This Diary is updated on a weekly basis each Monday night (or whenever we get to it!). We maintain four weeks of information on this page at all times. Our intention with this page is to bring helpful information to you on a weekly basis. Please feel free to E-mail us with your questions and comments.
October 18, 2015
In my lifetime I have had the opportunity working in the woods both at logging and working with the harvesting of firewood. Processing firewood requires blocking up trees and splitting the blocks into usable stove wood.
Karen’s wood supplier (who is a transplant from Lake Placid, NY) recently delivered two full cord of wood which will be part of our winter’s supply of heating wood for both the house and the archery shop. In the process of the delivery we got talking about splitting the knotty pine and he showed me a splitting maul that he uses for hand splitting. It is made by Fiskars carrying a lifetime warranty and is a forged splitting axe with a 31” handle. I bought one from Lowe’s for $54.98 and using it is like a miracle come true. Using this tool the wood almost splits itself and if you burn wood it will be the best investment you can possible make.
10/3/15: Karen has two large walnut trees in her chicken yard and lately I have been helping harvest walnuts as she has a bumper crop of nuts on her trees this year. The nuts must be picked off the branches (preferred), then the green hulls must be removed, the walnuts shells must then be washed and then air dried on a rack for four days before storage or cracking open the shells to get to the meat. It is a lengthy process which I am sure has been automated when done commercially. Margaret’s comment was, “Now you can see why walnuts go for $9.00 a pound!” I guess nothing is easy and I am sure we will appreciate the results.
10/4/15: The state of Washington seems strange to someone from Central NY. Being used to stricter controls on alcohol I find it strange that every convenience store, grocery store and supermarket carries beer, liquor and wine in large quantities. Expensive but readily available to one and all. I guess that is what the wild west is all about and it seems like every city and town also has its own casino. Since the legalization of recreational marijuana, the pot stores have sprung up at almost every street corner as well! Considering the easy availability of booze and pot there are also a large number of churches to combat the evils of alcohol and drugs.
10/5/15: Another unique observation is the frequency of “round-abouts” in Washington’s highway system. Their traffic engineers obviously believe that for all busy intersections instead of using stop signs or traffic signals they build a 10 mph traffic circle with all entering vehicles yielding to all of the vehicles who have managed to get on the circle and are driving around. Motorists that are used to the system are able to negotiate them at higher speeds than I have yet been able to accomplish to date. During high density periods of traffic flow I find that it takes large balls to access them when a large number of cars are entering from your left side. That explains all of the skid marks on and across most round abouts that have been in service for awhile. Although we have a Deming mailing address we live in the small hamlet of Kendall and lo and behold we have spent to last four months getting our very own round-about which recently went into service. Ours has enough stuff built into the circle so people won’t be able to drive directly across it without tragic results!
Here it is almost mid-October and the daytime temperatures remain in the low 50’s and high 60’s. Being used to the riotous fall colors in Central New York with its vivid reds, bright oranges and all of the shades in between and the commercial advertisers touting the tourist value of fall in New York. Here in western Washington we are greeted only by an orangey yellow color to the trees that normally drop their leaves in the fall. When we arrived in July it was to a drought condition and all of the lawns and fields were a dusty brown color. Now that the rains of fall have arrived every thing that was brown is now green and growing again!
We have received our Washington Business License and the sales tax in this county happens to be 8.5% and is payable during the month of January each year. I am going to have to carefully escrow whatever I collect so that the payment is relatively painless. Fortunately our bank account is such that we can make deposits into sub accounts for that purpose which is a handy option.
We have renewed our dealerships with Kustom King Archery along with Greatree Archery and Neet Archery. I plan on resubmitting a new application to Kinsey’s Archery Products but that may be some time in coming as they demand digital photos of interior and exterior views of the shop along with signage, etc. It will just take a bit of time to meet all of their requirements and we had to do it before when we closed up the archery shooting lanes and moved twenty five steps away back into the house!
