Gator Boys Memorial to J-Mart

Just a brief update.

At the end of last night’s episode (Big Croc Rescue) of Gator Boys, a short video clip, very short (10 seconds?) was played in Memory of their friend, John Martinez. The video was nice but short. I really thought they would do more. But maybe they just didn’t have time.

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There were no still photos used so my pictures were not included but you can see those at

Rest in Peace, John.

I Love NY

Meanwhile Back at the countdown of the states…

Yes! New York State, not the city although I have been to New York City several times.

I have to check off New York State because that’s where I grew up. The old homestead is right in the heart of the Adirondacks.


When I was growing up the town of Bolton was a little place with only one stop light. We joked that there were more bars than churches and for a little town we had a lot of churches, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist.

Our school wasn’t a one room but it was a one building, kindergarten through 12. The size of my class changed a little through the years but most of the folks I graduated with had been in my class from the day I started in kindergarten. Final count of graduates…27.


I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I moved to Massachusetts as an adult. I grew up in the country and I had a horse. Why would I want to pedal up and down those hills when my horse could do the work?

We also had cows and pigs, sheep and goats and chickens as well as my horse. I learned to feed the animals, groom them and muck out stalls. In the fall we butchered some of the animals and my father, and eventually my brothers, went hunting for deer. We all loved venison. Once Lake George froze over we had lake perch to eat. Ice fishing was popular and to this day yellow perch is a favorite dish.


We went tubing on the Schroon River before tubing was popular.


We cut the tall grass in the field…haying we called it….first with teams of draft horses and then later with a tractor. We loaded the hay into wagons with pitchforks.


We didn’t sit inside watching TV. We went outside to play and roamed the fields and woods using our imaginations to avoid the “Indians” or search for “fairy rings “.

I rode the Ticonderoga and the Mini Ha Ha, cruise ships on beautiful Lake George.

august 063I worked with the photographer for the Sagamore  Hotel where I witnessed elaborate dinners and dance lessons on the portico.


Eventually I had to grow up (as much as I ever have…I have a strong streak of Peter Pan Syndrome) and headed to Albany, NY to attend college at SUNY Albany. That was at the end of the 60’s and beginning of the 70’s. The “Free Love” Movement and Hippies predominated. Then the Kent State tragedy cast a pall over the riotous college atmosphere and I headed back to the country.

My visits to New York City have been short. It isn’t my favorite place. I’ve been to stage shows on Broadway and stood in Times Square. I’ve been in Grand Central Station and some of the museums but most of the time my trips are quick hits…run in, do what I must, leave.

Heading off to the west I’ve made it to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. I’ve been there twice but it was many years ago. I’d like to go back again.


Recently I was at a travel show and met a group of travel agents pushing Lake George. I picked up the brochures and by the time I finished reading them I was ready to take my next vacation right back where I grew up.

Glens Falls hosts a Balloon Festival every Fall. I went in 2012.

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Missed it this year but am planning for 2014. I haven’t even touched on all there is to do. New York is a big state. There’s a wine section in the Finger Lakes Region and caves to explore.


The “I love NY ” slogan is very fitting. If you go, you’ll love it too.

It’s Apple Pickin’ Season

As you know I am not a food blogger. I can cook but I like basic , home style cooking. I’m happy with meatloaf and mashed potatoes instead of chicken cordon bleu. That said I felt I had to share this recipe. Although you can certainly make it all year round, I tend to think of it when the fresh apples abound. So here it is. Enjoy


Apple Pancake 

  • 1/2 cup flower (I like Bisquick  but any all purpose flower will work)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large or 2 medium size apples (Granny smith, Macintosh are great…cortlands tend to get a bit mushy)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside

Whisk flour, milk and eggs together until smooth. Melt butter in cast iron skillet (this is essential). Remove from heat. Pour mixture into skillet. Peal and thinly slice the apples. Place on top of mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of that. Bake 20 minutes.


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Additional Tips and comments:

You can serve with syrup but I don’t think it needs it. I don’t peel the apples either as I like the skins. If you use a stick margarine or butter you get a crispier crust than with a whipped margarine. That’s also the theory behind the cast iron pan. You could use a pie plate but you won’t get as much “crisp.”

Animals Gone Wild

It seems that animals are making headiness these days.

According to the AP there was a real case of Snakes on a Plane in Australia grounding a Quantas Passenger plane. The article , written by ROD McGUIRK states in part: CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A tiny Asian snake was found on a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner in Australia, leading to 370 passengers being grounded overnight.

Staff found the 20-centimeter (8-inch) Mandarin rat snake in the passenger cabin near the door late Sunday before passengers were due to board the flight bound for Tokyo from Sydney International Airport, Qantas said in a statement Monday.

Australia’s flagship airline said passengers were given hotel rooms and left Sydney on a replacement plane Monday morning. Qantas said the original jet would be fumigated before returning to service in case there were other snakes on board.


