keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with
the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway
or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break
into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around.
After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their
windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want
that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a
parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something
that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life
or a sexual abuse crime.

P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is
fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart
attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad
that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she
doesn't hear him.. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll
know there's a problem.

Rainy Day Ahead Monday

Well, that Western System should affect us tomorrow night and Monday with heavy rains, perhaps even over 2" of water. Thankfully, the temps will NOT be near freezing, because that would be a couple of feet of snow. And, most of the snow has melted over that past week or so, so the possibility of heavy flooding is gone, but localized street flooding possible. Good time to catch up on some reading, with so many Christmas gifts received: next on the list, Woonsocket Revisited; New England Weather New England Climate; and Great New England Storms of the 20th Century. At least reading will not be interrupted by shoveling duties !!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What is an intelligent person?

That is an oft asked question and reponses perhaps are as varied as there are stars.
My opinion is that if you can step into your backyard, whether a city dweller or on a farm, and answer a few questions, you are well on your way.
1. Can you identify some stars and planets?
2. Can you identify the clouds?
3. What types of trees do you see?
4. What types of rock outcroppings and their history?
5. Identify the vegetation?
6. Identify the wildlife or tracks you may see?

If you can do this, kudo's to you !!!
All you need are a few nature guides and everytime you have a question, try and find the answer, you will be surprised on the knowledge you can retain over the years.
Start TODAY !!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Haiti Survival

A High School classmate (Mount Saint Charles Academy, Woonsocket, RI, Class of 1969) lives in Haiti and I have just received a note from him that he survived, narrowly, the great earthquake. Here is a link to his blog and his survival story:

Reginald Bailly To all my friends, all over the world, I say thank you for wanting to know about me, and how I survived the earthquake in Haiti. read more

Russian UFO

Has anyone seen the video or heard about this ??? Not that I have looked very far, but first notice I have read about the incident:

Fleet of three UFOs filmed over Moscow

Three unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were spotted in the northeastern part of Moscow, Russia, on Saturday. The spacecraft were videotaped flying in a triangular formation.

The two eyewitness videographers claimed the possible alien spaceships were visible for approximately three minutes, and then disappeared.
I found this little post in the Providence Journal, I guess that over the 3 to 4 hours of a game, there is plenty of time to get a refill for that glass of Coca Cola, LOL

The Wall Street Journal points out that in football, unlike in most sports, the clock runs for long stretches while nothing is happening.

So The Journal broke down some telecasts to find out how much football is actually played during an NFL game:

"The average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes. In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.''

"The ratio of inaction to action is approximately 10 to 1.''

Something to think about as you're sitting on the couch next Sunday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Woonsocket RI Fire, Bernon Street

A great job by Woonsocket Firefighters in keeping this fire contained to a garage just a couple of feet behind an apartment building. Conditions were wet with rain/snow mix and temps in the low 30's. Fire was on Bernon Street, a few blocks away from the house.

Get out and VOTE

To our Massachusetts friends, be sure to VOTE today, even if you are like Curt Schilling a Red Sox fan ? or is it a Yankee fan? In any event vote.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Darwin Awards, or is it De-Evolution at work?

Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Provo , Utah would-be robber Jason Ellison did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked..
And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped... Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5.. A teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided.. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly.. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a South Carolina convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9.. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on an Atlanta street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

Saltwater Fishing Registry

Well, to help the fish and prevent we anglers from emptying the oceans, registration is now mandated with the Federal Government before we can cast that line in the Cape Canal or into Narragansett Bay, as well as any other saltwater. States are now selling the saltwater permits and/or you will need to register with the government, it depends upon which state you are in right now. Confusion still exists over which states are recognizing each other. I am sure there will be more info to come. Here is the latest from NOAA:

If you're a recreational angler, you might be interested in learning about the new National Saltwater Angler Registry, which went into effect Friday, January 1, 2010. The registry will enable NOAA to more effectively gather information from saltwater fishermen, enhancing our ability to produce the most timely and accurate information possible about the health of recreational fish stocks-- we're expecting more than 3 million anglers to register this year. To sign up, you can visit or call the toll-free registration line at 1-888-MRIP-411. In the meantime, check out this video to learn more about how it all works.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Cape Cod Light !!!

