Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Video Review 2014

I made 63 videos in 2014. Some of them were good, while others are a work in progress. Hover your mouse over the window below and the videos will scroll.... if you find a video that interests you, click play

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dog Found In Alex Bay

Some nice people kept this dog from getting hit by a car on Church St.  Male dog about 2 years old, no collar.  Animal Control Officer was called.  There may have been another loose dog with this one...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Skirmish Between The Seasons [Video]

Granted, Alex Bay did not get anywhere near the snow others got. But Winter came early and knocked fall out of the ring. Or maybe not..... This video was made from clips taken yesterday and today.   It is my attempt to show a battle between the two, A Seasonal Skirmish......

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shop Local: Good Dog Charlies

Alexandria Bay:

I have not posted anything of late. Only because I have not had much to say.  The Christmas Season is fast approaching, and it is time to think about shopping for presents. Please consider shopping at a local store. Pick a non-chain store and support a local economy.  Our Luna's favorite store to shop...... Good Dog Charlies of course..... Located on James Street in Alexandria Bay.  All good stuff.... everything from Vera Bradley, Life Is Good, and Good Dog Charlie Signature gifts...... Luna has good taste.....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Attack Of The Giant Spider

A take off of all those cheesy 1950 Horror Movies.  Please make sure you can hear the audio, otherwise this short clip won't make much sense.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mischievous MADNESS [Video]

A video made with clips and still shots that were taken over several weeks. At the time of editing, I was unsure how to arrange them until I was listening to Fire On High from the Electric Light Orchestra album Face The Music. It was then that the madness began.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hearts For Youth Receives Generous Land Donation

Communities Of Alexandria:

For many years, Hearts For Youth has been looking for a home to build a Community Youth Center. Recently they were given a very generous land donation. Play the video to see who donated the land and where it is located....

Hearts for Youth (HFY) is a grassroots organization dedicated to providing opportunities, services, and support, so youth in the Alexandria Bay Community will become healthy, educated, respectful, and productive citizens.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Meet Aaron Woolf In Alexandria Bay

Join us Monday September 22nd from 5pm till 7pm 
As we welcome Aaron Woolf, Candidate for NYS Congress 21st District.  Edgewood Point at the end of Wade St.
[See map below]

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reminder! Vote On Tuesday

A nonpartisan video I made as a friendly reminder to vote at the Primary Election this Tuesday.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dog Days Of Summer

Anyone that owns a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier knows that out of the blue comes a sudden burst of energy.... known as the ZOOMIES

Friday, August 29, 2014


Today was one of those days where the skies were filled with different types of clouds. I shot some footage. Some of the clips create the sensation of looking down through them. I can assure you that my feet were on the ground. If you can, enable HD and put some head phones on...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

14th Annual BLUES IN THE BAY

Alexandria Bay:

The Blues In The Bay starts this Thursday at 6pm and continues through Labor Day with the All Star Jam Fest. This event brings people together to share the appreciation of a wide variety of Blues Musicians.  Some bring chairs and just kick back and enjoy hours of the Blues, while  others dance.  It is a social event, where friends meet up and spend time together meeting new people.  It is simply the best end of the summer event in the North Country! And It Is Free!

Below are 8 videos that I have made, they span over a 4 year period.  You might just spot yourself or a group of friends.... If you start one video and want to skip to the next one, just hit the pause button, then click next....

Another 4 videos from over the past few years.  To use this playlist, just click the play button and they will all play or select Playlist in the upper left corner and select the one you want to listen to.

Click to enlarge for line up

Sunday, August 17, 2014

St. Cyril's Choir Alexandria Bay

Alexandria Bay:

Last night I digitally recorded some AUDIO of the 6th Annual Summer Concert held at St. Cyril's Church. After carefully editing the audio of gaps between songs I made some minor adjustments to the recording levels using a digital equalizer. After that I started adding color from my Joyful Palette. Digitally painting each song in this 3 song sampler. The audio from the entire concert can be listened to below.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Tool Box

My Dad passed away several years ago. I "inherited" his tool box that was filled with all sorts of tools and a wide assortment of screws, bolts, widgets and other odds and ends. When I first glanced into this box I saw only tools and stuff! I kept the box over the years just as I had received it. Nothing special in there,,,, only fond memories of my Dad reaching into his tool box and retrieving a tool or some hardware to fix something that was broken.

On several occasions, I have searched his tool box for a special screw, a washer or some odd thingamajig to fix something, and miraculously it was always on top.... right there in plain sight. Never noticing it the last time I rummaged through my Dads tool box.