I installed a fairly large “ARCHERY” sign on the highway and now working on a couple of “SHOP” direction signs to direct potential customers to the store location off Casey Road. We have had two potential customers stop to see about the new archery shop in the area. Both left with our business cards and left valuable information about this market area as well. Things are looking up as it would seem that we have moved into an area that has a vacuum regarding traditional archery so we may be able to do some good here.
|It has been quite a number of years since I last used glazing compound and a putty knife but the knack came back after caulking a couple of panes of glass. The window I am working on had two broken panes which I replaced with plexiglass and finallly the building is "semi-airtight" for the first time in several years. This photo was a sneak flash photo by Margaret and it was starting to rain when taken.|
September 30, 2015
Excerpts from our great journey:
July 9, 2015 – We still had the triple seat in the van for the comfort (?) of the third passenger. Our doggies were installed in a travel cage behind the drivers seat suitably outfitted with blankets and cushions. The van was packed with personal belongings along with drinks and snacks. We were finally underway with a full tank of gasoline.
We had purchased a Garmin unit to hopefully make the trip easier using its expertise to pick the shortest route and to locate services along that route. Resisting Garmin’s instruction to go to the New York Thruway we took Route 8 south to access the Interstate Highway system in Sidney, NY and head west through Binghamton and take Route 17 west to Ohio.
Driving through the night, by Friday noon we were working on the third tank of gasoline and had made it to Dansville, IL. We are looking forward to clearing Chicago by the end of the day.
So far we have been traveling on interstate highways and New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and all of these states have the same problem……the roads are all in deplorable condition! Although all of the highways are being “worked” on it seems to be a losing proposition.
Comment: Interstates utilize energy absorbing containers on both approaches to all overpass bridge supports that are in the center median. These help protect motorists from injury if the abutments are struck either by accident or design. They also use guard rail systems in some states for the same purpose. It is strange that I never took notice of them before now!
By 9:45 on Friday we have cleared Illinois and are just about done with Iowa!
Another comment: Work zones in the areas under construction have signs noting penalties of both $10,000 fines and jail times for hitting a construction worker! I think this is doubtful as it is very difficult to find a man working anywhere among the jumble or orange cones!
Early Saturday morning is was deemed necessary to seek shelter in a Super 8 motel somewhere in Iowa. The room rate was $109.00 for three people and another $15.00 for our two dogs.
I am writing this at 7:15 AM Saturday morning after getting dressed and walking both of the doggies. The way the women are sleeping we will be lucky to get out of the motel by 10:00 AM.
Back on the road again I have to note that there is very little evidence of road kills on the interstate system. In NY and PA deer carcasses a common thing but moving west it no longer seems to happen! (No smaller animals are evident in the litter either.)
The most common litter on the roadsides is exploded tires with shattered steel belt reinforcements and shredded rubber strips. The DOT workers could be kept busy cleaning up this debris but of course that doesn’t seem to happen either.
At 10:35 Central Daylight Savings time on Saturday the ninth of July we are in South Dakota on Route 29 headed north to access Interstate 90 which will take us across South Dakota, Montana and Idaho. The speed limit is 80 mph which means that if you get drowsy you get to drive off the road much faster!
We managed to fill the van with gas for the fifth time and made a visit to the Sunshine Food Market to replenish our snack supply…..we are now on 90W crossing the state of South Dakota.
At about 4:45 PM we were about one hundred miles east of Rapid City when the left front tire on the van exploded. Through the miracle of power steering I was able to bring the van from 75 mph to a full stop on the side of the expressway without hitting any thing! Although I did feel slightly alarmed when chunks of rubber started blowing over the windshield. Luckily I had joined triple A before we left and were able to call for assistance as we sat on the side of the road on I-90 at the Badlands Travel Stop. AAA sent us a savior in the form of Mike’s Towing who got on the phone and called a tire shop in Rapid City and he arranged for them to keep a couple of guys on the job to take care of us. He had a big diesel Dodge crew cab vehicle towing a flat bed trailer and he loaded us up and we set off for Rapid City, SD which was 105 miles away with the need to be there by 5:30 PM.