On this date in 1798, Highland Light in North Truro, MA on Cape Cod was illuminated for the first time. It was commissioned by George Washington to warn mariners' of the dangerous shoals. Last decade, it was moved back from the bluff almost two football fields because of erosion. A nice observation deck was built on the bluff (a great place for stargazing without any lighting to obscure vision). Will be interesting to see if that deck has survived the severe erosion from this seasons Nor'eaters on our next trip as the campground we use is only about a quarter mile away. Here are a few of my pix of the light.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mystery Object Close Call with Earth

Well, since this happened about an hour ago, I guess we are all safe !!!

January 13, 2010WASHINGTON - A mystery object from space is about to whizz close by Earth on Wednesday. It won't hit our planet, but scientists are stumped by what exactly it is.

Astronomers say it may be space junk or it could be a tiny asteroid, too small to cause damage even if it hit. It's 33 to 50 feet wide at most.

More Times Breaking News
Conan O'Brien says no thanks to NBC move - 7:56 am Haiti's capital shattered by earthquake - 7:48 am NASA: Mystery object to whizz by Earth today - 7:43 am Google decides to end China censorship - 7:40 am See All Breaking News Stories »NASA says that on Wednesday at 7:47 a.m. EST, it will streak by, missing Earth by about 80,000 miles. In the western United States it may be bright enough to be seen with a good amateur telescope.

Monday, January 11, 2010

For Patriot's Fans !!!

Take heart after that horrid game yesterday, let's face it, the game started and ended the way the season unfolded, one was never quite certain things were ok anywhere on the team. But life goes on, there are bills to pay and laundry to complete and trash to take out. Now our diversion can be the Providence College Friars', the Celtics and the Bruins. Remember, Spring training right around the corner and the "new look" Bosox, then the NFL draft and then the All Star Games and what do you know, Patriot's open training camp. Will be interesting to see how many faces leave the team this Spring, Wilfork? Moss? The entire Defensive line? LOL, should be quite a different team by September.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Want to save $$$$ Use Coffee Filters !!!!!

Yup, those disposable paper filters that you can buy a ton of for cheap $$$ at your local dollar store. Here are some of the uses, and there are probably many you can think of. They are a LOT cheaper than paper towels !!!

1. Cover bowls and dishes in the microwave.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, chrome, they are lint free.
3. Protect good dishes with a filter inbetween each.
4. Filter wine when a cork breaks apart in the bottle.
5. Protect a cast iron skillet from rust.
6. Apply shoe polish, just crumble one up.
7. Filter cooking oil to recyle.
8. Weigh chopped foods
9. Hold tacos and other "finger foods"
10. Line a plant pot before addding soil
11. Poke a hole and prevent popsicles from leaking on kids clothes
12. Drain bacon
13. Sewing backing for embroidery and appliques
14. Put some baking soda in one and place in closet to absorb odor
15. Strain soup stock
16. Prevent drips when adding oil or fluids in your auto
17. Spoon rest
18. Sort out ingredients when prepping a stir fry and hold spices at the ready
19. Wrap Christmas ornaments for storage
20. Out of cotton balls, use to remove fingernail polish
21. Sprout seeds, dampen, fold and put in ziplock bag outside til sprouted
22. Blot pressed flowers, place between filters then inbetween heavy books
23. Cheap disposable bowls for snacks like chips, popcorn, etc.
24. Use in coffee maker to brew coffee !!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Morning Laugh from Red Green

From Red's morning Facebook Post:

It is winter.
We hitch the horse up to the sleigh
Like grandfather use to do
Over hills and through the dales
We glide for an hour or two
And soon my ears are brittle and my mouth is frozen shut
My eyes are locked wide open and all I see is a horse's butt

Kudos to the City of Woonsocket

Well, the roads have just barely begun to whiten from the snow and our little street has been salted already by the Public works crews. Quite early for us !!! Good job, taking Angel to school should be a breeze this AM.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hurricane/TS Watches & Warnings Change

The lead time for these watches and warnings will increase by 12 hours. Testament to the accuracy of forecasting today.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami will issue watches and warnings for tropical storms and hurricanes along threatened coastal areas 12 hours earlier than in previous years. According to NOAA hurricane experts, advancements in forecasts are making it possible for forecasters to provide greater lead time.

Snowfall Totals for Woonsocket thru January 6th

Snow Amounts to date:


10/19: 0.5”




12/6 3.0

12/9 2.0

12/10 2.5

12/17 0.4

12/20 14

12/21 6

Total: 27.9


1/1 2,5

½ 1

1/3 4

¼ 2

Total: 9.5

Season to date: 37.9

On ground: approx 5”

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

UFO Sighting 50 years ago, Will we ever "really" know ???