Tonight I broke a plastic hose clamp on our pools filter system. Water gushed all over the place. I frantically searched high and low for a metal hose clamp. Could not find one anywhere. In desperation, I grabbed my Dad's red tool box and flipped open the latches.......... and right on top was a metal hose clamp..... the perfect size..... shiny..... no rust....just sitting there on a pile of rusted useless nuts bolts and washers as if it were patiently waiting. The clamp looked like it did not belong there.... but there it was. I grabbed it and closed and latched the tool box. The leak was fixed.

Later, I was tempted to go back to my dads tool box and take pictures or video.... as an inventory of the contents of his tool box to prove to me in the future something I should not know......... something I am not meant to know about MY DAD'S TOOL BOX

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Antique Boat Museum 1972


Great old publication find.... submitted by Krista Booth.  Anyone remember the Town and Country Newspaper?  Krista found this publication from August 23rd 1972.  The most interesting thing about this photo is the reference to Tom [Antique Boat] Turgeon..... Thanks Krista for sharing...

Friday, August 1, 2014

AVALANCHE Rocks Antique Boat Museum

Clayton N.Y.

Avalanche is the 10th Mountain Division's Rock Band..... and these soldiers did just that at 50th Annual Antique Boat Show. It's not about Old Boats and Old Men...... It is also about MUSIC and so much more.
Guide To Boat Show and Schedule LINK

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

50th Annual Antique Boat Show And Auction

Clayton N.Y.:

This weekend kicks off the 50th annual Antique Boat Show and Auction. [Link Schedule]

If you are new to the area and have never been to this Show, take a few minutes and watch some high lights from last years show.  Or if you have not been to the show in a few years, you should go this year. Every year new improvements are made, and The Antique Boat Museum Campus is as beautiful as the classic boats it displays.  Either way, take a few minutes and watch some footage from last years show to see what you might miss.  This year it will be even better..... Remember, The Antique Boat Museum is not just about old boats and old men

Monday, July 28, 2014

Livin' N' Dyin'

My video interpretation of a song written and performed by local musician David Knapp.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alex Bay Teen Presents Christian Music Recital

Alexandria Bay:

Click To Enlarge
The very talented Rachelle Johnson performed recently at the Reformed Church.  This summer Rachelle will be attending a Christian music camp, Camp Electric at Cedarville University in Ohio. Later, she will be learning about managing a career in music at Camp Orangehaus at Anderson Christian University in Indiana. Miss Johnson has an extreme passion for music...... [read more by clicking on the inset to the right].  Rachelle is the 14 year old daughter of David and Cindy Johnson....

Below is a video of one of Rachelle's most recent performances

Rachelle's "Triune No. 1" from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alexandria Central Valedictory Address

Miss Nicole Pierce addresses her fellow classmates, the Graduating Class Of 2014......

The Tossing Of The Caps

The Graduation Of The Class Of 2014 from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Click To Enlarge

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alexandria Central Senior Awards Ceremony

Yesterday morning A.C.S. Seniors were presented with Awards in Music, Hearts For Youth, Academic Achievements, and Scholarships.....  Congratulations To The Class Of 2014, especially to our son Conner, your mom and I are very proud of you!

Music Awards from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Hearts For Youth Awards from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Academic Awards from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

In Memory of Paul "Captain" Wibbe

Alexandria Bay:

He was the Captain Of The Bay!

I made this video portrait  of Captain about a year ago.  When he first saw this he gave me a hug and bought me a beer.  It does not get any better than that.

VIDEO PORTRAIT.... Some draw, some paint. Portraits should reflect the personality, likeness, and mood of the person. It should also tell a story giving the viewer some insight into the one portrayed.
Jim Cummings

To The Port Of My Birth from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Memory Of Frank Sacci

In Memory Of Frank Sacci Sr. from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Bloggers Note:

Back in the mid 60's I was lucky enough to be neighbors with Sacci family.  Music could be heard flowing from all parts of their house 24/7.  One minute it might be one of the kids practicing Little Brown Jug and the next it was one of the others trying to learn the chords to "that British band the Beatles"[as some of our parents referred to them].  I learned to love the Big Band Era as well as Cream, Yardbirds etc.

Frank Sacci was the music ambassador.  If you could not play, Frank could teach you how to listen and Love music.  After all not everyone could play an instrument but everyone can learn to Love Music

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Alexandria Bay:

A crew wandered the streets of the village on Monday.  Marking the roads with arrows and the letters TWC.  What could these letters stand for? Google them....

Monday, May 26, 2014

Old Homestead Now Serving Wine And Beer

Alexandria Bay:

The Old Homestead and The Spot located on James Street now have their beer and wine license.  Lite Lunch and Dinner menus are available as well as a selection of beer and wine.  The tree shaded patio is a great place to sit and sip on a glass of wine, beer or even a hot cup of coffee.  