In any event, Mike got us there in time and for the duration of the journey he offered us travel commentary along with a history of the region. We had both front tires changed and rebalanced for $208.00 and Mike charged us $375 (cash no receipt) for the transport of our disabled vehicle. And the Grand Adventure continues!
We decided to get a room for Saturday night after our hair-raising experience and were underway again on Sunday. In Livingston, Montana we needed a gas fill-up so we exited I-90 shortly after noon for the service roads where we were confronted with a multitude of stop signs and an insane traffic flow since it seems that we were 30 miles from Yellowstone Park! It took quite some time to get through the traffic flow of RV’s and truck campers to get to the gas pumps.
Comment: Montana was a disappointment to me as it was mostly poor whites and Indians in the eastern part of the state and blatant commercialism in the populated area from Billings to Butte. In early July most of the state is depressingly brown except where irrigation is employed to grow the hay crop needed to feed the cattle ranches in winter.
By 5:30 PM we were approaching Idaho and hope to be in Spokane before dark to get to see grand daughter Rachael who is attending college at the Eastern Washington University.
Leaving the brown of Montana behind us we approached the Continental Divide and things started to improve with more mountainous terrain; more pine trees (green) and clear, flowing streams. We zipped across Idaho and arrived in Cheney, WA at 8:00 PM where we were able to pick up Rachael at the college library where she works as an assistant librarian. She recently moved with a roommate to a condo apartment in Spokane so we were able to spend the night with her.
The next morning we had breakfast at Frank’s Diner which was ranked Spokane’s Best Diner in 2014. The diner is based on an old time railroad Pullman Dining car as far as interior décor. The diner is somewhat cramped but bustling with staff and customers. Vehicle parking is very limited and there are waiting lines both to park and to eat! The staff was very professional and the food is great both in preparation and in portions. The bill for four breakfasts was $68.00 and I expect never to go there again.
On leaving there Rachael took me to the college library where she works and I met a few of her co-workers and was able to spend some quality time with her.
Leaving Spokane we went north on Route 2 to cross the Cascade Mountain Range via Stevens Pass which would get us to the west side of the state at Everett, WA. The eastern slopes appear to be the bread basket of the state as we passed miles and miles of orchards featuring apples, berries of all types and grape vineyards. Everything was under irrigation including the hayfields and some harvesting was going on with vast areas utilized for hay storage. Accessing the mountain pass was not a problem as we came to it from an altitude of 4,000 feet. The downside to the coast as we went down for a long time to reach sea level!
At Everett we picked up Interstate 5N and proceeded to Bellingham which is the last major city in the northern part of the state. In Bellingham we took Route 542E which is the Mt. Baker Highway. This turned out to be a two lane highway which dead ends 49 miles later at the top of Mount Baker. 23 miles later we arrived at our new home and both the adults and doggies were very happy!
We have been living here for some time now I have to note a few major disadvantages. The telephone system is through satellite coverage and is out a certain amount of the time. If you cannot get through to us by phone just keep trying or try email if phone is not working! Internet coverage is spotty as well so one or the other should be working at any given time. Our cell phone is worthless here but we can get a tower either three miles east or seven miles west.
Enough for now but will update things a bit more in the next issue of the Diary.
Click to view this week's photos - September 30, 2015
September 18, 2015
It should be apparent to one and all that a significant amount of time has passed since my last entry in George's Weekly Diary. Thank all of you loyal readers for your patience over the past five months and let me tell you it is a relief to finally be able to re-establish contact once again.
We closed Tollgate Traditions as a New York business at the end of the month of May and surrendered our State Sales Tax number. We had received a purchase offer on our property and entered into a land contract to formalize the sale and were planning to move everything to the state of Washington by July 1st. Unfortunately the purchase offer turned out to be a scam so we were able to abolish the contract and place the property back into the hands of a realtor. And with a stroke of good fortune we were able to lease our property to a very reliable individual who will be a responsible tenant that won't destroy the property that we spent thirty-eight years building!
