Sylvania Reflections

Larry's Opinions and Items Of Interest From Penn's Woods

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

We're headed north to Union City today. Beverly wants to make the trip to sign the purchase agreement for her parents' house, which is at Pat and Earl's. I think she's anxious to get all signatures on it so it's a done deal. We'll also stop by the cemetery to check out a couple of things. Her parents' headstone was placed within the last two weeks. And her cousin Barbara Jean, who runs Greenacre Flowers right up the street, recently installed an urn at the grave. We'll also stop by the house.

Our plans are to grab lunch on the way up and probably dinner on the way back. Most likely both in Meadville.

So that's gonna be our Memorial Day celebration this year.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Frankie Yankovic

I got two CD's in the mail yesterday. Frank Yankovic and Friends, Songs of the Polka King Volumes 1 and 2. The songs include the following "classics": "Who Stole the Kiska", "Cleveland the Polka Town", "The Beer Barrel Polka" and "In Heaven there is No Beer". All songs well known to anybody living in Cleveland twenty to thirty years ago, which I did. I think they're great! The Polish member of our house is not impressed. Her father loved polkas but she doesn't. I guess it's a guy thing.

I found the CDs on the web, Amazon and many others sell them. But I bought directly from Ida Yankovic, who I assume is Frankie's third wife. She's lives in or around Scottdale, which is southeast of Pittsburgh.

Whilst spreading mulch in my yard yesterday, I couldn't keep the tune "In Heaven There is No Beer" out of my mind and kept humming it. Hmmm! I probably shouldn't have admitted that.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mulching Waterboy

I emulated Gunga Din today and picked up 13 gallons of spring water at the Leesburg Community Water Association facility just upstream from the Springfield Falls. We use the water to make coffee and ice tea. I also drink it plain. Beverly prefers bottled water, so she drinks the Deer Park water we buy at Costco.

We have a well and I do have the water tested periodically, so it is drinkable. However, it's a bit acidic and contains a lot of iron. So we pump soda ash into it and run it through a water softener to make it usable and not eat up our pipes. We prefer to not drink our own treated water.

Also, I had three cubic yards of mulch delivered today. They dropped it in the driveway and I'm now busily shoveling it into my wheelbarrow and distributing it around the yard. It really improves the looks of the yard and keeps the weeds down.

Rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, so I'd like to get the mulch all distributed tomorrow and also mow the grass again.

Monday, May 22, 2006


We've been getting movies from Netflix for about 6 months now. I love it.

We live in rural Pennsylvania, 8 miles from anything. We can't even get pizza delivered. We do have cable TV with broadband Internet access. That allows us to easily get to the Netflix web site to select the DVD's we want to watch. USPS delivers them to the end of our driveway. And after we watch them, all we have to do is walk to the end of the drive and put them back in the mail box.

One of the things I hate about movie rental stores is finding movies. The most recent movies are no problem because they are usually displayed quite well. But picking out an older movie is always a challenge. Even with a list of movies I want to watch, it's often a problem just finding them. And with no list, for me it's next to impossible to walk down the aisle and pick out a good movie with no more information than what's on the boxes. With Netflix, I can sit at home, easily search through both their database and the Internet Movie Database, read about the movies, pick out desirable ones and put them on our queue.

And also with rental stores there's the challenge of returning the rental on time. Especially when the store is a 16 mile round trip. Lets see . . . if you have to make a special return trip at $3 per gallon of gas and 20 miles per gallon, that adds another $2.40 per rental.

Netflix will slow roll you if you start getting too many movies per month. They don't seem to receive returns quite as fast and they don't mail out the next movie as quickly. That's understandable, they do have to make money, but it's frustrating when it happens. I have heard (actually read on the Internet) that they do make money at about $2.00 per movie turn around. So what you have to do is figure out how many movies you will be watching per month, multiply by two and subscribe at that dollar amount per month. At two dollars per movie, it's a bargain. Adelphia charges twice that for pay-per-view and their selection at any given time is VERY limited. Netflix's selection is basically unlimited.

And there's no commercial interruptions during the movies. And you watch them when you want to watch them, not when PPV or the commercial channels have them scheduled. And you can pause the movies when you need a break.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Comment Ability Added

I just added the ability to write comments to this blog. It seems to work . . . I did a test posting and sent a comment to myself. I've since deleted the test posting so don't go looking for it to see what I said to myself.

The reason I added the comments is to try to find out if anybody ever reads what's here. I've been blogging (off and on, admittedly) for a little over three years now, and in that time, only one person has ever told me they have read anything on it (thanks, Gilda). I don't tell many people I'm blogging, but I do have a link here from Larry's Other Place.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The rain has stopped!

Cancel the plans for the ark, it's stopped raining! Finally! NWS is predicting partly cloudy today. But a cold front will be coming though tonight, creating thunderstorms, though not heavy, but a possibility of lightening. But that will mostly be north, along Lake Erie. The key words here are "coming through". No more of this stalled stuff.