For me, the patio is an ideal place to people watch or strike up a conversation with some of our tourists. Part of the patio is in constant shade and other sections fluctuate with partial shade and full sun.  It is truly a Great Spot! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Dog Digs The River

Alexandria Bay:

A new line of clever River Themed T-Shirts at Good Dog Charlies.  Luna helps me model mine!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bay House Artisans Opens 2014 Season

Alexandria Bay:

 Bay House Artisans is beginning their 3rd season as an established gallery shop offering fine hand-made art and craft products created by regional artists. Participating artisans are skilled producers working in a range of media including wood, fiber, metal, glass, clay, watercolor, jewelry, and more. The primary function of Bay House Artisans is to provide display space, visibility, and sales potential for each artist while offering the public high quality wares in a diversity of media.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Going To The Prom!

It seemed like yesterday when our son started school.  Last night he put on his tux, borrowed my car to pick up his date for the A.C.S. prom.  I managed to get some video shots of his departure, but I did not want to cramp his style, so I stayed at home.

Thinking.... back to my prom in '78..... Recalling all the fun times of being a senior at I.H.C. This prompted me to do some more reflection.  I am closer now to becoming a senior citizen than a senior in high school and it seems when ever I close my eyes.... another year has passed.

I am not going to share any of my profound wisdom after all you have plenty of your own.  That is something that I will dole out to our son one day at a time.  The video I made shows just how quickly our children grow up.

Another Year Has Come And Gone from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Antique Boat Museum: A Brief History

Clayton New York:

It all started in 1965 with a boat show that featured Idyll Oaks.  Over the past 5 decades, many Classic and Antique boats have been spotlighted at this  yearly boat show.  This video chronicles a condensed version of that history and the beauty of each nautical artifact. The Antique Boat Museum opens for the season on May 2nd.

Antique Boat Museum: A Brief History from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Slow Down In T.I. Park

Summer residents of T.I. Park have been complaining that vehicles drive to fast within the Park.  One of those residents, Emilie Cardineaux who is also a singer, songwriter wrote a song about how everyone needs to Slow Down! The lyrics to this catchy song, Slow Down go like this:

....Slow down, slow down, slow down
It's a fifteen mile an hour town....

I recorded Emilie's song at the Top Of The Bay summer 2013.

In the 2014 Spring publication of the Gazette, T.I. Park president Bill Burns made the following comments:
I ask you to review the section on Speeding and Signs located on Page 16. A perennial, yet growing concern of Park residents is vehicle speed. Consequently, the Board has decided to reduce the speed limit throughout the Park to 10 miles per hour. Adherence to the lower speed will better protect our kids, keep dust levels down, and reduce costly road damage during rainy periods. The Corporation will fine and enforce better than we have, and we ask you, the resident, to help keep our Park safe by reporting speeders to the Security or Corporation Offices

T.I. Park is located on Wellesley Island, one of the largest on the St. Lawrence River.  T.I. Park is also a Historic District and noted for it's whimsical  turn of the century summer cottages.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Walking The Dog

Local town politics has gone to the dogs.  This blog is anything I want it to be...and  some are "relieved" when I focus my attention on making videos.....a short vlog

Luna Struts Her Stuff from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Forensic Audit

Town Of Alexandria:

The last paragraph in an article in this weeks T.I. Sun reads.....

"Forensic Auditors Bonadio and Co. of Pittsford were hired to conduct an audit of the town's [Alexandria] past financial records."

This is not just a financial audit but a Forensic audit.  This type of audit is much more thorough and more costly.

A forensic Auditor/Accountant is defined by the New York State Society of C.P.A.s as:
A Forensic Accountant is indeed part investigator, part auditor, part attorney and part accountant. A Forensic Accountant reviews evidence, conducts analyses, interviews involved parties and draws conclusions. A Forensic Accountant prepares each case as if it will result in litigation in the future

The town like other municipalities goes through routine financial audits.  But this one will be different. It is spurred on by a bunch of witch hunters who would better bide their time taking care of the day to day operation of our town. You may not like what this forensic audit discovers..... remember.... Justice is blind and her finger might point in an unexpected direction.....

Implementing policies, procedures, and managing human resources is far better than knee jerk reactions to a problem whether it exists or not..

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Windy Day At Top Of The Bay

This video taken on 4.14.14 features one of my favorite characters..... Captain F. B.

Life Is A Bomb cool new website,  Look for the TOTB to be open on May 2nd

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Harvey "Ted" Jones "A Celebration Of His Life"

Alexandria Bay:

Ted Jones passed away on Sunday morning April 6th.  Those that knew Ted, would say he was an easy going gentleman that excelled in the Art Of Conversation.  But Ted was more than that, as I borrow a quote from the Alexandria Rotary Face Book page: "Ted Jones: Rotarian, Citizen of the year, Paul Harris Fellow, Friend. Leaves a legacy of the true Rotary Spirit of Service Above Self."  