We spent the month of June packing up all of our belongings and doing all of the address change stuff required to move from one state to another. We commissioned a mover to do the job for an obscene amount of money and they picked up all of our boxes and crates on July 7th. Our belongings went into storage until they could be transferred to a cross-country load could start the trip to the West Coast. Our daughter Karen had rented a storage unit and had it placed it on her property to receive our belongings if and when they arrived in Deming. She flew to NY on the 27th of June to share the driving load necessary to cross the country by car and on the morning of July 9th we set off on our journey. I will chronicle the trip in detail in the next issue of the Diary.
Our belongings finally arrived here in Deming on August 7th and the truck had contained a total of five different moves for the cross country journey. Everything that we owned got off-loaded into the big green storage locker placed on the Casey Road side of Karen's property at 6496 Mt. Baker Highway. The problem that we are faced with now is the fact that Karen has a small house that she has occupied for the past fourteen years while raising two children. Now we must consolidate our goods with hers and try to get rid of the excess (donations to Goodwill in Bellingham, "roadside donations" or the Dump)! We put two derelict chain saws on the roadside and they lasted less than ten minutes!
The building that is to become Tollgate Traditions/West was her former workshop and was filled with hand tools, power tools and the residue of fourteen years of collection (including a disassembled automatic transmission under the workbench). I was able to move all of our archery shop inventory from the storage locker and after hoeing out the workshop, got most of it set up in the building. In the process of accomplishing this little chore I found that the movers had lost more than $3,000 worth of full length and diecut Trueflight feathers. On top of a $9K moving charge this loss is almost as much as I can bear especially when all of our cresting/dipping paints were taken and destroyed as too dangerous to move by the moving company. We submitted a claim but don’t have too much hope for that.
In any event we have applied for a Washington State Business License online which carried a $24.00 fee to register and we are now waiting for that in order to do business here. As soon as that comes in the mail we should be legal to reopen and collect sales tax (9%) to feed the state of Washington. As soon as it arrives I can reopen our business accounts with our suppliers so we can purchase inventory again. When we reopen for business and we will no longer take credit/debit cards and operate on a cash, check or money order basis. For mail order I have reactivated our Pay Pal Merchant’s account and will be able to take payment online or do the check/money order route. Pay Pal a is simple and easy way to do business on line as an individual can go to paypal and sign up for the program. I send you an invoice, you pay by email and we ship your order immediately!
This is about all I have the energy for this week so will be back in another week or so to continue the saga!
Click to view this week's photos - September 18, 2015
April 8, 2015
Full Moon – April 4th/The Pink Moon: Flowers begin to appear, including the widespread grass pink or wild ground phlox. Other variations indicate more signs of full spring, such as Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon and Fish Moon (common among coastal tribes).
3/12/15: On Tuesday Merlyn and I went to visit Lenny. He is recovering from his surgery and is very upbeat about the whole process. He and his wife aren’t burning any wood this year so I threw a row of split maple into the back of the van since we are on the verge of running out.
I did a dozen cedar arrows for a customer in San Francisco and took an order for ½ dozen carbon arrows for a local customer. This will be the first business that we have had so far for the month of March and hopefully the trend will continue. I would much rather be busy than just sitting around watching the snow melt!
It is apparent that our youngest dachshund is in the early stages of congestive heart failure. That condition is genetic to her line of dogs so we are keeping her comfortable and providing her with all of our love. She may have six months to a year but thankfully she doesn’t know that.
3/15/15: The weather channel is calling for 48 degrees tomorrow which will be getting the maple sap starting to run. I emailed Karen Hooker and ordered a gallon of syrup and she replied and said that they were finishing up the tree tapping today! We had a fresh inch of snow this morning but it is melting away as I type this paragraph.
3/20/15: I got the half dozen Gold Tip Traditional carbon arrows done up and delivered yesterday. My California customer called this afternoon and ordered another dozen cedars in 45-50# spine so we will spend the weekend putting them together……I am always happy to do the work!
