Thursday, August 23, 2012


     A dental appointment took me to Syracuse today so I took this opportunity to visit the Carousel Mall (Destiny?).   A new Apple Store has just opened so I wanted to look at the latest iPads and iPhones.   After my Apple Store visit, I noticed I was in the vicinity of the Food Court which also houses the Carousel.
   The Carousel is a part of my personal history.   During my youth we would occasionally visit Roseland Park in Canandaigua, New York  where I would ride the very Carousel that has been installed in the mall.   This carousel has a long history since it was manufactured in 1909.   After use in many other places this carousel arrived at Roseland Park in 1941 and remained there for 43 years until Roseland Park closed.   The Pyramid Companies of Syracuse purchased it in 1985, restored it, and installed it as the theme piece of the new mall.   I have fond memories of riding this carousel, grabbing the rings from the  supply chute and attempting with my toss to hit the bell with the ring.   Today, about 65 years after my first ride on this carousel I bought my token and took another ride.  Not only did I enjoy my ride, I also enjoyed the looks of pleasure on the faces of the youngsters around me.  However, it didn't seem like the carousel moved as fast as it did when I rode it as a kid. Maybe the modern age safety requirements slowed it down.
The Carousel

A Beautiful Horse - Originally Hand Carved
    Beyond the ride itself there is great beauty in the decorations, mirrors and painted horses.   It is indeed a work of art.   For me the mall at Syracuse will always be the Carousel Mall even if they try to rebrand it Destiny.
A Post Ride Smile

A Dad and His Sons - More Generations of Carousel Riders

On The Horse - Mirror Image

Friday, August 17, 2012

Information Outpost - Cornell 2012

   The 2012-2013 Cornell academic year was kicked off today with the arrival of the Class of 2016.   Each year the emeritus faculty and retired staff volunteers man information outposts at the main entry points to the campus.   We enjoy welcoming the parents and students and helping them find their way to their dorms, registration sites and local businesses.   Most of them are suffering from a bit of stress and appreciate a smiling face and assurances that they can find their way to specified locations.
   Every form of conveyance can be observed.   Vehicles range from U-Hauls to pickup trucks to  huge SUV's to totally stuffed compact cars to an occasional mega luxury vehicle.   I was blown away by a very hot Porsche Panamera sedan.   An amazing piece of machinery.   Depending on the model and options your can buy it for as low as $80,000 or as much as $176,000.  I guess it is good that their is enough wealth around to keep this manufacturer in business!
   Cornell's needs blind admission brings an eclectic mix of students and parents.   With a yearly expense at full cost of over $50,000 we have the wealthy clientele who find that expenditure only a blip on their yearly income.   On the other hand we also have the capable student from the a low income single parent family who is able to attend Cornell with a combination of financial aid, loans, work-study and a modest family contribution.   I like to think that Cornell can bring together both the 99% and the 1% and all in between to learn and appreciate the range of paths each life can take.

Left to Right - David, Jeannette, Art, John, Ann

Left to Right -David, Art, John, Ann, Gerry
   All of us who work at the outposts have a great love for Cornell and are happy to give back to the Cornell community that has enriched our lives.   And our two hour shifts gives us a chance to swap a lot of stories and reminisces of our time at Cornell.  See the photos above of my companions for today.  Even an hour of rain failed to dampen our spirits.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Patio Project - Entertainment?

     A year or so ago I wrote about construction entertainment when our local Walmart was being built.   I continue to love to watch the progress of construction projects.  In my commute to the Cornell campus several times a week I get to observe the progress on a major housing project opposite the Dryden High School.   Each trip I see a bit more progress.   In time the project moves from surveying to earth moving to drainage and infrastructure to footings and then the erection of the structures.   Eventually the structures will be complete, the roads will be put in and the landscaping will be finished.   A great sense of accomplishment when the project is done.
    When we moved into our present home we thought it was perfect and we would have no need construction projects.   Not so!!  So now I am into our own construction project.  Nothing major.   Just the addition of a ground level patio off our sun porch.  We envision entertaining outdoors as well as sitting in the morning breezes a bit closer to nature.   Since I have built many decks and enjoy the process of creating a new structure I am in the do-it-yourself mode.   The plans have been completed, the building permit obtained and the materials have been purchased and delivered.    Construction is under way.  See photos below.
    As a farm boy I helped my dad with construction projects and in my college days I worked on numerous construction projects including water pipe lines in Fairport,   the New York State Thruway across the Montezuma swamp and a building for Rochester Gas and Electric in Sodus, New York.   We work long and hard on those projects.  Even up to 12 hour days on the Thruway.   Over 55 years later in my geezerhood I notice that I no longer have the stamina of my youth.   After four to six hours of work on my patio project I am pooped!   On top of that my hands and legs will suffer muscle cramps even if I consume tons of Gatorade.   In spite of these annoyances, I am enjoying the completion of our patio project.   And when it is done, the pleasure of sitting on the finished patio will be enhanced by the satisfaction of creating a new structure myself.
Staked out Area

Platform in Progress