Over the past few years, I had a chance to video tape Ted.... I hope you enjoy the videos as they help to celebrate his life...

Alex Bay Citizen of the Year from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Swan, Bufflehead, Geese and Mergansers

Alexandria Bay:

Steve Sturtz is a local photographer that has captured some stunning images of aquatic birds along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. His photos are crisp and explode with details and vivid colors. Steve graciously allowed me to set his photos to music......

A Swan, Buffle Head, Geese and Mergansers from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Monday, March 24, 2014

95th Birthday John B. Lyman American Legion Post 904

Alexandria Bay:

This past Saturday night, members and guests were treated to a complimentary Prime Rib or Chicken dinner to Celebrate the 95th Birthday of Post 904.  The evening began with a solemn convocation and continued with an awards ceremony.  The following text are excerpts from a speech read by Richard Drake.....

We are here to celebrate the 95th Birthday of the American Legion.   We are here to celebrate the fact that since the founding of John B. Lyman Post 904 in 1920 this community of veterans, and loved ones of veterans have made a difference in the community.   

Your Post has an outstanding Service Officer Dave LoRusso, who serves all veterans young and old with VA and benefit issues, he is also a skilled councilor.  Post 904 hosts Blood Drives which have resulted in some impressive totals; check them out in the Library down stairs after dinner.

The Post 904 was recognized by the Department of NY Commander Ken Governor for their outstanding work supporting American Legion Programs.   Post 904 continues to be the largest sponsor of Hearts For Youth, supporter of the Back Pack Club and encourages all youth organizations to use these facilities for fund raisers for their programs.  Post 904 is the charter holder for Cub Scout Pack 65 and Boy Scout Troop 65.  Troop 65 is in the process of advancing and recognizing 5 Eagle scouts.  Two of them we honor today and one of them is serving you.  Scouts provide a valuable service for the Legion to pursue its goal to honor every service member laid to rest in the township cemeteries with flags on Memorial Day.  

The other Scout we honor tonight is a Girl Scout Shannon Bartlett; due to her efforts we can enjoy our new Memorial Park. Shannon exceeded her goal of $5,000 and raised almost nine to achieve her Gold Award. Girl Scouts Gold Award which is the equivalent of an Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts.

I hope all of you got a chance to see the awards and medals we are presenting tonight.  We thank the Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 904 for purchasing them to honor our kids who have excelled in their programs.    Our Boy’s State program has sent a large number of boys every year because, as a post family we will not say no to worthy candidate.  If it was not for the support of the Squadron 904 paying for the extra selections we may have had too.  I remind everyone no other post in the county has ever had a Boy reach Boys Nation our post can brag that too. 

The Empire Girl’s state program is just as impressive as the Boys but a lot more competitive also and these young women like the men learn how government is supposed to work. The Ladies continue to find ways to make sure we are well represented.  

The Oratorical Program winners at ACS this year made it through the next couple of levels as place winners and competed at Zone Competition.  These worthy programs Boys State, Girls State and Oratorical are made possible by both financial and volunteer support from our entire Legion Family which includes the sons and the ladies.

Post 904’s newest Americanism program is the Junior Shooting Sports Program.  Post 904’s program is the first and only one in Jefferson County.  Ask Commander Drake for details. This program exists due to a large amount of volunteer effort from a group of dedicated legion members and financial support of this post.   We have two of our shooters invited to RPI, in Troy, NY and will compete next month for the opportunity to make the Junior Olympic team.
Post 904, your post makes these programs possible for our community.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Remembering Anne

Anne Schumacher Vaphiadas passed away 3 years ago today.  I made this video several months later as friends and family gathered at Casino Island on the St. Lawrence River to dedicate a plaque and a tree in Anne's memory.  The Alexandria Central School choir sang one of her favorite songs Some Where Over The Rainbow...... Please take a moment to remember Anne.

Memorial from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Lingers

I was not going to post this because I thought [foolishly] that March was going to be like a lamb.  Apparently we are in for some more wintry weather.  We may as well enjoy a closer look at the beauty of winter.... Frost on my garage door windows

Perception Of Winter from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chance Encounter With A Snowy Owl

Town Of Alexandria:

To get a great picture, the mantra is always be prepared and have a camera ready.  Today it paid off for Robin Garlock Moran.  She has been waiting patiently to get pictures of this elusive bird.  These stunning pictures were taken on the Bailey Settlement Road.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Catherine Walts American Folk Musician

Alexandria Bay:

At the time these video's were made, Catherine was 87 years old.  She would not tell me how long she had been playing the spoons but she did tell me that the spoons she was using were over 31 years old.  These spoons had the scars and dents of many years of rhythmic  thumping  on her thighs and the heel of her hand.