The Youth Camp Benefit Shoot is being held on Sunday (22nd) and hope Ian Brucker gets a good turn out for the kids…..Cassety Hollow has the first 3D outdoor shoot of the season on Sunday as well. Since my shooting partner Lenny is kind of immobile right now I don’t expect to attend either one of these events.
Although the DEC hasn’t yet released its deer take numbers from last season but it has been revealed that the crossbow numbers for the first season of limited use during the archery seasons was slightly over 4000. I wonder what the numbers will be like five years from now?
3/21/15: Our beloved Tuppence died last night at the age of eleven years, nine months and sixteen days. She was playing with her cherished tennis ball and waiting for supper when her heart failed. She was deeply loved and a steadfast companion. She will be sorely missed.
3/23/15: Fedora’s Archery has sold out and will continue production in St. Cloud, Utah. They expect to be back in full production by the end of this month and their interim website can by seen from the “Our Bows” section of our website. Margaret and I are currently evaluating their dealer line of custom bows to decide if we wish to continue to stock the line.
3/28/15: The NYB Youth Camp Benefit Shoot drew about thirty shooters. NYB Rep Bill Snyder said he had to leave at noon time but would get back to us with a complete report. We didn’t receive anything from Cassety Hollow Rod & Gun Club so we don’t know if they were able to hold their 3D shoot or not. I received an email from Rich Inman this afternoon to cancel their 29th date at West Winfield due to too much frozen snow on the ground.
It didn’t get above freezing today and we had a dusting of snow last night. It is great to think about spring but with over a foot of snow in the backyard it certainly seems to be a ways in the future yet!
3/30/15: The creek down over the bank finally appeared a couple of days ago! All of the snow covering the water finally melted enough to fall into the rushing water and get swept away. Another dusting of snow again last night but it cannot last too much longer.
The month is nearly over and our retail archery business was 100% mail order for the month of March. Two dozen cedar arrows, half a dozen GT Traditionals and one 60” recurve string! Too bad we had to spend more money on replacing stock than we took in our sales…..not to mention the fixed costs of maintaining the website.
The red winged blackbirds came back today! We had a large flock of both males and females visit our bird feeding area today. Three waves of the birds touched down, pecked in the feed for a short time and just as abruptly left again.
4/2/15: It got up to 54 degrees by 5 PM today and another bunch of snow disappeared. We had a flock of red winged blackbirds last week and when Merlyn and I went to town today we saw a flock of geese on the north side of Route 20 in one of the melted off corn fields! I dropped off our lawn mower for spring servicing so that will be ready when the grass gets lush and green again.
4/8/15: A busy few days……shared Easter dinner with Lenny and his family. Picked up the serviced lawn mower so that is ready to go again. The new used tire on the back of the van has been repaired twice. Hopefully the last one will last awhile!
Put gas in the van the other day and a certain amount ended up on the ground. That condition has been diagnosed as rust holes in the fill pipe so that becomes the next needed repair. Gasoline is in the $2.50 a gallon category but still much too expensive to pump on the ground!
Margaret says, "Sorry it wasn't on the 7th Scott!"
Click to view this week's photos - April 8, 2015
Up-Coming Events - 2015
May 15 ,16 & 17
NYB BANQUET RESORT WEEKEND
NYB Region 6 Bowhunter Youth Camp Oswagatchie FFA Camp
Long Pond, NY
For Info contact: Bill Snyder
3012 Pine Ridge Road
August 21 - 23
|8th Annual OxTAR - Click for flyer|
Current 3D Shoot Results
When the results are made available to us.
Next Shoot (s)
|April 12, 2015|
If you are not on the 3D mailing list
and would like to be, please contact:
209 Jones Road
Ilion, NY 13357
or Phone: 315-822-5034
Central NY 2014 3D Schedule and Directions to clubs
Click here for printable schedule.
Click here for printable directions to clubs.
That’s about it for this week.
Thank you for checking in with us.
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