About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter snow storm in Chaumont, NY

High winds and lake effect snow have been pounding the northern NY village of Chaumont the last two days. Just outside the village the wind has caused white out conditions resulting in many car accidents and cars off the road. Today we got almost two feet. I am more weary of the Winter this year than I have in at least five or more years. No surprise though, we have had a series of mild Winters in recent years. This one is more typical.
State police car at Route 12E and Case Farm Rd., Chaumont during white out conditions caused from blowing snow. Two cars involved in an accident. photo by gary walts

View from driveway of my home in Chaumont after almost 2 feet of snow fell this afternoon.  photo by gary walts

View of my home in Chaumont after almost 2 feet of snow fell this afternoon.  photo by gary walts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chimney and furnace repair

About a week or so ago I finally got my wood stove chimney repaired and the oil furnace repaired. That's a good thing because this Winter keeps marching on cold as ever. On Tuesday  the temperature was minus 26 degrees and reached a high for the day of minus 6.  Yesterday it was minus 16 and we had a high of minus 2.
Me with a 3 foot section of Selkirk stainless steel, all fuel chimney. This piece was damaged from heavy ice. 

This is me repairing the wood stove chimney. Turns out I only needed to replace one damaged section of the chimney as well as the roof flashing. 
While I was on the ladder repairing my chimney a guy from Bartlett's Plumbing & Heating, Adams, NY, was replacing the blower motor in the oil furnace in our basement. Heat wise, we are back in business dealing with Old Man Winter.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Huge lake effect snow storm in northern NY

Downtown Watertown during  near white out conditions from lake effect snow.  Unfortunately the camera sensor is very dirty which causes all the spots you see. Time to get it cleaned.

The Winter continues to be brutal.  A huge lake effect snow storm has hit the area from Mannsville to Gouvernuer. It began Monday evening. I was in Syracuse photographing a girls basketball game. By the time I got done Rt 81 from Brewerton to Watertown was closed. I was supposed to cover the storm the next day so rather than drive through the snow at 11:00 at night I spent the night at Brother D's house in Mattydale. Tuesday morning it was extremly cold and windy in Syracuse, but weather was clear. I started driving North on Rt 81 and it was clear all the way to Parish. There it was sunny, but the roads were wet. When I reached Mexico the snow started. At Pulaski the snow was heavy enough to make storm photos. I spent an hour or so there. The next stop was Mannsville and the snow was heavy with blowing winds. The village was desolate, reminiscent of a ghost town. From there I drove RT 11 and every mile north the snow and wind was stronger. Frequent white outs. By the time I got to Adams  the driving was some of the worst I have experienced. I snapped a coupl pictures in the village and then started for home. It was a good two hours+ getting there. I long line of cars and trucks, myself included, were like a caravan, moving slowly through the storm, bumper to bumper. Sometimes we stopped for five or ten minutes, Often we would move hundred feet or less, stop, move on, stop. It is six miles to Watertown and it took an hour to get there. From watertown to Chaumont was another rough stretch. Brownville was off and on white outs. When I got to Limerick it was like a switch was turned on. There was no snow, fairly bare roads and I was able to drive 60mph on those last five miles. What a relief to get home.
Pulaski, NY,  gary walts photo

Pulaski, NY  gary walts photo

Lacona, NY  gary walts photo

Pulaski NY,           Gary Walts photo

Mannsville, NY    gary walts photo

Adams, NY    gary walts photo

Adams Center, NY    gary walts photo

Mannsville, NY     gary walts photo

Mannsville NY Post Office   gary walts photo

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ice on roof buckles wood stove chimney

A 6 to 8 inch layer of ice began to slide off the roof overnight. The weight of it squeezed the chimney as if it were in a vice causing it to buckle.
So far this has proven to be a severe Winter. It was 7 below zero this morning. A week or so ago we had an ice storm that left a lot of people without power. It rained a lot at freezing temperatures. Then it got cold enough to snow. The snow covered the ice. Then it warmed again enough for some of the snow to melt, then froze again, causing another layer of ice on top of the original ice. This warming, thawing, freezing cycle has occurred quite a few times. The result is a layer of compact snow and ice everywhre that is hard as rock. This past Saturday I lit a fire in the wood stove and noticed the chimney draft was weak. I go outside and see that the thick layer of ice on my roof began to move during the night and put so much weight against the chimney in buckled over. I spent Sunday trying to get the ice off the roof so as to be able to repair the chimney. I got so wore out that I only got half the roof cleared. Today about an 8 inch slab of ice remains on the roof, around the chimney. Being below zero I think I must abandon the ice removal until the weekend when it is supposed to get into 30+ degree weather.
I snapped this view from a lower, adjacent section of roof. The chimney should be standing perfectly upright.