I know of several Alex Bay natives that were tutored in their youth by Catherine in the art of playing the spoons.  If you  have never seen anyone play the spoons, Catherine was the Grand Master. Catherine passed away at the age of 89 on 3.4.14.

Spoon playing has historical roots in various cultures: Greek, British, Russian and American Folk Music....

Grand Master Playing the Spoons from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Going From Bad To Worse

I am telling this story as a way to express my gratitude to those who came to my rescue on 2.24.14.

I started my day with a severe case of sciatica. I made it work but as the morning went on I could not stand the pain.  I made an appointment for 1:15 at the River Hospital Convenient Care.  Leaving work at noon I was experiencing severe pain that took my breath away with each step I took to get to my car.  I drove along 81 north feeling as tho I just ran a marathon.  The pinched sciatic nerve shot excruciating  pains all the way down my left leg.

Within minutes my breathing went from labored to short and choppy.  Several minutes later my diaphragm felt like it was rolling up under my rib cage.  My arms and legs went numb and I started to get light headed and woozy.  My judgement was now impaired as I tried to make a decision of what to do.  Stay on course to Alex Bay or pull over on the 81 breakdown lane and hope for help.

I started to panic as my hands began to shake uncontrollably.  I knew that continuing north or pulling over would both be dangerous.  I vaguely remember my decision to get off of 81 at the Bradley St exit and head to a place where people knew me, Blue Seal Feed Store.

Finally making it to Blue Seal Feed parking lot, I started to honk my horn to get anyone's attention.  By now my hands were shaking and useless and I could hardly form words except for help.  Two ladies had pulled into the store parking lot and noticed that I was in trouble.  Without hesitation they called 911.  I remember only bits and pieces as they asked me questions that 911 needed to know.  By now my panic was out of control as I was sure what I was experiencing was a heart attack.

Time seemed to slow down and speed up creating a confused state of mind for me.  My next recollection was the First Responder asking me questions and slipping an oxygen mask over my face.  I felt the panic decrease and my ability to breath increase. I found myself in an ambulance and then transported to Samaritan E.R, where I was treated and released.

My doctor told me that the pain from walking caused me to gasp with each step.  This put me into a hyperventilated state.  Never experiencing that before, I then experienced a panic attack, thinking that I was having a heart attack.  I was told that each by itself are very scary and experiencing both would rock anyone's world.

As I said at the beginning of this post, my intention was to thank the unknown ladies that contacted 911. And to express my gratitude to the first Responders and the EMT's. Thank you all for coming to my rescue. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Skating On The Rideau

Ottawa Canada:

Yesterday, my wife spent the day on the Rideau Canal Skateway.  It is the worlds largest ice rink. Extending 7.8 Kilometers [4.8 miles] from Canada's  Parliament Buildings to Dows Lake.  Along the way are warming areas with fire pits, cauldrons of soups, and oh yes..... Beavertails.  What are Beavertails?

Skating On The Rideau Canal from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

They are described as delicious addictive whole-wheat pastries are hand-stretched, then float cooked and served piping hot, topped with butter and your choice of delectable flavours. Proudly satisfying your sweet tooth since 1978.  Click here to learn more about Beavertails

The canal is open for skating during January and February.  Additional information can be found here.

Bloggers Note:  My wife took this video with her digital pocket Nikon Cool Pix Camera.  The editing was done by moi.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wintry Thoughts

It was around 5pm when I finished clearing the driveway of snow. Lots of snow at the entrance, courtesy of that snow plow guy that gets his jollies winging as much snow as he possibly can as he comes around the corner! I decided to reward myself with a beer as I stood in the middle of my driveway. Inspecting the crisp edges of my snow banks, I was pleased and I know my dad would be proud that I took pride in my sculpted rows of snow.

I spent some time pacing my driveway scuffing my boots in the snow and taking notice of the sun as it was setting behind the trees. This sunset was beautiful in a wintry evening kind of way, and the temperature was pleasant.... so I had another beer and enjoyed the sun as it set behind the trees,  that had fractured limbs from that ice storm. 

As I sipped my frosty cold beer,,,,, I noticed how much better beer tastes when you have worked out doors. Paced and scuffed my feet in the snow some more and then marveled at the sunset once again. Then I thought..... my neighbors must think I am strange..... pacing, scuffing my feet, staring at the sunset, drinking a beer..... WAIT A MINUTE..... I am not strange...... THEY ARE...... because they are not seeing through my thoughts.... to bad for them.

Side Note: The fact is, I am strange and I embrace all my quirks.  I plan on nurturing my strangeness, hoping that it grows into eccentric... I want to thank all the people that have helped me along the way. Your actions of alienating me have in fact set me free. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

For the sake of simplicity, I will talk in terms that I know.... Dogs...
Last year within a few months of each other, we lost both of our Golden Retrievers: Glory then Latte . The dull but throbbing ache that I felt seemed to come from the center of my body and radiate outwards. It went on for days but finally ebbed after a few weeks, only to return without warning and disappear just as quickly. This went on for months with diminishing frequency. The grieving for my dogs is completely different than what I experienced when a parent or a friend passed away.