Then we have the case of the stinky city and I don’t mean smog!

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Residents of a Buffalo, N.Y., neighborhood plagued by skunk odors now know what caused the stink: Trapped critters that were shot and stored at a shuttered police station.

The Buffalo News reports ( ) that the city’s public works commissioner confirmed Monday that humanely trapped skunks have been taken to an old police station in South Buffalo, where they’re shot and stored in outdoor freezer until they can be incinerated.

Residents say they complained about the smell months ago but were told by city officials that skunks weren’t being killed inside the building. Later, they were told only a few skunks were killed there by lethal injection.

One neighborhood leader has dubbed the community scandal “Skunkgate.”

City officials say they’re looking for new locations for dispatching the nuisance skunks.


A bear walks into a bar….no this isn’t joke it really happened but he was a very well behaved bear and apparently left when asked.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — If only all unwelcome bar guests were this obliging.A black bear walked into the bar at the Alaskan Hotel in downtown Juneau on Monday night.Bartender Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy says she freaked out and yelled, “No bear! Get out! No! You can’t be in here!”The bear complied, leaving the bar within seconds.


And finally , It doesn’t pay to be anti social. Even animals can be “fired”. The Dallas Zoo certainly gave the cranky gorilla plenty of time to mend his ways, 18 years but finally it was time to hand the animal his “pink slip”. The story was reported by the AP this week. An excerpt from their report is included here:

DALLAS (AP) — There will be no rose ceremony for a 430-pound bachelor gorilla that failed to form any meaningful relationships with fellow apes during an 18-year stay at the Dallas Zoo.

Patrick, the 23-year-old Western lowland gorilla known for being gregarious with zoo staff and the public, while being ambivalent toward his female counterparts, has been handed his walking papers. The silverback will be transferred to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C. where he’ll be allowed more solitude, according to a statement issued Monday by the Dallas Zoo.

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And now we will return to our regularly scheduled postings. 🙂

New Jersey and New Mexico

New Jersey…YES

I debated about New Jersey but in the end I had to say yes. My experience with New Jersey isn’t the typical vacation experience but I think I was there enough for it to qualify as a YES state.

I had an uncle that lived in New Jersey and I went to visit him  several times. He lived in Clifton Park and we’d sit on his enclosed porch and look across the Hudson River at the skyline of New York City.

When a friend got married in New Jersey, another friend  & I took the opportunity to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty located in upper New York Bay. The state border of New York and New Jersey runs through the bay’s midpoint.  The original islands remain New York territory despite their location on the New Jersey side of the state line. The ferry we took to the islands left from the New Jersey side.


Another reason I felt I had spent enough time in the state to cross it off  is Atlantic City. In the years I was affiliated with the Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios I spent many trips attending dance competitions which were always held in one of the casinos in Atlantic City.


Not much of a gambler I spent any “down time” walking the boardwalk.

Of course we aren’t counting flying into airports. I have made the flight into Newark airport many times most recently on the return trip from Alaska. But changing planes in an airport doesn’t count. 🙂

Recently New Jersey has had more than its share of trouble. The coast was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Boardwalks and arcades were rebuilt in time for the summer season only to be destroyed all over again by a raging fire, the cause of which is attributed to corroded wiring because of the water damage from the hurricane. But, like a phoenix I have no doubt New Jersey will rise again from the ashes.


I am certain that I will visit the state again. It is close enough to Massachusetts that it can be a weekend get away and there are still more things that interest me in the state.

New Mexico …NO

This is a state I keep flirting with. There is so much that I want to see and do there but I prefer to use my timeshare  and that’s the problem. New Mexico is a pretty big state and there is only one timeshare exchange and it’s located in Santa Fe.

There’s a huge hot air balloon festival every year in Albuquerque and I’d love to take that in. balloon festival 201

But Roswell is way to the south of Albuquerque and how can I go to New Mexico and not explore Roswell, the heart of the UFO phenomenon?

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Even farther south is Carlsbad Caverns National Park. That’s been on my must visit bucket list from day one! the pictures I’ve seen of these caves are amazing. I’ve visited caves before including Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota but each cave is different.


A 2.5 hour drive from Santa Fe will get me to New Mexico’s land of Fire and Ice. The Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano are located in the west-central, Zuni Mountain range of New Mexico, where NM State Hwy 53 crosses the North American Continental Divide. This cave and it’s neighboring volcano sound really interesting too.

I also heard about an amazing railroad trip. I thought it took you through the Chihuahua Mountains crossing into Mexico and Texas but I may be confused because when I tried to find it again struck out. But I did find The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad which was originally constructed in 1880 as part of the San Juan Extension of the Denver & Rio Grande Western.


Needless to say, I need to take that train ride too.

I’ve gone on a bit more than I wanted to. But the tally now is 11 visited/ 20 to go.