From Papual, New Guinea region. Would guess the usual explanation of auto headlights reflecting off an atmospheric inversion would not apply as there could not have been many automobiles there 50 years ago:

From Mr. Steve down in Florida:

Missionary recounts UFO sighting 50 years ago

It's now been 50 years since a 31-year-old Australian Anglican missionary in Papua New Guinea (PNG), William Gill, and 37 parishioners and staff made the best attested and least explained sighting of unidentified flying objects in the long, otherwise kooky history of the genre.
The day before the celebrated encounter of a mystifying kind, Gill had written a letter to David Durie, acting principal of St. Aidan’s College, which trained teacher-evangelists at Dogura, then the headquarters of the church in PNG.

Gill, who was the priest in charge at Boianai, a large village on the mountainous north coast of Milne Bay province, about 25 km west of Dogura, told Durie of a UFO sighting by Stephen Moi, then an assistant teacher. He wrote: “There have been quite a number of reports over the months from reliable witnesses. The peculiar thing about these most recent reports is that the UFOs seem to be stationary at Boanai or to travel from Boianai," a beautiful location brilliantly captured by pioneer Australian photographer Frank Hurley in 1921.

"I myself saw a stationary white light twice on the same night on April 9. The assistant district officer, Bob Smith, and Mr. Glover have seen it. I do not doubt the existence of these things, but my simple mind still requires scientific evidence before I can accept the from-outer-space theory. I am inclined to believe that probably many UFOs are more likely some form of electric phenomena or perhaps something brought about by the atom bomb explosions, etc. That Stephen should actually make out a saucer could be the work of the unconscious mind, as it is very likely that at some time he has seen illustrations of some kind in a magazine. It is all too difficult to understand for me; I prefer to wait for some bright boy to catch one to be exhibited in Martin Place. Yours, Doubting William."

The following day, he wrote again: "Dear David, life is strange, isn't it? Yesterday I wrote you a letter, expressing opinions re the UFOs. Now, less than 24 hours later I have changed my views somewhat. Last night, we at Boianai experienced about four hours of UFO activity, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are handled by beings of some kind. At times it was absolutely breathtaking. We watched figures appear on top â€" four of them â€" no doubt that they are human. Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary. One above the hills west, another overhead. On the large one, two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the center of the deck. They were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or setting up something (not visible). One figure seemed to be standing looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise, the figure did the same." Cheers, Convinced Bill.

"P.S. Do you think P. Moresby should know about this? If people think it worthwhile, I will stand the cost of a radio conversation if you care to make out a comprehensive report from the material on my behalf!"

What had Gill and his parishioners seen? The notes he made following his encounter describe a bright white light appearing in the northwestern sky, approaching the mission station, then hovering about 100 meters in the air.

Saturday, January 2, 2010





Not the Erie Canal, but same importance because a route between the Port of Providence and Worcester was needed to transport goods more efficiently in the early 1800's. The Blackstone Canal was comprised of almost 50 locks along its path, only one remains deep in the woods of Millville, Massachuetts. If one looks closely, evidence of the canal in the City remains to this day.

From ashes to education ...

On the site of this major mill conflagration a few years ago, the new Middle Schools here in Woonsocket will open on Monday.

French/Canadian Ragout

Well, many request for a ragout recipe have led to my post here. Mostly from memory I will resort to "putting it down on paper".
1. Brown flour gently in a dry cast iron pan, to a light golden brown.
2. Brown pork hocks slowly in a dutch oven. I use a mix of olive oil and butter, I am certain that bacon grease may have historically been utilized.
3. Remove pork hocks and make sure there is enough fat to prepare a roux. Add oil if needed. Slowly add flour to oil to form a roux, I use about 1/4 cup of brown flour.
4. Now add beef broth to the roux mixing well to form the gravy. I use approx 1 quart of broth.
5. Once the gravy is made, return pork hocks to gravy and simmer for 3 or 4 hours.
6. Once well cooked, remove hocks to cool.
7. Prepare simple meatballs to your favorite recipe: Eg: ground beef, crumbs, egg and seasonings of choice. Brown in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.
8. Add meatballs, potatoes, carrots, small onion to gravy.
9. Remove meat from hocks and add to pot.
10. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until all is cooked.
11. Seasoning: Many variations, I use sea salt, fresh ground pepper, a touch of Worcestershire, a touch of garlic.
12. Serve and enjoy with a good portion of French Bread for dipping.
Using 4 pork hocks and about 10 meatballs from a pound of ground beef, this should serve 6 adults at least.

I am sure that there are many variations out there, so pardon if not exact to your memory from the "good ole days"