I questioned and argued with myself..... Why is it different? Is there a connection between a dog and a human soul? I am not going to debate whether a dog has a soul, but I know for sure that I have one and if by chance you do not believe in souls, then you can call it your heart.

I have been mulling this over for a year and I have noticed a change in my emotions. No, I have not gone soft, but my emotions seem to be more acute. I am not going to elaborate on how they have changed, but I can tell you it was worth all the love and grief I felt for my dogs.

What happens when a puppy comes home and a bond forms between her and her humans?
What do I think happens when that physical bond is broken the day she dies?

A puppy works her way into your heart. Our hearts by nature are not totally pure. They have dark spots filled with impurities..... lets face it, humans are far from perfect. Dogs, however are perfect loving creatures, they pass no judgment and offer unconditional love. As the puppy grows, they consume more of our hearts forcing the impurities in our heart farther out to the edge. Our hearts expand making us better humans as those impurities are congealed.

What is THE ACHE that we feel after the passing of a dog?

The true gift that a dog gives us is what she takes with her when she dies. All those impurities in our heart are now all in one place and she is able to snatch them away …. taking them with her, guaranteeing her passage into heaven. The ACHE is the sudden deflation of our hearts as she whisks our impurities away leaving her humans with purer hearts.

I am not saying this is true, but it is what I choose to believe....... My thoughts about this come on the one year anniversary of the unexpected passing of Glory. Five months later, we lost Latte..... who whisked away more impurities leaving me in awe..... in the beauty of the DOG.


Before Glory and Latte there was Bianca and Sienna. For over 20 years we have always had at least one dog in our lives, and other times there were two. Sienna was our first, we raised her then she raised Bianca. After Bianca passed away, Sienna raised her new sister Glory. Sienna passed away at the ripe old age of 14. Glory reared her half sister Latte` and they hung around with each other for 5 years. Glory died suddenly in her yard on 2.13.13. Latte` was diagnosed with cancer 4 months later. We suddenly found ourselves with out a dog for the first time in 20 years. It was very quiet around our house that summer, that is until the middle of August when we brought home Luna, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.... she is something else. We have a plaque on a wall that says Dogs Are Not Our Whole Life, But They Make Our Lives Whole. This sums up the importance to the family and the role of a pet in your life

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Photos From The River Hockey Classic

Clayton NY:

Scott Johnson took some great photos during the River Hockey Classic this weekend.  Always nice to have someone else's visual perspective......

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Here Ya Go

The following is the second duplicate comment left on my blog by Mr Thomson.  For the most part his comment is an accurate account of our discussion last Saturday night.  I never did mention who's phone I overheard the conversation on.  I did not publish Thomson s first post because he incorrectly guessed who he thought initiated the phone call that I was allowed to listen in on.  The duplicate comment below has been redacted to remove that persons name.  The white text with black background is text that I inserted to clarify Thomson s post.

For the most part, readers comments to my blog post are almost non-existent.  So when someone does leave a comment, followers of my blog do not go back and check for comments.  Obviously, this is pretty important to Mr. Thomson, so I turned his comment into a post.  That way nobody will miss it.

In my post I made several personal observations, for example: about the Town board being under the spell of Mr Thomson, I find it interesting that Mr Thomson did not want to dispute that remark.  Therefore it must be somewhat credible.... Interesting.  The only factual comment in my post In The Dark was Thomson s remark I Hate That Guy that he questions in his comment below.

Ron Thomson has left a new comment on your post "In The Dark": 

I spoke with Mr. Cummings....... Saturday night in regards to this post. I told him that saying you “hate” someone is something that I have stressed to my children over the years they should not say. I told him that whoever told him I said that was incorrect as I hold myself to the same standards I expect my children to hold. He then told me he heard me personally say it. That was extremely puzzling since my conversations with Mr. Cummings have been very limited over the years until he clarified the circumstances of his hearing me say it. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX had called me 10 or 11 months ago to discuss the water rates the Village was in the process of setting. Mr. Cummings said he was not comfortable with the fact that XXXXXXXXXXX put his cell phone on speaker phone so that Mr. Cummings could listen in but he chose to listen anyway. At some point XXXXXXXXXXX suggested having Mr. Cummings put the proposed water rates on his web site. I do remember disagreeing with XXXXXXXXXXX as to that NOT being a good idea but do not remember saying that “I hate that guy”. I told Mr. Cummings “If you say I said it, I’ll take your word for it”. I then apologized for making the remark, shook his hand and told him if he wanted to quote me any time in the future to please just call me.