I've been getting some search hits on my unofficial Scott Twp web site. I made some modifications to make it more obvious that this Scott Twp is in Lawrence County, PA. I also added keywords to attract more search hits. But if I do get more hits, I may have to add more stuff to the sight.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Beverly went to Homegrown Greenhouse today and bought flowers for the stoop and boxes in the side yard. But it's still raining, so it may be awhile before we get them planted. And the grass keeps getting longer . . .

Yesterday I downloaded the MSIE7 Beta from Microsoft and installed it. I'm not all that thrilled with its "upgraded" interface. Also, it's still in Beta test, so it's buggy. Very buggy. Things don't work, including some rather obvious things, like initial setup stuff. Also, not long after installation, I could no longer get my ftp download (filezilla) to transfer files to my web site hoster. And then I got the blue screen of death. First time on this computer!!! A warning on the screen said it shut down to prevent damage to my computer. And that if I had installed new hardware or SOFTWARE recently, I should take them out. So I did. Uninstall worked properly and I'm now back to MSIE6. What a waste of time!

But hooray, it's Friday. We'll be having margaritas and pizza tonight, our usual Friday evening fare. And at 7:00, I'll be watching LeBron and the Cavs take on the Pistons in game 6 of their playoff series. The Cavs are up 3 games to 2. A win tonight will make it four in a row for the Cavs and will eliminate Detroit from the playoffs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Coffee and Rain

I ordered more coffee from Longbottom Coffee & Tea. This time, I ordered four pounds: One pound each of Columbian Supremos, Mocha Java, Brazilian Santos and Celebes Kalossi. I'm really enthusiastic about Longbottom's coffee. Beverly thinks I'm being overzealous based on one order. We'll see.

The rain of the last 5 days seems to be slacking off. Finally. We got quite a lot, but thankfully not as much as they got in New England. St Gregory School in Zelie shows 2.43 inches of rain in the last week. And the Slippery Rock Creek flow rate is almost 10 times what it was a week ago.

What with all the rain, everything is growing like crazy. It's really a jungle out there. Hopefully, I'll be able to mow the lawn today . . . and when I do I'd better raise the mower as high as it will go. I typically keep it long to begin with, so that means just one notch higher.

The rain has also really helped the flowers and all the plantings around the yard, too. They really look good this year. Of course, the mild winter helped also.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Beverly is in Union City and Erie today. This is to proceed with the legal requirements to have Earl and her the appointed executor and executrix of her father's estate.

They will also be seeing a real estate agent, Norm Troyer. They have a hand shake agreement to sell the High Street house at a reasonable price. The buyers want to deal with a real estate agent, so Beverly and Earl will see Norm to set that up.

On her way to Union Ciy, Beverly said she will be stopping to vote. The primaries are today. She's a registered Democrat and there are several contested Democratic races. I was going to go vote also, but after doing some research, I see there's no reason to vote. I'm a registered Republican and there is only one Republican per race. So no primary decisions required.

I probably should have switched to Democratic for this primary so I could vote against our incumbent State House Rep. He voted to give himself a pay raise last summer with the rest of the legislature in the middle of the night. Even today he still says the legislators deserved it. Humpf! Time for a clean sweep in PA. Vote them all out. For the details on this, check out PA Clean Sweep and PA Common Cause.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Longbottom Coffee & Tea

If you appreciate good coffee, I highly recommend Longbottom Coffee & Tea. On March 26th, I ordered three pounds of coffee from them and all three pounds were excellent. They arrived in three days in sealed vacuum pack pouches. I bought one pound each of Columbian Supremo, Costa Rican Tarrazu and Guatemalan Antigua. We enjoyed all three.

When the coffee arrived, I put the three packages into two zip-lock freezer bags and put them in the freezer. The day before I wanted to start using one of the coffees, I took it out of the freezer and let it warm up to room temperature still sealed. That eliminates condensation on the beans themselves. After they are at room temperature, I opened the bag and ground enough for one pot of coffee. Excellent!

As I mentioned before, we have been drinking and enjoying Gloria Jeans Columbia Supremo coffee, which is available at a kiosk in an outlet mall about 8 miles from us. We'll continue to get their coffee, but will certainly intersperse it with Longbottoms.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Iron Bridge Restaurant

A word of warning about the Iron Bridge Restaurant on Route 19 in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, run by the Springfield Group. Don't believe their menu. On Sunday May 7, I ordered Chicken Scampi Pasta. The dish I received only had chicken and pasta in it. When we asked about the dish, it was first denied that there is such a thing as a scampi, then that it was "land scampis". Whoa.

Obviously an error, or maybe they ran out of scampis, but I really think I should have gotten the truth about it. At best, they certainly need to train their help better.

Here's the wikipedia definition of scampi. Maybe I should refer this to the Springfield Restaurant Group. LOL.