Ron Thomson 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ft. Drum Wounded Warriors vs CNY Flyers

Clayton NY:

The 3rd annual River Hockey Classic, kicked off its weekend long event with a sled hockey match between the Fort Drum Warriors in Transition Unit and the Wounded Warrior Project and the Central New York Flyers Sled Hockey Teams.  Sled Hockey fans and supporters are pushing to get this sport recognized as an official game in the next Winter Olympics.....

Click this link for more information about the River Hockey Classic Event In Clayton NY.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Prepping The Ice For The River Hockey Classic

Clayton NY:

The River Hockey Classic Pond Hockey Tournament is not until this weekend [7th - 9th]  But site preparations have been ongoing for the past week or so.  The best word to describe the prepping of their ice... METICULOUS! All sorts of equipment is used to clear and level the ice, everything from Bobcats to a full sized Zamboni [which the town sold to the Clayton Youth Hockey for $1]. 

The entire pond is manicured to a perfectly level surface using the big equipment in between many floodings. The organizers want an ice surface that is safe and has high level of  integrity.  The process will be completed by this Thursday when the boards will be installed defining the 4 regulation sized rinks.

Once the boards are up, the ice surface will be maintained during the event by using shovels, brooms, power sweepers and the infamous Yamboni!  The Yamboni is a scaled down version of the Zamboni.  A Yamaha four wheeler retro-fitted with a Yamboni kit that is capable of spreading 500 gallons of water per hour across the ice, smoothing it with its 6 foot power up, power down water boom.  RHC organizers and volunteers will work diligently to preserve the integrity of the ice through out the weekend event.

A last minute competition has been scheduled for this Friday evening at 6:00 pm.  A Sled Hockey Game between the CNY Flyers and the Fort Drum Wounded Warriors will take place.

Sled Hockey which is also referred to as sledge hockey is a program that enables its participants to play the game of ice hockey. Sled Hockey is very similar to ice hockey with the exception of equipment. Participants use specially designed sled which sit atop two ice hockey skate blades. Each player has to short hockey sticks with metal picks on the end which is used to propel him/her across the ice.

Prepping The Ice For Pond Hockey from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

2014 River Hockey Classic Promo Video from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

In The Dark

Town Of Alexandria:

The T.I. Sun touted Thomson as civic minded.  Maybe on the surface. But I see much deeper than that, I can see through all his smoke and mirrors and Thomson knows this.  That is why he made this statement about me... "I hate that guy".  Me? I do not hate anyone, I just disapprove of some of their actions.  Speaking of actions:  A tip of the hat goes to Councilman Wills for actually voting no on the Thomson appointment.  Wills could have abstained from the vote but he chose to draw a clear line in the sand.

Of course we all know that the line Wills drew is going to put him in the back seat and possibly ostracized from the rest of the board.  Stine, Sweet, and Hunneyman are clearly now under the spell of Thomson, a spell that will leave all of us in the dark.......

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bruce Carhart's Ticket To The Moon- Closed Till Friday????

While watching TV tonight on Channel 7, I noticed an unusual weather related closure.  The ticker tape at the bottom of the screen read..... Bruce Carhart's Ticket To The Moon- Closed Till Friday  I sat there and wondered what is Bruce up to now? I contacted Bruce and he told me that this is his new Logo and Embroidery Company.  

I commended him on a very clever use of the closure list for advertising his new company...... At a boy Bruce.... only you....would come up with this...... Bruce went on to say that he will have a website for his company in the very near future. Bruce has been a business man in Alexandria Bay for many years...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Letter Supporting The Town Board

This is a letter that was submitted to me by Dan Peterson.   For the record, I do not agree with much of anything stated by Peterson, it is however a rather accurate barometer reading showing the conditions of the political climate of the Town.

I don’t understand all of these negative comments and personal attacks, on some of our current elected officials. We of course should scrutinize the actions of our town board as taxpayers we certainly have a vested interest in how our town runs.

If someone chooses to publicly post negative comments about someone else I feel it is appropriate to be specific about what it is we are unhappy about, if comments are only general it may appear to be more like whining than fact based scrutiny, and leaves little room for accurate rebuttal.

I feel that our town has been improving in many ways since Dale Hunneyman and Brent Sweet took office, I am not happy with every decision made, but overall I believe the facts show we are moving in the right direction. So here are the facts to the best of my knowledge, if I have anything wrong please let me know, I am always happy to debate any issues as long as we debating facts and not fiction or speculations stated as facts.

When Dale and Brent took office they found that many things concerning our towns finances were not in order, and that standard accounting mechanisms used by every town everywhere were not being used in our town. This gave them great concern and led them to seek assistance from state comptroller to try to reconcile town records that were incomplete or missing. This was important because the state has very specific laws on how taxpayers moneys can be spent, as well as appropriate record keeping. They heard rumors of records being destroyed, and possible embezzlement!

They acted and investigated these rumors as they should have, after all they were elected by the taxpayers of this town to oversee the towns business. The comptroller completed their audit listing numerous concerns which most have already been in local news papers this past summer, talking about former Highway superintendent Dave Bain and former supervisor Martha Millet.

Is it Dale and Brent’s fault that Martha wrote checks out to herself and did not provide receipts? Why would she write a check out to herself personally? Why not just write a check for what ever she was purchasing? To my knowledge to date she still has not provided proof of where money was spent! Our money! yours and mine! Mr. Bain allowed $14,000 worth of fuel to disappear, ignoring state guidelines for controlling inventory, and was basically named personally responsible by comptroller! Did you happen to read this audit? The comptroller has no vested interest in this town. They are an objective third party. Mr. Bain was alleged to have misused taxpayers money in various ways as well as destroying records. To my knowledge he has never satisfactorily defended these allegations, so the black cloud hangs over his head still. He complains that he came under unjust scrutiny by Dale and Brent, but the Facts bear that the scrutiny was warranted! Dave Bain made decisions and now he has to live by those decisions as we all must! Its not someone else’s fault! If his work ethic is so great why was Andy Davis basically doing his job the last 2 years!

Andy checked the roads in the middle of the night more often than Dave whom we paid damn good money to do so and bought him a brand new truck! Where was Dave and his new truck? Home in his warm bed truck in driveway! Ask any guy that works at the barn who ran that barn the last 2 years they will all answer Andy Davis!

It is my humble opinion that that Dale and Brent are only guilty of having to deal with all of this unpleasantness dumped in their lap on election day. The former regimes claim to fame is enacting lifetime health care for themselves, buying ice arena from village and then sinking around a million dollars into it, neither of these were put up to public referendum as they should have been. Or were subject to long term cost analysis to determine if taxpayers could afford such luxuries. They blew around $100,000 on bumper car venture that many opposed and tried to convince them not to do! These are just a few examples of the haphazard way the former regime spent our money. The financial health of our town is vital to all of us! We rely on important services the town provides and no one wants to pay higher taxes to perpetuate waste or neglect.

This brings me to Ron Thomson’s appointment to town board. The appointment as you know is temporary, there will be an election in November. I have nothing against Tom Petrie, I feel Ron was better choice for several reasons. He has attended nearly every town meeting over the last year showing considerable interest in town business. Because of this he is up to speed on everything that has taken place over last year as well as what’s currently on agenda. He has put a lot of personal time and money into the last election, holding meetings and fostering an environment open to everyone! These informational meetings were to inform the public on various issues and were not exclusive but open to everyone and all opinions. These meetings demonstrated to me Ron’s openness to debate and tolerance of other points of view. The only agenda I could see was for taxpayers to be fairly represented, and proper stewardship of tax dollars. Mr. Thompson trailed by very few votes in Primary, and had not put out even 1 sign! Finally given our current finical situation Ron’s years of business experience will be a key asset in getting the town running cost effectively.

In conclusion I am perplexed on why the decisions of current town board seem upsetting to some people, given the comparison to pervious board? These seem to be sound decisions made with careful review.

Dan Peterson

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nothing New About Our Town Regime

Republic Of Alexandria:

The Triumvirate

A triumvirate (from Latin, "triumvirātus") is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, but in this case the one is more powerful than the other 2. The exception, the other 2 are clueless

Monday, January 20, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fighting Over The Vacancy

Town Of Alexandria

It is Déjà vu all over again. Last year, Councilman Durand resigned and the Republican Party argued that the vacancy should be filled based on a recommendation from the party committee.  They all knew how this
process worked back then, even the Town Democrat Party was in agreement with the Republican Party. The Dems never interfered with the Republican vacant seat.  Of course, when it was all said and done, more was said than done.  The seat remained vacant until the November 2013 election.

Currently the town has a similar situation with the resignation of Councilman Beaudin, but this time the vacated seat was held by a Democrat..... and all of a sudden the Republicans have amnesia.  The Democrats have submitted Tom Petrie's name for consideration for this vacancy.  Yet, the Republicans forgetting that they once knew how it was done are using every little dirty trick in the book.

Well..... Bully for the Republicans.  It should make you all wonder why they want their boy in that seat! Is it a political power struggle or a plan for personal financial gain?  That is all I am going to say about that..... Allow me to share a quote from the blog Town Truth........

The Town needs a Positive Attitude more than ever going into 2014.  

In January  ~ when all of you are swore in to office ~ lets hope all of you stand up and declare to the Town's People ~ that you will Safeguard the interests of the people. 

     Let's Build the Town of Alexandria up! Not Tear it Down.

The good stuff starts at about 4 minutes